In the age of an interactive web, videos have become an integral part of the average user’s internet experience. In December 2013 alone, over 180 million U.S. internet users watched videos online. YouTube reports that over 1 billion unique users watch its videos each month, and 90 percent of all internet users are now reported to watch videos.
Not surprisingly, marketers have recognized how crucial video marketing can be. A 2013 survey by eMarketer found that marketers now consider video to be the content marketing strategy with the second best ROI, while 93 percent of marketers now utilize video in some form in their marketing strategy. It is no surprise that video marketing, when executed the right way, is a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy.
Of course, video marketing begins and ends with the medium’s most popular platform, YouTube. But most businesses, when considering YouTube marketing have a very limited view of the network’s possibilities. They prioritize the advertisements shown before the regular videos start playing; the ones that can be skipped after a certain amount of seconds. In truth, advertising on YouTube is much more versatile than that. Let’s examine the three pillars of YouTube advertising to see how they can help your business.
The most well-known form of YouTube advertising, this is exactly what we described above. Before a user watches a video of their choice, they see an advertisement that they can skip after a few seconds. This type of YouTube marketing is popular for a reason: studies have shown that pre-roll advertising is up to 25 times more effective than banner advertising, with an impressive 84 percent retention rate.
When utilizing pre-roll advertising, marketers have to consider two implications:
- What is the video’s audience? Naturally, marketers should look for videos that relate to their product, service, or brand in some way. The more relevant the advertising is to the audience, the more likely that audience is to actually watch it.
- How can we get and keep attention? The users’ ability to skip the commercial after a few seconds makes catching (and keeping) the audience’s attention even more crucial than in other media. Starting with an attention-getter is an absolute must; story-telling ads that don’t develop until 15-20 seconds into the commercial are more likely to fail. In fact, studies show that 15 second videos outperform 30 second alternatives.
In-Video advertisements are not actually videos, but text laid over a video currently playing. While not as popular as pre-roll advertisements, this type of YouTube marketing can also be a crucial part of your strategy. Research shows in-video banners to have higher click-through rates than traditional banner ads, making it a viable (and cost-effective) addition to your digital marketing strategy.
Again, considering the relevance of the audience and video in question is crucial. Another important consideration is the balance between text and graphic: the in-video ad should have enough graphic elements to get the viewers attention, and strong enough text to form an effective call-to-action. That call to action is usually a visit to your website or a prompt to watch one of your (related) videos.
Promoted videos are regular videos from your YouTube channel that, similar to search engine PPC ads, are placed above organic search results on the site for a price. If you’re looking to increase exposure of your best long-form videos, this is the way to go.
As mentioned above, pre-roll advertisements, while effective, come with very limiting time constraints. But some types of videos, from testimonials to tutorials and “behind the scenes” features, deserve increased exposure as they place a crucial role in developing your brand. In these situations, promoted videos are an ideal way of gaining brand exposure and developing a brand personality.
We believe that video advertising should be a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy. And while pre-roll videos play a crucial part, other options – such as in-video display ads and promoted videos have their own advantages that are well worth considering.