More than 100 million U.S. users watch YouTube content on their TV screens."

Marketers who are counting on social media campaigns to capture today’s consumers should know: YouTube viewership is skyrocketing.

Capturing the eyes and ears of today’s stay-at-home consumer, the social media platform has grown to 2 billion active monthly users worldwide, second only to Facebook. In the U.S., viewership of live events, cooking videos, exercise videos, museum tours and other content has risen sharply across devices, with more than 100 million users now watching YouTube content on their TV screens each month.

As the platform quickly becomes the go-to medium for many brands that want to boost recognition and revenue, here are five tips for creating and maximizing a YouTube video campaign:

1. Tell a story.

Compelling storytelling increases brand awareness and leaves a lasting impression on YouTubers. Do you want to evoke a particular emotion? Or show how your product or service makes the pandemic-weary shopper’s life easier? Whatever your aim, strongly associate your brand with the content and be sure to capture a viewer’s attention in the first five seconds.

For best results, display your product in action or show the details of your service, use actors and characters your viewers can relate to and create ads for viewing with the sound on since people go to YouTube to watch content.

2. Let consumers know what to do next.

Include a clear call to action in your ad’s messaging and taking advantage of the ad space available to you. For example, one skincare line, Paula’s Choice, capitalizes on multiple ad formats, promoting both a skippable ad and display version. The use of two ad formats exposes the viewer to the brand before, during and even after the video ends for maximum impact.

You can drive brand lift by taking advantage of other interactive features, such as interactive info cards that point to other content, a website or poll; a call-to-action overlay; or an end screen that presents more content. A variety of features gives viewers multiple points to take action during their YouTube experience.

3. Consider every option for targeting content.

Because YouTube ads create shopper intent, it’s critical to identify attentive, qualified audiences for your brand. Luckily, YouTube has effective targeting options, including:

  • Remarketing and CRM lists — People who previously interacted with your website or mobile app
  • Similar Audiences — People with similar traits to those on your remarketing lists
  • Affinity — Consumers who already have a strong interest in topics relevant to your brand
  • Detailed Demographics — An audience based on broad, shared traits, such as college students, homeowners or new parents
  • In-Market — Shoppers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer

YouTube also offers targeting options that might be new to marketers, such as:

  • Life Events — Potential customers whose purchase behavior and brand preferences change during life milestones, such as moving, graduating from college or getting married
  • Custom Affinity — Audiences that are more tailored to the brand than broader, TV-like affinity audiences. For example, rather than reaching “sports fans,” a running shoe company may want to reach “avid marathon runners.”
  • Custom Intent — Viewers who are making a purchase decision based on the keywords they’ve recently searched on Google and YouTube

Quick Tip: If one of your audiences is receiving the most impressions or spending the majority of the budget, you may want to move this audience into a separate campaign with its own budget.

4. Analyze audience performance.

A better understanding of your target audiences will unlock vital information about why a campaign is succeeding or underperforming. The Google Ads audience tab reveals how YouTube distributes impressions, clicks and spend among your audience groups and will help determine which audiences are driving views, clicks or conversions.

The three questions to ask when assessing your YouTube audience performance are: Should we continue to target all audiences we are now targeting? Is there a better way to distribute spend between these audiences? Are there other audiences I should add?

5. Avoid Custom Affinity and Custom Intent campaign pitfalls.

If your campaign performs poorly and your strategy includes the use of Custom Affinity or Custom Intent audiences, consider these steps: 

  • Review your keywords, phrases and URLs for each custom audience to ensure they don’t have double meanings. If they do, Google could mistake the intention behind the keyword and deliver it to unqualified users.
  • Review your ad placements to see on which videos and channels your ads are showing. If there are several irrelevant videos or channels, your audience might not be targeted as you intended.

Now more than ever, people of all ages and life stages are going to YouTube for video content they love. With the right campaign reaching a strategically selected audience, YouTube campaigns can drive measurable results.

Victoria Flores
Copywriter and Graphic Designer

Victoria Flores joined Adlucent, an Advantage Marketing Partners agency, in 2019. Her experience and passion for creative marketing result in powerful digital content.

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