Static Display Ads may be the more popular and convenient form of online advertising, but as of late, video ads aren’t far behind. Every major platform online from Instagram to YouTube now features its fair share of video ads. Whether these ads are in the format of influencer reviews or the more traditional ad format, their immense popularity cannot be denied. However, one major catch regarding video ads is their placement.
The placement of your ad can greatly help in increasing brand awareness and give audiences a fair idea of the products or services that you’re offering them. Therefore, you can see why you simply cannot browse websites online and choose to feature your video ads on the first site you come across. You have traffic, reputation, and other factors related to the site in question to consider first.
Now, concerning YouTube or ‘Tube’ placements, the first thing to bear in mind is targeting. It doesn’t matter if YouTube is a massive platform with an unimaginable number of users, your ads are still going to be visible mainly to those viewers who have expressed interest in the kind of product you’re offering. In other words, the data collected from a user’s activity on Google is what influences the targeting of the ads that they view on YouTube.
Since this has proven to be highly effective (a YouTube ad conversion rate now stands at an average of about 0.16%), you can see why it’s so popular. A definitive advantage of YouTube ads is that they are featured on a host of other platforms — both websites and apps included. All of this again is based on a user’s search history and web activity, so it’s sure to include an element of personalization.
Another great advantage of placing your video ads on YouTube is its versatility. There’s no standard duration for a YouTube ad and these ads can either be placed in-stream (before or during a video), discovery ads (that play alongside the videos you’re already viewing), or ads that play after a video. There’s another important distinction among YouTube video ads: ads that are skippable and ads that are not. An ad that can be skipped typically plays for 5 seconds before the ‘skip’ button allows viewers to proceed to the video they wish to view.
On the other hand, non-skippable ads must be viewed in their entirety before a user can commence watching their video. Arguably, non-skippable videos that are placed right in the middle of YouTube videos are among the most annoying video ads to exist. Not only do they interrupt a user’s viewing experience, but they also turn out to be longer than 5 seconds, thereby making viewers wish they could’ve just skipped them.
Now, a good rule of thumb to go by when featuring your ads on YouTube is to opt for longer ads if you’re a new brand and shorter ones if you’re an established brand. In this way, users that have no idea what your company is about will get a fair introduction to what they can expect from you and your products or services. However, if you have the means by which you can convey the same within 5 seconds, skippable ads for the win! It can be considerably more difficult to make shorter ads than longer ones since you’re racing against the clock to engage a viewer’s interest.
In the grand scheme of things, however, it doesn’t make much difference to viewers if your ad is 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or 15 seconds long. Anything under 30 seconds should be good enough to hold a viewer’s attention. So, if you think 5 seconds won’t cut it for you to pique a user’s interest, you could always make a say, 15 seconds long unskippable ad with a link at the end of it to the full ad on YouTube itself or on your brand’s official website. In this way, you could ensure that viewers who appear interested are provided with the means through which they can learn more about your products and company without having their YouTube experience interrupted.
Now, an important factor to consider regarding data analytics with YouTube ads is that a good click-through rate doesn’t always guarantee a good conversion rate. If you’re targeting an interested audience that simply cannot afford your products or find your website difficult to navigate for instance, then the large investment you’ll be making in YouTube ads will be rendered pointless. Just because a user views your ad in its entirety and engages with it (by clicking on your website or product link) doesn’t mean that they’re going to make a purchase.
However, a low conversion rate during the initial days or weeks of uploading your ad online shouldn’t discourage you. Reliable statistics have indicated that it can take up to 4 weeks for viewers to purchase the products they see on YouTube, even in the case of popular and established brands. Also, you’re very likely to see an increase in Google searches for your company and product after your ad was first featured on YouTube (possibly around 25% more than before).
You could always use the data analytics tools that Google has to offer to ascertain the impact your ads have had on audiences. Be sure to view your trends on Google before and after your ad was placed on YouTube to understand how much your brand awareness has increased over time. If you’re seeing healthy growth in your trends but aren’t seeing a corresponding increase in conversion rates, it may be wise to evaluate your landing page and understand what’s inhibiting users from making a purchase.
Alternatively, you could take a look at the prices of your products and services and ascertain whether they would be considered reasonable by the users you’re targeting. Again, this information on user demographics can be found with Google’s near-magical tools.
All said and done, brands that have chosen to advertise on YouTube have seen a steady increase in brand awareness and consequentially, growth. If you figure out the duration of your ads and bear the other aforementioned factors in mind, you’re very likely to experience a healthy boost in sales after you’ve placed your ads on this hugely popular platform.