How to get the most out of YouTube advertising

Advertisers and marketers are always looking for new and innovative ways to market their brands. While traditional advertising is beginning to take a back seat to the social media craze, there is another medium that hovers between being seen as an advertising platform and a social platform. But are marketers really getting the most out of a platform like YouTube?

Humble Beginnings
In December of 2005 YouTube officially came out of beta testing and was introduced to the world, with a then paltry 8-million videos being watched every day. Today that number has been destroyed and the online broadcast channel now has more content uploaded to it in 60 days than the three major TV networks in the United States can create in 60 years. This translates to 35 hours worth of video being uploaded every 60 seconds.

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How does YouTube advertising work?
There are essentially eight different kinds of adverts that you can buy on YouTube, the most popular of which are:

Promoted Videos
This is where you take your own video upload it to YouTube and then have it featured (much like on Twitter) as a promoted video which is featured on the right hand side of the related content.

Partner Watch
Partner watch is where the majority of advertisers place their YouTube ads. The ads can be served in any of the following positions and receive high click-throughs.

Brand Channels
Brand channels are for businesses and individuals who want to ensure that their brands integrity is kept intact. Brands can customise the page to ensure that users who land there are fully immersed in their brand and have an excellent user experience while they are watching their videos.

Brand channels such as that of Coca Cola have a large subscriber base, but an even larger viewership as people keep coming back to see what is new and different in the channel.

How do I make YouTube Work for me?
There are a host of things you can do to ensure YouTube becomes a viable marketing channel for you and your business. As with most internet marketing tactics, the same rules that you would apply to your offline marketing campaign still apply online.

1. Ensure that your audience is willing to watch your YouTube content or is watching YouTube for other content.

2. Understand your audience’s needs and wants and ensure that you have a clear picture of their likes and dislikes to associate your brand accordingly.

3. Ensure that your content is compelling enough to watch (if you are publishing content). A combination of each of the advertising areas on YouTube, coupled with a channel and content will ensure that you get maximum return on the video sharing platform.

The advertising of your brand, product or service only accounts for one leg of where benefit can be derived from YouTube. This is in much the same way that Google AdWords can bring you traffic when your audience is searching in Google and clicks on an advert. These ads are placed when the algorithm links your ad to the tags in the video and a click is not guaranteed.

The other leg is from generating content to be shared on YouTube. Create a channel, brand it and get content on it. The reason YouTube and other video sharing platforms do so well is because people can identify with a video and understand a concept far quicker than they do when they need to read it. It is the aggravated version of the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

This video content has another hugely beneficial aspect to it. It indexes incredibly well in Google (and that’s no accident! Google bought YouTube in 2006 for US$1.65-Billion).

By having video content that relates to your top keywords and search terms, you are effectively another step closer to ensuring that you are top of mind (and search) when your audience is looking for products and services that you offer.

These alternatives to traditional search and by extension, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) are the advances that are making it more and more important for businesses to take note of digital marketing and begin to devote more budget to it. The world is becoming a place which is always connected and always on. Digital provides a way to ensure that you are reaching those most important for your business and then provides the transparency of reporting to the nth degree.

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