Chris Nokes

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Chris Nokes

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The use of video in digital marketing is certainly a growing trend and the stats are now there to back up its claims as a potentially lucrative market.

Watching video online has now become a mainstream activity and statistics regarding our viewing habits tell us that over half of those online will watch a video everyday. More importantly for marketers, however, are the numbers which also state that over half of people viewing an online video will click through to a brand’s website and could therefore lead to a conversion.

This should tell you that using video can be an effective way to boost a digital marketing strategy. The powerhouse in this field is obviously YouTube and with a reach of over a billion unique users a month , it is clearly a competitive market. Naturally a resource of this size has been monetised, and in addition to simply uploading a video, there are paid advertising options available.

It is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer size and variety of advertising options YouTube has to offer. Here’s a quick guide to help you make the right decisions.

1. In-Stream TrueView video ads

Youtube advertising formats

When you consider YouTube advertising formats of recent years, TrueView in-stream ads are probably what comes to mind. These involve placing a video ad at the beginning (pre-roll), middle (mid-roll) or end (post-roll) of video content selected by the viewer. The advertiser pays only when thirty seconds of the clip have elapsed, counting as a view, while the viewer may skip the video after five seconds or choose to continue watching.

There are a number of potential positives from this format of YouTube advertising, not least that as marketers it provides a great deal of analytics data that can be used to inform future strategy. This method also provides a greater amount of flexibility in terms of your ad’s content as it can be of any length, a luxury not afforded using other methods.

In comparing it to a television advert, one of the key differences and advantages from YouTube’s point of view is that it has been targeted to a particular demographic. This should make it more likely that it will lead to a potential conversion.

One of the main perceived drawbacks from using this option is that a viewer can easily skip your content and never watch your ad. There is a method to eliminate that problem as the ‘skip after 5 seconds’ option can be removed, but it does come with a risk.

Despite the fact viewers have no choice but to watch your ad, statistics tell us that actual video abandonment is a huge potential pitfall. So although while you will take away the chance that your ad will be skipped there is absolutely no guarantee it will still be watched. These ads can also only run for between 10-15 seconds, severely restricting your creative options.

2. In-Search and In-Display TrueView video ads

Youtube advertising formats

In-search and in-display video ads appear alongside organic video content in search pages and display pages respectively and advertisers only pay when viewers click on their video. While the process works in a similar way to text ads on a Google search page, with bids placed on keyword terms, the YouTube market in this regard is much less saturated allowing advertisers to bid on terms which may be unattainable in an ordinary AdWords search campaign.

3. Display ads

Youtube advertising formats

In-video display ads are text ads which will appear on the lower section of a video running at the same time, typically appearing at the 15 second mark. These ads can be closed by a viewer or it will minimise automatically if no action is taken in a certain period of time.

Youtube advertising formats

YouTube also offers standard banner ad opportunities. These work in the same way as regular Google Display ads and you can use topic categories and keywords to decide where these ads are best placed.

Despite all of these choices available under the umbrella of YouTube advertising, the method you focus on should always be driven by the data you have available. Understanding the viewing habits of your market is key to understanding which format you should be investing your valuable time and effort in.

We at Core understand the growing trends in the field of online advertising and are committed to achieving the best possible results to fit in with your business aims. So please get in touch and find out how you can maximise your online potential with YouTube advertising.