Last year,
YouTube surpassed Yahoo as the world’s second largest search engine. In the UK alone, it attracts 17m unique users each month, with each of these users spending an
average of an hour on the site.

This makes YouTube a great place for marketers
to be getting their message across. But the
creation of a video is only half of the task at hand, attracting viewers is the
other half.

YouTube Promoted
Video Ads operate in a similar fashion to Google search ads and offer
advertisers a way to draw attention to a video, gain viewers and channel
subscribers, and eventually influence conversions.  

Given the popularity of video and YouTube, here are a
few suggestions of how to best take advantage of Promoted Videos.

Create a comprehensive package

The first thing you need to do to maximise your presence on YouTube is develop multiple engaging videos and a channel to showcase them. 

Just as important, maybe even more so, are the video titles and descriptions. These will be used by YouTube to match videos with visitors’ search queries. Once you have a channel with several videos set up, monitor the feedback they receive and, if a video gets a good response, then it’s time to invest in promoting it.

Like other Google ads, Promoted Videos are managed through AdWords and follow a similar format to paid search. 

When creating the ad, it is imperative the thumbnail of your video and ad-copy reflect the nature of your video so as to attract the right audience. Words and concepts related to your video(s) should be used in the ad. 

The words “official” or “original” in a headline tend to increase views.

Consider your Keywords carefully

YouTube visitors are looking just for video content, so their search habits differ from traditional search. This means simply moving keywords across from search or display campaigns won’t have the desired effect.

Keywords must relate to the video you’re promoting, and should therefore be chosen independently. YouTube offers advertisers a keyword suggestion tool providing recommendations based on video description, video ID/URL, or target demographic.

The tool will also give you an idea of the monthly search volume for each keyword so you can see which keywords visitors tend to use more often and incorporate these appropriately. 

Just as with paid search, you can select between broad, phrase, exact or negative match types. 

Managing your bids

When it comes to keyword bidding on YouTube, you should think of it in the same way as you would search or display campaigns.

You’ll want to set a conversion goal and determine what your expected volume and budget will be each month. Naturally, you’ll want to determine the value of each click.

A third party bidding tool, particularly one integrated with your other SEM campaigns, proves useful in managing your YouTube bidding decisions and assessing the results of your promotions.

Remember to include an overlay

One of the best parts of running Promoted Videos is the ability to include an overlay ad in your video that appears at the bottom of the screen while it plays. 

The overlay allows you to link from your YouTube video to an external site and is an invaluable technique for driving viewers to your homepage and converting them into a buyer.

Interact with your audience

Don’t forget that YouTube is a social network. As such, a video gives you an opportunity to interact with your target audience. 

A successful video doesn’t just get a view, but also elicits a response. If viewers ask for a follow-up video be sure to provide one, and if your video is shared by viewers on other social sites be sure to respond as well. 

Participating in the conversation with viewers allows you to strengthen your brand and may even provide insight on how to create better videos. 

As with all new advertising formats in your digital advertising mix, it is key to test and learn by starting with experimental budgets. Don’t give up if your first attempt doesn’t produce results, try a different approach. 

With that in mind, it would be useful if you could share your experience and learning’s from YouTube and Promoted Videos below…