Did you know that last year, YouTube surpassed Yahoo! as the world’s second largest search engine and still maintains that spot? In 2011, ComScore reported that in the United States alone, YouTube attracted 5.6 billion viewing sessions per month and the average U.S. visitor frequents the site 23 times a month with each visit lasting on average 26 minutes. By the end of 2011, that number increased to 20 billion video views a month.
With these pieces of data in mind, it is a no brainer that that there are a lot of eyeballs and a lot of time spent on a single site that a marketer can take advantage of. However, when it comes to marketing on YouTube, creating and optimizing a video is only half the battle. Attracting viewers is the real challenge.
YouTube Promoted Video operates similarly to Google Search, and offers advertisers a way to draw attention to a video, gain viewers and channel subscribers, and eventually influence downstream conversions. Promoted Videos show up according to a visitor’s search results either at the top or to the right of the page.
So here is how to best take advantage of YouTube Promoted Videos:
1. Create the complete thing
First and foremost, to maximize your presence on YouTube, you will need good, engaging videos and here there is a stress on videos as in plural and you will need a YouTube channel to showcase them. Equally important, are the video titles and descriptions you choose to use as these will be used by YouTube to match your video with visitors’ search queries.
Once you have a channel with several videos, you will need to monitor the feedback you get. If a video does well, 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’s imperative the thumbnail of your video and ad-copy reflect the nature of your video so as to attract the right type of audience.
2. Choose your keywords wisely
YouTube visitors are looking for video content and therefore it follows that the search habits differ from traditional search. Given this difference, simply using keywords from search or display campaigns won’t do your YouTube videos any good.
Keywords must relate to the video you’re promoting, and thus should be chosen independently. YouTube offers advertisers a keyword suggestion tool that provides recommendations based on your video description, video id or url, or target demographic.
3. Bidding time
When it comes to keyword bidding on YouTube, you should think of it as you would for your search campaigns. You want to set a conversion goal and determine what your expected volume and budget should be each month. Naturally, you also want to determine the value of each click. A third party bidding tool, particularly one integrated with your other SEM campaigns, can prove to be useful in managing your YouTube bidding decisions and assessing the results of your promotions.
4. Overlay ads are important
One of the best things about running Promoted Videos is the ability to include an overlay ad in your video. This appears at the bottom of your video while it plays. The overlay is there to enable you to link from your YouTube video to an external site and is an invaluable technique for driving viewers to your site. Done properly, this won’t hurt your pocket at all.
Here’s a tutorial on how to create an overlay.
5. Engage your viewers
Although not perceived as such by the majority of people, YouTube is a social network. In that perspective, a video provides businesses with an opportunity to interact with their target audience. A successful video is one that doesn’t just get views, but also elicits a response.
For successful marketing on YouTube, if your viewers ask for a follow-up video, be sure to provide one! Similarly, if your video is shared on the other social sites by your viewers, be sure to respond to that and participate. This allows you to strengthen your brand.
Don’t forget that even though you are using paid ads to promote videos, you are still able to promote those same videos via other means. For example, you can share them on your Facebook business page, and encourage your fans to Comment and Like. Also, you can make use of OneLoad to distribute your videos.
What say you? Have you used YouTube promoted video service before?