Over the years, video content has become so popular. Look no further than YouTube being the second most popular website online.
Naturally, as a marketer, you want to exploit this content format to acquire leads and customers. Hence, you’ve been running video ads on YouTube or are planning to start.
However, running video ads on YouTube goes beyond just creating a nice video, going to sleep, and waking up to a basket full of leads. Just like other ad campaigns, your YouTube advertising campaigns require optimization at different levels to achieve your campaign goals.
In this guide, you’ll discover 6 effective tips to keep in mind to get the best possible results from your YouTube ads.
1. Create compelling ad videos and images
While finding the right audience and optimizing your settings is great, all of that will still go to waste without compelling videos and images. After all, your audience will decide to skip your video, watch till the end, click your CTA button, etc. based on your video content.
Therefore, you need to optimize the content of your videos and images. But, of course, your campaign goal will determine the content.
To do that, here are a few best practices you need to consider when creating your ad assets:
- • Stress the benefits: if you want viewers to become leads or click through to a landing page, you need to stress the benefits to them. Wix does this well in their video ads. They show customers who have been able to expand their ecommerce businesses by using Wix.
- • Use social proof: one of the best ways to convince your viewers is to show them the results people like them are getting from your products. You can do this by stating statistics of results or featuring customers as a testimonial.
- • Mention your call to action (CTA): many times, you have to tell viewers what to do. So, if you want them to click through to a web page or subscribe to your channel, tell them in the video.
With well-crafted ads, it becomes easier to convince viewers to take your intended action.
2. Create an attractive thumbnail image
Apart from the headline, your video thumbnail is another element of your video that attracts clicks. This is especially useful for video discovery ads.
Usually, your thumbnail should include the product you’re advertising. Furthermore, you can add texts that will compel them to click.
Apart from using an attractive thumbnail, you can also perform A/B tests between two thumbnails. How do you do this?
You can have the same video in two separate ad groups. Here, the only difference will be the thumbnail.
However, these two videos should be unlisted to avoid getting into trouble with YouTube for duplicate content. Once you conclude these tests after a considerable period, you can stick with the high-performing variant.
3. Optimize your cost-per-view (CPV)
The cost-per-view of a video is the amount of money you pay whenever a YouTube user views your ad. So now, the question is: how does YouTube count a view?
It depends on your ad type. For instance, for a skippable ad, YouTube will count a view when a user views for 30 seconds and above (or the total length of video if less than 30 seconds). For a non-skippable ad, you’ll have a view since the user has to watch.
Most times, the cost-per-view will tell a lot about the health of your video ads. For instance, having a high view rate, click-through rates, and other performance metrics will help you win more auctions and at a lower cost-per-view.
Before optimizing elements that can affect your cost-per-view, you should have a considerable number of views to have a statistical significance. If you have a low number of views, you can increase your bid to have sizable data.
At the same time, you need to troubleshoot a high cost-per-view. Your CPV can rise because of reasons such as:
- • High competition
- • Ad fatigue
- • Poor-performing ads
Whenever you consider these reasons, you can optimize your ads accordingly. Also, if you think your CPV is too high, you can adjust your maximum bid.
Another way to reduce your CPV is to cast a wider net for your audience. Using narrow targeting can increase your CPV, as we’ll talk about later in this guide.
Apart from these, you need to consider your advertising goals in relation to your CPV. For example, you can increase your bid on in-feed ads (YouTube discovery ads) if you want an engaged audience, while you can increase bidding on in-stream ads if you want to raise brand awareness.
4. Improve your ad targeting
With over a billion YouTube monthly users, there are millions of users who have little interest in your business. Showing your ads to these people is equivalent to donating money to YouTube.
That’s why your ad targeting is vital. But to target effectively, you need to know your ideal audience. So, before launching your YouTube ad campaigns, you need to create a buyer persona.
A buyer persona document will include details such as:
- • Name
- • Age
- • Gender
- • Location
- • Marital status
- • Income
- • Interests
- • Hobbies
- • Ambition
- • Pain point
Specifying these details will help you use suitable targeting methods in your ads. On its part, Google allows you to use targeting methods such as:
- • Demographic groups
- • Interests
- • Your data
- • Placements
- • Topics
- • Keywords
The rule of thumb is to narrow your targeting as much as you can. After all, you want to show your ads to people who are likely to engage with your ads.
At the same time, you need to check your cost-per-view. Having a very narrow targeting can increase your cost-per-view.
In such a case, you can widen some targeting methods that would still fit into your ideal audience. And since you’ll only pay when a user has viewed your video (for a skippable ad), there’s little risk in doing this.
Apart from specifying where to show your ads, you can exclude some audiences based on various criteria. For instance, a local business can exclude some groups of people in their locality who are less likely to patronize their business.
Now, while ad targeting is great, it’s not set in stone. You can adjust your targeting based on ad performance.
Hence, if a targeting method is underperforming, it makes little sense to continue using it. In a nutshell, when you set your targeting methods, you also have to track their performance.
To do this, navigate to the “video targeting” tab to see how your targeting methods have performed. As a result, you can add or remove methods.
With ad targeting, you can display your ads to users interested in your products.
5. Use remarketing ads
In marketing, learning, and other areas of life, repetition matters a lot. That’s why people who already know and have interacted with your brand will be more receptive to your ads.
In light of this, YouTube allows you to remarket your ads to users who have watched your videos, subscribed to your channel, liked your video, or engaged through other means. Since these actions show an interest in your brand, those users will likely view your offers.
Beyond that, you can use your video remarketing lists for your display ads. Likewise, you can use your display ad remarketing lists for your video ads. Therefore, you can find people who have interacted with you on various marketing channels and target them with your video ads.
For example, some web hosts use remarketing ads. Some days ago, I researched web hosting services for various use cases. Since then, I’ve seen a few ads from GoDaddy and Hostinger.
Through remarketing, you can repeat your marketing messages and deliver messages to people who are likely to take your intended actions.
6. Track vital YouTube ad metrics
As inferred through this guide, tracking metrics is one of the vital steps in optimizing your video ad campaigns. Nevertheless, the ad metrics that are important to you depend on your campaign goals.
So, if your campaign goal is to acquire leads, you’ll closely watch metrics like click-through rates (CTR) and conversions. Meanwhile, if your goal is brand awareness, views and view rate may be your essential metrics.
Generally, some vital metrics on YouTube include:
- • View rate: this is the number of views or engagements a video ad receives divided by the number of times it’s shown.
- • Cost-per-view (CPV): this is the average amount you pay when a user views at least 30 seconds of your videos (if your video is longer than 30 seconds) or engages with it.
- • Click-through rates (CTR): this is the number of clicks your ad receives compared to the number of times the ad is shown.
- • Engagement rates: this is the number of engagements an ad receives compared to the number of times it was shown to users.
- • Earned subscribes: this is the number of subscribes you earn for your channel.
There are even more metrics you can measure on YouTube. All you have to do is consider your campaign goals and track the right metrics for them.
To run successful YouTube Advertising campaigns, you need to implement best practices and track your results according to your goals. Then, you need to optimize your ad campaigns to improve these results.
These are the 3 basic steps that most YouTube advertising campaigns will follow. Go through these tips and use them to optimize your campaigns in the future.