As YouTube reaches a soaring 150 billion monthly views, one can’t help but wonder what the video giant has in store. Advertisers long ago started to appreciate the ever-growing community of video sharing but as YouTube’s 13th anniversary approaches, the platform remains one of the least-exploited social media outlets.
Ever since YouTube became part of the Google family we have seen the development of a unique media hybrid, where television meets search engine to create the ultimate relevant content platform. Figures show that YouTube is now the second most-used search engine after Google and the highest search term in Google keywords. But what is it that YouTube offers that no other platform can?
YouTube is a game changer in several ways: videos are the most popular media product among 16-34 year olds, aka the “millennials”; it offers direct SEO benefits; targeting your content is as precise as ever as you have multiple options to provide the desired actions for advertisers – whether it’s generating mass brand exposure or driving direct traffic and sales.
YouTube has outlined the importance of incorporating TV campaigns into the platform for maximum reach. The report stated that advertised content reaches 100% of the above-mentioned millennials as they are the most active online generation, and specialists advise a shift of at least 25% of marketing budget to the video-sharing website. Omni-channel advertising is not something new in the industry, but YouTube as a channel is a missing element from most marketers marketing mix, which is a big oversight.
YouTube campaigns add a level of engagement that no other channel can provide: your content can be targeted not only according to your target audience’s demographics and preferences, but you can also choose specific placements channels for your ad to appear. These can include the new vlogging (video blogging) celebrities, whose YouTube channels are making them the new stars of the online world, which means your content is going to be shown to a highly relevant audience in a space that is contextually relevant.
The video-hosting site delivers beyond traditional TV – you have full transparency over the reach of your advert, how many people watched it in its entirety, how many clicked through to your website and how many saw the five-second impressions of your advert
The second great thing that most marketers don’t realise about the potential reach and returns of YouTube is just how cost-effective it is. YouTube works on a TrueView metric that only charges you if the full extent of your video is watched. With the the viewer able to skip ahead after five seconds of forced view, you know that, if the viewer has watched your full advert, it’s because they have actively chosen to engage with your ad.
This is where the online video-hosting site delivers beyond traditional TV – you have full transparency over the reach of your advert, how many people watched it in its entirety, how many clicked through to your website and how many saw the five-second impressions of your advert (brand reach). Also, the forced five-second delivery of your advert means you’re getting millions of impressions at absolutely no cost, and the ability to place links to the purchase page of your website within the advert means the platform can also perform as a direct sales driving channel.
So then, what is the dilemma? YouTube viewers continue to grow, costs for advertising are still low, it isn’t saturated yet and you can use it for direct response, so why are marketers not all over it? It’s arguable that the platform is still regarded by some as an entertainment medium, which is why some brands remain hesitant to invest in it. It’s also arguable that it isn’t very easy to set up or run. But regardless, not using YouTube as part of your online marketing mix will, sooner or later, start to negatively impact your marketing strategy.
To get the most out of YouTube you undoubtedly have to trust a specialist. As an innovative performance-based digital media agency, Red Squirrel has embraced the tremendous opportunities that YouTube advertising offers and the incredible results that we are delivering for our clients is bearing this out.
Our work for the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is a good example of how the channel drives engagement that no other channel can provide. The FOS services can be very niche – even so, the YouTube campaigns delivered a great audience reach, brand awareness and direct-response ROI. It has been an excellent example for us of how a YouTube campaign can be perfectly tailored to any product, service or just awareness.
So the message is clear: if you’re not already utilising YouTube as a marketing channel for your content, then why not? The benefits and returns are proven, it’s simply a case of being innovative and taking new approaches to maximise the opportunities and potential of the digital marketing landscape.