One of the most common digital marketing questions I often get asked is about YouTube and video marketing. In this blog post, I will discuss why YouTube is a great platform for marketing and why you should indeed be using YouTube to promote your business. Make sure to stay till the end, as I will be linking to some free YouTube video creation resources at the bottom of the article.

A Video Speaks 1,000 Pictures

You’ve all heard the saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” People love watching videos, it’s just a fact. Since YouTube’s creation in 2005, YouTube has had over 1 billion video views, which the average viewing session on mobile devices lasting longer than 40 minutes. Many businesses have had success advertising on the platform.

Will Video Marketing Work For Your Business?

Just like with any form of marketing, YouTube is an investment. You will have to shoot video, edit said video, and both of those things take time. You also have to ensure that your content is something people actually want to watch, or you will be throwing your effort out the window. If you have never recorded a video before, chances are the learning curve is going to be steep. Your video needs to capture the attention of your audience.

Even if you have that “killer video”, that’s high quality with professional grade editing, if you don’t have a marketing plan and that video is not distributed properly, it won’t matter. Just like with SEO and having a website, if nobody knows about your videos YouTube will not rank you in their search with their algorithm.

Make sure you have a solid game plan before diving head first into video marketing with YouTube

Pre-Production Steps

These are the steps you need to take before you begin attempting to create YouTube content. It is important to have a rough plan of what you are going to be doing laid out in a followable way.

  1. Video Angle – You need to make sure you know how you want to tell your story or show what you want to demonstrate on video. How are you going to get your message across? In what way are you going to showcase your product or services?
  2. Video Goal – You need to have a smart goal that is attainable along with what you want your video to achieve. Are you trying to create a lot of buzz or PR around your business? How about increasing the number of inbound calls you are getting from potential leads or clients? Are you trying to increase your sales or revenue for a period of time? Will this video be educating the consumer about your industry or product/service? Are you trying to get the name of your company out there and known as much as possible? Do you want your company to go viral?
  3. Resource Planning – What will you need to make the video and have it be a success? Who will film your video? Who will edit your video? Are you going to involve your whole team? Will you need help publicizing the produced video to get views?
  4. Determine Your Distribution Strategy – How are you going to get views? Are you going to use guerrilla marketing? Are you going to print out flyers with a QR code or link to your video on it? How can you get your video in front of a large audience? Will you pay YouTube ads to place your video in front of a large number of people? This can be the most important step in your YouTube video production process, and it is important to have a plan on how to get video views on the platform.

YouTube Ads – The Basics You Will Need To Know

Once you have the general components of your video production process down, it is time to determine if YouTube is going to be a good fit for your business or industry. Google owns YouTube, and they have worked very hard to make advertising on YouTube as painless as possible.  There are countless options you can take advantage of, two of the biggest ones being both display ads and video ads.

Display ads will show your video next to pre-existing YouTube videos or as pop-up ads within other YouTubers videos themselves.

There Are Several Types Of Different Display Ads Available:

  • Banner Ad (Standard) – This type of YouTube ad will show up as an image next to a video or on top of the bottom half portion of a video. These ads often utilize categories and more importantly keywords that allow YouTube to decide where to place the banner ads. You want the image your ad is using to immediately attract the attention of the viewer, and flashy text and imagery is often recommended.
  • Overlay Ads (In Video) – This type of YouTube ad will interrupt the video the viewer is watching with your message. These ads more often are designed to take the user off of YouTube and on to your website, for example. Despite these ads being potentially annoying or frustrating for the average YouTube viewer, they are hard to ignore – unlike banner ads that can potentially be overlooked or unnoticed.

The Different YouTube Video Ad Formats:

  • In-Stream Video Ad – These are some of the most popular video ad formats. Typically these are advertisements that play before, after, or during a different YouTube video. Similarly to overlay ads, this can be annoying to the average YouTube viewer. If you target the right demographic and audience, however, and have a video that is compelling enough to watch, the viewer may end up watching your video through till the end and paying attention because of curiosity. A benefit of this type of video ad format is that if this is the case, you will only be paying when a user actually chooses to watch the full video. With this type of video ad format, you don’t have to pay at all unless the viewer watches your video for 30 seconds, or till the end of the video ad. This leads to getting more exposure in general for around the same cost it would be otherwise. In-stream video ads also allow you to target based on context, interest, and demographic. The more defined your advertising campaign is, the better your video advertisement will perform.
  • In-Slate Video Ad – These ads will play before YouTube partner videos that are a length of 10 minutes and up. YouTube viewers decide to either watch one of three advertisements or to see scheduled commercial breaks at set intervals throughout the video they are watching.
  • In-Search Video Ad – These advertisements will appear in the YouTube search results themselves. Typically, these ads are shown at the top of the page or along the right-hand side of the search results.

The Best Types Of YouTube Advertisements You Can Create

  1. Brand Awareness Video – These videos will allow you to develop brand awareness around your business and the personality you are putting forward. Types of videos in this category would include explanation videos, explaining your product or service, how it works, and what’s involved in your process. Try to add some creativity to these types of videos. Make it fun for your audience, add humor, be different than your competitors to stand out.
  2. Product Launch Video – These videos are used to announce a new product or service you will soon be offering. You can excite your customer base and get them pumped up about an upcoming launch. Many of our clients have utilized this to land instant sales the minute they launch their products.
  3. Audience Engagement Video – These videos are used to interact and connect with your customer base. Remind your clients that you appreciate them, that you are invested in them and not just making money. Involve some of your previous customers in the video, and showcase how happy they are with your product or service.

Bonus Section - Free Video Production Resources

  • Canva - This free web app allows you to edit images in your web browser. This is a great tool you can utilize for creating thumbnails or custom imagery for your videos.
  • Pixlr - Another free image editing platform in your browser. This tool is more similar to Adobe Photoshop compared to Canva.
  • Lightworks - Free powerful video editing software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Also check out this great playlist created by Music For Makers on YouTube that covers more free resources you can utilize to produce YouTube content at no cost to you or your business.

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