In the podcast:
00:49 – A bit of background
02:01 – Why advertise on YouTube?
03:11 – Five moments to look at
06:10 – Kinds of YouTube ads
07:23 – Skip or watch?
09:20 – Getting started
12:13 – How competitive is it?
16:05 – Final thoughts for the episode
18:24 – What’s been covered
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James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. In this YouTube Advertising Tips series, I’ll be speaking with my friend Tom Breeze from Viewability.co.uk, and we’ll be covering all about YouTube advertising. We’re going to go into stats, and we’re going to have a look at the messaging and then we’re going to break down some case studies. So welcome to the series Tom Breeze.
Tom: Thanks James. Good to be here.
James: So you’re over there Tom in the UK, and I’m here in Sydney. Now we speak each week. We’ve been working a little bit together on your business, and I find it fascinating, in particular, how well you’re going and the quality of your clientele. You’re obviously doing something right.
Tom: Thank you. Yeah. It’s been like four months or so. Just amazing results so far having worked with you. Yes, going very well. Very well indeed.
James: Now the core of anyone I work with is a great product. I saw you talking about your field and I recognized straight away, you are an expert in this field. And then I had a look at your client rolodex. You’re working with some of the best in the industry. That’s what I like about what you’re doing there. I’ve asked you to come along to share some of these insights with our SuperFastBusiness audience.
So in this little series, part one, this one here, we’re going to be talking about some stats, and why we’d be interested in using video marketing in our quiver so to speak and why in particular paid YouTube advertising. Perhaps you can run us through a little overview as to why this is so important to us.
Why is YouTube advertising important?
Tom: Yeah of course. I think that one of the things about YouTube especially when it comes to advertising is that I think there’s a lot of stats to get banded around. Lots of people talk about how there’s 3 billion views on YouTube every day, and how there’s, I don’t know how many hours of upload everyday or every minute whatever it is these days.
But basically, a lot of people are using YouTube. I think gone are the days where people look at YouTube as a place where babies are laughing and cats are falling off sofas or whatever it might be. People are looking at it as a really serious place to be advertising now because it’s where the eyeballs are.
So whenever anyone kind of like talks about YouTube ads with me, I very rarely talk about the stats and what they mean to people. I tend to look at why YouTube is just so powerful. I think that the main reason why I think it’s so powerful is because when people are on YouTube, they’re in a really motivated state. They’re kind of looking for answers to their questions, they’re looking for solutions to their problems, and if we are there at that moment in time, we can get in front of a really high-quality type of audience.
“Get in front of a really high-quality type of audience.”
So whenever we’re looking at any clients, whenever we’re breaking down their campaigns and seeing where we can have a really good impact, we always know there’s five moments whereby any business can succeed and what five moments we should be looking at.
The first moment would be like the moment of stimulus. This is the moment of which someone’s got interested in potentially searching for potential solutions. So say for example, I know that recently, I know I needed to go and change my car because we just had our second kid. Knowing that provided me the stimulus to be like, I’ve got to go and find a new car that is good for the family. So that was my stimulus.
That starts us on our research moment, it puts us into this stage where we’re trying find answers to our questions, which takes us to the next moment, which is the moment of intent. It’s at that moment where YouTube really comes into its own because this is the moment where when we’re in that moment of intent, we normally go online.
So as soon as I thought I need a new car, I would go straight away online and start looking up car review sites, going on Google, going on blogs, going on social networks, and I would normally end up on YouTube as well to look at what the car looks like, the interior, the exterior, all the features and benefits of those particular cars. It’s at that moment where if I’m doing my research on YouTube and I’m very, very interested, if you are a brand or a business, you definitely want to be playing at that point because if you are selling cars, I’m your perfect audience because I’m motivated, I’m ready to buy, or at least I’m very close to being ready to buy, and that’s the perfect time to get in front of somebody. So that’s really where I think that YouTube is just so powerful.
The other moments we’d tend to look at as well was like the moment of purchase, which is a very common advertising moment where it’s almost like if you’re in the supermarket and you’re seeing different brands in front of you all for the same product, it’s kind of saying which brand do you choose, YouTube doesn’t work quite so effectively there sometimes, but it’s just another point, another moment. And then continuing those five moments, the fourth moment would be the moment of reflection. So once you bought a product, did you like it or not? Are you likely to buy from that brand again, and the final moment will be the moment of influence, which is once you bought the product and you love it or you don’t like it, what are you going to say about it to other people, and how is that going to influence their purchasing decisions.
So when it comes to YouTube, it’s that moment of intent. That second moment that’s like, it’s a newer moment because the online world is, in comparative for the rest of the advertising world, it’s quite relatively new moments, but it’s the moment where we should all be playing. And if we can advertise in the places like YouTube, it can have such a big impact on generating those customers. And because no one is really doing it, it’s very, very cost effective right now.
So that’s I think one of the real reasons why YouTube is just such a powerful place of advertising for any company.
Types of YouTube ads
James: Right. So let’s just cover briefly then, what are we actually talking about? I know I’ve been to YouTube, and I’ve seen videos play before the content that I’m looking for, is that where these videos are showing?
Tom: Yeah, exactly. So you have the pre-roll ads that’s everyone’s used to. They’re actually called in-stream ads. So your ads can play either at the start of a video. If that video is a particularly long video, sometimes you can add like mid-roll ads. I’m not sure if you’ve seen those before James, but sometimes what happens, you might be watching like a long, say half an hour video and at 15 minutes into that video, another ad can appear. And sometimes, you get post-roll ads as well. So at the end of a video, another ad would play. They’re less seen like the pre-roll ads, the in-stream ads tend to be the most popular.
But then you also have what’s called in-display ads. Those are the ads that will appear at the top of the search results based on what keywords you’ve typed in. Or it can appear on the righthand side whilst you’re watching other videos. So sometimes you’ll see like an ad on the righthand side, and it’s just got like the thumbnail and a bit of text there as well.
So you can set those types of ads up as well. So you’ve got the in-stream, which is the pre-roll, and you’ve also got the in-display, which is like on top of the search results or on the righthand side.
Watch or skip
James: And there’s a few choices when it comes to the in stream, isn’t there? Whether you can make someone have to watch it or they could skip it. I’ve noticed that some videos are set differently.
Tom: Yeah exactly. In the vast majority of cases when we work with clients, we’re always using the ones where you can skip. So after the first five seconds of someone watching that video, someone has the option to press ‘Skip Ad’ if they wish to. So our first five seconds is obviously very important because you need to make sure you grab their attention. But also, make sure they want to actually watch the rest of the video as well.
“The first five seconds are very important.”
So when it comes to the ones where they are non-skippable, those are kind of like where you’re more doing a media buy with YouTube as such. It’s not quite simple to set up. The ones that we tend to use, which are the ones that can be skipped, those are the parts of what’s called the TrueView platform on YouTube. The reason they call it TrueView is because you only have to pay for when you actually get a true view.
So let’s say for example you’re watching a pre-roll ad. YouTube won’t charge you unless someone watches past 30 seconds of your video or decides to click and go back to your website. So that’s great for us as advertisers because it means that if someone watches up to 29 seconds of the video and thinks, I don’t want to watch this video any longer, then might press Skip Ad, it won’t cost us anything. So that’s like really useful for us advertisers because we know that we don’t have to pay for people that weren’t engaged. And if you’re advertising with the in-display ads, which are the ones that come at top of the search results on the righthand side, we only pay when someone decides to actually click Play and watch our video. We don’t pay just for the impressions, that’s kind of free branding as such. But it means you can really be there in the right place at the right time.
James: Right. So just to be clear, if we don’t currently have YouTube advertising happening, then you’re saying that that will be one of the components, is we’re going to have to select the type of placement and the type of trigger if you like. So how do we actually start out with this? Like what are some of the things that we’re going to need to do? You’ve mentioned a couple of clues like keyword research and a couple of the placements. Would there be a good approach that someone could take or is it always going to be customizable?
How to start?
Tom: Yeah, good question. So what we try and do is not necessarily look at just purely the keywords, which is a valid approach to begin with. But we try and take a step back and look at the moment that someone might be in. So let’s say for example, my example again where I was interested in potentially buying a car. If someone’s trying to think of what keywords I would choose, it wouldn’t necessarily say best family car. That could be a really good keyword to go for because I know that I might be typing that in, but it’s trying to really understand what I’m going through at that moment. So at what point I’m typing and what type of keywords, what sort of device I might be on, if it’s at mobile or a desktop and really kind of trying to put yourself at the customer’s shoes. Understanding that is a key part of understanding any strategy for YouTube advertising. But then you would start thinking about what sort of things would I be typing in.
“Always try to simplify things.”
In order to get some of the best results for YouTube, we always try to simplify things. Don’t try to be really complicated to begin with because otherwise, it just gets all too confusing, especially when AdWords can seem quite confusing for someone new to AdWords. So what we say to people instead is, we’ll talk about the video equation in the moment, but when you’ve got that video, one of the best things to do is identify some of the things that I might type in to YouTube. And then find out all the videos where I would potentially see if I was to type in that keyword because what you can do on YouTube, you can select the videos that you actually want to appear in front of.
So you can say right, if my customer is about to go and watch that video there, I want my video ad to appear before it. So your pre-roll ad can come up before a video that’s very closely aligned with the actual search I was typing in in the first place. Does that make sense James?
James: It does. So this is like the good old site placement when it came to running AdWords banners.
Tom: Exactly yeah. So it’s kind of like the placements would have been websites and pages within websites in the past, well not so in the past, you can still do that. But with YouTube, very similar thing. Instead of selecting YouTube as a placement, we’re actually selecting the individual URL of a video and saying, “I want to appear in front of that video there.” So that can be a really, really effective strategy.
James: Yup. Very smart. OK.
So we’ve talked about some of the reasons why you want to be on YouTube. We’ve talked about what the ads would look like. We’ve given a little overview of how we might start thinking. We want to identify the YouTube videos that we want to appear on. How do we know if it’s competitive or not or how much it’s going to cost us to be there? Do they give us this information when we’re placing our ads?
Are your ads competitive?
Tom: Yeah. So this is actually a really interesting conversation I have with the team constantly in fact because yes, when you’re running your ads, you’ll be given all the data. So you’ll be able to decide a lot of the data, like you can say, “Here’s my maximum cost per view is going to be.” So you can literally decide, or “I don’t want to pay any more than 2 cents per view,” if you wanted to. Now of course in different industries, it’s going to cost more. So if you’re in the financial market, it’s probably going to cost more than if you were in advertising for a particular type of hobby, let’s say for example. You can have different costs per view that will be how competitive it’ll be.
Sometimes we’re happy to pay quite a bit per cost per view because it makes sense to for the client because it’s going to bring them a lot of profit. And sometimes we’re in niches where like the name of the game is to reduce the cost per lead as much as possible. So we’d be really, very stingy almost on the cost per view.
But I would say to get started, as a starting point, around about the 5 cents to 10 cents in US currency, about that to start with will give you a good idea of how much traffic you can get in front of and how cheap it can be. But the great thing is it will break it down for you and tell you exactly how well each placement, each video you’re advertising in front of is performing for you. So you can turn off the ones that are costing you money and turn up the ones that are doing really well for you.
So you can really refine your advertising as you go, but from the very start, it can be very cheap. And obviously you’ve got all the different targeting options available to you as well that you would expect to have like locations, and gender, and age, parental status, and obviously search traffic as well. So you get to really make a lot of decisions before you even start advertising but then you can have a real, clear focus on your numbers as well and make sure that what you’re doing is actually generating you profit.
James: Well that sounds incredibly cheap. I imagine some of your clients are getting a huge number of plays in their campaigns.
Tom: Yeah. We do see a lot of traffic for YouTube. It’s funny actually because sometimes, when a client starts generating profit from a campaign, it’s amazing because obviously we could just scale up as much as possible. And really with YouTube, sometimes it feels like it’s endless. I think when you compare YouTube advertising to other platforms such as Facebook, there’s always these arguments about which platform is better and which one performs better.
They’re just very, very different models, very different platforms to be using. One is based on search and someone’s intent, which is YouTube. And then based on Facebook, it’s someone’s identity. We’re targeting people based on who they are and what their interests are.
But yeah, you can get some amazing sources of traffic from YouTube that feel like they’re evergreen. Once you’re there and you have an ad that’s actually being useful to the people but you are appearing when people are in their search mode in their moment of intent, the video doesn’t get stale. It doesn’t run out of good quality views for people. People will go in there when they’re interested. If you’re turning up at that point, you know you’re providing a really good customer experience. People are loving that video and YouTube will reward you for that as well. So we tend to find if we’re being there and we’re being useful and the campaign is proven profitable then it’s just a case of how much can you scale up and make sure you’re appearing everywhere.
James: I’ve certainly seen a few videos a couple of times that sort of look like infomercials almost. They must be driving a lot of traffic for them to still be there. It’s that old advertising rule. If you keep seeing an ad often, it’s probably working.
James: In our next episode, we’re going to dig a little into what type of videos that we’re actually going to be putting there. We’re going to dig deeper into the messaging. So is there anything else I should ask in this introductory module around the stats or the search or the stickiness of YouTube before we move on?
Tom: I think the final thing to touch on really is this idea that when you do create a campaign, the early numbers you’ll get need to be taken almost like with a pinch of salt, because it depends on your strategy. So without going to huge amounts of detail, the way that our minds work is very much like with video especially, there’s an experience that people have of you especially if you’re in the video itself, they get to see you, they kind of see you communicate and come across. And you’ve got 30 seconds before you have to pay anything. So in that 30 seconds, a lot of communication happens.
It’s not like just a text ad or an image ad or anything like that. There’s a lot more to it. As a result, like the impact you’ll have with somebody is a lot stronger. So when you employ things like remarketing or retargeting, you can have a real profound effect, and it’s always a good idea to keep in mind that when you’re running a campaign, you’re building that audience of people that have viewed your videos, and you can get back in touch to those people as well. That’s sometimes where you can get a really good result. But it’s just because video has that knack of being a real, big branding opportunity where people just don’t forget you if they get a good message from you.
So that’s always something to bear in mind as well with the power of video.
James: So when you’re talking about remarketing, are you talking about someone visited your website, and now you can show them a video on YouTube?
Tom: You can definitely take your website traffic, people that have fired off some pixels on your site, and get back in touch with them on YouTube. That’s a very useful strategy. But also what you can do is you can take people that have viewed your videos without even having to visit your site and have commented or liked or shared a video. You can make an audience of people that have watched any of your organic videos like in your YouTube channel already. You can really be very focused on who are watching your videos. You can also build like what’s called similar audiences, which are very similar to the Facebook lookalike audiences.
So there’s very, very clever ways of growing your audience base there. But they don’t have to visit your website in order to be on your remarketing list. So yeah, it can be very, very powerful, and it works like that.
James: That’s going straight onto my action list Tom.
James: That’s pretty good one. Alright.
Just a quick recap. We’ve talked about why you should be interested in YouTube. I’m sure we’ve got your attention now. A little overview of the different types of ads that you can run, and some discussion about placements, and remarketing, and getting going with your original budget, and of course Tom covered the different moments that you can be in, which was stimulus, intent, purchase, reflection, or influence. Most definitely focusing on this intent one.
We’re going to come back in part two. We’re going to be talking about the messaging in more detail. And in part three of this series, we’ll be going through some case studies. So Tom, I hope you’ll join me on the next episode.
Tom: Of course.
James: I’ve been talking with Tom Breeze at Viewability.co.uk. Of course if you want a professional and you’ve got some serious intent, you might want to reach out to Tom and get in touch with him to get started with a campaign. We’ll be back with part two shortly.
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