As the third most-visited site, second most-popular search engine, and number one video site online, YouTube is an undisputed powerhouse of the digital era.

With over four billion videos streamed daily and more than one billion unique monthly visitors, any savvy marketer can recognize YouTube as a cost-effective marketing tool with incredible exposure potential.

Here’s our 2015 YouTube Marketing Guide, with details on how to harness the power of video, the fastest-growing medium in history, and use YouTube marketing to reach your target audience and drive sales.


Ways to Target Your Audience

Before Videos

Also know as “instream” ads, these skippable videos appear before, during, or after YouTube videos. You will only be charged if the user watches the entire ad (or 30 seconds of a longer ad), which means you only pay on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis. Skipability and CPV define the TrueView format. Especially with a strong and appealing ad, this active method can be perfect for a call-to-action (CTA) prompt. Instream format is effective for all campaigns.

Next to Videos

Video ads can also be displayed next to current video streams on YouTube’s watch page or on the Content Display network. You will only be charged when a user chooses to click and watch the ad. In the “slate” format, users can choose your ad from among three options. This style is ideal for repositioning brands, storytelling, and customer retention. This evident but unobtrusive placement next to related videos will draw interested eyes.

In Search Results

When users search for related topics, your video ad will show up on the YouTube search results page. As with the other display methods, you will only pay if users choose to click and watch your video. As users already expressed interest in your topic, they are primed for exposure to your product or service. This format is best to generate response, retain customers, and demonstrate your brand identity.

YouTube Remarketing

Sometimes users view or interact with your ad but are not immediately converted into customers. Remarketing is a great way to reconnect with users who have viewed, liked, shared, or commented on your video or channel and retarget them, both on YouTube and elsewhere online. As they have already shown some degree of interest, your chances for conversion are increased.

What Are the Benefits?

YouTube video marketing is an easy and cost-effective way to increase exposure, create a buzz, educate your audience, and drive conversions. Not only is online video a great way to engage your audience, users are more receptive and attuned to your product or service because of the targeted nature. Abandoned, skipped, or unwatched videos cost you nothing, which allows you to keep a tight clamp on the budget. Finally, you can easily use remarketing to follow up with your audience and increase conversion potential. Here are some examples of YouTube success stories.

10 Tips to Make Your Video Stand Out

1. The skip feature activates on ads after five seconds. So make the first five seconds compelling and convince your audience not to click away.
2. Short videos are best. Between 30-60 is an ideal length to educate and/or entertain the viewer without losing their attention.
3. Don’t leave conversion up to chance. Capitalize on your viewer’s attention with calls-to-action encouraging them to subscribe, engage, visit your website, or watch more of your videos.
4. End your video with a static call-to-action end card of ten seconds or so, giving your viewers a chance to engage.
5. Give your ad a compelling title that complements your brand and promotes the calls-to-action.
6. Upload a clear thumbnail that represents your brand identity and communicates the spirit of the video content. Users will click interesting thumbnails.
7. Interactive content is a bonus. You want your viewer to interact and engage, not just passively watch and move on.
8. Play with and call out unique features of the YouTube platform, like skipability. This can surprise and capture the attention of users.
9. Develop more than one ad and put them into circulation. This way, you can see which is most attractive and engaging to viewers. New ads help to entertain users and keep your message current.
10. Above all, the key to a great ad is great content. Make it creative, entertaining, informative, and distinctive.

Tracking & Analytics

You can easily track campaign performance with YouTube Analytics, a reporting tool that tracks engagement. Analytics tools can track everything from traffic sources and identifying viewer trends to tracking audience retention. Assess and analyse data which reflect your current results and apply your discoveries to improve future engagement and conversion. All of this information allows you to optimize your campaign strategy to best connect with, engage, and convert viewers into customers.

As you develop your strategies for 2015, put YouTube marketing high on the priority list. Do not overlook the chance to connect with a massive audience, keep your costs under control with cost-per-view pricing, and reach potential customers who have deliberately sought out content related to your company.

Google Partners Material, 2014.
YouTube Promoted Videos: Leveraging Your Video Assets.
Google AdWords for Video with TrueView
Find the Story Behind the Numbers: YouTube Analytics


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Brock Murray

Co-Founder/COO at seoplus+
Brock Murray is a digital marketing specialist at seoplus+. He has more than a decade of experience with web design, web programming and online marketing. He has had great success in helping hundreds of businesses establish an online presence with the goal of increasing both brand recognition and targeted website traffic.