Over the past 15 years, YouTube has become an internet staple. In fact, it’s now known as the second largest search engine behind Google. This means that YouTube provides near-endless value for companies and digital marketers. Beyond creating and sharing video content, the platform also offers numerous opportunities for digital advertising.
According to HubSpot, YouTube Preferred ads lift recall by 112 percent and purchase intent by 53 percent. Those are huge numbers in the marketing world, which is why 48 percent of marketers are integrating YouTube ads into their campaigns.
With that said, your ad spend only makes sense if you’re optimizing your efforts correctly, and the strategies on this platform could vary greatly from those you utilize elsewhere. To help you get on track with YouTube advertising best practices, we’ve come up with this quick guide. Let’s take a look!
1. Pay Attention to Content Exclusions
Before you even launch a YouTube ad, you have some control over where you want it to show within the campaign settings. The “Content Exclusions” portion of your settings gives you the ability to select three different types of exclusions:
- Inventory Type – This selection enables you to show ads on the types of content that are right for your brand.
- Excluded Content – With this feature, you can opt your content out of individual categories, such as profanity, tragedy and conflict, or sensational and shocking.
- Excluded Types and Labels – Here, you can opt-out from showing your ads on content that isn’t cohesive with your brand. For example, you might exclude gaming videos, or anything labeled for mature audiences.
Paying attention to these measures will save you a lot of time and money down the line by ensuring you aren’t serving ads to people who won’t be interested in your business. Additionally, because you’ll have greater control over where your ads appear and the types of content they’re paired with, you’ll be able to better manage your brand image.
2. Design for Mobile First
If you already have videos uploaded to your YouTube channel, be sure to dive into analytics, so you can see how they’re performing on different devices. People are 30 percent more likely to watch videos from their smartphones, so you need to be sure you’re capturing the attention of mobile users. Keep in mind that people tend to hold their phones upright, so you’ll get the most from your efforts if you utilize a 4:5, 2:3, or 9:16 ratio for your ads.
Pro tip: Using a 4:5 ratio will allow you to optimize for both Facebook and Instagram, too.
3. Put the Best Stuff in the Beginning
An important best practice is to keep your ads between 15 and 60 seconds long. This is because most users are there to watch specific content – not your ad. If you show them a long, drawn-out video, chances are they’ll tune you out until they can click “skip.”
With this in mind, it’s crucial to put the most pertinent information at the beginning of your video advertisement. That way, you can get your message across before users lose interest.
4. Consider Your Target Audience
Targeting the right audience is important no matter where you’re serving ads, but YouTube presents a unique issue. Specifically, children make up a large portion of video viewers, which can harm your return on investment or click-through rates (CTR) if they get their hands on their parents’ phones. Even if you’re targeting a middle-aged audience, your ads could appear alongside children’s videos if they’re being viewed on a device or Google account owned by an adult.
Of course, your YouTube ads aren’t going to drive leads if they’re only shown to the wrong audience. To combat this, try to exclude your ads from as many children’s YouTube channels as you can before you launch.
Bonus: Work with a Skilled Paid Advertising Team
Whether you’re new to digital advertising or simply don’t have time to manage these efforts on your own, it’s beneficial to work with a team of experienced paid advertising specialists. If you need help navigating the waters of YouTube ad placements, Zero Gravity Marketing is here to help.
Contact us today to get started!