Of all the marketing trends on the move around the world, video tops the list. Since it’s joined at the hip with Google, YouTube is by far the best place to post a company’s videos. To make the most of this worldwide exposure to promote itself, though, a business needs an effective strategy to gain an audience that will produce not only increased website traffic, but also increased sales.
Advertise the Channel
Indeed, gaining subscriptions from those who show genuine interest in the company’s videos will produce loyal viewers who have a keen interest in what the company produces. This organic growth has lasting value, yet occurs at a slow rate.
To reach more viewers, advertise on YouTube. With the YouTube video platform having become a Google subsidiary, a business can take advantage of Google’s data-rich targeting with AdWords for video.
Before You Begin, Though, Make Sure the Brand Is Memorable
How many times have you sifted through YouTube videos, finding that “needle in the haystack” video that has a gem of a thought that can help you solve the problem—only to lose track of it because the company who posted it didn’t bother to create a memorable brand image that would assist you in finding it again.
You know you can find that iconic Coke “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” even though it’s ancient history—as far as videos go. The same is true for other world-renowned brands.
A business must create an image for itself. It doesn’t have to be a well-known one, but it does need to be memorable. Clever jingles, eye-catching logos and labeling, and slogans that stick in people’s minds don’t cost much to invent but will help viewers remember just who posted that video they watched last week.
After Creating a Memorable Brand, Create Target Keywords
People search for videos by subject as well as by brand name. Keywords are terms that relate to what a business sells—and they’re key (play on words intended) to helping customers interested in what the company makes find the videos.
Brainstorm with the team and come up with three to five keywords that people might use to search for the products or services you offer. Use those in descriptions and video titles to aid people as they search. Use them in the channel description as well.
Create the Ad
YouTube ads, unlike regular AdWords advertisements, can be either videos themselves or a static ad (usually with a picture) that appears beside the screen of another video.
When a person clicks on the ad, they are immediately taken to the company’s video channel, where they can view all the videos the company has to offer. A large red button entices them to subscribe.
Alternatively, a video ad can also lead a viewer to the company website itself—a good bet when the product is something that could lead to a quick sale—such as a vacuum cleaner, a bag of dog food, or even cooking or music lessons.
Special video ads, called True View In-Stream, are budget-friendly in that it plays for five seconds for free. Only if a viewer watches the entire ad (or 30 seconds, if it’s a longer ad) or clicks on the ad through to your website, will you have to pay. Those five seconds—if the ad is effective enough—can even entice a viewer to return or to seek you out later.
You can also choose another type of video ad—one that viewers cannot skip. It must be no longer than six seconds. For these ads, you pay whenever your ad appears 1,000 times. If you have a memorable message delivered with plenty of punch, this type of ad might be your best choice.
Set the Budget and Target the Ad
Setting the budget is simple—just follow the prompts. Targeting the audience, though, takes some thought.
- Demographics and viewing preferences: With Google’s capabilities, you can choose audiences based on some of the target demographics of your typical customers. For instance, if your company sells anti-aging makeup, the target demographic might be women aged 35 and upward, not teenage males. In fact, you can drill down even further to only include those women who watch makeup or makeover videos. The more specific the target, the more effective the ad will be to reach its target audience.
- Local audiences: A company whose outreach is primarily local—like a car dealer—would do well to select audiences from its own local area. Together with the target demographics—wealthy individuals for Lexus vehicles; graduating senior males for sports cars—a local company can pull in quite a few qualified potential buyers to subscribe to their channel—simply by intelligent, localized targeting.
- Topical searches: If you choose to show your ad while another video plays, choose videos that relate to what the company sells. If, for example, the company specializes in piano lessons, run the ad during videos featuring well-known pianists. A sports car dealer might, on the other hand, choose to run his or her ads during videos that feature famous race car drivers.
- Time-based searches: If your company sells toys that appeal to kindergartners, it would be a waste to run ads during the wee hours of the morning. Neither parents nor children would be watching at that time. If, however, you have a pizza parlor that stays open late, that would be the perfect time to capture a hungry audience ready to order.
Finally, Include a Call to Action
Make sure to include interactive features to video ads. Clickable calls to action, end screens that provide more information to viewers (such as the company website or contact information) or a banner with a call to action that reads “Subscribe” or “Watch More” that takes them to your channel, where they can view more of your videos and subscribe to your channel—all are excellent ways to draw in potential customers. Which, after all—is the ultimate goal of the company YouTube channel.