Why YouTube advertising is an important part of your brand awareness strategy

Having a strong presence on YouTube – the second largest search network – and nurturing that presence is highly integral to overall brand growth in this ever-expanding environment. Not only does it present the perfect opportunity for you to attract customers with creative messages, but is a great platform to brand yourself. Read on to find out how you can use YouTube advertising in the new year to reach the right audience and connect with potential customers in a unique and memorable way.

The power of YouTube to reach new audiences & raise your brand’s profile

When it comes to moving media, YouTube is the mothership. One-third of all Internet users now flock to this network, which results in billions of hours of video watched every day. Naturally, this has made the platform a prime outlet for advertisers. However, most YouTube advertisers are missing the mark by taking shortcuts with their campaigns and overlooking opportunities to reach new audiences by failing to set up their targeting properly.

A successful YouTube advertising strategy needs to meet the goals of your brand and engage your target audience. To help advertisers see the big picture of how they’re performing on YouTube and what can be done to make sure their brand stands out from the pack, Strike Social recently released their 2017 YouTube Benchmark Report.

Analysing YouTube campaign results across an entire year, the report determined the average view rate, cost-per-view and view click-through rate across 25 industries. It also looked at different metrics around age, month, gender and more to give advertisers the complete scope of what’s happening in the world of YouTube advertising and how to make a bigger brand impact.

Measuring brand awareness through Google AdWords

Branding campaigns have a unique goal: to raise awareness and visibility of your product, service or cause. To help reach these objectives, you can use your AdWords campaigns to increase traffic to your website or to encourage customers to interact with your brand. Once you’ve established your branding campaign goals, you can choose the best places to show your ads, and then measure success by monitoring impressions, conversions and other statistics.

Search ads vs. display ads

Generally, you want to place your ads in front of as many people as possible within your target audience. Google has two networks where your ads can run: the Search Network and the Display Network. While the Search Network primarily runs text ads, the Display Network runs text ads, colourful image ads and multimedia ads (like video or automation) that can be particularly good for showing branding messages.

With millions of Google websites including YouTube, the Google Display Network (GDN) reaches 90% of Internet users worldwide. On the GDN you can target your ads very effectively. With specialised options for targeting, keywords, demographics and remarketing, you can encourage customers to notice your brand, consider your offerings and take action.

Then, you can measure your ads results and figure out which audiences are most receptive. Whether you’re looking to increase leads, sales and brand awareness, AdWords helps you measure your YouTube campaign performance so that you can make adjustments and meet your objectives. Some metrics to gauge include:

  • Impressions: Especially important in branding campaigns because they represent how many customers actually laid eyes on your ads.
  • Conversions: Can help you see whether your ads are driving brand-related visitor behaviour you think is valuable, such as sign-ups of page views.
  • Frequency: The average number of times a visitor was exposed to an ad over a period of time.
  • Reach: The number of visitors exposed to an ad. Increased reach means that an ad is exposed to more potential customers, which may lead to increased awareness.

Top tips for leveraging YouTube

Based on the Strike Social data report’s findings, here’s a few key takeaways to take into consideration when you’re setting up your own YouTube advertising campaign for increased brand awareness:

Know where you stand

With so many advertisers on YouTube, the competition is stiff. To be successful, you need to understand how your target audience behaves and how you stack up against your competitors so that you can put your ad dollars in the right buckets. Being purposeful with the devices your ads display on and who’s receiving them will also help your dollars go farther.

Older audiences are more tuned in (and more expensive)

View rates vary slightly across age groups, with VR and CPV trending upward with older audiences. In other words, greater attention spans come with a higher price tag. But for a solid VR at the lowest CPV, there’s another option: the ageless.

The often ignored unknown group holds the potential to be higher performing in order to expand the reach of your campaign. In fact, unknowns have a higher than average VR (+6.6%) and a significantly lower CPV (-22.73%).

Men and women are similar

According to the report findings, female viewers are slightly less likely to view ads in full and yield a slightly higher CPV (+4.55%). But the unknown audience once again outperforms the average, with a significantly lower CPV (-11.36%) while maintaining a slightly better VR (+1.08%).

Consider targeting the unknown audience for both age and gender, especially if your brand or campaign leans towards gender neutral or has a universal appeal. Monitoring your campaign’s return on ad spend can determine if this audience is actually proving successful.

Let seasonality work in your favour

As many advertisers would expect, there are strong seasonality trends in VR and CPV. A few to note include:

  • December: Has one of the lowest view rates at 35.4%, while demanding a CPV that is 36.4% higher. Markets are extremely crowded during the holiday season, leading to higher costs and decreased engagement. 
  • January: Is the best month to advertise on YouTube, with a VR 28% higher than average and a nearly 23% lower cost. You can attribute the December spending rush to this.
  • June: Follows a similar but slightly less expensive path as December, with a lower-than-average VR (-9.03%) and higher CPV (+9.9%). Being the end of the fiscal year for many companies, a lot of advertisers are probably rushing to spend their budget.
  • July and August: Maintain a near-average VR, while both have a significantly lower CPV (15.9%).

Computers come out on top

Across all industries, VR on computers is significantly higher than on phones or tablets coming in at about 7.6% higher than average, while phones and tablets have a lower VR than the average, at 5.8% and 5% respectively. As a computer will give you the highest VR, it’s the ideal device for generating awareness.

Tablets, while coming in at a lower cost, are a much smaller market in comparison to phones and computers.So targeting exclusively tablets is likely not going to generate a large enough audience to make an impact. If you’re looking to make a large impact on a small budget, shy away from phones for all age groups except those 45-54 (they consistently cost more while having lower view rates).

Test your assumptions first

You need to dig deep to identify the right market. Start by setting your campaigns for multivariate testing and experiment with different approaches and audiences. You can turn off any targeting that’s not hitting the mark and shift your ad dollars to the groups seeing the best results. This will help you reach larger, sometimes less-saturated markets.

If you need help setting up your YouTube advertising campaigns, contact Bang Digital. Our highly experienced Search team are Google trained and know just what your campaign needs to make a big branding splash.