Overall, the amount of conversions on YouTube has increased 100% over the past twelve months. This means: high quality videos should definitely be part of your marketing mix. But planning and implementing marketing campaigns on YouTube can seem very complex at first glance.

In this guide, we want to support you in this challenge of implementing successful YouTube campaigns.

Whether you want to drive brand awareness, purchase readiness, conversions, or success across the funnel, this guide is meant to serve as a resource to help you achieve your marketing and business goals.

In a world where users can access their content on any device, at any time, getting attention is not an easy task. So you might expect it to be even more difficult to derive results for your company from attentiveness?

But it is not necessarily so. If you rethink and adjust your marketing plan to thrive in the new economy of attention, YouTube offers you incredible opportunities. In this guide you will learn which adjustments are necessary.

First, we need to be aware of three facts that apply to today’s media landscape.

There are different ways of using the device

According to Nielsen data, more than half of 18 to 49 year olds only watch TV sporadically or have no TV subscription at all. But over 90% of this age group use YouTube. With regard to video playback, research shows a fact that we are intuitively aware of: users who are in “interactive mode” are 1.5 times more likely to watch attentively than users who are in “passive mode” are located. And when you watch online videos, the chances of being in interactive mode are 1.8 times higher than watching TV.

YouTube viewers don’t just watch passively – they are actively involved

Even if there is currently a lot of talk about our reduced attention span – users can still watch attentively and do so. Many viewers actively interact with a YouTuber or with content that they are learning about, that they want to discover or “that they” want to share. These interactive moments are opportunities for your company. Ads in online videos are up to three times more likely to grab users’ attention than classic TV ads.

Relevance is crucial to get users’ attention

“Relevance” has a different meaning for today’s consumers. It is no longer enough to know the target group. You need to know what users are looking for and in what context. Research shows that relevant video ads get three times as much exposure as general video ads. Knowing your target audience’s intent and reacting accordingly is therefore an absolute must. The right message, creative, and “right” ad format are critical to grabbing your audience’s attention. But then you get the full attention.

3 strategies for effective YouTube campaigns

Increase awareness and ad recall

Within the next few years, online video is expected to become a source of learning and social interaction for over half of all humanity.

In 2021, video will represent an estimated 82% of consumer internet traffic. In a world of seemingly unlimited choice and highly competitive attention, videos will remain the favorite pastime of users worldwide – and the trend is rising.

With over 1.8 billion registered users per month, YouTube is at the center of this boom. In addition, the platform demonstrably reaches a huge target group and has a positive effect on the measured values of the upper marketing funnel (top of funnel) in all industries.

If increasing brand awareness and ad recall are KPIs for your campaign, here are three tips to keep in mind.

TIP 1: Impress your users with picture and sound

Users expect picture and sound when it comes to online video, and research has shown that ads tend to attract attention
Platforms of picture, motion and sound 2.4 times higher than ads that do not offer these elements. It is therefore worth investing in formats that are both visually and acoustically impressive. YouTube ads have both audibility and visibility at 95% (compared to 66% on the rest of the web and in apps).

TIP 2: Look for relevance by focusing on user preferences rather than just demographics

Relevance is the key factor when it comes to getting attention. To make your ads more relevant, moving beyond demographic targeting, focus on the consumer intentions and needs that are reflected in YouTube’s advanced targeting options.

Campaigns on mobile devices with an intentional focus will increase brand awareness by up to 50% more than campaigns with only demographic focus.

TIP 3: Combine YouTube ads with TV ads to maximize reach and impact

According to research, campaigns with YouTube and TV placements performed better than campaigns based on one of the
both platforms are limited. For example, ad recall and brand awareness of skippable ad formats increased significantly more with a paid YouTube video and one TV ad than with two TV ads.

Online videos are an important resource for consumers looking for information and advice before making a purchase decision

For example, almost 50% of all car buyers do their research on YouTube before buying.

So it makes sense that advertisers who want to influence consumers and increase brand awareness are increasingly focusing on
Focus on YouTube. According to Google, 70% of the Google Preferred campaigns increased the willingness to buy.

If one of your campaign goals is to get mid-range results in the buying process, consider the following best practices:

TIP 1: Look for contextual relevance by aligning your planning with the specific content your viewers are already interested in

If the ad content is aligned with the associated video, there is a greater increase in buying potential than general ads. To optimize the relevance of your ads and increase willingness to buy, you should develop ads that are specifically tailored to the interests of your target audience. Categories such as music, recipes or sports, etc. are possible.

TIP 2: Use the influence of the top YouTubers

With millions of interactive viewers and loyal fans impatiently waiting for new content, YouTubers are already providing an important platform for companies looking to place ads. They can also help your company bring your brand, your values and your products to the audience.

Brand integrations with YouTubers can significantly increase brand awareness, brand affinity and purchase intent among target groups.

TIP 3: Create an individual customer experience within a planned content sequence

For potential customers to consider a purchase, it is not enough to present a single spot. Aside from optimizing your ad frequency for media weighting, you’ll want to spread your message across a series of ads based on how your viewers interact with the ad (impression, skip, or watch). This creates a more relevant and interactive ad experience for the viewer.

Campaigns with video sequences

In campaigns with video sequences, you can present your product or brand to users in multiple videos, the order of which you can determine yourself. In this way you can arouse interest, recall an earlier message or take up a common theme. This article explains how these campaigns work, what bid strategies and ad formats you can use, and how you can view the results of your campaign.

These four video ad sequences have been found to be particularly effective for YouTube campaigns:

Arouse curiosity, reinforce, repeat

Get your audience curious with short ads, reinforce the message with a longer ad, then repeat the message to get people to take action.

The miniseries

Divide your message into thematically meaningful chapters that you present to viewers one after the other over a certain period of time.

Pursue a concept

Stick to one concept and customize the video based on the viewing context (e.g. what they are about to watch)

Follow up

Show your viewers a full-length ad followed by shorter ads to help get the message across.

Use videos as a tool for customer acquisition

In the past, videos were rarely viewed as a customer acquisition tool. The only way a user could “interact” with a video was by watching it, and advertisers’ optimization options were limited to reach (television) and views (online videos). It was nearly impossible to attribute ROI amounts to videos.

Today, new ad formats like TrueView for Action have made video an effective tool for increasing online conversions.
With this new technology, it’s now easier to measure the real impact of video ads. Overall, the amount of conversion on YouTube has increased 100% in the past twelve months. This means: high quality videos should definitely be part of your marketing mix.

The following three basic principles have proven themselves in creating effective direct response ads on YouTube:

TIP 1: Design your creative to encourage viewers to act

The first five seconds of an ad cannot be skipped. During this period you have the full attention of the audience.

The following measures can arouse the interest of your target group:

  • Present the offer at the beginning: arouse curiosity with a relevant message right from the start.
  • Advertise authentically: Show the product and not just your logo.
  • Use a clear call-to-action: The desired action must be clearly recognizable and understandable.

TIP 2: Present your message to an interested audience

Ads deliver better results when presented to users for whom the offer is relevant. With YouTube’s advanced targeting options, you can reach people who have recently searched for your brand (Custom Audiences with a Common Purpose), are ready to buy (Audiences ready to buy), are about to make an important event in their life (Life Events), or have already been with your brand have interacted (remarketing).

TIP 3: Make it easy for your target group to act

Even if it seems obvious: It must be absolutely clear to your viewers what they have to do if they are interested in your offer. For example, if the action you want to take is clicks, consider calls-to-action such as “Sign Up”, “Book Now”, or “Learn More”.

If your goal is to generate leads, you can use buttons like “register” or “get a quote”.