August 17, 2016
For many, YouTube is a go-to resource for tutorials, product reviews, and goofy entertainment. Unfortunately, feeling annoyed by the number of ads that pop-up is part of the experience. It turns out, there’s a reason binge-streaming sessions are being interrupted by an increasing number of ads; YouTube’s also turned into the go-to place for advertisers looking to cash in on the streaming generation.
51 percent of Generation Z spends at least an hour streaming online content every day. Furthermore, 72 percent of them visit YouTube at least once a day. With all of the cord-cutting taking place, advertisers have figured out where everyone’s eyeballs are going, and they want their brands to consistently show up in those places. If you’re missing out on this marketing opportunity, what are you thinking? Get on the bandwagon and utilize YouTube as the gold that it is!
How Long Should an Effective YouTube Ad Be?
A study of the most successful YouTube ads revealed a few key insights. Assuming that the ad produced is of high quality:
- 30 second ads produce the most “brand favorability” without sacrificing “ad-recall.”
- 30 second ads have the highest VTR (View-Through Rates).
- The longer the ad, the more favorable the average viewer will feel about your brand.
- The shorter the ad, the more likely the viewer will be to recall your ad.
A mix of ad lengths is the most effective strategy. For example, on one campaign we created two video ads. The first one gave the benefits of our product in a 15 second clip; it was very dry and logical. Then, we purchased space for a 2-minute ad that had a story behind it. We sprinkled in the same value propositions discussed in the 20-second ad, but we focused more on creating a compelling, engaging narrative for the viewer to identify with in the longer format.
The shorter add earned a 200% increase in sales on the product we were advertising. Based on the analytics offered by YouTube, our VTR was more than 60% on the 20-second ad. This allowed for 60% of our targeted audience to quickly understand our value-propositions and recall our brand.
The longer ad struggled with a VTR of just 26%, but many of the new clients we reached out to mentioned they loved the story behind our ad. The inspirational message, positioned around our product, was able to reach through the screen and inspire them. Then the shorter ads reinforced those value propositions and complimented the story; helping the consumer remember our brand out of the more than 5,000 ads they see on a daily basis.
Finding the Perfect Content for Your Ad
Don’t focus all of your efforts on quality while sacrificing ad-placement. Getting your ad in front of the right consumer can make or break an advertising campaign. YouTube offers two primary tools for targeting your advertisements so that they show up on the perfect content to match your product or service.
First, you can simply pair your content with common phrases associated with your brand. For example, a pet food company might want to target “healthy pet foods”, and “best pet foods for golden retrievers.” The more narrowly focused your keyword, the better.
Second is a term YouTube calls “re-marketing.” If someone visits your website, Google (YouTube’s parent company) will share that insight with YouTube’s marketing arm. Then, when that site visitor finds their way to YouTube and starts streaming, your ad will play. This reinforces brand recognition and can help tilt the scales towards a purchasing decision; especially if the visitor wasn’t ready to make a buying decision on prior interaction, but might be more motivated in the near future.
The bottom-line for great online advertising is that you need to advertise early and often, using a variety of formats. The goal is to build brand-recognition and create a favorable brand impression. By combining shorter and longer ads, you’ll create a well-rounded presence on YouTube that will likely generate future sales; or at least a few extra visits to your website for further information.
Photo: Flickr / Rego Korosi
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