YouTube Ads Advanced Techniques
In a previous article called YouTube Ads Explained I covered a lot of ground for those wanting to start working with YouTube Ads. In this post I’m going to cover some advanced YouTube techniques and also share how to actually create your video ads.
Let’s first dive into advanced targeting and user interests. Another way of targeting is to target a particular user interest which is a relatively new option from Google.
This lets you target people rather than videos – for instance, you might choose to look for people who watch lots sports videos, who stay up-to-date with the news, or who like videos on technology.
In many ways, this option is actually better than targeting the topics of videos. That’s because targeting user interests allows you to look more at the long term patterns and behaviors of visitors in order to get a better idea of who they are and even perhaps some of their statistics.
Look at it this way: you have probably watched Taylor Swift videos on YouTube at some point in your life, even though you might not be the biggest Taylor Swift fan. If you were shown adverts for the new Britney album at that time, then those ads will have been wasted.
On the other hand though, if you are someone who always watches video reviews for smartphones, then even when you watch a Taylor Swift video as a one-off, you might still be shown the advert for the new iPhone.
This makes much more sense in the majority of cases and means that the ads will often be even more highly targeted.
You can even get tricky and try considering how user interests might reflect demographic. For instance, if you were a brand selling a car, then you might choose to look for viewers who look at travel videos.
Why? Because travel videos suggest that the viewer has a bigger disposable income and thus may be more likely to afford a ‘big ticket’ item like a car.
Conversely, you might look for someone who looks at style websites and show them videos on dating – again there could be some crossover in the demographics here.
Targeting Specific Videos
Did you know that you can also target a specific YouTube video? If you have found content created by another user that you think is absolutely perfectly related to your subject matter, then you could use their video as a springboard to support your brand and your campaign.
All you have to do is to paste the URL of that video into the ‘placement target’ field. The only risk here is that a single video will of course have significantly less traffic than multiple different videos spread out across an entire subject matter.
Again though, this all depends on your strategy. If you want to be as targeted as possible and to really convert a very specific niche then you can find a video that’s being watched only by the kind of person who might be interested in buying your products.
Google remarketing is another advanced targeting technique which can be used with YouTube. Basically, remarketing means that you are showing adverts to people who have already shown an interest in your content.
This works by storing cookies on their computers which YouTube can later use to identify them unless they clear the cookies out of their system and by looking at the user accounts of those users.
This is great because it allows you to once again avoid people who have no interest in your content and the options available here are also quite varied allowing you to pick very specific people to advertise to. The options here include:
- Users who have watched any of your videos before
- Users who have taken an action such as clicking ‘like’ or leaving a comment
- People who have previously viewed your videos in an in-stream ad
- People who have subscribed to your channel
All these options are great and again they vary in terms of their scope and how targeted they are.
Going only for people who have liked or commented will significantly limit the number of people your ads are exposed to but these are key and critical people because they have shown a willingness to engage with your content, to actual listen to what you’re saying and to follow links.
It shows much more engagement and trust if someone actually interacts with your brand, versus simply watching your video – which may even have been a mistake.
Obviously there’s also nothing to stop you from using multiple different marketing strategies at once to reach a broad but highly targeted audience.
For example, you could opt to use remarketing for people who have liked your content, to put your ads on some specific videos and to advertise to people with specific interests.
Your thumbnail is another highly crucial element of your campaigns and especially when it comes to in-search ads. Your thumbnail is essentially the small image that will show when your video appears in search results or suggested videos.
This is also important for your general YouTube marketing strategy and for all the other videos on your account. The aim of your thumbnail is to grab attention and to stand out among other videos.
At the same time though, it should ideally match your other videos so that you have a consistent ‘feel’ across your whole channel. This means that you might use the same font on all your thumbnails for instance.
Either way, the ideal thumbnail image is going to be 1280x720 (make sure to at least use this ratio so that no part of your image is cropped) and should be designed to be as eye-catching and clickable as possible.
Of course some things we find more eye catching and more clickable than others. People for instance catch our eye easily and especially if they look happy, successful or attractive.
If your channel relates to fitness or bodybuilding, then a thumbnail featuring a guy in amazing shape might be appropriate and the more outlandish the physique, the more this will stand out.
YouTube Ads Advanced Techniques – Creating Stunning YouTube Video Ads
Of course though, in order for your YouTube advertising campaign to be a success, you need to ensure that you have high quality videos comprising your channel and the adverts themselves.
No matter how clever you are with your advanced optimization, your bidding strategy or your targeting, your videos need to be high quality if you’re going to get people to actually watch them and maybe buy your products.
This is the part that can end up scaring off a lot of potential marketers – but as we’ll see it’s perfectly possible to create great videos without needing the help of Steven Spielberg.
In fact, if you’re concerned about creating videos that feature you in front of the camera, you can actually still be successful without having to even own a camera. But we’ll get to that option in a bit…
Creating Videos With a Camera
Most people are going to want to create their own YouTube videos and this is going to mean going in front of the camera. So how do you go about this?
The first step is of course to invest in a decent camera if you can. Thankfully, most cameras these days will record in at least 1080p and you shouldn’t have to spend too much to get a camera that does this.
Some other features worth looking into though include wide angle lenses (which will enable you to include more inside the image) and the option to add a microphone for better audio.
This latter feature is particularly important if your room has poor acoustics and your videos otherwise come out echoing or quiet. Note as well, that a lot of displays these days are actually higher than 1080p and this is only going to be a trend that continues.
If you want to future proof your tech and your videos themselves, then it might be worth investing in a 2K or even 4K camera.
Now you’re looking at spending a fair amount of money though, which is why a good strategy for many marketers is actually to use a camera phone. Believe it or not, many camera phones actually rival dedicated camcorders these days.
The excellent camera on the Galaxy S6 and Note5 phones for instance are actually capable of recording 4K and they have excellent video stabilization and other features.
Seeing as you also get a phone when you buy one of these cameras and you can get it on a monthly contract with no upfront expense, this is a great way to save money and to manage your cash flow as a solo entrepreneur.
Video Editing Software
Now that your hardware is sorted out from there you also need to get some good software. In this case, that means a video editing suite such as Adobe Premier or Sony Vegas.
Now unfortunately, neither of these are cheap which is why some people will choose to use the free Windows Movie Maker instead.
Movie Maker is severely lacking in terms of what it’s capable of though and so it’s going to be worth the added investment for most people to get the right software.
Fortunately, you can try Adobe Premier for one month free before you have to pay and there are also significant student discounts if you happen to know someone willing to share their student email address with you!
Good video editing software will let you add things like attractive transitions, video overlays, effects and more and there are a few things you can use here to really improve the look and feel of your videos.
When editing your videos, the key is to record yourself speaking for longer takes but then to cut rapidly. Give yourself lots of footage to work with but then don’t linger on shots – you want to keep a consistent momentum.
Add your logo to the video to make it look more professional and to give it more of a professional feel and cut between shots of your speaking and other footage with your voice narrating it.
Videos that consist of a single person speaking in their bedroom will generally just look low quality and possibly even embarrassing…
Adding music in the background can help you to give your video a more professional feel and at the same time to ramp up the emotion just how you want it to encourage a sale.
Make sure if you do this, that you don’t drown out your own voice and that you don’t use music that you don’t own the rights to. If you don’t have any music on hand then one option is to consider using a site like Fiverr to commission someone to write you a score.
Otherwise, you can use music from a band if you know anyone musical, or you can use music that’s ‘royalty free’ which means you can use it without paying.
Either way, making sure that your music isn’t copyrighted will help you to avoid getting into trouble and avoiding free music available through YouTube will prevent you from looking unprofessional.
If you’re going to be featuring in your video then of course it is important that you look the part. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a super model, but if you want to inspire trust then you need to speak confidently and fluently and you need to be well dressed.
If you don’t come across on the screen as a charismatic presence then find someone who does. You can hone your presentation skills as well by filming yourself and watching it back and a general tip is to try speaking more slowly to avoid sounding nervous or stumbling over your words.
Also important is the correct lighting and ideal here is what is known as ‘Rembrandt lighting’ where you light your face from the side in order to create some contrasting shadows.
You should also look into setting up your backdrop to look professional and you should choose somewhere with good acoustics unless you’re using a mic.
The Sales Video
While the previous explanation showed you how to create a more traditional video where you put yourself in front of the camera and then either ‘vlog’ or sell your product directly, you’ll find that many digital marketers actually don’t use this strategy at all.
Instead, a lot of video marketing is based around videos that follow a simple script to outline the benefits of the product. These can be highly effective and they don’t necessarily require you to go in front of a camera at all – or even own one!
Creating Videos Without a Camera
One option here is to create a slideshow in PowerPoint and it’s actually possible to simply save this as a video file. All you need to do is record your voice narrating the video – or to add in the voice of someone else (you can find people who do voiceovers once again on Fiverr).
Another option is to create an animation. This could be a whiteboard animation, a cartoon or even a stop-motion animation. Again, these can all be created yourself, using specialist software, or by outsourcing to a professional.
Making Your Adverts Persuasive
Either way, what’s most important is that your video is effective at grabbing attention, at holding attention and at persuading viewers to click through to your website, to subscribe to your channel or to buy your product.
There are several things you can do to accomplish this but most important is the script and storyboard. The first thing your video has to do is to shock the user and intrigue them so that they want to keep watching.
If your advert is more traditionally aimed at selling a physical product like a TV ad, then you might do this with a narrative – we love stories and find it hard to look away.
This story should capture the ‘value proposition’ of your product, showing how it improves the lives of your users and conveying what it feels like to use it.
Do this in an efficient and entertaining manner with the right music and a strong call to action at the end and you have the makings of a great ad.
On the other hand, you can use a more modern ‘digital marketing’ approach which works like a script that gradually introduces the product, shows what it can do for the viewer and then encourages them to buy quickly.
Again, this can start with a narrative structure (‘I once struggled terribly with money/weight loss’) or you can start by outlining a specific problem that the viewer can relate to (‘Are you tired of going on diets that never seem to lead anywhere?’).
Either way, your main goal is to introduce a problem and then to show the solution – your product. Meanwhile, you need to demonstrate the value proposition of your product and hopefully find a way to make it resonate emotionally with the viewer.
At the same time, you need to fully explain what your product is and this can follow a structure known as ‘AIDA’: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.
To really push that last part – the crucial ‘action’ element – you need to ensure that you create urgency which can mean alluding to scarcity (‘buy now while stocks last!’).
YouTube Ads Advanced Techniques – Conclusion, Tips and Tricks
And there you have it: between this and my previous post you have everything you need to know to start creating a highly effective YouTube video advertising campaign.
It’s a lot to take in but once you get in a routine, you’ll find that it’s easy and actually quite fun to learn on the job.
So where you do you go from here? After creating your account, the best thing to do is to try creating a simple video that sells a product by using people on Fiverr to create a whiteboard animation, or by making something in Excel.
You can then set this up as a simple In-Stream advert and link it to a sales page selling your own information product or an affiliate product. This will very quickly teach you the basics of YouTube advertising and you’ll be able to learn what works and how to get set up.
From here, you can then go about building your YouTube channel by adding more content, setting up your page and trying out different advanced targeting options etc.
Over time, you’ll find that you grow and you’re able to increase traffic to your channel and drive more conversions and profit. And as you do, keep in mind these tips to help you get even more from your efforts:
Keep your branding consistent across your videos and across your social media and website. Key to this is creating a great logo and again, it’s worth paying someone to do this if you’re unsure of your own skills in that department!
Make Your Videos Discoverable
You can set your adverts to be unlisted to prevent them showing up in searches but it’s not really the best move. It makes much more sense to let people discover your content and that way you can be seen by even more people!
Watch Your Metrics!
Keeping an eye on your metrics is the number one way to see what’s working and what’s not. Watch your analytics closely and tweak your videos and targeting for the best possible outcome.
Match Your Strategy to Your Brand
Don’t create a brand and then try to market it – create a product with a vision for how you’ll market it right at the start. This means researching niches, thinking about your current contacts and generally coming up with a synergistic plan.
Add Your Video to Your Strategy
Likewise, make sure that your video is right for its intended purpose. Decide which type of YouTube ad you’ll be making before you create the video. This is important as you’ll need your video to be the right length for it to be selectable for certain types of advertising campaign.
Watch the Competition
Watching the competition closely is a great way to get an idea for what works and for the rhythm of good video ads.
Build Your Channel
Don’t think of your YouTube ads and your channel as separate entities – build them up together at the same time and one will support the other. Apart from anything else, having only 100 subscribers somewhat undermines your point when you’re talking about your amazing internet marketing skills!
There are many more tips and tricks of course and Justin Sardi is about the best in the business when it comes to YouTube ads but you would need to pay for his course. I hope this article has given you the info to dive in and make a start on your journey to YouTube advertising excellence!