YouTube PPC – Why you should already be running ads on it

Roughly 2 years ago, a colleague sent me a link in an email with the words “You have to see this”. I had no idea at the time that what I was about to watch would profoundly change the way I viewed online marketing and YouTube.

The speaker in the video was incredible. He was charismatic, passionate and insightful. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire 4 minutes. When the video ended I was astonished. I had never felt so compelled to act on the words of a stranger in my life.

Say what you will, but let there be no doubt… Mr.T can sell an oven.

Had I seen this video on TV, I would have changed the channel. If I was at a store and someone started pitching me on buying an oven, I would walk away quickly. In fact, I can’t think of another circumstance where I would even remotely give anyone the time of day to sell me anything.

youtubeThis is why YouTube PPC has become one of the most powerful marketing tools available today. Simply by clicking play on your video, the viewer is giving you permission to inform them about your products/services. One video equals thousands of potential prospects.

By the numbers, YouTube gets roughly 4 billion views a day, has approximately 490 million unique visitors per month, and is only behind Google and Facebook for most visited website. If your company is looking to find new customers and increase your online presence, YouTube clearly has the volume.

From the standpoint of ad spend, cost per view (cpv) on YouTube ads tend to be a fraction of the cost per click (cpc) platforms. Competition is significantly lower on many popular terms, and thanks to AdWords technology, data on your video’s progress is remarkably granular.

Most of the standard PPC metrics are available for managing your video ad, but one of the more useful ones for tracking your video effectiveness is the “Video Played To” metric. This shows you how long your viewers actually watched your video for.

If you see the majority of your viewers stop watching the video before it was 25% complete, you know that either the ad text around your video is encouraging clicks from those who are not the audience you are looking for, you need to narrow down your targeting groups, or your video is not engaging enough to keep viewer attention.

The interface gives you the ability to setup multiple targeting groups, which display your video’s performance by demographic, topics, and interests. I heavily recommend setting up a group for each of the 21 potential options under demographics. This allows you to see how you perform with viewers in specific age ranges and genders. Should you find that 18-24 year old males seem to ignore or bounce off of your video, you can then block them from seeing your video ad in their results. You can also set up specific keywords to target, so the ability to narrow down your spend for maximum return is clearly achievable.

For a business, consider what YouTube PPC offers. Let’s say your company has set aside $10,000 for a marketing campaign, and you are trying to determine what format is going to give you the highest level of response. That $10,000 can give you 50,000 people who have actually watched your video, and you can actually measure their response. I can’t think of any other advertising format that gives you the ability to engage your audience with their permission, and do it at such a low cost. Partner this with a well executed search campaign on Google, and you have created a very powerful strategy for growth.

So make your video, tell your story and engage your customers. YouTube PPC has finally proven itself, and personally I can’t think of one good reason why every company shouldn’t already be on it. Affordable, effective, mobile ready, optimization friendly, and loads of fantastic demographic data to make use of for multiple purposes, YouTube pay per click has become what other advertising models hope to grow up to be.