Optimizing YouTube Campaigns – Online Video Advertising Webinar

Online Video Advertising

Yesterday Katana’s Executive Chairman, Andreas Roell partnered with Media Manager, Tyler Dushay, to discuss the various YouTube ad formats and campaign optimization tips in our October webinar – Optimizing YouTube Campaigns.

YouTube is the undisputed leading video platform, attracting one billion active users each month. The unification of Google AdWord’s targeting capabilities with YouTube’s massive audience presents marketers with an opportunity within online video advertising. Last year, digital video ad spend in the United States increased by 42% to $7.46 billion and is projected to reach over $13 billion by 2019.

Video is transforming the way brands interact with consumers, and the digital marketing industry is experiencing a paradigm shift in how ad budgets are being allocated. Our 30-minute webinar provided an overview of YouTube campaign optimization best practices and tips to boost conversions. Whether your online video advertising goal is for lead generation or to increase sales, YouTube campaigns offer a competitive CPA and high return on ad spend.

Webinar Takeaways:

  • Capture your audience within the first 5 seconds
  • Add clickable annotations to your videos to create direct links to your content
  • Use existing remarketing lists to construct your audience
  • Link your AdWords account and YouTube channel to pull correct analytics

If you are interested in the full audio and visual version of our webinar, please contact caitlin.byrne@katana.media. Stayed tuned for next month’s webinar partnership with 4INFO happening Wednesday, November 30th at 11:00 am PST!

Webinar Transcription:

Andreas Roell: Good afternoon everybody. Welcome to a new edition of the Katana webinar series. Today we’ll be focusing our orientation towards YouTube the wonderful red circle or rectangular. We are. We’ll be talking about how you can look at YouTube and your two campaigns in a way of optimizing and making them as good as possible. Today’s speaker will be Tyler Dushay. One of our media managers here at Katana. In our San Diego office. And. My name for the ones who don’t know is Andreas Roell. I’m one of the founders of Katana. Before we jump in. Very briefly as always a quick background around Katana. We like to believe that we are unique in terms of. Taking advantage of the latest wave of innovation that. Occurs. In how digital media campaigns can be managed real time via data. Via continues in real-time optimization. Our major focuses is around data. So when we look at our current state of the business. We are an organization that processes a significant amount of data in terms of cookie data. Audience data. And then in general campaign data is well we are represented. Nationwide and even internationally with our offshoring development team. A unique piece and how we always execute at the core is our technology framework which is a combination of a multi DSP environment, a ability to connect with any of your business data points. And then overlaying that with audience data that we either, have generated ourselves, are generating ourselves or via partnerships. And third party. Kind of like licenses.

All of that is funneled together in something that we call the key intelligence platform that allows us to look at the campaign and run the campaigns in a very unique way. The way it shows up is twofold. You can either work with us on a service level. By being your call it partner of record that strategic looks at your campaign front end. Or you can contract with us or on any of our 17 unique proprietary execution models. With that I’ll get started around YouTube. What you came here to listen for. Before I handed over to Tyler. YouTube I think we all are very familiar with. That organization with a platform since the day specifically when Google purchased it we have seen a tremendous amount of increase in terms of usage in terms of distribution where YouTube is being found. So its not just a matter of going to YouTube. It’s now found in any type of over-the-top device like Apple TV or Roku and others. And. I always say to our clients always look at how you spend your time with a particular property or your behavior online and YouTube is one of those. So for me for instance. You know YouTube is one of those brands where I you know only you know on a weekend night or something where I only want to watch one single video because somebody sent me a link and I end up literally spending two three hours watching clip after clip after clip and the behavior around that is important because YouTube should not be just considered as this web platform or this app. That.

Certain you know you only spend to watch one single video on. It’s actually a substitute or a compliment to what cable television has become. In my opinion so especially with younger generations you start seeing a significant amount of time spent on YouTube. A nice tidbit of information that most people don’t know. It is actually the second largest search engine after Google. So. When you think about that behavior people go there to fulfill a need. And people go there and search for some type in this particular case multimedia resource. The data is obviously pretty dramatic the amount of videos being watched the amount of time spent. It’s global. You know I’ve had the pleasure of having a business in the Middle East. YouTube is actually by far beyond the largest site even before Google.com. When it comes to time spent in Saudi Arabia because there is no substitute of their conventional cable television like we have it here. So it’s big it’s growing. It’s still growing. Google has introduced fairly recently something called YouTube Red which is subscription based platform. Where you know the idea is you pay and there’s no ads being shown so it’s truly affluent. Kind of like video experience. Early traction around this is very low. So advertising still to this point and in the near future will be a very dominant important piece of what YouTube is all about. So we thought. That we make this a topic of our Web and our we have an expert here with Tyler we as work many years on YouTube, and campaigns around YouTube. So hopefully by handing it over to him you hope you’ll pick up certain type of nuggets that you can use to improve your YouTube campaigns. With that, welcome Tyler. Good to have you and it’s all yours.

Tyler Dushay: Perfect thanks Andreas. So I’m just going to start out with giving a quick overview on how exactly it works. It all starts really with the creators. And these are the people that are coming to YouTube to express their creativity to express themselves in video for.

After that comes the viewers those are just people like you and I who are looking for entertainment as Andreas mentioned coming for sometimes two to three hours at a time just to check out some videos and you know wasting time watching them. And then after that the third piece of the puzzle is the advertisers and these are the people who are taking advantage of the space that these creators are offering. And the audiences that they’re generating off of that. So basically how YouTube works is that again the creators are making the videos driving people to the videos. And advertisers are taking advantage of that and paying for the space that’s available there and how they’re paying is kind of a unique mode when you look at the rest of advertising. There is traditional newspapers or radio or TV where you’re often just paying a flat rate costs. But on YouTube it’s a little different. You’re paying on a cost per view model and how that works is that basically you’re only going to pay when somebody watches either the entire video that you have to offer or it’s up to the first 30 seconds of that video. So what that and what that means is that whenever you’re playing you’re pretty much guaranteed that you’re getting engaged or somebody that’s really showing interest in what you have to offer. And just again the interest that is the biggest thing with YouTube it’s certain that you are getting your ads out to people that care.

And with YouTube there’s a ton of different ways to target. So we just wanted to outline a few of them. The first one is going to be interest targeting. There’s two sublayers within that the first is gonna be affinity audiences and these are people that Google has determined show a strong interest in certain topics whether it be automotive or shopping or you know education just really broad things. And then another sublayer of that is in-market audiences these are actually people that have shown an history of purchasing things that you might be willing to offer. So let’s just say you’re a clothing manufacturer and you want to target the people that are interested in buying women’s shoes. What do you do is go inside YouTube and target people who have shown a history of buying women’s shoes. So you’re pretty much certain that you’re going to target right audience with another targeting option that we have on YouTube is topic targeting. Very similar to interests except it’s a little bit more specific. So with interest targeting you could say target sports in general but with top targeting you could kind of narrow that down and say all right I want to hit people that are interested in sports but I want to focus on people that are interested in basketball. So within you could just target more specifically and your ads will only show on YouTube videos that are related to that. Another really good layer of targeting is keywords and this is in my opinion one of the most specific.

It’s pretty self-explanatory how it works is that you’re just going to target specific key words or phrases that people are searching to find their YouTube videos and you’re again you’re only going to show videos that are related to those terms. The last one that we wanted to highlight is placement targeting and this is pretty unique too because it allows you to target specific videos or channels that are actually within YouTube. So again there’s a lot of options for control from an advertiser’s standpoint. When we get we have an ability to create the right audiences with a little bit of work to find exactly what we’re looking to target.

So to carry off on that there’s a few more targeting levers that we have and this is kind of consistent across most digital media platforms. Those include location targeting, age targeting, language, device, time of day. Things like that. Very specific things that oftentimes play a very important role in the success of an advertising campaign. So whenever we set up our advertising or YouTube campaigns we tend to focus on those primary areas that we mentioned in the previous slide. And then after that try to hone in on what our most important tactics are with these sublayers.

Another awesome thing that we can do within YouTube and we’ll touch on this later is remarket to people who have either seen or interacted with our videos we can actually take data that we’ve collected from their history of seeing our videos and reach them later on whether it be on YouTube, on paid search, or on GDN. So again we can touch on that a little bit but that’s just another awesome opportunity that lies within YouTube. So now we’re going to jump into the different types of YouTube ads. There’s two really important ones that we need to focus on. Those being skippable and non-skippable. Skippable ads are pretty much the most most popular. When are you just go on YouTube and browse around for a little bit.

And I’m sure you guys have come across it but what is it’s just an ad that will play for a certain amount of time and after five seconds it gets the user the option to skip the ad if they don’t want to watch that anymore. Why this is important especially from an advertiser standpoint is because you’re not charged if somebody presses that skip button. What that means is that you as the advertiser, again as I mentioned earlier, are only going to pay when somebody decides hey you know this video is actually pretty interesting. I want to see what this company is offering. So as an advertiser again that’s awesome because usually you’re on traditional channels just throwing your ad out there and hoping that it sticks to somebody but on YouTube you’re nearly 100 percent assured that it definitely is resonating with the audience if they’re choosing to watch. The second form of ads is non skippable ads. These are very similar in terms of their format which is just traditional video except the only difference is that you’re forced into watching the ad as a user. The only difference with these is that from an advertiser standpoint they need to be purchased on a reserved buy meaning that the company who’s controlling the advertising would be to reach out to Google. So there are a different YouTube ad formats. The one that we’re all probably most familiar with is in-stream and these are just the videos that appear before of the content that we’re looking to watch. There’s also in- search which you may have noticed. Sometimes it will show up on the right hand side of your YouTube search results other times at the top. And then there’s also in-display which is just a whole banner that appears to the right of the video that you’re watching.

To be honest I usually see the most successful with the in-stream videos simply because it gives you a lot more potential to express yourself whereas the in-search and in-display ads are a little bit more just they’re image centric. So people aren’t really getting to hear or interact with you’re product. It’s more or less just hoping that they notice it. YouTube is pretty powerful as Andreas was mentioning. And we’ve actually noticed that almost 80 percent of YouTube campaigns are eventually leading to an offset online sale which is awesome to hear because it’s basically showing that whatever we’re doing on YouTube is working. And when we can mix that with the right targeting levers we have a great opportunities to see some real success.

Jumping back into the types of ads we’re just going to give a little bit more of a background on these. So the in-stream ads as we mentioned are just right in the right before the video itself plays. And again these are the most common, these are the ones that you buy at a cost-per-view model. So you’re only paying when somebody chooses to watch the entire video and doesn’t skip through. Another important thing with this is on the right hand side. You can also enable what’s called the companion banner. So you can have a banner ad go in line with your video that you’re currently running. So what that does is ensures that you kind of own the YouTube space so that a user or not to say is bombarded but is pretty much just totally immersed in your product and what you have to offer as their waiting to watch their content. Another one that I touched on was the in-search ads, these are the ones that just show up on top. These are pretty much good to use if you don’t want to interrupt with somebody’s viewing, viewing pleasures for lack of a better word. It’s somewhat successful but not as successful as the in-stream ads.

In my opinion but again it’s good if you don’t want to interrupt somebody’s experience. The same thing again can be said for those in-display ads that show on the right hand side of a YouTube video.

You may also have noticed in your YouTube viewing experience that there is usually what we call YouTube overlays which are a little ads that show up during the content that’s being played right above where you can pause and play the video. This is really good to have also if you are targeting specific videos for instance certain products that you’re offering if you want to target a video that’s talking about sports equipment or something along those lines. If you have an ad that’s beneath that video in the form of YouTube overlay the entire duration that it’s playing, it usually seems to resonate with users so that’s definitely a good thing that we like to utilize.

Another good ad format that we use is TrueView for shopping which is kind of new in the YouTube space and it’s really growing. I guess I should say it’s becoming a lot more popular over the last few years. TrueView for shopping is very similar to what’s offered on Google in Google shopping except that it’s very good to use when you’re a company like Wayfarer in this example and you’re offering products that you want people to purchase directly after seeing those videos. So in the example that I have is Wayfarer. They did a great job of doing this where they use pretty much a YouTube video that highlighted a few different pieces of their catalog, what items that they were trying to sell and right beneath that in the form of a shopping ad they links directly to those products themselves so that a user could see the products in the video that they were promoting and saying hey this is really cool I want to check it out and be taken directly to that products landing page on their site. So having something like that in place especially if you’re an eCommerce Web site is definitely a good thing.

The last one that we want to touch on is the mobile app installs and these are again pretty self-explanatory but really, really successful especially if you have a mobile app that you’re looking to promote. I know I’ve seen some pretty good success with these and if they’re done right usually a $1 cost-per-acquisition which is pretty, pretty sought out after. The mobile installs they use what’s called deeplinking so that you can target people based on whether or not they’ve already have this app downloaded in their phone so that you can be sure that you’re not targeting people who already have something that they’re not interested anymore. So again mobile app installs are definitely a good thing to look into.

Within each of these formats there’s different tips for optimizing them. So we’ll start out talking about TrueView in-stream. The biggest thing with these is that we want to engage the user and we want to make sure that we don’t oversell them on the product. So as a best practice we like to keep the ads between 30 and 60 seconds. And like I said making that first impression is huge we want to be able to catch the user’s attention within the first five seconds to make sure that they don’t want to skip the video, that they want to see what we offer.

Again and this kind of goes with all digital marketing, is to have a very strong call to action to give a user a reason why they want to purchase your product or give your product some interest.

The next two: the in-display and the in-search ads. The real takeaway here. Aside from all the different targeting options in terms of optimization it’s just making sure that you have a really conveying image. A nice interesting, clear thumbnail is pretty much do-or-die when it comes to setting up these campaigns. With YouTube and with things like Instagram, it’s kind of a very visual and audio centric platform where it’s not so much about the content that you have written, it’s about the content that you’re sharing in terms of what’s being seen and what’s being heard.

And again within all YouTube campaigns it’s really important to implement some sort of an A/B testing strategy. Whether that be testing ads that have different messaging or testing ads that have different lengths. For example, here at Katana sometimes we’ll test a video that’s 30 seconds as opposed to 15.

Try to gauge the user a little bit faster than we normally would. And it’s always good to just be testing that and seeing what strategy is working best for you or for your campaign. And using that in an effort to kind of promote things a little bit better for yourself.

So now and jump back in and touch on the remarketing stuff that you mentioned a little earlier what makes YouTube so great is that again we have the ability to take the user’s history and their interaction with our ads and target them in a couple different ways. Whether that be taking their information and targeting them on paid search or GDN. Let’s just say for instance if somebody came to the site that you were selling and they were looking around that they didn’t want to purchase after they clicked on a YouTube ad. What you could do is take their information and set up a Google paid search campaign and target that specifically. Knowing that they’ve expressed a bit of interest in your product already and maybe offering them something like 10 percent off coupon or something along those lines to try to re-encourage them to check your product out again. And perhaps make a commitment to purchase, something like that. So again the benefits of that is it’s a way for us to recapture somebody’s attention at the end of the day.

We know that we have caught somebody’s attention when they’ve seen our ad, they checked out on our website and nothing really resulted in it. What the ability to remarket does, is it allows us to try to hit them again and try to get them to come back. Show them a reason why they need our services.

So next up we’re going to cover the ad effectiveness and how we like to measure our success on YouTube. There’s a bunch of different ways. And again. Not to keep saying this this kind of goes in line with a lot of the digital marketing that’s out there now whether it be your engagement performance your click performance, the one especially on YouTube that I like to cover on is the reaching frequency. You want to make sure that you are not constantly hitting people with ads and just over selling your product to them because at the end of the day if you login into YouTube every day to see every time you watch a video you see the same exact ad. It could actually have a pretty negative brand impact for you and you might start to turn on that product or that brand. So a good thing to keep in mind is to enable what’s called the frequency cap which limits the amount of times a unique person can see your ad in one given day. Again by doing this it’s a little bit of wrap protection and it’s a little bit of just making sure that we’re not bombarding people too much.

Another awesome thing that I want to touch on with YouTube and I guess actually two things is that the view rate and the click-through-rate. These in my opinion are two of the most important metrics. View rate is pretty self-explanatory. Just how many people have watched your ad, or have watch the entirety of your ad that were exposed to it. And click-through-rate is how many people chose to click on the ad after seeing it.

Usually at Katana we like to optimize around these two metrics specifically since they tend to have the most impact on the outcome of things. Whether those be you know app installs or sales, things like that these two metrics view rate and click-through-rate tend to tell the most and tend to be where things are either made or broken.

So why should we care you about YouTube advertising? As Andreas mentioned it reaches more people age 18 to 49 than any other TV network that’s out there.

And actually only 9 percent of US small businesses are advertising on YouTube. So it’s kind of an untapped market at this point in time. It’s only growing by the day which is awesome.

Another awesome thing about YouTube is that you’re only charge when you hit somebody that’s engaged. Again you’re only paying when somebody either watches and full engages with your ad.

And then the last thing I want to touch on about YouTube that’s so great is the ability for us to use remarketing lists and target users across multiple different AdWords channels.

Andreas Roell: Thank you Tyler. We appreciate it. I hope everybody in the audience got at least two or three nuggets that they can use and go straight to the desk with and start implementing. There were some really interesting pieces of content and as always we do get some questions around.

This topic so let me just look. Give me one second and let me try to find the questions that have come through the audience. Ok. So here’s the first one that I’m going to choose. Just two or three that I’m going to ask you Tyler. First one. What’s a typical click through engagement rate that you see on YouTube campaigns?

Tyler Dushay: So it depends it depends on the goal. Usually that can range on a well maintained campaign anywhere from about 1 to 4 percent. And actually those are pretty strong numbers when you consider how many people are out there that your ads are actually hitting. Usually anything that’s below about a point five percent click-through-rate or view-through-rate isn’t doing too well and it’s kind of a red flag in our eyes to take a look at that and monitor it.

Andreas Roell: Great. Love the specifics. People are being guided to. On that since you just brought up based on your objective and what you’re trying to accomplish. This is actually a question that came through as well. For what campaign objectives do you think YouTube is best suited for?

Tyler Dushay: That’s a good question.

Andreas Roell: Again to maybe it’s a hierarchy of priorities.

Tyler Dushay: To be honest it kind of depends on what what you’re looking to accomplish. As I mentioned in the data there’s a lot of different ways to target people. There’s a lot of different ad types out there. If you for instance are a company that’s looking just to promote sales within a small area. And I would say something like those those in-stream regular YouTube videos are probably the best route to go. But if you’re a larger company I think the example we have in the deck was something from Coca-Cola who’s looking to promote a new app that you just created. You definitely want to focus in on the app installs and try to hit people that way. Again it just depends on the end goal what you’re looking to accomplish.

Andreas Roell: Great. And then the last question. I’m going to use is what are the best targeting options. You brought up numerous ones right, which ones are your favorite ones? I guess that’s what this question is meant to be.

Tyler Dushay: My favorite ones. To be honest I think you have the most control when it comes to things like placement targeting, keyword targeting, and things like that. But from what I’ve seen in the past it’s best to use a mix of all targeting options and kind of narrow down what’s performing best for you so you know you could just say hey I only want to target these few words and these placements but at the end of the day if you’re not trying out things in other areas such as interest targeting or topic targeting you could actually be losing out on a pretty decent amount of traffic. So what I’ve always found is best to do is just start with targeting across all different types of targeting and then narrowing down your top performers from there as you go forward.

Andreas Roell: That makes sense. Thank you. So as always my quick summary that what I heard. That you presented correct me if I’m wrong is creative is obviously always a big component in this case right. How do you grab somebody’s attention within the five seconds? So thinking about that. The one with the Progressive Insurance ads for instance the video right which when you thought it stopped but it kept going kind of thing that was, for me, the prime example of how they were able to capture your attention in the first five seconds. The annotation part around the videos seemed to be an important piece right add clickable annotations to your video. So you have direct links into your website or your landing page versus just having a rich media kind of like how do I say it, sit back and watch the environment. As we obviously advocate here around data, or first party data. Many people seem to forget is that you can use YouTube from a really targeting or remarketing purposes as well. So it’s not just banners and native ads you can use YouTube from that standpoint as well. So make sure you use those remarking list especially since it’s part of the, which is my last take away right, as part of the AdWords ecosystem. Google has done a really good job with integrating it into the entire kind of capabilities and possibilities from a targeting and data standpoint. As well. And then the last one that I kind of like did not formally put down was what you said at the end.

Small percentage of advertisers are using YouTube. It seems to be despite the fact that it’s so big, despite the fact that you know the statistic the second largest search engine, it seems to be always forgotten as a potential channel. So I think that this is one of those where you can always look at this as maybe still a potential kind of like secret horse in your campaign that will surprise you when it comes to click-through-rate engagement and even from a conversion side I’ve seen it work really well. So those were my summary points. Tyler again thank you.

And also want to thank everybody who participated, attended, and stayed alive during this. And what we’re doing like always we’re sending out a summary deck of what has been presented so you can use it as as a guide, hopefully on a weekly basis or whenever you need it. And then if you have any questions our quick info is info info@katana.media. Other than that we’re here to serve you and we appreciate your time. Thank you.