Jan 2021

Brand advertising on YouTube

  • The reach of YouTube in the US now exceeds linear TV among people 18-49
  • This reach is delivered much more precisely than TV, especially against specific audiences (1)
  • If used as a supporting channel alongside TV, YouTube is likely to deliver cost-effective incremental reach (for all age groups) (2)

Three main video formats to choose from

Identify your audience before you plan the advertising

Understand who makes a good prospect

Venn diagram showing that you need to reach people who both are able to buy your product, and could be persuaded to do so

Find a way to target them on YouTube

  • Where – Location down to zip code level
  • Who – Based on language, demographics, and what Google has inferred about them. This includes interest categories / affinity audiences (e.g. cooking enthusiasts), life events (e.g. marriage) and “in-market audiences” who are shopping for something (e.g. yoga apparel)
  • Content your ad appears alongside – Keywords, topics (e.g. face care products), and “placements.” Placements can be specified videos or websites or “dynamic lineups”. Dynamic lineups are sets of videos around a topic in a country (e.g. “Cooking - Japan”)

They key thing is to reach people with the right interests & attitudes

  • Attitudinal targeting is more effective than demographic. A study found 32% higher lift in ad recall and 100% higher lift in purchase intent when attitudinal targeting was used
  • It’s possible to feature your ad alongside particularly high quality content (“preferred” / “select”) or to exclude certain content (e.g. profanity). This might be relevant from a PR standpoint, but the evidence is that as long as the audience is there, what they are watching doesn’t matter

Take advantage of frequency capping

  • Frequency capping is the killer feature that makes YouTube so efficient at delivering reach
  • As a guide, for launches cap views at 3, and for maintenance cap them at 1 per month
  • For comparison, in the world of TV it takes ~500 GRPs to reach most people once

How-to guides from Google

  1. As Google point out, most TV ads are seen by heavy viewers. The more specific the audience, the more TV spend goes to waste
  2. On average, across 21 Share Shift studies Google commissioned with Nielsen “advertisers saw that shifting just 20% of spend from TV to YouTube generated a 25% increase to the total campaign reach within their target audience, lowering the cost per reach point by almost 20%”. It’s easy to compare the cost of reach on YouTube vs. TV, and decide which is best for you

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