The Perfect YouTube Campaign [2018 Update]32 min read

The Evolution of Digital Marketing

Video is eating the internet

What once occupied 2,500 words and a long scrolling web page has been replaced with dynamic, engaging visual media. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is a 30-second video spot worth?

With over 1 Billion (with a B) users, nearly everybody that spends time online spends time on YouTube. Second only to Google in Search, your customers are definitely on YouTube and it is no longer a marketing channel you can ignore.

The proliferation of broadband, faster machines, and high-quality recording right from our phones has ushered in the age of video, and smart enterprise marketers need to stay in the game.

This new world of video can be daunting. How do we mirror marketing funnels that have always worked in email and the static web?  How do we target to reach our audience in an ever growing sea of content?  And most importantly, how do we achieve the all-important positive ROI with our video efforts?

The answer is straightforward: You become a master of digital video marketing.

Brite Content is stepping into this challenge head-on, providing a video marketing automation platform for performance marketers. Our software helps performance marketers simply orchestrate, target, optimize, and analyze on full-funnel YouTube marketing campaigns that drive business results. Brite does for video what Marketo, Eloqua, and HubSpot do for email.

YouTube Campaign Targeting & Optimization Software for Performance Marketers

If you’ve made any forays into the world of digital video marketing, mastery may seem like a lofty and far-off goal, but this mastery is attainable, and we’re here to help you get it.

This guide will cover the entire campaign creation process, from defining your audience to tracking performance metrics, and everything in between.

We’ll give you the full picture, and even drill down into some of the details with our “pro tips.”

After reading this, you’ll have a clear picture of digital video marketing, and be well equipped to head out on your newest campaign experiments and start delivering results.

There are about one bazillion options in running YouTube ads. This article will attempt to cover the most important, and you’ll find other articles from Brite where we geek out on the individual details.  Consider this the essential overview.

Let’s get started.

YouTube Marketing Challenges

While YouTube is not the only game in digital video town, it is by far the biggest, so we are going to focus the scope of this discussion there. Look for follow up on articles where we get into the details of other platforms.

With 4 billion video views per day, coming from 1 billion unique users, it’s safe to say that YouTube is essential to any marketing mix.

But much like a school of fish or a flock of birds, YouTube is a fluid moving target made up of individual trends, personal preferences, style, and taste which are all changing minute by minute.

To capitalize in this chaotic world, we need to get smart, narrow our focus and get back to marketing basics.

Get Smart

With the kind of volume running through YouTube, it is very, very easy to spend a lot of money very quickly on YouTube marketing with little result. As you well know, spending money does not equal effective marketing and nobody wants to throw their budget into a shiny, video-lined hole in the ground.

To master video marketing on YouTube, we need to get smart….real smart.

Combined, big and small brands spent over 9 billion dollars on YouTube advertising in 2016. Most of these dollars are not efficiently spent to achieve marketing objectives. It’s not all money wasted (though some certainly is) but these are not the kind of campaigns a performance marketer wants to be running.

Why YouTube is the Best Medium for Video Marketing

We can do better.

Advertiser VS. Marketer

Advertisers tend to focus on increasing awareness or reach and frequency to a particular audience. In the age of TV and print, raising awareness was the pathway to increased sales, but it was near impossible to track which impression pushed the consumer to action.

It was widely accepted that it took as many as 5-15 impressions to encourage an action, and metrics like GRP and Impression Share ruled the day.

With digital marketing, for the first time in history causation can be tracked, and a revolution was born.

The digital performance marketer can track every dollar spent to an action (or lack of action) and ROI rules the day.

Today's Performance Marketer Uses Video Automation Platform for Crazy ROI

If you are thinking of YouTube from the perspective of an advertiser, you may not be getting the kind of ROI you deserve…and you may be wasting a ton of budget in a world of scale, where pennies matter and your buyer’s every move is tracked and measured.

We’ll show you how to think about YouTube like a marketer and get the most from your marketing budget.

You can read more about the difference between advertisers and marketers in our Video Marketing Ecosystem report.

Apply the Marketing Funnel to YouTube

The buyer’s journey still applies in the digital video world. Most marketers don’t think about a marketing funnel on the YouTube platform, but the ones that do enjoy a distinct advantage over the competition.

At its most basic, a marketing funnel honors the viewer’s perspective and guides them step-by-step to the desired business action.

In the real world, we know they bounce all around in this funnel, across all our marketing channels, in seemingly chaotic fashion, before they become our customer.

A good marketing funnel is providing value at each step, and continually rewards the user with more of what they are looking for. The reward can take the form of information, exclusive downloads, secret videos, and even discounts and special offers (see Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing)

We can think of our video marketing funnel in these major sections:

Video Marketing Full Funnel Perfect YouTube Campaign - Brite Content

Awareness – The widest end of your funnel and often the first impression a user will have of your brand and your product. Targeted, efficient reach and frequency. Gently guide users from here to your deeper content.

Engagement – Users at this stage are interacting with your brand and considering your offer. Look to advance customers at this stage onto your email list with free offers and deeper content.

Acquisition – Convert interested viewers to customers to download, app installs, sell eCommerce, and generate leads with compelling offers.

Reactivation – Bring customers back to your brand.  Remind them that you exist and entice them with special offers and family deals.

Expansion – Inform your most profitable customers of other products and offers, deeper levels of your product, and different ways to engage with your brand.

As with all marketing, you’ll want different messages, different creative, for each step in this funnel.

It’s ok to start with one video as you are testing the waters of video marketing on YouTube, but it’s critical to realize that one video cannot fulfill each stage of the funnel…in other words:

DO NOT TRY TO MAKE 1 VIDEO DO IT ALL!

Say it with me…

While sometimes possible, forcing one video ad to play all of these roles is at best, less effective, and at worst, downright counterproductive.

You want to craft unique messaging and offers for each stage in this Marketing funnel. Giving generously at the wider end, then asking for the deal as the customer engages more and more with your brand or content.

Pardon the Interruption

We need to keep in mind that our first message to a user in YouTube land is an interruption. It’s a message they were not looking for, your ad is coming between them and the content they were seeking.

This is not necessarily a problem. Often the ad message is more relevant than the search results, but we must consider this user experience when we create our ads, our offers, and our expectations about the campaign. The most offensive of interruptions are the non-skip pre-roll videos that do not allow users to skip.

Preroll TrueView cards

Honor the user’s experience and make an effort to provide them with real value in exchange for their attention. Get straight to the point so users can skip your ad (a unique and useful TrueView feature) if they know your message is not for them. This will save them time, the most precious commodity in an information age. It will also save your budget, allowing you more opportunities to reach your best customers.

Not only will this make your brand look great to those that are not your customer, but it also results in more business at a lower cost. Win! Win!

Different YouTube Ad Types

YouTube Ad Networks

So now that we have an orientation on how to think of our marketing funnel in YouTube land let’s get into some of the nitty-gritty details. There are several different ways to advertise on YouTube, and knowing the difference is essential for running effective YouTube marketing.

First things first…

When we talk about advertising on YouTube, we’re going through AdWords to do it. Since Google owns both, they play pretty nice together.

For Video, there are 3 Unique Targeting Networks for Video ads in YouTube/AdWords.

So, there are MAJOR differences between these networks and how each will perform, especially for B2B marketers.

The YouTube Videos Network will place your ads on YouTube videos on YouTube.com and on YouTube videos embedded on website pages. The “YouTube Videos” network what you likely normally think about when you think “YouTube advertising”. Ads here are in the TrueView (skippable) and Pre-roll (unskippable) formats.

ProTip: The TrueView format is a truly lean-in type of advertisement, unique to YouTube and tailor-made for digital marketing. TrueView ads are shown based on targeting setting and the bidding auction, and the user can skip the ad after 5 seconds if they are not interested.

TrueView ads are sold on a cost per view so If the user skips before watching 30 seconds, you don’t pay. This is great for performance marketers since we don’t want to waste budget on ads to people who are not actually our target customers and viewers like to avoid irrelevant messages. TrueView helps both parties get more of what they want.

In most cases, TrueView is the best format for YouTube performance marketing campaigns.

The YouTube Search network is where you’ll run YouTube Video Discovery Ads. These ads work a lot like AdWords ads in Google search, showing paid results in the top one or two spots of any search on YouTube.

YouTube Search network is where you’ll run YouTube Video Discovery Ads

These ads appeared after performing a YouTube search:

Like PPC, you’ll only pay for these ads when a user clicks on your video. There are several targeting options with Video Discovery Ads on the YouTube Search Network we’ll go into in another post.

Once a user clicks on the YouTube discovery ad in the search results, the video watch page features a spot on the right-hand column where a companion banner display ad will appear to help drive users to a secondary call-to-action.

YouTube discovery ad in the search results

The final network we’ll discuss here is the YouTube Display Network. This is a network of sites YouTube has partnered with to run video advertising (off of YouTube.com domain itself.) You may have seen these type of ads in the middle of your favorite blog post, in the sidebar or a floating popup.

Metrics are different with these type of ads, and we highly recommend separating your campaigns by network. Meaning, never have more than one network turned on for any campaign.

Here at Brite, we always advise a blend of campaigns, across the networks to efficiently guide video viewers down the marketing funnel.

Each network has its strengths and weaknesses and can fit into the marketing mix differently depending on your industry, goals, customer type, offers, and products.

Right on Target (Targeting Options)

Since we’ve narrowed our digital video marketing focus to YouTube, we need to learn a few things about AdWords, the tool we use to create video marketing campaigns on YouTube.

AdWords provides us with a wealth of tools to launch video marketing campaigns on YouTube. The most important, and perhaps the most misunderstood, are the video ad targeting options AdWords provides to choose when and where to show your ad.

We can think of targeting in two different ways: Audience Targeting and Content Targeting.

Audience Targeting places ads based on the behavior and preferences of the user. Platforms like AdWords use their knowledge of user behavior, profile data, and other metrics to guess what types of ads these users will likely be interested in.

Facebook dominates audience targeting because the nature of the platform is to learn a lot about the users and login is required to participate. AdWords/YouTube is also improving upon audience targeting, but the platform is much more open and users are not required to log in, leaving audience targeting less precise.

In AdWords, we can target video ads with these Audience Targeting tools:

Demographics – general targeting by gender, age, parental status and household income

Interests – Google divides these by affinity, meaning the user has shown interest in the subject, and in-market meaning the user has indicated a shopping trend towards the subject. Interest options include auto enthusiasts, gamers, music lovers, etc.

AdWords Interest: target video ads with Audience Targeting tool

Content Targeting focuses on the content of the video content to run your ads on. The advertising strategy here is that if you can target the right content, it will let you know you have the right audience, just by the fact that they are watching that video.

Content targeting done right will also reach the viewer at the right time as they are already watching content relevant to your brand and ad message.

Content Targeting tools in AdWords for video include:

Topics – Topic targets like business & industrial, arts & entertainment, and health with an array of sub-topics to refine detail.

Placements – Place ads directly on an individual video or channel (or group of videos or channels.) This is the only targeting method where you can pick exactly the content you want to run ads on and see how that content performs throughout the campaign.

Google Preferred – For high volume advertisers, Google has a has a targeting set they call Google Preferred. These are hand selected, YouTube content creators that are the top channels in their respective categories. Google Preferred is sold in CPM units at higher budgets.

Google Preferred

Both Content and Audience Targeting option:

Keywords – Keyword Targeting runs ads based on the content’s relevance to specific keywords selected. This relevance may be a search term entered, keywords contained in the content, title or description and categories of the video.

This is similar to traditional PPC advertising but works a little different on YouTube since search is not the only way to encounter new content.

One of the best targeting options for engagement and acquisition is Remarketing. Remarketing allows you to show new impressions and/or other videos to users who have already interacted with your brand. Remarketing options in YouTube include:

Remarketing List - Google AdWords

Also available in remarketing is the ability to upload a list of contacts from your CRM into AdWords. This is a powerful tool to re-engage existing customers with video.

All Remarketing lists are created from the Shared Library in AdWords in the audiences section.

Audiences Shared Library in AdWords

Ready to learn more about Remarketing? Check out our blog How to Grow Your Business with YouTube Remarketing.

Placement Targeting

The Brite Advantage

A targeting option you won’t find in AdWords and YouTube, but Brite users take advantage of, is automated placement targeting at scale.

Brite software will take any word or phrase relevant to your campaign, a content target, and find thousands of YouTube videos that are relevant to it. We can inject direct placement targeting on a campaign and create a relevant advertising set in the tens of thousands for you to run ads against.

Here’s an example: say you are a company selling soccer balls and want to target “soccer.” Input the Content Target into Brite, and Brite will go out and find a wealth of relevant videos, from game highlights to fan-created product reviews.

Brite Content Video Content Targeting Keywords

Viewers of this content are obviously interested in “Soccer” or they would not be watching.

This precise targeting gives Brite users a head start on reaching the audiences they are looking for on YouTube.

When doing direct placements, we gain the added benefit of not needing to know anything about the user directly. They don’t even need to be logged in!

Brite then watches the performance of your ads on these targets and refine the list based on performance, cutting placements that underperform multiple times per day.

Brite Content Video Targeting Optimization Rules

The result is a campaign supercharger you’ll find nowhere else.

YouTube Campaign Targeting & Optimization Software for Performance Marketers

Align Your Assets

Creative, Offer, Call-to-Action

The best targeting in the universe won’t make the wrong ad creative get the results you need.

Ad creative must convey value and attract the user’s attention. Your first “conversion” is to keep the user watching, and not hitting the “skip” button.

From there we need to entice the viewer with a compelling offer. Hint: “give me your email address so our sales guy can hound you to the ends of the earth” …is not a good offer.

Remember my point about interruption above (I know, it was 15 mins ago 😉 Your ad has jumped in front of other content your viewer was looking for. If we want them to take action, we need to give them a damn good reason to do so.

Ad Interruption

Your offer should tease the value they are about to receive and communicate the benefit of taking action in no uncertain terms.

This offer should also be tailored to the layer of the funnel we are targeting and the type of ad we are running.

If you know this is the third touch in the user journey, you can be a little more direct. (This is where the “act now” and “20% off” offers can go if that’s what you’re into.) For the first impression, be gentle and generous and pack a ton of value in.

For more on CTA’s, check out our blog on How to Get Clicks from YouTube.

Landing Pages

The landing page is where the ROI of your efforts really begins. Just by being there, they are expressing a modicum of interest in your offer, and the tables turn from you being in their YouTube world to them being in yours.

So reward them for their interest!

The ever popular Content Marketing philosophy is all about providing value in exchange for trust in your brand. This is the most effective approach for digital advertising and YouTube is no exception.

Your landing page should be clear, directly delivering on the offer they came for, and be free of distraction.

Your home page might be just that, but if not, you’ll want custom landing pages for your YouTube campaigns, and maybe even unique pages for each campaign depending on your setup.

The Power of a Single Pixel

A pixel is small, but that is all it takes these days to track a user after they have been to any page on your website.

These tracked users can be retargeted, not only in YouTube, but in any platform you set up a pixel on your site for (AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

Retargeting is almost always a more cost-effective method for targeting on any platform and this is the key indicator of funnel stage for users across platforms.

As you refine your marketing mix, you’ll come to know the exact value range of each pixeled user. This number will inform your decisions for each campaign and help you determine the ROI of upstream activities like YouTube awareness campaigns.

Action: Learn the value of a pixeled user for your business.

Marketing Grid

YouTube, AdWords PPC, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. You’re working towards a presence in all of these platforms. You can use each one at different stages of your marketing funnel and at multiple layers of the funnel.

Your users will see your message on one platform and take action in another. They may bounce around like pinballs across your marketing efforts before finally settling as an MQL.

In this way, your marketing funnel becomes a grid and the grid can get complex.

Mapping each of your efforts in flow charts, and visualizing this grid can help you stay sane in the many-layered work on digital marketing.

Take your time and do each step right. Run one marketing effort all the way through before adding new ones.

Accurate attribution tracking is the holy grail in digital marketing today, and companies are vying to claim attribution for conversions.

Careful campaign setup will give you insights on each piece in your marketing system and allow you to optimize throughout.

Measuring Campaign Performance

In this final section, I’ll give you three lenses to look at your marketing efforts through. Each lens is integral to the others and will give insights on where to make adjustments.

Consider the whole of your marketing through these three:

Performance Indicators

The Buyer’s Journey (User Experience)

By user experience, I mean taking the perspective of the viewer seeing your ads, offers, pages, and products. What is their experience like? Can you forget your own KPI’s and concerns and truly see things from their eyes?

Is your video compelling? Is the offer a good value? Does my targeting match my creative? From this perspective, would you take an action?

This is the Buyer’s Journey Lens. You can think of this Buyer Journey lens like the one you are familiar with from Content Marketing methodology from Marketing Automation leaders, like HubSpot.

Buyer's Journey

The Technical Systems

This lens is pretty straightforward. Is AdWords connected to YouTube? Are my campaigns set up properly? Are we tracking conversions? Are we tracking conversions!?

The Technical Systems lens is where the work gets done and it needs to be right. It’s essential to every campaign, but the best technical setup won’t correct bad Buyer’s Journey (see, I told you they were connected.)

The Financial Performance

This lens is the one we all care about. What are we getting for our money?

 When done right, this lens allows us to see weak spots in our campaigns and make adjustments, either to the Tech side or the Creative side. From this lens, it can be tough to diagnose what exactly is causing underperformance, but it gives an unmistakable signal that action is needed.

To get the most from this lens, assign a value to every single step along your funnels. Usually, we build backward from the sale. From there we can get benchmarks for every other step.

Time to Automate

If you‘ve come with us this far, you might be curious about how we know all this awesome stuff about YouTube?

Brite Content is a Software As A Service (SAAS) solution for Enterprise businesses who want to move into video performance marketing.

The Brite platform offers clear and simple campaign creation and orchestration, uniquely effective targeting methods, and a reporting dashboard that surfaces actionable metrics in real-time.

We’re inside of YouTube all day. Every day. working to adapt this powerful and expanding platform to the unique needs of enterprise companies who are increasingly data-driven and performance oriented.

 

YouTube Campaign Targeting and Optimization Software

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