Promotion is as vital as production. Discover paid tools from Google and YouTube to support video campaigns on and off the platform.
Promote content with TrueView ads
The best-performing brands on YouTube use targeted ads to place their messages in front of the right viewers, at the right time. YouTube campaigns should be very closely integrated with an overall strategy across all platforms, and not regarded as simply another channel.
Perhaps the most familiar form of paid media on YouTube is TrueView Ads, which are skippable after five seconds to allow viewers to choose whether or not to continue watching them.
TrueView ads have many benefits for brands: YouTube works hard to show the right ad to the right viewer at the right time, by matching ads with specific audiences. When a video is matched to a viewer and the viewer watches the ad, the advertiser is then charged for that ad impression. Simply knowing which audiences are skipping or not skipping TrueView ads can help define which demographics to spend money to engage with, and which message types are more effective with various audiences.
TrueView ads have many benefits. Among them, viewers who choose to watch these ads are 75% more engaged than people who are forced to watch an advertisement. People who watch a TrueView ad from beginning to end are 23 times more likely to:
- Visit or subscribe to a brand’s YouTube channel.
- Choose to watch more video content from that brand.
- Share branded videos.
And even viewers who only saw the ad, but didn’t sit through the whole thing, were 10 times more likely to take one of those actions.
Average return on YouTube ad spend
Toothpaste Shampoo Soda Smartphones
Data for all YouTube video ads, not just TrueView. Other data represented here is TrueView-only. // Source: 2015 Google-commissioned Media Mix Optimization analysis powered by MarketShare DecisionCloud; includes 2012-2014 spend data provided by Kantar.
For an additional cost, the Google Preferred product will ensure that TrueView ads run alongside content from the top 5% of YouTube’s most popular channels. 94% of Preferred TrueView campaigns are associated with a lift in brand recall.
- How YouTube Extends the Reach and Engagement of Your Video Advertising
- New Data Shows Online Video Ads Drive Consideration, Favorability, Purchase Intent, and Sales
- TrueView Optimization Playbook
- TrueView ad display specifications
- Google ad policies
See it in action
TrueView Video Ads: FormatsOverview of the four types of TrueView ads, and how they work.
TrueView vs. Preferred vs. ZombiesNot sure when to use Google Preferred versus TrueView, or how to use them together? YouTube Product Marketing Manager Jim Habig gives an overview of ad approaches while undergoing a spooky makeup transformation.
Looking for new fans?This video from Creator Academy highlights the importance of the first five seconds of a TrueView ad, music’s role in driving story, and ending with a strong call to action.
Take over YouTube’s home page
If you’re launching a major tentpole campaign, a Masthead takeover can be a powerful driver to raise awareness: your brand or message being showcased, exclusively, on the youtube.com homepage for 24 hours, on desktop or mobile screens, including static imagery and the first video slot in “What to Watch” recommendations.
You can opt to deliver simple video, rich media, or livestreamed content. Masthead campaigns don’t just drive engagement and watch time: they start conversations, and can boost search activity around your brand.
- YouTube Masthead ROI in Media Mix
- YouTube homepage ads
- Video Masthead Preview Tool
- Masthead campaign from kickoff to launch
- Google’s Rich Media Gallery
Consider non-Google partners
We sometimes get questions about MCNs: Multi-channel networks. These are not affiliated with or endorsed by either YouTube or Google.
MCNs work with independent YouTube channels to manage ad sales on behalf of creators, and offer package deals to advertisers.
Some MCNs may be affiliated with or controlled by communications corporations like Disney or AT&T. Some marketing and agencies report that MCNs have helped them target audiences with greater specificity than they could have on their own, particularly outside the U.S.
If you want to work with a certain creator and their channel is contracted to an MCN, you’ll have to work with, and negotiate through, the network.
Choose the best tools for your content strategy
The Google advertising suite features tools to fit a large number of Help, Hero, and Hub campaign goals, primarily to drive awareness and consideration. Most of these tools can be optimized in near real-time.
Promote Help content
Help content should deliver know-how, tools, and inspiration to viewers, and TrueView placements are a great strategy for getting this content in front of the right audience.
- Target search trends: Help content should answer questions that users are already asking.
- Broaden your usual repertoire of keywords.
- Be aware that the shelf life of this content can be very long.
Your Google sales rep can help identify what kind of content to develop, and an advertising strategy that aligns your message with what your audience is already watching, and with their their affinities and passions as evidenced by viewing patterns.
Promote Hub content
Hub content is regularly-scheduled programming that people return for again and again.
- Use targeted choice-based ads to drive traffic to Hub content.
- Leverage remarketing and sequential storytelling.
- Use calls-to-action to drive follow-on views to additional video content.
The success of Hub content often hinges on audience targeting. It’s essential that communities embrace and form around Hub content, and share it widely. YouTube’s TrueView ads are an effective tool for getting your message in front of the right people.
Promote Hero content
Remember Hero content? It’s associated with tent-pole events, product or service launches, holidays, or major cultural moments. Its focus is on raising brand awareness among new audiences, as well as inviting community participation.
- Go big: this is the moment to draw a new audience to your brand.
- Be mindful of timing: pre- and post-campaign phasing are as critical as launch.
- Invite community participation.
Hero campaigns may include creator collaborations, unique creative content, and is well-supported by a combined TrueView, Preferred, and Masthead strategy.
See it in action
Promoting Help ContentAxe deodorant used YouTube search insights to discover top-searched terms around topics related to men’s grooming; they then purchased ad placements that would play in front of videos on queries such as “how do I shave my head?” or “how do I tie a tie?”
Promoting Hub ContentThe Adidas Football channel produces and publishes an episodic sports show called Gamedayplus, bringing fans behind the scenes and featuring players from Adidas-sponsored professional teams. The show is heavily promoted with TrueView ads.
Promoting Hero ContentCosmetics giant Maybelline launched their Nudes Palette eyeshadow collection with a paid-promotion strategy that combined TrueView, Preferred, and Masthead takeover for desktop and mobile. The campaign’s goal was 4 million total views; the final tally of organic-only views was 9.1 million. TrueView delivered 1.4 million paid views, and Preferred generated 15 million additional paid impressions.