Tapping into the True Potential of YouTube as Part of Your Digital Strategy

June 14, 2016

YouTube ,



We find that YouTube is often overlooked as an advertising platform, probably as it sits between search and display. However, YouTube as an advertising platform is an important link in the digital advertising chain that is often underutilized by advertisers.

Enormous opportunity to gain brand exposure

More than one billion people visit YouTube and watch over six billion hours of YouTube videos every month.  Its huge reach makes it a cost-effective way to engage with audiences which traditionally would be left to above the line channels.

Interestingly, whilst Bing is considered to be the second largest search ad network, the number of keyword searches taking place on YouTube every month actually makes it the second largest search engine in the world next to Google.

With the exponential increase in user generated content, with TV consumption decreasing and digital consumption rising YouTube is well placed to reach wide audiences.  Google has carried out several studies which demonstrate that brand searches increase as a result of advertising on YouTube.

Get closer to your audience

When most people think of advertising on YouTube, it’s easy to compare it to television ads. The problem with TV ads, however, is the lack of targeting that digital allows for. YouTube allows you to target your target audience not only based on keywords but also on interests, demographic groups and placements:

YouTube Targeting

This increases the chances to test diverse targeting options until you find the one showing the best results. Remarketing is also available, which enables advertisers to target YouTube users not only based on video ad engagement but also based on their behaviour when they have visited your site. This second type of retargeting empowers advertising to focus on users who are more down the funnel in the path to conversion if they are more focussed on a DR strategy.

Ad formats that adapt to different types of strategies

Another element that makes YouTube advertising flexible is the different type of ad formats that it offers. In particular, the overlay formats allows advertisers access to video inventory without the costs of video production. Some of the ad formats accessible are; In-display ads (search ads, companion banner ads and content related video ads), In-Stream ads (skippable and non-skippable ads), overlay ads, sponsored cards and shoppable ads. Each of these offers different characteristics which adapt to different types of marketing strategies: whether you want to link your add to another YouTube channel, to another website to fundraise a project or to your own website to simplify the path to conversion.

YouTube advertising formats

Measurement mustn’t be judged on a pass/fail basis

One of the reasons YouTube is underutilised is that it tends to be high reach and top of the funnel. On a traditional last-click model this makes it difficult to measure the success of a YouTube campaign. Unless you’re trying to influence sales by using Trueview for shopping ads, your videos will most likely not directly result in a sale in a last-click model. This is why last click attribution model doesn’t do any justice to this channel, because even though it might not bring sales immediately it does contribute to the promotion of brand awareness in the path to user conversion.

In order to reach the most relevant audience for your business, YouTube offers plenty of ad formats and targeting and retargeting options.  For this reason, I would encourage you to leverage YouTube if you are not doing so already and explore the different options that it provides to enrich your overall digital strategy.


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