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5 Mistakes You’re Making With YouTube Video Advertising

Published: June 27, 2017

Author: Ashley Mo

Video is hot right now; as web browsing continues to shift to mobile, the demand for YouTube video traffic is ever-increasing. To supplement this growth, Google has made it easy for brands of all sizes to run video ads in its AdWords platform – but maybe they’ve made it too easy.
Chances are if you’ve run a YouTube advertising campaign, you were able to get a ton of views – but you aren’t sure how valuable those views actually were. How can you make sure to capture the right video traffic for your business? Start by learning common mistakes to avoid when advertising on YouTube.

All your videos are in one ad group.

YouTube’s default ad rotation is “optimize for views,” which means you’re letting Google decide which videos to show. This may work if your goal is branding, but if your ultimate goal is to drive some sort of user action, you may be overspending on ads that have higher view rates.
The easy solution here is to separate your videos into different ad groups. Bidding is set at the ad group level, so you will have more control over which videos you want to show more frequently. Simply increase bids on videos that drive better conversion rates.

Your reach is too broad (and frequent).

By default, your ads will show to all demographics and interests. Refine your audience targeting to what makes sense for your brand.
Step one is to opt out of video partners. The Display network is vast, and the traffic quality is usually lower than what you’ll find within the YouTube site and app.

Also check your frequency capping. You don’t want to wait until comments start rolling in from viewers who are seeing your ads too frequently. Keep it low for Prospecting campaigns – 2 impressions and 1 view per day. And remember, this can only be set at the campaign level, not the account level.
Last, think about which devices you want to show ads on. More than half of all YouTube traffic is on mobile. This is great for reaching viewers at the top of the funnel but not for downstream actions (unless you’re running a mobile app install campaign). Consider restricting your device targeting so that you’re only showing on Desktop, or wherever you generally see the highest conversion rates.

Your videos don’t have a call-to-action overlay.

The call-to-action overlay is a nice freebie for advertising through YouTube. It takes up prominent real estate in the corner of your video and can help drive viewers to your website or app. As a bonus, this overlay shows with your video all the time, even if you’re no longer running the ad.

For in-stream ads, you can also run a custom companion banner alongside your video. Consider including a call-to-action button in your image like you would for a GDN banner ad.

Your campaigns are budget capped, which means you’re missing out on cheaper night traffic.

YouTube views spike 6pm-2am and on weekends. With more potential views, cost per views are lower. You’ll get the most bang for your buck running ads during these periods, so consider adding an ad schedule that allows you to take advantage of this cheaper traffic.

You’re bidding too much.

Coming from a Search background, you might think a $.20 bid is a bargain – but remember, you’re paying for views, not direct clicks. Pennies matter! You can get incredible volume at the low, low price of $.01 with broad targeting like Affinity audiences. Rule of thumb is to start bids low enough that your ads are serving, then scale up when you want additional volume.
Hopefully you learned a few ways to trim spend in your video campaigns without sacrificing valuable views. YouTube is a fun advertising platform to experiment with, but make sure your spend your dollars carefully!

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