If you’re reading this, you’re not currently down a YouTube rabbit-hole. Congratulations! Especially considering how many people are, as YouTube accounts for 25% of mobile traffic across the globe. The video hosting phenomenon was bought for $1.6 billion in 2010, and things have only gone up for the platform since then. The video-sharing behemoth has grown every year since it’s been online, and is now a massive influence on global culture, changing the way video works for over a billion people. Ads that are 5 seconds long? Started with YouTube. Earning enough money to have a career entirely through making videos? YouTube made it possible. The entertainment industry owes a lot to the website.
But many of these changes don’t just impact general video entertainment. Indeed, YouTube has utilised many of the lessons of marketing in the digital era, marketing both its content and itself. By exploring a combination of YouTube’s history, as well as how it’s evolved, there’s a lot to be learned about video production and marketing. Strap in and take a tumble down a different YouTube rabbit than usual.
Mix it up
Consumers are very good at avoiding ads. They're also very good at getting bored by ads. And can you blame them? Marketing is designed to make products stand out from the crowd, so ensuring you're not getting repetitive in your process, or copying too much from others, is key to holding consumer attention.
From almost the moment ads were introduced to YouTube, people began to block them using a mix of software, tricks such as playing the video to its end and then replaying it, or simply just tuning out of the longer ads. Since introducing ads, YouTube implemented pre-video ads in 2007, moved to multiple ad formats in 2009, and increased its number of advertisers in 2011 tenfold. Dynamism in this market takes advantage of trends, attitude shifts and changes in circumstances, which is something your brand should be doing too.
When creating video content to advertise, staying dynamic video production will help keep your campaign at the forefront of minds while maintaining the feel of your brand that consumers identify with.
Find your method
Advertising has changed through YouTube's history, from mostly banner ads to pre-video ads that partnered with a channel, to the YouTube Partner Program used today. However, this program isn't the only way to advertise. YouTube creators who have monetised their brand with merchandise and exclusive content are now a dime a dozen, with the obvious monetary gain also increasing their visibility. Also, many videos today circumvent YouTube's official ad programs by sponsoring users directly. Sponsored content is usually disclosed in a short segment in the middle or at the end of a video.
The lesson here is that you don't have to utilise official advertising programs when using social media or online platforms to advertise. If it suits your resources and strategy, it may be just as effective, if not more effective, to partner with a content creator directly. By focusing on one or a couple of key creators, you can craft an element of uniqueness, and personal sponsorship can help with the sincerity of creators that advertise your brand. Take one from the Tube, and make what they have on offer work for you.
We'd also like to remind you that, while finding the answers to some of these questions can be daunting, there are people ready to help you. Jasper Picture Company is a Melbourne based video production company that specialises in delivering the little things you didn't know you needed. Make sure to check out our offers, or our other blogs, on this website!
Follow the data
YouTube was one of the first major platforms to make digital data-based advertising truly accessible. While it's now ubiquitous, it's a reminder of the tools at your disposal and the many ways to take advantage of modern data collection. Running a series of ads and using the numbers to determine what is most effective is crucial. For lots of brands, simple visibility isn't the most important indicator; follow-through clicks to their website is. Deciding what targets to set in advance makes it far easier to determine the “how” of getting there. Decide if the focus of your campaign is geared towards general visibility, the introduction of a new product, generating hype for a launch, or any similar goals. Always use the available data, such as when users stop watching, if they mute your ads, or simply if they continue watching them.
Furthermore, narrowing down a key demographic is easier than ever, so adequate time should be spent determining exactly what demographics to aim for. Are you wanting to reach young children? No problem, YouTube can link you up with popular Minecraft videos. Want to target men of all ages? YouTube can team you with sports highlights. For you, that means taking advantage of the measurability of today's marketing and setting specific targets that can utilise video algorithms like YouTube.
Find the right length video
Some of you avid readers will know about this from last week's blog, so I won't go into too much detail. But YouTube has a very important history with video length, with the evolution of pre-video advertising evolving to accommodate trends in video production and exacerbating the shortening of video content. Who has time to watch long videos these days? Well, maybe some people, but you can bet those people don't want long ads. That's why you should look at the different types of YouTube campaigns that are run and see what works for your campaign.
After ditching the 30-second unskippable ad, YouTube has focused on two types of ads; 15 seconds and skippable after 5 seconds, or 5 seconds long but unable to be skipped. The former gets you more content, with the caveat that uninterested users will skip past them after 5 seconds anyway. The latter assumes this will happen, so squeezes as much content in those 5 seconds as possible.
What's the best method? It's hard to say. If you're confident you can deliver your message in 5 seconds, keep it at that. A smart and well-organised video production can help ensure you make this deadline. Otherwise, you might be better off trying to reach those who are interested with a longer ad. More important is that you have the freedom to choose.
Starting your Video Production journey on Youtube
The Jasper Picture Company is an independent Melbourne video production company with an eye for quality. If you're looking to utilise the Youtube rabbit hole, we're the team for the job. So if you're ready to get started, let's chat about your video project ideas today!