The best practices for YouTube advertising are nothing like the strategies used for advertising on other platforms. Not only are brands creating video content specific to the platform, but YouTube offers several ways to incorporate supplemental ads into the experience of a single video.
This functionality can provide you with additional opportunities to drive customer actions in the form of multiple video views, ad clicks and referrals to your business website. Clickable ads inserted into a video are at the heart of this advertising strategy.
Here are some basic guidelines to help you make better use of these unique mid-roll ad solutions.
Link to Videos With a Similar Focus
YouTube cards are interactive, mid-roll ad solutions that can accomplish one of several goals. As Social Media Examiner pointed out, you can link to a business website or other online destination, feature individual products for sale online or promote a related video (or video playlist) for users to check out.
One of the best ways to drive engagement is by using cards to promote individual videos or playlists — but this only works when you take time to choose the right videos. If you own a large video library, make sure the videos you include on a mid-roll card are highly relevant to the subject matter in a given video.
If your video is part of a larger how-to series, create a playlist that includes each individual video in the series, so viewers can watch them in order. Linking at random to different videos in your library (or simply inserting the most popular videos you've created) will hurt engagement and your video ROI.
When to Place a YouTube Card
The placement of a mid-roll ad requires some consideration. If you're only doing one card, it's easy to put it at a natural transition point in the middle of the video. But if you're inserting multiple cards throughout a video, these should be evenly spaced out in order to avoid overwhelming viewers and damaging the user experience.
Check to ensure that these cards aren't cutting off dialogue in the middle of a sentence or creating other disruptions that hurt the video experience instead of elevating it.
Polishing Your Ad Copy
Calls to action can (and should) include accompanying text that directs video viewers to the next step in the user journey. Strong directives like "click" and "visit" are simple and effective at leading users toward a particular action while keeping messages concise.
HubSpot noted that YouTube end screens allow you to showcase multiple calls to action alongside one another, with dynamic images and text to draw engagement. This means you can encourage subscriptions to your channel while also promoting a video and linking to your business website. Keep text short, sweet and action-oriented — and pair it with strong images whenever possible to maximize your engagement stats.
Although it can take some time and experimentation to fully master, the ability to blend video, images and text for an engaging media experience makes YouTube advertising a unique platform well worth exploring.