How to Launch an Ad Campaign on YouTube for the Holidays

It may seem odd to see a post about how to launch an ad campaign on YouTube for the holidays. But you’d be surprised how many marketers who are using Facebook or Twitter still aren’t using YouTube.

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EMarketer estimates that among U.S. companies with at least 100 employees, 83 percent will market on Facebook this year, compared with just 53 percent on Twitter, and 36 percent on YouTube.

Why Launch an Advertising Campaign on YouTube?

In August 2012, YouTube had 157 million unique visitors in the U.S., Facebook had 161 million, and Twitter had 45 million, according to Compete PRO. So, YouTube reaches almost as many people as Facebook does and about 3.5 times more people than Twitter.

And according to Google Campaign Insights, YouTube video ads, on average, drive a 20 percent increase in traffic to a company’s website and a 5 percent increase in searches for that business. So, YouTube video ads get results.

Even small businesses are discovering that ad campaigns on YouTube are a great way to engage customers – especially during the holidays.

For example, Rokenbok used YouTube’s TrueView video ads to promote holiday bundles last year. YouTube was the number one source of traffic to the toy company’s website, and 50 percent of Rokenbok’s customers come from YouTube.

And TRX used TrueView video ads during the last holiday season to drive five times as much traffic to their suspension training website, double their conversion rate, and roughly double their revenue.

That’s why marketers should be launching ad campaigns on YouTube in time for the holidays.

How to Launch a YouTube Advertising Campaign

For starters, marketers need to make a video.

They can shoot some video themselves and use My Business Story’s channel to add their clips and give them style for free. Or, they can go to the Google Ad Creation Marketplace Directory and hire a vendor that matches their style and budget.

If marketers shoot the video themselves, here are some best practices to create compelling content:

  1. Set Goals for Your Video: What do you want your video to do? Generate awareness about your business? Drive people to your website or store? With a clear goal for your video, you’ll be ready to shoot with purpose.
  2. Shoot Your Video: The key to a great video is authenticity, so just grab the best camera you’ve got and press record. If you need help, ask a friend or employee to lend a hand. If you aren’t sure what to shoot, then give a tour of your store, tell the story of how your business got started, or answer your most frequently asked questions. The opportunities are endless.
  3. Edit Your Video: It’s OK if you can’t shoot your video in one shot. Take advantage of one of the many free, easy-to-use editing tools that can be found here.
  4. Upload to YouTube: Create an account and add your video in minutes.
  5. Promote Your Video: Once your video is live on YouTube, embed your video on your website and share it on social networks. Then promote it with AdWords for Video ads.

After marketers have made a video, launching their first video campaign takes five steps:

  1. Create Your AdWords Account: Create your account and sign in.
  2. Choose Your Budget: With TrueView, you only pay when someone watches your video. Even better, you choose how much you want to pay per view and per day, so you’re always in control of your costs.
  3. Create Your Ads: Choose the video you wish to promote and write a few sentences to grab your audience’s attention. Use words like “you” and “your” to make the ads feel more personal, and tell your viewers exactly what they’ll see when they click on your ad.
  4. Choose Where Your Ads Appear: You can set your ad to appear on YouTube and tens of thousands of sites on the Google Display Network.
  5. Choose Options That Match Your Ad to Potential Customers: With AdWords for video, you can search for and select options like age, location, and interest, that match your videos to even the most hard-to-reach audiences, from the foodies in your neighborhood to art-lovers in India.

For more details on how to launch an ad campaign on YouTube, download the 122-page Advertiser Playbook before the holidays arrive. It should take less than 7 hours to read it.