There are many benefits to YouTube advertising, and leveraging this video platform within your online outreach program is one of the better strategic decisions you can make as a political campaign or advocacy organization. So, what are the benefits and why should you venture out from the basic Facebook ads-only approach? There are four primary drivers:
- YouTube’s reach is vast. When compared to Facebook, YouTube often has a 1.5-2x greater reach assuming the geo-targeting is identical. 81% of American adults say they use YouTube and its use is still growing at a significant rate. YouTube is a good complement to Facebook and allows you to reach hard-to-find voters.
- YouTube has excellent video inventory. YouTube boasts the largest collection of high-quality video inventory with effective targeting measures that protect brand safety and ensure your ads are seen before, during, or right after content you’re comfortable with.
- YouTube ads are bought via a self-serve platform. Like Facebook, YouTube ads can be bought, managed, and reported on via Google’s self-serve ads platform. This means you can launch campaigns quickly, seamlessly make optimizations in-flight, and access your performance data whenever you’d like.
- YouTube captures a diverse audience. Black (84%) and Latino (85%) adults over-index on the usage of YouTube and are more likely to say they use it than use Facebook or Instagram.
To get started, be sure to establish a goal and set your paid media KPIs. Do you have a preferred cost-per-view rate? How many people do you want to reach and at what frequency? Who is your target audience and what placements are you interested in? From there it’s incumbent to produce compelling, digital-first video that accomplishes the goals you laid out. Then you should define your budget and decide what inventory to include in your media plan. For example, do you want to make your video ads skippable or non-skippable? After this you’re ready to traffic your ads and launch your program.
YouTube Ad Options
YouTube offers a wide array of ad types:
- Skippable in-stream ads: play before, during, or after other videos. After 5 seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad.
- Bumper ads: 6 seconds (or shorter) and play before, during, or after another video. Viewers don’t have the option to skip the ad.
- Non-skippable in-stream ads: 15 seconds (or shorter) and play before, during, or after other videos. Viewers don’t have the option to skip the ad.
- Outstream: begin playing with the sound off. Viewers can tap the ad to unmute the video. Outstream ads are designed to increase your video reach at an efficient cost.
- Video discovery: consist of a thumbnail image from your video with some text. While the exact size and appearance of the ad may vary depending on where it appears, video discovery ads always invite people to click to watch the video. The video then plays on the YouTube watch page or channel homepage.
- Ad Sequence: made up of a series of video ads that you’d like to show to a person. Sequence campaigns can use skippable in-stream ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, bumper ads, or a mix.
Whether it’s reach and frequency, clicks and click-through-rate, or acquired leads and donations, Google Ads makes it simple to see reporting in-platform and track your campaign’s progress from start to finish. Google’s full suite of digital tools and capabilities like Google Analytics and the Google Pixel allow advertisers to effectively track activity on your website and track actions that are taken as a result of your ads to optimize your campaign’s delivery.
Additionally, the ability to link your YouTube channel to your Google Ads account is a major value-add that allows the linked Google Ads account to run ads based on interactions with your channel’s videos. You can also grant your Google Ads account permission to access video ads’ organic view metrics, show ads to people who visit and interact with your channel, and get insights about how people interact with your channel after viewing your ads.
Producing Killer Ads
Keep in mind the length of your ad when developing your message and concepting creative. A 6s bumper ad will provide a very different experience than a 30s skippable ad. Your message should be clear as you’ll want to capture your audience’s attention and provide an accessible, relatable entry point to your message in the first 5 seconds (skippable ads can be skipped at the 5-second mark). The organization, cause, or candidate your ad is about and the intention of the ad should be clear and digestible even if the ad is not watched to completion. Additionally, when creating your ads, focus on giving your ads relevant headlines, call-to-actions, and other creative features that compel your viewers to watch your ad to completion and take action.
While running YouTube ads may seem daunting or expensive at first glance, it is one of the most effective and affordable ways to reach diverse audiences online with high-quality video in a controlled environment. YouTube provides the optimal complement to Facebook in your media plan while allowing you to scale and manage a program through its stellar self-serve ads platform. If you’re ready to meet people where they are and start connecting with voters and supporters that aren’t on Facebook or Instagram, it might be time to plan and launch your first YouTube ads campaign. Our team of creative and digital strategists can help you produce compelling, digital-first video creative. Our team of creative and digital strategists can help you build out a media plan, produce killer creative, and manage your ad campaigns to ensure you run an optimized, cost-effective, and compelling program.