Knowing what you want to achieve is an important first step for any successful YouTube marketing strategy, and it’s no different when it comes to launching an advertising campaign. Whether you want to increase a video’s view count or drive viewers to off YouTube pages, having a clear objective at the outset will help you determine where, and how, to position your ads.

Pairing the right ad placements with your specific objective is the most fundamental way to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your marketing budget. Here’s a brief guide that lays out which ad formats to use for some of the most common KPIs on YouTube.

Objective: Increasing a video’s view count

Currently, there are three different kinds of TrueView ads to consider when looking to increase the view count for a specific video – “In-Stream,” “In-Search” and “In-Display.” (Note: starting later in Q2 of 2014, YouTube is combining the “In-Search” and “In-Display” formats under one name and calling the combination “In-Display”).  All three types are able to increment the view count of a video when run as an ad, assuming the viewer stays around long enough based on the type of placement. Here are the distinctions to know:

1) TrueView In-Stream

youtube-paid-media1 copy

These ads run as skippable pre-rolls before a given video. The view increment occurs when a user watches the ad for at least 30 seconds. If the user hits the “Skip Ad” button, or bounces off the page, no view will be registered. Here is an example of a 30 second Trueview commercial we produced for our client Simply Business;

2) TrueView In-Search

youtube paid media 4

These ads will appear as promoted suggested videos in the search results page. Once a user clicks on the video link, the view will increment as soon as that video begins.

3) TrueView In-Display

youtube paid media 5

These ads appear as promoted suggested videos in the related videos column. Like “In-Search,” the view increment is counted after a user has clicked on the video link and the video beings to play.

Bonus Objective: Build an audience on your channel

The TrueView ads can also help build an audience on your channel.  If a user sees your content as a TrueView ad,  they are more likely to visit your channel and watch additional content, garnering you “earned views” as a result of your “paid views.”  Furthermore, if a user really enjoys your content, they will occasionally subscribe to your channel.

Objective: Driving conversions and visits to off YouTube pages

In addition to promoting content on YouTube channels, many publishers are increasing investment in YouTube as a promotional vehicle to introduce audiences to content that lives off of YouTube — setting aside promotional budgets to launch new shows, in much the same way as traditional TV debuts new shows. Here are the ads best used to drive those conversions:

1) Non-Skippable 15 second pre-rolls


These ads run before a given video with no skip option. They do not increment view counts on a video, but they have proven to be very “clicky” placements that can drive conversions – ticket sales, signups for a service, etc., and visits to an off YouTube domain.  Many advertisers port 30 second TV ads straight to YouTube – just because a video is longer doesn’t mean that it is necessarily better, depending on your objective.  For a direct response / conversion objective, we’ve found that 15 second spots consistently outperform 30 second ones. This is an example our 15 second commercial for Simply Business;

2) 480×70 in video overlays (+300×250 companions)

youtube paid media 6

These ads are specific to YouTube only and appear on the lower third of a video. They can support a 300×250 companion banner on the right side of the page as well. These ads are relatively inexpensive to run and can be especially effective when used against remarketing lists. As of now, overlays are limited to laptop/PC inventory only.

3) 300×250 display banners

These ads appear on the right side of the watch page, as seen in Ellen screenshot above. Most online marketers will have this unit created already, so they’re fine to use if it’s the only available creative. However, 480x70s are far more effective and can run the 300×250 alongside it for no additional cost. 300×250 banners are also limited to laptop/PC inventory only.

4) GDN Text Links

These ads appear throughout the Google Display Network (GDN) as contextual placements to complement a search. These ads are usually able to run at a low price point but don’t often drive conversions at scale.

Key Takeaway

So, before you charge headfirst into your first marketing campaign on YouTube, consider what your goals are and build your creative accordingly. Deciding where to focus your efforts becomes that much clearer, leading to more valuable results, reeldealhd – bespoke video production can help you with this process, with affordable TrueView commercials and bespoke video production services.

Why not let us help you make your marketing budget go further?  Email Robert Baldwin or call +44 (0) 7922 138 666.



Peek of the Week

Top 20 ads of February 2014

1. Budweiser: Puppy Love – 1.16 million shares

2. Learn for Life: Set Yourself Free – 540,887

3. SOS Mayday: Would You Give Your Jacket To Johannes – 456,769

4. GoPro: Red Bull Stratos – The Full Story – 401,394

5. Schwarzkopf: You – 335,099

6. Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion: Luge – 310,857

7. Three: Sing It Kitty – 262,680

8. Coca-Cola: Social Media Guard – 255,026

9. Budweiser: A Hero’s Welcome – 253,431

10. EDEKA: Supergeil – 252,790

11. Sesame Street: Benedict Cumberbatch – 249,791

12. Coca-Cola: America Is Beautiful – 225,682

13. Bud Light: Ian Up For Whatever – 196,781

14. Melbourne Metro: Dumb Ways To Valentine – 174,922

15. Pepsi Max: Test Drive 2 – 156,037

16. GoPro: Lions – The New Endangered Species – 145,407

17. Vivo and Samsung:  Metamorfose Ambulante – 144,837

18. Audi: Doberhuahua – 135,520

19. Jaguar: RendezVous – 130,672

20. Kia: The Truth – 129,489


Online Content Videos Exceed 50 Billion Monthly Views in December 2013

comScore, via the Video Metrix report, has stated that, for the first time ever, a single month of online video viewing has purportedly topped 50 billion video views. I say purportedly because, as we are all aware by now, it’s not really the truth based on the way that they choose to track video views. Any 3-second viewing of a video is included, multiple views are included for a single piece of content, etc. Here’s their definition once again:

A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream. Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

So while it may be 50 billion views by that metric, it’s most probably a lot, lot less in terms of what other people consider a piece of video content, for example, an episode of a television show. A single episode on Hulu is accounting for 3 or more views in the comScore Video Metrix based on the number of ad pods (n) which means (n+1) video views, so please take 50 billion views with a large grain of salt. Five ad pods in a single episode then results in six reported video views.

Facebook Overtake AOL in Battle For Top Online Video Content Property, But Both Still Miles Behind Google

The total increase over November is just over 5 billion views, with a drop in minutes per viewer of just around 13 minutes per along with a drop in total viewers of almost a million. So in a nutshell less people spent less time watching videos online in December than November, yet generated 5 billion more views at least according to comScore.

The real news in the numbers is Facebook who, remarkably, bumped AOL for second place. But there’s a reason for that because comScore notes:

Facebook’s December 2013 online video viewership, particularly the number of video views, is substantially higher than prior months due to both organic and inorganic factors. The largest (and inorganic) source of increase is the recent inclusion, following a technical validation effort, of a significant volume of short (typically 6-second) Vine videos that have been uploaded to Facebook. The other, and currently less significant, factor is the limited roll-out in December of auto-play videos in the Facebook News Feed.

Facebook minutes per viewer also went up from 28 to 50 in a single month, and in addition they added 13 million viewers and nearly tripled the amount of views. So those autoplay videos are counting as views clearly. I suppose that hypothetically, they were in the viewing window of the browser and could, again hypothetically, have been viewed by someone. But that’s a lot of hypotheticals on which to base such important numbers.Still, it’s no more shaky than their 3-second rule for video views I guess. This is all information to take into account when you use these numbers for business or for ad buying.

top us ad video content properties dec 2013


Video Ad Networks Explode?

It was just like a year ago when a single video ad network broke the 1 billion ads in a month mark. Now, if you’re not reaching that mark, you don’t make the top ten. Well, OK, there is still one spot in the top ten below that mark which is Videology with 991 million video ads in December 2013. At the top end of the spectrum is AOL with over 4 billion video ads in December. We should start a pool on who hits 5B first and then another for 10B video ads.

The whole video ad industry, at least those tracked by comScore, accounted for 35,235,361,000 video ads, roughly 0.67 video ads per comScore video view. That’s roughly an ad per 1.5 video views. December also saw an average frequency of 204.1 video ads per viewer for 55.6% of the US population. That boils down to a video ad every 5.7 minutes and an average ad length of 0.38 minutes or 23 seconds. Finally, video ads accounted for 40.2% of all videos viewed, which is misleading due to their determination of a video view. It’s probably more like 3:1 ads to video content files views. For example, if every video viewed and tracked by comScore was bisected with an ad pod, the total video file views fall to 26.2 billion, while video ad views remain at 35.2B. Granted, comScore also states that the average online content video is 4.2 minutes. 5.7% of all time viewing videos last month online, was watching ads.

top us video ad properties dec 2013



Top YouTube Partner Channels: VEVO Still Triumphant

Has anyone ever wondered if there’s a YouTube channel that’s not a YouTube Partner channel but is getting more than 16.3 million uniques per month? Either way, none can top VEVO most likely, what with its 38,460,000 unique viewers a month which is about 20.4% of all video viewers online and roughly 11.4% of the US population. They average 51.1 minutes each. SureMaker Studios has 72.2 minutes each for their 24.7 million uniques, but they’re a full 100 million videos behind per month. Fullscreen put up a good fight as well with 27.3M uniques, and 40.9 minutes average but showed just 358.3M videos. The one stat I would like to see in this chart is total uniques for these channels. Because as far as we can tell there are just 38.46M unique viewers for all of them which is just 20.4% of all Google/YouTube video viewers. Really, it has to be more like 50% given the wide range of topics for the top ten channels.

top youtube channels dec 2013


YouTube advertising revenue surges 50% to $5.6bn

Advertisers will spend a projected $5.6bn on YouTube in 2013, an increase of more than 50 per cent on the previous year, according to a report that underlines a shift away from traditional television ads. The sharp rise, which follows an explosion of viewing on mobile devices, comes as advertisers strive to reach younger consumers who have drifted away from television. Television’s share of advertising budgets has peaked after 30 years of growth and online video is now competing for ad spending. YouTube does not keep all of the advertising revenue that flows through its site, paying much of it to partners and “content creators”. The report, by media research firm eMarketer, predicts that YouTube’s net revenues will be $1.96bn once those partners have been paid, giving it 1.7 per cent of all global digital advertising spending. This is a larger market share than sites such as Twitter, AOL and Pandora, eMarketer said.


“Video ad revenues are expected to increase significantly in coming years for YouTube’s US operations, particularly as mobile video viewership grows,” said the report. Television remains the biggest global recipient of ad spending globally: in the US advertisers are expected to spend an estimated $66.5bn in 2013. But eMarketer is projecting only modest increases over the next three years. “There’s ongoing fragmentation in viewing,” said Dan Cryan, senior director of digital media with IHS, a media research firm. “TV viewing is more or less flat but total video viewing is going up and that’s being driven by things like YouTube and Netflix.”

YouTube, acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.65bn, has more than 1bn viewers every month and attracts about a fifth of all advertising spending on US online video. It has faced competition from rival sites such as Hulu, which expects to generate $1bn in advertising revenues in 2013, but it has maintained its lead. Hulu, owned by Walt Disney, 21st century Fox and NBCUniversal, has twice explored a sale only to call off proposed deals at the last minute.

Heightened advertiser interest in YouTube comes as a new generation of online video production studios have sprung up to cater for a younger generation that watches most of its television programming online.

Investors are clamouring to get a foothold in these companies: Maker Studios, one of the biggest online video networks, recently brought in investors to join a shareholder list that includes Time Warner, Elisabeth Murdoch and Robert Downey Jr, the film star.


Peek of the Week – Top 10 Global Online Video Ads for October 2013

A prank played on a group of coffee shop drinkers to promote the remake of 70s horror classic Carrie tops last month’s Unruly Global Ads Chart.

The ad was October’s most popular by a country mile, attracting almost 1.7 million more shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere than the second-placed ad, PooPourri’s hilarious “Girls Don’t Poop” It attracted more then 2.1 million shares in October.

You can throw as many special effects or clever catchphrases into your marketing mix as possible, but apparently nothing beats the sight of a little girl throwing up. Or at least that’s one way to look at the incredible success of Crest and Oral-B’s “Halloween Treats Gone Wrong ad”. But what they will be even more happy with is the performance of the ad. Launched just a few days before the end of the month, the commercial attracted more than 225,000 shares during October, making it the seventh most shared ad of the month.

The PS4. “For The Players Since 1995” is a sedate and nostalgic journey through the history of the Playstation told through the bedroom of a teenage boy. It attracted 104,431 shares last month, almost 30,000 more than Xbox’s 19th-placed “Invitation”, which was launched a few days later.

Other newcomers to the top 20 include Virgin Atlantic’s new all-singing and all-dancing safety demonstration.

Top 20 Most Shared, Branded Video Ads During October 2013

1. MGM: Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise – Shares: 2.1million

2. PooPourri: Girls Don’t Poop – Shares: 418,023

3. GoPro: HERO3+ Black Edition: Smaller, Lighter, Mightier Still – Shares: 320,611

4. GEICO: Hump Day – Shares: 258,145

5. GoPro: Firemen Saves Kitten – Shares: 241,781

6. Samsung: Note 3 – First Hands On – Shares: 237,310

7. Crest and Oral-B: Halloween Treats Gone Wrong – Shares: 225,156

8. Virgin America: #VXsafetydance – Shares: 205,327

9. Mercedes-Benz: Chicken – Shares: 187,677

10. Pepsi Max: Uncle Drew 3 – Shares: 178,099


The next Peek of the week will be the Christmas edition!



6 Simple Video SEO Tips To Reach Your Target Audience

It’s so much easier these days to create video, edit video, and host it. It’s a growing trend, both for corporations and small businesses because anyone can upload video. If you’re a business trying to decide if video is worth it, think about what content is going to appeal to your audience, and these days video is a really great way of getting content which is unique to be seen by thousands of people. And if you’re not doing video SEO to help people find your video, you’re behind the curve.

We have 7 top tips to master video seo. Your audience is waiting for you to film and upload your next viral video; make sure it gets seen.

1. Creating Videos About What You Know

In today’s post-Panda world, content is key. You are already an expert in your field, so don’t be afraid to show that off. Google, just like your audience, give preference to experts in their field, so produce content you know about. Be innovative and be creative with how you present your information, but start out by providing good content. Get feedback, find out what works, find out what doesn’t work, and then go from there.

2. Video Keyword Research Is Still Vital

One of the biggest issues with video SEO is that people are typically searching for information; they’re not necessarily products or purchase focused. You can use the YouTube Keyword Tool to figure out if there is search volume for a certain phrase on YouTube. The right keywords will make sure your meta data attached is good, semantic, and targeted. Make sure your findings are included in the video title and the description on YouTube.

The way that people search on YouTube is typically around kind of questions or information discovery-type keywords. Generic guide keywords can be really effective, as can question-based, research-based content. If you don’t find keyword volume on YouTube, don’t stop there, but also look at information-based sites such as Quora or Yahoo Answers to make sure people are looking for the information you’re providing.

3. YouTube vs Self Hosting

You’ve really got two big options when it comes to video: self-hosting or YouTube. If you want to get video SEO results (the little thumbnail clip next to your search results) you really need to self-host rather than putting it on YouTube. There are a lot of third party services like Brightcove or Vimeo all of which have paid services where you can actually upload your video there and use that to embed the content, which will still be self-hosted and you can get some great analytics off the back of it as well.

4. Help Search Engines Find your Videos

Adding tags and video categories can improve the performance of your videos by helping search engines find them when users search for your tags and similar terms. You can add tags when you upload your video, or at any time after by selecting “Video Manager” in the dropdown below your username. Check off a tag you’ve already used to include it, or type in the box above to find a specific tag or create a new one. You can also choose a video category that matches your title, description and tags to help improve your video’s search ranking even more..

5. How to do Video Link-building

There are little differences between link-building from a video and link-building from regular content, but video link-building can actually be a lot easier than regular link-building. Create a pitch that highlights the value of your video and send it to blogs and sites that focus on your content’s topic, asking them to post the video with an embed. There are several great tools out there, like Technorati, and this hacked Google News API, to help you find relevant contacts to pitch. Your video’s embed codes will link back to your site, that is the key for video link-building.

6. Social Sharing on YouTube

One thing that’s different between regular SEO and video SEO is a social aspect, particularly on YouTube. Because Google owns YouTube, they have much more information about what happens there than what happens anywhere else on the Web. Adding a social call to action to have viewers share the video with their friends and networks, to help your video get more views and to spread the content. In particular as Google Plus becomes more and more prevalent, it’s going to be important to see Google Plus shares all videos. This social sharing can help your video rank for the title of the video, even in regular search results, even in competitive searches because buzz on videos is easy for Google to track. This video shows you how to connect your social media accounts on YouTube



Social Video ROI: Relationships That Convert

Many marketers assume “social video” mostly means sharing on YouTube, Facebook, and other social networks. What’s forgotten? The “social” part.

To successfully incorporate video into your search marketing, you really need to create a experience that’s first and foremost about building personal connections. That means genuinely listening, engaging, and helping others in ways that turn visitors into followers, users into contributors, critics into evangelists, and individuals into communities.

But social video can’t be helpful if it can’t be sustainable as a business model. That’s why social video needs to be treated like a financial portfolio – nurturing relationships like one nurtures stock investments, carefully qualified and continually measured against pre-set performance goals so you see a tangible return on investment over the long-term.

What is “Social Video?” What Should it Really Mean?

We need to start with how we choose to define “social. I regard social as a personal investment into genuine relationships for shared value.

The next step from there is “social business” – a term often used to describe the evolution of modern business through technology and consumer culture, and worker relationships. That is how I came to my definition of “social video” – the blending of video into genuine relationships for shared value.

Too often, video is still treated as a broadcast tool with expectations of short-term transactions, rather than a true engagement tool for building meaningful connections.

You should no longer ask, “How do I create a viral video?” Instead, you should ask, “How can I create value and build trust with my audience?”

“Video is one of the greatest ways to help personalize the brand and create a trusted experience,” according to Frank Eliason, SVP of Citibank and author of “@ Your Service – How to Attract New Customers, Increase Sales, and Increase Sales Using New Customer Techniques.” “We tend to trust humans, not some corporate logo; and video is the best way to do that on a scaled basis.”

Externally, video is used to communicate to broad audiences, often designed to bring a human touch to a brand. It’s a great way to share insight into your company, share thoughts, and add value to your customers without intruding into their conversation.

Internally, larger companies are using video to create more nimble, interconnected teams. Work groups now live in a very different environment. Today, people use video to speak with each other across the globe, for knowledge management and collaboration.

Here are some other strong business reasons for why search marketers should be doing social video:

  • Video is the most powerful communications tool on the web. It invites more engagement with audiences, and drives the social signals with Google for augmented search results.
  • Video enhances storytelling. People are moved by stories; and video is better at storytelling than text, graphics, and audio combined.
  • Video augments both the rational and the emotional. Some audiences are persuaded more by logic and instructional content; others are motivated more by strong feelings of passion that are either positive or negative.
  • Audiences now expect it. Your audiences are likely creating and sharing their own videos, and want the brands they follow to do the same with them in mind.

Social Video Tips for Every Professional Marketer

  • Make it a real commitment to personally engage with your audience. Anything advertised as “social” should come with a promise. It’s not just putting out video content regularly and consistently to where your audience is; it’s a promise to listen and personally engage with individual followers and subscribers (i.e., conversation), and to provide mutual value for what you share. Simply placing repurposed ads on your website or YouTube channel isn’t going to cut it.
  • Be transparent and believable. Zappos has always lead the way but that’s because social fits within their existing culture. Mistakes happen in social when brands like to portray themselves as something they are not. That means, think about what your existing business culture is like, and have your video content be a natural representation of that same culture.
  • Always start with being helpful. The best video you can create is never going to make up for poor customer experience. The best companies winning in social media aren’t doing so because of a marketing or PR message. They are winning because their products and experiences live up to their brand promise. If you do social video without reviewing, acknowledging, and demonstrating a serious attempt to fix those issues, your online video will just invite conversations from upset customers that you aren’t giving them attention like you should.
  • Use it to learn about, acknowledge and correct your mistakes. “My favorite example will always be the a Domino’s pizza response to crisis on YouTube a few years back. That is the power of video where the CEO is speaking from the heart,” Eliason said. One thing you should never do is ignore someone who puts up a video genuinely expressing their bad experience with your brand. “They care enough to talk about your brand, so that tells me they are passionate. If they did not care they would not say anything.”
  • Acknowledge interesting videos, not just interesting people. “Some of the famous instances over the years. I worked for a cable company [Comcast] and at one point there was a video of a technician sleeping,” Eliason said. “The person who put that video up had posted two videos, ever. Let’s face it, it was just good content. It was just something we enjoyed watching – so we watched it over and over again.

Social Video Strategy in 3 Simple Steps: Start Soft, Then Get Hard

The word “social” in media should never be an excuse to avoid showing measurable business outcomes; nor should social be measured under the exact same metrics that apply to direct marketing and traditional advertising.

The key part is demonstrating causality – connecting the dots between the “soft” metrics of engagement towards the “hard” metrics of transactions and financials. Here are three simple steps how you can achieve that:

  1. Set measurable performance goals. Before starting any video campaign, have a clear objective of what you’re looking to accomplish that will be a positive business value. Set a budget for your spend and time investments, and how you plan to get in the positive column with sales and revenue over a period of time. Think anywhere from 6-18 months, and be ready to measure intermittently so you can see your progress toward your goal.
  2. Know the social metrics that really matter. Go beyond views and shares. Focus on the metrics show sustainable engagement – audience retention and completion of video views, subscribers, clicks on calls-to-actions and soft leads (like filling out a short form or becoming an email newsletter member). Social business pros already understand that word-of-mouth marketing is a proven connection between traffic and sales,
  3. Create a scorecard and regular report system. This means assigning different values to different social metrics. Once you have data coming in, you can start to see how many of the soft metrics it takes to generate the hard metrics. From there you have a benchmark for ongoing and future campaigns, and you can use the numbers to compare performance over the past week or month, and measure growth.

Screw Viral, Tube Responsibly!

Social video is most apt to be successful for your business when you stop thinking about “going viral” and really focus on being useful.

Think of social video less like a megaphone and more like a customer specialist or concierge, building interesting and helpful video content that acknowledges their needs and wants; and personally engage with audience members individually around the video experience. You’ll see how good will with a responsible business plan behind it leads to social video success.

Work together with us to create a social video and generate success!