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Maximizing your Campaign Success Through Youtube

Maximizing your Campaign Success Through Youtube

 

It’s 2020 and Youtube is all grown up. During the past few years, Youtube has outgrown its simple rep as a funny viral video platform – now, the video playing platform is bigger and better than anybody could have imagined, serving millions of videos to the public every day. 

Now, YouTube is the most popular video platform in the world, taking its place as the second largest search engine ever. The platform has a total of 2 billion active users worldwide who spend 1 billion hours a day watching YouTube videos. 

With numbers like these, every brand in the world is thinking of how they can best serve their ad on the platform. What is the best kind of campaign to run on Youtube? How long should my ad be? What will it look like on the platform? How can I reach my campaign goal in six seconds? What if I want to tell a longer story with my ad? Which form will give me the greatest results?

We’re here to help you answer those questions. This article will give you a brief overview of ad serving on Youtube so that you’ll be able to get a better idea of what kind of video campaign would benefit your brand best!

Youtube’s video ad format is known as TrueView and is unique in its ability to give viewers and advertisers alike choices that are specific to their desired experience. The most stand-out feature of Trueview is perhaps its ability to allow viewers to skip an ad after five seconds. 

Trueview is great because it gives marketing strategy the flexibility needed to successfully engage an audience. Between the in-stream and display models, advertisers have the power of choosing a format that best suits their customer base. To add to the accolades, Trueview provides a cost-effective solution that promises enhanced ROI and likelihood of conversion, as companies usually only pay for the ads when the audience engages with the ad in some way.

Youtube ad formats function primarily in four different ways on the platform. Advertisers have the option of placing their ad in stream (skippable and non-skippable), in slate, in search, and in display.

An educated guess would lead us to say that you’ve probably, most definitely, seen a Youtube ad before. And if you have, you’ve definitely had both the pleasure of skipping the ad as well as the annoyance of not being able to skip an ad. 

Skippable in stream ads can be played at the beginning, middle, or end, of Youtube videos,  allowing viewers to skip the ad after 5 seconds of viewing. You’ll know your ad made an impact when the viewer chose not to skip and watched your ad in full, or even better, clicked on the ad, the two actions you’ll actually be charged for through CPV bidding. 

Non-skippable in stream are placed in videos the same as the aforementioned format, but does not give the viewers the chance to skip the ad. Typically, these ads last 15 seconds or less, and since it is non-skippable, uses target CPM bidding, so you pay based on impressions. 

Under this same category, are the infamous bumper ads that we all know well. The unskippable six second ad that moves so fast you don’t even have time to skip, had you been given the chance. These ads are best for brand awareness and reach. 

With all this talk of short form ads, you might be asking, but what about long form ads? Do they work? Is it a waste of time and money? Does short form always win? 

You are bound to have such questions because marketers have been deciding between short-from and long-form video for ages now. One on hand, viewers have short attention spans, and on the other hand, studies have shown that sometimes longer video performs better. Since both forms have their own pros and cons, the decision really comes down to  what your campaign’s goals are. 

Often times, a campaign’s success is measured by video completions and clickthroughs. If you’re trying to get people to your site, short form might be better because they offer more scale and there’s an inverse relationship between clickthroughs and longer viewing. So, why create a long video when your goal is to get people to click away from your ad?

Another important variable to consider is the skippable or non-skippaple feature. Non-skippable 15 to 30 second ads have an average completion rate of 70%. But, the skippable TrueView ads average less than 30% So, we’re forced to consider: are so many more people truly paying attention to non-skippable ads or are they tuning out while the ads play?

To answer these questions we’re assuming you’re asking , we’ll now discuss what short form and long form can do for your ad. This way, you can decide for yourself which format will birth the results your campaign is looking for. 

 

Short Form

If we’re talking about which metric is the most popular for video campaigns, short form wins. They simply make sense for brands with clickthrough goals. And most video vendors recommend shorter videos because they have better VTR, due to the fact that the longer the video, the bigger the viewer drop-off. 

Scale is also a big consideration. Most in-stream ad inventory doesn’t allow for long-form ads, especially non-skippable long-form. This is a large reason why most video ads are under 30 seconds long. 

But if you look past VTR, short-form isn’t the most obvious choice. Most videos’ viewership drops off gravely in the first several seconds, which is why Youtube introduced the six second bumper ad to combat this. But for some brands, telling a story in six seconds is hard and not effective enough, which is where long-form video comes in to save the day. 

 

Long Form

Long-form video is considered a better way to engage consumers, since it provides the time to give greater emphasis on entertainment and story. However, since viewers need to opt-in to view long-form content, it can be a challenge to get viewers to watch the ad all the way through. 

But, this isn’t something that should turn your campaign away from utilizing long form, and here’s why. Long form video may seem like an uncertain water, but we are certain that there solidified benefits to using the format. 

For one, your company won’t be spending that much more money for the ad than it would for a short form ad. With that being said, why not serve an ad that will allow viewers to watch your brand’s content longer? Essentially, you’re getting a bigger bang for your buck and who doesn’t love that?

Now, you may be asking how we can be so sure that viewers will even take the time to view such a long ad? Trust us, we asked the same question. But through doing our own case studies with ads we’ve run, short and long, we’ve found that long form most certainly gives short form a run for its money, quite literally. 

In a campaign we ran for a California Community College campaign we advertised via webisodes, which we ran both short and long form. As for the long form, we served three different ads – one lasting 2.32 minutes, one, 3.22, and the last, 4.09. It seems absurd to think that any unsuspecting viewer would sit through a two minute ad, much less a four minute one! But, to our surprise as well, our long form ads performed much better than expected. 

The long form ad of 2.32 minutes achieved a VTR of 62%, while the 3.22 minute ad achieved a VTR of 51%, and the longest ad, at 4.09 minutes, 59%. Overall, the average long form format of this campaign succeeded to stack an average view through rate of 58%! This means that out of every viewer who was served the ad, over half of them sat and watched the ENTIRE long form ad. And though the long form VTR fell behind the short form’s VTR of 71%, it doesn’t take away from the fact that 58% of viewers watched our brand’s content longer. 

With long form, it’s simple: viewers are watching your content for longer. And though they might not always make it to the last frame, the ones who did, will remember. This is incredibly useful if your brand has long-term ambitions like trying to build brand affinity, which requires true viewer attention and audience retention, which is easily built through time spent with the brand. 

Long-form video can indeed be effective at capturing attention. Here is a comparison of similar short and long-form videos from the same national advertiser. With a short-form 30 second commercial, ⅔ of viewers dropped off after 10 seconds and 16% completed the video. 

An educated guess would lead us to say that you’ve probably, most definitely, seen a Youtube ad before. And if you have, you’ve definitely had both the pleasure of skipping the ad as well as the annoyance of not being able to skip an ad. 

Skippable in stream ads can be played at the beginning, middle, or end, of Youtube videos,  allowing viewers to skip the ad after 5 seconds of viewing. You’ll know your ad made an impact when the viewer chose not to skip and watched your ad in full, or even better, clicked on the ad, the two actions you’ll actually be charged for through CPV bidding. 

Non-skippable in stream are placed in videos the same as the aforementioned format, but does not give the viewers the chance to skip the ad. Typically, these ads last 15 seconds or less, and since it is non-skippable, uses target CPM bidding, so you pay based on impressions. 

Under this same category, are the infamous bumper ads that we all know well. The unskippable six second ad that moves so fast you don’t even have time to skip, had you been given the chance. These ads are best for brand awareness and reach. 

With all this talk of short form ads, you might be asking, but what about long form ads? Do they work? Is it a waste of time and money? Does short form always win? 

You are bound to have such questions because marketers have been deciding between short-from and long-form video for ages now. One on hand, viewers have short attention spans, and on the other hand, studies have shown that sometimes longer video performs better. Since both forms have their own pros and cons, the decision really comes down to  what your campaign’s goals are. 

Often times, a campaign’s success is measured by video completions and clickthroughs. If you’re trying to get people to your site, short form might be better because they offer more scale and there’s an inverse relationship between clickthroughs and longer viewing. So, why create a long video when your goal is to get people to click away from your ad?

Another important variable to consider is the skippable or non-skippaple feature. Non-skippable 15 to 30 second ads have an average completion rate of 70%. But, the skippable TrueView ads average less than 30% So, we’re forced to consider: are so many more people truly paying attention to non-skippable ads or are they tuning out while the ads play?

To answer these questions we’re assuming you’re asking , we’ll now discuss what short form and long form can do for your ad. This way, you can decide for yourself which format will birth the results your campaign is looking for. 

 

Short Form

If we’re talking about which metric is the most popular for video campaigns, short form wins. They simply make sense for brands with clickthrough goals. And most video vendors recommend shorter videos because they have better VTR, due to the fact that the longer the video, the bigger the viewer drop-off. 

Scale is also a big consideration. Most in-stream ad inventory doesn’t allow for long-form ads, especially non-skippable long-form. This is a large reason why most video ads are under 30 seconds long. 

But if you look past VTR, short-form isn’t the most obvious choice. Most videos’ viewership drops off gravely in the first several seconds, which is why Youtube introduced the six second bumper ad to combat this. But for some brands, telling a story in six seconds is hard and not effective enough, which is where long-form video comes in to save the day. 

 

Long Form

Long-form video is considered a better way to engage consumers, since it provides the time to give greater emphasis on entertainment and story. However, since viewers need to opt-in to view long-form content, it can be a challenge to get viewers to watch the ad all the way through. 

But, this isn’t something that should turn your campaign away from utilizing long form, and here’s why. Long form video may seem like an uncertain water, but we are certain that there solidified benefits to using the format. 

For one, your company won’t be spending that much more money for the ad than it would for a short form ad. With that being said, why not serve an ad that will allow viewers to watch your brand’s content longer? Essentially, you’re getting a bigger bang for your buck and who doesn’t love that?

Now, you may be asking how we can be so sure that viewers will even take the time to view such a long ad? Trust us, we asked the same question. But through doing our own case studies with ads we’ve run, short and long, we’ve found that long form most certainly gives short form a run for its money, quite literally. 

In a campaign we ran for a California Community College campaign we advertised via webisodes, which we ran both short and long form. As for the long form, we served three different ads – one lasting 2.32 minutes, one, 3.22, and the last, 4.09. It seems absurd to think that any unsuspecting viewer would sit through a two minute ad, much less a four minute one! But, to our surprise as well, our long form ads performed much better than expected. 

The long form ad of 2.32 minutes achieved a VTR of 62%, while the 3.22 minute ad achieved a VTR of 51%, and the longest ad, at 4.09 minutes, 59%. Overall, the average long form format of this campaign succeeded to stack an average view through rate of 58%! This means that out of every viewer who was served the ad, over half of them sat and watched the ENTIRE long form ad. And though the long form VTR fell behind the short form’s VTR of 71%, it doesn’t take away from the fact that 58% of viewers watched our brand’s content longer. 

With long form, it’s simple: viewers are watching your content for longer. And though they might not always make it to the last frame, the ones who did, will remember. This is incredibly useful if your brand has long-term ambitions like trying to build brand affinity, which requires true viewer attention and audience retention, which is easily built through time spent with the brand. 

Long-form video can indeed be effective at capturing attention. Here is a comparison of similar short and long-form videos from the same national advertiser. With a short-form 30 second commercial, ⅔ of viewers dropped off after 10 seconds and 16% completed the video. 

 

Here is an example of a brand who told a memorable ad in 5 seconds:

And here is an example of a brand that made the first 5 seconds so good, people stayed for the whole 2 minutes:

The choice is fully yours and there is truly, no wrong choice. The whole point of TrueView is that it is designed to be flexible and malleable to your needs as an advertiser. Therefore, you can make your ad whatever you want it to be for however long you want it to play.