March 2022

How Effective Are YouTube Ads?

YouTube ads are 84% more likely to receive viewers' attention than TV ads, making them an effective tool for marketers far and wide. Learn more about what makes them effective, and how you can leverage them to promote your brand, in this article.

Digital video is a key part of consumers’ lives, not just for their entertainment, but also as a source of information for purchases. Over 90% of people surveyed by Google are discovering new brands and products on YouTube, and 40% of those people have purchased one or more of these brands and products. Moreover, YouTube ads are 84% more likely to receive viewers' attention than TV ads — and this attention leads to impact! According to Think With Google, attention paid to advertising is significantly correlated with ad recall for that ad, with YouTube users who both see and hear the ad experiencing higher brand awareness, higher ad recall and higher consideration. 

...And with more than 2 billion users logging in to YouTube every month, and over 7 billion hours of video watched each week, YouTube Ads have huge potential for brands.

In this article, we break down how and why YouTube ads are effective, as well as how you can make your YouTube creative the most effective it can be. 

1. Reach a Wider and Targeted Audience 

YouTube has over 2 billion monthly logged-in users – and every day, people watch over a billion hours of video. Paid YouTube ads are also 84% more likely to receive viewers' attention than TV ads. It therefore allow you to reach more people than ever – including the people that you can’t reach on TV. 

YouTube Ads also enable you to target specific audiences or behaviours and intentions. Alongside identifying information like age, gender, and geographic location, you also have the means to target videos by Topic, Category, and Keyword.

2. More Creative Freedom 

YouTube Ads give businesses more freedom with their advertising approach than other types of ad. Indeed, successful brands on YouTube use creative strategies that break rules and bust assumptionscreativity is often rewarded on YouTube Ads. 

“Effective YouTube ads can be many things, like an episodic docuseries, an undercover investigation, a user-narrated product review, or an interview with the CEO.” Ben Jones, Think With Google.

In short, it can be anything you want it to be — and that’s where the magic happens.

3. Increased Connection

Off the back of this comes increased connection with your audience. Ads “can help you connect with potential customers in a unique and memorable way. You can be personal, share your expertise with the world or put the camera on yourself and explain how your product or service can benefit your audience.”

And with attention paid to YouTube ads 1.8x higher than on other social media platforms, you have even more potential to create that connection. 

4. Cost-Effective

Businesses of all sizes and budgets can grow with YouTube Ads as you’re in charge of how much you spend; you can set a monthly budget cap and pause or adjust whenever you need to. 

While your budget sets the maximum overall spend, your bids set the maximum that you'll pay for an ad to appear. Different bidding strategies enable you to reach your goals within budget, whether that’s to increase views, impressions or conversions. 

5. Measurable

Under Youtube Ad Analytics, you can learn more about the people who’ve viewed your ad, and gain some insight as to how well your ads are performing. Track impressions, views, engagement and clicks, as well as who you're reaching and for how long. Brand Lift also allows you to see how your campaign affects the way that people feel about your business through key metrics on recall, awareness and consideration. 

This enables you to adjust your campaign, or build on what’s going well, for optimum results.

Sounds good, right? Keep reading to learn how you can create the most effective YouTube ad.

Our Top Tips for Creating an Effective YouTube Ad

1. Grab Attention Fast

Front load your ad with the most exciting, impactful, dynamic scenes to grab the eye and lead the story. You should also consider using unexpected imagery that your audience has never seen before. 

“What consumers are responding best to are stories that are told in an emerging heartbeat arc, which instead of starting low, it actually starts high, [with] a great hook to grab attention and keep people engaged. [Along] the way, the ad inserts subtle branding and product cues throughout, so your message isn’t lost.” Pei Ling Ho, Global Creative Director, Google Creative Works.

2. Test

Testing is valuable, not just because it’s quick and cost-effective, but because it lets you understand what makes your audiences tick. Advertisers can actually see how their ads are performing when they go live on YouTube — and find opportunities to make the same ad even better, just using small improvements from the data they’re seeing for incremental gains.

3. Take Risks

Pei Ling Ho recommends that you "front load your ad with the most exciting, impactful, dynamic scenes to grab the eye and lead the story." To maintain their attention, "use unexpected imagery that your audience has never seen before."

As set out above, taking risks often pays off with YouTube Ads — it's a place where creative risks are not only celebrated, but rewarded.

4. …But Don’t Forget the Basics

There are some basic principles to making effective YouTube ads that should never be forgotten. The ABCDs of effective creative on YouTube are based on years of research.

Attract: Draw attention from the beginning.

Brand: Integrate your brand naturally.

Connect: Connect with emotion and storytelling.

Direct: Clearly state a call to action.

Ads that follow the ABCDs as a guide have been shown to yield 30% lift in short-term sales likelihood and 17% lift in long-term brand contribution. There’s still room to be creative and take risks, but just considering doing so on these core foundations. 

Keep in mind that people are usually watching at around 50% dimness, so ensure that there’s enough brightness and contrast between the colours of your ads so they’re easily seen on all screens.

5. Consider Outsourcing Ad Creative 

We’d always recommend that you outsource to an Ecommerce Ad Service if you don’t feel 100% confident in creating your own ads: you’ll get a much higher success rate and ROI when you work with the experts. Through fresh direct response creative, ready to use on all paid social platforms, we have helped to drive growth for some of the world’s leading eCommerce brands.

Freddie’s Flowers partnered with Aura Ads to produce beautiful and branded direct response video ads that would convert on paid social. This led to a 12% higher conversion rate, a 20% higher CTR and a 10:1 ROI. 

We are Aura Ads, a unique performance creative agency designed for D2C eCommerce brands. We help clients sell more online and grow at scale with our bespoke video and static creative, delivered on a monthly basis. Find out more about how we can help with your YouTube creative on our website, and book in for a 30 minute chat about how one of our content plans can help your business grow.

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