Kaitlin Joplin Oct 5, 2023 12:45:00 PM

5 Reasons Why YouTube Ads Should Be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy

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We’ve all been there - it’s late at night, and you’re lying there staring at your phone when you tap into the YouTube app. You start browsing different videos, from tutorials to movie trailers to music videos, and soon, you look at the clock and realize you’ve lost track of time! 

With over 500 hours of content uploaded every minute and billions of hours of video watched daily, it’s no surprise that YouTube has gained so much popularity. Users tune in for the engaging creators, rich culture, and connection to an online community spanning across generations. 

Because of this popularity, YouTube is a powerful tool for online marketers to connect with their target audience and promote their products & services. Over 90% of people surveyed worldwide say they have discovered new products or brands on YouTube, so it makes sense for your business to be in front of such a highly engaged audience.

Let’s dive into the top 5 reasons you should add YouTube to your advertising strategy! 

1. Large Reach

With over 2 billion active monthly users, YouTube is the second most-used social platform and the second most-visited website globally. Ads on YouTube have the potential to reach over 2.5 billion people, which is 32% of the total population or 49% of internet users. This massive user base provides a vast audience, with enough variety for advertisers to target specific niches since very few other advertising platforms can reach such a large audience. 

Because YouTube hosts an enormous range of content covering almost every topic imaginable, users with a wide variety of interests and preferences use the platform. Whether you are looking to target specific niches or get your business in front of as many people as possible, you can do it with YouTube advertising. 

YouTube also allows you to reach people across their devices, from mobile phones to tablets to desktops and even connected TV devices with either video pre-roll, interstitial, or content sponsorship. Although mobile is still the most popular device for watching YouTube, the rise in popularity of connected TV has led to YouTube being the most-used streaming service for TV in the U.S.  

2. Cost Effectiveness

One of the most significant benefits of YouTube advertising is its low cost compared to other forms of video advertising. The biggest pricing model available for YouTube ads is cost-per-view, meaning you only pay when someone views at least 30 seconds of your ad (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with it, whichever comes first. The average CPV for YouTube ads ranges from $0.10 - $0.30, so companies are only charged when there is genuine engagement with your ad, making it a cost-effective approach as you’re not paying for unnoticed impressions. 

YouTube also offers flexible budgeting options, allowing advertisers to limit their budgets. You don’t have to start with a large budget to find success with YouTube advertising. You can start small to see which audiences and creative work best for you and then add more budget to drive higher performance. 

YouTube's vast user base and global reach allow advertisers to reach a large audience at relatively lower costs than traditional TV advertising. Advertisers can target specific demographics, interests, or niches, ensuring that their ads are shown to relevant viewers, which helps maximize the return on investment (ROI). 

The one downside of YouTube advertising is the cost of content creation. Total video production can get expensive, but investing in such a resource can help your business compete in a world where video marketing is increasingly popular. The content you create for YouTube works for various other channels without paying for additional content production. Sponsoring videos also offset production costs by letting creators say the messaging themselves. The rise in AI technology also allows more affordable video production solutions available where you can generate a quality brand video for much cheaper than traditional video shoots. 

3. Targeting Opportunities

Another great benefit to advertising on YouTube is the wide variety of targeting options available. YouTube provides robust targeting capabilities, allowing advertisers to define their audience based on various parameters, such as demographics, interests, location, and search behavior. This precision targeting ensures that your ads show to the right people, increasing the likelihood of generating conversions or brand awareness, depending on your marketing goals. 

Below are some of the targeting options you can choose in your campaign: 

  • Demographics: Reach users based on age, gender, parental status, household income, or broader traits such as education or homeownership. 
  • Topics: Lets you reach a broad range of videos, channels, and websites related to your selected issues. For example, if you target the "Automotive" topic, then your ad will show on YouTube to people watching videos about cars. 
  • Keywords: Show your video ads based on words or phrases (keywords) related to a YouTube video, YouTube channel, or type of website that your audience is interested in. 
  • Affinity segments: Reaches users who have a strong interest in relevant topics. 
  • Life events: Reach users during life milestones like moving, graduating college, getting married, having children, or retiring. 
  • In-market segments: Find customers who are actively considering buying a service or product (e.g., shopping for new cars or other devices) 
  • Customer Match: Lets you use your 1st-party data to reach and re-engage with customers.  

It’s important to note that more isn’t always better when selecting target audiences. Start with a few targeting options at a time, then test a few different options to see what performs better. However, try not to limit your audience too much, as that can negatively impact performance, and you might not be able to reach enough users. 

4. Bidding Strategies & Objectives

YouTube advertising offers several different campaign objectives and bidding strategies. When building your campaign, selecting the right goal will help the platform automatically optimize your campaign to help you achieve the results that matter most to your business. 

For example, if your main goal is to generate more brand awareness, the platform will work to drive as many video views as possible for your defined budget. This campaign goal will bid using a cost-per-view model, so you’ll only pay when viewers actively choose to watch your ad. 

If your goal is to increase purchases or leads, the platform will work to drive interactions and relevant conversions on your website. This campaign goal maximizes conversion bidding to automatically set bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while optimizing for the lowest cost per conversion. 

With all the available campaign objectives & bidding strategies, YouTube will help you reach your marketing goals. 

5. Analytics & Reporting

One of the best benefits of YouTube advertising is the ability to use its analytics and measurement tools to provide insights into the performance of your campaigns. You can track metrics like conversions, views, view rates, impressions, clicks, and click-through rates (CTRs). These insights help you evaluate your ads' effectiveness and make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns. 

However, ensuring you have clearly defined your goals before analyzing the results is essential. Only then can you truly understand the effectiveness of your campaign and learn where you might need to improve. Using website analytics tools such as Google Analytics is extremely useful to give you a more holistic view of your campaigns. 

The data you gather from your YouTube campaign can also help improve your other marketing channels. You may learn that your ads performed better in a specific audience you hadn’t previously targeted or certain creatives had much higher engagement rates than others. You can adjust your other marketing efforts to create more effective campaigns and increase profitability. 

Increase Engagement with YouTube Ads

Advertising on YouTube allows your business to reach engaged viewers to achieve your marketing objectives efficiently and effectively. Access to such a large and diverse audience allows you to find users likely to convert. With online video becoming increasingly popular every day, ensuring your business stays relevant is essential. 

Reach out to one of McClatchy’s experts to learn more about placing YouTube ads and for guidance in developing video ads for YouTube and other video mediums. 

McClatchy Expert Blog Series.

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Kaitlin Joplin

Kaitlin is a Digital Solutions Strategist for McClatchy. She has over 9 years of experience managing digital marketing campaigns and becoming an expert in digital ad platforms. When she’s not studying up on industry trends, she’s trying new recipes in the kitchen and hanging out with her fur babies, a dog named Kingston and two cats named Abby and Muffin.