How to drive website actions with YouTube

Roughly a 5 minute read by Adriana


On November 1st, Google unveiled new tools and features which will potentially revolutionise the way advertisers use YouTube from now on. Not wanting to miss a thing, we went down to London to participate. Here’s what we learned…

According to Google, globally, video will represent 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021. Both an impressive and an unexpected prediction, this statistic leaves advertisers only 2 years to take YouTube more seriously.

Together with this prediction, YouTube presented 3 essential incentives for advertisers:

1. Out of all platforms, YouTube has the most attentive audience.

Unlike Display, which shows users content they don’t necessarily look for, Youtube is a platform that users choose to engage with proactively. Acting as an entertainment or relaxation oasis, YouTube is the environment where the consumer is most open to the content they’re receiving.

According to Google stats, a user is 1.4 times more likely to pay attention to a video they have actively selected as opposed to one they have passively consumed (for instance native advertising videos).

Unlike other platforms such as Facebook, 95% of the ads on YouTube are viewable and audible. A big chunk of the message will be lost if the user watches a muted ad or if that video is only half on the screen.

Another great insight is that over 90% of consumers say they discover new brands or products through Youtube, so what better place to work on your brand awareness?

2. The integration with Google data and tools makes it easy to create, run and optimise YouTube campaigns right from AdWords.

Just like the Search or Display platforms, YouTube plugs into the bigger Google ecosystem. Embedded in this ecosystem are the new advanced audiences YouTube offers:

  • Detailed Demographics (marital status, home ownership, education or parental status). Using this tool, a home builder focusing on a first buyer offer could target consumers who are not homeowners yet.
  • Interests & Habits, for instance, a consumer who is labelled as a “Luxury Traveller”.
  • Intent & Action, in this case, we can target consumers who search for “Exercise Equipment”.

These are just a few examples, and there are hundreds of options available, not to mention the ability to create custom audiences from your own consumer research.

Adding intent signals to your YouTube campaigns can help you reach a 40% increase in purchase intent, as opposed to only using demographic signals, whilst campaigns that use advanced audiences on mobile achieve a 20% increase in ad recall and a 50% increase in brand awareness.

3. There is a track record of results for both brand and performance advertisers.

If the above reasons are not enough of an incentive to start taking YouTube more seriously, more than 80% of TrueView In-stream campaigns drove a significant lift in Ad Recall.

YouTube has a major influence in the offline environment as well, with more than 70% of YouTube campaigns driving a lift in offline sales.

Moving on to the main focus area of the innovations, Google presented the new ‘YouTube for Action’ features. More than 55% of people search for a product on Google, and then learn more by going to YouTube before they buy it. This is a great opportunity for advertisers to use YouTube to reach audiences who have previously searched but never converted, with a video ad that explains and shows off the brand or the product.

To make the path to conversion as clear as possible, YouTube now offers a take action button and ad extensions built to drive actions directly from video views. The following scenario could portray this feature: If a user searches for a power drill on Google and then turns to YouTube for some video reviews of power drills, the advertiser can show a pre-roll video ad at the start of the video review. This ad can then include a “Buy Now” call to action button, whilst the messaging of the ad could present a 10% discount offer. As a result, the path to conversion would be easier and more persuasive.

But what about measurement?

More than 75% of online adults ages 18-54 start an activity on one device, but convert on a different one. YouTube allows advertisers to measure conversions in 3 distinct ways:

  • When the user clicks on the video ad and converts;
  • When the user chooses to watch the ad and then converts directly on the website;
  • When the user skips the ad but then converts directly on the website.

Store visits can also be measured when they are driven by clicks or views on YouTube, when the user has their location history enabled.

This way, advertisers can measure what matters most to them, whether that’s brand lift, cross-device conversions or offline store visits.

But wait, there’s more!

YouTube has a new dedicated team to help advertisers with video creation & optimisation, whether they have existing assets or not. Since the creative is responsible for 50-80% of the ad performance, advising clients on their creative is essential.

There are 3 main platform principles Google advised advertisers to consider:

  1. Build for mobile. Smaller, dimmer screens require tighter framing, bright footage and large text, as well as faster pacing and cuts.
  2. Use sight and sound. Viewable and audible ads drive over 2.6 higher brand or product consideration.
  3. Drive past the five. Capture the attention of the consumer within the first 5 seconds of the ad by speaking in new ways or by using innovative story arcs.

With all these new features and opportunities, advertisers can engage with their target audiences in a more personal way than ever. As the age of video is upon us, there is no time to waste on only using YouTube as a support platform. Remember, 2021 is the deadline when 82% of all Internet traffic will be video!