For episode 172 of The Search Engine Journal Show, I had the opportunity to interview Joe Martinez, Director of Client Strategy at Clix Marketing, and a world-renowned expert when it comes to video and YouTube ads.
Martinez talked about the value of video in marketing, the approach to ads on YouTube, and a number of different features and strategies to help you have success with video.
What do you think about the value of video in marketing today?
Joe Martinez (JM): It has a lot bigger impact than people realize. The part I run into a lot that gets the pushback from clients or other marketers is that they’re not seeing the same results as with search.
And to me, that’s the biggest red flag of that statement right there. They’re trying to compare video with search, and the intent is totally different.
People aren’t going to Google, specifically with my video ads. I’m getting in front of those users in a more awareness factor. And that is the value of either staying on top of people’s minds or just making them fall in love with my brand.
I could do good branding marketing instead of just slapping a keyword on and hoping that grabs their attention and driving them.
To me, it’s kind of mind-boggling because video has always been there from pretty much the dawn of TV. It’s just capturing that user’s attention –and that’s the value.
With analytics and hardcore data, we’ve lost that fact where everyone’s just looking straight at Excel sheets and data and missing the bigger picture of branding.
Where do people really want to spend their time if they’re involved in video today?
JM: Where everyone should start should be YouTube.
Even if you want to test that out and eventually just branch it out to other channels, YouTube is the best place to start because they are the only video channel that’s going to give you the option to have consistent free brand awareness with video.
Because with YouTube ads, if you’re doing the instream ads, the pre-roll ads… you only pay for that ad if the user watches 30 seconds or if the video is under 30 seconds, they watch the whole thing.
If you have a 30-second video [ad] and they watch 28-29 seconds every single time, and they skip it, you’re never going to pay for it.
And now you just have all this free brand awareness and you could still be targeting the right user who’s eventually going to come back and search for your brand name, search for your products, go back through your website and convert.
Facebook’s not going to offer you free money like that. What other channel is going to offer you free video awareness?
LinkedIn, yes, they have video. That’s crazy expensive. So why not test it out on YouTube where you can possibly do it as insanely cost-effective, and then use those ideas once you find the success to branch that out into other channels?
What do you have to spend to kind of benefit from marketing on YouTube in general?
JM: From an advertising perspective, once your view-through rate is pretty good… there’s like an unofficial quality score with YouTube ads.
The longer you’re keeping people engaged, the more that they’re watching their videos, the more they’re engaging your videos, the lower we typically see our CPVs.
Now, it’s nothing official that you’ll find the formula out there, but it’s just pretty much what we’ve seen. Once we get decent view-through rates, about 30% of people watching 100% of your video ad, we see the cost per views down to a penny to around $0.03 for someone to watch your video.
And that length could vary obviously, but if you’re paying just a few cents here and there to get in front of those users, and that’s on average.
Obviously, if people skip them for a while it’s not in like actual view, but for the most part, if you’re averaging out $0.01 to $0.03 per view, where else are you going to find that?
Brent Csutoras (BC): Do people who don’t have great “quality score” end up paying more?
JM: You could set up your maximum cost per view. So you do have that control, typically, like a CPC on the keyword level.
We’ve seen it high just with the misunderstanding of how YouTube works versus [Google] search because [they’re] both run within the Google ads platform.
People try to structure their video campaigns like they would a search campaign. And they’re targeting their video campaigns with keywords. But keywords for videos do not work exactly like search network at all.
When when we see people in like not really knowing what they’re doing, I have seen people spend $.50 to $1+ per video because they have no idea what they’re doing.
I’ve never really spent more than $0.25 a view unless we’re really trying to push maximum exposure.
And with the custom audience options that they have on YouTube, to me it’s hard to spend a lot of money on a certain view if you really know what you’re doing because you have that control.
How does targeting work on YouTube? Is there an ability to go in and specifically target a specific channel or is it more just audiences?
JM: It’s both. So you can do audiences, you can do customer lists, lookalikes… Any remarketing audience that you can create within Google Analytics or Google Ads, you can use on YouTube.
I know I mentioned that it’s customer match as well, so if you can segment your email list, I know collecting email addresses is becoming a lot tricky, especially for international clients. So that might not be an option for everyone.
From targeting specific videos and channels, you can also do that as well. You can also target specific websites on the Display Network if they allow video ads.
The problem with this now is Google got rid of the Display Planner where we used to see which channels and videos and which websites on the display network allowed video ad space. So we don’t have that anymore.
What are some of the basic steps to start working with YouTube ads?
JM: Depending on the size of their business, I like the nice-looking, TV commercial type of creative.
Even a lot of small or medium-sized businesses that say they don’t have the ability to do it, I say, “No, now you do… Look in your pocket. That’s your phone. There’s a camera on there. It’s a pretty good camera that’s on those things.”
It might not be the best option that you have, but if you just want to test something out for $100 just to see what kind of engagement that you have if you’re a small business, you have a camera most likely in your pocket.
How is the connection between paying for videos to have visibility? If you were going to do ads for a video to get more views or have more success on YouTube, do you know how effective that is for kicking in the organic side?
JM: Yeah, there are ways that we have tied it in. There are metrics within Google Ads that you could add columns within your video views called the earned actions.
So when you pay for a video ad, you pay for that view. If the user goes on to subscribe to your channel, if they liked any other video, if they watched any other video, if they added any of their videos to your playlist, actions like those, we track those and see what future engagement the user has done.
And you don’t pay for any of those earned actions. Anything else that the user has done with your YouTube channel (i.e., if they subscribed or visited a channel, watch any other videos, etc.), all those additional actions after the initial video view are free. So what we can also do with those is we can create audiences from those earn actions.
And then we could do next step remarketing tactics from those users. We know specifically they came from actions related to my videos. I can create audiences based on people who watch my videos only as an ad and then remarket to those users.
Since we know, from that ad group who we’re remarketing to, they watch my video as an ad, if they eventually go on to convert, whether through it’s RLSA on search or through display remarketing, we know that original audience was from one of my videos. So we could kind of see that attribution a little bit, which is pretty tough to see within the Google ads interface.
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