Most YouTube ads do not deliver a measurable ROI for advertisers. This is because most of the pre-roll ads (YouTube calls them “in-stream ads”) we see on YouTube are geared only towards raising brand awareness – they’re designed to get reach and attention, but not conversion. These ads seldom include a call to action, and only a very small percentage of people click on them.
Most of these videos are essentially made-for-TV commercials that have been uploaded to YouTube. For the most part they disregard the fact that TV and YouTube are very different platforms.
Awareness ads are fine on YouTube if, for instance, you’re an automaker and you’re just trying to get the word out about a new car model – consumers are probably not going to buy a high-ticket item after seeing just one YouTube ad. But what if your goal is to get people clicking from the ad to visit your eCommerce website? Well, you need a different approach – one based on conversion.
We spoke to three YouTube advertising experts to find out what they felt most agencies didn’t know about YouTube Ads for eCommerce. They each gave us one of the top tips from their playbooks:
TIP 1: MEET THEM IN THE MOMENT
According to Tom Breeze of ViewAbility in the UK, many brands and ad agencies mistakenly view YouTube as just another TV channel. They spend thousands of dollars crafting high production value brand awareness TV ads, and then upload them onto YouTube. They measure their success in the same way they do on television: By the number of impressions and frequency.
But that strategy “just annoys people,” Breeze says. “We get shown that ad all the time, and it gets really frustrating. And we have this negative experience for this brand.”