How YouTube Marketing is Changing the Ad Game

Jan 28, 2021 | Multimedia

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest advertising events of the year, but YouTube is the real game-changer. Here's how you can use the platform to boost your marketing ROI.

A picture of the YouTube app on a mobile phone

If you want an example of how video and digital marketing is changing the game for everyone from startups to Fortune 500 companies, look no further than the 2021 Super Bowl.

While it remains one of the world’s premier advertising events, drawing an estimated 100 million viewers in the U.S. alone, this year’s Big Game has instead made headlines for the dozen-plus companies announcing they will not participate.

Global brands including Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Audi have said they will instead redirect their marketing dollars elsewhere this year amid slumping sales and consumer uncertainty. AB InBev, the owner of Budweiser, for instance, released an online ad focusing on the resilience of Americans, and announced plans to donate airtime to COVID-19 vaccination efforts and education throughout the year.

Interestingly enough, where was Budweiser’s new ad posted? YouTube.

Why YouTube?

As AB InBev’s U.S. chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes told Ad Age in the wake of the Super Bowl news, “We are sticking to ROI—it’s all about how we can add better value.”

Increasingly, for many brands, that means advertising via the world’s second-largest search engine.

When you break down the numbers, you can see why YouTube marketing is taking off:

  • More than 2 billion logged-in users visit YouTube every month, with viewers watching more than 1 billion hours of video each day, according to the service.
  • On mobile alone, YouTube now reaches more people in the U.S. than any TV network.
  • According to a study from Google and Talk Shoppe, 70 percent of people surveyed say they bought from a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube.

Those numbers are expected to continue growing rapidly as consumers spend more time with screens—mobile, in particular. Couple that with the fact that online videos have a much longer lifespan (as opposed to a 30-second TV spot) and you can see why YouTube marketing is becoming a "must" rather than just a novelty.

Getting Started with YouTube

Promoting your brand on YouTube is fairly straightforward. Content on the platform comes in two flavors: organic and paid.

Organic video content

This consists of original video content that is posted to your channel. It could be anything from a professionally produced video telling your brand story to a quick clip showing your team behind the scenes. These are videos that users find through search, recommendations or social media.

Paid video content

This consists of video and text advertisements that may run before, during or after a video. YouTube also offers other ad formats that may be of interest, including display ads and sponsored cards. They may be searched out by users (like Budweiser), or they may be served up by YouTube.

The beauty of YouTube is the ease with which content can be created. Obviously, a brand like Budweiser has deep pockets to produce glossy video content, but it can be as simple as a cell phone video or slideshow set to music. While production quality is always important, creativity and impact go a long way, helping harness the power of social sharing to create a bigger splash for your brand.

YouTube has also launched a beta version of its YouTube Video Builder, which promises to help small businesses and marketing teams create short videos (6 or 15 seconds) from scratch using stock animations and music.

While there is a large amount of optimization that needs to take place to create a truly effective YouTube campaign, it’s also easy to start and experiment with the platform. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our blog post on YouTube marketing, or reach out to the digital marketing experts at Informatics for advice on taking your YouTube channel to the next level.