Over the past five or ten years we’ve seen a number of websites take center stage in our lives. From giants such as Google to growing online businesses like Ocado, our everyday lives have become very different thanks to the Internet. But it’s not all about searches and groceries; the web is also a great place to kick back and enjoy ourselves – and one of the most popular online activities is watching videos. Of course, there’s one website that almost completely dominates the online video streaming sector, YouTube. Since its launch in 2005, it has become the ‘go to’ site for anyone who wants to watch anything from news reports to a cat on a trampoline. With such a huge viewership, there also comes huge marketing and advertising possibilities. So, is YouTube marketing the right way to go for your business?

A captive audience

The one key benefit of online video advertising is that you know you have the viewer’s attention. They have actively chosen to watch a specific video; so unlike television, which may have been left on in the background, you can be fairly certain that your advertising will be delivered to your target audience. What are the benefits of this captive audience? Well, primarily, your advertisement should be more effective; if nobody watches it, how is it supposed to do its job? Of course you’ll always encounter a certain subset of people who simply close the ad, but you should still have more success than if your ad was distributed at random.

The power of YouTube

When you ask the question of whether or not YouTube advertising is for you, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. First off, what is the target audience of your company? If they are the elderly or very young children for example, advertising via the web might not be the best idea because the demographic are not large internet users. On the other hand, if your company aims your products or services at young men, YouTube may be the perfect medium for you. Similarly, you’ll need to think about your industry. Moving companies wouldn’t effectively advertise to an audience not preparing for a move. By the same token, you’ll want to have your advertisement seen by people who use or are likely to use your services. Remember that YouTube can be a very powerful tool, if it’s used correctly. Be sure you do your research to learn exactly how to make the best of YouTube advertising. Google, who owns the video sharing site, provides a great deal of documentation to help advertisers make the most of their campaigns, including interactive ‘webinars’ which can be very useful.

The downsides

With every positive comes a negative, so what are the downsides of YouTube marketing? Well, for some it can be cost-restrictive; however you are able to ‘pay as you go’ in a sense, and only spend up to a set limit. Of course this also means your ad will be seen by fewer people. Another downside is that users can simply close your advertisement and ignore it. You could avoid this by creating an eye-catching and memorable ad – but that challenge is up to you!

Overall, YouTube can be a great choice for many different companies; however businesses need to be sure that the ads will be hitting the right people to make them cost-effective. As with any Internet marketing decision you make, make sure you thoroughly research your options before you open your wallet. With a little preparation and some smart concepts in your ads, you can make YouTube marketing into a real success story for your company.


This guest blog post was provided by Holli Dawson.

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