The Secret Sauce of Video Advertising

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
Tim Goodell

If you’ve ever had to prepare a meal for a large group of people, then you might be familiar with the value of the most-holy ‘secret sauce’; that singular, crafty and reliable blend of spices, jellies or creams that can be added to virtually anything. The ‘secret sauce’ is the surefire way to save a bad dinner or push a good dinner into being a great dinner. It turns straw to gold and rags to riches. It makes your final product that much better for your audience; better still, it makes you look better to that audience. To improve your odds in product or content marketing, your ‘secret sauce’ is a functional, repeatable video advertising strategy.

Which Recipe is Best For You?

There are several different platforms that can assist you with a formal video advertising campaign, but the giants of these for the last few years (as well as the foreseeable future) have been Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Any/all of these are viable platforms on which to launch a video advertising campaign, but there are different audiences, reaches, and types of campaigns that are more effective for each. There are many factors that ought to be considered when planning a video advertising campaign, but for the sake of choosing between these three platforms, your campaign’s audience, your budget, and your expected duration are the deciding factors that should dictate which platform might be best for you.

YouTube is the world’s leading video platform and the world’s second largest search engine, so it makes sense that this platform has the widest reach of any video platform in the world. There are several types of YouTube ads, but in the context of a video advertising campaign, there is only one type of ad that should concern you: Trueview Ads.  These are ads that you only pay for if your target audience clicks on them. You can target your audience with very specific identifiers such as age, gender, interests, income level, and geographical location. Keep in mind, YouTube only presents the user with the option to interact after the first five seconds of video; so, if your content is not interesting enough to hold the user’s attention by that point, he or she will be to skip past to the next video and to leave your content behind. Using TrueView, you will not be charged for ads that aren’t seen, which allows you the financial bandwidth to review and adjust without investing substantial money.

Facebook also allows you to target your video ad audience precisely, perhaps even more precisely than YouTube’s TrueView. Facebook allows you to laser-focus your audience. Whereas TrueView ads might allow you to target audiences that like ‘restaurants’, Facebook ads will allow you to target audiences that ‘like the Chicken Madeira at the Cheesecake Factory at its Towson, MD location’ and market directly to that incredibly specific audience. The shortcomings of this advertising platform, in comparison to the earlier discussed ‘TrueView’ platform, are the cost and the reach. On the one hand, the targeting of the advertising is so precise that you can’t possibly miss. On the other, there’s no such thing as free advertising in this realm, and if your target audience doesn’t use facebook, this platform does nothing for you. In this scenario, your audience and your budget will determine whether or not Facebook is your ace in the hole. 

Lastly, we turn to LinkedIn, a new challenger in the video advertising market which has really shown some promise in the last year alone. LinkedIn’s audience type exists natively in the platform; while you can target your specific audience type by job position or interest, you always have a certain level of assurance that you are reaching out to professionals on the professional network. But LinkedIn’s ad process also comes with something of a twist. After selecting a post to promote on LinkedIn as an ad, you will then find yourself placing a bid for your ad’s placement. As a desirable place to market B2B content, LinkedIn has taken a page from Google Adwords’ book and formulated a system of bidding for ads in more favorable locations on a page. If your budget can take the suggested bids for the market you’re looking to sell in, then LinkedIn is an excellent audience for your B2B content.

Don’t Forget to Do a Taste Test!

Now you may begin to see your digital marketing ‘secret sauce’ take shape. Once you have taken the time to figure out which platform best fits your budget, your audience and your intended campaign duration, filling out the input fields for your preferred platform accordingly should be fairly straightforward. But launching your campaign is not a one-touch solution to all your problems! The most important part of running an advertising campaign is measuring the analytics and the effectiveness of your first attempt, revising/tweaking the campaign to enhance it or make it even more targeted, and then re-launching it to see how your adjustments affect the second attempt. Make small investments of money until you feel that your campaign is reaching exactly the audience you’re looking to reach with it; then, and only then, can you begin to put larger amounts of money into play, and launch your campaign into high gear.

Contents Will Be Hot!

This is your ‘secret sauce’ revealed to you; the repeatable list of settings that you can use over and over again to reach your existing audience with new video offers, new video developments and new video content. What’s more, using this method you can enable your audience to grow and change, and to become, ultimately, more qualified. Continue to measure your video advertising campaign as you add new content to it, and identify any tweaks that need to be made to improve the campaign as it runs. And, if it didn’t go without saying, focus on making quality video content. If you need help with that, I know of some qualified individuals who might be able to lend a hand….(hint: it’s us!) visit to learn more!

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