How Custom Intent Audiences Can Boost YouTube Marketing

How Custom Intent Audiences Can Boost YouTube Marketing

Making your YouTube ads more visible to your target audience is vital for promotions, but can be a challenge. One tool you can use here is custom intent audiences. Let’s find out what they are and how you can take advantage of them.

What are custom intent audiences

Custom intent audiences are a newer targeting option provided by Google AdWords. It works by showing your YouTube video ads to people who have used your selected keywords to search for similar products. According to Google, the option lets you go beyond pre-determined audience segments and go after people who are actively looking for products like yours.

The option also lets you take advantage of the growing trend of consumers using both regular searches and video to learn about products. In fact, 80% of buyers frequently switch back and forth between the two when doing their research. This video demonstrates how easy it is to create custom intent audiences for this purpose.

The ad targeting option works similarly to traditional search-based campaigns. This lets you apply the same strategies used for such campaigns, like:

  • Choosing the right keywords: You can use custom intent audiences to further take advantage of successful keyword lists that you already have for search campaigns.
  • Segmenting your audience traffic: Using a simple but definite segmentation strategy makes it easier to see the differences in your ads’ performance. Making one ad group for your brand and another for generic product searchers is a good start.
  • Track your conversions: Custom intent audiences are designed to generate direct responses. This means you need to diligently track the actual conversions you get from them.
  • Set up the right bids: Tracking the conversions you get from these audiences helps you not only choose the mode of ad bidding, but also decide how aggressive you can bid.

Following these tactics will make it easier to set up a custom intent audience-based campaign and integrate it with an ongoing search campaign.

Custom Intent Audiences’ unique attributes

Despite the similarity to search campaigns, video ad campaigns targeting custom intent audiences have unique attributes you should know. One of these is that they are not dependent on whether people clicked or engaged with your ad. Your audience lists are instead built based on your target audience’s original search efforts.

This makes custom intent audiences useful for retargeting audiences that did not respond to your initial search ads. Custom intent audiences can also help you capture new audiences, as they will even target audiences who use search terms semantically similar to the ones you assigned.

Another unique thing about custom intent audiences is that they work better with larger ad groups. This is because bigger groups provide the algorithm with more data to refine your targeting. You would also want to try using a larger number of keywords to better capture all the possible audiences for your video ads.

Different ad formats

Custom intent audiences will effectively work for different ad formats, but the ones that you should consider are:

These ad formats can be used for different marketing objectives, giving custom intent audiences greater versatility.

Using custom intent audiences for YouTube ad targeting can take some time to get used to. Once you become familiar with it, this option will give you greater flexibility in how you target and engage potential customers. Explore and learn how you can effectively incorporate it into your greater ad campaign.

YouTube’s Top Channels For February Show Interesting Trends

The top YouTube channels for February are showing some interesting trends that video marketers will want to take note of. The strategies used by these top channels can help inform your own strategies so that you’re prepared to do what works now, not what used to work!

YouTube's Top Channels For February Show Interesting Trends

India on the rise

According to the data provided by video analytics firm Tubular Insights, the top ten channels attracted a total of 13 billion views. Those in the top four spots got at least a billion views each. These channels are:

  1. T-Series: 2.8 billion views
  2. Cocomelon-Nursery Rhymes: 2.6 billion views
  3. SET India: 1.4 billion views
  4. Vlad and Nikita: 1.2 billion views
  5. Like Nastya Vlog: 973 million views
  6. Kids Diana Show: 953 million views
  7. Badabun: 863 million views
  8. ZEE TV: 846 million views
  9. SAB TV: 796 million views
  10. ABS CBN: 775 million views

Tubular Insights’ data covered only those channels that primarily produce original content. The company noted that the top ten list didn’t change much from its January rankings, with only a few movements.

One of the interesting insights seen from the top ten channels is the rise of India-based video creators. The most viewed channel, T-Series, is run by the country’s largest music label. In fact, it is the most watched channel since 2018, attracting two billion views every month. The channel’s most popular video is this fun music video, which has gained 706 million views.

The three other Indian channels included in the top ten are SET India, Zee TV, and SAB TV. Like T-Series, these three channels are owned by major media outfits.

Tubular Insights said that the trend continued as you looked further down the top 100 rankings. Some of the most prominent inclusions were:

  • Goldmine Telefilms: #46
  • IndiaTV: #57
  • Aaj Tak: #69
  • Khandeshi Movies: #71

The analytics firm noted that many of these channels experienced a major increase in their rankings, moving up at least a hundred places. It explained that the boom could be attributed to the fact that India has the second largest number of Internet users, behind China, and they’re finally getting decent enough connections to watch YouTube videos.

Music engages viewers the most

Another trend Tubular Insights observed in its February data is the large amount of engagement that musical acts are getting. This might not come as a surprise, considering that the T-Series channel itself is tied to a record label while many of the other channels in the top ten produce their own music-related videos.

The trend is more prominent with individual artist channels. Some of the acts that experienced an increase in engagement rates during the study’s 30-day period are:

  • Ariana Grande: 2.9x increase over the average YouTube engagement rate
  • Marshmello: 3.2x the average rate
  • 1theK: 3.2x the average rate
  • BLACKPINK: 3.4x the average rate

The company added that K-pop is one of the regional genres that experienced significant growth in 2018. During this period, Korean acts like BTS and BLACKPINK have steadily penetrated the global scene, attracting audiences from different countries.

Taking advantage of these trends

Of the two trends Tubular Insights highlighted, the first one is more region-centric. This means that India-based video creators, or those that already have global reach, are in the best position to take advantage of it. That shouldn’t stop you from creating content that might be to the liking of Indian viewers. Study their preferences, and see how you can apply them to your videos. This will give you the opportunity to capture your first overseas audience.

Meanwhile, the increased engagement that musical content and artists are getting opens plenty of opportunities for marketers from different industries. Explore how you can include more music-related elements into your YouTube content. Collaborating with popular acts will also help increase your brand visibility, like this one that e-commerce site Shopee did with BLACKPINK.

The two trends highlighted by Tubular Insights’ February data illustrates the continuously changing preferences of YouTube’s global audience. Get this full report, and study it to know how you can ride the trends and get more viewer engagement on your videos.

Will the Story Format Work on YouTube?

In 2013, Snapchat introduced a new way to share one’s moments to the world. It was called Snapchat Stories. This “story format” became so popular that other social media sites made their own versions. In 2016, we got Instagram Stories. Then, in 2017, WhatsApp Statuses, Facebook Stories, and Skype Highlights were born.

Later in 2017, YouTube joined the story format bandwagon; the video-sharing website released YouTube Reels. However, critics and naysayers have questioned this move. To them, Reels represented YouTube’s cheap attempt to mimic Snapchat and Instagram’s success.

What is story format?

In a nutshell, the story format is a narrative collection of short posts, photos, or videos. The stories are viewed in sequence, either through a programmed delay or by manually moving to the next one.

Why did the story format become such a hit? Popular with young users, stories let people share life moments in snippets. The stories are short—they don’t exceed 30 seconds, and they only stay online for 24 hours. While stories expire after a day, it’s enough time for posters to preserve moments they deem worthy of being shared and for their friends to check the stories multiple times.

YouTube Reels

YouTube Reels signaled YouTube’s foray into the story format. In 2017, the Reels were initially launched on a limited release. They feature brief, rough videos of up to 30 seconds long. Like in Snapchat and Instagram, users can put stickers, filters, and music.

YouTube Reels’ advantages

However, unlike that of other platforms where the story appears on top of the app, Reels are viewed in a separate tab, making Reels less obtrusive. Also, users have the choice to view (or not to view) Reels of other users. Moreover, a Reel lasts more than 24 hours, a welcome feature for posters who want extended exposure for their stories.

YouTube Reels’ disadvantages

YouTube Reels suffer several drawbacks.

  1. The Reels have a flawed design where users can only comment with images and short videos. Not only does this feature reduces engagement, but it’s also inconvenient for users. Moreover, there are no options to swipe up or do video linking.
  2. As YouTube narrowed down Reels to content creators with at least 10,00 subscribers, YouTube missed the opportunity to boost Reels’ popularity. This is unlike other platforms who have their story formats available for general users. While acquiring 10,000 subscribers isn’t that hard, new users and small channels will have a hard time making their presence on a site as crowded as YouTube.
  3. Lastly, since YouTube has higher production values than other sites, expect content creators to have a slow upload on their stories.

At best, Reels is just a filler for YouTubers to engage followers between uploads of standard content. At this time, YouTubers should pay close attention to their analytics and see if they are being helped more by YouTube Reels, or another story format on a different platform when it comes to driving views and engagement.

Is the story format for YouTube?

The story format doesn’t fit with YouTube’s core brand. What really made YouTube so popular is that it has an exemplary collection of video content. That’s the YouTube brand—people go to it either to watch videos or to host their own. Name me one video sharing site that is as prominent as YouTube; probably, you’ll come up with maybe one or two.

Compare that to Instagram who is now ruling the story format space (it has overtaken Snapchat). It’s the go-to platform for light videos, sneak peeks, and never-before-seen footage. It’s successful in achieving the core purpose of the story format, that is, to engage and connect with users.

So for YouTube to try to compete with Instagram in the story format arena, it looks like the move is a big gamble. Though feasible, short-form videos are not what drives people to go to YouTube. Whether YouTube decides to move forward with the story format (through YouTube Reels) or to focus efforts on its core brand remains to be seen.

Facebook expands ad breaks while YouTube has new ad extension

Facebook expands ad breaks while YouTube has new ad extensionIn this digital age, change is constant. That is why it is not surprising to find out that social media giants such as Facebook and YouTube are upgrading and expanding some of its features. And advertisers are the ones that will be affected by these new features.

Here are some of the upgrades that you need to know from these two social media giants.

Facebook Ad Break Expansion

Facebook continues to dominate when it comes to ads. Over the years, it has improved its ad system to better help marketers find their customers as well as for customers to only see ads that they want to see. Facebook’s technique and strategy proved to be effective as many brands and services continue to use Facebook advertising as one of their digital marketing strategies.

But despite the good things about Facebook’s ad system, there is still a lot to improve. And Facebook itself knows that. That is why it keeps on testing new features to better serve marketers. One of the features that they have been testing out is their Facebook Ad Breaks on videos.

Facebook has been encouraging advertisers to focus more on producing ad videos. This is because videos are more visual and engaging as compared to 2D images and other graphics and plain text content. Aside from that, videos are easy to consume. In just one click on the video, you get to see everything.

Facebook ad break is a good way to encourage advertisers and even Facebook users to produce more videos for the platform because Ad break is the process of earning money from videos. Videos will play and a break from the video will occur to give way to a short ad. Ad breaks are automatically added to Facebook videos you recently uploaded.

Facebook ad break is only available in certain countries. And now that they see its effectiveness, Facebook decided to open it to other countries. Now, Facebook added 14 more countries that will benefit from the ad break.

These 14 countries are Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

The History of Facebook Ad Breaks

You will be surprised that Facebook has over 75 million daily watch visitors. With this engagement, it is only right to use this opportunity for advertisement. People are watching so you need to use this to promote brands and services. That is why Facebook decided to test ad breaks in February of 2017.

Then, they expanded, and in August of that same year, they tried testing it on Facebook pages. However, not all Facebook pages get to experience ad break. Only Facebook pages with over 10,000 followers and that have generated over 30,000 one-minute video view. This is reasonable since some Facebook pages do not have videos that Facebook can put an ad break on.

Also, the ad break was only available in five countries before. The first five countries to experience ad break are the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia.

Then, to be able to gauge its effectivity, they introduced ad break to more countries in different continents such as in Europe, Central and South America, and Asia. There were 21 countries in these continents that get to experience ad break that happened in September 2017. And now, Facebook decided to open it to more countries.

Why do you need to care about this? If you are an advertiser, it is a clear indication that Facebook wants advertisers to produce more videos.

YouTube: Ditching Call-to-Action Overlays

YouTube is still the king when it comes to videos. It’s also one of the social media giants that get tons of advertisements just by putting ads on most watched videos. But YouTube is not just about putting ad videos at the start of the video. It also has other ways for advertisers to market their product.

One of the traditional promotional strategies of YouTube is the call-to-action overlays that have been with the platform since 2009. These calls-to-action overlays pop in the corner of every YouTube video. While people are watching they can see these overlays and they can click it to see the website or the product being promoted.

And now, YouTube is ditching this ad feature and replacing it with a more engaging and clickable ad feature.

You won’t see any overlay on YouTube videos now, but instead, you will see a solid ad banner below the video with a call-to-action button. The new ad feature contains a logo, a title, a subtitle, and a call-to-action button. Advertisers can be creative in thinking of the best call-to-action button, to ensure that viewers will check out their website or their products.

However, this new ad extension will only be available for the TrueView in-stream ads. YouTube will soon apply it on bumper ads and discover ads.

This new ad extension is a good opportunity for advertisers and marketers. Because this new ad extension is said to have a higher conversion click.

This change may be a minor one and won’t really affect your overall YouTube or digital marketing strategy. However, this change can be a way to more upgrades and features when it comes to the advertising system of YouTube. And YouTube users and creators should watch out for more upgrades on the platform.

These are just some of the minor social media changes that you need to know. Whether you are a user. an advertiser,  or marketer, these new features and upgrades, minor or not, can affect your overall digital marketing strategy. That is why it is only right to check your digital marketing strategy every now and then to see if it will be affected by the new changes from these social media. Also, whether you like to use it or not, it is not up to us. Rather, Facebook and YouTube have the power to change their platform whenever they want and however they deemed it to be.

So if you are a marketer, better to watch out for these social media updates to make necessary changes to your digital marketing strategy or your social media plan.


YouTube End Screens: Why Your Business Needs This Tool

You may have recently seen some videos on YouTube having end screens. A relatively new feature of the online video sharing platform, end screens include links to other YouTube videos and even external websites.

For some, end screens seem like a small thing. After all, for a few years, platform users used the annotations feature to put in links, and of course, you can to put in a link to sites in the video’s description.

But taken from a larger perspective especially for businesses and marketers, end screens pose several benefits compared with these older tools. When they are properly used, end screens can be a digital marketer’s best friend.

YouTube End Screens: Why Your Business Needs This Tool

Why End Screens May Be Good for Your Business

For a while now, YouTube has been experimenting with how to make videos on their platform more interactive. At first, YouTube tried annotations, a good tool if the user was using a computer. However, the tool was completely useless to those who watch videos using their mobile phones. YouTube then moved to cards. Sure, they were mobile friendly, although they were still intrusive. After all, when you watch a video on YouTube, do you actually want a link to interrupt your viewing time? Some users might be forgiving if they see cards as more of an annoying tool more than anything.

Consider end screens as the next logical step in YouTube’s experiments, and if you are basing it on the limited use of the tool, end screens seem to be an exciting one. The tool makes YouTube videos more interactive and engaging without sacrificing a clean viewing experience. It’s a great way for businesses to improve their YouTube presence and brand reinforcement.

End screens perfectly work on devices people currently use: computer, smartphone, tablet, or whatever is a hot communication item these days. End screens also give content creators greater control and flexibility over what viewers on YouTube do after they have done watching. Inserting an end screen on a YouTube video would give viewers a rather limited choice after they have finished watching, thus essentially helping them in a direction that is favorable to your product or service. For instance, if you maintain an online shop, you might want to include the link of your website or social media page. You can also link to the website page of a particular product or service featured in your video.

In short, end screens can keep your YouTube channel as well as your brand sticky. With end screens, products and services can keep the viewer engaged with them and them alone for a certain period of time. If you optimize your YouTube channel properly, this could drastically increase your conversion.

A top reason why brands and publishers should begin using end screens is primarily due to the fact that the tool is mobile-friendly, which is particularly useful for your business given that half of YouTube users now check out the platform from mobile.

End Screens are also beneficial in improving watch times across the YouTube channel of your business, thus increasing the possibility of all your videos getting more attention. Since YouTube uses and is guided by the watch time metric, it determines which content target audiences deem worth their time. The platform, using this algorithm, promotes that content in search results and video suggestions of YouTube users. If brands produce quality videos that can convince users to watch more videos with the help of compelling end screens, products and services may see higher retention and watch time. Thus, brands and publishers may want to produce at least one end screen each video that points viewers to another, relatively relevant video or content on their channels. After some time, this tactic should boost overall watch time metrics as well as more content organically promoted with the help of YouTube’s video algorithm.

Brands and publishers can use the tool to get concrete actions from YouTube users. One instance is by promoting products and services via video (which is crucial since the online video sharing platform is routinely a top go-to source for consumers who are looking for more information and reviews before buying products and services).

Promoting products and services is not the only method or manner brands and publishers can get from end screens that would result in better actions from audiences. The tool can also be utilized to encourage YouTube viewers to visit the website of a brand for more information or subscribe to a channel. It ultimately depends on individual brands and marketers to select how to create and implement their end screens as specialized call-to-actions, according to their objectives for a particular video, a bigger campaign, or a long-term marketing strategy. However, although call-to-actions are crucial for businesses, brands and publishers should likewise pay close attention to the reaction of viewers if you placed so many end screens asking them to do this or that.

Creating Your Own End Screens

It is easy to create specialized end screens for your products and services. In the platform’s video manager, you can go to the video you want to edit, and choose End Screens & Annotations. You can get a frame or clip from the video’s last 20 seconds, apply a template, or even import a new one that can serve as your background. From there, you can provide as many as four links to other videos as well as external sites, which may include online storefronts. You can tell your viewers to go and subscribe to your YouTube channel. End screens are not only a good way of boosting driving traffic to your videos, but they can also bring more customers and potential leads right to your online shop.

The best part of the tool is its drag-and-drop functionality. There is no need for any additional video editing or complicated coding skills in order for you to produce an end screen that wows viewers and will direct them to the videos or links you want. Although you may want to spend a little more time checking out the links you want to provide in the end screens and the layout itself, the actual work you need to make an end screen is relatively minimal.

Key Strategies for Successful YouTube Advertising

YouTube is the king of rich media. It’s the video God to which we are slaves, consuming 5 billion videos a day on the platform! YouTube IS video for the internet and has been since 2005. The reason it’s so popular is because people love videos and rich media. It’s also why more people buy YouTube views than ever before. If you’re not currently including video as part of your marketing strategy, you’re going to get left behind, fast!

However, most marketers are now aware of this and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the competition. Big brands shoot ads not just for TV anymore but also, professionally produce advertisements just for YouTube alone as part of their marketing. This is why advertising spend is necessary to put your brand in front of the right audience. So, how do you go about advertising your brand on YouTube, and where do you even start? The YouTube advertising landscape is confusing with lots of different options. Here’s some key tips for successful YouTube advertising.


Native, Quality Content

There is a LOT of video on the internet and, with so much content, it’s easy to just scroll on past, or skip video ads. Therefore, you need to produce high quality, engaging videos that feel native. That is, videos that don’t feel like ads. Native content is simply content that doesn’t annoy, detract or even disturb the viewer. It could be a heartfelt story, a comedy sketch, or something entertaining that people want to watch. Think of the super bowl ads which have now become almost as big as the game itself! They deliver a message and promote a brand but they’re also highly entertaining in their own right. For ideas, check out the 10 most viewed YouTube videos of 2016.

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Remember that Sunday morning you were on Amazon, searching for that perfect camping tent for a weekend getaway? Remember how, after that, you kept seeing ads for camping tent on every site and social platform you went to, as if it was haunting you! This is no coincidence. It’s called re-marketing. That is, targeting people who have already shown an interest in your site or clicked a call to action. The audience has already expressed interest which dramatically increases your chances of conversion. Re-marketing is easy to setup, so after preparation you can just sit back and watch the results come in!


Target Your Audience

Like any advertising, the better you narrow your potential audience, the better your chances of converting them. You don’t want to waste time paying for clicks or YouTube views from disengaged people who will never be interested in your brand. Instead target your advertising to specific interests and/or locations. For example, if you’re offering guitar lessons in Manhattan, there’s no point having your ads displaying to someone watching a fishing video in Florida. Instead, target people in your desired location interested in guitar, music tutorials and more.

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Choose Your Ad Format

The options for ad formats on YouTube are extensive and can be confusing. The best first step is to check out their help page and match your objective with the best option available. At first, be sure to experiment with different ad formats and work out which one works best for your needs. If you’re just looking to raise brand awareness, then you’d be best running an entertaining video ad. Whereas if you’re looking to just generate leads by pushing viewers to a landing page then a sponsored card would be the way to go.


Separate Your Ad Types Into Different Campaigns

In-stream ads, that is ads that show during a video perform differently to discovery ads, that is ads that appear as ‘sponsored’ search results when a user searches for a video. In-stream is great for brand awareness, whereas discovery can be effective in getting clicks and building your subscriber audience. Because both ad types behave differently, it’s important to set them up as different campaigns. That way you can easily tweak and make changes on each ad type depending on how they perform.

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Make Your Ads Interactive

You can add interactive links to your ads, like a popup window pushing people directly to a shopping cart or to sign up to your website. Using these specific call to actions is more effective than just a general link to your website as it makes it that little bit easier for a user to reach the relevant part of your site and seamlessly continue their journey with your brand. You can customize these screens to appear when you want them to and to push the viewer to a landing page, download, or shopping cart… easy!


Optimize For Mobile

Rich media and video used to only be a thing for fast, stable internet connections on a desktop. However now, almost every few feeds on Facebook or Twitter feature video. When people are bored, say waiting for a bus, they pull out their device and browse social media. There is a massive audience out there that predominantly views video on their smart devices as opposed to a PC. So, when you’re choosing your ad type, make sure you choose one that’s optimized for mobile and don’t miss out on potential customers on their smartphones.

YouTube can be incredibly powerful in promoting your brand. With so many options and ad types available, it really does cater to whatever your objective is and allows you control over how and when your ad gets displayed. However, exposure is only part of it. Exposure is only great if it’s backed by quality, native content that’s engaging. So, use YouTube to your advantage but do so in a way that your ads don’t feel like ads and your viewers are entertained by your message. Be creative with your rich media marketing, stand out from the crowd and watch your audience grow.

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So, today, we’re going to give you the top reasons why you should collaborate on YouTube and how you can make your first collaboration happen.

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