Every local business should be taking advantage of YouTube advertising. It allows you to tell a compelling story to consumers using a medium that they love (video), and with billions of monthly users on the platform, you can reach tons of existing customers and new faces alike.

But as we all know, good advertising campaigns don’t just happen. There’s a lot of planning that occurs upfront to ensure you get the most out of your efforts. Be sure to discuss the following elements as you develop your advertising game plan; they are the keys to creating a successful YouTube ad.

Clear, Measurable Goals

Before you get into scriptwriting, storyboarding, filming, and editing, you must start by setting clear and measurable goals for your campaign. Are you trying to reach new consumers or welcome existing customers who have been away back into the fold? Obviously, your objective will influence the type of advertising you wish to use and the messaging you plan to include.

YouTube offers a variety of ad types, and the different styles of video are suited to different goals. Understanding who you’re hoping to speak to is an important first step in narrowing the field of advertising options.

But you must also take it a step further. Define your audience and objective, and then set goals that can be objectively measured. Because YouTube is a part of the Google family, they’ll provide you with tons of detailed analytics on every ad you run. But you want to decide before you start your campaign which numbers matter most to you, and what success looks like for that individual campaign.

Campaign-Specific Messaging

Once you’ve established the goal for your campaign and the type of video ad you’d like to run, you can begin to design your messaging.

How you structure your messaging will, in part, be influenced by the parameters of the ad type you chose. Some YouTube ads are very limited in length; for example, bumper ads can be no longer than six seconds. The way you communicate your point in a six-second video is not the same way you’d approach creating a five-minute video.

The longer videos allow you to embrace more involved storytelling techniques, whereas the six-second videos require you to cut right to your point. And don’t forget that some YouTube videos can be skipped after five seconds. If you’re creating video content consumers might skip, you must ensure that something happens in those first few seconds that draws them into your content and keeps them from jumping past.

A Customized CTA Button

YouTube videos that run either before, in the middle of, or after a viewer’s selected content can include a customized call to action button. If you’ve chosen to create one of these types of videos, it’s critical that you include a compelling CTA that speaks directly to the content of the ad.

This is your opportunity to address viewers who are at a specific point in the customer journey. Perhaps the objective of your campaign was to develop greater brand awareness, and your specific goal was to boost your newsletter signups by three percent. Your video content might provide an overview of your brand and how you work to educate and help your customers. Then, your customized CTA might be an invitation to viewers to register for your newsletter.

A Unique Landing Page

That CTA has got to lead somewhere, and the best place to drive traffic is to a customized landing page on your website. If your CTA simply takes viewers to your homepage, rather than a unique landing page, they might feel confused.

Remember that your viewer has just seen an ad about a specific product, service, or offering, and the CTA featured a unique ask. If clicking then redirects to a generic page on your website, they have to go searching for the information that caught their eye in the video, and suddenly you’ve lost the momentum that drove them there in the first place.

A customized landing page, however, can include information that’s tailored to your CTA. Let’s return to the example above, in which a company wants to increase its newsletter readership.

The CTA button on that video might read “join our mailing list.” From there, rather than directing those who click on the CTA to their homepage, the company can instead drive them to a landing page with a newsletter signup form front and center. This saves consumers from having to scour the site for the information they want, which leads to a bump in desired conversions.

Every element of a successful YouTube video should be informed by the goals and strategy behind the ad itself. If you’re looking for help creating a campaign that’s optimized to reach your desired audience and generate conversions, check out our video marketing solutions.

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