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The best way to get people to watch your videos

If you’ve gone to the effort and expense of making some informative company videos, it’s worth thinking about advertising them on YouTube. Like Google search advertising, YouTube advertising is pay per action, and it’s probably better described as ‘buying views’ than old-school speculative promotion.

Now, YouTube advertising is getting some bad press at the moment as rival media (newspapers and other websites) sense a weakness and have moved in to attack it. But if you manage things sensibly, you won’t go near any of the problem areas. The advertisers who are worried about where their ads have been showing are ones who’ve not been in control of their advertising, usually because of poor agency management. I’ll talk about this tomorrow.

Ways of advertising on YouTube

There are several different ways to advertise your video on YouTube. In each case, you’re only charged if somebody watches the video for 30 seconds, which is why it’s truly ‘no win, no fee’ advertising.

You can show your video before the one which the viewer wants, but for B2B ads I think that’s slightly irritating, and most people will hit ‘Skip Ad’ at the first opportunity. Another option is to have a pop-up ad overlaying the video the viewer is watching, but that can get a lot of ‘accidental’ clicks and also be irritating.

My favourite option is a third way, and the least glamorous: having your video appear at the top of the search results within YouTube, or at the top of the ‘Up Next’ list to the right of the main video. Anyone who clicks these definitely wants to see your video, so you never run the risk of annoying them.

With this method, the key is a great headline, as you have only 3-4 words. We’re finding that you can often buy views of your video between 10p and 50p a time, which is tremendous value if your video has a compelling offer. Buying views of a video through print advertising, mailshots or even online search advertising could easily cost 100 times as much.

YouTube advertising is controlled through AdWords, and we’re quite happy to set this up for our clients without charge.