Inspire, Entertain, Educate… Ingredients To YouTube Advertising

Inspiration comes in many forms. Why is it when we find something that inspires us we want to share it with our closest friends? It’s a natural reaction. It’s an “I care about you; you need to see this” moment which is magical and lucrative for marketers. These types of experiences are happening daily on YouTube and shared across the many social platforms that allow. These experiences are gold for the original user, the user the video was sent to, but more importantly the advertiser if a part of the journey of this inspirational video. As human beings we enjoy stories, they make up who we are and how we communicate with our closest friends and family. When you think about your brand how do you inspire your current and future customers? Inspiration is a real tool for marketers today and should integrate into marketing campaigns on an ongoing basis. More importantly, a video is the best way to relay an inspirational message, testable on YouTube where inspirational experiences are happening every minute of daily; we can’t find a better opportunity to reach a relevant audience ripe for an inspirational experience.


Entertainment is nothing unfamiliar to us when it comes to consuming content in our free time. Most people can’t remember a time without a television and thus was our introduction to the first form of video mass media. Having this television experience we have a history and understanding of the relationship between user, content, and advertiser however with the introduction of the internet, the environment has gone through an innovative change. Nonetheless, entertainment is still a large chunk of consumers daily activity, and with consumption fragmentation and a plethora of choice, users are fundamentally harder to engage for longer periods of time. YouTube being the leader in online video and search layered with a unique data and audience capabilities watching the competition play catch up. YouTube has made the necessary changes to the algorithm, user experience, and video product to increase watch time and keep users on the platform while providing advertisers with marketing tools and audience capabilities that can’t be accessed anywhere else.


Entertaining ads do what they were built for and allow a user to laugh, think, cry, or provide another emotional response. Obtaining this type of engagement is evaluated by the advertiser through longer watch time, click, and conversion which is important when testing, optimizing and improving performance. Entertaining the user is so important at the beginning of the video when advertising on the TrueView platform with the 5-second skip area. We call this the hook. How do we hook users in and usually we have entertainment, emotional, inspirational play to draw our target audience into the piece. Testing the entertainment value of a video is also important as there are so many factors that could increase or decrease engagement and performance within the creative but most important of those factors are the overall feel or mood of a spot. Testing different attitudes, versions, or creative would be my best recommendation precisely as it aligns with entertainment and the hook portion of the video creative.


Education could be the most underutilized opportunity for advertisers on the YouTube platform. We never want to admit we don’t know how to do something and what better way to learn something than from someone you don’t know and the person teaching never knows they taught you. You become a view, and that creates a sense of comfort and secrecy that somehow ironically turns into an expertise when passing the knowledge on in-person or in a completed task. As advertisers, we have to be mindful of the user, and their everyday wants. We must not interrupt unless we can provide some opportunity to add value in a positive way. The education area of creative also lends itself to micro-moments and being top of mind when a problem occurs that needs an immediate answer.


Having managed more AdWords video campaigns than I would like to say, I haven’t found the better performing ads not contain at least of one the three (educational, entertainment, inspirational) key ingredients for video on YouTube. The mistake traditional advertisers always make is putting their TV ad on YouTube and expecting performance to be astronomically different from TV. First, these aren’t apple to apples comparisons, and you can’t click on a TV spot. Moreover, when you transition spots from TV or YouTube, you can expect TV response and more detrimental is the decrease in brand loyalty and purchase intent. Consumers are not idiots. To have the most impact on YouTube, advertisers must build for the platform taking into account the TrueView model while maximizing long form.

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