What is Video Pay-Per-Click, Anyway?

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a video must be worth… well, we’re not sure. But one thing we do know is that video is the latest frontier in pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Google AdWords has made it easy not only to have video ads on YouTube and across the web, but also to get some serious ROI. A high level of targeting, plus robust analytics to help further refine your marketing efforts, can work together to help you close more sales.

 Read: 15 Ways Inbound Marketing Creates Lead Generation 

Though there’s streaming video practically everywhere on the web, YouTube is still the king of online video. It’s the third largest site in the world, and it’s actually the second largest search engine, behind Google (sorry, Bing). More than a billion different users visit YouTube (and watch over 6 billion hours of videos) every month. That enormous volume enables advertisers to create quite specific targets and still reach substantial audiences. You can target based on demographics (age and gender), the topic of the viewing content, or the users’ interests.

Another big benefit of video is that it’s automatically cross-platform. You don’t need to create different ads for various devices, or worry that something that looks amazing on a desktop isn’t going to load on a smartphone. YouTube already fully integrates with every kind of device, letting you reach customers wherever they’re using the web. It makes sense: Sure, you sit down and watch video at your desk sometimes, but there are also plenty of occasions where you check out videos on your phone. There are also different places where your business’s ad can appear. The most common is a traditional “pre-roll” ad that comes before a YouTube video, but ads can also show up as an option (where the user chooses the ad experience), in the search bar, or as a display ad on other websites — it’s up to you.

What if someone skips your ad? Simple: you don’t pay for it. What about if they don’t watch more than 25% of the video? Again, no cost for you. Nearly half of all video ads are “abandoned” partway through, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing: The users who do watch your entire ad are much more engaged (and research has found that 52% of viewers of online videos take action based on the content). In a sense, it’s more of a PPP (pay-per-play) campaign than a PPC — the targeted behavior is watching, not clicking. Think of the video as your “pre-landing” page, a multimedia canvas where you have the chance to tell your story — with words, images, and music — to captivate potential clients. There’s still a call to action, but now you can “set the scene” for it. Best of all though, because users do have the option to skip, you’re only paying for folks who have opted in.

You can also choose to follow up with users by having people who have already seen your ad see a different version later, or get a display ad once they’ve viewed your video. This remarketing allows you to sort of give a gentle nudge — “Hey, remember me?” As with regular PPC, robust analytics allow you to understand how people are interacting with your ad and who those people are, so that the campaign can be refined and retuned as needed.

Another new area that Google is moving into — and that works especially well with video campaigns — is affinity marketing. What’s that mean? Instead of only focusing on web users who are searching for your specific product or service, you can expand your reach by showing your campaign to potential customers who are likely to have similar interests. Google monitors this with cookies (bits of tracking code), which can be used to make educated inferences about consumers’ interests. For example, someone who visits websites about health, wellness, and the environment is likely to be interested in hybrid vehicles. Even if that person isn’t searching for a Prius, if Toyota were running this style of campaign, that’s exactly the type of web user who would end up seeing ads for the Prius. It’s almost like giving the web user the idea to do a search (and buy a product or service) before they’ve come up with the idea to make that search on their own.

Ready to move into the world of video? Vital Digital can help you with everything from producing high-quality, engaging video content, to landing pages, to managing all of the nuts and bolts of your campaign. Call us today at 760-670-4845 to learn more.

affinity marketing, ppc, video ads, digital marketing, YouTube ads

Brady Chatfield

An entrepreneur since childhood, Brady has nearly 20 years of experience in digital marketing strategy and tactics. Between 2001 and 2009, he founded, developed and sold two technology companies, and led marketing operations at a third, which grew from 2,000 customers in 2005 to more than 180,000 users today.

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