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YouTube Ads 101: Effective Video Types for Awareness and Conversions

08.July.2021

Did you know that YouTube is the top penetrated social media channel in Hong Kong (86.9%) & Singapore (88.7%)? It is deemed one of the most powerful platforms for businesses looking to capture customers’ attention. With a high penetration rate in Asia, the platform has the capacity and ability to help brands attract new audiences and to establish a loyal following via effective YouTube ads.

There are numerous benefits to advertise on YouTube—from powerful YouTube targeting and customization capabilities to measurability and high effectiveness. It is a platform raved by marketers in Asia due to the results they have seen and attained for their clients. However, what does it mean to run an effective marketing campaign on YouTube to the Asian market?

Essentially, it comes down to your ad creative and ad strategy. Just as with all effective marketing campaigns, two factors determine the success of your YouTube Ads Campaign: a. creating the right content for the audiences in the respective stages of your marketing funnel and, b. rolling out this piece of content to the right audience. To improve the success of your video campaign, you must first understand what the essential viewer actions are and why they are important.

This article will cover the types of videos that you might want to consider exploring, the recommended ad formats to reach your audience at each stage of the marketing funnel, and KPIs to use to measure your campaign’s performance and success.

1. Awareness

This stage of the funnel is critical because buyers are not yet aware of your product or service, and they will not know why yours is better than your competitor’s. They have almost no knowledge of your new product or brand and will not understand why yours is the best choice. Therefore, at this stage of the funnel, it is all about educating the audience about:

  • What your product or service is,
  • What type of problems it solves, and
  • What sets you apart from your competitors.

Here are some ideas of the type of YouTube videos you can create to do that.

a. Educational Videos

Educating prospects and customers through well-thought-out and genuinely great content is a strategy that pays rich dividends. The bitter truth is that customers care more about themselves and not about your products, services, or passion. Therefore, most of your marketing content cannot be about your brand or products alone – it has to be all about how you engage your customers, share their emotions, fulfill their needs, and solve their problems.

This helps create a relationship of trust and builds a lasting connection between the brand and its audience. Customers hate being sold to. By keeping this meaningful fact in mind, more brands will make great strides in creating more effective YouTube ads with meaningful content that educates and entertains.

Example: An educational video from Tesla about energy conservation and sustainability in Kauai, Hawaii.

b. Explainer Videos (101 guides)

Explainer videos are a must-have in the world of social media marketing. They simplify complex concepts, letting viewers better comprehend what a brand’s products and services are and how they operate. An explainer video is a marketing tool that helps your target audience understand who you are, what you do, and your product or service by briefly summarizing your brand’s essential product and offerings.

Example: Changi Luxury Concierge Service

This video explains to the Singaporeans audience how they can enjoy tax-free shopping during this time, from the comfort of their homes. 

c. Short & Impactful Video Ads

Studies conducted in 2020 have shown that the human attention span has fallen from twelve seconds to eight seconds. Therefore, marketers these days are prioritizing short yet impactful content, especially with their ads.

Example: 6-second long ads from Skechers

For example, the above ads from Skechers are only 6 seconds long but highly impactful as it showcases clear branding and product benefits. With the shortened attention span of viewers on social media these days, these short videos, which are suitable especially as unskippable Bumper ads on YouTube, may leave a lasting impression, more than a lengthy ad might.

Here are the ad formats that advertisers most commonly used to reach out to an audience at the Awareness stage of the funnel.


*Note: Masthead ads are the only Ad format on YouTube accessible on a Cost Per Day (CPD) basis. With the recent inclusion of the Cost Per Thousand (CPM) option,  advertisers can now choose who sees their ads based on their desired demographic. This benefits brands that don’t plan to allocate budget to do so on a CPD basis.

2. Consideration

At the consideration stage of the YouTube marketing funnel, a person has clearly defined their problem or opportunity, he/she might be considering between several brands after researching. You will want to focus on specifics that can enhance their confidence to choose your brand, including:

  • How your product/service works
  • Why it works in a particular way, and
  • The alternatives that are available and why they are not the ideal solution

The following are some types of videos that you will want to explore to effectively reach out to the audience that is still at the consideration stage of the funnel.

a. Product Intro Videos

Buyers require informative videos that explain your product and how it works

This introduction to the iPad Pro by Apple is informative as it showcases the product features. It is also captivating by enhancing its features with the style of the video.

b. Tutorials

Tutorials (aka our favorite how-to videos) provide prospects a more in-depth look at what your brand/service has to offer. This type of video is ideal for prospects who are still considering their options and would like to take a closer look at what your product can do for them.

Example: How-to video from Pixelmator

Pixelmator created this video to guide a potential buyer by changing a photo’s background when using their software. The video teaches beginners how to use this particular function of the image-editing software.

Here are the ad formats that advertisers most commonly used to reach out to an audience in the Consideration stage of the funnel.


*Maximize Lift is a YouTube bid optimization tool that helps you increase consideration lift for your TrueView In-Stream campaign. Maximize Lift focuses on presenting your ad to people who are likely to consider your brand or product using machine learning signals.

3. Conversions

In the conversions/decision stage, a person has defined their solution strategy, method, or approach. As we move on to the bottom of your funnel to convert a prospect into a sale, it is critical to concentrate on YouTube content that will aid in the conversion of prospects into buyers. This frequently entails reiterating ideas that your company has shared at the consideration stage of the funnel.

a. Offer Focused Videos

Everyone likes a good deal, and making your offer stand out in your video ad when you are targeting audiences in the conversion stage of the funnel usually gives them a final push in making purchasing decisions with your brand.

This video by Purple clearly shows their offer – a FREE pillow. It also showcases clear branding, which makes it easy for the audience to remember. 

b. Customer Testimonial Videos

According to social proof theory, a person who does not know the appropriate behavior for a particular scenario will copy the actions of others and, therefore, look for guidance for their actions/choices. Using customer testimonial videos at the bottom of your funnel is a great way to inject some social proof into your buyer’s journey. Give specifics and tell a compelling story, especially for consumers who want to be convinced that yours is the best option or solution to their pain points. This students’ testimonial video by Udemy is a great inspiration for effective YouTube ads aiming to drive conversions.

TrueView for action ads are skippable in-stream ads format that drives website actions. Advertisers who want to optimize their video campaign to promote website activities like clicks to site and on-site conversions should use this ad type (leads, referrals, subscriptions, or purchases).

Additional Tips:

Google also offers additional tips to its advertisers for effective YouTube ads. They have developed three fundamental principles for advertisers to bear in mind when creating creative for their platforms, regardless of business purpose, based on their research of various creative aspects and audience behavior on YouTube.

Take the below tips into consideration for your next YouTube ads!

💡 Build for attention:
Use an emerging story arc to hook viewers in an ad’s opening moments
.

Start fast and keep an upbeat pace with unexpected shifts in your story to capture and retain your audience’s attention. Then offer more of the story for those who want it or direct consumers to take an action.

💡 Build for sound on:
95% of video watched on YouTube is played with the
sound on

Leverage the power of audio elements such as music, dialogue, and sound effects, to complement and reinforce what’s happening on-screen.

💡 Build for mobile:
Globally, more than
70% of watch time happens on mobile devices. 

Use tighter framing, faster tempo, large-type supers, brightness, and contrast to ensure that your ad is visible on a small screen.

In the next article, we will share more insights on the top YouTube trends in 2021.

Interested to activate YouTube ads strategy for your business?
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