4 Tips for YouTube Advertising During COVID-19

As COVID-19 hit South Africa, brands have shifted their approach marketing to potential customers. Many accounts have seen a decline in conversions because it may not be the best time for individuals or companies to purchase a specific product or service. That being said, brands should still marketing with the future in mind. People may not be ready to buy from right now, but changing your approach so that when this is all over, they will consider your brand first?

Video campaigns in Google Ads can be a cost-effective way to maintain branding if your budget has been reduced, especially with YouTube traffic increasing during the pandemic. Here, we are going to discuss four tips for YouTube advertising during COVID-19:

  1. Try longer videos for YouTube ads
  2. Build new customer audiences
  3. Lighten up your CTA
  4. Make sure your video content is quality

1. Try out longer videos for YouTube ads

Not every ad on YouTube has to be the TV commercial style of ad.  You do not need to have a 30-second video to run successful video campaigns on YouTube. People go to YouTube to watch videos, and you can use your longer video content and possibly avoid having to create new videos. This is where TrueView discovery ads can really help. 

YouTube is still a search engine. The second-largest search engine after Google to be exact. So users can still use YouTube to try and find answers and solutions to any questions or problems they may be having. Advertisers who want their content to be at the top of the YouTube search results can run TrueView discovery ads to try and get their video as the top spot.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak has led to lockdown across the SA, there has been a surge of people in the country looking to make their own banana bread. If you sell a bananas or any products related to making banana bread, you may want to run some ads to anyone interested in this recent trend. Even if you have video content ready to go, it may be hard to get a ton of immediate, organic exposure for your videos if dozens of other videos are already out there with the same demo. Discovery ads can help push that exposure and build your brand. 

They key to longer format YouTube content, is to make sure it’s Entertaining, Informative or Emotional.  If you are unable to push sales right now, create content that keeps your brand front-of-mind during this time without pushing product or services.

2. Build new custom intent audiences

If you still want to widen your reach beyond the YouTube search results, you can still use audiences to target your TrueView in-stream and discovery ads. And for YouTube advertising, it does not get any better than custom intent audiences. For YouTube ads, we can create audiences based off of search terms people have typed into Google. The keywords will be broad match related, but it will show a level of intent.

YouTube advertising during COVID-19 customer intent audience example

 Instead of trying to push the bread maker, I’d try to get in front of users first starting to show interest in making bread. Then get in front of those viewers with ads (in-stream or discovery) with content on recipe ideas or tips for beginners. This will help build brand equity and keep your brand in mind when they are ready to make the purchase decision.

3. Lighten up your CTA 

Now, it is important to remember the reason viewers are on YouTube. Most likely the viewer did not go to YouTube to sign up for your demo or buy your product. We can assume most people go to YouTube, especially during recent current events, to be entertained. Personally, I have been going to YouTube to take my mind off of things and relax a bit. So if we’re assuming people are going to YouTube for casual reasons, maybe back off on the hard-ask for awhile.

It is probably not the best time to push your “Buy Now” CTAs unless you are selling an essential item that is in demand. But if you are using YouTube ads to build brand awareness while sales are down, hook them in with softer commitments. This can help build more engagement and potentially drive more traffic if the user feels they do not have to commit to anything. Here are some examples of some softer call-to-action extensions you can test in your campaigns.

  • Learn More
  • Watch More
  • See More
  • View More
  • Read More
  • Free Tips
  • Get Help
  • We’ll Help
  • Visit Site
  • Stay Safe

If you are using YouTube for top-of-funnel awareness right now, focus on getting a viewer’s attention and try and avoid coming across as pushy and insensitive in your messaging.


4. Make sure your video content is quality

If you are softening your approach with your targeting, you better have the video content to back up that approach. One excuse I hear a lot is, “We don’t have the means to get new video content.” But video production doesn’t have to be pricey! Many of us have cameras on our phones that can compete on a quality level with many of the videos you see on YouTube.
Pair this up with some inexpensive video editing tools, like Camtasia, and you can create many videos (and several edits for each video). It will also help you learn a new skill!

Reach your audience on YouTube now—convert them later

The world may seem to have turned upside down within the past months, but we can still be level-headed with our marketing strategies.  Your audience may still be there, but the way you need to market to them may have changed.

Your audience may not be ready to buy anything right now, but they may need help. They may need direction. They may need advice. Your brand can be there to be the voice of comfort and possibly the solution to whatever they are looking for at the moment. You may not see immediate sales, but you are building trust with a new group of potential customers that may come back and purchase your product now or possibly later on when we are finally out of all of this. See what your customers need now, and maybe YouTube ads can help position your brand as the go-to source during these times. 

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