There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. 5.1 billion of them own a cell phone, but only 4.3 billion own a toothbrush. – Mobile Marketing Association
What does that factoid highlight about the human race? Well, clearly we don’t focus enough on dental hygiene, but it also highlights just how reliant our society has become on technology.
With the decline of the traditional print media, companies are seeking new ways to promote their product/brand, particularly online via search engines like Google and YouTube (which is owned by Google). How best to reach audiences via search engine marketing was the focus of a recent presentation by Carl Damerow, a senior sales representative for Google. Damerow spoke at a recent American Marketing Association Madison Chapter event. He shared some sharp insights about advertising via YouTube and Google’s AdWords service.
Damerow’s presentation, “Getting Down to Business: Sell stuff. Get users/clients. Track. Repeat,” explains how companies are using AdWords to bid for ad placement on search keywords and strands. The more money a company bids per user click, the better placement the ad receives on the search page, beginning with the Top 2 slots above search results, and then positions three through 11 on the sidebar. The service operates under a CPC (Cost-per-click) model, which means the advertiser pays every time a user clicks the company’s ad.
This system presents an interesting quandary for businesses.
Generic web searches can reach a larger audience, but competition for screen space is fiercer, and achieving optimal placement is thus more expensive. To save money, companies can bid on more specific search strands where there is less competition at the cost of reaching fewer viewers.
Most bidding rates for searches are less than $1 per click, but Damerow said the most expensive ad space involves attorneys who specialize in cases involving mesothelioma. Damerow said attorneys pay up to $99 per click given the lucrative field to which they participate.
A good service to use for learning the popularity of search terms and keywords is Google Trends, which provides the search history of the past eight years.
The actual text of the ad, Damerow says, is the company’s chance to attract customers and set realistic expectations as to what they will find when they click. For companies selling a product, Damerow recommends placing prices within the ad, a tactic that attracts more customers and helps avoid sticker shock to secure the sale.
Damerow provides more AdWords tips and tricks here.
According to Damerow, it costs $600,000 to display an ad for 24 hours on the front page of YouTube.com.
While most companies lack the budget to pay for that kind of exposure – Damerow said the space typically is sold only to corporate giants like Nike, or to motion picture production companies advertising a major film – there are other options to promote a company/brand via YouTube.
When searching for a video on YouTube, you will notice ad space similar to Google’s – two slots reserved above normal search results for advertisers. But Google also allows ads to appear ahead of YouTube videos whose owners have approved this placement.
A fact that might surprise some is that YouTube commercial space sometimes can be free. Damerow said that if a user clicks “Skip Ad” during the commercial within 30 seconds, the company is not charged for the view. While a partial view might not achieve the ultimate desired effect, viewing a video for even 5 or 10 seconds can leave an impression on a user.
If commercials are not a realistic option, and if company leaders are not interested in paying for YouTube ad space, the next and most cost-effective way to promote is simply creating an account and posting content.
While some might be hesitant to jump into the YouTube space when lacking dollars to create professional content, the quality of each video does NOT have to be high. Damerow stressed, and I agree, that any video on YouTube is better than none. A recording of the CEO sitting in a quiet room talking about his/her company for 90 seconds, for example, can have the positive effect of personalizing the company and its products or services.