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The Pros and Cons of Advertising on YouTube

The pros and cons of advertising on YouTube

When was the last time you used YouTube? Perhaps you’ve used its DIY tutorials, to access music, view movie trailers or sports highlights. Or maybe you just really LOVE puppy videos (who doesn’t?). Now consider how much other people have been using YouTube too. It can be tough to keep up with all the possible advertising avenues at your disposal, but YouTube is one option companies today are considering very seriously. Read about some of the pros and cons below:

Pro: Join today’s “advertising platform of choice”

Forbes lays out the facts: YouTube is the second most used online search engine—as in “second-only-to -Google” second. With well over a billion users, it is also the third largest social media network in the world. Video ad revenues were projected to be $2.59 billion in 2017 in the United States alone. YouTube has shot to the top of advertising mediums, used by established companies and startups alike. When it comes to advertising, there is a definite benefit to joining the bandwagon—it’s where the audience is.

Con: Lack of control over the content your ads appear with

Not unlike Facebook these days, YouTube was publicly called out last year—and, in some cases, boycotted. In March of 2017, several companies halted their YouTube spending when they discovered their ads were appearing alongside content such as hate speech and terrorism. The company has since revamped some of its vetting processes, though it notably hasn’t been good enough for companies like AT&T. This is worth weighing when considering how to protect your brand, but it’s also reasonable to expect that it will be an ongoing endeavor to hold all the world’s data giants accountable.

Pro: Enjoy ultra-targeted advertising

The most effective advertising is targeted advertising. It’s critical that your brand is introduced to the right people, rather than just people in general. Google AdWords have got your back, friend. The company itself states it best: “Now, information from activity associated with users’ Google accounts (such as demographic information and past searches) may be used to influence the ads those users see on YouTube.” Imagine being able to choose the people who see your ad by their location or interests. Bonus: keywords are also less expensive to target via YouTube than traditional Google searches.

Con: Beware the “skip”

YouTube advertisers face a unique challenge—how do you hook your audience in five seconds or less? Music, tone, and how soon you introduce the brand all impact whether your video gets skipped. Content aside, your delivery could need work too. You must adjust your targeting and budget as necessary to make sure things are effective. OR you could just come up with an entire ad that is less than 15-20 seconds long, pay for it to be un-skippable and hope people don’t find your brand suddenly annoying. Not challenging at all.

Pro: A world of content marketing possibilities

Video is considered the most engaging of all content. YouTube provides you the option to take things a step further from run-of-the-mill commercials to full-blown content marketing. Creating a YouTube channel in general is a cinch, and it’s easy to apply to a specific brand or product as well. YouTube opens a whole world of possibilities for you to take your storytelling to the next level.