YouTube can be an overwhelming space for brands big and small. How important is paid media? What type of videos should you create? How best can your brand attract attention? Answering all that at more were representatives from Pixability, Starz, YouTube, and Digitas, who spoke today on a Streaming Media East panel called “Paid Media on YouTube: Strategies for Brands.”
What brands should offer on YouTube is determined by their campaign goals, said Jamison Tilsner, strategic accounts lead for Pixability. A YouTube ecosystem partner, Pixability creates marketing software that works with YouTube APIs. Brands need to develop content that speaks to its target audience, and drive a sustained audience over time, he said.
“We found YouTube as an effective tool to drive eyeballs,” Tilsner said. For more fine-grained targeting, Pixability has a tool that provides contextual targeting, identifying relevant videos that mention a given product and letting brands advertise against them.
Digging into the YouTube APIs gives Pixability even more insights. For example, it can determine the time of day when viewers of a certain type of content are more likely to tweet about or share a video. Then, if a brand has the goal of maximizing Facebook shares or tweets, it can promote its videos at the optimal time.
Toward the end of the session, the panelists addressed Google Preferred, the recently announced YouTube sales program that offers the top five percent of channels in 23 key verticals to advertisers for a premium rate. The idea is that TV brand advertisers can feel secure buying Google Preferred, since they’re assured of advertising against content that’s popular and brand-safe.
Google Preferred is targeted at agencies, and makes it easy to convince brands to take a chance on digital, said Dave Katz, vice president of digital media for Starz. Premium buyers are used to buying premium content, and with Google Preferred they know their ads won’t appear on unprofessional user-generated video.
Premium content is great for building awareness, Tilsner said: If consumers know about the brand already, contextual ads — perhaps on how-to content — are more effective.
Some of the panels best advice came from Anand Banwasi, partner product manager for YouTube. Don’t think of YouTube as an audience, he advised. Instead, think of it as fans. Ask them what they want to see and they’ll tell you.