Category Archives: Video Marketing

*Yawn*: How Long is Too Long For Your YouTube Ad?

How long should my YouTube ad be? It’s a question that every advertiser creating a video ad for YouTube has to consider.

Depending on your advertising goals you may have different opinions on the matter.

In this article we look at the results of a split test we recently carried out with one of our clients to find the optimal length for an ad when focusing on driving online conversions.

What do users think?

YouTube ad length isn’t something I see written about much, yet it’s inevitably one of the first questions clients have when we talk about advertising on the platform.

A 2012 poll of US voters reported by Mashable suggested that the majority of users were willing to watch an ad up to 15 seconds long before they got to watch their chosen content on YouTube.

Which is interesting, but ultimately how long a user thinks they’re willing to watch an ad for, and how long is actually optimal for ad length are probably quite different things.

More recently David Waterhouse of Unruly Media found that the average length of the top 10 most shared ads of all time is 4 minutes and 11 seconds, while at the end of last year Greg Jarboe provided a roundup of the top trending YouTube ads of 2013, which come in at an average length of 1 minute 44 seconds.

Which goes to show, if you can entertain people and tell them an engaging story, then they are willing to watch an ad for much longer than they think.

In all the articles above, and in the majority of other studies I’ve seen, the success of a YouTube ad is judged on the number of Likes and Shares it received, and whether or not it went ‘viral’.

It’s great to be popular, but for a lot of my clients the bottom line of whether an ad is successful is whether or not it generated sales with a good ROI.

The test

With this in mind we set up a test to see if ad length has an impact on conversion rate and ROI, and the results were pretty striking.

We created two ads that were almost identical for the first 15 seconds, but the first ad ended at the 15 second mark, while the second ad ran for a total of 30 seconds.

We then set up an A/B test of these ads against each other in our YouTube remarketing campaign for a month, before analysing the results.

Firstly, in terms of viewer engagement, it seems users are slightly more likely to watch more of a video if the overall length of the video is shorter.

34% of viewers made it to the end of the 15 second video, while only 32% of viewers made it to the half-way point of the 30 second video. I know personally I’m more likely to let an ad run if I can see the progress bar filling up nice and fast, so I’m not surprised to see this is the case.

More impressively, despite a fairly even distribution of impressions between the two ads, we saw three times as many Earned Views (where a user goes on to watch another video on your YouTube channel after seeing your ad) from the 15 second edit than from the 30 second edit of the ad.

It was when we looked at the conversion stats where the difference in performance became much more apparent. Overall the 15 second edit saw 51% of our impressions, but drove 83% of our total conversions.

Conversions by campaign

Even more impressively, the 15 second edit achieved this with a CPA almost four times lower than the 30 second edit, coming in at £45 compared to £169 for the 30 second edit:

CPA by ad length

It’s worth noting that YouTube conversions are reported against views, and not website clicks.

Arguably then, because the 15 second edit is more likely to be watched, simply because it ends sooner, you could argue that it’s not surprising that a higher number of people exposed to the video go on to convert.

However, the conversion rate was more than three times higher from the 15 second edit compared to the 30 second, meaning that not only did a higher number of people convert overall, but per view they were much more likely to convert if they watched the 15 second edit.

Finally one of the most striking stats for me was that the shorter ad actually had a higher clickthrough rate than the longer ad, with a 0.84% CTR for the 15 second edit, compared to 0.72% for the 30 second edit.

This surprised me mostly because I assumed that the longer ad might get more clicks simply due to having a longer duration onscreen for the viewer to interact with it, but ultimately it seems that users were more likely to want to interact with the shorter ad even though it was onscreen for half the time.

Ultimately ad length is going to be heavily influenced by your video content and advertising goals, and I’m sure an account manager at a creative agency would have a different opinion to me (he’d probably be talking you into hiring Jean Claude Van Damme and two big rigs right now…), but if you’re not testing different ad lengths on YouTube I personally suggest you start, and start with 15 seconds.

How’d They Do That!: What you can learn from Chipotle/Oreo/McDonald’s and More’s Video Campaigns On Vine/YouTube

I suspect that even internet marketers and video content producers watched a little too much television on Thanksgiving. Am I right? According to an article by Jason Lynch in Quartz, “Thanksgiving is a day when more than 100 million Americans will observe the most honored of traditions: gathering with family and friends to watch as many as 15 straight hours straight of TV.”

So, I’m confident that many of us consumed a ton of TV commercials starting at 9:00 a.m. while we were viewing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC, or the unofficial coverage of the New York City event, billed as The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS. Unfortunately, most advertisers don’t make Thanksgiving ads the way they create Super Bowl commercials, despite the fact that Thanksgiving Day, like Super Bowl Sunday, is one of the few times a year that advertisers can depend on a dedicated, sizable audience that will watch TV.

That’s why “Twerk Your Turkey – Thanksgiving – LogoTV” would be the top ranked among brands’ social videos if we put together such a list just for Thanksgiving 2013.

State Farm® Turkey Fryer Safety: Hang On A Minute with Si & Jase Robertson” would be ranked second.

And we wouldn’t be able to find another brand’s social video to rank third….talk about slim pickings. But, let’s not dwell on this missed opportunity. Instead, let’s take a look at a branded vertical category that remains relevant long after the last leftover has been consumed and the final member of our extended family has gone back home. Today, let’s examine the top 5 food and fast food brands by their total Facebook, Twitter and blog shares throughout 2013. 

Fab Five Food and Fast Food Brands

1. Cornetto

With the 5th most shared ad of 2013, and 13th of all time, Unilever’s ice cream brand has been exceptional at cross-platform marketing – utilizing social video and social platforms, including Vine, seamlessly. Cornetto Cupidity series has been extremely effective – creating incredible love stories of everyday people from around the world. This series combined these long-form love stories with music videos from lesser-known artists.

This is where Yalın comes in; with close to 3 million shares and 26.5 million views, the music video not only travelled around the virtual world, but also made the artist himself a household name across Turkey. The love story itself achieved an incredible 144,310 shares itself, making it the fifth most shared of 2013. The series itself continued to perform strongly, with Kismet Dineattracting 140,000 shares, with its companion music video gaining an impressive 88,570 shares.

Cornetto also has an active profile on Vine, with impressive short-form techniques, especially good at stop-motion. Examples below:

2. Chipotle

Having started to make their way over to the UK, the American burrito chain has been a giant in the social video sphere, following on from their incredible Back To The Start campaign in 2011 and 2012’s Meat Without Drugs, with the unforgettable spot The Scarecrow. Just shy of the year’s top 20 videos, the ad garnered a tidy 452,000 shares and almost 10 million views since its release in September.

Though not equaling the success of their yearly viral installment, Chipotle also achieved 15,600 shares with its self-congratulatory 20-year anniversary spot – with just 25,289 views. Chipotle has also have started to build influence on Instagram Video, with its trailer for The Scarecrowgame, as well as its coverage of a live performance from Walk The Moon.

3. McDonald’s

Unlike Chipotle and Cornetto, McDonald’s takes the third spot through consistency and volume – but still boasts some brilliant stand-out ads. McDonald’s brought in tween heart-throb Austin Mahone into the fold, gaining 40,000 shares with his What About Love sessions. Their collaboration with YouTube’s Bad Lip Reading channel spawned a hilarious Super Bowl spot, featuring NFL superstars such as Joe Flacco aching for some Mighty Wings. It boasts over 32,500 shares since its September release. Looking like something more at home at the end of Kubric’s 2001: A Space Odyssey than the world of advertising, McDonald’s released a great campaign surrounding their flagship burger, the trusty Big Mac, with Dream racking up the most shares, with over 14,000. McDonald’s is also a strong short-form brand, with some brilliant content, including a 6-second Vine that showed the world how to make fine cuisine with McD’s ingredients and this Toy Story-esque Instagram Video4. Oreo

Oreo has had an incredible year in the social space, with multiple brilliant social videos; an incredible presence on both Vine and Instagram; and one of the best real-time pieces of advertising to date during the Super Bowl in NOLA earlier this year.

Fab Five Food and Fast Food Brands on YouTube, Instagram and Vine

Not only did Oreo have a good Twitter Super Bowl day, its Whisper Fight video also performed pretty well, gaining over 63,000 shares on the World Wide Web. Finally, Oreo showed their musical skills, with collaboration with Owl City for its Wonderfilled Anthemgaining the brand an extra 29,300 shares towards their impressive 2013 total. Though Oreo has performed well in the social video space, it is on Vine and Instagram where the brand has truly flourished, with an exceptional Halloween campaign, numerous stop-motion tricks and their ever popular #OreoSnackHacks. A few of the best examples are shown below.   

5. Taco Bell:

Taco Bell was another Super Bowl winner with their incredible Viva Young and Grandpa Goes Wild spots, gaining 285,000 between them. Following up behind was a number of videos with its Doritos joint venture – the Doritos Locos Tacos. Taco Bell, like Oreo, has really taken to the world of short-form, with brilliant pieces for World Hunger ReliefDoritos Tacos Locos andThanksgiving.

So, even if the turkeys created for Thanksgiving 2013 aren’t worth a second look, there’s a parade of great content on YouTube, Instagram and Vine that’s been created by the Fab Five Food and Fast Food Brands. And for that, let us all give thanks.

We’d like to give thanks to Scott Mitchell and Eddie Tomalin of Unruly Media for pulling together this custom set of data for us. Although Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in the U.K., we’re truly grateful that our Unruly friends in London didn’t tell us what Americans heard on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week in “A Thanksgiving Message from Gary Oldman.”

It’s All In The Emotion: Tips To Making Video Content Appealing To These 4 Personality Types

If you’re someone who frequently goes onto YouTube to catch the latest viral videos, you probably already know that there are all kinds of different personalities out there. And just as people with different personalities create and post videos to YouTube, the videos that you market are being shown to people with different personality types, and you need to appeal to them all. While that might sound daunting at first, it isn’t too overwhelming when you consider that people can typically be classified into four different personality categories. So without further ado, those four different personality types are:

1. The Beaver (Analytical/ Methodical)
2. The Golden Retriever (Expressive/ Humanistic)
3. The Lion (Assertive/ Competitive)
4. The Otter (Amiable/ Spontaneous)

In order to effectively reach these personality types with your videos, it’s important to understand what people with these personalities are like so you can get inside their heads and find out what makes them tick. Read on for an explanation of each:

1. The Beaver (Analytical/ Methodical)

Appeal Tactics: Be detailed and don’t rush them.

People in this category are known for being highly rational. They obsess over information and have to look at a situation from all angles before coming to a decision. They are tenacious, organized and serious, and they also tend to be perfectionists. You can count on beavers to get things done by the deadline and you typically find them in medical, engineering and higher education professions.

How to Approach Them:

  • Use statistics, numbers and facts as much as possible.
  • Follow up with them (analytical people are good with follow ups, so they’ll appreciate it when you do the same).

A great example of content aimed at this personality type would be this in-depth look at the new Mercedes 2014 S-Class:

2. The Golden Retriever (Expressive/ Humanistic)

Appeal Tactics: Be social and show empathy.

This is the group full of people pleasers who strive to make everyone happy and want peace and harmony in their relationships. Expressive types value respect, happiness and friendship, and because of this, they make excellent caretakers, psychologists, counsellors and teachers.

How to Approach Them:

  • Be friendly and use affirming words to give them the reassurance they crave. Not only will this help you build up their self-esteem, but it also helps them to trust you.
  • Use a “warm and fuzzy” tone, and avoid making confrontational, argumentative statements.

A good example of video content aimed at this personality type would be the “Mothers & Daughters – You Are Beautiful” campaign from Dove:

3. The Lion (Assertive/ Competitive)

Appeal Tactics: Give them the power and build up their ego.

In this group, you’ll find the driven, over-achiever types who want to be the best at everything they set out to do. They tend to be determined Type A people who take on leadership roles at work and become CEOs, like business power player Donald Trump.

How to Approach Them:

  • Make your presentation to them professional and efficient because these people are always on the go.
  • Give them a challenge to appeal to their competitive nature; pitching something to them as a way to rise to the top and beat the competition works too.

“Rise and Shine – Find Your Greatness” from Nike appeals to this personality type:

4. The Otter (Amiable/ Spontaneous)

Appeal Tactics: Be energetic and fun.

For these people, life is a nonstop party. They are captivated by what interests them, and they are always brimming with optimism. People with this personality type tend to get involved with acting, politics and party planning.

How to Approach Them:

  • Use ideas that are larger in scope to keep their attention.
  • Connect with them by referring to them by name.
  • Show enthusiasm with exclamation points!

The following video should definitely appeal to Otter types:

If you want to market videos effectively and engage your entire audience, then you need to market them in such a way that accommodates all the personalities in that audience. Everyone is different, so your marketing approaches should reflect that. Start using the strategies listed above today, and you’re sure to get thumbs up reactions from everyone in your audience, no matter what kind of “animal” they are.

The Eyes Are Watching Us: Why You Need To Incorporate Video Marketing Into Your Digital Campaign

It is a saying we have heard our entire life; “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, that phrase needs a 2014 re-boot. While photography has always provided a great enhancement to quality writing, the media and public relations worlds are going through another full-blown transformation in this age of ever-changing digital consumption of media. That change is video and lots of it.

Holding Their Attention: Video vs Text

In a recent study, Cisco reports that the number of online video consumers will double to 1.5 billion by 2015, with total online video consumption predicted to quadruple. The benefits of this growth are apparent everywhere. Individuals often find it helpful to visually learn new material rather than reading through long, complex product descriptions or recaps of events. In the Twitter-age of quick synopsis reading, the consumer is spending less time than ever on any individual website and generally prefers a short précis of the article. However, when it comes to video, all of this changes. In our fast-paced digital world, video is now the way to keep your readers engaged in your given topic and may, on its own, directly bring in customers.

Video marketing is a powerful means that businesses can utilize to improve their engagement with the consumer or to interest potential consumers in a topic or subject matter that might not otherwise capture their attention. Many small businesses and PR outlets are utilizing video marketing as a means to improve consumer engagement, click-throughs, and traffic. A study provided by KEMEMedia demonstrated that including video in emails increased open rates by 5.6% and click-through-rates by 96.38%, when compared to emails that did not contain videos. ReelSEO’s own survey confirmed that 82% of video marketers considered video email marketing to be effective.

The inclusion of videos can also improve search traffic since the major search engines started ranking videos in their results pages. Incorporating videos also increases traffic for press releases and news when they are shared. Sharing has been shown to be much more likely when a video is included. The potential opportunities for videos to go viral provides an additional perk to companies using video marketing.

Videos And Press Releases

On top of producing videos to couple with content for PR, there is the fine line between making a commercial and truly producing interesting content. When integrating a video with your press release it is more important to try and produce something interesting with what you are trying to promote rather than content that is overly technical. The easiest way to accomplish this objective is to determine whether you would be interested in seeing your own video. While video is imperative now for product promotion, there is also a tremendous amount of content online that is competing for the minds of potential consumers. If the video does not have a hook or doesn’t otherwise captivate your potential audience, it will be lost on the viewer.

From the research and data it is abundantly clear that consumers’ viewing habits are moving strongly towards video. This means that individuals with video production skills are going to be increasingly in-demand and the quality of video products will continue to improve. This concept is well explained in the movie Moneyball where Billy Beane tells his long-time MLB scout to “Adapt or Die”. While that is a brutally honest way to provide the feedback, with consumers’ attention switch to video, it is important to keep up with the changing times with what you are trying to promote.

It is important for businesses to invest in the personnel and technology necessary to ensure that they continue to stay current with all the latest video trends in their efforts to promote a product or a message.