How to Generate Local Leads with YouTube Ads
Most small business don’t have a huge marketing budget.
Sounds familiar, right? Advertising is expensive. You want the money you spend to stretch as far as possible – and that means finding advertising opportunities that are going to get you the biggest possible bang for your buck.
There’s no shortage of options. And one option that you may have overlooked is something that you’ve probably spent a lot of time on as a consumer.
I’m talking about YouTube ads.
You probably visit YouTube often – maybe you even go there more than once a day. And when you do, you’ve seen the ads that run before videos. You’ve probably also noticed ads that display with your search results.
When it comes to generating leads, those ads are CRUSHING it.
YouTube Ad Statistics
Let’s start by checking the numbers. We’re warning you – what you’re about to read may shock you, especially if you’ve been spending money on local TV ads and other high-cost ads.
- YouTube has more than one billion users – that’s almost one-third of all internet users.
- 45% of users watch more than an hour of YouTube videos per week.
- More video content is created online in 30 days than has been created by all major US television networks in 30 years.
- 46% of all users act after watching a video ad.
We could quote dozens more facts like these, but these are sufficient to illustrate the point. Video advertising is hugely popular and hugely effective.
Now, let’s talk about how you can use YouTube to generate local leads.
Know Your Ad Types
The first step is knowing what your ad options are on YouTube. There are three to consider:
- TrueView In-Stream Ads are the ads you’re probably most familiar with on YouTube. These are the ads that stream before a video. They often come with a “Skip Ad” option that displays after five seconds. One thing you may not know is that if a viewer skips your ad, you won’t pay for the view. That’s key if you have a limited ad budget.
- Discovery Ads show up in YouTube search results and look just like other videos. To get viewers to choose your ad, you’ll need an eye-catching thumbnail to grab their attention. Here again, you’ll only pay if a viewer clicks on your ad. You won’t pay to have your ad displayed in the search results.
- Bumper Ads are very short ads that can’t be skipped. They’re most often targeted to mobile users, and they’re ideal if you have a message that can be conveyed in just a few seconds.
You’ll need to decide which ad format is best suited to your company.
YouTube Advertising Best Practices
Now, let’s look at some simple things that can help you generate tons of local leads with YouTube ads.
Keep Your Ads Short
Bumper ads are necessarily short. You’ll be limited in how long they can be – usually, they’re less than 10 seconds.
In-Stream ads can vary in length, but keep in mind that viewers will be able to see how long your ad is as soon as it appears on their screen. They may be willing to sit through a 30-second ad if it interest them, but unless you really grab their attention, they’re not going to sit through a two-minute ad before watching the content they came to see.
Discovery ads can be longer – as much as two minutes – but make sure the content is engaging. That’s the only way that you’ll keep a viewer’s attention and get them to click your call to action.
Grab Users’ Attention from the Start
YouTube advertising isn’t the place to indulge in a slow build. Your ad must grab viewers’ attention immediately if you want them to stick around.
There are a few ways to accomplish this. One is to start with a provocative statement, one that target’s your audience’s biggest pain point.
Another option is to use storytelling in your video. If you tell a compelling story, people will keep watching to find out how it ends.
But with this option, you will need a killer script for your video. If you can’t write one yourself, hire a pro to do it for you. It will be money well spent.
Don’t Wait to Display Your Call to Action
Keeping in mind that you have limited time to capture your audience’s attention, it makes sense not to wait for the end of your video to display your call to action.
Remember, your goal is to get people to click your CTA. By displaying it on the screen early in your video – and then again at the end – you can maximize conversions.
You may even want to include several calls to action – especially if your video is long. Place them when the content in your video is likely to spur action. You don’t want to overdo it but it’s important to make it very easy for viewers to take the next step.
Optimize Your Landing Page for Video Viewers
Where will the people who view your ad end up if they click your call to action? If you want to use YouTube advertising to generate leads, you’ve got to make sure that your landing page is optimized for the people who see your video.
First, make sure that the content on your page matches what’s in the video. You don’t want people who visit to be confused.
Next, link viewers to a page that’s intended for lead generation. That means that you should have an opt-in form or appointment link on the page.
Nobody who lands there should have to guess what the next step is. It should be clear.
Lead Generation on YouTube Doesn’t Have to be Expensive…
Provided you choose the right place to run your ads and follow these simple guidelines, you should start seeing high-quality leads from your ads quickly. And from there, you can nurture those leads and turn them into loyal, paying customers.
7 Smart YouTube Hacks for Local Business
If you’re still caught up in the thinking that YouTube is nothing more than a place to watch cat videos, then you’re missing out on a significant opportunity to increase your digital reach and engage your followers.
In fact, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world – and it’s got more than a billion users! No matter what you’re selling, YouTube should be part of your marketing mix.
For local businesses, the cost of producing videos might seem to be prohibitive, but it all comes down to the return you get on your investment. It’s worth spending a bit more up front if you can recoup those expenses on the back end.
We want you to put YouTube to work for your business – and so we’ve come up with these 7 smart YouTube hacks to help you do it.
#1: Get Your Transcripts in Order
You might not know that YouTube creates a transcript for every video that’s uploaded. It may take a while to appear – and it might not be perfect – but eventually, your videos will have transcripts.
The downside of the process is that the transcripts that YouTube creates are often riddled with mistakes – but you can correct them and boost your engagement at the same time.
You have two options here. The first is to upload your own transcript when you add the video. You can do that by clicking the CC (closed captioning) button, choosing a language, and then following the instructions.
The second option is to wait until YouTube adds the transcript and then access it via the CC button and edit it to correct mistakes. You can use the convenient “Pause while typing” feature to make changes.
Either way, we also recommend pasting the entire transcript into the description box so you can reap the SEO benefits.
#2: Start Shared Videos Right Where You Want Them
What do you do when you want to share a video but you want to cut right to the chase? A simple hack can help you post a video so that it will start playing at the precise spot you choose.
All you need to do to use this hack is to click the share button on the video you want to post. Underneath the list of sharing options, you’ll see a little box that says “Start Video at” with a black space where you can enter the time stamp you want.
If you pause the video where you want it to start the field will auto-fill. Otherwise, you can type in the time. Then, wait a minute for the URL to update, copy it, and share it.
#3: Create a Custom YouTube URL
Do you want to make it easy for people to find your YouTube channel? One way to do it is to create a custom URL for it.
You’ll need to meet some minimum requirements to take advantage of this hack. As long as your channel has:
- Been in existence for at least 30 days
- Attracted at least 100 subscribers
- An uploaded photo as a station icon
- Uploaded station art
To create a custom URL, open your YouTube settings and click the “Advanced” option. If you’re eligible for a unique URL you’ll be prompted to create one.
Just one caveat: make sure to choose the name you want and double-check your spelling. Once you’ve created a URL, you cannot go back and edit it.
#4: Add Clickable Links to Your Videos
You can put a URL to your website in the description of a video – but people might not see it. A better option is to add a clickable link in your video. When a user clicks it, the video will pause and your link will open in a new tab.
Adding a clickable link is easy, and you’ll have the option of choosing a note, a speech bubble, a title, a label, or a spotlight. To do it, go to the Video Manager and then select the video you want to edit.
Click “Edit” and choose your link option from the drop-down menu. From there, you can simply follow the directions.
It’s worth noting that you can also add end cards to your video using this same feature.
#5: Stream Live on YouTube
Live video options like Periscope and Facebook Live have been getting a ton of attention lately – and it makes sense. Streaming live to your followers is a great way to engage them and attract new followers, too.
You might not know that YouTube live streaming is an option. It’s not quite as straightforward as Facebook Live, but your subscribers will get a notification when you go live.
You can find detailed instructions on how to stream video live on YouTube by clicking here.
#6: Use YouTube’s Library of Free Sound Effects to Enhance Your Videos
Producing videos can be expensive, but YouTube provides some free resources to make it affordable. You can access their huge library of free music and sound effects by clicking here.
To use the clips, all you need to do is click the download button and save it to your computer as an mp3 file. Once it’s saved, you can add it to a video or use it for any other purpose.
The one caveat here is that some of the music clips do require some attribution. Since the requirements may vary from clip to clip, you’ll have to look at the particular song you choose to make sure you’re handling it properly.
#7: Track Trends to Improve Your Reach
YouTube is owned by Google, so it should come as no surprise that there are some pretty cool statistics you can access to help you evaluate your results and choose trends to boost your engagement.
If you click here, you can access Google Trends and then filter the results so you see only trends on YouTube.
In some cases the YouTube trends may be pretty close to what you’ll find on Google, but the results might surprise you. When the trends diverge, you can use the opportunity to create content that’s more likely to attract viewers on YouTube.
Now Start Making Videos…
What are you waiting for? YouTube is a great tool for marketing local businesses, and you can use it in many different ways. The 7 hacks here are really just the tip of the iceberg, but the more videos you create and share, the more creative you can get by exploring the other tools and options available.
11 Cool YouTube Features You’re Not Using Yet
You probably already know that videos are a highly popular, highly shareable form of internet content. If you want to engage and entertain your customers, creating a compelling video and sharing it on YouTube is one of the best ways to do it.
In addition to being one of the most highly-trafficked websites in the world, YouTube is also the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google. And since it is now owned by Google, there are some legitimate SEO benefits you can reap by using YouTube to market your business.
If all you’re doing is uploading videos to YouTube, you might be missing out. Here are 11 cool features that you could be using to ramp up your marketing.
- YouTube will create a transcript of your video, and editing it – or uploading your own transcript – can help drive traffic to your video. The problem with sticking with the automatic transcript is that they can be very inaccurate. If you use keywords in your video, then transcribing it accurately can help move your video to the top of YouTube’s search rankings – and Google’s, too. To add a transcript, all you need to do is click the little “CC” icon under your video and paste in the transcript.
- After you upload your video, you can add clickable links to it using YouTube’s Creator Studio. The links act just like a call to action button on your website. That means that you can prompt viewers to subscribe to your list, buy a product, or just visit your website. To add them, simply go to Video Manager > Edit > Annotations and then choose the annotations you want to add. There are five options, including speech bubbles, notes, spotlights, titles, and labels. You don’t want to overdo it, but adding annotations is a great way to make your video interactive.
- When you post a long video, you can specify a starting point in the video instead of making people watch from the beginning. This is a great tool if you want to highlight a particular moment in the video. To use this feature, simply click Share and you will see a little box that says “Start at” underneath it. In the box, enter the time when you want the video to start (hours: minutes: seconds) and then post it. When people click on the video, it will begin playing at the exact spot you specify.
- If you have a lot of videos on your YouTube channel, you can easily organize them into playlists. For example, if you have created a series of demonstration videos, you might want to group them all together to make them easy for viewers to find. To create a playlist, simply click on Creator Studio > Video Manager > Playlists. From there, you can name your playlist and add as many videos to it as you choose.
- Instead of using the default URL that YouTube assigned to you when you created your channel, you may be eligible to create a memorable, custom URL. To find out if you are eligible, go to your Account Settings by clicking on your profile picture, and then click Advanced. If you see a note that says “You’re eligible for a custom URL. Claim it here,” click the link and choose the name of your URL. Make sure to choose carefully and double-check your spelling, because once you have submitted the request you can’t change it. You’ll have to agree to the Terms & Conditions and confirm, and once you do you’ll have a custom URL for your channel.
- YouTube offers its users a vast library of audio files and sound effects to use in their videos. All of the available files are royalty free, which means you can use them without paying for them. To access the library, simply go to Creator Studio > Create > Audio Library. From there you can browse sound effects and music clips and download them to use in your videos.
- You can stream videos live on YouTube instead of creating them beforehand. Live video has been getting a lot of attention lately with the addition of Facebook Live and apps like Meerkat. While many of the videos streamed live on YouTube so far have been news events such as the Democratic and Republican conventions, and sporting events, you can use them for marketing, too. A live video would be an effective way to preview a sale or demo a product. To live stream, simply click Upload and then choose the “Live Stream” option on the right-hand side of the page and follow instructions. After your video has concluded, it will be archived on your channel so people who missed seeing it live can watch it later.
- Instead of a video, consider creating a photo slideshow with a voiceover or music behind it. To create a slideshow, log in to YouTube and click the Upload button. Click “Create Videos” on the right-hand side of the screen, and then select “Photo Slideshow” from the options. You’ll be prompted to upload your photographs. The easiest way to do it is to put all of the photos you want to use into a single folder and then upload them all at once. Once they are added, you can arrange them, add effects and notations, and post the video to your channel.
- Another cool video creation option is 360 video, which you can create yourself if you have the tools to do it. You can find a list of compatible equipment here. When your viewers watch a 360 video, they can click to see different camera angles and perspectives. In other words, it gives your viewers a truly interactive and immersive experience.
- Thanks to Google’s affiliation with YouTube, you can use Google Trends to find the best keywords to use in your YouTube videos. All you need to do is go to Google Trends and then click Explore Topics and type in a search term. Then you need to click Web Search > YouTube Search to view the results. It can be interesting and informative to see the differences between how people search on Google and how they search on YouTube – and understanding those differences can help you increase traffic to your videos.
- Finally, YouTube has a Creator Studio app that allows you to manage the videos on your channel on the go. You can do all kinds of useful things, including updating thumbnails, enabling or disabling monetization, and managing subscribers.
These features can help you create cool and memorable video content that will help you attract new subscribers – and turn those subscribers into paying customers.
How to Create Engaging Videos for Social Media
Video content will soon reign as king of content by 2019. Experts agree video is no longer an option as it will become 80% of internet traffic.
Even if you have a local offline business where you may not need to market on Instagram or Twitter, your business belongs on video regardless of where viewers may consume it.
Imagine this – more than 3 million small businesses shared video content on Facebook within a one-month timeframe. It’s no longer a matter of “if” but “when” the majority of online marketing will be driven by video.
By leaving your strategically created footprint on social media, you can effectively market to your audience 24-7 with compelling content. But with so many options, methods, and tools to create videos; are there any rules of thumb to give your videos a chance stand out?
We’ve put together a checklist of strategies to help you gain a clear understanding of what goes into creating great video content that is relative across all platforms. Our breakdown will help you share content that can capture your audiences’ attention in as little as 5 seconds and motivate viewers to take action.
The best thing is, you don’t need a degree in filmmaking or digital editing, so without further ado; here are our most essential tips to help your video content shine.
Does your video content contain a strong mission statement that allows your audience to quickly understand what your business is all about? Starting with a great mission statement can inspire your audience to buy into who you are as an organization and will separate you from your competitors.
Focus on the Message
One of the most effective strategies to consider when creating a video is to focus on simplicity. By sticking to one message per video, and one call to action you can communicate your point more effectively and won’t clutter the message you’re trying to convey to your audience.
Pro Tip: One popular method is to utilize explainer videos, which in most cases describes a problem your customer has and how your business can help them fix it. Sometimes, a quick and easy explanation is all a prospect need to clearly understand how your product or service can solve their problem.
The appeal of “how-to content” stems from our infatuation of immediate information gratification. With the press of a button and a quick search on Google or YouTube.
How-to content dominates as over 100 million hours of practical tips and lessons were streamed on YouTube in 2016 – they are immensely popular regardless of the platform. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the value your business can provide to your customers. Be cautious, however, of being too self promotional can turn your viewers off.
One great strategy is to offer useful content on a topic that relates to your business – you can drive higher traffic with content marketing than traditional forms of advertising.
Staying relevant on social media can be a bit intimidating as trending hashtags and memes change almost daily. It is an all-consuming effort to stay on top of so much user-generated content. But if you can keep an eye on what your industry influencers are doing, you can take advantage of content and post topics that are highly engaging and people want to share.
In the age of personal connection through social media, audiences love a good story that they can and find relevance in through their own lives. Part of a great marketing strategy is to create compelling stories to captivate viewers on an emotional level to develop trust with your brand.
By going behind the scenes of your company, you share a story of who you are authentically.
Just like when a certain song comes on the radio and stirs up a vivid memory and the emotions that come along with it. There is something about powerful narratives that impact your audience on an emotional level.
Our brains are more attuned to remembering information through emotional stories. Then when these emotions are experienced again later down the road, memories of your products and services will be triggered and that creates brand recognition.
Being emotional creatures, we make decisions and do things based off how we feel. Whether content is shareable really depends on how it appeals to our emotional state versus our logical state.
In a study done in 2010 about viral content, making people excited, laugh, or be angry will draw a higher likelihood of having content be shared. It is not the specific feeling a person has, but how intense that feeling is that drives them to share content. Impact is everything.
So, ask yourself, does my content have the necessary ingredients to make someone want to share it?
Keep it Short and Precise
In our instantly gratified culture, the best video content can capture the attention of its viewers within the first 5 seconds. Otherwise, it’s likely your viewers will lose interest and move onto the next video.
Pro Tip: Be precise with the technical side of your video content; your video should be able to work without sound and automatically play in their newsfeed. Research has found that 85% of video’s in the Facebook feed is viewed without any audio. As well, viewer engagement increases tremendously if videos were to auto play versus being shared from a link.
Traditional marketing that was once so effective has shifted into the conglomerate that is content marketing today. Video engagement will continue to increase through social media at a phenomenal pace. The million-dollar question is – what will you do to adapt to the changes in your marketing strategy?