YouTube announced yesterday their new Pay Per Click advertising solution and I’ve made a pictorial walk through of the system for you to take a peek at. This, my friends, is HUGE! YouTube is the #2 search engine out there and the #3 most visited website in the world. To reach that audience on a keyword level is and incredibly rich opportunity for all of us.
The premise of YouTube Pay Per Click system is much like Google adwords – and in fact interfaces with your Google account for billing. You pick keywords that relate to your promotion and decide how much you’re willing to spend per click and how much you cap your per-day spending at. You write an ad, just like Adwords. But where things get funky – you pick a VIDEO to display to the viewer once they click on your ad.
Let’s take a walk through the backend:
PICK YOUR VIDEO
Once you’re logged in, you’ll choose whether you want to promote an individual video or your whole channel. Unless your on a branding mission (not recommended for your pocketbook) I recommend you choose a video with a solid call to action at the end (“Visit my site at yoursite.com”) and a “reason why” the viewer should follow through on your call to action (free download, more information, coupon code, etc.). You can also upload a new video from this interface if you don’t want to use anything currently on your channel.
WRITE YOUR AD
Then you write your ad. It’s like Adwords – you get 3 lines, first line is 25 characters and the next two are 35 characters. Unlike Adwords, you don’t have a “Display URL” or “Destination URL” because people who click the ad are going to your video page, not an outside site. This is why your call to action is so important.
You can choose here to use a different thumbnail for your video as well if you don’t like the current one, and you’ll see a preview of what your ad will look like on the right.
SELECT YOUR KEYWORDS
Here you get to pick what search terms (keywords) you want to bid on. It will pull in the keywords and tags you used when you uploaded your video and even suggest alternatives. When you click a suggested keyword, it will add it to your keyword box. Assuming you’ve bid high enough, your ad will then appear anytime someone searches for these keywords on YouTube.
SET A BUDGET
Then you set your daily budget. This is the maximum amount you’re willing to spend per day. Once you reach that number, your ads won’t display anymore until the next day. Again, if you’re familiar with Adwords, this won’t be a new concept.
You also get to pick your “Maximum Cost Per Click.” This is the maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend when someone clicks your ad to watch your video. It doesn’t guarantee the user will watch your video all the way through – you’re paying for the click, and then it’s your videos’ job to hook the viewer quickly. Like Adwords, the position your ad is displayed in is determined by the Max CPC you select along with the amount of competition for your keyphrases. If a competitor with the same keyword has a higher Max CPC, visitors will see her ad listed first.
SIGN IN TO A GOOGLE ACCOUNT
ENTER BILLING INFO, AGREE TO TOS
You’ll enter in your credit card billing information and agree to the Terms of Service agreement – and, big “GOTCHA!” you’re also agreeing to pay a $5 USD non-refundable activation fee. It’s a small price to pay for access to YouTube’s massive user base and it’s indicated the fee is to ensure quality within the PPC network, but it should be noted.
CONFIRM YOUR VIDEO PROMOTION
As soon as your billing information is confirmed you’re directed to the confirmation page, where you can review your ad, keywords, Max CPC, Max daily Budget, language and country selections. If it’s all good, hit “Okay, Run My Promotion” and your ads will be sent for review.
YOUR SPONSORED VIDEOS DASHBOARD
Your “Dashboard” page looks like this. you can see what Video Promotions you have running, edit them, view overall impressions, clicks and CTR. On feature I’m looking forward to seeing is the ability to split test ad copy.
SPONSORED VIDEO STATISTICS
Finally, once your ad is live (mine was approved in about an hour) you’ll be able to drilldown and look at individual stats on a keyword basis – so you’ll know what position your ad is in, how many impressions (views) your ad recieved and how many clicks it got.
VIEW YOUR YOUTUBE AD
Once your ad is live, it’ll look like this on a YouTube search results page. You can see right now I’m the only bidder on the search term “smo” so I’m in top placement by default. Your YouTube username is displayed under your ad, so it might prove worthwhile to have a username related to the content you’re pushing to encourage click further. This could also lend itself to usernames with a build in call to action, i.e. your username could be “ClickHereNow” to encourage folks just that much more to view your video.
You’ll also notice that the keyword in this example bring up some non English suggested search terms and videos – this is something you’ll want to double check in your ads. It’s clear “smo” probably isn’t a great keyword for use on YouTube, as their results (and therefore, the visitors) are looking for something entirely different.
Folks, this is uncharted territory. We don’t know how much traffic will result in click-throughs to your site, or sales for that matter. Much of it will have to do with your video – is your call to action strong enough? Is the video immediately engaging so it draws people in? Right now, you can get your feet wet at super low CPC values before the advertising marketing within YouTube gets competitive – I recommend you do so immediately.