When I was growing up, if you did something stupid, you could either tell someone about it, or you hopefully had enough pictures left on your disposable camera to snap that moment. Then, you had to wait to share that moment with anyone until your mom took you to the pharmacy, dropped off your camera, came back days later to pick up your pictures, and then you had to wait until the following day until you got to school and could show your friends. There was no Facebook, there was no Instagram and there definitely wasn’t YouTube. Nowadays, if you do something stupid, you can post it on YouTube with the potential to have millions of people see it and you can even make money off of it.
To fully understand just how important YouTube is, I am going to talk about this current season of Dancing with the Stars. One of the “stars” is a YouTube personality named Bethany Mota. She’s an eighteen-year-old girl who started making YouTube videos to escape the kids in her school who were bullying her. Soon, she had 6 million followers. If you hit a certain number of views, YouTube starts actually paying you for those videos. Now, with her 6 million followers, Bethany is making an estimated $40,000 a month. Businesses are literally sending her cosmetics and gifts cards in hopes of her promoting these products on one of her “shows.”
If you go online to watch her videos, you’ll notice a few different things are happening. First of all, you will have to watch an Ad for at least 15 seconds before you can get to the video (this isn’t just her show this is for almost anything you watch on YouTube). Secondly, you might see another banner ad at some point during the video to sell you something. Thirdly, on the right hand bar you will see a list of other videos that YouTube finds relevant and recommends that you might want to watch afterwards.
Now, this could work with any type of video, any type of business, but since we have already started talking about Bethany let’s keep this example going. She’s eighteen and most of her videos are about things that would pertain to high school and college aged kids. So what are my options? Cell phones, make up, music, concerts, bars, restaurants, sporting events, etc. Well, since everyone seems to be addicted to technology let’s pretend I sell the IPhone. The IPhone 876 is coming out next month and I have all of these IPhone 875’s that are going to be straight up useless in about four weeks time. So, in order to just get them out of my store, I decide on a 50% off sale. So now I have a few options as far as YouTube advertising is concerned:
1) I can have a gigantic masthead banner on the homepage of YouTube for everyone to see.
Then again, Christmas is coming up soon, so I really want to focus on kids. I want them asking their parents for this, because they will pay attention and they will nag. So, I don’t want to do this option. I want to advertise on Bethany’s channel and a million other channels just like hers. So let’s move on to the next option.
2) I can set up a funny commercial that will play for thirty seconds, but the kids have to watch at least 15 seconds before they can watch Bethany’s video
I like this option, I want to do this, but I want to do more as well.
3) I can have a scrolling banner that appears during the actual video.
Since 90% of kids today have ADD and a short attention span, this seems like a good option to, because they can quickly see the information and if they want to come to my website they can and if not, no harm no foul.
4) I can have an ad in search. That means that if someone is searching for any keywords that might pertain to me, my ad will show up. Those keywords can be just about anything. I want my ad showing up to kids between 15 and 25, I only want my ad showing up to kids in this certain county. This ad should be showing up to people that are searching for IPhone fails, new iPhone, does putting your iPhone in the microwave really charge it (it doesn’t don’t do that), but you get the idea.
While this seems like a great deal of work- it’s actually fairly simple to set up. Furthermore, it’s really not that expensive. You only pay when someone is clicking on your information. So, let’s put this into perspective. Bethany’s channel is too all over the place for you. You are a small business, you don’t want your business showing up to six million people. So, you pick a more local business with a local audience. Your ad shows up 500 times in one month, but only 250 click on your website and of those 250 people 150 actually make a purchase. You are paying $2 a click. So your cost was $500 for those 250 people that went to your website. Of those 250, you sold 100 iPhone’s to kids who all had upgrades available and all they needed to pay was their $50 deductible. That’s $5,000 that you have made in one month in sales (by doing next to nothing). If you take out the $500 advertising cost, its $4,500, but we don’t need to knit pick. You get the idea.