11 Jun Mitigating The Risk of a YouTube Integration
A YouTube integration, defined as a sponsorship advertisement that typically runs :30-:60 in an original video, is one of the most effective ad formats in all of marketing, especially digital. However, it can also be one of the riskiest. Why? Because you’re paying for each view regardless of whether that view is domestic or international, and regardless of whether the integration is actually seen. But it works. It works really well if done right.
Below are three things to focus on when assessing if a YouTube integration is right for you.
The first thing you want to focus on when sizing up opportunities is what percentage of the traffic is U.S. Same with any other country if that’s your target. Make sure you request demographic data beforehand because you cannot target impressions (i.e. views) on a Geographic level as you could if you were buying pre-rolls or banner ads on the platform.
The second thing to focus on is where to place the integration. In my experience, the best way to figure out where to place it is to work with the channel host. Odds are the host has run a sponsorship integration before and will know where it does best. Many want to go at the front, but that can pose problems; the audience may turn against the video because of the “ad” upfront, or just begin to skip past it altogether to the content itself. However, if it’s placed at the back, audience drop off may result in fewer people viewing the integration, and the middle may not be the right spot to seamlessly place the integration. There is no real rhyme or reason but the channel host should have an idea what will work best. If the host hasn’t run a sponsorship before then placing it 75% of the way through may make the most sense: the audience that’s viewing it is highly engaged to get to that point and there will still be content to watch after so there’s a deterrent against closing the video for fear of missing the end.
The third thing to focus on is guaranteed views or a minimum number of views included. Why is this important? Obviously the more views a video gets the more chances the integration will be seen, and with the likelihood that a decent chunk will be non-US, it’ll be important to hit certain milestones if you’re utilizing this format to generate sales or actions on your website. Many channels will not price their integration out on a cost per view (CPV) but rather a fixed rate, but it always backs out to a cost per view regardless. You can figure that out by dividing the cost of the integration by the actual number of views over a 30 or 45 day period. And if the channel will not offer a guarantee – and most won’t, then it’s in your interest to integrate the sponsorship into a video that should outperform, which typically is a video on a popular series, or topic (eg if it’s a consumer tech campaign then videos about the latest iPhones usually do well). Look back over the past few months to see if any standout.
This is just a quick guide to planning integrations but if you keep these three things in mind, it’ll save you a lot of heartache, frustration, and potentially money when it’s go time.