2023 YouTube Marketing Guide

Avatar for Brock Murray

Brock Murray
Co-Founder / COO

Person holding a tablet. On the tablet is the YouTube logo showing how YouTube Video Marketing is important
Person holding a tablet. On the tablet is the YouTube logo showing how YouTube Video Marketing is important

As the second most-visited site, second most-popular search engine, and number one video site online, YouTube is an undisputed powerhouse of the digital era.

With over four billion videos streamed daily and more than one billion unique monthly visitors, any savvy marketer can recognize YouTube as a cost-effective marketing tool with incredible exposure potential.

Here’s our 2023 YouTube Marketing Guide, with details on how to harness the power of video, the fastest-growing medium in history, and use YouTube marketing to reach your target audience and drive sales.

Ways to target your audience

Before, during, and after videos

Also know as “instream” ads, these skippable videos appear before, during, or after YouTube videos. You will only be charged if the user watches the entire ad (or 30 seconds of a longer ad), which means you only pay on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis. Skipability and CPV define the TrueView format. Especially with a strong and appealing ad, this active method can be perfect for a call-to-action (CTA) prompt. Instream format is effective for all campaigns.

Other variants include bumper videos (these are short, non-skippable ads that appear before or after a video).

On top of videos

YouTube sponsored cards are clickable cards that appear in the sidebar of a video. Similarly, overlay ads are semi-transparent ads that appear over the bottom 20% of a video.When clicked, viewers are directed to a website or YouTube channel that is related to the video. These cards are a great way to get viewers to take action, such as visiting your website or subscribing to your channel. Sponsored cards and overlay ads can also be used to promote products or services. They are effective because viewers are already engaged with the video and are more likely to take the desired action.

Next to videos

Video ads can also be displayed next to current video streams on YouTube’s watch page or on the Content Display network. You will only be charged when a user chooses to click and watch the ad. In the “slate” format, users can choose your ad from among three options. This style is ideal for repositioning brands, storytelling, and customer retention. This evident but unobtrusive placement next to related videos will draw interested eyes.

In search results

When users search for related topics, your video ad will show up on the YouTube search results page. As with the other display methods, you will only pay if users choose to click and watch your video. As users already expressed interest in your topic, they are primed for exposure to your product or service. This format is best to generate response, retain customers, and demonstrate your brand identity.

YouTube remarketing

Sometimes users view or interact with your ad but are not immediately converted into customers. Remarketing is a great way to reconnect with users who have viewed, liked, shared, or commented on your video or channel and retarget them, both on YouTube and elsewhere online. As they have already shown some degree of interest, your chances for conversion are increased.

What are the benefits?

YouTube video marketing is an easy and cost-effective way to increase exposure, create a buzz, educate your audience, and drive conversions. Not only is online video a great way to engage your audience, users are more receptive and attuned to your product or service because of the targeted nature. Abandoned, skipped, or unwatched videos cost you nothing, which allows you to keep a tight clamp on the budget. Finally, you can easily use remarketing to follow up with your audience and increase conversion potential. Here are some examples of YouTube success stories.

15 tips to make your video stand out

  1. Hook your audience early.The skip feature activates on ads after five seconds. So make the first five seconds compelling and convince your audience not to click away.
  2. Short videos are best. Between 30-60 is an ideal length to educate and/or entertain the viewer without losing their attention.
  3. Don’t leave conversion up to chance. Capitalize on your viewer’s attention with calls-to-action encouraging them to subscribe, engage, visit your website, or watch more of your videos.
  4. End your video with a static call-to-action end card of ten seconds or so, giving your viewers a chance to engage.
  5. Give your ad a compelling title that complements your brand and promotes the calls-to-action.
  6. Use relevant keywords  in title and description to help audiences find you in search.
  7. Use high-quality  audio.  Something as simple as too loud or too quiet audio can make you lose a viewer.
  8. Use high-quality video.  Almost any smartphone can capture video worthy of a watch, but nail the basics like lighting and no shaky cam.
  9. Editing is your friend.  Don’t waste your viewers’ time with dead air.
  10. Upload a clear thumbnail that represents your brand identity and communicates the spirit of the video content. Users will click interesting thumbnails.
  11. Interactive content is a bonus. You want your viewer to interact and engage, not just passively watch and move on.
  12. Play with and call out unique features of the YouTube platform, like skipability. This can surprise and capture the attention of users.
  13. Develop more than one ad and put them into circulation. This way, you can see which is most attractive and engaging to viewers. New ads help to entertain users and keep your message current.
  14. Experiment and find your voice.  You probably won’t nail it on the first try, so keep testing and soliciting feedback.
  15. Above all, the key to a great ad is great content. Make it creative, entertaining, informative, and distinctive.

Tracking & analytics

You can easily track campaign performance with YouTube Analytics, a reporting tool that tracks engagement. Analytics tools can track everything from traffic sources and identifying viewer trends to tracking audience retention.

Assess and analyze data which reflect your current results and apply your discoveries to improve future engagement and conversion. All of this information allows you to optimize your campaign strategy to best connect with, engage, and convert viewers into customers.

YouTube evolution from 2015 to 2023

This article was originally published in 2015. What are some ways that YouTube has evolved in this time frame?

  • The website and mobile app have both undergone a major redesign.
  • The company has introduced a new logo and color scheme.
  • YouTube has rolled out a new feature called “Watch Time.
  • The site has launched a new paid subscription service called YouTube Red.
  • YouTube has introduced a new live-streaming service called YouTube TV.

As you develop your strategies for 2023, put YouTube marketing high on the priority

As you develop your strategies for 2023, put YouTube marketing high on the priority list. Do not overlook the chance to connect with a massive audience, keep your costs under control with cost-per-view pricing, and reach potential customers who have deliberately sought out content related to your company.


Avatar for Brock Murray

Brock Murray

Brock Murray is the COO and co-founder of seoplus+ digital marketing agency. As the driving force behind this award-winning, full-service agency, Brock's passion is helping businesses establish, grow, and maintain their online presence. With the help of SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing, and more, Brock and his team help clients of varying sizes and verticals, from small, local retailers to large, multinational enterprise companies.

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