By now you must've heard of YouTube ads – and why shouldn’t you? With them generating $22.31 billion last year, YouTube ads are worth a look for any business owner or marketer.
Now, it’s all too tempting to think that this is the realm of the big boys. Think companies like Pepsi with its 250M-view ad aimed at Indian watchers to Dior’s ad featuring Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman.
But the truth is that you don’t need a massive advertising budget to succeed with YouTube ads. Small business owners worry about having limited resources compared to bigger brands, but there are actually many ways to stay competitive on this channel that aren’t dependent on the size of your budget!
Today, we’ll help you understand how to set up and run successful YouTube ads for SMEs by using your existing assets or resources to amplify your marketing funnel.
Figure out your targeting
Ad targeting is one of the very first things to master when it comes to YouTube ads. In fact, we’d even say it’s one of the first things to master for any type of social ad!
Do your targeting badly and you’ll end up wasting money. Do it right and you can get your message out to the people you actually wanted to reach while optimising ad spend.
In other words, you’re aiming for cost-efficient targeting here. Why waste effort creating and deploying a dragnet when you can cast your line into the right spot with the right bait from the start?
Anyway, you can begin by figuring out which part of your marketing funnel you want to send ads to. This helps you identify the traits or circumstances defining your target audience for the ad.
Once you have those down, start testing specific groups. You can even try lookalikes of your existing clients, or target using location (say, for launching a new branch or something else location-bound).
Remember that it’s best to begin with more modest budgets when you test your targeting and potential audiences. You’re not sure yet what will work, after all. Just scale up as you find ones that actually work, based on which audiences engage with your ad or actually click through to your website.
Consider using your existing assets
Here’s a secret that explains why YouTube ads for SMEs can be highly successful too: not all of your YouTube ads need to be professionally done!
It’s possible to use your existing assets to make an ad, actually. Slide-show-type videos put together with animations can be crafted from your existing business photos or media, for example.
You can even produce basic videos using less polished content deliberately. Why? Because it can actually work in your favour!
Documentary-style or mobile-phone-style video content can be great at capturing audiences’ attention nowadays because they tend to associate it with authenticity. This is something a lot of them are used to now from content creators on social media, so you may as well leverage it yourself.
To add to that, there are now so many beginner-friendly casual-creator tools for producing videos. Your mobile phone likely has its own basic editing app and YouTube itself has ad creation tools you can use.
Plus, if you happen to have Instagram or TikTok accounts for your business, you very likely have videos on those too. Reuse those assets! With just a bit of adjustment, you may well be able to convert them into YouTube Reel ads!
A last friendly tip on this, though: aim for quality, not quantity. Don’t feel like you need to create lengthy videos or ads on the channel because that’s not necessary at all.
Create good videos with the best content you can find in your bank of assets – if they’re 30 seconds long, that’s fine. What matters is that they still get the point across and well! Besides, shorter ads can actually work better than longer ones in many cases, due to short viewer attention spans.
Monitor and optimise your campaign
We beat this drum a lot, we know, but it’s so important: for best results, marketing campaigns should be monitored and optimised!
That means coming up from the start with a clear set of KPIs (key performance indicators) for determining ad and campaign effectiveness. Base these metrics on your campaign goals. What do you want your ad to achieve and how can that be measured?
Is your ad meant to introduce your brand to more people, for instance? Perhaps the metric could be clickthroughs to your site. Is your ad meant to encourage people to buy a product? The key metric could be actual purchases following the ad.
This lets you get a better idea of how well your ad is serving your goals and whether or not changes need to be made. If it’s underperforming, you can make adjustments to improve it. If it’s performing well, you can scale it up to try and get even better results.
Get started on YouTube ads on an SME budget
On the whole, while online advertising may seem challenging on a limited budget, it’s far from impossible. There are still many, many ways you can go about this with your existing resources, as long as you use them wisely.
If you’re worried about going it alone, don’t worry – you don’t have to. We can help you here, as we specialise in SME marketing in particular. A fair number of our clients have us running YouTube ads for them even now.
Contact us if you want to learn more about how we can help you with your own YouTube advertising. We’ll reply to you and set up a meeting as soon as we’re able. You can also take a look at some of our other manuals for business owners and marketers if you want to do further reading.
For example, we’ve written about how to run Google search ads on a small budget, which can further round out the advertising portion of your marketing. For more personalised advice, however, talk to us!