Digital Marketing 101: Advantages & Disadvantages of Advertising on YouTube

June 9, 2022
Versa Creative

In recent decades, YouTube has grown exponentially in popularity, and that growth isn’t stopping anytime soon. As a result, YouTube has become increasingly enticing to businesses seeking to take advantage of this growth through digital marketing. When it comes to taking your first steps toward advertising for your business on YouTube, there are several pros and cons to consider.

Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of advertising on YouTube below.

YouTube ads need to engage the audience

Advantages of Advertising on Youtube

  1. Reach – YouTube is the second most-visited website and search engine used globally, after Google itself. It places a worldwide market of potential customers and clients at your fingertips, and is the world’s third-largest social media platform, with well over a billion users accessing the site’s content. Google search also ranks YouTube videos high in their search results and indexes all video content. This ensures that your content will almost always receive some level of exposure. However, the content of your video still matters, as highly engaging content is more likely to yield high conversion rates.
  2. Engagement – Videos are the most engaging media content on the market, especially among younger generations. A YouTube ad that is highly interesting, entertaining, or informative will cause someone to spend more time watching it and more time on the platform as a whole. Engaging video content in ads can build brand awareness; just think of the Superbowl ads that people still talk about to this day, like GoDaddy’s controversial kiss ad or the Purple Mattress ads with egg tests and Bigfoot’s family. Video content, especially on a site with high traffic like YouTube, is more likely to engage an audience than static content and information. Engaging video content, especially when posted on YouTube, allows for the personalization of brand awareness by helping your audience build a connection with you or your company through what they watch.
  3. Audience TargetingYouTube allows you to specifically target your desired audience across many different demographics, such as age, gender, and location. YouTube also helps you reach your target audience by factoring user search behavior, meaning the specific topics and keywords users have previously shown interest in, into their advertising strategy. Users that show interest in or align with your channel or topics related to your channel, will be directed towards your content.
  4. Metrics Tracking – YouTube also has a feature that tracks analytics for your videos and presents it to you in a way that’s clear and easy to understand. This allows you to better understand your audience and engagement levels, and make any necessary adjustments to your strategy and content in order to facilitate optimal growth for your channel. This tool is especially useful in boosting your channel’s reach and engagement, ensuring that your content is achieving your advertising goals. Not only does the analytics tool help with channel growth, but it helps you achieve multiple business goals. Using metrics, you can adjust your strategy to drive web traffic, generate leads and sales, and increase your retention rate, among a variety of other goals. 
  5. CostYouTube advertising is also relatively low-cost. There are two kinds of YouTube ads that run on two different payment models. Firstly, there are skippable in-stream ads. These are the ads you typically see before a YouTube video, which include an option to skip after watching for 5 seconds. These ads run on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis, which means that advertisers are only charged each time someone views either the entire duration of the ad or the first 30 seconds of the ad—whichever comes first. Secondly, are bumper ads. These are unskippable ads that run for 6 seconds or less and play before the beginning of a YouTube video. These ads run on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis, where advertisers are charged per thousand impressions on the video. While advertisers do pay for ads, the low-cost models of advertising on YouTube lead to an ultimate benefit for businesses that choose to do so.

disadvantages of running YouTube ads include a learning curve

Disadvantages of Advertising on YouTube

  1. Learning Curve – Although creating a YouTube channel and uploading videos is incredibly easy, there is a bit of a learning curve with respect to making ads that not only engage viewers but also achieve your business goals. As an advertiser, you will need to invest in learning how to improve your skills and align your strategy with the specific goals you have in mind. There are a number of ways to do this, including focusing on specific branding and including a call to action in your videos. Just know that if your first video isn’t as successful as you’d like it to be, you can always adjust your strategy and plan to be more effective in the future. 
  2. Unpredictability – Due to the YouTube algorithm, there is very little control over which videos your advertisement accompanies. The video itself may be completely unrelated to your advertisement and may be unaligned with the views and values of your business, which may interfere with brand awareness. That being said, the algorithm is smart, and as time goes on, your ad will be placed with videos similar to those that have demonstrated higher levels of engagement from viewers. Focusing on engagement and targeting a specific audience will help alleviate this issue as your ads are seen by more people.  
  3. Skipping YouTube advertisements are also skippable and can be completely bypassed with ad blockers. This may result in lower conversion rates from your advertisements. There is, however, the option of a bumper ad, as mentioned above in our explanation of the cost benefits of YouTube advertising. These ads are unskippable, but they’re also very short. This means two things: firstly, they’re less likely to annoy viewers, and secondly, they need to be punchy and engaging. While skipping has the potential to lead to lower conversions, having engaging content in both your bumper and in-stream ads will prevent this. 
  4. Conversion – An entertaining video ad, to the wrong audience, won’t necessarily lead to new customers. As funny as an ad for a mattress, for example, can be, only people who need a new mattress—or who have poor impulse control—are going to want to purchase one from an ad alone. Even if people like your ad or sit to watch the entire thing, they may not necessarily want your product. This may seem discouraging, but it’s once again a case of needing a better business strategy. To improve conversion rates, you need to focus on targeting the right audience and making sure your content is engaging to the right people.

 The Bottom Line

Overall, YouTube advertising is incredibly advantageous and has a relatively low level of risk. The pros greatly outweigh the cons of YouTube. As with any marketing strategy, you get out what you put in, so treating digital marketing, such as YouTube advertising, as a viable means of gaining exposure is critical to getting the most out of it. The marketing professionals at Versa Creative are equipped and qualified to handle any YouTube campaign in a way that fully benefits your business. Reach out today and discover the potential for your business in the world of YouTube marketing!

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