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7 Creative Ways YouTube Video Marketers Are Killing It

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Are you ready to plan your next video campaign? As you probably know, video ads and YouTube are powerful. But how powerful?   

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video versus 10% when reading it in text.

80% of consumers recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days.

So even if your ideal customers are initially unaware of your solution you have a great opportunity. Now when you think about the different awareness levels you can hit, the native features to video and YouTube's platform you can use create a great opportunity for lasting impressions (pun intended).    

You’ll see with these samples, personalization around viewers' interests or giving viewers the opportunity to personalize themselves can pay dividends.       

1. Encourage Viewers To Choose the Next Step   

In an ad campaign created for an online guitar teacher, viewers had two options as their next step: click on a video geared towards new guitarists or for those in a “guitar rut” and were looking to take their guitar playing to the next level.

Compared to previous campaigns they saw:

  • 33% more registrants
  • 52% more sales
  • 39.3% increase in view rate

Think about what existing video content you can link up to and test out creating a choose-your-own-adventure-style ad.

2. Create Ads Around Intent

Many successful YouTube advertisers are not only targeting users based on their video search intent, but they're also creating the ad content around them.  

Ogilvy Paris developed such a campaign promoting the show Friends for Netflix.

This awareness campaign introduced a whole new generation to the show. Each pre-roll ad showed clips of the show based on what the viewer intended on watching. For example, if they were about to watch cat videos they showed a clip of Rachel with her hairless Sphynx.         

Relevance is key with your ad campaigns. 48% of US mobile users prefer seeing a pre-roll ad that is related to the content they are searching or watching.

To make your ads even more relevant you can drill down further with placement targeting. Placement targeting on YouTube allows marketers to target viewers of specific YouTube videos and channels. This helps marketers reach viewers at the moment of intent.

3. Account Based Video Marketing  

Brite Content wanted to target ideal customers for a webinar campaign. Using their own SaaS platform they were able to upload a .CSV containing the emails of their prospects, fine tune the specific types of companies they want to reach, and place their YouTube ads with relevant videos.  

First they sent prospects awareness level pre-roll ads. Collaborating with Epipheo they ran ads with quick cuts around the solution they provide, delivering and optimizing full funnel video campaigns. Clicking the link within the ad took them to a blog piece containing a tracking pixel.   

Anyone who watched the entire awareness ad or viewed the blog post received a second video ad covering the benefits of full funnel video campaigns. The ad rapidly goes into benefits that likely matter to prospects and the rest of their team: more leads, more sales, and more ROI. The CTA here included an offer to view a guide covering how to prove the ROI of video marketing.   

Folks that downloaded the guide got a third video ad with a call to sign up for their webinar.   

With two weeks notice before the webinar, account based marketing provided a 47% higher video completion rate than other targeting. Some of their other results:

  • 9,819 relevant placements  
  • Four industry verticals and 302 unique accounts reached
  • 94 webinar signups
  • $22.91 Cost Per Lead

You can view their full case study covering the campaign here.  

4. Make It Meta  

Meta humor is in. Acknowledging in an ad they are being forced to watch is a growing trend.   

Burger King lampoons the concept of pre-roll ads with keyword targeted ads created based on whatever YouTube video they are about to watch. For the campaign StopPress created a total of 64 different videos covering multiple topics.   

Some companies use humor to make a distinction from their competitors like Nordnet did. The ad clearly spoofs other banking industry ads.   

5. Call Out Bad Customers  

Other companies choose to say who they aren't by calling out who isn't a good fit as a customer.

Road Lodge's campaign (originally running on TV) targeted hotel customers looking for a quiet space to rest. Their ad communicates the noisy people who considers themselves rock stars aren't their guests. Saying upfront in your ads who this isn't intended for can make it clearer to viewers are a good fit for your product.  

6. Maximizing the Five Seconds  

Many video campaigns operate under the assumption that viewers will likely skip 5 seconds in when the option becomes available on YouTube. There's many things you can do in less than five seconds.

Like go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a Mercedes as the below video shows.


7. Interact With YouTube's Native Features

Some advertisers creatively weave their pre-roll around features viewers are familiar with from using YouTube.

Opel Eye shot videos where their vehicles interact with the skip button in playful ways. Their campaign generated over 2.5 million views.   

Or check out this ad for Madagascar 3 where at the end they integrate action with the video thumbnail. You'll also notice the film's characters acknowledge you are watching an ad.    


Hopefully this gives you a few more ideas for your next YouTube campaign since the second most searched site on the planet isn't going away anytime soon. Combine killer creative with features native to YouTube and the Google ad network for a great campaign.       

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