YouTube advertisers can choose from among six different ad formats. For better or worse, users watching videos on YouTube expect some kind of advertising. It has become the norm.
According to Animoto’s The State of Social Video: Marketing in a Video-First World study of 1,000 consumers and 500 marketers, 60% of consumers watch branded video content daily on Facebook and 55% report watching it on YouTube. Not surprisingly, 59% say they watch branded videos on Instagram, which is pretty much an extension of Facebook at this point.
However, engagement is a different story. Facebook still leads the pack when it comes to the number of consumers who engage with video content (49%). YouTube comes in second place with 32% of the respondents saying they engage with branded video content.
These numbers are interesting because Mark Zuckerberg has forbidden pre-roll ads. From the start, advertisers were left with few options to monetize their videos on Facebook, leaving many frustrated with the platform.
That frustration has eased since Facebook began running mid-roll ads, but not much because the mid-roll ads have many consumers fuming and swearing off watching videos on Facebook altogether. (The rumor on the street is that Facebook will be doing away with mid-roll ads and instead moving to pre-roll ads after all.)
According to Strike Social’s 2017 YouTube Advertising Benchmark Report, there is a group of YouTube content consumers that the report refers to as “the unknowns.” The group is so-named because demographic information about people in this group is not known.
On the surface, this lack of data may seem like a bad thing for advertisers. However, Strike Social’s data shows the individuals whose ages are unknown have a view rate (VR) of 29.5% (6.5% higher than average) and a cost per view (CPV) rate of $0.034 (nearly 23% lower than average). When the gender of the viewer is unknown, the VR dips slightly to 28% and the CPV climbs a bit to $0.039
Data collected by Strike Social shows that a person’s interests give some insight into their receptiveness to ads on YouTube. For example, Strike Social found that thrill-seekers have high view rates in several states. Individuals in Nevada who identify as thrill-seekers had an average VR of 32.3%, while Idaho’s came in at 31.8%, and Minnesota and Nebraska tied for third place with a 31.6% VR.
Another interest category with a high VR percentage was foodies. If you’re a cooking enthusiast living in Washington, you have a whopping average VR of 70.8%, with Arkansas and Connecticut coming in at 68.3% and 67.6% respectively.
Some people respond to any ad as long as it’s served on mobile. In fact, more than half of YouTube video viewscome from mobile users.
Remember the issues with Facebook’s video viewing metrics? In short, over a two-year period, Facebook overestimated the amount of time viewers spent watching videos by 60% to 80%. This overinflation could have led advertisers to believe their videos were getting more views than they were, possibly resulting in increased ad spend, or at the very least, maintaining their current spend.
There’s no record of YouTube ever being accused of a similar problem. Google even announced expanded auditing of YouTube metrics provided to advertisers to increase advertisers’ confidence in the numbers provided. It was probably no coincidence this announcement was made around the time Facebook revealed a similar plan in response to the inflation controversy.
In fact, Social Media Examiner’s 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report found that 65% of the 5,000+ respondents who have been in the industry for more than three years report they’re still interested in utilizing YouTube in their social media marketing plans. 44% of respondents say they plan on either increasing their YouTube ad spend or keeping it the same.