Using Ads To Build Views and Engagement For Your Music Videos on YouTube

YouTube is arguably the most important content platform in the world. YouTube now touts over 2 billion monthly users worldwide, compared to Spotify’s 286 million. On average, 500 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Yet at the same time, more than 50% of the videos on YouTube have less than 500 views.

For musicians and their teams, it’s important to create a deliberate YouTube marketing strategy. This post will walk you through an overview of how to use ads to promote your YouTube videos. 

Cross Platform Promotion

The most obvious way to promote your YouTube video is to utilize your social platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The problem is that, generally speaking, Facebook & Google aren’t very supportive of each other. Pasting a YouTube link in the copy of your Facebook post or your Instagram story is a sure way to make sure your post is seen by no one at all.

At the same time, using social media advertising strategies can sometimes be the most effective way to find engaged viewers. The benefits of social ads are also twofold. First, you’re more apt to connect with the user on a deeper level. Since the user has to click through to another platform, you can be relatively assured they are genuinely interested in your video. Second, using social ads provides a direct gateway to your social account. Often a new fan will watch your video and then come back to follow your account and engage with your posts.

While social advertising may not be as direct of a translation as a Google ad, these strategies can often provide more value than just a single click through.

In-Stream Ads vs. Discovery Ads

When using Google Ads strategies, it’s important to ask yourself, “am I just looking to increase the view count on my video, or am I looking to generate real engagement?” Google Ads on YouTube provide you options that can accomplish both goals. Understanding when and how to use them is the key. 

In-stream ads appear as a commercial either before or during another user’s video. These ads are great for boosting the view-count on a video. Anyone that watches your In-stream ad for more than 6 seconds will count as a view. However, In-stream ads are seriously lacking in engagement metrics. It’s not out of the question to generate 100k+ views with an In-stream ad and only see 5 new comments.

While racking up views isn’t a bad thing, the goal of any effective marketing campaign should be to get people to interact with your content on a deeper level.

Luckily, Google has another type of ad strategy, Discovery Ads, directed at boosting engagement metrics. Discovery ads typically show up in the recommended video on YouTube. Meaning a user must actively click on the ad in order to generate a view. While the cost per view will generally be much higher, you’ll see a significantly higher engagement rate. Which is proof of the difference in how that spend is creating value for you.

Costs & Bidding

Finally, it’s important to point out how Google handles ad placement differently from most other platforms. Facebook, for example, automates the bidding process so that you set your overall budget and then automatically get the lowest cost per placement. However Google asks you to set a limit or “bid” on how much you’d like to pay per placement. If you don’t set the correct bid price, your ads might not run at all.

A good rule of thumb for bidding is to set the maximum bid at $1 per placement. Sometimes you might have to go as high as $5 per placement initially to get the campaign rolling. However you’ll find the cost will go down significantly once the ad starts to connect with its desired audience.

If your campaign stays as high as $1+ after a day or so, it might make sense to pause the ad and take another look at your targeting. It’s important to keep a close watch and make sure you’re not wasting money with the campaign. 

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