A recent ComScore study found that customers who visit a brand’s website after engaging with that brand on YouTube spend more than customers who come from anywhere else. The same study also showed that 20% of those customers will buy from that brand again in the future.1 As if in response, direct-response-focused advertisers who may have previously scoffed at video are rethinking their strategies. Read on to see how three such advertisers -- ForRent.com, Batteries Plus Bulbs, and CarGurus -- are now using YouTube to reach their highest value audiences.
ForRent.com reaches millennials and empty nesters at the same time
With Mike Bozeman, Vice President of Media Solutions
Through their consumer research, ForRent.com found that they could divide their audience into two groups you don’t normally see together -- millennials and empty-nesters. “Though these two audiences may seem dissimilar at first glance,” says Mike Bozeman, vice president of media solutions, “their housing spend habits actually look quite similar, and these housing spend habits make them both ForRent.com’s target consumer.”
ForRent.com already knew they’d be able to reach millennials on YouTube, but quickly realized that empty nesters conveniently are also spending more and more time on YouTube. Now the brand turns to YouTube to reach both of these audiences at the same time, with slightly different messages.
“We’re trying to segment and create a storyline that resonates with each consumer and ultimately drives awareness and consideration,” said Mike. To do so, in addition to using keyword and channel targeting, ForRent.com used in-market segments to reach people in-market to rent and lookalike audiences to reach people similar to others that have already visited ForRent.com. “YouTube’s advanced targeting options are working great so far -- so much so that we even stopped all our print advertising in January.”
According to Mike, “We’re still experimenting with formats to figure out what the best mix looks like. But today we lean into TrueView for introducing our brand and bumpers to re-engage people in a nice, quick way. We’ve already seen a 1200% increase in brand interest alone. But beyond that, we’re seeing that about 20% of people coming from YouTube end up searching for an apartment at ForRent.com.”
Car Gurus brings an edge to YouTube
With Sarah Welch, Senior VP of Marketing
For performance advertiser CarGurus, YouTube is primarily a top-of-the-funnel, attention-grabbing solution. “Because of its unparalleled reach among video platforms, we rely on YouTube to tell our brand story and extend the reach of our brand in effective and interesting ways,” says Sarah Welch, senior VP of marketing at CarGurus.
CarGurus’ video media strategy relies on using TrueView and 6-second bumper ads to build awareness among In-Market Auto Shoppers who haven’t yet visited CarGurus site. “Car shopping isn’t something people do every day,” says Sarah, “or even every year, so we want to make sure that when people are actually in market, we reach them.” In addition to In-Market Audience targeting on YouTube, the brand is now taking advantage of the newly available option to leverage Google Search data in its YouTube campaigns as well. Employing YouTube’s powerful audience tools, CarGurus reached 12.5 million entirely new users in Q4 2016.
CarGurus’ video creative strategy is still evolving as the brand develops its YouTube presence. “So far we’ve been using our TV spots but with slightly different endings for YouTube to appeal to the slightly edgier humor of our audience there. Our first foray into video was functional and instructional,” says Sarah. “We laid out brass-tacks case examples of how CarGurus can help you decide what car’s best for you. It’s been a nice workhorse piece of content, but now we’re starting to get more creative with our storytelling.”
CarGurus’ new campaign takes one step back before educating about its products and instead focuses on pure and simple name recognition among their highest value audiences. “Our ‘motivational guru’ campaign is all about name recognition. It’s intended to be hard-hitting and humorous. We take the guru concept and hammer it home hard with a bit of edge to build brand awareness for ourselves. And it’s performing quite well for us, based on our video measures of success: view-through rates and brand lift. Of course we look at ROI too, but our primary goal on YouTube is to capture attention and build our brand among the right people. Then we follow up with them elsewhere via remarketing.”
Batteries Plus Bulbs takes the “DIY” out of screen repair
With Bob McKinney, VP of Digital Marketing
Performance advertisers are increasingly turning to YouTube to drive lower-funnel actions. In the case of Batteries Plus Bulbs, they used hyper-specific targeting on YouTube to reach people ripe for conversion, and bring them in-store.
“Because Batteries Plus Bulbs stores are located all across the United States,” said Bob McKinney, Batteries Plus Bulbs VP of digital marketing, “we found it very difficult and inefficient to drive awareness on television. Besides, we don’t have 3-5 days to get our audience through the funnel. We have maybe an hour, so our marketing is real time. Right now.”
When it comes to reaching the right people at just the right time, Batteries Plus Bulbs relies on YouTube. “Our priority recently became understanding how to find an audience currently dealing with a broken device,” said Bob, “So our team created a Custom Affinity segment on YouTube to target individuals researching their repair options. This new targeting solution allows us to marry intent with YouTube’s massive reach.”
According to Bob, “When you break your phone the first thing you do is Google how to fix the screen. People often end up on YouTube looking for videos about how to repair their screen themselves. And that’s our trigger. We reach them on YouTube and use clever creative to quickly demonstrate how much easier it is to let the Batteries Plus Bulbs ‘WeFixIt’ team do the work instead. That’s our whole pitch, the convenience pitch.”
The combination of smart targeting and witty creative with this campaign so far has led to an overall lift of 77% in brand awareness and an 85% lift in purchase intent, in addition to a spike in cold-hard appointment signups for screen repairs.
Your highest value customers are paying close attention on YouTube, and we have the tools to help you understand when and how to reach them. As these examples show, there’s no “right” way to use YouTube as a performance advertiser. You can think of formats, creative, and targeting as your tools, but you’re the (performance) artist, and your consumer insights are your creative inspiration!
1 Source: Google commissioned Comscore YouTube Value of Audience Study, U.S., February 2017 ↩