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At SMX Advanced, advertisers were taught how to improve YouTube marketing strategies using tried-and-tested, cost-effective, high-impact methods. Digital advertising expert Corey Henke says that four variables are the key to creating low-cost, high-impact environments. They also make campaigns more effective.

Unlocking low-cost, high-impact campaigns

The top four variables that marketers should focus on are:

Ad Type


  • bid Type: Henke emphasized that these are the most critical variables, and encouraged marketers to use new ad formats, citing his own experience with YouTube’s in-feed videos. He also stressed the importance of choosing the right bid type for your campaign for optimal conversions.Creativevariation:
  • There are many creative variables, so advertisers must test wisely. The length of the video is a good place to start but other creative variables should also be taken into consideration. Henke suggested looking at things like male versus woman, actors, intros, music, product demonstrations versus funny and more. Targetwith intent:
  • Research and strategize with custom audiences, target with intent and grow your YouTube audiences with optimized detailed demographics. Henke stated that this approach would help marketers improve their performance. Data analysis(attribution):
  • To measure the success of your campaign, review multiple areas of importance and make sure that they are the right areas. Henke added: “I think this approach is the best opportunity for high-reach, low-cost campaigns.”

Ad types – how to get the best bang for your buck

  • Researchers have studied the effectiveness of various ad types. The most scalable solutions:

Skippable video ads

: Play before, during or after videos. Viewers can skip the video after five seconds.

  • Non-skippable video ads: These ads are 15 seconds or shorter, and play before, after or during the video. Viewers can’t skip this content.
  • Bumper video ads: Six seconds or shorter and play before, during or after another video. This ad format is not skippable. YouTube prioritized this format recently, and deprioritized longer forced content. They also have the most inventory, according to Henke, meaning:
  • “Marketers can get the best bang for their buck on YouTube.”Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.

Bid types – getting TV-level results from YouTube

  • Choosing the right bid type can help marketers achieve TV-level volume success within YouTube. The bid type you choose will be determined by your campaign’s goals. The two bid types Henke put forward for comparison were:

Direct response bid types:

Primarily desktop

Branding bid types:

  • Minimal desktopThe big difference between the two options lie within the CPM (cost per mile), view rate and conversion rate – but not the CPC (cost per click). Henked added:
  • “If you want somebody to fill out a form or buy a product, you will definitely use a conversion campaign.“There are a variety of ways to reach users at scale for minimal cost inside of CPM and cost per view campaigns. You have bumpers, non-skippables and in-stream, which are your skippables. Let’s compare them.

“Non-skippables don’t come with any views and that’s because nobody’s making it past 30 seconds. It’s 15 seconds or less. They only get impressions and a lower CPM. “I believe YouTube understands who will convert. “

  • Creative variation for optimal impact
  • Marketers have multiple ad types to choose from and users consume these various formats in different ways. Henke talked about the benefits of feed ads and skippables. He also discussed non-skippables as well as stories, reels, and live television. He noted that skippable and non-skippable ads are great options because of the attention they attain – but skippable is his favorite go-to because of the unlimited link feature.
  • “With unlimited link, you have a huge opportunity to engage a user over a long period of time. We’re seeing that users are spending more time on their own platforms, rather than visiting brand websites. Henke stated that the ability to optimize creatives for view rates and have unlimited links is our biggest advantage. Henke said that people are more likely to complete 2 minutes 24 ads than any other option. This is a great opportunity. The average user spends about one minute with your ad. Some spend more and some less. But then also being able to have a competitive CPC along with a great view rate really shows that the long form is going to be the best value,” Henke added.
  • Targeting and retargeting are ‘huge opportunities’

Thorough research to identify user intent will give marketers an important advantage when it comes to understanding consumers who are relevant to your product or service. Retargeting is another necessary and big opportunity for brands wanting to expand their reach.

Reflecting on his own approach to targeting and retargeting, Henke revealed his favorite targeting tool is the detailed demographic combination report, which focuses on age, gender, parental status and household income.

  • Using demographics in conjunction with creative will drive maximum success. He said:

“These variables, when combined, give you a unique view of which specific audience may be converting best and being able segment this audience. You should get results quicker if you segment right away. So that’s why this is so important, the targeting, the creative, the bid type and the ad type to create this high reach, low-cost environment,” Henke said.

  • Success with in-feeds
Screenshot 2023 06 23 At 07.31.55 800x433

In-feeds are a new ad product launched by Google Ads and one of the biggest changes to the system since bumpers rolled out five years ago. In-feed ads are displayed on YouTube’s personalized page and users can click the thumbnail while the video autoplays. Some key benefits to in-feed ads as opposed to shorts include:

More impressions

Increased views

Higher spend

  • Longer ad length

Unique call to action

Authority of face to camera

Auto-play in the feed

  • Premium placement at top of feed
  • “I think the value really is that you’re getting more earned views. Henke stated that this is a clear indication that the audience we have here is of high quality. Think about the Halo Effect. Henke offered some implementation strategies here:
  • Precision targeting:
  • “When I talk about precision targeting, that means really looking at that detailed demographic and dialing in almost immediately because if you’re hitting your target audience, they’re going to make those Halo effect type of user behaviors, meaning they’re going to go and search,” he explained. They’ll go to Instagram or LinkedIn to find your brand. They will do other things, which don’t always involve a click. It’s very important. You want to reach your target audience. Check your placement report and make sure that your ads are not running on children’s channels, but rather in the places you want. Trend analysis:
  • This is different for each advertiser. What is the experience of creative like compared to a first-time visit to a site? Second, how would your video compare with someone visiting your website for the very first time? Henke said:
    “I think that your video should give a better user experience, because it is in long form and platform. Ready to start with Henke’s low-cost, high-reach approach to YouTube ads? Here’s what he suggested:
  • Targeting:
  • “Dialing into those combination audiences out the gate,” he said.
  • Device
  • For a high reach it is advised to exclude tablets and computers – however, keep them in if your goal is to convert users immediately. He said that the bid type should either be CPV, or CPM. Henke said that it is important to do your research on what will work best for your campaign. He said that it could unlock some good costs.
Corey Henke, founder of Variable Media

Digital Marketing Expert
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