Why YouTube advertising is such an effective tool for hotel brand awareness

It’s difficult to watch a video on YouTube without seeing a pre-roll advert popping up. This is the short video that usually appears before your own video, with the option to skip after 5 seconds, but sometimes with a “forced” view. Although some will find them frustrating, from an advertiser or brands point of view they’re actually a really cheap, powerful form of brand awareness.

Looking at this from a hotels perspective, they can provide a really useful advertising tool, enabling a hotel to showcase its brand infront of potentially millions of viewers. It’s hard to discredit the power that video has as an advertising tool; compared to text and image advertising it is understandably streets ahead. Advertising is all about creating an emotional response in the consumer, and what better method of doing this than through video.

How does YouTube advertising work

It’s really simply to get started with video ads on YouTube – nothing less than you’d expect from Google. All you need is a YouTube account, an AdWords account and a video. All you need to do is create the video ad itself from the AdWords interface, and this is just a case of copying and pasting the URL of the YouTube video you’ll be using as your advert. You can write the extra ad text – if you want to include any. Then you simply add in a destination URL, and finish setting up budgets, schedules, and targeting.

The system works very simply, and very fairly for advertisers, which is it’s biggest appeal; you only pay every time a user watches 30 seconds of your video advert (or the entire advert if its shorter than 30 seconds). This means you’re not paying for those who watch less than 30 seconds of the video; so these “views” are included for free. And even then, at time of writing the typical cost per view (CPV) was only approximately £0.05 per person.

From an advertisers point of view, this CPV payment model is a massive benefit. For too long now brands have had to pay out for intangible views or impressions. Like putting an ad in a newspaper, even if that paper has a readership of 10 million it doesn’t mean 10 million people have seen your advert. The same is true of web traffic to a site, 10 million impressions doesn’t actually mean that many people saw and absorbed your banner ad. But now you have a pretty definite answer that x amount of users viewed your entire video advert – and these are the impressions that you are charged for.

What targeting options are available on YouTube?

Targeting here works similarly to the Google Display network. You can define by geographic regions, languages, and other demographics which are pulled in from the viewers Google profile (sex, job, etc). You can also tie this in with contextual targeting options; so you can target videos about related subjects (travel, holidays, your hotel location, etc). You can even target specific videos on the YouTube network, if they haven’t disabled direct-advertising. Retargeting is also possible here, so you can advertise your brand again to users who have already been on your hotels YouTube channel, or even on your hotels website (based on custom audiences that you may have created in AdWords or Analytics).

It’s best to keep your targeting options relatively broad on the YouTube network to begin with. Then from this audience you can funnel down further, with groups based upon your viewer stats – for example if you see most of your views and video interactions are coming from females aged 30-40, you can setup that as it’s own target group to bring down the average CPV and improve your ad performance.

How can Hotels use YouTube video ads

This is really an article for another day, as it’s quite an informed and open-to-interpretation answer. There are many ways a hotel can use YouTube video ads to promote themselves, but to keep it simple the video should really focus on the brand, and on the personality of the hotel. These video ads won’t lead to direct bookings, but they may influence a traveller who’s yet to decide where they will stay on their next vacation. Branding is the key focus here, so don’t worry about discussing prices, or deals, but instead promote the journey. Focus the video on your brand logo, your stunning hotel visuals, and the experience of staying at your hotel. Try and making it as personable as possible, and build a real emotional connection with your viewer. This is the best way that you’ll benefit from YouTube advertising, and is the easiest way to get your ad-viewer to remember your hotel.

We’ll add an article to the site in the future with more creative ideas for YouTube videos for hotels, so don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter and social channels to receive all of our updates.

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