Celebrate Earth Day with Sustainable Advertising Strategies

With Earth Day fast approaching on April 22nd, it feels like the perfect time for individuals and businesses to reflect on their carbon footprint and consider ways to become more environmentally conscious.

There are many methods for reducing energy consumption from insulating buildings to avoid heat escaping, to switching to a smart energy meter. Meanwhile, adjustments to travel, packaging and suppliers can all help brands to reduce carbon emissions. However, an area that is sometimes overlooked is the field of marketing.

Yet, in reality, advertising and sustainability are strongly linked concepts. Many of the activities that brands use for advertising purposes produce a significant carbon footprint and more sustainable advertising alternatives are available.

In this article, we explore sustainable advertising campaigns and strategies, highlight some of the pitfalls and mistakes that businesses make, and take a closer look at concepts like media waste and the need to optimise ad placement. As a result, you will be able to consider sustainability in your own company and think about possible changes.

Understanding Digital Marketing and Sustainability

When brands think about sustainability and environmental issues, digital marketing may not be an obvious area to focus on. After all, it does not have obvious links to carbon emissions in the way that transportation or heating a building do. Yet it is estimated that digital advertising contributes one million tons of CO2 emissions each year.

The primary way in which digital advertising results in carbon emissions is through processing power and electricity usage. Digital advertisements rely on the use of servers, which use electricity. A high number of advertisements, leading to a high number of web pages, uses a lot of processing power, resulting in large electricity bills.

This energy consumption, in turn, will increase a brand’s carbon footprint. According to Cepsa, a single advertising campaign generates carbon emissions that are equivalent to what seven people put into the atmosphere in a year. Such an estimate is useful for highlighting the need for more sustainable advertising campaigns moving forward.

A particularly important way brands can improve sustainability in advertising is by limiting media waste, which is defined as money spent on advertising that does not result in a profit for your business. Examples of media waste include adverts aimed at people who are not target customers, poor quality ads and poorly placed ads.

Common Pitfalls and the Dangers of Greenwashing

In general, companies are now more concerned than ever before with ideas of brand safety and avoiding associations or advertising contexts that could cause reputational harm. This is one of the key reasons why it is so important to avoid common sustainability pitfalls and to understand the dangers of attracting “greenwashing” allegations.

For example, in recent years, NFTs emerged as a popular area for marketers to explore. However, publishing a unique digital asset on a blockchain and selling the digital asset using cryptocurrency all requires significant processing power and this can result in a substantial carbon footprint. In fact, when looking at the process of selling artwork, an NFT transaction is estimated to have a carbon footprint 14 times higher than selling and mailing a physical art print.

Brands need to think carefully about which techniques they use and whether there are hidden environmental costs. It is also notable that consumers are increasingly aware of the concept of “greenwashing” and an article for the Harvard Business Review found that greenwashing leads to a drop in ACSI customer satisfaction score too.

Any sustainable advertising claims must be true and verifiable. It can be beneficial to work with a partner with significant experience with conscious marketing and a clear understanding of how it can contribute to positive perceptions of your brand and ultimately improve your business performance.

The other common pitfall is the aforementioned concept of media waste, which is where brand suitability comes in.

The Importance of Brand Suitability in Advertising

Ultimately, in order to minimise media waste, avoid creating ineffective advertisements and prevent a situation where you are failing to balance advertising and sustainability, you need to explore brand suitability solutions. This means side-stepping situations where your ad campaigns are not aligned with your audience, voice or brand values.

One of the big challenges with brand suitability is the fact that it is not entirely dependent on the content of your advertisements. Regardless of whether they are video ads, PPC ads or traditional ads, your brand can be adversely affected by the location where ads appear and the content they are adjacent to.

For example, if your ads appear in a YouTube video that is not in-keeping with your brand values, you risk people making the wrong associations. If your content appears next to content that is unlikely to appeal to your target audience, the ad is unlikely to be seen by the people you need to see it and you are unlikely to achieve a strong ROI.

In other words, sustainable advertising campaigns are advertising campaigns that consider issues like brand suitability. You may need to work with trusted experts in this field to ensure your ads appear in the right places. Failing to pay attention to brand suitability can lead to media waste, which impacts your business’ sustainability.

Closing Thoughts

Digital advertising may not be an immediately obvious area to focus on when trying to boost your green credentials, but advertising and sustainability are actually closely linked and sustainable advertising can boost your business’ reputation. You will need to choose your approaches wisely and avoid marketing that results in high emissions.

However, beyond this, you also need to think in terms of media waste and optimising your advertising campaigns to avoid using processing power and electricity without achieving your goals. This may mean working with trusted partners with expertise in the areas of conscious advertising, sustainable advertising campaigns and brand suitability.

Women’s History Month: The Evolution On How Women Are Marketed To

Women’s History Month provides an ideal opportunity to reflect on how women have been viewed, portrayed and treated throughout time. The field of marketing is an especially great example of this as attitudes towards women and the role of women in advertising have seen a significant shift, often in line with political and social developments.

At the present time, there is a greater focus on conscious advertising, which involves including the excluded, being aware of changes in society, and seeing injustice and choosing to act, rather than being part of the problem. However, this has not always been the case, especially when it comes to the ways women have been targeted by ads.

In this article, we will explore how women are marketed to and how these strategies have evolved over time, starting before World War II and ending with the attitudes and techniques that are prevalent today.

Homemakers to Wartime Workers and Back Again

Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, the conventional depiction of women in advertising was as homemakers and housewives. During the war, this changed for two main reasons. Firstly, women took on many of the domestic jobs that had previously been occupied by men. Secondly, a growing number of women entered into the field of marketing.

As a result, marketers began to depict women as workers and target them with relevant products and messaging. During this era, in the United States, Rosie the Riveter became a cultural icon, appearing in adverts designed to recruit women into defence-related roles. Many of these women even referred to themselves as “Rosies”.

Unfortunately, the end of the war and the return of men to the workplace saw a regression. The 1950s and 1960s were largely dominated by attitudes treating women as homemakers once again and much of the advertising geared towards them was for domestic accessories and appliances, promoted via women’s magazines and daytime television.

The Housewife, the Sex Object and the Superwoman

Despite the fact that women accounted for almost half of the workforce in the 1970, depictions in advertising were still largely focused on women in the role of housewife. Yet there was also a growing movement that focused on women’s sexuality, often with some highly questionable results.

A 2019 feature from Duke University describes this as a misrepresentation of American women and quotes the National Advertising Review Board, 1975: “Advertising often features women’s sexuality to the neglect of her individuality. The charge is that advertising portrays women as ‘sex objects’.”

This subsequently gave rise to the idea of the ‘Superwoman’, who could juggle being a wife, being a parent, being sexually liberated and having a successful career. However, this era is often criticised for setting unrealistic expectations for women; a theme that would continue in different ways in every decade since.

Signs of Progress Throughout the 1980s and 1990s

Although advertising targeted towards women throughout the 1980s and 1990s faced the aforementioned criticism for setting harmful beauty standards and creating unrealistic expectations — especially in cases that featured women advertising their bodies as much as products — there were also some notable signs of progress.

One example of this was the increased presence of women within advertising agencies. Madonna Badger joined Calvin Klein in 1990 and spearheaded the brand’s iconic campaign featuring Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg, while also launching CK One. Cindy Gallop was responsible for ads for huge brands like Coca-Cola, Polaroid and Ray-Ban.

The famous Diet Coke Break campaign from the 1990s also served as one of the first examples of gender roles in advertising being challenged and reversed, with the campaign featuring men being objectified by women. This served as a good example of the advertising industry becoming more aware of the criticism aimed at its depiction of women.

21st Century: Diversity, Inclusion, Niche Interests

The turn of the 21st century saw a growing awareness that women make more purchasing decisions than men. This resulted in diversification of how and where women were targeted and the messages they were presented with.

Marketers have faced continued scrutiny over depictions of women in advertising, due to the impact on young girls, but there has also been a positive shift, with a greater focus on issues like inclusion and representation.

Emerging online concepts, including contextual targeting advertising and similar techniques, also allow marketers to reach women with niche interests and target them with content that is relevant to their online activity.

With that being said, there is still significant scope for further progress. In 2019, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media examined ads put up for awards at the Cannes Lions festival. It found that male characters were depicted as working twice as often as female characters. Men also had twice as much speaking time and screen time.

This represents a key area of opportunity for marketers to improve depictions of women further. Meanwhile, another opportunity involves including more women in marketing teams. Research shows businesses in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to outperform their national industry medians for financial returns.

Closing Thoughts

Throughout the decades, there has been a significant evolution in the way women are targeted through marketing: from the homemaker depictions of the pre-war era and the 1950s and ’60s, through to the ‘sex object’ and ‘Superwoman’ depictions that were commonplace in the 1970s. Signs of progress were visible in the ’80s and ’90s, but it is only in more recent times that issues like objectification, diversity, representation and inclusion have been taken seriously.

Online marketing, the rise of more targeted, contextual advertising services and a growing realization that women are the main driving force behind consumer decisions have all led to a situation where women can now be targeted more accurately, with relevant content, even at times where they are pursuing niche interests and hobbies.

The Good and Bad of Using AI to Create Content Videos and Its Impact on Advertising

OpenAI, the creators of the popular ChatGPT artificial intelligence language processing chatbot, recently announced a game-changing new AI model, facilitating text-to-video content creation. The model, named Sora, is able to create realistic and complex video scenes, featuring multiple characters, dynamic backgrounds and specific types of movement.

The emergence of text-to-video AI models has led to understandable excitement, especially among those who will benefit from easier and faster content creation for advertising and marketing purposes. However, it is also essential to understand some of the possible drawbacks of the AI video content creation technology too. In this article, we explore the good and bad of using it to create video content.

Benefits of AI Video Content

First, it is important to understand the benefits of text-to-video AI models and why there is such excitement.

1. Quick and Easy Content Creation

A major benefit associated with the introduction of text-to-video AI models, like Sora, is the ease and speed with which video content will be able to be created. The basic process involves entering simple text instructions, much like the main ChatGPT system, with AI then outputting a video that matches the prompts.

Having the tools to easily create video content can provide a huge boost to marketers, because this content is in demand and highly effective. In fact, 92% of marketers told Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing survey they get a good ROI from video content — an all-time high percentage since the company started its surveys in 2015.

2. Democratisation of Video Content Creation

As Chinyere Farr-Douglas, Social Media Manager at Channel Factory, explains in an article published on LinkedIn, one of the big plus points associated with text-to-video AI is the democratisation of video content creation. Essentially, anyone will have the capability of creating video content, without the need for filming and editing equipment, or specialist knowledge.

This will provide more people with the opportunity to share unique stories and perspectives, promote ideas and reach audiences with professional-grade video content. It could also provide individuals and small businesses with capabilities that would previously have been restricted to those with the financial resources to employ experts.

3. Potential for Personalisation

Another significant benefit AI video content creation can provide is the ability to personalise video content quickly and effortlessly. For example, a business could create a video that specifically targets individual customers, with characters in the video referring to them by name, or with their name appearing in a scene of the video.

According to research carried out by Econsultancy and Google, 90% of leading marketing professionals say that personalisation significantly contributes to business profitability. Having access to another tool for creating personalised content can help businesses to target high-value customers and boost their conversion rates.

Drawbacks of AI Video Content

While there are clear positives associated with using AI to create videos, it is worth looking at the drawbacks too.

1. The Lack of a Human Touch

A particularly common complaint when dealing with AI for any content creation is the lack of an authentic human touch. There is a growing sense that people are becoming wise to AI, better at detecting its use and that there are some negative connotations associated with using it to create content. This is likely to extend to video content.

The lack of a human touch may also work against marketers on a more technical level, especially in the long run. In response to the rise of AI-generated written content, Google released its helpful content update, which it said was designed to adjust the Google algorithms to prioritise content that is written “by people, for people”. It stands to reason that similar algorithms may be developed by Google and other key platforms to prioritise human video creations as well.

2. Misinformation and Risk of Damaging Trust

Another possible drawback of using AI to create content videos is related to the rise of misinformation. For instance, the use of deepfake technology has led to some serious concerns about the ethics of AI’s use with video content.

One particularly high-profile incident saw a number of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, criticise the use of AI deepfake technology, which falsely gave the impression they had endorsed a controversial self-help course.

While OpenAI’s new platform does not use deepfake technology, it does potentially provide brands with opportunities to engage in misinformation campaigns, which could further erode public trust in AI technology and also video content in general.

3. Concerns About Quality Control

Finally, there are some understandable concerns that the ease with which video content can be created using AI will lead to a point where the market experiences an influx of low-quality videos. This could, in turn, lead to a situation where the average quality level for video marketing is reduced, making the medium less engaging and less effective.

Some have also raised concerns about the impact the technology could have on professional video editors and videographers. While non-specialists will have more opportunities to create video content themselves, this could result in a new reality, where skilled professionals are driven out of their industry. As a result, they will not be there when they are needed for more complex projects, which really do require direct human involvement.

The Last Word

OpenAI has unveiled its text-to-video AI platform and the technology is creating a buzz for its potential uses in advertising. The major benefit is that the platform will make it easier for people who do not possess specialist skills and knowledge to create video content. This means that the ai video content creation process will also be extremely fast and cost-effective.

Nevertheless, the technology needs to be used responsibly, with an appreciation for some of the drawbacks too. Without due care, the influx of AI videos could offset the quality of marketing videos and impact the effectiveness of the medium. There are also ethical worries, and concerns about customers detecting the lack of an authentic human touch and the potential for distortion of the truth, which will affect trust in brand content.

Holiday Advertising: 6 Tactics That Can Boost Sales

The holiday season is right around the corner, which means marketers are busy strategizing for their holiday advertising campaigns.

Holiday ads can help boost sales and brand recognition because of their nostalgic, cheerful content. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most memorable holiday video ads, along with tips to increase sales through the holidays and beyond.

Why Video Ads Are So Successful During the Holidays

People love holiday advertisements because they inspire a holly, jolly spirit. Video content, especially involving holiday themes, connects with viewers.

In addition to their nostalgia, holiday video ads are effective at driving consumer reach and increasing sales. Why? Viewers are emotionally invested in ads with a memorable narrative, which is something that holiday ads often have.

Whether it’s an ad about a family opening presents on Christmas morning, or one about last-minute shopping sprees, holiday video ads foster a personal narrative in a way typical content often doesn’t.

4 Examples of the Best Holiday Advertising Campaigns

The best holiday advertising campaigns captivate audiences with catchy tunes, heartwarming messages, and emotional statements. Here are some holiday advertisement examples for inspiration.

1. Microsoft: Let There Be Peace on Earth (2015)

This Microsoft holiday video ad is memorable because it combines a positive tone with seasonal greetings. The people gathering around singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face and remind them about the joys of the holiday season.

While Microsoft didn’t promote any offers or services, the sentimental value of this ad was more than enough to make it an effective piece of content for the holidays.

2. Apple: Share Your Gifts (2018)

This Apple holiday ad has everything—delightful music, quality animation, and an inspirational story message. Like the Microsoft ad, Apple did a superb job of tapping into our emotional side.

In just under three minutes, viewers get a heart-warming holiday narrative that is sure to leave a lasting impression on Apple users.

3. Microsoft: Reindeer Games (2018)

Here’s another Microsoft holiday ad with an uplifting tone and a powerful message about support and inclusivity. The ad starts with a kid running frantically to tell the neighbor children that something is about to happen, which builds suspense for the viewer. The big reveal at the end of the commercial is a heartwarming one, as we see the children cheering on their friend who uses an Xbox Adaptive Controller to win a game.

This ad promotes a sense of belonging while subtly promoting a product in a way that doesn’t distract from the ad’s bigger message.

4. IGA: Merry Cooking (2018)

Who doesn’t love video ads that exemplify the magic of Christmas and a young child who’s delighted about the holiday season? This IGA holiday ad shows a young boy committed to learning how to cook for Santa. Eventually, we see that joy passed on to his children as we’re reminded about the beauty of Christmas.

The ad is moving and leaves a memorable impression on those who cherish family time during one of the most celebrated times of the year.

Increase Sales with These Holiday Advertising Ideas

Here are six strategies for getting the most out of video ads this holiday season.

1. Create a Compelling Narrative

Consumers care more about the “why” behind video ads than they do about the “how.” Don’t fall into the trap of creating stale ads with unrelatable story plots. Instead, your video ads should present a compelling story about the holiday season that connects with consumers emotionally.

Use simple, feel-good narratives to highlight a larger holiday theme while encouraging customers to consider your services or products.

2. Promote Holiday Offers

People enjoy holiday deals that help them save money on gifts. Tap into the seasonal shopping trend by promoting your latest brand offerings.

Promote the offers on your social media channels to improve reach with consumers.

Some of the offers you can promote with video content include:

  • Gift discounts
  • Loyalty programs
  • Seasonal giveaways
  • Themed sales

3. Use YouTube Shopping Ads

If you want to increase consumer reach and brand recognition, YouTube shopping ads can go a long way in helping you do that. Because they are placed next to your videos, they can boost engagement rates and drive higher traffic to your website, which can increase sales.

Also, by using YouTube Shopping Ads, you can focus on building a strong customer base with the hopes of converting them into loyal, long-term buyers

4. Optimize Your Holiday Video Ads for Mobile Devices

Thanks to the rise of mobile devices, more than 75% of U.S. adults spend two hours a day watching short-form video content. If you’re not optimizing your holiday ads on mobile, then you probably aren’t getting as many conversions as you might with mobile-friendly ads.

To increase ad effectiveness, optimize video ads for low bandwidth connections, establish clear visuals, and communicate your selling point quickly.

5. Give Yourself Enough Time to Create Holiday Video Ads

In 2022, Black Friday ranked as the most popular sales day of the year, with 53% of Americans stating that they intended to purchase a gift that day. Considering the high potential for sales during Black Friday, give yourself enough time to create and modify your campaign before you start running ads.

6. Set Measurable Goals

As with anything in marketing, set quantitative goals for your holiday marketing campaigns. Doing so will help ensure you can accurately measure the effectiveness of video ads, saving both time and money. A common best practice when developing your goals is to determine what went well and didn’t go well in your previous holiday campaigns.

Perhaps sales were stagnant, or engagement rates with your ads were not as high as you wanted them to be. Whatever the case, learn from previous holiday marketing mistakes so you can prepare for the upcoming holiday season.

Remember, advertising during the holiday season can be pricey, so you’ll want to be strategic about where you place your ad dollars.

Prepare for Holiday Advertising with Channel Factory

If you need a company that can optimize your holiday advertising campaign, Channel Factory is ready to be your partner. With our brand suitability solutions, we’ll ensure your holiday ads appear next to appropriate content. This way, you can connect with the right audience and achieve a high conversion rate.

Contact us to learn more.

Are YouTube Ads Worth It? What to Consider for Your Marketing Campaign

First launched in 2005, YouTube is one of the oldest social media platforms, but it also remains one of the most popular—with 2.70 billion active users. Consumers spend hours on YouTube seeking entertainment, education, and even holiday gift ideas. In fact, holiday advertising statistics show that nearly 50% of Gen Z consumers use YouTube as inspiration for holiday shopping.

So. Are YouTube ads worth it? Can they help you with brand promotion? What about sales? We’ll discuss everything you need to know about advertising on YouTube, including the costs, pros and cons, and ad optimization best practices.

How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on YouTube?

It depends. YouTube advertising costs fluctuate. While YouTube video ad costs range from $0.10 to $0.30 per view or click, exact estimates can change because of multiple factors.

Let’s examine three conditions that can affect ad cost:

  • Type of Ad: YouTube offers several ad formats. How much you pay depends on which format you select and how your viewers interact with your ad.
  • Ad Bidding: If you’re bidding for popular ad placement spots, you can expect to pay a higher price. This is because you’ll be competing against other advertisers that are targeting the same spots.
  • Audience Targeting: Some audiences are higher in demand than others. How much you pay for YouTube ads will depend on which audiences you’re trying to connect with and convert into loyal customers.

Pros and Cons of YouTube Advertising

YouTube’s advertising revenue amounted to $29.24 billion in 2022, but are YouTube ads worth it for your advertising campaign? Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of advertising on YouTube.

Pro: Audience Targeting Capabilities

YouTube’s targeting options allow you to pinpoint the user that best aligns with your brand. You can target based on behavior, age, gender, and geographic location. The more specialized your targeting options, the higher the chance you’ll connect with potential repeat buyers.

. Loyal customers not only make frequent purchases but also actively engage with your brand on multiple levels, such as positive reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and participation in brand-related events or promotions. They’re often your best advocates, and their endorsement can significantly boost your brand recognition.

Pro: Valuable Metrics

Understanding which ads work and which don’t can help you enhance your marketing approach.

You can use YouTube’s measurement tools to track your ad’s impressions, clicks, and video view length. This can help you notice patterns with your ads or holes in your strategy.

Perhaps you’re noticing that your click-through rates are low despite receiving high impression rates, or your YouTube ad campaigns are driving significant traffic to your website. Yet, you notice that the bounce rate is exceptionally high. Whatever the case, YouTube metrics can bridge the gap between your goals and current advertising performance.

Pro: Retargeting Efforts

Retargeting allows you to connect with consumers who have expressed an interest in your business. You can retarget those who clicked on your ad, engaged with your content, or subscribed to your channel. Targeting those already connected with your business will make your ads more successful.

Con: Skippable Ads

Few people will voluntarily watch an ad from beginning to end if the option to skip is available. While you can bypass this concern with non-skippable in-stream ads, you’ll still need to ensure that your ad is simple and meaningful.

To make your ad “unskippable,” you’ll want to focus on providing value while also incentivizing your viewers to take action. If your ad is seen as overly intrusive, it could damage your audience’s perception of your brand.

Con: Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue occurs when viewers are repeatedly exposed to the same ads, so much so that they stop paying attention to them completely. Since the average American sees 4,000 to 10,000 ads daily, running the same ad content on YouTube repeatedly in a short period can damage your campaign. You’ll have to modify versions of your ads so users don’t get annoyed with your content.

Three Ways to Maximize Your YouTube Marketing Campaign

YouTube is one of the best marketing tools if you know how to use it well. Here are three suggestions for optimizing your YouTube ads:

1. Determine Campaign Objectives

Are you hoping to improve brand awareness, increase product sales, or increase website traffic? Whatever the objective is, your campaign goals should dictate your YouTube marketing strategy, so you get the most value out of your advertising efforts.

Remember, no matter the campaign objectives you have in place, you’ll need to determine which metrics you want to track over time. This way, you can optimize your campaign based on data that reflects wins and challenges.

2. Grab Your Audience’s Attention

First impressions are everything, and the same goes for YouTube ads. With so many companies targeting the same consumer, you only have eight seconds to capture the viewer’s attention and encourage them to keep watching instead of clicking the “Skip Ad” button.

How do you capture your audience’s attention? Provide an exciting hook, appeal to their emotions, and, above all else, include a clear call to action that gets them to click on your ad to learn more about your offers.

3. Schedule Your Content

It’s difficult to achieve success with a YouTube marketing campaign if you fail to plan out and schedule your content ahead of time. With a consistent schedule, you can post when subscribers are most active online, edit your video ads ahead of time, and determine what content is most popular at peak times.

Plus, you’ll have more time to distribute quality video ads instead of putting out rushed ads that offer no consumer value.

Improve Your YouTube Performance with Channel Factory

Is YouTube advertising worth it? Yes! To make YouTube advertising worthwhile, set clear objectives, be creative, and measure your results.

Here at Channel Factory, we’ve been helping businesses and agencies with their social media video advertising for over a decade. YouTube video advertising wouldn’t remain at the forefront of our business if it wasn’t worth it for us and our customers.

Take advantage of our contextual strategies to ensure your ads appear next to relevant content. This way, you can target the right audience at the right time.

Contact us to learn how we can help you keep up with the latest advertising demands.

How to Measure Ad Recall and Brand Lift: A YouTube Optimization Guide

Do you have a solid strategy for measuring the effectiveness of your YouTube marketing campaign? Have you considered analyzing specific performance metrics like brand lift and ad recall scores to understand the relationship between consumers and your brand?

If you advertise on YouTube, it takes more than flashy ads with effective CTAs to encourage users to take action.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to measure ad recall and brand lift and use the findings to optimize your video campaign’s impact on target consumers. But before we begin, let’s define ad recall and brand lift and discuss their benefits.

What Is Brand Lift?

Brand lift measures a video marketing campaign’s effectiveness in influencing consumer actions, behaviors, and brand awareness. This metric examines consumer perceptions of a brand after launching a marketing campaign.

The idea is to better understand how well video ads influence a consumer’s relationship with a brand throughout the customer journey. Advertisers can use those findings to optimize video marketing campaigns and improve their brand image.

To better understand brand lift, you need to examine several metrics. Here’s a sample of those metrics:

  • Awareness: The extent to which consumers are familiar with a brand.
  • Ad Recall: How well consumers can recall and attribute an ad to a specific brand.
  • Purchase intent: How inclined target customers are to purchase an item or a service from a specific company.
  • Web traffic: The number of users who visit a company’s website.
  • Conversions: The number of purchases and other actions consumers take after exposure to a brand’s offers.

Why Is Brand Lift Important?

Brand lift reveals meaningful insights that can tackle campaign challenges and help develop better advertising strategies to address consumer needs. Here are a few benefits of brand lift:

  • Helps optimize spending: By understanding which videos perform better, you can modify spending habits and focus on ads that generate excellent campaign results.
  • Provides audience engagement insights: With brand lift, you can dive deeper into engagement levels by understanding how specific messaging tactics influence brand perception.
  • Generates more sales: Brand lift data can be instrumental in making informed video advertising decisions that increase company sales.

What Is Ad Recall?

Ad recall is a different campaign metric. While brand lift focuses on a video campaign’s impact on the overall brand perception, ad recall measures how memorable an ad is to a target audience. When thinking about ad recall, ask these questions:

  • How likely will an audience attribute an ad to the correct brand?
  • Will they remember the ad content?
  • Do audiences perceive a brand positively or negatively after recalling an ad?

Companies usually measure ad recall with surveys, asking audiences if they remember a specific ad and if they can identify the correct brand or company.

Ad recall focuses on memory, and this metric can be useful for optimizing your campaign. Analyzing ad recall is an essential element of brand lift metrics as it identifies the effectiveness of your messaging tactics and sees which ones increase brand awareness. With ad recall, you can also:

  • Uncover useful advertising campaign trends.
  • Understand the creative elements that make appealing ads.
  • Modify video marketing strategies to improve consumer reach and brand recognition.

How to Measure Brand Lift and Ad Recall for YouTube Advertising Campaigns

Knowing how to measure ad recall and brand lift is an essential part of a YouTube advertising campaign, and you can use the same measurement strategy for each. While surveys are your best friend, you’ll want more than a standard questionnaire to get accurate results.

You’ll need to use the Brand Lift Study tool—a free tool advertisers can use to measure their video ad impact on brand perception.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Identify a product or a brand you want to advertise for the study.
  2. Select the survey questions for your study.
  3. Let Google create two groups from your segments: a randomized control group that doesn’t see your ads and an exposed group that does.
  4. Allow Google to show your surveys on YouTube to the two audience groups as your campaign runs.
  5. Analyze the response differences between the group that viewed the ads and those that didn’t.

The Brand Lift Study tool is an excellent resource for gathering information on clicks, impressions, and views, all essential in determining consumer brand perception. The tool also helps with ad recall as it assesses how well people who have seen your ads can remember them.

Improve Ad Recall and Brand Lift with Channel Factory

Learning how to measure ad recall and brand lift is an excellent way to gain valuable consumer insights that you can rely on to modify your YouTube marketing campaign. Channel Factory is here if you need a trusted partner to optimize your ads and improve ad recall and brand perception.

With our contextual alignment solutions, we’ll ensure your ads appear alongside content your audience finds relevant and engaging, which means you’ll see improved results in audience engagement and brand awareness.

Contact us to see how we can improve your ad performance.

For more information on contextual alignment, download our YouTube attention performance guide.

Advanced Contextual Targeting Strategies: Going Beyond Keywords

The modern world is always online. There are 2.7 billion monthly visitors to YouTube worldwide, with over 122 million accessing it on a daily basis.

There’s no doubt: If you need to get your brand, products, or services in front of the right audience, contextual ads on YouTube are the way to go.

We’ll break down how contextual targeting strategies outperform keyword ads and how this helps you get the greatest ROI from your ad spend.

What Is Contextual Targeting?

Contextual advertising is a method of placing online ads based on the content consumed. When ads are served based on their relevance to content and format, consumers are more likely to be interested in buying items from that brand.

In fact, we conducted a survey on this. The result was a 17% lift in ROI (sales) across all verticals using contextual targeting on YouTube.

Channel Factory provides contextual targeting on YouTube to deliver maximum brand suitability, content alignment, and performance. Contextual targeting is most effective when content is not only served based on video categories but also according to specific channels and videos that align with the ideals and messages of your brand.

Keyword Targeting vs Contextual Targeting

Keyword targeting and contextual targeting are used for online ad campaigns, and both can be extremely effective—but that doesn’t make them equal. Let’s compare some of the pros and cons of keyword targeting and contextual targeting.

Pros and Cons of Keyword Targeting

Keyword-targeted ads allow you to create ad groups centered around specific keywords people are searching for. These ads can appear virtually anywhere.

Keyword Targeting Pros

Keyword Alignment

Ad groups can be designed based on user interests coming directly from specific keyword search results.


When a user clicks on a keyword-targeted ad, a cookie within their browser session can track them and continue to serve new ads based on their online activity.


Keyword ads can be good for brand awareness since they help users associate a brand with specific searches.


Keyword ads can be designed around a wide range of demographics, including:

  • Age
  • Profession
  • Location
  • Net worth

Keyword Targeting Cons


People worry over how much of their personal information is shared or sold online. Data breaches and cybersecurity concerns make people skeptical of companies that track users.


Keyword-based ads can have an extremely high volume, which is excellent for serving maximum impressions. But impressions don’t necessarily equate to a click-through rate (CTR).

High Cost

Getting your ads served with the most desirable keywords can be expensive, limiting how many people in your target audience you can afford to reach.

A/B Testing

To be effective, keyword ads must be tested with multiple ad groups, messaging, keywords, display ads, and demographics.

Pros and Cons of Contextual Targeting

Contextual advertising aligns with videos your audience is currently consuming to determine relevance when placing ads. The following are the pros and cons of contextual ads.

Contextual Targeting Pros

Content Alignment

Contextually targeted ads appear directly in the feed of videos in the same category.

Perfect Timing

Contextual ads aren’t only served to people interested in topics that align with your brand. They are served precisely when people are viewing relevant content, so you know you are advertising to an engaged audience with the perfect mindset to learn about your brand, product, or services.

Brand Awareness

Contextual ads are effective for building brand awareness. In 2020, Channel Factory partnered with the University of Southern California’s Applied Consumer Psychology Department to examine the impact of contextual advertising. We found that contextual ads drive a 93% increase in brand awareness.

Audience Attentiveness

Contextual ads engage viewers directly where they consume media. Contextually targeted solutions on YouTube outperformed industry benchmarks by 28% for retaining audience attention.

Strong Conversions

Getting impressions and clicks is great, but the most important metric is for your ads to eventually convert from interest to a sale. 73% of consumers are more likely to buy something from an ad relevant to the content they are watching.

No Negative Associations

Make sure your ads aren’t served with topics or channels that your audience would dislike. This is important because 64% of users develop a negative opinion of a brand that appears next to content they find unsuitable.

No Privacy Concerns

Contextual ads don’t track personally identifiable consumer data, so people are less apprehensive about clicking on your content.

Contextual Targeting Cons

User Distraction

Those who aren’t interested in clicking your ad may feel they were served an unwanted distraction from the content they’re watching.

Ad Blockers

People can use ad blocker browser extensions to avoid viewing ads.

Ad-Free Subscriptions

Subscribers of YouTube Premium can watch YouTube videos ad-free.

Improper Placement

If your ad campaign isn’t planned professionally, it is possible to associate your ad with a company, channel provider, or specific topic that your target audience dislikes or finds offensive.

Which Strategy Is Better?

While keyword-targeted ads have many benefits, the pros of contextual targeting outweigh concerns about online privacy and being tracked by retargeting ads that come with keyword placements. Contextual campaigns don’t have this problem.

Contextual ads are also more effective in aligning user intent and capturing people in the moment they are the most interested in your topic.

6 Tips When Doing Contextual Targeting

1. Use contextual targeting to avoid unwanted content. The Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) establish standards to help advertisers avoid unsafe context categories. There are 13 categories, including:

  • Adult and explicit material
  • Arms and ammunition
  • Hate speech
  • Illegal drugs

You get the idea. Channel Factory ensures context remains intact so your ads are placed with the highest relevance, being equally careful to avoid GARM/4As categories that could hurt your brand.

2. Be consistent with your messaging. Ensure your ad content is specific, clear, and to the point.

3. Know your audience. Make sure you understand what your ideal audience personas are looking for and match that closely with ad placement.

4. Use strong calls-to-action (CTAs).

5. A/B test your ads. Try different CTAs and approaches to your marketing message and fine-tune your campaign based on the best-performing ads.

6. Let Channel Factory improve your YouTube ads with the power of our contextual targeting strategies.

Unlock the Power of Contextual Ads with Channel Factory

Ready to get started? Get in touch with one of our ad experts today!

6 Types of Ads on YouTube: Which One Is Best for Your Marketing Campaign?

Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has taken the internet by storm, becoming the world’s most widely-used video platform. With over 2.68 billion monthly active users, the platform remains incredibly useful for marketers. YouTube advertising is a great way to increase brand awareness, drive online traffic, and improve customer engagement.

You can utilize so many types of ads on YouTube for your marketing campaign that getting started on the right one can seem intimidating. But don’t fear. Here, we’ll discuss all the ad types you can use and what they offer.

Four Types of YouTube Video Ads

Video-type advertisements make up the bulk of ads run on YouTube, so it’s no surprise advertisers rely on them heavily to grab their audience’s attention and accelerate brand recognition. These YouTube ad types include the following:

  • Video discovery Ads 
  • Non-skippable ads
  • Bumper ads
  • Skippable ads

Video Discovery Ads

Video discovery ads appear in visible places where users find the content they need. This can include the homepage, the top of the search query results page, and on watch pages as related video content.

Video discovery ads are non-invasive content—meaning they don’t disrupt the user experience, which can be a bonus if you don’t want users to perceive your brand as disruptive. If your goal is to increase brand awareness and target the right audience, then go with video discovery ads.

Since these ads appear as relevant content, the chances of increasing customer engagement rates are higher. The one downside is that because there’s not much room for creativity, you’ll have to develop intriguing CTAs to generate clicks and encourage users to take action.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

Non-skippable ads are pop-up video ads that can appear before, during, and after a video. They range between six and 15 seconds. Because viewers have no choice but to watch them, non-skippable ads are, by definition, intrusive. However, they can serve your campaign well if you don’t want your ads getting skipped.

If your goal is to cultivate viewer engagement and increase top-of-mind brand awareness, non-skippable video ads are your safest bet. You can communicate your brand message quickly and highlight your brand’s unique proposition. Be mindful that you’ll have to pay for impressions, so the cost may not reflect the desired amount in consumer conversion rates.

Skippable In-Stream Ads

Skippable video ads are advertisements users can skip (usually after five seconds). They can show up before, during, or after a video. Financially speaking, skippable ads are great because you only pay when someone watches at least 30 seconds of the ad.

Additionally, you can adjust your targeting settings to connect better with your audience. While there is no limit to the length of skippable ads, the ones under three minutes typically perform better. If your goal is to generate leads for your business and connect with viewers across multiple devices, use skippable in-stream ads.

Plus, you can use them on apps that run on Google video partners. Remember, since users can click away, you only have a limited amount of time to get a user’s attention.

Bumper Ads

These are non-skippable pre-roll ads meant to be short, simple, and straight to the point. Bumper ads are beneficial for promotional efforts because they are so brief (six seconds or shorter).

If your company is promoting a sale or a special event, you can use bumper ads to elevate consumer excitement and increase brand recognition. However, these don’t work well if you’re trying to target users unfamiliar with your brand.

Non-Video YouTube Ads

Some advertisers use their resources on non-video ads to amplify their marketing efforts. Non-video ad types on YouTube include:

  • Display ads
  • Shopping ads

Display Ads

A display ad is banner content that appears on a user’s right-hand sidebar. They come with an image, a small text, and a link to your website. You can customize them in multiple sizes and play around with the formatting to get the image and animation you want.

Since they include a link to your website, display ads are great for increasing website traffic and driving users down the marketing funnel. However, they’re only available on desktops.

Shopping Ads

Shopping ads are helpful for gaining website traffic and promoting quality products. They can appear in the home feed, search results, and as a carousel between videos on the homepage. You can use them to target specific audiences interested in your offers.

For example, if a user types in “review for Nike shoes,” a shopping ad that offers suggested shoes with a link to the appropriate website may appear. You can also use them to target the right consumers based on relevant and high-volume keywords.

Which Ad Type Is Right for Your Campaign?

Each ad type provides meaningful value, but they all fuel your connection with your target audience, increase brand awareness, and convey a specific message. The key is to create quality ads that increase engagement and conversion rates.

More importantly, the best ads on YouTube are the ones that resonate well with your audience and connect with them personally. Nothing is worse than random advertisements that offer no consumer value. Regardless of which ad type you run with, here are some tips you should follow:

  • Include a CTA
  • Connect with your audience
  • Measure with YouTube analytics
  • Provide a consistent message
  • Experiment with different ad types

Expand Your YouTube Reach with Channel Factory

As you can see, there are multiple types of ads on YouTube, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different types until you find the right one that accelerates your marketing objectives. If you need help with your YouTube marketing efforts, Channel Factory can help get you started.

We make it our mission to ensure your YouTube ads are placed with the right content, further strengthening your connection with your target consumers.

Contact us to see how we can lend a hand in your YouTube campaign.

YouTube Ads Cost Calculator: How to Optimize Your YouTube Ads Campaign

Marketers rely on YouTube to increase brand awareness and connect with their target audiences through creative ads. So how do you know how much you should spend on these efforts?

A YouTube Ads cost calculator can point you in the right direction by estimating the return on investment of your YouTube ads. However, there’s a lot more to consider when determining the costs of YouTube ads.

This guide covers everything you need to know about YouTube ad costs, including how much you pay, the factors influencing price, and how you can maximize your advertising efforts without overspending.

What Ad Pricing Models Does YouTube Use?

You need to understand two pricing strategies before deciding how much money you want to allocate toward advertising expenditures: Cost-per-click and cost-per-view.

Cost-per-Click Ads (CPC)

You pay every time someone clicks on your ad. As the advertiser, you set the limit for how much money you’re willing to spend for every ad click.

Cost-per-View Ads (CPV)

With the cost-per-view strategy, you pay for every ad view. When a user views your ad for its entire duration, the cost will reflect that view. If a user interacts with your ad (e.g., clicks on a call-to-action button), that would also factor into the cost-per-view method.

How Much Do YouTube Ads Cost? A Breakdown

It varies. Some estimates range from $0.01 to $0.03 for cost per view. Let’s say your reach is 50,000 views, and your price is $0.03. In this case, you should expect a cost of about $1,500 for reaching 50,000 views. However, other factors also come into play when determining ad costs. These include:

  • Ad Formats
  • Targeting Options
  • Bidding

Ad Format

YouTube has multiple ad formats for presenting your ads, each with different estimates. Here is just a sample of those ad formats:

    • Display ads: These are usually located above the suggested videos, depending on what the user is watching.
    • Skippable in-stream ads: Can appear before, during, or right after the video, with the option to skip after five seconds.
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads are typically 15 seconds long, and users cannot skip them.
  • Discovery ads appear as recommendations on the right-hand sidebar with a link that takes users to a specific landing page.

Targeting Options

Ad costs will also depend on the audience you want to reach with your ads. The general rule is that the more specific you are in your targeting efforts, the higher your ad costs will be. Why? Because there will be more competition for the ad spots, you’ll need to connect with your audience.

Ad Bidding

Ad bidding refers to the amount you’re willing to bid on for a specific ad placement. YouTube has a bidding system where advertisers compete against one another for the same ad space. Bidding allows you to determine the amount you’re comfortable with, so you’re not limited to a set price.

Is It Cheaper to Run Ads on YouTube Compared to Facebook?

Is it cheaper to run ads on YouTube than on social media platforms like Facebook? It depends. With YouTube, you have the option of only being charged when a user watches your content, which can reduce ad expenditures. Additionally, since YouTube is a part of the Google Display Network, you can target your ads based on Google search queries, which means more ad exposure.

With Facebook, setting up your ads doesn’t take much money or resources. Plus, you have advanced targeting features to ensure you’re targeting the right people with your ads. Ultimately, both platforms have their pros and cons when it comes to advertising costs.

Calculate Your Ad Budget with the YouTube Ad Budget Calculator

To calculate your YouTube ads budget and determine how much money you can expect from your advertising campaign, you’ll need to estimate the return on investment of your ads with the YouTube ads cost calculator tool. To get an exact ROI figure, plug the following into the tool:

  • Your total ad spend
  • The average cost-per-click
  • Conversion rate

By obtaining exact ROI estimates, you’ll be in a better position to assess the effectiveness of your ads and make informed decisions about your ad budget.

How Much Should You Budget for Your Ad Campaign?

How much you should spend depends on your marketing goals and how much your company can afford to spend without stretching your budget too thin. Regardless of your budget flexibility, you’ll want to maximize the effectiveness of your ad campaign. Follow these three practices to get the most out of your YouTube ads:

1. Target the Right Audience

Who are you trying to reach, and what value will your intended audience obtain from your ads? If your ads are deemed irrelevant, or you end up targeting the wrong audience, then customers will skip your ads, and you won’t get meaningful returns on your investment.

2. Target the Right Keywords

The right keywords allow you to increase the chances of your ads showing up when users are looking for products and services that pertain to your brand. Be selective in the keywords you want to rank for with your ads. The key is to select high-volume and relevant keywords that will increase ad visibility.

3. Monitor Ad Performance

Track the performance of your ads and make adjustments based on your findings. Analyze metrics such as views and conversion rates from your ads. You’ll also want to measure your return on ad spend (ROAS).

This metric measures the revenue your business generates for each advertising dollar you spend. To get an exact value, divide your total ad revenue by your advertising costs.

Optimize Your YouTube Ads Campaign with Channel Factory

Running ads on YouTube is a solid way to reach new customers by exposing them to your brand. If you’re ready to run an ad campaign that produces long-term results, it’s time to partner with Channel Factory.

With our contextual alignment solutions, we can maximize your advertising campaign by placing your ads alongside relevant content that makes sense for your audience.

Now you don’t have to worry about advertising money going to waste. Contact us to talk solutions.

A Marketer’s Guide for Improving YouTube Ads ROI

Video is one of the best ways for brands to get attention. And with YouTube being one of the largest video-sharing platforms online, marketers are becoming more inclined to spend their advertising dollars there in hopes of earning a significant return on investment (ROI).

Despite YouTube’s incredible marketing opportunities, there’s no guarantee your ad campaign will succeed. To maximize your YouTube ads ROI, consider advertising cost factors and implement an effective marketing strategy. Let’s take a closer look.

Why YouTube Ads?

YouTube has grown dramatically every year since its co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the platform’s first video in 2005, entitled ‘Me at the zoo.’

In 2023, advertisers can reach about 2.6 billion users, placing YouTube second to Facebook as the world’s most active social media site. YouTube reaches more 18-49-year-olds during prime time than any broadcast, network, or cable platform.

With billions of active users and an extensive reach, YouTube presents an immense opportunity to engage target audiences effectively. Moreover, its sophisticated ad targeting options ensure that brands can reach the right viewers, optimizing ad spend and maximizing returns.

YouTube’s diverse ad formats and analytics empower brands to create compelling content and track real-time performance metrics, enabling data-driven decision-making. The platform’s ability to generate high click-through rates, conversions, and brand visibility makes it an irresistible choice for brands seeking impressive returns on their advertising investments.

What Is the Average ROI on YouTube Ads?

ROI on YouTube Ads can vary widely among brands. However, an easy way to calculate your average YouTube Ads ROI is to compare the money spent to run the ads to the revenue they generate. Your ROI on YouTube Ads is good if there’s a big gap between your spending and revenue.

For instance, a 5:1 ratio of ad spend is generally considered good. That means that for every $1 you spend on advertising, you generate $5 in revenue. A 10:1 ratio would be exceptional.

Critical Factors Affecting YouTube Ad Costs

You must first understand the factors affecting ad costs to avoid wasting your hard-earned advertising dollars on an unsuccessful YouTube campaign. Here are the most critical ones to consider:

  • Ad Format: YouTube offers various ad formats, including skippable and non-skippable ads, bumper ads, and display ads. The cost of each format varies depending on its effectiveness and viewer engagement. Skippable ads, for instance, are usually cheaper than non-skippable ads since advertisers pay only when viewers watch a specific portion of the ad.
  • Targeting Options: YouTube provides sophisticated targeting options, such as demographics, interests, behaviors, and keywords. Precise targeting can increase ad relevance and improve conversion rates but may also impact costs. Advertisers can bid higher to reach specific audiences, leading to higher ad expenses.
  • Ad Placement: Ad positioning affects its cost. In-stream ads appearing before or during a video and discovery ads showing up on search results or the homepage have different pricing structures. In-stream ads tend to be more expensive due to higher viewer engagement.
  • Bidding Strategy: Advertisers can choose between Cost-Per-View (CPV) and Cost-Per-Click (CPC) bidding. CPV bidding charges advertisers when viewers watch a specific portion of the ad, while CPC bidding charges when viewers click on the ad. The bidding strategy influences the cost of views or clicks on the ad.
  • Ad Quality and Relevance: The quality and relevance of the ad play a crucial role in determining costs. YouTube rewards engaging and relevant content, potentially lowering costs for well-optimized ads. High-quality ads are more likely to resonate with viewers, leading to higher engagement rates.
  • Ad Duration and Frequency: The ad length and display frequency can impact overall costs and viewer engagement. Longer ads or excessive ad displays might lead to higher expenses.

Improving ROI on YouTube Ads

Implementing and refining the following tips will help you maximize your ROI:

  • Contextual Targeting: This involves displaying ads relevant to the content of the video or the user’s search query, increasing the chances of engagement and conversions. Marketers should align their ads with their target audience’s interests and use relevant keywords to improve contextual targeting.
  • Funnel Location Targeting: Understanding the buyer’s journey is crucial for effective funnel location targeting. Advertisers can create multiple ad campaigns aligning with each stage of the funnel—awareness, consideration, and decision-making. Tailoring ads to specific user needs at different stages increases the likelihood of converting prospects into customers.
  • Improving Creative: Compelling and visually appealing ad creative can significantly impact ROI on YouTube Ads. Advertisers should focus on delivering a clear and engaging message within the first few seconds of the ad to capture viewers’ attention. Google analysts have studied thousands of ads and have distilled the specific creative elements that drive ad performance on YouTube. They recommend following the ABCD principles: attention, branding, connection, and direction. On average, the ABCDs increase short-term sales probability by 30% and long-term brand contribution by 17%.
  • Data Analysis and Optimization: Regularly analyze YouTube Ad performance metrics to identify areas for improvement. Adjust bidding strategies, targeting options, and ad creative based on the data to optimize ad campaigns continually. For instance, YouTube is making it easier to A/B test your thumbnails. The “Test & Compare” feature lets marketers upload up to three thumbnails for a single video, allowing YouTube to evaluate which performs best behind the scenes.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): Include a strong CTA in the ad to encourage viewers to take action, such as visiting a website, purchasing, or subscribing to a channel. A clear and compelling CTA can drive conversions and positively impact the ROI. You could even add a CTA overlay to boost conversions.

Improve Your YouTube Ads ROI with Channel Factory

Since 2010, the team at Channel Factory has been helping brands successfully advertise on social media sites, including YouTube, with exceptional results. We take time to assess your brand suitability and contextual alignment to help you craft effective marketing campaigns that boost your reputation and yield excellent ROI.

Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you.