My library has been experimenting with YouTube Video Ads. They are pretty cool!
So awhile ago, we were talking to Koios, who runs our Google Ad Grant program. They mentioned YouTube video ads in passing, which we had never done before. After talking about it, we decided to make some video ads and do some experimenting.
We created a 15-second video for the ad, and Koios helped us set the first one up in Google Ads. That went pretty well, so we made four more video ads. I set the rest of them up (I don’t think Koios is doing this anymore – but don’t take my word for it!).
Why make YouTube video ads? It’s a way to easily share about new services and other important library news with our customers.
We have been getting lots of people asking “are you open again?” (we are in the midst of a phased reopening plan). Because of that, our Marketing department launched a re-opening campaign. The video ads are part of that campaign. We also are doing some direct mailing, adding “we are open” stories to e-news and social media, and even have billboards up around town with that message (yes, I’m on a billboard!).
Our other video ads share how the library is clean and safe (i.e., pandemic stuff), and then about three new library services – Curbside Pickup, Book Bundles, (3-4 books bundled together that you can check out), and our new Browsing Just for You service (you fill out a form, we’ll pick books for you).
We think the video ads are doing pretty well!
Here’s what we have done:
- We made five 15-second video ads
- We set the ads up in Google Ads to appear only for people living in Shawnee County, KS
- We narrowed that group even further to focus on some audience interests that Google Ads uses, like Book Lovers, Movie Lovers, Education, etc. We went with categories that make sense for a library.
- We set a spending cap at $1500. Once we hit that, the ads will stop running.
Performance so far:
- We have spent $588 – so we haven’t hit our spending cap yet.
- The videos have been viewed over 29,000 times – these are people who watched the whole 15 second video.
- There have been over 71,000 impressions – people who have been served the video (but didn’t necessarily watch them).
- The View Rate is 40.81% overall, which is pretty good. According to Google Ads, the View Rate “measures the percentage of people who watched your video after they first saw the video or thumbnail. It equals the number of views your ad receives divided by the number of impressions, including thumbnail impressions for video discovery ads.”
- Average Cost Per View (CPV) is $0.02
- 3 of the 5 videos have been viewed over 10,000 times
- Our first video has been up the longest, and has the most views. It’s been viewed 17,059 times to date, and cost us $586 so far.
Are they working? Yes, I think so. I know they are being watched – I’ve had people tell me they saw me on YouTube 🙂 I’ve even had one person tell me they saw me on a TV commercial! Either they watch YouTube via their TV (apparently lots of people do that?), or it’s quite possible that Google Ads has some partner sites (Netflix? Hulu? Not sure).
So – people in Shawnee County are getting served the videos, and therefore are getting our message that the library has opened back up. We are also getting more people visiting the library again. There are lots of reasons for that – not just the video ads or our re-opening campaign. But I’m sure it has helped!
If you haven’t yet experimented with social media ads, this is a great time to try them out, because there are still lots of people working from home, staying safe at home, etc.
You can create ads for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – I know that YouTube and Facebook will narrow down to people in your community (not sure about Twitter or Instagram).
So – spend a little money, learn a new skill or two, and see if YouTube ads help meet your library’s goals!