YouTube Advertising During COVID-19

As COVID-19 hit the country, brands have shifted their approach marketing to potential customers. Many accounts have seen a decline in conversions because it may not be the best time for individuals or companies to purchase a specific product or service. That being said, brands are still marketing with the future in mind. People may not be ready to buy from you right now, but are you changing your approach so that when this is all over they will consider your brand first?

YouTube Advertising Instream

Video campaigns in Google Ads can be a cost-effective way to maintain branding if your budget has been reduced, especially with YouTube traffic increasing during the pandemic.

1. Try out those too-long videos for YouTube ads

Not every ad on YouTube has to be the TV commercial style of ad.  You do not need to have a 30-second video to run successful video campaigns on YouTube. This is not Facebook or Instagram. People go to YouTube to watch videos, and you can use your longer video content and possibly avoid having to create new videos. This is where TrueView discovery ads can really help.

YouTube is still a search engine. The second-largest search engine after Google to be exact. So users can still use YouTube to try and find answers and solutions to any questions or problems they may be having. Advertisers who want their content to be at the top of the YouTube search results can run TrueView discovery ads to try and get their video as the top spot.
YouTube advertising bread ad

Even if you have video content ready to go, it may be hard to get a ton of immediate, organic exposure for your videos if dozens of other videos are already out there with the same demo. Discovery ads can help push that exposure and build your brand. The image above is showing what your ad may look like on YouTube search results, and that is where TrueView discovery ads can really shine.

YouTube discovery ad selection

When creating a campaign specifically for TrueView discovery, the advertiser has the option to target just the YouTube search results.

Research what problems or questions your audience is asking since the novel coronavirus outbreak. Target those terms with TrueView discovery campaigns if you have the creative ready to offer up a valuable solution that can help your target audience. Being the source of help and assistance during these times can really help build your brand.

2. Build new custom intent audiences

If you still want to widen your reach beyond the YouTube search results, you can still use audiences to target your TrueView in-stream and discovery ads. And for YouTube advertising, it does not get any better than custom intent audiences. For YouTube ads, we can create audiences based off of search terms people have typed into Google. The keywords will be broad match related, but it will show a level of intent.

YouTube advertising during COVID-19 customer intent audience example


3. Lighten up your CTA extensions

YouTube’s call-to-action extensions are only available for video ads running TrueView in-stream campaigns. Advertisers have the option to add a headline to their in-stream ad (15 characters long) as well as a call-to-action button (10 characters long). Even if the user decides to skip the video ad, the call-to-action extensions will still be visible alongside the video ad. Here is an example below.

YouTube CTA extensions example

Now, it is important to remember the reason viewers are on YouTube. Most likely the viewer did not go to YouTube to sign up for your demo or buy your product. We can assume most people go to YouTube, especially during recent current events, to be entertained.

It is probably not the best time to push your “Buy Now” CTAs unless you are selling an essential item that is in demand. But if you are using YouTube ads to build brand awareness while sales are down, hook them in with softer commitments. This can help build more engagement and potentially drive more traffic if the user feels they do not have to commit to anything. Here are some examples of some softer call-to-action extensions you can test in your campaigns that will fit the 10-character limit.

  • Learn More
  • Watch More
  • See More
  • View More
  • Read More
  • Free Tips
  • Get Help
  • We’ll Help
  • Visit Site
  • Stay Safe

If you are using YouTube for top-of-funnel awareness right now, focus on getting a viewer’s attention and try and avoid coming across as pushy and insensitive in your messaging.

4. Make sure your video content is quality

If you are softening your approach with your targeting, you better have the video content to back up that approach.

YouTube Video Builder


Reach your audience on YouTube now—convert them later

The world may seem to have turned upside down within the past month, but we can still be level-headed with our marketing strategies. Hopefully some of the tips in this post gave you ideas of how you can still reach your target audience if your strategies have been affected by COVID-19. Your audience may still be there, but the way you need to market to them may have changed.

Without a doubt, we are living in uncertain times. Your audience may not be ready to buy anything right now, but they may need help. They may need direction. They may need advice. Your brand can be there to be the voice of comfort and possibly the solution to whatever they are looking for at the moment. You may not see immediate sales, but you are building trust with a new group of potential customers that may come back and purchase your product now or possibly later on when we are finally out of all of this. See what your customers need now, and maybe YouTube ads can help position your brand as the go-to source during these times.



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