Dear Youtube: Your Ad Strategy Is Extremely Annoying And Ineffective
I’ve been spending a bit more time on Youtube in the last few weeks, and maybe even months (I’ve loss track). I mostly go on to watch interviews of other successful entrepreneurs that inspire me such as Tony Robbins. I also go on because I obsess over learning new techniques and strategies in Digital Marketing that will give me the competitive edge over everyone else (and I have found a few). Even occasionally when I just want to relax and take a break I’ll go on and maybe check out a movie trailer or 2 (or 10).
I’m not sure how recent it is, but Youtube has an advertising tactic now to generate revenue for them, and brand awareness for other companies. What they do is before each video they will play an ad right before the video. The ads are typically based on other sites that you may have visited, or links you clicked on. So they feed you ads that are either the same or similar to those that you clicked on from other websites.
Let me be the first to say that it is the worst, dumbest, and most ineffective strategy I have come across in a long time (you brought this on yourself Youtube). By my tone you can tell I’m annoyed, and for good reason. If you’ve ever tried to watch a video of interest to you on Youtube only to be interrupted by an ad you have no interest of seeing or clicking on, then you understand my frustration and annoyance.
You know what this reminds me of? Let me help you to understand what this reminds me of, and maybe understand where I’m coming from a bit more clearly. I know it may have been awhile back before things like Netflix, but try to remember a time when we use to watch our favourite shows on television. Can you remember that one tv show, or that one episode you were so deeply caught up in. The drama, the excitement, the suspense! Your poor heart just couldn’t take it, but you were on the edge of your seat desperately waiting for what happens next! Will she tell him?! Is he going to kill her?! Oh wow look at that awesome car chase! Then suddenly…black screen…a commercial comes on right as they are about to show the best part!
Remember that so pissed and annoyed feeling you felt, that they cut your favourite TV episode as it was about to show the best part? Well that’s how Youtube ads make me feel when I want to watch something on Youtube, and keep being interrupted with ads.
Youtube let me give you a bit of advice. When I come to you, I don’t come to you to watch ads. If I wanted to see ads I would turn on my television, but right now I don’t want to see ads. You know what I want to see Youtube, what the hell I click on to see? I want to watch my interviews. I want to watch my movie trailers. I want to watch what I came here to watch in the first place, NOT ADS! No I don’t want tips on finding or hiring talent from Upwork. No I don’t want to know how some guy I’ve never heard of became a Millionaire. If I wanted to know the answers to those questions that’s what Google search is for. If I come to you I come to watch videos of things of interest to me…period!
Since when did we go back to the days of Interruptive Marketing? When it was all about pushing a brand’s message and product/service on people that have no interest whatsoever in it? I thought the whole idea of Digital/New Age Marketing was to move away from such cheap and ineffective tactics, and move towards more Attraction-based Marketing where I come find you if I want to hear from you.
Advertising That Actually Works
Let’s look on another platform that is actually doing it right…Facebook (and by extension Facebook owned Instagram). When I scroll through my Facebook or Instagram feed I’m not met by a sudden pop-up that’s telling me to click here for a product/service I have no interest in. As a matter of fact the brilliance with newsfeed ads is that it isn’t interruptive. It’s simply there in the middle of my newsfeed, and if I choose to, if it is of interest to me, I can click on it. If not I can simply ignore it and go along my merry way. This is a far more effective strategy that actually works. I have clicked on ads on Facebook and Instagram out of curiosity, and often out of interest. There have even been instances where I have purchased from a few of these companies. Why? Because I didn’t feel as though they were forcing what they were promoting on me. I didn’t feel like they were forcing me to pay attention to them or their message, before I could move on to what I really came there for.
This as opposed to Youtube where every time I go on I have to mentally prepare myself for these ads so I don’t get so annoyed that I end up throwing my laptop half way across the room out of frustration.
Youtube I need you to seriously consider taking this crap off, because it isn’t working. We’re annoyed and we do not want to be forced to watch ads on your platform.
The good news is I’m not just going to bash you and leave it as is. I’m actually going to offer a suggestion or two that can help your ads be more effective, and to keep you from upsetting more people.
Suggestion 1: Ask Us First
Instead of playing the ad as the video starts, forcing us to watch it, you could ask us if we wish to see an ad about whatever it is advertising. So if a brand is advertising getting certified in Digital Marketing the ad could read “Do you wish to see an ad on getting certified for Digital Marketing? [Yes] [No]”.
In doing so you give me control over what I choose to see or not see. I’m less likely to be annoyed, and be more inclined to click on the ad if I’m asked if I want to see it, rather than being forced to see it.
Suggestion 2: Use the End Screen & Annotations Function
Another way you could promote ads on videos is by having them show up as End Screen & Annotations suggestions at the end of videos (or the beginning). This way people can see what the ad is about, and still have the option of clicking on it, without being interrupted.
You could even have video playing but muted so we can actually see the ad in motion, but still not being interrupted.
Suggestion 3: Play the Ad at The End
Now this may not be ideal for your clients as most people never watch a video to the end, but it’s still an option.
If you’re thinking of randomly placing the ad in the middle of the video, that unexpectedly pops up, don’t do that either! I have a channel I was subscribed to that did that, and it was such a turn off that I unsubscribed from their channel.
I have given you three suggestions to fix the problem. Heck, you could even use all three and offer different ad packages depending on which potential clients want to pay for.
Whatever you choose to do doesn’t really matter to me. To be brutally honest I really don’t care. All I want is for you to stop playing ads at the beginning of our videos.
The online Youtube community will greatly appreciate it (and so will your clients with increased click rates) 🙂