Using YouTube As The Ultimate Assist In Demand Generation

Every B2B SaaS marketer is always asking themselves, “Are we spending our budget on the platforms that our potential customers are on? Are we reaching our key decision-makers?” As more millennials become those key decision-makers (and according to a recent study from TrustRadius, 45% of B2B technology buyers are millennials), reaching them where they spend most of their time is a marketing priority. Here enters YouTube. When speaking with representatives from Google, they explained that one of the biggest reasons B2B SaaS customers are hesitant to include YouTube as a part of their marketing strategy is the lack of ability to generate a large volume of leads.

We think that hesitancy is misplaced. And if you need a YouTube strategy that needs to perform, here’s some guidance to help you get started.  

We’ll cover:
· The two key factors to set up a successful YouTube campaign for B2B SaaS
· How to choose the best targeting strategy to overcome low conversion volume
· What you can do to make sure YouTube successfully scores top-quality leads

Why YouTube For B2B SaaS?

The average decision-maker spends 47 minutes a day on YouTube. While the customer journey isn’t always straightforward, knowing how different advertising efforts work to create conversions means you can leverage YouTube to your advantage and help build brand recognition. Frequently, a down-funnel conversion comes from a top-of-funnel awareness campaign, which is often where YouTube shines.
Far too often, B2B marketers quickly dismiss a platform if it doesn’t generate leads immediately. However, if done correctly, this platform can help be a successful tool to fill your marketing funnel with high-quality leads.

Setting Up Your Paid YouTube Campaign For Success

A successful YouTube campaign needs two things: A strong video asset and strategic audience targeting. If you only have one, you’ll have a great video ad serving to a low-intent audience or, worse, a poor-quality video ad serving to your ideal high-intent audience (which could potentially hurt your brand).

1. Strong Video Asset

According to Google, 70% of B2B buyers and researchers watch videos on their path to purchase, so getting a strong, compelling video asset in front of your audience is crucial. If the video ad creation is out of your agency’s control, I would recommend providing your client with guidance and examples of successful ads and best practices.

Creating a strategy for your video ad is the first step; typically we’ve seen success with these two types of content marketing on YouTube:

Explainer videos: Some SaaS products can be complex; instead of relying on the audience to read through your website, show them what it is. Provide concise videos explaining the features and benefits of your product.

Testimonials: Create confidence in your product by highlighting what your current customers love about it. This confirmation makes the buying decision for potential users much easier.

2. Audience Targeting

When it comes to targeting, the usual go-to is often an in-market audience, targeting users who are already searching for something related to your product. That’s a great starting point, but what are your users doing when they’re not searching for work-related content? Layering affinity audiences into your existing targeting will help broaden your audience and allow you to capture potential users outside of their regular work-related interests.

We’ve seen the best results by tapping further into user intent, using keyword targeting with custom segments to capture high-intent users. In contrast, similar segments help expand your reach to find those potential customers similar to your existing customers or site visitors.
In one case, using both similar and custom segments for one of our clients resulted in a 2x view rate compared to an in-market segment.

Creating A Full-Funnel Strategy With YouTube

In B2B SaaS marketing, the industry is so focused on the lower portion of the funnel that awareness often is overlooked or not seen as valuable. The hesitancy makes sense; it’s natural to want to invest in something that we know works. However, in every marketing strategy, there needs to be an awareness piece to build up your audience base. Moving them through the funnel is the best approach — it’s meant to move in that direction.

“YouTube is a great way to grow Search volume. It increases your brand awareness and creates a better understanding of the need for your product. You need your audience to understand why your product is important for their business.”

—Danny Galvin, Agency Account Strategist at Google

Tools For Attribution

Thankfully, there are tools available that allow you to understand how YouTube influences down-funnel conversions. Google Ads cross-network reporting feature allows you to make the connection between your Search, YouTube, and Google Display Network advertising efforts to track conversions allocating actual value to how your video ads are impacting conversion volume.
For one of our clients, YouTube to Google Search was the third-highest conversion path for users—telling the advertising team that investing in YouTube would ultimately generate leads that would search and convert.

Optimizing YouTube For Conversions

Marketers hesitate to use YouTube for demand generation because there isn’t a straightforward return on investment. When optimizing for conversions, a solution I’ve used is leveraging first-party data for audience creation to generate consistent, quality, and low-cost leads.
In a recent YouTube campaign for a client, using an audience based on users who’ve visited the client’s website generated conversions at the lowest cost. In contrast, although it has the highest conversion volume, the combined segment audience has the second-highest cost-per-conversion.

Setting The Right Budget & Bid

When creating YouTube campaigns for demand generation, an essential factor is setting the proper budget. This factor has a significant impact on the rate that the algorithm will optimize the campaign for conversions. Having the correct budget-to-bid ratio will ensure that you see better results, more quickly. There are some best practices I recommend you follow when choosing the right bidding strategy for your goals:

· If using Target CPA bidding (tCPA) and you’re unsure of your Video CPA, start with one that is 2 to 3 times your display or Search CPA, then set your budget to at least 15 times your target CPA.

· Having a proper budget to bid ratio set up will allow you to generate results quickly.

· If your goal is to create as many conversions as possible, maximizing conversions bidding should be your strategy. The best practice here is to set your daily budget to 10 times your expected CPA.
1. Source: Google data, Global, Aug 2020 - Jan 2021, 911 advertisers with a minimum of 1 campaign following best practices and 1 not following best practices, delivering a minimum of 10 conversions per campaign.

According to Google, there is a significant impact that proper budget and bidding strategies have on both cost-per-conversion and conversion rate.

Does YouTube Add Value To Demand Generation?

When executed correctly, YouTube can be a tremendous asset to your B2B marketing plan as both an awareness and demand generation tool.

Seeing success with YouTube requires having the right mix of high-quality creative assets, strong audience targeting, and a budget and bidding strategy that best aligns with your goals. This combination, and using the attribution reporting tools available, creates a fresh new view of the value that YouTube brings to B2B SaaS marketing.
By Meagan Michaluk, Senior Associate, Paid Social

Don’t wonder how advertising helps you achieve your goals—prove it.

Related Posts

Browse All

Google’s Shiny New Object: Performance Max

Read Post

Creating Data-Driven B2B Personas Using Clearbit

Read Post