Well, this is illuminating. I decided to advertise our campaign through YouTube for the first time. You know… those ads that pop up in front of people’s videos that you can skip? This is the first time I’ve ever done this with ANY of my videos.
So here are some important stats on the ballerina video before I did this: Last night the video had 844 views (with 35 thumbs up). These were acquired organically over the course of eleven days. People either shared it or got a link to it through our mailing list and social media pages. From those 844 we got $845 in pledges. So our campaign got a dollar closer to its funding goal for every view the video got organically. This was a pretty consistent conversion throughout.
Now, YouTube prides itself in tailoring ads to people’s interests. Surely you’ve noticed how the ads that pop up for you usually relate to your search queries or previously browsed products. So I thought, ok, let’s see how effective this is.
At the recommended rate of $0.02 per view I decided to have our ballerina video included in youtube’s circulation of ads. Overnight my view count almost doubled (over 1,500 views as of right now). I was impressed to say the least. I thought most people would just skip the video.
So I was eager to check our indiegogo campaign and see how many pledges this had resulted in…. not a one. Not even a new video comment or even a thumbs up. I took a closer look at my Adwords stats and noticed that despite all the views (over 700) the ad was only clicked on 8 times and was costing me an average of $0.54 per click. The click link was the indiegogo campaign page itself.
My conclusion? Well, it has to mean one of three things. Bots, bad placement on youtube’s part or ineffective ad campaign on my part. Either way, I would say the approach is not going to work.
What’s peculiar though, is that Google is telling me that my click through rate (CTR), according to the stats is over 50% which is impressively great! But HOW can this be true? This could only mean that YouTube counts as “views” even if the add is immediately skipped which means that of those 700 new views only 16 are ACTUAL views that didn’t skip the ad and only these 16 are factored into their CTR calculation. The rest are just the number of times it popped up in front of a video for someone to skip. Hmm.. this seems like an effective way to merely make it seem like you’re getting lots of views when you really aren’t. Lame!
Canceling it! Because regardless of the reason, paying 50 cents per a click that leads to no pledges, is not good business.
What do you think? Am I making the right decision? Should I have done something differently? You can see what I’m talking about on YouTube.com/armaturenine and look at the ballerina video.