An interview with Jon “Bernie” Bernstein, Director of Digital Marketing, Fifth Story.

Jon 'Bernie' Bernstein, Director of Digital Marketing at Fifth Story.Q. Bernie, can you tell us when and why you would use paid video to build remarketing audiences?

A. In case you are not familiar with remarketing, it is a way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app. It allows you to strategically position or leverage your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites, thus helping you increase your brand awareness or remind those audiences to make a purchase.

For some brands that are trying to find that “needle in a haystack” audience or an expensive-to-reach audience (like when there is lots of competition and many companies are bidding), using YouTube video pre-roll can help to define and build a remarketing audience in a cost-effective way and narrow down a hard-to-reach target.

Q. Can you give an example of this?

A. Sure. For example, if a drywall manufacturer/seller were trying to reach small-to mid-sized contractors and homeowner DIYers, we would run a targeted pre-roll video campaign on YouTube with specific parameters such as demographics, geo-targets, and interests in home, plus add in keywords such as home renovation, home building, etc. We would also run the video pre-roll within content-rich related environments, such as how to install drywall, basement renovations, and other similar content topics that would fit. The pre-roll for the drywall brand would run before the install/reno video content (usually longer-form YouTube content).

By selecting this type of target audience and content environment, we can reach an engaged, active audience that is looking to install the product or do similar reno work that could lead to drywall installation at a reasonably low cost per view.

For each viewer who watches the pre-roll for 10 seconds or more, we can add them to an audience remarketing list. This helps us develop a targeted list of people who have already shown interest in the product and engaged with the brand. Now we have a more niche marketing list of engaged people that can be reached at a lower cost. This is much more effective than a straight search campaign where you can reach engaged people, but at a high cost. Also, when people click on a remarketing ad, they are more likely to spend a good amount of time on the site since they have some familiarity with the brand/product by watching the video.

Q. What length of pre-roll would you run to build your remarketing list?

A. If the video is really informative and it relates to the subject matter of the main video content (what plays after the pre-roll), you can run a longer video. For example, a home building/renovation client ran a video as pre-roll about their home renovation product. The video targeted people who were interested in the renovation category. The average watch time was 1:14 minutes out of a 1:32-minute long video. That is an 86% average video watch time on a video people could have skipped after 6 seconds.

Q. Do you have any content or creative must-haves for pre-roll video?

A. Again, make sure that the content ties into the subject of the main video they are planning on watching. It’s also essential that you make a strong point up front before the viewer can skip – i.e., “Don’t make costly mistakes on your reno during the drywall stage.”

The other must-have is a call-to-action to click on a website or call (on mobile) to get more information. They may not click if they really wanted to see the video after the pre-roll, but if you have pulled them in enough, you may get them to take action — if not now, at a later time.

Q. Can you explain a bit about cross-platform remarketing?

A. Once you build a remarketing list using YouTube, you can remarket to this audience using YouTube again with additional or sequential video content, or you can remarket to them using Google Display or Search Ads. The purpose of remarketing is to drive a specific audience back to your site to take action.

If you set up pixels from other platforms, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, you can also remarket to individuals on these platforms. For example, if you developed a broader remarketing list from YouTube of people who subsequently visited your website from a click on the video or a targeted remarketing ad, that will then trigger the LinkedIn Insight Pixel to fire. With this, you can then narrow the audience on LinkedIn down to profession, job title or association. This dramatically enables B2B marketers to reach very specific targets that are either impossible to get to directly or incredibly costly to reach.

To learn more about remarketing, please visit this blog post.