Success Story

See how this self-storage company cut acquisition costs by 50% with YouTube advertising.

SmartStop Self Storage
Pro tip

Create your own comprehensive video campaign with Animoto’s new YouTube storyboards.

The Goal

Generate interest and drive brand awareness

SmartStop Self Storage is a storage facility with locations throughout the United States and Canada. In October 2017, the business rebranded its US stores, changing the name of 94 stores from Extra Space to SmartStop Self Storage and expanding its US profile. During the rebranding process, SmartStop wanted to familiarize consumers with their brand and services. To do that, they needed an effective brand awareness campaign that would let them reach a broad audience within a reasonable budget. The business consulted their Google representative — an account manager from a past search ad campaign — to find the best way to reach and convert their audience. Their Google account managers suggested that they try YouTube video ads.

Video Details:

Product: Marketing Video

Style: Bold

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Product: Marketing Video

Style: Bold

The Solution

A varied, and targeted video ad campaign that drives conversion

SmartStop understood that it can take multiple touchpoints before a customer is ready to engage with a brand. With Animoto Marketing, SmartStop was able to easily create a comprehensive video ad campaign for YouTube, which included three ad types: a skippable TrueView ad, a bumper ad, and a TrueView ad specifically designed to drive clicks.

Since businesses only pay when viewers watch 30 seconds or more, SmartStop’s TrueView for YouTube ad was cost-effective and generated free brand awareness for the business. With its 6-second YouTube Bumper ad, the company was able to retarget an audience that had already watched their first ad, indicating possible interest. The third ad type allowed the company to remarket by add a call-to-action button which encouraged viewers to click to learn more.

Using Animoto, the business saved time and money they would have spent in outsourcing their video campaign. The varied video ads allowed SmartStop Self Storage to share bite-size content with viewers while keeping interruptions to a minimum. And multiple ad formats made it easy for SmartStop to engage their audience, and remind them of their service, before reaching out with a call to action.

Best Practices: YouTube Ads

When it comes to creating successful video ads for YouTube, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

Hook your audience — Optimize for sound-on viewing
Unlike video on Facebook or Instagram, YouTube videos are largely watched with sound on. In fact, 96% of YouTube users watch videos with sound on, making audio a key to any video ad. To optimize for sound-on viewing, include video clips of someone speaking, or use the voice-over available in Animoto Marketing.

Keep viewers engaged — Go horizontal
YouTube is designed for horizontal video, so if you create landscape video ads, you'll be sharing content in the way your YouTube audience expects to receive it. Although, Facebook and Instagram videos perform better in square format, YouTube videos still work best with standard dimensions — landscape format (16:9).

Amplify brand awareness — Include your logo
YouTube recommends incorporating your logo organically, adding it right away as part of the video itself rather than relying on viewers catching it at the end of a video. In skippable TrueView ads, the presence of your logo allows for an additional touchpoint, and is a recommended practice. Plus, it provides free brand awareness for your business. SmartStop, for instance, did this by including their logo on the storage boxes in their initial shot.

"We weren’t sure how many viewers would click through from the video, as storage is so need based, but we were thrilled with the interest that our Animoto Marketing video was able to generate for us."

– Beth Austin, Digital Marketing Manager

The Results

Boost views, awareness, and interest with video ads on YouTube

SmartStop wanted to make sure they generated interest in the people who came across their ads, and the Animoto video ads allowed them to do just that. Over the course of the campaign, SmartStop’s video ads got 496,000 views and 4,000 clicks on YouTube. In fact, the Animoto videos helped SmartStop reach an impressive 36% view-through rate—the number of viewers who saw the ad and didn't skip through it. Ultimately, YouTube’s TrueView ads were a money-saving decision for the business, since the cost-per-click was 50 percent cheaper than search advertising. Not only was this approach more affordable than traditional search network pay per click, Beth states,“ was incredibly beneficial during the transition.” Using Animoto Marketing, the storage facility was able to share a memorable message that amplified brand awareness and effectively reached their target audience while cutting costs in half.

Key Takeaways

Effectively reach your target audience with video

Cut cost in half with YouTube TrueView advertising

Amplify brand awareness with YouTube storyboards

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