YouTube is used by more than 94 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds. That’s more than Facebook (80%), Snapchat (78%), Instagram (71%) and Twitter (45%). Not utilizing YouTube? Then you’re missing out. Utilizing YouTube, but aren’t seeing the results you expected? Cool, we’re here to give you some tips on the best ways to engage younger audiences on YouTube, so read on. 

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The Stats: The Black Sheep has learned a LOT through trial, error and some funny moments when developing client content for YouTube. However, one thing we know for sure is that the numbers don’t lie. Below are key stats to keep in mind when targeting younger audiences on YouTube:

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You Only Get 5 Seconds: That’s right, you literally only have five seconds to grab your audience’s attention before the “skip ad,” option makes its way onto your ad. Knowing this, the most important thing you can do when creating ads for YouTube is develop engaging content that hits viewers out the gate, and keeps them from hitting the dreaded “skip” button as soon as possible. A couple of our recommendations to optimize the small window of time you have to engage with your audience include drawing an emotional connection between your brand and your target demographic, or humanizing your brand through authentic storytelling; two examples below. 

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Connect Head and Heart: Creating an ad for the sake of creating an ad won’t get you anywhere. When developing content for YouTube advertising, it’s essential that you take the time to draw a definitive line between your product / service and your target audience. A great way to do this is tapping into an emotional connection — good, bad, funny, loving — and build your ad from there. Start with an emotion and build content around that emotion to captivate your audience from the second your ad starts. Some brands that have mastered this technique are Dove, Gillette, and Hostelworld

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Tell A Story: It sounds simple, but telling you brand’s story is a low-hanging fruit opportunity for your product or service to be authentic and connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Ask yourself, “Was it (the brand) created by a YouTuber, or college buddies in a garage? Was it created to make life easier or give back in some way? Was the trial and error process unique?” Telling an authentic story through a longer ad (2-3 min) is a great way to connect with your audience without losing their attention (but the first five seconds still matter!) and bring a sense of humanity to the brand. 

So what did we learn? If anything, take away that YouTube is here to stay! It’s proven itself to be the most popular platform for reaching millennials, so the sooner brands adapt and take advantage of its capabilities, the better. 

Here’s to seeing your brand on YouTube,  

-The Black Sheep