Articles, Blog

How Much Do “Viral Video” Ads Cost?

March 11, 2020

How can you find out
how much your competitor is spending on YouTube advertising? Let’s find out. Hey, this is Dane Golden from, this is the channel where we give you video content marketing
tips to get your customers coming back to your
videos again and again. So why would you want to know how much your competitor was spending
on their YouTube advertising? Well, that gives you a benchmark to know how much work you’re going to need to do to get as much attention
as they’re getting. Whether you get it through organic views, or an influencer, or a paid campaign, maybe it’s on YouTube, maybe
it’s on another platform, you need to know what
your competitor is doing so that you can compete. That’s the point of competition. But how do you do it on YouTube without knowing the inner workings of how their company works? How do you get this secret information? Well first you’d want to know
how many of those YouTube views are organic, which means not paid, and then paid, which means
that they ran those views, came from running as an ad, probably as a pre-roll on YouTube. That’s right, you can
increase your number of views by running a video as
an ad, and any YouTube video can be an ad. But how do you count how
many of those views are paid? Well we’re going to show you right now. Let’s say you’re an ad agency or a brand, and you want to know
how much your competitor is spending on their ads on YouTube, but it’s difficult for you
to count how many views are paid without having insider data. Well, let’s use this example here, we’ll come to a brand page,
I won’t say their name, we’ll call them Blerizon. So Blerizon has a big
brand and they want to get as much promotion as they can, so they have a big budget
for their paid ads, but they also have videos
that they don’t put any paid media behind at all, and that’s how you can
tell how much they’re spending on their ads. So here’s there home page on YouTube, but we don’t want to go to this page because what happens is is
that on their home page, they are mostly their featured videos in a certain organization
that is not really helpful for us for this example. So we’re going to click on videos. Videos shows every video in
reverse chronological order. So here’s all their videos in
reverse chronological order, but we want to go to whatever
is older than a week, and it’ll say one week old, and after that it won’t tell us exactly how long, but that’s good enough. Anything that’s longer than
a week has probably seen 80% or more of its organic views. So for the purposes of this experiment and demonstration, that’s good enough. So we have several videos here, Adfellows graduation day has 215 views, and then the next video has 963,000 views, 466,000 views, 106 views, and 1,100 views. So let’s look at these
videos in more depth. Okay, so we’re looking for
the most recent five videos that are older than one week old, and we begin with this one. This one has 218 views,
and it has six likes. So that seems like sort
of a rational ratio, it’s let’s say six likes to 218, it’s about three likes per
view, so 3% likes to view. Alright, that’s the numbers
that are available to us, and we can assume that 218 views, this video did not have
any paid promotion on it. Here’s another video, this
one has a million views, that just came out around the
same time as the other video. So one of the videos had 200 views, another had a million views,
and remember the other one had about 3% likes to views. Now this one has 35
likes to a million views. So really that’s 10 times
the 3% likes to views, so if we multiplied three times 10, we get 30 roughly, and
if we multiply the views of the other video,
which was 200 times 10, we would get 2,000. So that leads us to believe that all but, if all things being equal,
roughly the same kind of video, all but 2,000 of these million views would be paid views. Let’s take a look at the other ones. Alright, this also has about
the same number of likes as the million view video. So a million views, or 500,000 views, same number of likes roughly. So we think probably most, or if not all, or almost all of these views are paid, but how much we’re not sure. This is another very recent
video, published a week ago. 112 views, well that’s more in line with the 200 and some odd views, and this has one like per
100 views, so about 1% likes per views, alright,
well that’s an indicator that leads us to believe
that this is organic and not paid. And here’s another video that has 1,000 views on it, one like. So that’s 0.1%, but it’s
still in the ballpark, it’s not as out of whack
as a million views. So this probably has mostly organic views. Now if we take the median,
and what is the median? The median is the middle number, so what did we have? We had 200, 100, 1,000,
500,000, and 1,000,000. So the median number on that is 200. So all things being equal,
200 is the natural number of organic views that
this channel is getting. So, that would lead us to believe that the million view
video, and let’s just go to that video as an example,
on this million view video, we assume that about 2,000
of the views were organic, 200 to 2,000, but based
on the likes per view, we assumed it was 2,000. So a million views are paid. Alright, well, how much
does a million views cost? Well, the answer is it depends. Most likely when you
can get a million views in a short period of time,
the way you got those views is what they call pre-roll, which is the video that
comes up before other videos, and those range in cost depending
on how you approach them. If you didn’t care what the targeting was, you could just get all
those views in Malaysia or the Philippines for one cent, but of course, this company
may not offer services there. So we want legitimate
views, we just don’t want vanity views, so they’d
probably go to target the US, and maybe other age groups, or cities, or other demographics. You can target by gender, age, income, but let’s say that for the
purposes of the ad buying part, just the pure ad buy
that it was three cents for a million views. Now just doing some back
of the envelope math, if it was one cent per
view, that would be, of a million views, you
divide by 100 right? So it’d really be $10,000. But if it was three cents,
it’s three times one cent, so it’s $30,000 for a million views. So that got out to a million people, $30,000 is how much this ad
cost to do the media buy, not including the production. Now it could’ve cost more. Now how would it have cost more? Well, they might have run
not as a skippable pre-roll, but through DoubleClick as
a non-skippable pre-roll. Now non-skippable
pre-rolls, they’re charged a little bit more, they’re charged more, or it could’ve run on a
premium YouTube channel, which also could’ve cost more. In addition, we’re just
talking the ad buy part, we’re not talking the ad management part. And that’s how you find out
how much your competitors are spending on their
YouTube advertising budgets. Did I answer your question? If not, ask me in the comments. This is, my name’s Dane Golden, this is the channel where we give you video content marketing tips to help you get your customers coming back to your videos again and again. Please subscribe and watch this video.


  • Reply VidiUp May 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Did this video answer your question? If not, ask me here in the comments! – Dane

  • Reply Paul Peck DrywallTube May 17, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Great video Dane!๐Ÿ‘

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