What You Need to Know Before Advertising on YouTube

This post originally appeared on franchising.com, click here to read the full post.

Social media advertising on sites like Facebook has become a common strategic play for franchisors, who are seeing both brand awareness and lead generation campaigns work well there. But for individual franchisees, buying social ads — let alone video advertising — it can be intimidating with all the strategic nuances, creative assets and copy required, and budget to consider.

While you may not have realized it, one of the most popular social networks – and one of the more advantageous for franchise advertising – is YouTube. Not sure if YouTube is for you? Here are five things you need to know before making YouTube part of your franchisee media mix.

Want to learn more about using YouTube to advertise your franchise business? Check out the full post on Franchising.com

How Livestream Video Can Strengthen Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing is a fast-paced, dynamic landscape that continues to evolve as technology creates new digital trends. In this evolving landscape, the big question is always “what will be the next big thing in digital marketing?”

A trend experiencing major growth currently is livestream video. It’s expanding to almost all business sectors with a presence on social media. And in 2019, livestreaming is likely to become more commonplace in many businesses’ social media marketing campaigns. In fact, video streaming accounted for 75 percent of all internet traffic in 2017 and is expected to jump to 82 percent by 2020.

Livestreaming started as a niche platform but has quickly been adopted by the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. It allows brands to broadcast in real-time and share authentic, behind-the-scenes style content with new and current audiences. Live streaming not only is a unique experience that marketers can provide, but it’s also the experience that today’s social media users prefer. New York Magazine reported that 82 percent of consumers prefer live video from a brand over standard social posts.

With the chance to connect with the billions of users on Facebook and Instagram, live video is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. From up-and-coming brands, like Glossier, to institutions as famed as The White House, many are recognizing the impact that live video can have. If you haven’t yet incorporated live video into your digital marketing strategy, here’s three reasons why it’s time to start.


No. 1: Authentic User Connection

How to Create Social Media Content for Local Brands - featured imageUnlike straightforward YouTube ads or perfectly edited Instagram posts, live videos are reactionary, unedited and broadcast in real time. This provides a human element to the operation that no other form of digital marketing can really nail and allows your brand to make a genuine connection with your audience. Today’s social media users are exposed to mass amounts of thought-out and curated content, so they can quickly pick out social media posts that seem overly promotional or inauthentic. Live video brings a breath of fresh air into your marketing mix that your audience is sure to appreciate.

In turn, your brand will be rewarded with better engagement rates and improved customer loyalty. Consumers are more willing to support brands that they’ve made a connection with, both on and offline. According to Facebook:

  • 78 percent of their users are already watching livestream videos
  • Facebook users watch livestream videos for 3x as long as videos that aren’t live anymore
  • Livestream videos earn 10x as many comments

Research has shown that 86 percent of people say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. In particular, an overwhelming 90 percent of Millennials say brand authenticity is important, proving that younger consumers prefer “real and organic” over “perfect and packaged.” Live video is an ideal way to demonstrate your brand’s authenticity and create trusted content that your audience will respond to.


No. 2: Improve content variety

Facebook Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal-Featured Image

The casual nature of livestreams allows brands to capture or record moments that traditionally are out of scope in curated social media content. Brands can livestream events, host Q&As or just to go live spontaneously from the office for a more personal session with whoever tunes in. In many cases, live content is “spur of the moment,” so it requires little prep time or proper planning. Live videos can be fueled by audience interactions, ensuring your content is specifically tailored to your target audience and material that they prefer.

Women’s fashion line Carolina Herrera was one of fashion’s first innovators to utilize livestream to broadcast events, like their show in New York Fashion Week. As one of the first in the industry to do so, livestream content helped the brand gain 60,000 new social followers and 51.2 million impressions.

“If you don’t livestream your show,” says Carolina Herrera’s digital manager, “you’re missing out on a huge opportunity that your competitors are going to pick up on.”

No. 3: Increase brand awareness

Facebook Organic Reach Decline - What Brands Need to do - featured image

A key component of live videos is to give them a personality and flair that you want your audience to associate with your business; it’s a key component of your brand identity. Be sure to incorporate interesting facts about your business and let your audience know what about your brand separates you from your competitors.

Live content is also a great opportunity to work with influencers. Because livestreams can be more casual and off-the-cuff, many brands allow influencers to participate in an “Instagram Takeover,” where the influencer takes control of the brand’s account for a few hours. Influencers can promote the collaboration to their following, which exposes the brand to an entirely new audience.

Instagram also automatically sends a notification to your followers when you hop onto a livestream. Additionally, profiles that are currently streaming live video automatically become the first listed icons in the Instagram Stories bar. This ensures that your profile is top of mind for your audience and motivates them to tune in and watch your live video.

In 2019, you can expect livestream video to gain far wider acceptance. With the right strategy and a little creativity, your live content will lead to stronger brand loyalty, a more significant following and greater opportunities for growth. If you can nail livestream now, you’ll be closer to your customers and way ahead of next year’s digital marketing curve.

Mindstream Media Group named to early list of Snapchat Certified Partners

Mindstream Media Group, a locally-focused, full-solution, national media agency became one of less than 100 Snapchat Certified Partners globally, as it increasingly incorporates Snapchat into advertiser strategies.

Certification criteria for the program include:

  • Demonstration of Snapchat advertising knowledge through successful completion of agency team training and assessments.
  • Demonstration of campaign expertise by meeting ad spend requirements.
  • Undergoing continuous training on the most current Snapchat advertising capabilities, best practices and campaign strategies.
  • Proven client success through retention, case studies and positive feedback.

“We’re thrilled for this opportunity to partner with Snapchat in this capacity. They’re moving quickly and building technology that makes sense and solves the needs of our enterprise clients, as well as our local clients,” said Bailey Bosson, vice president, digital media services at Mindstream Media Group. “We’ve been very impressed with the way Snapchat has supported us from the inception of our relationship, and we’re excited to see the relationship grow through this partnership.”

The Snapchat certification is one of many industry-leading designations for Mindstream Media Group, which is also a Google Premier Partner, Facebook Preferred Agency Partner, Microsoft Advertising Partner and Yext Preferred Partner.

Mindstream Media Group creates comprehensive, holistic strategies across social, paid search, display and video, content marketing, creative and traditional media for brands like ServiceMaster, Gold’s Gym, Smoothie King, Fantastic Sams, Sony, Roto-Rooter and The UPS Store.

About Mindstream Media Group

Mindstream Media Group, a full-solution media agency, designs and executes sophisticated traditional and digital marketing strategies that deliver sales for national brands by growing brand awareness and generating qualified local leads. Mindstream Media Group’s is headquartered in Dallas and has teams working across the country from New York City to San Diego to Fast-Forward business for its client base.

Stay in touch with Mindstream Media Group by subscribing to the blog and following us on Snapchat using the Snapcode below.

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Marketing Defined: A Glossary of Essential Marketing, Media and Advertising Terms

Having trouble keeping track of marketing, media and advertising terms? Here’s our ongoing collection of essential industry terms to help you understand your marketing campaigns.

This glossary will cover key terms across traditional and digital marketing disciplines including:

  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Local Search Engine Optimization
  • Display Advertising
  • Video Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Traditional and Digital Media Buying
  • Campaign Targeting Tactics

Ad Rank

A value Google uses to determine your ad position (where ads are shown on a page relative to other ads) and whether your ads will show at all. Ad Rank is calculated using your bid amount, your auction-time ad quality (including expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience), the Ad Rank thresholds, the context of the person’s search (for example, the person’s location, device, time of search, the nature of the search terms, the other ads and search results that show on the page, and other user signals and attributes), and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.

Source: Google Ads Help


A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. Search engines (e.g., Google) use ranking systems to sort through the hundreds of billions of webpages in their search indices to provide searchers useful and relevant results in a fraction of a second. These ranking systems are made up of a series of algorithms that analyze what searchers are looking for and what information to return.

Learn more: Details on Google’s search engine algorithm

Alt Text

Also known as “alt attributes” and “alt descriptions” (also known technically incorrectly as “alt tags”), Alt Text is used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page.

Source: Moz


The process of identifying a set of user actions (“events”) across screens and touch points that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then assigning a value to each of these events.

Source: IAB

Average Position

Also known as “Avg. Pos.” – this statistic is most commonly associated with Google Ads campaigns and describes how your ad typically ranks against other ads. This rank determines the order ads appear on search engine result pages.

  • The highest position is “1,” and there is no “bottom” position. An average position of 1-8 is generally on the first page of search results, 9-16 is generally on the second page, and so on. Average positions can be between two whole numbers. For example, an average position of “1.7” means that your ad usually appears in positions 1 or 2.
  • Your ad’s rank can change, causing its position on the page to fluctuate as well, so your average position can give you an idea of how often your ad beats other ads for a position. However, the most important thing is to find what’s profitable for you, which might not be to show in the top position.

Source: Google Ads Help

Related article: Google Says Goodbye to Average Position


Also called “inbound links” or “incoming links,” backlinks are created when one website links to another. In essence, backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth surfacing on a search engine result page (SERP). So, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position or search visibility.

Source: Moz


In Google Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.

Source: Google Analytics Help

Bounce Rate

Single-page sessions (i.e., bounces) divided by all sessions or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.

Source: Google Analytics Help

Business Listings Management

Optimized local listings that allow brands to deliver information to local consumers across the web on search engines, social media, local directory sites, data aggregators, etc.

Learn more: Listings Management from Mindstream Media

Click-thru Rate (CTR)

The rate at which ads are clicked on, calculated by the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions (the higher the better).


When someone clicks on a link like a digital ad or search engine result.


Any type of information displayed on your website, blog, social media or other channels; this can include copy, images, videos, whitepapers, infographics, etc. Content can positively impact your SEO ranking if it’s high-quality (informative, engaging, useful, unique, etc.).

Content Marketing

A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Learn more: Content Marketing 101 Series


When a visitor completes a desired action on a website (click-through, form fill, purchase, etc.).

Conversion Rate

The number of conversions divided by the number of visitors.

Cost per Click (CPC)

The average cost paid when an ad is clicked; can fluctuate daily based on a number of factors, including competition, market size and geographic location.

Cost per Lead (CPL)

Calculated by the budget spend divided by the number of leads.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email and their websites to connect with current and prospective customers.

Source: Hubspot

Display Advertising

Advertising through banners, graphics, text billboards, audio and/or video that appear in specifically designated areas of websites, apps or social media.

Learn more: Digital Display Advertising

Earned Media

When customers, the press and the public share your content, speak about your brand via word of mouth and otherwise discuss your brand. In other words, the mentions are “earned,” meaning they are voluntarily given by others.

Source: Small Business trends

Email Marketing

Using email messages to connect with current and potential customers.


Each time an ad is shown.

Impression Share

The number of impressions received divided by the estimated number of eligible impressions; helps determine number of missed opportunities due to budget constraints.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A metric by which the success of a campaign is gauged (e.g., clicks, opens, impressions, calls, conversions).

Landing Page

A single webpage that is usually the destination of an ad click, i.e. the page where a visitor “lands.”

Local Citations

Any mention of your business locations on the web. They are any combination of your company name, phone number, address, zip or postal code and website address. Citations can include mentions with or without links to your website and are a key factor in improving your local search results.

Source: Whitespark

Meta Description

A description of a webpage not visible on the actual site, but that appears on a search engine results page.

Meta Tag

Provides metadata about an HTML document, typically used to specify webpage content description, keywords or author, which can be read by browsers, search engines or other web services.


Data or information about other data.

NAP Data

Name, address and phone number; a business’s online identity.

Omni-channel Advertising

Also spelled omnichannel; integrates multiple types of media such as print, radio, TV, digital, mobile and social, which enable a better customer experience across devices and channels.

Over-The-Top (OTT)

Premium long-form video content that is streamed over the internet through an app or device onto a TV, PC, tablet or smartphone without requiring users to subscribe to a wired cable, telco or satellite TV service.

Source: Video Advertising Bureau “You Down with OTT,” Q1 2018

Related article: Check your connected TV terminology

Owned Media

When you leverage a channel you create and control. This could be your company blog, YouTube channel, your website or even your Facebook page. Even though you don’t strictly “own’ your YouTube channel or your Facebook page, you do control them and don’t have to pay for basic usage.

Source: Small Business trends

Paid Media

When you pay to leverage a third-party channel, such as sponsorships and advertising on third-party sites.

Source: Small Business trends

Paid Social Advertising

Sponsored content or paid ads on social networks that can target specific audience segments like age, gender, behavior, interests and geographic location, among many others.

Learn more: Tips for Building Social Media Campaigns That Actually Work

Pay-per-click (PPC)

A type of advertising in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.

Premium Local Directories

Paid advertising campaigns that allow brands to reach ready-to-buy consumers on premier online local directories such as Yelp, YP, Superpages and Citysearch.

Programmatic Ad Buying

Typically refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders. It’s using machines to buy ads, basically.

Source: Digiday

Related article: What You Need to Know About Programmatic Advertising

Reputation Management

The act of influencing or controlling a brand’s reputation online, which is determined by factors like social media, reviews, the brand’s website and its position on search engine results pages.


Also known as remarketing, a form of advertising which targets online traffic after they have left a particular website or digital property.

Schema.org Markup

Schema.org (often called Schema) is a semantic vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in SERPs.

Code Sample

<div itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/Book”>

<span itemprop=”name”> Inbound Marketing and SEO: Insights from the Moz Blog</span>

<span itemprop=”author”>Rand Fishkin</span>


Schema.org is the result of collaboration between Google, Bing, Yandex and Yahoo! to help you provide the information their search engines need to understand your content and provide the best search results possible at this time. Adding Schema markup to your HTML improves the way your page displays in SERPs by enhancing the rich snippets that are displayed beneath the page title.

Source: Moz

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Includes optimizing titles and descriptions, adding alt text to images, maintaining a blog and submitting business data to directories, among other activities.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The layout of the page returned by a search engine after a searcher enters a query.

Structured Citations

Your business information (NAP) on a business listing directory. When you see lists of citation sites, these are pretty much always business listing directories where you can submit your business and get a citation. Example sites for structured citations include:

  • Yelp
  • Yellowpages
  • Facebook
  • Superpages
  • MapQuest

Source: Whitespark

Title Tag

An HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result and are important for usability, SEO and social sharing. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.

Source: Moz

Web Leads

Leads generated through activity on your webpage such as link clicks, requests for more information, form submissions, etc.

Unstructured Citations

Your business information (NAP) on any other site that’s not specifically a business listing directory. Common examples where you’ll find unstructured citations are blogs, magazine/newspaper sites, wikis, etc.

Source: Whitespark

For more help in understanding your campaigns, make sure to subscribe to Mindstream Media Group’s blog to get the latest marketing, media and advertising news delivered straight to your inbox.

[JULY 2018] Top Announcements for Advertisers from Google Marketing Live

Google hosted its annual Google Marketing Live event in San Jose, California on Tuesday. During the live-streamed keynote address, Google executives announced several new features and initiatives coming to the company’s various advertising platforms. The event came just weeks after Google introduced three new (i.e., updated) advertising platforms – Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ads Manager.

While Google’s execs touted the company’s three principle advertising characteristics – valuable, transparent, trustworthy – the default theme to this year’s Google Marketing Live keynote was actually two other words – “machine learning.” It seemed as if every update Google announced, the speakers highlighted how their automated processes can help make your job as a marketer easier across all aspects of campaign management.

Google Marketing Live - valuable transparent trustworthy

If you want to watch the full keynote, you can find a recording of the event here

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce, kicked off the event by recapping major previous announcements to Google’s ad services. But, the new announcements we all tuned in for came when Nicky Rettke, Google’s Group Product Manager of Video Ads, and Anthony Chavez, Product Management Director of Google Ads, took the stage.

Reach nearby consumers with Local campaigns

During the keynote, the speakers stressed one of the worst-kept secrets in search marketing: consumers are increasingly expecting to find only the most local and relevant results to them. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Google continues to roll out features and campaigns designed to help drive traffic for local businesses.

“Today we’re introducing Local campaigns: a new campaign type designed to drive store visits exclusively,” Google’s Vice President of Product Management Jerry Dischler said in a blog post about the keynote. “Provide a few simple things – like your business locations and ad creative – and Google automatically optimizes your ads across properties to bring more customers into your store.”

Local campaigns will begin rolling out to advertisers globally over the coming months. Here’s a sample of what this will look like across Google’s platforms:

Google Local search campaigns - Search - Maps - Places Pages - Display - YouTube

Manage campaigns with responsive search ads

With responsive search ads, you’ll be able to provide up to 15 headlines and four description lines as options for paid search ads. Using machine learning, Google will determine which combination of ad creative is most likely to perform best for a given search query.

The feature is still in beta, but Google has already highlighted a number of benefits responsive ads provide advertisers:

  • Create flexible ads that adapt to device widths, giving you more room to share your message with potential customers.
  • Save time by providing multiple headline and description options, then let AdWords show the most relevant combinations to your customers.
  • Reach more potential customers with multiple headline and description options that give your ads the opportunity to compete in more auctions and match more queries.
  • Increase ad group performance by attracting additional clicks and conversions that your existing text ads aren’t capturing, since responsive search ads help you compete in more auctions.

Google Marketing Innovations Keynote - Manage campaigns with responsive search ads

According to Google, responsive search ads also have a couple of advantages over expanded text ads:

  1. More space: responsive search ads can show up to three headlines instead of two, and up to two 90-character description fields (instead of one 80-character description field).
  2. More flexibility: you can provide up to 15 headlines and four descriptions for a single responsive search ad. And, AdWords will automatically show different combinations depending on the search query.

Here’s an example of how to create a responsive search ad based on Google’s best practices:

Best practices for creating Google responsive search ads

Responsive ads will start rolling out over the next several months to allow you to take optimization testing to a whole new level. According to Google, advertisers who use the search company’s machine learning to test multiple creative see up to 15 percent more clicks.

Maximize relevance and performance on YouTube

Nicky Rettke, Group Product Manager of Video Ads, took the stage at the Google Marketing Live keynote to talk about some major features coming to YouTube for advertisers. Before diving into those, she shared a few impressive stats:

  • There are 1.9 billion signed in users visiting YouTube every month.
  • Users watch a billion hours of video every day.
  • There was a 150 percent growth in ad conversions last year and a 70 percent lift in in-store sales from YouTube ads.

Google Marketing Innovations Keynote - Maximize relevance and performance on YouTube

Rettke then moved on to three new advertising features available on YouTube.

TrueView for reach

Google introduced this feature a few months ago and it’s currently available to advertisers. According to Google’s blog, “TrueView for reach brings our popular in-stream format built on user choice together with the simplicity of CPM buying. Optimized for efficient reach, this format can help you to raise awareness among a broad set of customers — and do so within our 95 percent viewable and 95 percent audible environment.”

TrueView for action

This feature has also been available to advertisers for a while. TrueView for action campaigns help drive leads and conversions by adding prominent calls-to-action (CTAs ) and headline-text overlays to your video ads.

Using this video campaign subtype, you can encourage customers to explore your product or service, share their contact information, and take other actions valuable to your business.

Maximize lift bidding

Google is rolling out this Smart Bidding strategy to help you reach people who are most likely to be interested in your brand and its products and services after seeing a video ad. Powered by (you guessed it) machine learning, Maximize lift is designed to automatically adjust bids to maximize the impact your video ads have on how consumers perceive your brand throughout the buying journey.

Maximize lift is available now as a beta and will roll out to advertisers globally later this year.

Optimize your shopping campaigns

Google launched a new Shopping campaign type earlier this year to help you optimize performance based on your brand’s specific goals. During the Marketing Live keynote, Google announced they’d be improving this feature so you can optimize campaigns for multiple business goals like store visits or new customers.

And, how does Google do it? You guessed it, machine learning FTW again. According to Google, “machine learning is also used to optimize where your Shopping ads show – on Google.com, Image Search, YouTube and millions of sites and apps across the web – and which products are featured.”

Google said these features to optimize shopping campaigns will begin rolling out over the next couple of months.

Cross-device reporting and remarketing

The crowd in San Jose went wild (relatively) when Anthony Chavez, Product Management Director for Google Ads announced the latest feature coming to Google Analytics.

Available now, you’ll “be able to take action based on a comprehensive view of customers,” Chavez said. Cross-device reporting and remarketing will provide a holistic view of traffic across devices in Google analytics. The feature also allows you to deploy cross-device retargeting strategies in Google Ads.

Mindstream Media Group is a Google Premier Partner. Contact us to find out how we can Fast-Forward Your Business with marketing campaigns across Google platforms.

How to Improve TV and Digital Video Advertising Campaigns as Viewing Habits Change

Video content has proved adept at engaging audiences with its combination of sight, sound and motion. And for years, TV was the main vehicle for audiences to consume video content on a regular basis. The combination of these two factors has driven years of heavy investment in TV commercials.

But, things have changed. Video content remains a powerful way to engage, but audiences have a lot more ways to consume that content.

Continue reading “How to Improve TV and Digital Video Advertising Campaigns as Viewing Habits Change”