We’ve all been to huge trade shows with wall-to-wall booths with marketers and salespeople waiting to pounce whenever anyone so much as looks in their general direction. I myself have been that person manning the booth, trying to flag down potential customers. I have also been the attendee who just wants to grab a tchotchke from a sponsor’s booth without having a conversation about something my company doesn’t need. It’s no fun.

That’s why I enjoyed the change of pace at the recent Digital Marketing Masterclass event in Dallas — it’s truly the antithesis of a trade show. The model is to have a few digital experts present a current problem and their proposed solution, and then have those experts connect with attendees at their tables in short 20-minute meetings. I got a lot out of both presenting and listening to other presenters, but found the most value in meeting directly with attendees.

The attendees of the event were almost exclusively marketers from major brands that are either based in or have offices in Texas. We chatted about the challenges they see in video advertising, and while each had unique situations, the three biggest questions that came up were the following:

Can I really target audiences effectively on YouTube?

Yes, there are many tactics available to precisely target audiences on YouTube and through Pixability’s platform. For example, you’re able to target “moms in Chicago who are in the market for a new car” or retarget anyone who has watched your previous videos, or videos in specific categories. You can even use your own CRM data for account-based targeting.

What are the differences between running video campaigns on YouTube vs. Facebook, Instagram, or CTV?

Currently, you need to use multiple platforms to run campaigns across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and CTV, but at Pixability, we can execute one campaign across all of them. Another difference is that the definition of a view is different across these platforms, but we’re able to normalize metrics like views across platforms to simplify reporting for advertisers. The differences in results are usually specific to the type of campaign and type of audience — for example, in a recent campaign we saw that YouTube delivered the highest engagement, while social channels boosted direct response, and CTV drove a high volume of views.

How do I know what to create for my brand’s YouTube channel vs. for paid ads?

This is where we can be of the most help to marketers, as we run both video ad campaigns and manage organic YouTube channels for major brands. The best place to start is to uncover which types of videos are generating the most views organically in your industry, and which are driving the most engagement on the paid side. It may be that a 5-minute video featuring an influencer can be used both on your channel and then trimmed into a short ad. Then, the next best advice is to test, test, and test again. At Pixability, we automatically test and optimize many variations of videos and ads to see which types deliver the highest engagement with your target audience.

It was great to listen to these marketers’ questions, and see how eager they were to find better ways to reach and engage customers through video. A big kudos too to the other presenters who shared fascinating insights on digital marketing, including Jim Edgett from GameStop, Drew Ingram from PepsiCo, and the great presenters from Hitwise, Brandcast, Adlucent and Carusele.