The children may be nestled all snug in their beds, but they’re watching YouTube videos instead of imagining dancing sugar plumbs. YouTube logs billions of views every day, and not advertising there means you’re missing a large shopping audience. Here are 4 reasons why 2015 should be the year you start advertising on YouTube.

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No sugar plumbs here. Photo via Flickr/CC BY

Dear Santa…

Writing letters to Santa is so 1995: YouTube is now a significant part of the holiday shopping research process. According to Think With Google, 42% of online shoppers use video as part of their pre-purchase research, 64% use YouTube to find products, and 32% of people watch videos on their phones to help with a purchase while in a store or on a brand’s website.

During the holidays, more shoppers than ever will be turning to YouTube to decide what gifts to buy for friends and family. YouTube gives the consumer the choice to consume, creating a more engaged audience than one you reach through more traditional means.

Are You a YouTube Grinch?

With these statistics in mind, you must be hitting the eggnog pretty hard if you don’t include YouTube in your holiday advertising plans. Which is why, according to YouTube, the number of advertisers running YouTube video ads has increased by more than 40% year over year.

If you’re still a YouTube Scrooge, here are a few reasons to give it a try this year:

Only Pay for Engaged Visitors

YouTube is an effective channel not just because it has lots of users, but because those users are more engaged. You only pay when a consumer chooses to watch 30 or more seconds of your YouTube ad. Viewers who choose to watch an ad are 75% more engaged than those who are forced to watch, so your YouTube spend is directed towards only highly-engaged users.

Tons of Targeting Options

Especially during the holidays, your normal audiences are turned upside down: men are suddenly looking for and buying perfumes, makeup, and dresses, and women are looking for golf lessons, power tools, and beer.

Videos are a great way to describe your product to unfamiliar shoppers and explain how you meet their needs, wants, and interests for gift ideas. Think about who your target audience is and what would cause them, or someone looking to buy a gift for them, to watch your video.

Targeting for YouTube TrueView comes in many different categories. You can segment your audience by demographics like age and gender, categories such as “viewing videos about,” and browsing interests. Beyond these targeting controls, you can also manage specific video placements, remarketing lists, or keyword lists for contextual targeting. This variety of targeting options can help you expand your reach or double down on your core audience this holiday season.

Urge Your Viewer to Click

The holiday season sees a major increase in the volume of searchers looking to purchase. Since you know that your audience is already highly engaged, be sure to use Call-to-Action (CTA) Overlays with all your videos so the viewer can click directly to your website. CTA Overlays look very similar to a paid search ad and can even include your company’s logo.

Take Advantage of YouTube Remarketing

People are in buying mode during the holidays, so make sure to focus on bringing previous customers or visitors back to your site. Most advertisers remarket with just a couple of audience lists, but YouTube allows you to grow your target audiences with lists of TrueView ad viewers on YouTube or on the Google Display Network. Target people who have viewed your video ad or subscribed to your channel. Or show YouTube ads to people who have previously visited your site.

If you are not doing any YouTube advertising, this holiday season is the perfect time to get started. Video and YouTube are influencing your target audience’s purchase decisions more than ever, so make sure you’re there to reap the benefits. Here’s to a successful video holiday season!