People want more video. It’s a simple fact, and they are turning up in droves to search for it. According to comScore, YouTube is currently the #2 ranked search engine in terms of total queries, slipping by Yahoo! in August of last year. For most this doesn’t come as a shock. Since its inception YouTube has steadily gained notoriety and user base, making it a very unique and sizeable conquest for advertisers and marketers alike looking to target web savvy searchers hunting for video to consume.
Introducing YouTube Sponsored listings. This has been in the buzz for a little while now; and today it is finally out of beta testing and ready for wide spread adaptation. Since we manage a lot ofPPC account, we have dedicated Google reps to help us out with some of our heftier clients. Our AdWords reps came out a few months back to meet with us personally and get the ball rolling with the inside scoop from the new up and coming tips and ticks from Google. (and they brought us Google Rubics Cubes! How rad!) Luckily for us, our most awesome contacts at the Big G hosted a webinar about how to use this new feature, and we’ve decided to spread the love to you guys, our readers. So let’s talk a little about how this new form of advertising can work for you and your business.
YouTube’s sponsored video listings will look very similar to their organic search results. Sponsored videos will display on the right hand side of the results page; displaying a thumbnail from the video, and 3 lines of text like the standard AdWords texts ads. So you’ll get your 25 character headline and two lines of 35 characters for your ad text. You can use your AdWords account to build out YouTube video campaigns, allowing you to take advantage of multiple campaigns for scalability, match types, and negative keyword lists to help drive qualified traffic. Currently that traffic will land on either your user Channel Page, or your video’s Watch Page. These videos will look and feel exactly like the organic videos on the YouTube site; meaning that users will have the ability to comment, favorite, or embed you video ad just like regular videos in accordance with the permissions you have set.
But how will ranking be determined for sponsored videos? As we know, YouTube has its own way of determining ranking for organic listings which is very heavily influenced by the community factors. Currently the sponsored videos will be ranked using algorithms very similar to AdWords. Quality Score x Max CPC = Ad Rank. (In laymen’s terms Relevance x Willingness to Pay = Which Spot You Ad Shows In) The only community driven factor (at this point) that will be influencing Ad Rank is click through rate. So that means that your video’s performance won’t affect its Quality Score currently. So experiment and see what gets you the best CTR!
Before the launch of the video sponsored listings, YouTube was showing display ads from the content network as their form of paid advertising. This advertising option will continue to show alongside these new sponsored videos, making so that at any given time, searchers could be seeing a display ad from the content network, a sponsored video from AdWords and an organic listing for the search result. Also, like Google, YouTube’s sponsored videos have the option of the highest ranked ad being shown above the organic results on the left hand side. The exact metrics of how to attain this position are foggy at best, but videos that attain the coveted numero uno spot atop the organic listings saw a 10 to 20 times higher CTR than the number two spot. That’s kind of a big deal.
Another completely awesome feature of YouTube’s new sponsored videos is the option to control it through YouTube! That’s right folks. You DON’T have to have an AdWords account to advertise on YouTube. Since currently all the sponsored videos are directing traffic within the YouTube “eco system” you can set up, manage, and control your sponsored video listings within your user account on YouTube. So if you’ve ever uploaded a video, or made a comment on the site, you’re ready to start adding sponsored listings.
Ok, so what kinds of videos and ads should you consider for a YouTube campaign? Well currently the policies will be adopted from AdWords. So remember, keep it family friendly! The same rules apply for copyrighted materials…if you don’t own it, don’t use it. The only major difference is that YouTube will let you advertise alcohol.
Some of the biggest hurdles I think advertisers will be facing when tackling a YouTube driven ad campaign are conversion tracking, determining ROI, and generating keywords to target. Some things you should be aware of when it comes to video searchers are as follows: Video searchers are fundamentally different than normal searchers. The queries for video search are often much shorter keywords and phrases, so don’t be afraid to go after general and competitive terms. If your video would peak the interest of someone who plays video games, go after that term and see what happens. Currently since all links will be pointing to a YouTube page, it’s a little bit subjective in the way of measuring actual ROI. Ultimately increasing traffic to your videos makes more users aware of your service or product and can lead to more conversions in the form of website traffic or purchases.
This is a new advertising tool, so we can expect to see some changes but as it stands, this new feature at YouTube stands to become and important part of how searchers view and respond to video. YouTube is a dynamic community, so get involved and get your message out there. The same techniques apply to video as they do to ads, stay brand consistent, keep it interesting, and remember your call to action! Take advantage of the tools YouTube offers like Insight and see where your video ads can take your business.