Last October, Google announced the introduction of TrueView Video ads on its agency blog. This is a format that shows ads in-stream in a YouTube video. The ads are skippable and advertisers pay on a cost per view basis.
FUN STAT: "TrueView in-stream now delivers more than 18 years of video each day for advertisers" So it's kind of like an Orwellian nightmare, but in a good way!
Why am I blogging about this now, a good five months later? Well, because the fanfare around TrueView video advertising wasn't really rolled out with a bang. In fact, it seemed to be just the first step in the YouTube/Adwords migration because on December 1, 2011 YouTube's "Promoted Videos" were renamed as "TrueView in-search" and
"TrueView in-display" ads.
And here's the thing...that is BIG news! It's really exciting, amazing stuff because it takes the power of the Adwords platform and puts it in the hot little hands of do-it-yourself search marketers like me! But there's MORE! We get to use actual VIDEO as our creative now. Do you know what that means to someone who has been peddling 90 character text ads for the last ten years? Finally, I'm in the IT crowd of media vehicles...VIDEO!
So why isn't anyone else excited about this? Maybe it's because Google seems to be all over the place with this new functionality. I found at least three separate pages introducing advertisers to this functionality.
The Google Video Ads - Introduction page appears to be the official announcement/introduction page for this new feature. It explains the significance in a very succinct way - "This new feature enables advertisers to use a dynamic, auction-based system to easily place and manage video ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network, helping extend your campaign’s reach. "
YouTube covers the news on this page although it still refers to the TrueView ads as "Promoted Vidoes."
Here's the official TrueView page on YouTube which basically says the same thing as the above page and covers the available TrueView ads (e.g., InSlate vs. InStream - I'll break those down now.
Here are the various formats available (Source: Google):
- TrueView In Stream Ads: Ads play as a pre-, mid- or post-roll on YouTube partner videos of all lengths. After an ad plays for 5 seconds, viewers get the choice to skip it or watch the rest. Pay only when viewers watch 30 seconds of the ad or to completion if the ad is less than 30 seconds.
- TrueView in-search ads: Ads are triggered by user search terms on YouTube. Ads rise to the top of Promoted Video search results and suggestions. Viewers see certain ads promoted (placed above others or suggested) and click to watch if interested. Pay only when viewers choose to watch your ad.
- TrueView in-slate ads: Ads play before long-form YouTube partner videos over 10 minutes. Before a video plays, viewers choose to either watch an ad from 1 of 3 different advertisers, or to watch regular commercial breaks during the video. Pay only when viewers choose to watch your ad.
- TrueView in-display ads: Ads are promoted against related content across the Google Display Network. Viewers click to play the ad if they are interested. Pay only when viewers choose to watch your ad. Display ad formats will vary by publisher. On YouTube, the ad appears as a highlighted suggested video.
ALL of the above formats can be managed in Adwords. Just log into your Adwords account and either create a new campaign (highly recommended) or create a new ad in an existing campaign. Then select "Display ad builder." (I know this is completely not intuitive and makes no sense, but currently that's how it's set up).
Next, select "Video" under "Media and Channels.
Next, select the video ad format you want (I selected the YouTube Promoted videos)
Next, you will be prompted to select your video or channel from YouTube and create accompanying ad text. You also have the option of creating a call-to-action overlay. What's that, you ask? It's a bit of text that you can incorporate into your video which enables users to click through the video to your site (because these videos are being shown on YouTube, remember).
I love the call-to-action overlay and think it deserves one more sentence, per Google: "The overlay will appear as soon as the video begins to play and can be closed by the user. You can use the overlay to share more information about the content of your video or to raise interest in your channel, other videos, or additional websites." The best part? THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE IF SOMEONE CLICKS ON YOUR OVERLAY! THAT IS RIGHT. YOU HEARD ME CORRECTLY. TURNING OFF THE CAPS LOCK NOW. Here's an example of the overlay, courtesy of JohnHaydon.com.
And there you have it - insta-video-advertising! Assuming you have, you know, a video to advertise.
Here's one last fun link for you - a keyword tool just for YouTube, so you can gauge the volume of keyword searches JUST on YouTube.
YouTube Keyword Suggestion Tool