YouTube launches Google AdWords for Video

03/10/2011

YouTube is set to launch Google AdWords for video in beta on Wednesday, an auction-based platform for online video ad campaigns. The platform, built on top of AdWords technology, uses the same pipeline to serve ads, only presenting video first. Advertisers will have an option to create one campaign from a selection of video assets and pay only for video views, rather than impressions, using a series of four ‘TrueView’ video ads.

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With the launch, YouTube rebranded Promoted Videos to TrueView in-search and TrueView in-display. Aside from in-search and in-display, YouTube also added in-slate and in-stream.

Lane Shackleton, product manager, YouTube, said the new formats simplify the ad-buying process.

"We made it so advertisers can link YouTube accounts," Shackleton said. "It allows advertisers to populate the list specific to the brand."

In the display format, advertisers will have an option to run click-to-play ads. The in-stream option does not require advertisers to pay for the ad unless the viewer watches more than 30 seconds before skipping through.

A dashboard in the Google AdWords for video platform allows advertisers to set budgets, as well as monitor impressions, views, average cost per views, total costs, and Web site clicks.

Advertisers enter a headline, description and thumbnails, display URLs, destinations and more.

A preview window gives advertisers a view into where and how the video will run.

Advertisers complained in the past that ad campaigns in YouTube lacked the targeting capabilities similar to AdWords for google.com

Improved targetting

Advertisers can now define a target group, set bid amounts for each of the four formats, and search and set target suggestions by keywords.

For example, the targets include topics like Art & Entertainment; Audiences, males from 18-24; and Interests, hiking & Camping. The targeting capability uses logged-in user data provided by the users in YouTube accounts and some inference data. Advertisers also can target by content, such as Spanish-speaking content or sports.

A call-to-action overlay makes an offer to viewers, shares more information about businesses and drives traffic to Web sites. The overlay appears as a display ad over the TrueView in-search and in-display videos that play on YouTube.

Similar to an analytics platform for paid-search ads on google.com, Google AdWords for video offers reporting capabilities such as monitoring length of time for views. Advertisers can see who views the videos, how long they watch and what other actions they take. For advertisers, it aims to improve the campaign's performance.

Some use information on view-through rate for campaign-split testing, where they can test multiple ads to determine the one that resonates best with their audience.

Along with the launch, Google is running a promotion for new AdWords advertisers who sign up for the AdWords for video beta program. Google will extend a $100 coupon to video advertising customers who are new to AdWords for those who want to give it a try.

Read the official launch blog post here

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