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YouTube Launches Shoppable Video Campaigns

YouTube Ups Ante With New ‘Storefront’ Video Format 

YouTube unveiled a new campaign format last week, as it seeks to make YouTube ads more "shoppable".

The new feature builds on YouTube existing TrueView for action campaigns.

Launched in 2016, TrueView for action campaigns enable advertisers to display a call-to-action banner at the base of a video ad during and at the end of the video. The branded banner can be tailored to a specific action goal such as "Book now," "Get a quote" or "Learn more."

Google claims that the popular YouTube campaign format is experiencing rapid growth, with the number of active advertisers using TrueView for action growing 260+% year on year.

Before the introduction of TrueView for action, YouTube's ad heritage was mostly in the branding space. However, even before the onset of COVID-19, Google had been looking to expand YouTube's offering and appeal for marketers.

Sundar Pitchai, Alphabet CEO, February 2020

"On the question on YouTube, I do think there is a lot of opportunity ahead. You're right; it's a platform working at scale.

I think direct response is a huge growth area for us. And increasingly, I think when you look at the fact that people are consuming a lot of goods and services as part of their experience in YouTube, how can we create better commerce experiences also is a big opportunity for us." 

YouTube dominates online video consumption (Facebook's average video watch time is supposedly 4.57 seconds) and with YouTube watch-time up considerably as a result of COVID-19, marketers would be wise to make it a priority channel in 2020. If it isn't already.

Action, Action Everywhere

YouTube's latest campaign features will essentially see YouTube fusing TrueView for action and Shopping campaigns, with the TrueView for action ad featuring browsable product imagery to inspire conversion.

To use the new shoppable format, you will first need to sync your Google  Merchant Centre feed with your video ads. Viewers can then visually expand your call-to-action button with the best-sellers you want to feature and drive traffic to the product pages that matter. 

Alongside this, YouTube is continuing to develop out its full-funnel campaign options with new features which marry both brand building and direct response.

Nicky Rettke, YouTube Ads, Director, Product Management

"Today we're announcing Video action campaigns, a simple and cost-effective way to drive more conversions across YouTube.

It automatically brings video ads that drive action to the YouTube home feed, watch pages, and Google video partners, all within one campaign.

To make it even simpler, we'll include any future inventory that becomes available, like the What to Watch Next feed. This way you can save time to focus on strategic initiatives like crafting the right creative and messaging for your audiences."

Google's new Video action campaigns build on a similar base to YouTube's Video Reach campaigns announced in 2019, leveraging YouTube's machine learning for targeting, creative and delivery.

Forget Shopping, What About The Leads Tho?

Lastly, but by no means least, for businesses that rely on new leads to sustain growth, you can now add lead forms to your Video campaigns.

Lead forms help advertisers capture qualified leads while reducing costs, all without interrupting the viewing experience.

According to Google, Jeep tried this approach with their Korea branch and saw a 13 times increase in completed leads at an 84% lower cost per lead.

With lead forms, they generated "the most leads at the most efficient cost among all ad platforms," says Kenny Hwang, Jeep's Korea Marketing Manager.

Now, before you start body-popping and bussing out the Running Man, there be caveats, me hearties.

To create a lead form, your account must have:

  1. More than USD 50,000 total spend in Google Ads
  2. A good history of policy compliance
  3. An eligible vertical or sub-vertical. Sensitive verticals or sub-verticals aren't eligible for lead forms, such as:
    • Alcohol-related content
    • Gambling-related content
    • Healthcare and medicines
    • Political content

Find out more about Google ad lead capture eligibility here.

Google launched lead-forms for ads in October last year, with more than a passing glance towards Facebook's version.

When running lead capture campaigns across Google, you can choose to reach people more likely to be interested in your product ("Higher intent") or reach a higher number of people ("More volume") with your lead form.

"Higher intent" is the default lead form type, but you can change the lead form type to "More volume" when creating your lead form or editing your lead form. You can change the lead form type at any time during the campaign.

  • The "Higher intent" lead form type uses a lead form design that contains more steps to submit the form. As a result, you may see less leads. 
  • The "More volume" lead form type uses a lead form design with less steps to submit the form. As a result, you may see more leads. However, those leads may include people that aren't as interested in your product or service.

All up, YouTube continues to get betterer and betterer for campaigns. And in even betterer news, a high percentage of marketers are barely even active…

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