What YouTube's Audience-Targeting Feature Means for Ads


Digital disrupts everything. And when it comes to advertising, the steady tidal wave of change affecting how we watch television has really shaken things up. In fact, by the year 2019, experts estimate cord cutters will number over 19 million in the United States alone. While cable television might have reigned supreme in years gone by, consumers are more in control than ever before.

Our ever-evolving technology has created a new generation of connected viewers indulging in online media consumption, which includes watching content digitally. Video giant YouTube notes that users viewing content on connected televisions represent explosive growth in its audience, with an estimated 150 million hours of YouTube content streaming on television screens around the world.

Google's YouTube unit has a solid reputation of giving advertisers new ways to hone in on their target audiences. In 2018, the company announced a plan for advertisers to reach viewers watching YouTube on their televisions, as well as cord cutters and folks who just don't watch that much traditional television. Here are the essential things you should know about this new audience-targeting campaign.

Targeting Light TV Viewers

Do you watch most of your television online? If so, you might belong to YouTube's new audience segment for Google Adwords: "light TV viewers." This savvy move comes in the wake of a steady growth in digital video viewing, and gives advertisers additional flexibility to target their audiences more effectively. With this category, advertisers can choose the devices they want to target with their marketing efforts, including desktops and mobile devices.

AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager Targeting via TV Screens

This program gives advertisers their first-ever opportunity to target online television viewers. Advertisers can reach those watching YouTube on their connected televisions using DoubleClick Bid Manager and AdWords. These options already exist for advertisers who advertise using YouTube ads on computers, tablets, and mobile phones. With this new rollout, advertisers will be able to modify their content to make sure it's optimized for television viewing.

YouTube TV Ad Inventory Availability in Google Preferred 

In 2017, Google threw its hat into the virtual pay-television market with the launch of YouTube TV. When it launched, it provided subscribers with about 50 different live channels, and didn't include ads. That will change starting in 2018's fourth quarter as Google extends its Google Preferred ad program to many of the networks on YouTube TV. This is significant largely because Google Preferred has long been a premium ad program on the top-tier, most-popular YouTube channels.

By making the jump to YouTube TV, Google can turn the volume way up on the number of opportunities for monetization available to advertisers. This is likely just the beginning of the new and innovative options advertisers will have to update their strategies in today's fast-moving digital world.


Get Greater Growth With Effective YouTube Advertising


Businesses everywhere are realizing the immense power of online video advertising. And there's no more effective way to advertise with video than on Google's video channel, YouTube, which has been around since 2005.

It's tough to argue with YouTube's dominance. Its audience numbers over one billion viewers. From that, YouTube gets about 30 million daily users watching videos on its site. Marketers of all sizes are using YouTube to reach viewers in order to raise brand awareness, sell products, and expand new businesses.

So how does your business get started using YouTube for advertising? There are several advertising options companies can use to reach more consumers and increase conversions. YouTube Ads fall under Google's larger advertising AdWords umbrella. Advertisers can create videos and choose from several video ad formats for multiple campaigns. Currently, YouTube offers three types of ads: TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and bumper ads.

TrueView In-stream Ads

TrueView in-stream ads come in two broad categories — skippable video ads and non-skippable video ads. Any regular video viewer has seen both of these ad formats. These ads are shown before the start of a video, and as clickable thumbnails. Skippable ads are generally short, running anywhere from 15 to 20 seconds at the start of a selected clip. After 5 seconds of seeing the ads, users can choose to "skip" them.

The non-skippable ads are the ones a viewer has to watch (or wait to finish) before the chosen clip starts. These ads tend to get higher engagement because they must make their calls to action (CTAs) short and sweet.

With either of these formats, advertisers should get their most important message across early in the ad, and deliver a CTA to visit a website or make a purchase before the end of the ad. Keep your ads short. Around 30 to 45 seconds is the average length.

Google notes that in-stream ads are best used for:

  • Brand awareness and reach
  • Brand and product consideration
  • Leads and site traffic
  • Non-goal-specific campaigns

TrueView Video Discovery Ads

Google recently renamed this ad category, as these were previously known as TrueView in-display ads.

Advertisers can utilize both desktop and mobile for TrueView video discovery ads. These ads are shown with a thumbnail and one to three lines of text. The difference with this format is that users click on the ad and are sent to a channel page to view the video (instead of viewing the video in the ad). Google recommends CTA overlays for these ads, enabling viewers to click through.

Bumper Ads

Need to gain viewer's attention fast? Try Google's Bumper ads. These are 6-second ads that serve as a short form of advertising for today's mobile users with short attention spans.

Bumper ads help brands communicate short messages for exposure and brand awareness. They seem to work best when created with a strong opening image, animation, or large text. Here are some bumper ad examples.

In each of these formats, from opening pitch to CTA, advertisers should be fast and creative on all fronts. Brands can use their expertise to create content that's informative and useful while building trust with viewers. Examples of this are ads espousing tutorials, problem-solving situations, and other teachable moments. Advertisers should also offer strong calls to action, directing viewers to relevant landing pages that can help to create conversions.

YouTube advertising is a route to marketing success your brand should explore in 2018. Let us help you figure out what works best for video advertising.