YouTube’s Most Native Ad Yet Puts Shoppable Cards Into Organic Videos

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Shopping ads will start popping up on YouTube.

Marketers will be able to buy advertisements to run during product-focused videos, such as a review of a professional camera or someone talking about new running shoes, YouTube said Tuesday in a blog post. Until that rumored ads-free subscription option comes around (if it’s true, that is), you just have to accept that advertisements are a part of YouTube.The Google-owned video site announced “Shopping” ads, to be rolled out over the next few months, that will let advertisers buy click-to-buy ad overlays within partner videos.YouTube announced on Tuesday that it would introduce shopping ads on its videos that let viewers jump directly to retailers’ websites and buy the products featured in the clips.

The point is, Google really wants advertisers to promote their products on YouTube and to allow consumers to start the purchase process directly from those videos. Today YouTube announced new Shopping ads, which are designed to turn any YouTube video into what the company calls a “digital storefront.” YouTube is targeting what it sees as a growing market: It’s seen 40 percent growth in views of product videos in the past year, and 20 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they go to YouTube to find out what to buy. But the new service would place product ads on any video on the site, like product reviews uploaded by amateur reviewers, provided the clip’s owner opts in. Google is investing in new ways to drive shopping-related activities on YouTube as users increasingly turn to its instructional and informational videos when they’re researching something they want to buy.

According to the Inside AdWords blog, the Shopping ads that will be shown are “selected based on a variety of contextual signals,” making them relevant to the video you’re watching. YouTube’s new ads bring a shopping element to yet another corner of the Internet, as highly trafficked websites and social networking services increasingly fashion themselves into shopping hubs.

Earlier this year the company unveiled a feature for its TrueView ads that lets businesses place more information on products within the video promotions. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced Tuesday that the video-sharing giant will roll out YouTube Shopping Ads this fall, a feature whereby product ads with direct links to buying options will be placed throughout the site’s videos, the New York Times reports. While advertisers can already offer up more information about a product (or the option to buy it) over their own ads, these new ads will be possible over any video whose creator allows them.

That’s a different approach from the recently announced Purchases On Google, where mobile advertisers can direct consumers to Google-hosted product pages. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram have introduced “buy button” functions that let users purchase the products that appear in the millions of posts and photos shared on their platforms each day. The new YouTube offering is being announced as part of Advertising Week, an annual event in New York that focuses on the latest trends and products in the ad industry. YouTube says that this is part of the company’s larger goal to shorten the time between when viewers see an ad and when they make an actual purchase.

Google itself has pushed to become a shopping destination in an increasingly direct challenge to Amazon, currently the web’s de facto shopping search engine. Unlike in-stream ads that auto-play before every video, though, you can always just leave the “i” icon untouched if you have zero interest in buying straight from YouTube. Meanwhile, YouTube also launched TrueView for app promotion for its in-display ad format; that’s aimed at users when they’re exploring content on YouTube. Google says that there are more than 1 million channels on YouTube with product reviews—and these kinds of videos, including reviews, unboxing videos, and tutorials, attract a huge audience.

They follow a series of products YouTube has introduced for its advertisers — Cards, to share product information from within videos, and TrueView for shopping, to automatically connect those product cards within ads. That can let an advertiser reach prospective customers across YouTube and Gmail based on interests and characteristics of its existing customer base, according to Google.

It’s not just about the potential revenue from taking a cut of sales—perhaps more important is the potential growth in marketing dollars from ads that quickly, easily drive actual sales. YouTube users have already uploaded tens of thousands of reviews of a battery-powered self-balancing skateboardlike device that retailers expect to be a hot holiday gift this year. Once the service is available in the coming months, videos from users who opt into the program, and which contain products that match YouTube ads, will display an icon in the top-right corner. YouTube’s shopping ads are becoming available as Google struggles to turn the site’s more than a billion users, and its near-ubiquitous presence on the web, into profits.

And then, of course, there’s Pinterest, which perhaps has the most potential to turn all its traffic into e-commerce revenue, and this summer unveiled its “buy” button. YouTube has also invested in a slate of homegrown stars, like the makeup guru Michelle Phan, and has created TV-like channels to get more viewers to visit the site directly instead of simply watching videos embedded on other websites. YouTube has already taken some early steps into e-commerce, inviting some advertisers to set up their own channels that mix video content and links to product pages. A channel featuring the Tresemmé hair care brand, set up by Unilever, one of the first YouTube clients to participate, has amassed only 22,000 subscribers.

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