Last year Google made $4 billion in revenue but YouTube, still the big daddy in the video space has struggled to contribute a sizeable portion to the revenues. One of the reason for the video network which witnesses 1 billion active monthly users, has been the dislike for the pre-roll ads.
Don’t you crave for the skip button as soon as a boring ad pops up, while you are watching your favorite web show. Marketers need to understand that traditional pre-rolls don’t work anymore. According to an analysis released in March 2015 by Innovid, interactive pre-roll video ads outperformed standard pre-roll across all metrics throughout 2014.
Witnessing this shift Google has announced shoppable ads, TrueView - a new feature for shopping that makes it easy for viewers to get more information on your products and click to buy. Google further states, “TrueView for shopping allows you to showcase product details and images – along with the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site – all within your video ad. It’s available for TrueView in-stream video ads on YouTube. And since we know that 50% of views on YouTube come from mobile devices, we’ve made sure that it works seamlessly across mobile phones, desktops, and tablets”.
Built on the cards platform, TrueView will enable clickable banners embedded in ads so that consumers may click to be taken to the products site. There will also be a list running underneath the ad listing the products a consumer is seeing, and links to buy them. For instance next time when you see an ad of Urban Ladder showcasing the new sofa set, you won’t just be a passive customer but will have the ability to initiate the buying process from YouTube itself.
In addition brands can also use these ads to remarket to people who may have checked out a product on a brand’s site without checking out. However, people will still be able to skip an ad after it has played for five seconds, which is also when a button will appear in the top right corner of the video player that will display the card overlays when clicked.
To opt in for TrueView advertisers need to have a Google Merchant Center account to dynamically add products to their in-stream videos, customized for each user through contextual and audience signals like geography and demographic info.
Google informs that brands who have joined for TrueView are already achieving positive results. For instance online home goods retailer Wayfair, for instance, saw a 3X revenue increase per impression served when compared to previous campaigns. And beauty retailer Sephora took advantage of this new ad format to drive +80% lift in consideration and +54% lift in ad recall, and an average view time of nearly two minutes. A good recognition that people are turning to YouTube to learn about products they’re considering buying.
With TrueView YouTube makes pre-roll ads interactive and gives a reason for users to click on the product listing giving it an opportunity to increase revenues. YouTube claims there are more than 1 million channels on the video service focused on product reviews and that views of product review videos have increased by 50% year-over-year.
TrueView also contributes in bringing more direct-response dollars to a video service typically viewed by marketers as a way to raise their brands’ profiles but not necessarily to push product. However, a user still needs to visit advertisers page to make the purchase. YouTube’s senior product manager Lane Shackleton thinks that the new ad format makes the path to purchase shorter.
Video is where every social network is trying to grab a bigger pie. Facebook which records 3 billion video views per day, has been working on branded video ad program - Anthology. Twitter has been focusing on long and short form videos. The ongoing IPL is an ideal example when Twitter pushed brands to try the long format videos. Cab aggregator, TaxiForSure for its latest campaign #MadnessForSure went for Twitter videos since it already has a flourishing network on the 140 character network.
“We have been looking into video platforms and found out that Twitter was providing much more engagement for our videos. At the same time it has also been providing better real time engagement around the videos. The results have also been encouraging with Twitter, impressions have increased beyond seven hundred thousand plus in the last three weeks,” Arvind Singhal, CEO, TaxiForSure informed.
However, it is interesting to observe that with TrueView YouTube is focusing on businesses who still want to drive traffic to website thereby increasing the chances of a sale.