YouTube Steps Up Advertising Pitch


Video production is getting cheaper and Google, via YouTube, is developing tools to encourage brands of all sizes to ste up video advertising. One key step: AdWords for Video, which soft launched last September for a select group and is now available for everybody.[more]

The self-service option for pre-roll ads targets SMB’s and expands the AdWords program linked to Google Search results by adding video on YouTube. SMB’s bid on keywords and categories for their ads to be seen in front of the 3 billion YouTube videos viewed daily as detailed in this primer: 

A blog post by Baljeet Singh, group product manager at YouTube, announced, “With a global audience of 800 million monthly visitors to YouTube, every day can feel like you’re advertising in the Super Bowl, and one video can launch a business.” 

With costs of video production in the hundreds rather than the thousands of dollars, not only can mom-and-pop shops make commercials, but AdWords for Video standardizes the process, similar to buying a banner in AdWords.

“You can promote your video by keyword to appear in YouTube search results, or you can choose to show your ad against content your customers are most interested in—such as sports or music,” said Singh. “On average, we’ve found that YouTube video ads drive a 20 percent increase in traffic to your website and a 5 percent increase in searches for your business.” 

To incentivize SMB’s to adopt AdWords for Video, YouTube is offering $50 million in free advertising to 500,000 companies, and those new to YouTube AdWords receive a $75 credit toward advertising on the site according to the New York Times.

Marketing “ambassadors” have been enlisted to promote the service and share personal experiences of brand promotion and success such as Rokenbok Toys:

Google’s blog post notes:

“We’ve awarded these Ambassadors with a badge for their YouTube channel and retail storefront, and will feature them on the YouTube homepage. To pay it forward, each Ambassador will mentor a nonprofit organization of their choice on how to get started with a video presence on YouTube. They’ll also host Google+ Hangouts throughout the year to share their strategies. To find out when the Ambassadors will be hosting a Hangout, stay tuned to our YouTube for marketers Google+ page.”

A wide range of businesses are on board as ambassadors, including San Francisco indie publisher Chronicle Books:

The Anaheim Ballet in California:

and DIY knitting site Verypink Knits:

AdWords for Video is applicable to mobile platforms, gaming devices and connected TVs and uses YouTube’s “TrueView” metrics where advertisers pay according to views and not impressions.

Online video ad spending is projected by eMarketer to double this year, from 7.9% to 15%, and Google estimated that 50% of online ad campaigns will include video by 2015.

Google and YouTube are solidly in the lead in video delivery, as reported by comScore’s March 2012 U.S. Online Video Rankings.

“Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at, ranked as the top online video content property in March with 146.1 million unique viewers, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 60.6 million, VEVO with 51.3 million, with 45.1 million and Viacom Digital with 44.3 million.” 

Findings include: 

181 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 37 billion online content videos in March 

Video ads topped 8 billion for the first time on record 

83.5% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video. 

Average duration, 6.4 minutes while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.

Video ads accounted for 18.5% of all videos viewed and 1.5% of all minutes spent viewing video online.

More on YouTube’s ad pitch below: