According to comScore, YouTube surpassed Yahoo! as the #2 search engine in terms of search query volume in August of last year. Recently, Google used the functionality of AdWords to launch the new YouTube sponsored video product, which allows advertisers to bid on keywords that trigger their video ad to appear in the YouTube search results. The ad brings YouTube users to a video uploaded by the advertiser on the YouTube site. Many advertisers who use sponsored video run a YouTube channel, which is branded by the advertiser as their own space on YouTube and includes a link to the advertiser’s Web site. The main difference between Google paid search and YouTube sponsored video search is that the advertiser promotes a video that is on YouTube, the goal being to drive YouTube video views and not traffic to the advertiser’s site.
YouTube sponsored videos are primarily a used for brand advertising and can be very effective in promoting TV spots and other original content. YouTube sponsored videos also give the advertiser a better chance in promoting a video viral, in addition to offering a new way for consumers to engage with their brand. However, just because YouTube is getting more search than Yahoo! doesn’t mean that the YouTube searcher is the target the advertiser is after.
Whether YouTube sponsored videos should be a part of an advertiser’s online marketing mix depends on the business objective of the advertiser. Large advertisers have different budgets and different goals (i.e. branding, ROI, or lead generation) across a variety of digital channels. To determine if a channel such as YouTube is effective, a measurement of the value of the media buy is critical. Once that data is gathered and analyzed, decisions can be made about how to optimize spend on a particular channel, or shift spend to a channel that performs better in relation to a specific goal. This highlights the importance of data management and analysis, which helps to unlock the best media channels and optimize campaigns based on specific business objectives.
For example, if an advertiser is running a lead gen or ROI campaign, YouTube sponsored video may not be a good match. On the other hand, for a brand advertiser, it’s all about connecting with a target audience. Brand advertisers know and understand the value of a person watching a 30-second spot on a national broadcast. For example, if it’s worth $10 for a single person to watch a 30-second commercial, and an advertiser is able to attract video search clicks on YouTube for $2.00, the advertiser can prove the ROI on YouTube. There’s even extra relevance factored in as the YouTube user actively searched for the ad, or similar content, and chose to click on the ad. Also, a YouTube channel is not in a silo on YouTube. YouTube videos often rank on Google for certain keywords, giving an advertiser with a branded channel that creates additional exposure and traffic.
Are YouTube sponsored video ads right for you? The answer lies in measuring the value of a YouTube sponsored media buy.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.