Helping Brands Light Up the Web

When creativity and technology work hand in hand, brands can build amazing things online...not only helping them connect with their customers in the right moment, but also funding digital content and creating dazzling ads that users love. I spoke yesterday at Advertising Week about how we can partner more closely with brands to win the moments that matter. And today, we’re adding a few new tools to the toolbox for brand marketers.

A large canvas, at scale
We’re introducing our lightbox ad format, the first of a new family of display ads that allow marketers to pay only when a user engages. The lightbox starts as a standard display ad, making it scalable, but after a two-second hover, expands to a super-sized canvas. In internal tests, we’ve seen that this smart hover feature eliminates nearly 100% of accidental expansions and increases engagement by 6-8X over standard click-to-expand ads. The result: users only engage with the ads they really want to see and brand marketers only pay for truly engaged views.

Engagement matters
We also have some new insights on how our existing engagement-driven formats on YouTube and the Google Display Network, such as the TrueView family of video ads, have effectively helped brands reach their audience online. We looked at the sales impact during and two weeks after 92 different ad campaigns, and found that on average every $1 invested in YouTube delivered a $1.70 return in sales--2.4x more efficient than the television spend for these campaigns. These ads also help achieve branding goals: we found, on average, that ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network drive a 36% increase in visits to your website and a 36% increase in searches for your brand online (Google Internal Data, 2012).

Google BrandLab brings brands to life on the web
Finally, while we believe magic moments can happen online, sometimes, nothing beats a face-to-face conversation. To help more brands harness the full potential of the web, we’ve recently created a physical space where we can collaborate with brands and agencies on winning all the moments that matter -- the Google BrandLab at our YouTube headquarters. We’ve already had a number of advertisers at BrandLab including Capital One, Coca-Cola, Nissan, and Toyota, and look forward to helping even more brands use Google technologies in creative and impactful ways.

We hope these new tools take their place in the brand-building toolbox alongside some of our other offerings like our platform for crowdsourced creativity, the Creative Sandbox Gallery; brand-friendly metrics, and YouTube Original Channels. We want to make the web work for brands in a big way, these are just a few early steps. Look for more to come on this front in the months to come.

Posted by Jim Lecinski, Vice President, Brand Solutions

Helping every business play big on YouTube

When Paul Eichen of Rokenbok Toy Company noticed that specialty toy shops were shuttering their doors, he started looking for a new way to introduce customers to his construction toy sets. Paul filmed and uploaded his first video to YouTube, and now it’s become his most effective form of advertising with 50 percent of all customers introduced to his products through YouTube.

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. To help even more businesses play big with video, today we’re introducing a number of new products, resources, and tools:

Google AdWords for video is now available to all. Similar to search advertising—where you pay for clicks and set budgets with bids—we created a new model for video advertising. With Google AdWords for video, you only pay when someone chooses to watch your ad, and you can create and manage video campaigns from the same platform as your search and display ads. You can create an account and start promoting your first video in less than 5 minutes. With AdWords for video you can:
  • Find the right audience: AdWords for video provides a range of options to reach the right audience. For example, 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. Connect with your audience on YouTube and the Google Display Network, which includes millions of websites. AdWords for video links to your YouTube account so you can easily start a video campaign with your existing videos. 
  • Measure the effectiveness of your spend: 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 (Google Campaign Insights, 2011). With AdWords for video you can find out how viewers are engaging with your brand during and after they watch your ad. You can see how many viewers watched your entire video, visited your website, stayed on your channel to watch another video, or subscribed to your channel, after viewing your ad. 
  • Only pay for engaged views: With TrueView video ads you only pay when viewers choose to watch your ad so you aren’t charged when viewers skip your ad if they aren’t interested or have already seen your video. This means your ad budget is focused on viewers interested in your video. By displaying a call-to-action overlay on your video you can talk about a sale or specific offer to your viewers, share more information about your business, or drive traffic to your website. 

$50 million in free advertising. We’re giving away $50 million in free Google AdWords advertising to help 500,000 businesses get into video. If you are new to AdWords, you can receive a $75 credit when you sign up. To put that into context, with $75 your video campaign can reach more than 1,500 of your most valuable customers on YouTube for one month. Request your free credit here.

Advertiser Playbook and support. To share best practices and tips on how video can be a core part of your business toolkit, we created a YouTube Advertiser Playbook. The Playbook covers everything from creating interesting content to promoting your video with ads. If you need help making a video, our My Business Story is a free tool you can use to create your first video. AdWords advertisers can also call our free phone support line, 866-2-GOOGLE, to get started with AdWords for video.

YouTube Ambassador program. To recognize business owners that are already using YouTube to grow their business, we’re naming 9 businesses from across the country to our first ever YouTube Ambassador program. These businesses have seen outstanding success in reaching new customers, building a brand, and engaging their fans with video. Hear their stories and learn more about the YouTube Ambassador program.

If you have a video you want to promote, get started with AdWords for video. And, join our YouTube for Marketers page on Google+ to stay up-to-date on our latest video marketing innovations.

Baljeet Singh, YouTube group product manager, recently watched “Guitar Lesson from Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel.

How to shape up your video marketing strategy in 2012

Did you vow to get in shape in 2012? Maybe you committed take your business to the next level this year, too. Keeping either resolution can be a challenge, so we wanted to call out a few YouTube fitness Channels doing great work both with their videos and their advertising—without breaking a sweat.

Mike Chang has a growing following on YouTube thanks to his easy-to-do workout videos, steady stream of new content and special seasonal discounts offers on his Six Pack Shortcuts program. This January he gave YouTube subscribers 70 percent off from his new Insane Home Fat Loss program. He also uses YouTube TrueView video ads to reach new viewers, and now has more than 370,000 Channel subscribers interested in rock solid abs.

The Flex Belt and TRX Channels use their YouTube Channels to host tons of video content for beginners and experts alike, many featuring celebrities like Next Top Model winner Adrianne Curry for Flex Belt or NFL superstar Drew Brees on the TRX Channel. Talk about motivation. Through the power of video, Flex Belt and TRX can capture an audience’s attention, show how their products work, and then tell viewers how to buy the product with banner ads on their brand Channels or call-to-action overlays over their videos. TRX’s YouTube Channel banner ended up being responsible for 7 percent of all holiday sales through paid search Channels in December 2011.

If you’re a business owner, musician, filmmaker, fitness expert or all of the above, you can build an audience with YouTube video advertising tools by getting started with Google AdWords for video today.

Baljeet Singh, group product manager, recently watched “S*&t Silicon Valley Says.”