YouTube unveils new tools to create custom ads at scale, sequence videos & more

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In the race for user attention in an increasingly competitive video advertising landscape in which multiple players are bidding for brands’ video dollars, YouTube announced new tools, during Advertising Week in New York City, Monday. Designed to help advertisers reach their audiences with relevant messaging, at scale, the new features touch on improved targeting options, creative offerings and measurement tools.

Custom Affinity Audiences based on other Google data

Custom Affinity Audiences allow advertisers to define audience targeting based on YouTube searches. This gives advertisers more flexibility and specificity in their targeting versus relying on Google’s pre-defined affinity audiences or in-market segments.

Custom Affinity targeting in YouTube is expanding further by allowing advertisers to reach users on YouTube based on other behaviors exhibited across the network of Google products. This can include locations visited on Google Maps, search queries, the installed apps or downloaded content. Google’s example of this expanded ability is reaching ski enthusiasts who may have searched for skis, visited a resort recently or downloaded an app with trail maps.

Scaling custom creative with Director Mix

Last year, YouTube launched the YouTube Director app in the US and Canada to enable SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) to create professional-level video ads from their phones. Still, a barrier for advertisers of all sizes with video is the cost involved in creating unique versions that speak to every audience target. To help advertisers leverage their existing assets without having to remake videos themselves, YouTube is launching Director Mix.

Director Mix takes a video’s assets and creates thousands of versions to align with the audience being targeted. This saves time and management on the part of the advertiser, with YouTube doing the heavy lifting to make sure the most relevant message is being shown to the right audience. It’s also free to the advertiser.

YouTube also highlighted Campbell’s test of Director Mix that showed a 55 percent increase in sales and a 24 percent increase in ad recall.

Video ad sequencing

Instead of a video experience existing in a vacuum, or users seeing the same creative multiple times, YouTube is introducing the ability to sequence videos. This feature enables advertisers to create a video funnel that moves users along a planned sequence of videos.

For example, an advertiser can start with a user seeing a 15-second TrueView spot, and then follow up in subsequent interactions with longer-form spots aimed at giving more in-depth information. This also opens up abilities similar to remarketing, with different user experience paths based on what they have and have not viewed, continuing the goal to keep content relevant and timely.

Nielsen MPA sales lift measurement

An ongoing challenge for advertisers has been bridging the gap from online exposure to offline purchases. YouTube is rolling out a global approach to measuring this type of sales lift with Nielsen’s Matched Panel Analysis (MPA). This will allow CPG clients to measure the impact of video alongside other Google campaigns on offline sales.

YouTube has also expanded its Oracle Datalogix ROI measurement offering to include include six-second bumper ad performance.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Susan Wenograd has spent 14 years in the digital marketing industry. While the last 10 primarily focused on paid media, she’s also had extensive experience in email marketing and content creation. She has worked both agency and in-house, managing multiple millions of dollars in the span of her career. She is currently managing paid search and paid social accounts for Five Mill, Inc and blogs regularly about paid media tactics on her website.


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