Pay Per Click? Try “Pay Per Watch,” with YouTube’s TrueView

Every minute, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Every month, six billion hours of video content are watched on the site. Technically, it’s also the world’s second busiest search engine.

With so many eyeballs concentrated in one network, this is an ideal advertising opportunity for brands whose products and services are best illustrated with engaging video content. You’ve heard of the pay per click advertising model? We like to think of YouTube’s “TrueView” paid advertising model as “pay per watch.”

In this article, we’ll focus on the TrueView platform and the different ways that your brand can utilize it with a highly efficient, engaging video advertising campaign. With TrueView, advertisers only pay for their video ad placements when users actively watch the ad. This model offers tremendous value to advertisers with strong, promotional video content. The platform is also equipped with a robust analytics features so you can view, analyze, and adjust campaigns in real-time.

Another advantage of the TruView platform is its integration with other YouTube products outside of its traditional desktop Web player. When advertisers upload their video ads to YouTube, they will also be viewable on YouTube mobile, connected TVs, game consoles, Google Video, and embedded players.

There are three mechanisms through which your brand can utilize TrueView to reach the ever growing YouTube audience. And in most cases, they’re best used concurrently, to create a well rounded online presence fueled by one of the largest multimedia networks in the world:

TrueView In-Stream
Much like TV advertisements, TrueView’s in-stream ads integrate into the video that the user has already chosen to watch. In-stream advertisers, in a similar fashion to the traditional pay by click advertising model, select keywords and other targeting features to ensure that their ad is relevant to the consumer. Once an in-stream ad has been triggered on ad partner’s video view, advertisers can have it roll before the video (pre-roll), in the middle of the video (mid-roll), or after the video (post-roll). TrueView ads have no minimum or maximum duration, which allows advertisers to craft their message without the constraints typically employed by text-based ad networks or banner advertising networks.

The greatest value point for the TrueView system is how it defines an “impression.” Advertisers pay for their placements only when the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of their ad. And because viewers do have the option of skipping the ad to begin with, they chances of them coming away with a negative impression of your brand is minimal, even if they do skip the ad.

To add to the trend of increased video viewership, mobile video views are also on the rise, comprising over 25 percent of total YouTube watching time and over a billion views per day. TrueView’s in-stream features two additional mechanisms: standard in-stream (non-skippable and 15 or 30 seconds in duration) and select in-stream (must be pre-roll, a maximum of 30 seconds long, skippable after 5 seconds, and billable regardless of time watched).

TrueView In-Search
If you’re a digital marketing professional, you’re probably very familiar with Google AdWords and its capabilities. With YouTube’s TrueView in-search feature, you can merge features from the traditional AdWords pay per click model with YouTube analytics and your brand’s uploaded YouTube content. With this combination, advertisers can select relevant keywords, which then trigger ad placements on organic Google searches and on YouTube. Here, click-throughs direct to your brand’s YouTube channel, and advertisers only pay when a user chooses to watch their first video from your channel.

With in-search in particular, it’s crucial to make a lasting first impression. Investing in high quality video content to promote on TrueView in-search is a great way to start off a fruitful campaign.

TrueView In-Display
Google’s relationship with YouTube once again offers advertisers greater reach, with TrueView in-display, which places video ads on the sidebar of relevant YouTube video pages or on a Google Display ad network targeted towards your audience. Similar to in-search, clicking on an in-display will direct viewers to your YouTube channel, and you’ll only be charged when viewers choose to watch their first of your videos.

These ads show up on search pages alongside other YouTube videos or on the Google Display Network that matches your target audience. A click-through on the video ad directs viewers to your YouTube channel. As with in-search, you pay only when a viewer chooses to watch your video. Make sure your video ads are well-optimized to boost their in-display results.

However, if you’re new to YouTube’s TrueView features, the process for optimizing campaigns isn’t exactly the same as that of Google AdWords. With TrueView, it’s easy to exceed your internal spending budget if you’re running an extended ad campaign. Also, some users have reported that Google automatically bumps up your daily spend budget by 20% if your campaign enjoys success; account for this possibility by setting your daily spend lower than your actual budget.

For brands with high quality video content that leverage their products or services, YouTube has been an adept, highly utilized platform for years. But with paid advertising campaigns, marketers can enhance their Web presence, better analyze audience sentiment, create navigational networks between YouTube and Google, and make a true impact in a highly competitive viewing space.

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