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YouTube Offers New Ad Tools to Help Marketers Tap into the Rise in YouTube Viewership

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Like all social platforms, YouTube has seen a significant rise in usage in 2020, with the COVID-19 lockdowns pushing more people to find alternate entertainment sources to their usual, in person social events.

But YouTube is also a little different in that its focus is video content, as opposed to social elements. So while you can comment and engage on YouTube clips, making it, technically, a social media platform, the majority of user attention is on the content itself. Which actually makes YouTube more like traditional TV – and it’s becoming more and more like a regular TV alternative over time.

Indeed, these days, kids don’t watch regular TV – their favorite programs are created by YouTube celebrities, who focus on increasingly niche elements and appeal to more specific audiences. More adults, too, are now watching YouTube in preference to regular channels – in fact,  YouTube says that watch time of YouTube content on TV screens jumped 80% year over year

The benefit of that, for marketers, is that as more people switch over to YouTube, more businesses can run TV-like promotions, at a fraction of the cost of a traditional broadcast campaign, and with a might higher degree of targeting. Done well, that can be hugely effective – and this week, YouTube has added some new elements to help further hone your YouTube ad campaigns, including advanced data insights and new category targeting.

First up, on targeting – to give marketers more options in where they place their YouTube ads, YouTube’s adding dynamic lineups, which segment videos based on their content, with YouTube’s machine learning systems now able to better determine what each video is about.

YouTube ad tools

As explained by YouTube:

“Advanced contextual targeting is the next generation of content targeting on YouTube. It uses Google’s machine learning to better understand each channel on YouTube, including analysis of video imagery, sound, speech and text. This allows us to create lineups that are scalable across content based on specific topics, cultural moments or popularity.” 

That provides even more targeting options – so instead of targeting broad-reaching categories like “home” or “lifestyle”, dynamic lineups enables you to hone in further, on say “home and garden” or “home improvement” instead. 

“This means better access to customers with unique interests and needs-all with the brand suitability controls that are most important for your business.”  

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That could make it easier to get your message in front of more receptive, responsive audiences, and as Google’s systems evolve, that targeting will only improve, enabling more focus – which ideally means spending less to reach the right audience segments.

YouTube’s also expanding its data partnership with Nielsen to help marketers in more regions reach the right audiences.

Late last year, YouTube announced that had integrated Nielsen TV data into its Reach Planner, which enables marketers to get a broader view of audience trends, and plan against TV demographics. Essentially, this provides more oversight as to where your target markets are watching, facilitating better planning and placement for your campaigns.

And now, YouTube will add  Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings for advertisers in the UK and Italy, in addition to the US.

YouTube says that the additional data insight has already helped many brands maximize their campaigns:

PepsiCo Beverages, turned to YouTube to drive scale and extend reach of Pepsi’s “Gift it Forward” Holiday campaign. The campaign did not disappoint – YouTube drove new brand buyers during the holiday season to the unique audience we wanted to reach.”

YouTube Pepsi

In addition to this, parent company Google is also adding new options for programmatic deals in Display & Video 360 campaigns, while it’s also extended its similar audience functionality to the same, for more advanced video advertisers.

As noted, these new tools could help further hone in your YouTube ad campaigns, and reach the right audience for lower cost.

Socialmediatoday.com

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YouTube Tests Improved Comment Removal Notifications, Updated Video Performance and Hashtag Insights

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YouTube Expands its 'Pre-Publish Checks' Tool to the Mobile App

YouTube’s looking to provide more context on content removals and violations, while it’s also experimenting with a new form of analytics on average video performance benchmarks, along with improved hashtag discovery, which could impact your planning and process.

First off, on policy violations – YouTube’s looking to provide more context on comment removals via an updated system that will link users through to the exact policy that they’ve violated when a comment is removed.

As explained by YouTube’s Conor Kavanagh:

“Many users have told us that they would like to know if and when their comment has been removed for violating one of our Community Guidelines. Additionally, we want to protect creators from a single user’s ability to negatively impact the community via comments, either on a single channel or multiple channels.”

The new comment removal notification aims to address this, by providing more context as to when a comment has been removed for violating the platform’s Community Guidelines.

In expansion of this, YouTube will also put some users into timeout if they keep breaking the rules. Literally:

If someone leaves multiple abusive comments, they may receive a temporary timeout which will block the ability to comment for up to 24 hours.”

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YouTube says that this will hopefully reduce the amount of abusive comments across the platform, while also adding more transparency to the process, in order to help people understand how they’ve broken the rules, which could also help to guide future behavior.

On a similar note, YouTube’s also expanding its test of timestamps in Community Guidelines policy violation notifications for publishers, which provide more specific details on when a violation has occurred in video clips.

Initially only available for violations of its ‘Harmful and Dangerous’ policy, YouTube’s now expanding these notifiers to violations related to ‘Child Safety’, ‘Suicide and Self-Harm’, and ‘Violent or Graphic’.

If you’re in the experiment, you’ll see these timestamps in YouTube Studio as well as over email if we believe a violation has occurred. We hope these timestamps are useful in understanding why your video violated our policies and we hope to expand to more policies over time.”

On another front, YouTube’s also testing a new analytics card in YouTube Studio which will show creators the typical amount of views they get on different formats, including VODs, Shorts, and live streams.

YouTube average video performance

As you can see in this example, the new data card will provide insight into the average amount of views you see in each format, based on your the last 10 uploads in each, which could provide more comparative context on performance.

Finally, YouTube’s also launched a test that aims to showcase more relevant hashtags on video clips.

“We’re launching an experiment to elevate the hashtags on a video’s watch page that we’ve found viewers are interested in, instead of just the first few added to the video’s description. Hashtags are still chosen by creators themselves – nothing is changing there – the goal of the experiment is simply to drive more engagement with hashtags while connecting viewers with content they will likely enjoy.”

So YouTube will be looking to highlight more relevant hashtags in video clips, as a means to better connect users to more video clips on the same topic.

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Which could put more emphasis on hashtag use – so it could be time to upgrade your hashtag research approach in line with the latest trending topics.

All of these updates are fairly minor, but they could impact your YouTube approach, and it’s worth considering the potential impacts in your process.

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