YouTube launches ad formats that will turn the video sharing site into a ‘digital showroom’

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YouTube unveiled a raft of new updates to its advertising tools including the opportunity for online audiences to buy products immediately after they are exposed to an ad, as consumers’ path-to-purchase shortens, plus improved measurement for those interested in using the video sharing site as a branding medium.

Chief among the new products unveiled are Shopping ads for YouTube – similar to its Shopping ads on Google –  which will show click-to-buy ad units within partner videos on the video-sharing site, a feature it claims will transform the format into a “digital storefront”.

Ads that double as a digital showroom

The new YouTube ads are similar to its Cards and TrueView ad products for shopping (rolled out earlier this year) whereby users click on the ‘i icon’ to be served with said ad creative, and can be bought on an auction basis similar to how Shopping ads are sold on Google.

YouTube also claimed the newly unveiled ad formats will help those looking to promote their mobile apps reach its viewers regardless of what screen audiences are engaged with, noting how the average viewing session on mobile devices has increased 50 per cent in the last 12 months to 40 minutes.

TrueView for app promotion

Included in the raft of announcements, are new mobile video ad formats dubbed ‘TrueView for App Promotion’, which lets app developers promote their wares to YouTube viewers on their mobile devices.

In addition, it has also unveiled ad units that enable app promotion within its dedicated Gaming app with the ability to bid on ad units using a cost-per-install pricing model – where a bidder sets the price it is willing to pay for a download – soon to come.

Improved measurement for Brand Lift on YouTube

YouTube is also interested in improving its appeal as a branding medium, with the outfit today unveiling an enhancement to its Brand Lift tool – which lets advertisers monitor trends in organic keyword searches – and will now monitor keyword searches on the video sharing site as well.

Talking about the updates, Diya Jolly, YouTube’s director of video ads product management, said: “With this update, you’ll be able to see if your ad is driving searches for organic video content related to your brand on YouTube. Measuring interest is an important part of determining impact, and is a unique benefit of advertising on Google and YouTube.”

The development of the ‘shortened path to purchase will challenge brands to evolve their attribution strategies from ‘last-click’ (the default model of measuring their success in the early days of online advertising) to become more multi-touch.

Speaking recently with The Drum, Laura Desmond, Starcom MediaVest, chief executive, explained: “We’re starting to see the purchase journey shorten, and collapse into the media journey with the product development of companies like Facebook and Google, with them aggressively growing brand and retail partnerships around ‘buy now’ buttons on their platforms.

“This means that a consumers’ media journey can also be a commerce journey online. This is going to be incredibly disruptive to how retailers sell in both the physical and virtual world.”

The announcements come during Google’s Ad Week New York drive, which yesterday included its Customer Match product.

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