Google is constantly evolving its bevy of digital marketing opportunities, providing more ways than ever to help you get your business in front of the eyes of qualified digital users. If you’re looking to boost your brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and enhance your audience’s engagement once they find you, one of Google’s most recently updated YouTube ad types may be just the ticket. YouTube video discovery ads can help you with all three of these goals—potentially increasing your conversions in the process.
What Are YouTube Discovery Ads?
Commonly referred to as “TrueView video discovery ads,” YouTube discovery ads are an ad type that appears in multiple places throughout YouTube. These ads, known in a former iteration as “In-Display ads,” will promote your video alongside other relevant YouTube videos and shoppable ads. Discovery ads appear nearly identical to the normal slate of YouTube video results in that they feature a thumbnail from your video as well as a brief description and headline, and are mainly distinguishable by a small, yellow “ad” tag on the thumbnail.
This more organic placement is the key difference between discovery ads and the somewhat better-known version of TrueView ads, the in-stream ad. While in-stream ads appear before, during, or after the user’s desired video and appear whether the user wishes to watch an ad or not, discovery ads appear as suggestions alongside other videos in multiple places throughout YouTube. Users drawn in by the thumbnail or text content must click to view the ad, sending interested users likely to convert directly to your video content.
Types of YouTube Discovery Ads Available
Similar to Google’s responsive search ads, discovery ads rely on your input and the platform’s machine learning to create an optimized ad for the most relevant users most likely to be interested in learning more about you. You’ll enter your budget, bids, and targeting information, as well as a link to your video content, your logo, at least one thumbnail image, and as many as five headlines and descriptions; then, the algorithm will assemble an optimized combination of these elements designed to appeal to each relevant user.
Google also uses machine learning to determine ad placement and choose the ideal location for your video ad from several options on the SERP and mobile homepage. Ad placements include:
- Atop video search results on YouTube’s SERP. You may find your ad promoted at the top of organic video results on the SERP, alongside videos that already appeal to your targeted group of users.
- On the YouTube mobile homepage. Similarly, discovery ads may appear among other suggested videos on the homepage that appears when users open YouTube.
- On a video watch page. Discovery ads may also appear within the suggested videos section that populates below a similarly targeted video the user is already watching.
- In Gmail’s social and promotions tab options. Your Discovery ad may also appear in a targeted user’s Gmail, underneath either the social or promotions tabs.
Benefits of Discovery Ads
YouTube discovery ads were featured front and center at Google Marketing Live last year and are now available to everyone. So, why should you add this updated format to your digital marketing toolkit? We’ll list just a few of the reasons:
- Wide reach. Currently, Google’s Discover efforts are capable of reaching over 800 million people worldwide and counting. With the expansion to Gmail ads, your video ads prove an ever-expanding way to reach potentially interested users.
- Favorable perception. Unlike in-stream ads, discovery ads do not interrupt user videos or otherwise disturb the YouTube experience. As a result, discovery ads enjoy a much more favorable user perception.
- Notable improvements in engagement. Since users must click on an ad that appears semi-natively on their YouTube feed, you’re targeting users who are already showing an active interest in your content. These users are, in some cases, hundreds of times more likely to become “earned subscribers” or participate in “earned views,” meaning that once a targeted user has viewed your ad, they are much more likely to view your other videos or subscribe to your channel.
- Enhanced brand awareness. The above elements can contribute significantly to your ability to promote not only your ads but your other video content across YouTube, Gmail, and other Discovery areas as they become available. The result? Your brand’s unique story is that much more visible to a custom targeted audience already likely to convert into customers.
Need Help Getting Started?
True optimization of YouTube discovery ads requires the right mix of brand content, creative copy, and targeting know-how. If you’re unsure how to take your brand from content creation to campaign building, bid tweaking, budgeting, and more, contact the marketing specialists at Vizion Interactive. We can help you leverage discovery ads to boost engagement and potentially drive conversions in the process.