Shoppable Video Ads for YouTube

YouTube is a must-access platform for any online marketer. If you’ve been following Vizion Interactive’s blog posts, insights, and strategies for a while now, you’ve undoubtedly heard the statistics regarding why—with over 1 billion daily users in 80 countries worldwide, YouTube streams approximately 500 million hours of video each day. This ridiculously long reach is enough to have businesses of all types clamoring for YouTube ad space.

Even more appealing is that YouTube advertising works, based on the 73% of people who say they’d consider purchasing from a brand because they saw it in a YouTube video. It’s an impressive figure when you consider just how much time people spend on the site and becomes even more significant as YouTube continues to unveil new methods of accessing all those willing buyers. To that end, YouTube recently announced a new ad format geared toward making it easier for you to capture the browsing intentions of its viewers.

Shoppable Video Ads

The new direct response ad format provides an additional way to drive users to your website store.. With these new, so-called shoppable video ads, YouTube has included a series of product images directly beneath the ad in question. Users can click on products that interest them and land on the associated product page—potentially to get more information or make a product purchase.

It’s a tactic YouTube has chosen to focus on precisely due to the likelihood that users will buy a product they see on YouTube, says YouTube Ads’ Nicky Rettke, director of product management. She noted that consumers in increasing numbers (70%) report buying a particular brand after seeing a YouTube video. She added that YouTube wants to combine ads with a brand’s Google Merchant Center account.

The format directly capitalizes on the dual increases in online shopping and time spent watching videos on YouTube during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, just over 64% of respondents said they spend more time on YouTube now than they did previously; by May, as many as 27% of people said they were buying products in specific categories solely online. Although testing has only recently concluded, it appears that the new ad format captures both groups. 

Success in Testing

As one of shoppable ads’ early adopters, clothing company Aerie (an offshoot of retailer American Eagle, Inc.) experienced significant success with direct response. By adding product images with links beneath its targeted YouTube video campaign for its Spring 2020 clothing lines, Aerie looked to boost conversions as well as increase consumer exposure to its newest items. The tactic worked—according to YouTube’s announcement, Aerie experienced a whopping 900% increase in conversions and a 25% increase in ad spend return compared to the ad strategies it employed for its Spring 2019 line. 

Businesses with a different approach to product sales—such as automotive sales that don’t traditionally take place online and service providers that don’t dabble in retail—showed benefit too. Another early adopter, Jeep Korea, experimented with YouTube’s lead generation products and saw a 1,300% increase in lead completions. Similarly, college scholarship search startup Mos utilized YouTube’s video action campaigns to insert calls to action in multiple areas of the site, increasing conversions by 30%

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How You Can Incorporate Direct Response, Shoppable Ads

YouTube’s new ad type directly correlates to similar efforts made by Hulu and Peacock by NBC to get users to shop directly from an ad presented as they watch entertainment media. However, we assert that with YouTube’s Google affiliation—and the resulting huge audience you’ll reach with the refined net you choose to cast—you could see numbers similar to Amazon Shopping results for similar products. How can you achieve it? 

To incorporate direct response into your video ads with browsable product images—and thereby boosting your e-commerce presence on the site—you’ll need to follow a straightforward set of instructions:

  • First, link Google Merchant Center’s feed with your YouTube video ads to ensure communication between the two.
  • Next, you’ll see the option to expand your Call-to-Action button to incorporate the specific products you believe the target audience of that video are most likely to purchase. 
  • Then, include these targeted products—or start with your best sellers.
  • Finally, consider running some A/B testing utilizing targeted or best-selling products to determine which positively affect your conversion rates.

Moving Forward

YouTube anticipates that direct response ads—including shoppable product ads, ads with lead generation forms, and video action campaigns—will remain a crucial part of boosting the online presence and increasing the revenue of businesses across many sectors, even after COVID-19. Once more of the country returns to business as usual, YouTube representatives believe that users will continue to engage in eCommerce at elevated rates. To that end, and taking into consideration YouTube’s newest ad types, YouTube and Google now utilize a combined Google Ads Attribution Report to provide additional insight into your users’ purchase habits on both Google and YouTube.

For more insights regarding these new YouTube ad types as they continue to roll out, keep an eye on this blog for consistent updates. Otherwise, begin learning more about how you can optimize YouTube for your business. Contact us today for more information.