Google Introduces AdWords For Video

Earlier this spring, Google expanded their paid search advertising capabilities by launching their new video advertising platform “AdWords for Video.”  The program’s launch immediately turned video content advertising into an affordable, targetable, and measurable medium.  AdWords for Video operates under a pay-per-view model where the advertiser is only charged when users have watched their video in entirety, or for thirty seconds—whichever is shorter.
In terms of set-up, all an advertiser needs to get started is a YouTube Account.  The AdWords for Video platform is programed so that videos from any linked YouTube Account can be pulled directly into new ads in the account.

AdWords for Video regulations allow for four different ad formats:

  • In-Search – As a featured ad above the YouTube search results (similar to the ad locations for search network text ads).  This ad format was formerly known as “promoted videos” on YouTube.
  • In-Slate – As a an uninterrupted featured video that plays before targeted content
  • In-Display – As a suggestion to the right of a targeted YouTube on the video watch page
  • In-Stream – As a ‘skippable’ video that plays before targeted content

Upon learning about the new AdWords for Video platform, our team wondered how it differed from having traditional video ads on the display network.  In our experience, so far there are several key differences.  First, as described above, AdWords for Video allows for cost-per-view bidding.  Display network bidding only allows for CPC, CPM or conversion focused bidding.  Second, the display network allows for non-TrueView format videos to be incorporated into click-to-play or in-stream ads.  Display network video ads also currently allow for placements on YouTube, but Google has already hinted that these ad formats will be phased out to give way for AdWords for Video.  Third, the ability to target ads is different in AdWords for Video.  Instead of having Ad Groups, AdWords for Video organizes ads into “targeting groups” set at the campaign level.  Targeting groups allow for demographic, topic, interest, placement, remarketing, contextual keyword, and search keyword inclusions and exclusions.  Finally, in AdWords for Video, one video ad can be applied to multiple ad formats.  On the display network, each video has unique content and format.

So what type of benefits can AdWords for Video bring search marketers?  There are certainly long term benefits associated with the efficiencies AdWords for Video brings to video content management and optimization, but there is also a more immediate advantage.   Because AdWords for Video is so new, it is unsaturated.  The paid video advertising market is just beginning to develop, and consequently cost-per-view prices in many industries are still available for just a couple of cents.  Also, the cost-per-view bidding format, in of itself, precipitates a major advantage.  Since the advertiser is only charged when a viewer watches their entire video, there is the potential for a lot of “free branding.”  In other words, a partial video views may not be a bad thing.  In fact, if your ads are engineered well and you can get your message across in the first five to ten seconds of your video, you are likely to reach a significant amount of customers for free.