YouTube Automates, Simplifies Choosing Video Ads To Serve Up

YouTube on Monday at Advertising Week New York plans to announce Video reach campaigns, which marketers might find much easier to use and optimize. 

Rather than manage separate campaigns for six-second bumper ads, skippable in-stream ads, and non-skippable in-stream ads, marketers can upload multiple video creatives into one campaign. Google’s machine-learning technology automatically serves the most efficient combination of these formats.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning do the work.

The idea is to optimize the ads for a specific audience for more effective campaigns, and to free up time for marketers so they can focus on strategic priorities and grow YouTube’s market share, which eMarketer estimates will reach 1.70 billion users worldwide this year. That number represents two-thirds of digital video users worldwide, per the data firm.

YouTube's net ad revenue will grow nearly 20% this year to reach $11.38 billion worldwide, according to eMarketer. 

Ford, an early adopter, already sees strong results using Video reach campaigns, according to Vishal Sharma, VP of product management at YouTube. In a blog post, Sharma writes about Ford’s alpha test in which the automaker lowered its campaign cost by more than 20% compared with previous YouTube benchmarks.

"Ford is using data and machine-learning technology, like Video reach campaigns, to drive a learning culture across all of our media,” stated Lisa Schoder, head of U.S. media at Ford. “The positive results of the Video reach campaign not only provided cost efficiencies while maintaining effectiveness but also the confidence to implement this tactic across additional campaigns.”

For a full-funnel video strategy, Sharma recommends using Video reach campaigns with TrueView to drive whatever online action is important. TrueView for action ads soon will extend to the YouTube Home feed, a place for users to discover their next favorite creator.

With this announcement, the YouTube Masthead also comes to the TV screen, where daily watch time tops 250 million hours per day. Advertisers can now reach people who cut the cord.

Through a beta program, marketers can purchase the YouTube Masthead on TV screens on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis, and customize the audiences they want to see it.

Like CPM-based Mastheads on the desktop and mobile home feed, it becomes available as a reserved placement and purchased as part of a cross-screen or single-screen Masthead buy.

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