YouTube Brings Performance To CTV Ads

YouTube on Monday introduced an option for performance advertisers that allows them to drive and measure conversions on connected television (CTV) by increasing the ability for viewers to shop from the messages in the ads they see on the screen.

Now, for the first time, performance advertisers can take advantage of YouTube on CTV to drive and measure conversion through the expansion of Video action campaigns.

The improvements -- the ability to connect that leap from CTV to desktop and mobile digital -- are intended to help advertisers drive more online sales and leads.

Last week, Google announced that beginning in early 2022, TrueView for action campaigns will automatically upgrade to Video action campaigns.

When a viewer sees a Video action campaign on their TV, they can type the URL at the bottom of their screen into a browser on their mobile device or desktop to continue shopping on the brand’s website from their desktop or mobile device, all without interrupting the viewing session. 



About 120 million people in the U.S. stream content from YouTube or YouTube TV on their TV screens, and more than 25% of logged-in U.S. YouTube CTV viewers watch content almost exclusively on the TV screen, according to internal data.

The hope is that eventually the manual process of having to type in a URL will become automated, but a YouTube spokesperson declined to provide details or a timeline.

“Our vision is to have fully interactive ad experiences tailored to the connected TV context,” a YouTube spokesperson told Search & Performance Marketing Daily. “This launch is the first step to this vision, and we will continue to build on the experience. We’re exploring other ways to further enhance interactivity.”

For instance, users often interact with their mobile phone when they’re watching. And as part of today’s launch, viewers using their smartphone to cast to connected TVs will be able to take action on ads directly from their phone’s YouTube app.

There are barriers to overcome that connect the IP address for the television to the mobile device and/or the desktop within close proximity.

“It’s important to be thoughtful about the nature of connected TV,” the YouTube spokesperson said. “Unlike desktop and mobile, taking action on the screen isn’t seamless today and a one-size fits all approach won’t work.”

Video action campaigns today use Google’s skippable in-stream and video discovery ad formats. Videos should be at least 10 seconds long and should include a call to action, headline, and description. Advertisers can add extensions like sitelinks of lead forms or product feed to the campaign to help influence conversions, per Google.

Advertisers can also use Conversion Lift beta on TV screens to gain actionable results in real-time.

Conversion Lift measures the impact of YouTube ads on driving user actions, such as website visits, sign ups, purchases and other types of conversions.

Video action campaigns on TV screens are available globally through Google Ads.

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