Are retailers missing the social marketing boat if they’re not on YouTube?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
By 2019, 80 percent of internet traffic will be video, according to Sarah Waters, agency development manager at Google, the parent of YouTube. And 65 percent of consumers say YouTube has influenced their purchase decisions.
“YouTube is not just a branding opportunity; it’s also a way to influence people to purchase,” said Ms. Waters during a session at ChannelAdvisor’s recent Catalyst event. “We don’t just go online; we practically live online. But we need to be cognizant of the fact that marketing hasn’t changed: brands still want to connect to consumers. What has changed is how we go about doing it. We’re no longer limited to 140-character tweets.”
Ms. Waters highlighted three new ad formats on YouTube that retailers can take advantage of.
- TrueView A pre-roll ad format that users cannot skip for the first five seconds. YouTube doesn’t charge for the ad until 30 seconds of the video have passed. Said Ms. Waters, “We saw that when retailers exposed consumers to their ads, there was a 30 percent or greater increase in site visits and a 27 percent increase in branded search.”
- Shoppable TrueView One option, Shopping Ads on YouTube, enables brands to showcase product listing ads (PLA) within the results of YouTube. A second, TrueView for Shopping, allows users to shop for products within a video ad.“You can include shopping carts [in the video ad itself] that allow viewers to click and shop directly from those carts,” she said. “This is all linked through Google Merchant Center. Companies can plug in the carts and allow the shopping experience to come to life by layering them on top of the sight, sound and motion in the video content you created.”
- Discovery With the average length of a mobile YouTube session lasting 40 minutes, Discovery enables retailers to leverage search activity to retarget ads. Said Ms. Waters, “Thirty-two percent of users discover videos through YouTube search, and they don’t necessarily know what they want to watch. This allows you to own the space and capitalize on the queries that are happening for your brand or within your category.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of YouTube as a branding and engagement vehicle for retailers and brands? What are your recommendations for effectively using YouTube?