Shaping Ad Experiences To An Evolving YouTube Viewership

Think back … can you remember the first time you heard about YouTube? Or even better–can you recall the first video you watched? It’s a fun parlor game we YouTubers sometimes play–and an occasion to reflect on how far the platform has come since its earliest days.

And for those of us who have been on the ads team for more than a few years, it’s particularly remarkable to think about how our ad products have changed as well. Back when we introduced TrueView 9 years ago, people entered the site typically from a link and typically on desktop, watched a short form video and then left to do other things. In fact, desktop represented 90 percent of all YouTube usage in 2010. The appetite for in-stream ad experiences was extremely low in these contexts, which prompted us to introduce a skippable video format that put the choice to view an ad in the hands of the user. Advertisers only paid if viewers watched the complete ad or 30 seconds if longer, so it was a win-win.

In the years since then, YouTube has grown to accommodate not only diverse content types and audiences, but also a new diversity of viewing patterns. In 2016, mobile viewing eclipsed desktop, and in 2019 TVs are our fastest growing screen. Today, viewers may just as readily binge six or seven short videos on their mobile phone, before they switch on YouTube on their TV and watch several hours of longer form video.

In short, YouTube viewing has evolved to serve seemingly divergent consumer mindsets – active browsing sessions where they discover new content and more longer, more leaned-back sessions. This has required a reconsideration of how we serve ads in each of these varied contexts.

Our mission as an ads team is to build the right ad experience for each of these contexts – from active discovery through to more leaned-back sessions:

The changing ways people watch YouTube also means that a view has different value in different contexts. This is why we continue to develop additional metrics beyond views and view-through rate–like Brand Lift, or direct actions and conversions – to quantify ad impact, while also developing new ad formats that are matched to viewing patterns and advertiser goals. While we work on these new ad experiences, our priority is to align pricing with anticipated advertiser value.

This led us to introduce Smart Pricing over a year ago, which aligns media costs with anticipated value of a given context. For example, if we know a user is watching content in a longer, TV-style session – we will price those ad impressions according to what our effectiveness models indicate is the typical value of that type of viewing mode. Smart Pricing delivers better results for advertisers – at launch we saw:

  • More efficient awareness—5 percent gain in brand awareness per dollar
  • Higher ROI for advertisers – 7 percent gain in ad recall per dollar

Beyond Smart Pricing, we are also working on ways to align YouTube media directly to your marketing objectives, and delivering value as you measure it. For instance, with video reach campaigns, you can optimize for your reach and awareness goals more easily using multiple video creatives and formats within a single campaign. Google’s machine learning will automatically serve the most efficient combination of those formats to help you reach your audience at scale.

The variety of viewing contexts is an asset, as YouTube increasingly meets the needs of viewers looking for short form, long form, TV screen experiences, a go-anywhere music player, social video, highly produced traditional video and more. And the continued evolution of our ad experiences means brands will see a benefit from each viewing mode. We take pride in continuously evolving our platform based on changing user behavior and will continue to experiment with delivering advertiser value across a variety of user contexts. And we invite you, our trusted customers, to partner with us as we build an effective video ad system for the age of choice.

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL REVIEW: Why We Use Socialinsider

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOL REVIEW: Why We Use Socialinsider

As a social media marketer did you ever ask yourself, “I wonder what my competitors are doing on social media, and whether their strategy works better than ours?” Well, maybe not those exact words, but surely you notice if your Google rankings take a header, or your competitor suddenly starts raking in the dough.

Here at Search Engine Pros, it is crucial for us to keep up-to-date on what our competitors are doing in the social media space. We also keep tabs on what the competitors for our clients are doing so we can provide spot-on recommendations and implement effective counter-punch online marketing strategies.

That’s why we use Socialinsider, a social media analytics tool which serves up a full view of any competitor’s digital strategy for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Why Do You Need a Competitive Awareness Strategy?

There are lots of reasons to find out what your competitors are doing. Here are just a few:

  • Find out how you rank: If you’re not at the top of search results, you’re losing out. In the fast-moving online world, you need to know exactly what content your competitors are using that works, when they post, their engagement metrics, audience growth, and their overall digital strategy so you can take appropriate counter measures.
  • See if you should boost any content: Sometimes a competitor will get a bump in results because they spent money to boost a blog post or video. You need to know when this happens so you can determine whether to boost any posts of your own.
  • Track, analyze, and tweak: Some online marketing tactics work better than others, but you need to keep track of everything from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so you can compare your results against those of your competition and make necessary changes.
  • Get new ideas: When you know what your competitors are doing, you can either offer a different take or show why you can do it better.
Social Media Publishing Tool

How Does Socialinsider Give You the Competitive Edge?

At Search Engine Pros, we love the way Socialinsider gives us and our clients the competitive edge:

  • Facebook Analytics and Reports: Not only do you get insights for your own Facebook pages’ performance, you can also sneak a look at the boosted content strategy of your competitors’ Facebook pages. Get key insights on historical post data and page evolution, as well as audience growth, engagement performance and content performance. It also allows users to perform a multi-page performance comparison and analyze comment activity.
  • Instagram Analytics and Reports: Find out how a competitor’s Instagram profile has grown over time, so you can promote your own brand more aggressively. You can review historical posts data to see what campaigns they roll out and when, so you can time yours to run concurrently. You can also get engagement reports and compare profiles to gain insights about content strategy.
  • Twitter Analytics and Reports: Keep an eye on how your competitors use Twitter to engage with their target audience. See what content they publish on Twitter, when they post and what engages the most on their profiles. You can review engagement reports now, and will soon be able to compare Twitter profiles as well.
Social Media Publishing Tool

We love it, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Socialinsider is trusted by such big-names as HubSpot, BlitzMetrics, Geometry Global and Georgia Tech. And their pricing is pretty cost-effective for all the insights you get – $59 per month for the Social Media Manager plan, $99 for Small Agency, and $199 for Agency, with a two month discount for yearly plans. Best of all, you can get started with a seven day free trial. Now you can act like the pros and get the competitive social media marketing information you need with Socialinsider.

About Search Engine Pros:  Search Engine Pros is a full service web marketing agency located in Santa Barbara, CA. The company provides web marketing services, including social media consulting,  web programming, and marketing SEO. Visit the website at for a complimentary Google rank analysis. “Like” the Facebook page for regular insights on WordPress SEO. Call 800-605-4988 to learn more about online marketing.

Investing In The Next Generation Of Measurement On YouTube

Ad reporting and measurement is an important part of getting digital advertising right. We invest a lot to help our advertisers understand the value of running ads on services like YouTube. 

Advertisers use different tools to understand the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. One type, called pixels, has played an important role across the web for over a decade, but was built for a world of single screens, not for the ways many people watch YouTube today. While more than 70 percent of time spent watching YouTube globally occurs on mobile devices, pixels can’t report on the effectiveness of ads that appear in mobile apps. And many third-party pixels lack the privacy controls and user protections of newer technology. That’s why, for the past several years, we’ve been taking action to limit the pixels we allow on YouTube while investing in a cloud-based measurement solution called Ads Data Hub that allows our advertisers to understand the effectiveness of their ads in a secure, privacy-safe environment. 

Over the last year, we’ve been working with key measurement companies including Nielsen, Comscore, DoubleVerify, Dynata, Kantar and Integral Ad Science to migrate their services to Ads Data Hub. Once the migrations are complete early next year, we will stop allowing third-party pixels on YouTube.

Unlike pixel-based measurement, Ads Data Hub allows advertisers to understand how their advertising is performing across screens, including mobile apps, through aggregated insights from Google ad platforms, including YouTube, Google Ads and Display & Video 360. Because Ads Data Hub limits the use of user data, it adds another layer of privacy protection for users while still enabling marketers to measure their YouTube ad campaigns. 

Over the past year, we’ve invested significantly in infrastructure improvements to Ads Data Hub to make it faster, easier to use and more reliable. This has allowed us to dramatically increase the number of advertisers and technology providers we can serve and the use cases supported in Ads Data Hub. Advertisers have run millions of successful queries to date. 

While there is still more work to be done, we think this change will be beneficial to consumers and advertisers. With the migration from pixels to Ads Data Hub, our third-party measurement partners will be able to provide YouTube advertisers with more comprehensive reporting and measurement, using technology that’s built to enhance user privacy.

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog