Despite the fact that it faces growing competition from Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, Google-owned YouTube is still one of the most popular online video destinations, and the company is increasingly making a play for ad budgets that have historically been dedicated to television.
At the Advertising Week conference this week, Google will be trying to persuade advertisers that it deserves some of the dollars that are dedicated those budgets.
Among the ammunition Google is using to make the argument is the fact that, according to Google data from initial tests, “YouTube generate[s] almost two times the searches per impression than TV generates.”
To help advertisers compare the efficacy of their YouTube ads to their television ads, Google is debuting an updated version of its Brand Lift solution, which “measures the moments that matter—from initial impression to final conversion—with the metrics that matter, like brand awareness, ad recall, and consideration.”
Using the new functionality present in Brand Lift, agency VaynerMedia, for instance, was able to determine that YouTube ads for the CNBC show West Texas Investors Club drove five times more searches per impression than its television ads and produced twice as many searches per dollar spent.
Closing the loop
At Advertising Week, Google is also unveiling a number of other new features that are designed to give advertisers better tools for reaching consumers and measuring the impact those ads are having. These new features include:
- Cross-device ad retargeting support for Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager, which will allow advertisers to target the same logged in consumers at different times as they move from device to device.
- Local extensions for mobile, which allow advertisers to attach an address, photos and directions to their mobile display ads. According to Home Depot’s Umut Dincer, mobile local extensions have already helped the retailer “reach DIYers who are close to our stores and make a ‘just in time’ connection that brings them the information they really want in their I-want-to-buy-it moments.”
- Better measurement tools designed to track offline activity, including store visits. As part of this, Google has created a five million-strong user panel that it will tap for data.
According to Brad Bender, Google’s VP of display and video advertising, “the loop is now officially closed.” If the search giant can convince advertisers of that, and prove that digital ads are offering more bang for the buck, it could see some of those television dollars shift to digital.
With social media reach and engagement rates having dipped so precipitously over the last year or so, paying to play is the only option for most brands now.
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