Nearly every pay per click advertiser knows YouTube is owned by Google and thus within the “search partners” category of the typical AdWords account. In addition, YouTube offers a pay-per-click program specifically designed to promote your videos which is ironically called Promoted Videos. YouTube PPC is very similar to how a Google AdWords ad group is set up, with the advertiser centering the promotion around a central idea or theme, creating an ad, selecting paid keywords to trigger that ad, and so forth.
What’s great with YouTube pay per click is that the data, such as impressions, clicks, and click through rate, is displayed in the AdWords interface.
So when you’re optimizing your AdWords campaigns and keywords, your YouTube PPC data is right at your fingertips. The only problem I have found with this so far is that although the YouTube pay per click data is displayed, edits cannot be made without going into your YouTube account.
As said, YouTube PPC works the same way as AdWords/Sponsored Links. When a user visits YouTube and searches for something, for example “energy vitamins”, a section on the right side of the page displays Promoted Videos that are utilizing this phrase as a paid keyword. An example is displayed below:
If the user clicks on one of these Promoted Videos, they are then taken to the specific video’s page.
This is where YouTube has really made this program worthwhile.
Several weeks ago, YouTube released a feature called Call to Action Overlay. In essence this feature allows companies, agencies, etc. that use YouTube videos to have the ability to create ads that display during the playing of their video. This feature was only available to non-profit organizations and a very select group of testers previously. Below is an example of what the Call to Action Overlay looks like in a video used by a non-profit organization:
Before these Call to Action Overlays were released, companies and agencies had to rely on a viewer of their video to either click on the very obscure link in the summary on the right side of the video page or to manually enter the site’s URL if it was displayed during or at the end of the video.
Using Call to Action Overlays now provides a direct link to not only your site, but the pages most relevant to the viewer and likely to result in a transaction, lead, or other conversion.
Despite its obvious potential, I do have one gripe with the Call to Action Overlay. Contrary to the non-profit example provided above, you cannot pick where/when during the video the ad will be displayed. For the videos that I have used overlays on thus far, the ads typically pop up about 10 to 15 seconds in. This is okay because it means the viewer is somewhat engaged in the video and is likely to pursue more information either through the video or on your site.
But what if your objective is to have the overlay display at the beginning of the video so viewers know they can always click on your link to get more information? Or if the goal is to display the ad later when you know the viewer is very serious about watching the rest of the video or attaining more information?
Again, this release offers a lot of potential to any pay per click advertiser, but I think there are still some minor kinks that need to be worked out.