Google is continuing its push to get small businesses online with plans to officially roll out a streamlined advertising program in May through YouTube (owned by the giant search engine) that it hopes will result in more small companies creating video commercials. (Those are the ones generally seen before an actual video.)
Called AdWords for video, the self-service ad buying platform was designed specifically with small businesses in mind. Through the platform, companies can create and manage a video campaign in the same way they would for search ads. The company introduced a test version of the program in the fall.
The AdWords for video product is part of a broader Google-wide initiative to help small businesses get online. During the past year, Google has set its sights on offering more products, services and support to the segment, it says.
Last July, YouTube introduced its first search ads product for small businesses called AdWords Express.
Google says large brands have been fairly quick to adopt YouTube to showcase their commercials, run contests and do other interactive promotion, but over the past couple of years more small businesses are using YouTube to reach customers.Previously the process for video commercials was a bit more complex, required a sales rep to purchase ads and was typically only used by large companies.
“This is because small businesses can tap into a viewer base of more than 800 million worldwide, and essentially one viral video can launch a business. You can get the same impressions — if not more — as taking out ads on TV,” Baljeet Singh, YouTube’s group product manager says.
Like Google+, the AdWords for video component will become another main influence in how Google prioritizes its search results. Basically, if you have a promotional video, Google will prioritize your business higher than your competitor across the street that hasn’t created a promotional video.
In an exclusive, Singh shares more details about the AdWords for video program.
Why should small businesses be in the video promotional space?
Singh: We think of it as a great match between what small to medium-sized businesses are looking for and what we’re looking for our users and content on our site. For small and medium-sized businesses, it offers an opportunity for them to play big and build a business on YouTube
Typically [small businesses face] challenges as they’re trying to think about how to get discovered and get business in the door. They try to think about different ways to advertise. Really the barrier to entry here is quite low for small businesses. All you really need is a video ad and you can get up and running in a few minutes. You can build out a home on YouTube to the point where you may not even need your own website. And then obviously generate sales from that audience.
(YouTube also offers a template to help businesses create promotional videos called My Business Story.)
It’s a huge opportunity for us to reach and provide value to these advertisers, while at the same time increasing the amount of diversity of advertising we have on the site. … If we have lots of different ads to choose from then we can more effectively connect the right ad to the right user.
What is the difference between large and small advertisers?
While we benefit from a sales team that can help us reach our customers, [some] smaller businesses come to us on their own as opposed to us reaching out. That requires our tools and our messaging to be very optimized for an advertiser to get started on their own. And so we built out these tools that are very streamlined and simplified really so that an advertiser could get started in a minute. … The idea being that all they really need is a video and an understanding of how much they’re willing to spend and who they want to reach.
If they are interested in reaching a specific audience then they can use our screen that allows them to market and target to a specific audience either through normal means by reaching audiences who are watching content on a particular topic, or they can reach people who are searching for a particular keyword or reach people who are on specific channels on our site.
What can a small business get from using these tools to advertise?
Singh:A small business can drive sales ultimately either online or in their stores. We believe that we generate a lot of value along that path to driving sales. It’s interesting because a lot of small businesses originally came to us saying we need direct response and direct sales [strategies], but really this offering is tailored and optimized for any advertiser.
The metrics we produce to them to measure their (return on investment) stem all the way down the funnel. It’s different from TV where you can’t actually connect the entire funnel.
The cost per view basis, or CPV, is where the advertiser only pays when the viewer chose to engage with the video ad. Unlike traditional forms where you pay on the impression and you’re not really sure if you ‘ve connected with the viewer, you are actually paying when you know you’ve reached them.
How can a business optimize its video advertising?
It stems from creating a compelling video creative in its core and there’s a lot misconceptions about what that means. A lot of people think you need to have this viral hit that will reach tens of millions of viewers. What they really should be focusing on is creating compelling content. It doesn’t even have to be funny, it just needs to be either entertaining or tells a story or demonstrates their product very well. We’ve seen a lot of success with advertisers adopting one of those three.
Businesses should really know their audience and use our tools to specifically reach the audience.Google Wants Your Video Advertising