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Online video advertising on YouTube, thanks Google

When Google purchased YouTube in 2006 for a reported US$1.65b, I wasn’t really sure what they had in mind, other than controlling the universe, one cat video, at a time. But now YouTube should really feel like part of the AdWords family, as Google opens up a whole new world of advertising possibilities with “Online Video” campaign options in the AdWords management system.

I know what you are thinking: “where am I going to find money in the marketing budget to make web videos and keep up with my competitors now?” but stick with me on this.

The new tools for online advertisers take advantage of the fact that most people with a computer already have free software installed to make quick videos which are suitable for online advertising purposes. Even a lot of smart-phones these days are recording video in HD, so don’t become too disillusioned by the thought of making a video to promote your business online.

First let me explain briefly what video advertising is and does.

Web users watch videos on YouTube, Google own YouTube and enjoy helping businesses generate leads online. So it only makes sense to turn this video streaming service, viewed by millions of people every day, into an accessible advertising platform for AdWords managers.

There are a few ad positions on the YouTube website which can feature AdWords ads, and I won’t go into all of them here, however I will point out one of my favourites. When you watch a video featuring, say; a cat playing a piano, and you see an ad play before Meowtzart which is promoting the latest flavour of the exact brand of cat food you buy, that is no coincidence. That’s Google. And if you watched the whole ad, or at least the first 30 seconds before clicking to skip to the main video, the advertiser paid for your “View” of the ad. Now, if you had only watched the first 29 seconds and skipped the ad, The advertiser has not paid for you to view the ad, but you viewed it none-the-less. This is my favourite thing about the new Online Video advertising features in AdWords. Free advertising, and it is available to anyone using AdWords.

Most of the features, which you are used to in AdWords, are also available in the Online Video campaign settings controls. The strategies are a little different, but you can still create user demographics to target, set your own budgets, manage performance, and report on ROI. I have made the point before about Google not charging on Search ads until someone “clicks”, and the same goes for Video ads (except in video ads, we call it “Views” instead of clicks). But that 30 second window where you can show a video ad to a qualified potential lead online is priceless. Actually it is free, but who’s counting right? I’m excited

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