With connected TV viewership on the rise - or people watching online streamed content on their home TV set - YouTube has today announced some updates to its Connected TV (CTV) ad offerings, in order to help marketers maximize this growing opportunity, and get more out of its TV-like ad options.
First off, YouTube says that it will soon integrate CTV contextual signals into Display & Video 360 campaign targeting, which will enable advertisers to pick CTV ad inventory by genre, length or live-stream content.
As explained by YouTube:
"Let’s say you want to associate your ad message to some of the highly anticipated sports events of the summer, like the Olympics or the U.S. Open. Using Display & Video 360, you’ll easily select CTV live inventory that falls under the “Sports” genre. Then you’ll also be able to verify that your ads served against content that is suitable for your brand."
That will provide more specific targeting capacity for your CTV ads, which is an element that traditional TV simply cannot match. Which is why CTV will likely, eventually, supersede traditional TV advertising as a more effective outreach option.
Right now, TV campaigns still offer the broadest reach and resonance, and remain the leading form of wide-scale promotion in many respects. But as the traditional TV audience declines, and digital natives come of age, CTV is becoming a bigger consideration, and the improved targeting potential of the format will make TV-like ads more accessible, more responsive, and a bigger overall strategic consideration.
Of course, YouTube ads can also be skipped, which traditional TV ads cannot, but over time, the expectation is that CTV ads will offer a much more valuable, viable option for many brands.
For context, YouTube says that in December 2020 alone, over 120 million people in the US streamed YouTube or YouTube TV on their TV screens.
In addition to this, YouTube is also adding sales lift measurement for CTV ads, via Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) in the US.
"Harnessing sales data across NCS’s extensive retailer network, this feature will give you a chance to quantify how your CTV ad impressions led to offline sales. The report features useful metrics such as percentage sales lift, total incremental sales and return on ad spend that can inform future campaign optimization. This data will be available right in the Display & Video 360 interface, meaning that no pixel implementation or log file data crunching will be required."
This, again, is a significant improvement on traditional TV ad measurement, which will increase the format's appeal, and help improve strategic approaches.
And finally, on another element, YouTube's also adding new options to help businesses build out their audio ad approaches, with its Audio Mixer tool now enabling marketers to apply segmentation rules to their audio campaigns, including location, schedule or audience. Through this, brands will be able to create more specifically customized, increasingly relevant ads for various consumer segments, based on a single audio creative.
"For example, you can create a back-to-school audio campaign that has customized offers for different markets. Once you record the audio asset, you can use the dynamic audio tool to create additional custom assets with local in-store promotions based on where the ads will run."
As you can see here, through Audio Mixer, marketers will now be able to build variable creative approaches through multi-track audio mixing, enabling you to switch up your messaging for different segments.
YouTube launched its new audio ads offering last November to help businesses connect with the increasing number of YouTube users tuning into content in audio-only mode, be it music or other formats. It's too early to tell how successful YouTube Audio Ads are as an option, but the capacity to quickly scale your audio approaches, and target them to different elements, will help improve its offering.
Both Audio Mixer and the dynamic production tool will soon be available in YouTube's Ads Creative Studio.
These are some good additional considerations for your YouTube marketing approaches, and while they may not seem like essential marketing elements just yet, as noted, they are on the increase. Growing usage means broader potential audience - and in the case of CTV ads, that could drive huge response within the right context.