YouTube is allowing brands to amp up their messaging via audio ads. The audio ads are available in beta via auction on Google Ads and Display and Video 360 on a CPM basis. The audio ads will have the same audience targeting options, bidding strategies and brand lift measurement capabilities as YouTube video campaigns. According to YouTube Ads group product manager Melissa Hsieh Nikolic, audio ads are characterised by creatives where the audio soundtrack plays the starring role in delivering the brand's message.
The visual component is typically a still image or simple animation. During its months of testing, YouTube found that more than 75% of measured audio ad campaigns on its platform drove a significant lift in brand awareness. Citing American photography firm Shutterfly as an example, YouTube said the company used audio ads to influence purchase consideration among interested shoppers and this move saw a 14% lift in ad recall and a 2% lift in favourability among Shutterfly's target audience.
"When you’re preparing your audio ads campaign, keep in mind that audio should play the leading role. Think: If I close my eyes, I can still clearly understand what this ad is about," Nikolic said, adding:
Be clear and specific with their messages and pick a friendly, authentic voice to deliver it.
In addition to audio ads, YouTube is also launching dynamic music lineups, dedicate groups of music-focused channels across popular genres such as Latin music, K-pop, hip-hop and Top 100, as well as moods or interests such as fitness. This is to enable brands to easily reach music fans globally.
YouTube has been diversifying its ad options this year. In June, it rolled out a shoppable ad format that enables sellers to include browsable products beneath the ad, in order to drive traffic to the product pages. The move came after brands diversified into eCommerce amidst the pandemic and lockdowns.
To make use of this function, brands are required to sync their Google Merchant Centre feed to their video ads. Thereafter, they can visually expand their call-to-action button with the best-sellers they want to feature and drive traffic to product pages. Meanwhile it is also doubling down on initiatives in the eCommerce space by reportedly testing a feature that allows users to purchase products they see on videos. The feature's intention is likely to marry components of livestreaming and social commerce, where the videos on YouTube will now end up being catalogs for consumers, Bloomberg previously reported.
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