While most other social networks have been fast evolving over the last year, while others have been sprouting like mushrooms, there was one network that remained constant. YouTube seemed unbending to the tidal wave of tweaks and changes all platforms were witnessing, leading us to think that it was either limited in adaptability or perhaps dead.
Neither are true, as YouTube recently unveiled its new analytics feature. And we shouldn’t be surprised. Since the platform is owned by search engine giant Google, it should come as no surprise that its subsidiary should also host the analytics that its parent company demands of themselves.
YouTube’s new analytics feature is founded upon adwords for videos. Designed for small to mid sized businesses, Google has created a self serve option for advertisers to get on board. It works much like the way Google Adwords do, but for video.
To start with, you should know that there are four types of ads:
- In-stream – Ads play like a TV-style ad before, during or after another video from a YouTube partner
- In-search – Ad appears in a special promoted section of the video search results pages on YouTube and Google video results
- In-slate – Ads show before YouTube partner videos that are 10 minutes or longer
- In-display – Ads appear alongside other YouTube videos, or on websites on the Google Display Network that match your target audience
Advertisers can bid on categories and keywords for the 3 billion YouTube videos that get viewed daily. Another neat shift includes the price model, which now charges per “TrueView” rather than per impression – meaning that you’re only charged if the full 30 seconds of ad video are seen. If a user clicks “skip” within the first few seconds, it doesn’t count as a “TrueView.”
YouTube has also launched an analytics feature that lets you know the demographic background of those who watch your video. The feature will provide answers to questions like, “who’s watching this video? Where is the viewer coming from? How did they find my video?”
So whether you have just a dozen viewers or have massed a small fortune from your viewership, you can get the analytics you need to push your videos forward. The data results will let you know which days are best for launching new videos, which videos have been most successful (so you can craft new ones around this subject) or even that spin-off videos are relatively popular.
What YouTube’s New Direction Says about Marketing
The fact that YouTube has launched this new way for businesses to use analytics is key in several ways. One, it allows for self service – letting users determine their pick of keywords and categories. This creates greater marketing autonomy, which also will require marketing departments to be better versed in this area of marketing. If your marketing department wasn’t that honed into keywords, categories and search relevance, then now’s the time for a crash course.
Second, the shift is designed for small to medium sized business. Of course larger companies could already afford the ads, but why stop there? YouTube sees that future growth will come from the market players who will want to capitalize on this leveled playing field.
Marketing itself has also changed. It used to take tens of thousands of dollars to produce a video ad. Now it takes as little as the cost of a camera and some editing equipment. Anyone has the ability to create a video, putting the power of creativity into the hands of many – a trend that has topped the pyramid ever since the beginning of the social web.