YouTube embraces shoppable ads

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YouTube shoppable ads offer brands a new way to influence online shoppers – we show how brands can leverage this powerful channel to drive conversions. 

YouTube is embracing shoppable ads by adding a new feature that allows brands to include product listings beneath their video ads.

The introduction of this new offering comes as brands look for effective new ways to attract customers online amid the rising popularity of eCommerce and social commerce.

YouTube is looking to capitalise on the rising popularity of social commerce and online video with the introduction of its new shoppable ads – Image source: Social Media Today

Google and YouTube keeping up with the pack

TikTok and Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp are making considerable strides with their respective social commerce strategies

And the trend for selling products via livestreaming that originated in China is seriously catching on in the Western world[1].

So, it’s hardly surprising – at a time when more people than ever are searching for and buying products online (for context, online sales grew by an astonishing 76 percent in June 2020) – that Google-owned YouTube is ramping up its efforts to help brands market and sell products via its hugely popular platform[2].

How will YouTube’s shoppable ads work?

Although transactions won’t be completed on YouTube, these new shoppable ads will include product prices and enable viewers to click on a ‘shop now’ button to visit the brand’s website and complete their purchase.

YouTube shoppable ads will match user interest and shopping preferences based on product details and information submitted by brands via Merchant Center.

For example, if a user searches for ‘toothpaste’, a Youtube shopping ad will show a row of suggested products at the top of the page above video results.

But the user doesn’t have to search for a brand like ‘Colgate’ to be presented with an ad for the brand’s toothpaste – Colgate’s products will appear (provided the brand has invested in YouTube shoppable ads) because the user has shown an interest in watching oral care or dental hygiene content.

By investing in YouTube Shoppable ads, brands can ensure that their products will appear to users based on their interests – Image source: YouTube

The benefits of advertising through YouTube

YouTube has 2 billion active global users – Facebook is the only social platform with more[3]

YouTube is particularly well-placed to serve brands in their efforts to drive online sales because 70 percent of people say that they’ve bought a product after seeing it on a YouTube video[4].

Nearly 80 percent of marketers consider YouTube to be the most effective video marketing platform and more than half of all brands are running ads through the platform because YouTube videos receive more attention (62 percent) from viewers than television ads (45 percent)[5].

In all likelihood, brand spend on YouTube will increase in the coming years, with the platform expected to achieve $6 billion USD in advertising revenue in 2022[6].

Brands must meet their customers in the places they like to hang out – and YouTube is therefore definitely one of the best place to be seen – Image source: Impact

In conclusion – why should brands be jumping on this opportunity?

Brands need to be where their customers are.

And, given that YouTube is the world’s second most popular social platform and its content heavily influences consumer decisions, YouTube really is the place for brands to be seen.

As ever, throwing money at YouTube shoppable ads won’t be an effective strategy.

Your YouTube spend should be married to your broader integrated eCommerce, brand and content strategy. 

To leverage the YouTube shoppable ads eCommerce opportunity, your brand will need to use data-led approaches to understand target audience behaviours

And you will need to optimise Merchant Center Product eContent – like exact product titles, product descriptions and high quality images – that match these interests and drive shoppers to your transactional pages.

As eCommerce and Product eContent specialists at the leading-edge of the latest retail trends, we’re in a perfect position to help brands develop strategies that maximise growth – please contact us to find out how we can therefore help your brand make the most of the YouTube shoppable ads opportunity. 

This article was written and created by the eBusiness Institute team.

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