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Google Ads 2020 Product & Feature Announcements: Relevance at Scale on YouTube

Today during their latest in a series of product announcements, Google released a handful of updates that will help marketers navigate the vast landscape that is YouTube. As a marketer, planning an awareness campaign on YouTube can be daunting due to its massive audience, the amount of content available and the amount of content being consumed by users each day, which has only increased since COVID-19. Google’s new YouTube updates will allow for marketers to make their awareness campaigns more impactful against their target audience and across all devices. 


Google’s first update highlighted market and device expansions for several products to help marketers plan for efficient reach for awareness campaigns as consumption on TV screens continues to grow. Nielsen Total Audience Ratings (TAR), which allows for better understanding and comparability of YouTube consumption between traditional TV, will be expanding into the UK and Italy. Third-party TV data will now also be available in Reach Planner across more markets which will allow marketers to better plan for incremental reach on YouTube. In addition to market expansion, Google announced expanded coverage for reach planning in Display & Video 360 allowing marketers to see reach across YouTube, open auction but also - for the first time - programmatic deals. Updates to these tools will enable media planners to understand how far each additional dollar invested can go across all devices. Having these insights could lead to increased investment in channels that are forecasted to drive the most reach. 


Google also announced a new way to achieve relevance with your target audience while still leveraging YouTube’s massive reach. YouTube dynamic lineups is an Awareness targeting tactic now available within Google Ads and Display & Video 360. These lineups are created using advanced contextual algorithms, to identify signals that are collected and aggregated into patterns of how users are engaging with different channels and videos on YouTube. These patterns are then classified into categories that are scalable and the content within the line ups are dynamically updated to continuously improve relevancy. YouTube dynamic lineups will help brands and marketers expand reach and maintain relevance with their target audience by identifying new content categories to target that would have previously been ignored. 


As a final update, Google shared new results from a recent mixed media modeling analysis. The results showed that YouTube campaigns were able to drive a greater ROI than TV in a majority of the Nielsen MMMs included in the study. 


The updates shared today by Google will help equip marketers and brands with tools that will allow them to effectively plan, target and measure YouTube Awareness campaigns; whether that be a standalone video strategy or one that is holistic across TV, YouTube, and other online video. Video consumption is on the rise as people spend more time at home due to COVID-19, digital marketers need the tools to better understand where they should be investing their dollars. By making it easier for agencies to show the incremental lift and efficient cost of YouTube across all screens, digital agencies are primed to increase their share of brand's awareness budget that may have previously been reserved for traditional TV.