Ever wondered how to fix a radiator, how to paint your bedroom wall or check out how a product really works before buying one? Chances are, you’ve gone to YouTube to find out – and you’re not alone. According to UK research, a greater proportion of YouTube videos satisfy the need to learn something new than in TV or VoD. Of course attention also comes with greater intention, with 83% of people claiming to fully / mostly pay attention on YouTube.
Historically, video advertising hasn’t made it easy for users to take action – they could only watch, after all – and many brands have turned to search as a way to re-engage their customers. Today, however, global brands are finding ways to move people and inspire real, measurable action through video.
The usage of video by direct response advertisers is on the rise, and on YouTube alone we’ve seen conversions increase by 100 percent. This has been driven by the development of formats like TrueView for action that lets users take action directly from their videos, as well as advances in the ability to use Google tools and data to find the most relevant audiences. So how are these brands turning attention into action?
Go beyond demographics to engage an audience with intent
Increasingly we’re seeing advertisers look beyond demographic targeting to reach their desired audience. Brands are now using Google data and tools to reach users on YouTube who previously searched for them on Google. In an environment where 95% of videos are viewable (compared to a 66% industry average), and 95% of them watched with sound , this means rich opportunities to inspire action among your most valuable group of customers.
For example, when launching the new Yaris Hybrid, Toyota in Italy were able to re-engage users who had searched on Google for a Yaris in the last seven days by using Google custom intent audience. This resulted in the car company driving almost 6,000 store visits in just one month, more than doubling all other TrueView In-Stream campaigns previously executed by the auto giant with traditional demographic targeting.
This is what the client says. “For us synergies between Google Search and YouTube are crucial to reach an increasingly demanding audience in the very moment they are considering to buy a Toyota car. Being able to measure this just confirms we are doing it right.” – Paolo Dolcini, Marketing Communication Sr Manager.
Make creative that maximizes the YouTube platform
Brands are now creating videos that blur the line between advertising and entertainment, tailoring their creative to drive value in a way that is unique to the YouTube platform.
Yoox Net-A-Porter, one of the world’s largest luxury stores, knew its customers valued exclusivity, and were impulse buyers. Yoox created made-for-YouTube ads, each one showing a one-of-a-kind product. An animated countdown created urgency – users had 25 seconds to purchase the product, or it was gone forever. The ads immediately grabbed the attention of their audience and created urgency to act. The campaign saw an average view-through rate of 37%, 23% higher than the e-commerce industry average. See the video here.
Make it easy for users to take action
In partnership with leading direct response advertisers, we’ve created new formats to make it even easier for users to take action directly from a video: TrueView for Shopping to drive purchases and TrueView for Action to drive other conversions (lead generation, signups, or learning more). For example, by showing a call-to-action button directly below their video, Masterclass, an online education platform, saw a 143% increase in signups while decreasing CPA by 24%.
Reid Benson, Senior Marketing Director at MasterClass, says TrueView for Action is a major step in the right direction. “Our 2x improvement in CTR opened the door for more performance-driven marketing on YouTube.”
As video becomes more deeply embedded in our overall online experience, barriers to action in video ads are being eroded and replaced by easy paths to conversion. With audience attention on YouTube at an all time high, marketers are realising the important role performance video plays in converting audience attention into action for their brand.
 Source:Google/GfK, YouTube Audience Insights studies, 2017, 23/20 countries, UK n total survey 1=2,000 (online population 16-65 years), survey 2=1,500 (YouTube past-3-day users 16-65 years)
 Source: YouTube Data, Global, Mar ’16 to Feb ’17 vs. Mar ’17 to Feb ’18.
 Source: Google and DoubleClick advertising platforms data, May 2017