Google makes it easier to buy YouTube reservation ads


Google is making it simpler to buy ads on YouTube by expanding its self-service purchasing system.
Depending on its availability in your local market, this feature has now been rolled out to:

  • YouTube Select Lineups: Reservation products that enable eligible clients to target the top 5% of popular channels on YouTube, focusing on the most passionate audiences in a given market.
  • YouTube Select Shorts Lineups: Reservation products that enable eligible clients to target the top 5% of popular YouTube Shorts (vertical videos that are 60 seconds or less in length).
  • YouTube TV Lineups: A TV streaming service that offers live TV channels from over 100 broadcast, cable, and regional sports networks.
  • Cost-Per-Impression Masthead: A video ad displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage, where advertisers are billed based on the number of times the ad is shown.
  • Standard Run of YouTube reservation (formerly known as Instant Reserve): With YouTube reservation you can get a quote and instantly reserve YouTube inventory without any negotiations. 
Google Reservation Ads 800x477Google Reservation Ads 800x477
Googl Reservation Ads 1 800x380Googl Reservation Ads 1 800x380

Why we care. The streamlined and enhanced self-service purchasing system on YouTube can save advertisers time and effort in creating and managing campaigns, and also open up new and more efficient opportunities to reach their target audience.

What are reservation products? Reservation ads are placements you buy in advance, where you pay based on the number of times your ad is shown (cost per impression). With reservation campaigns, you can secure impressions at a fixed rate. Reservation ads are recommended by Google for:

  • Promoting brand awareness.
  • Offering a new product or service.
  • Re-branding a product or service.

Reservation ad formats. There are five different ad formats you can choose from when buying reservation ads:

  • Non-skippable in-stream ad: This format is non-skippable and appears before, during, or after a video. Non-skippable video ads can last for a maximum of 15 or 30 seconds. In Display and Video 360 Instant Reserve, non-skippable video ads can have a maximum duration of 60 seconds.
  • Skippable in-stream ad: This ad shows up when someone begins a video (pre-roll) or during long-form content and can be skipped after 5 seconds. Skippable in-stream ads have no length limit, but shorter videos, usually under 3 minutes, tend to perform better.
  • Shorts ads: Ads on Shorts are skippable video or image ads that last from 6 to 60 seconds. They appear between Shorts in the YouTube Shorts feed. Reservation-based Shorts ads are accessible through YouTube Select Shorts.
  • Bumper ads: This is a non-skippable video ad with a duration of 6 seconds.
  • Masthead ad: This is a video ad that shows at the top of the YouTube homepage. Masthead ads are available on YouTube across desktop, mobile apps, and the YouTube app for TV.

What are the benefits of reservation ads? Reservation ads can offer major advantages to marketers, including:

  • More control: You can buy impressions at a fixed rate.
  • High visibility: You can guarantee placement of your ad at the top of the YouTube Home feed through the YouTube Masthead.
  • Premier inventory: You can access Youtube Select and target premier content on Youtube. Learn more about YouTube Select.
  • Brand awareness: You can reach a wide audience.

What Google is saying. A Google spokesperson said in a statement:

  • “Buying in Google Ads allows you to plan, buy, and measure across auction and reservation campaigns in one buying door.”
  • “Reservations in Google Ads also offers digital innovations, like advanced audiences, alongside more traditional buying constructs, like fixed CPMs.”
  • “We are committed to making more of our products available for direct self-service implementation.”

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Deep dive. Read Google’s announcement in full for more information.

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About the author

Nicola AgiusNicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.


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