YouTube will experiment with audio ads during background playback

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YouTube announced plans to introduce audio ads, which will be designed to connect brands with audiences who regularly listen to music and podcasts. Currently in beta, YouTube is aiming the new advertising at companies who are looking to “efficiently expand reach and grow brand awareness.”

According to Melissa Hsieh Nikolic, Group Product Manager at YouTube Ads, more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness. Nikolic said one client, Shutterfly, saw a 14 percent lift in ad recall and 2 percent lift in favorability after running audio ads.

The latest feature is targeted at those you primarily use YouTube as their service of choice for listening to music and podcast. Think of the ad experience as being similar to what you’d encounter with a free-tier membership on Spotify. Ads will be around 15 seconds long, and although they’re primarily focused on audio, they’ll still include a visual component, such as a static image or short animation.

Nikolic provided some guidance on creating compelling content:

When you’re preparing your audio ads campaign, keep in mind that audio should play the leading role. Think: If I close my eyes, I can still clearly understand what this ad is about. Be clear and specific with your message and pick a friendly, authentic voice to deliver it.

To cater to those who regularly visit YouTube to listen to music, the platform revealed it’s launching dynamic music lineups, which are dedicated groups of music-focused channels across popular genres. While this sounds great for users, they’re tailor-made for audios ads. YouTube said brands will easily be able to target these lineups and “drive results for your business.”

Nikolic said that when brands use both video and audio ads together, they can reach more people than ever before. Brands will have the opportunity to bid on audio ads on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a CPM basis with the same targeting options.

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