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YouTube Entices Small Business With Keyword Search, Credit, Ambassadors

Some 50% of Rokenbok Toy Company customers found the company on YouTube—pretty impressive, especially considering that the company is now thriving when specialty toy makers like it are rapidly dropping off. By layering Google AdWords capability to YouTube video, YouTube is claiming it helps small businesses get noticed (globally, if they wish) and survive.
As YouTube Group Product Manager Baljeet Singh described this morning on the company’s blog, “With a global audience of 800 million monthly visitors to YouTube, every day can feel like you’re advertising in the Super Bowl, and one video can launch a business. To help even more businesses play big with video, today we’re introducing a number of new products, resources, and tools.”

The New York Times describes the impact nicely: “For start-ups and other small businesses, having a potential audience the size of the Super Bowl’s without paying Super Bowl ad prices is an attractive proposition.” To entice businesses of all sizes to AdWords for video, YouTUbe is offering $50 million in free advertising to 500,000 companies, and a $75 credit to companies new to YouTube AdWords.

Similar to pay-per-click search advertising, a business using Google AdWords for video pays only when someone watches the ads. So, “You can create and manage video campaigns from the same platform as your search and display ads. You can create an account and start promoting your first video in less than 5 minutes.”

YouTube is pushing the ad service hard, with its YouTube Ambassador program. The idea is to “recognize business owners that are already using YouTube to grow their business,” and demonstrate the value of the technology to small business. The company has named nine businesses, including:

  •, a one-woman Austin, Texas-based shop that has gone global. Owner Staci Perry discovered a global classroom on YouTube, and now she offers knitting instruction classes and patterns online as a full-time business.
  • Zagg, of Salt Lake City, Utah, which produces clear protective shields for electronics. Its  iPhone 4 Scratch Test alone has more than two million views.

With AdWords for video, a company can promote a video by keyword to appear in YouTube search results, or choose to show ad against content its customers are most interested in, like sports or music. A company can also connect with its audience on YouTube and the Google Display Network of millions of websites. AdWords for video links to a YouTube account, so a company can begin advertising immediately with existing videos.

It can also measure the effectiveness of an ad spend: On average, the company reports that YouTube video ads drive a 20% increase in traffic to a company’s website and a 5% increase in searches for its business (Google Campaign Insights, 2011). With AdWords for video, the advertiser can find out how viewers are engaging with its brand during and after the video ad (e.g., knowing how many viewers watched an entire video, visited the company website, website, stayed on the YouTube channel to watch another video).

Finally, the small business can pay only for engaged views. With TrueView video ads, an advertiser is not charged when viewers skip the ad. “This means your ad budget is focused on viewers interested in your video,” wrote Singh. By displaying a call-to-action overlay on a video, the advertiser can talk about a sale or specific offer to its viewers, share more information about the business, or drive traffic to its website.


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