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Google Shopping Meets YouTube Videos

Google’s longtime ecommerce aspirations evolved again with a recent feature upgrade to the TrueView ads seen on its YouTube-hosted videos. The company announced TrueView for Shopping, a technology allowing for video viewers to click on through from an ad to a buying opportunity.

The play to extend shopping opportunities to YouTube’s many visitors also expands upon Google’s attempt to grasp more of the rapidly growing audience who prefer smartphones to desktops. Google said in their announcement “50 percent of views on YouTube come from mobile devices.”

“Thanks to the first-ever integration of the Google Merchant Center into video ads, advertisers need only connect their campaign with a Merchant Center feed to dynamically add products to their in-stream videos, customized for each user through contextual and audience signals like geography and demographic info,” their Inside AdWords blog said.

The existing TrueView technology operated on a cost per views approach. TrueView in-stream ads charge the advertiser when someone watches to the end of a video, or at least 30 seconds of a longer one. Longer videos could take the format of a how-to or a product demonstration.

TrueView also has its in-display format, where the advertiser is charged when someone clicks on that display ad to see the video. The extension of TrueView to enable shopping from those ads could represent an additional opportunity to gain a conversion from those clicks, making that cost per view a more valuable expenditure for a marketer.

As with Google’s other advertising, video enables what could be the best method of targeting desired ad audiences, particularly the younger demographics marketers crave. Speaking by personal experience of having a teenager in the household, one who knows multiple YouTubers by name while watching very little broadcast or cable television, TrueView’s new shop-through tech looks like a smart play.


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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.