Keep Your Eye on This: Google’s Promoted Videos for Search

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Monday, February 6th, 2012
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About a month ago we started noticing that some advertisers were able to display video icons in their Google Adwords on Google’s standard Search Results Page. These icons jumped out at us not only because we had never seen them before, but also because of their size. Speculating that the click-through rates on those ads would be higher than traditional Google Adwords, our first reaction was naturally, “how can we do that?”

We were able to find information about how to create a YouTube Brand Channel, and thought this was the golden key to unlocking that door. The company we noticed running the ads had a brand channel which was the destination URL for that page. We went through the process of setting up a brand channel and then setup some specific Adwords that used our brand channel as a landing page. After running the ads, we still didn’t see the clever icons in the ads.

Finally, a call into our Google Adwords rep yielded some answers. The video icons in the Adwords are the result of a beta program he called “Promoted Videos for Search.” The program is so new that you can’t set it up yourself in your Adwords Management Interface. However, your Google Adwords rep can. From our experience and in talking with our rep, those ads are only displayed on a very small segment of search results at this time. However, it makes a lot of sense that that Google would leverage its purchase of YouTube and somewhat marry the two technologies.

So, while Promoted Videos for Search isn’t going significantly ramp up your traffic at this time, it is an important development in the online marketing world and something that all online marketers should start considering. Should Google like the program and start running it on a higher percentage of ads, you will want to be ready before your competition. Consider it like paying a targeted prospect to watch a commercial for your company or product, but without having to pay the big fees to the major TV networks!

After receiving a degree in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alex began his career as a technology consultant with Accenture. In 1999 he left Accenture and founded Nexternal – a cloud-based eCommerce Platform company. Alex is passionate about eCommerce and online marketing. He is now a Senior Vice President of HighJump, managing the Nexternal business unit.

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