It sounds like a no brainer but now Google has provided a direct relationship between search on Google and video delivery on YouTube for advertisers. At the recent Search Marketing Expo - SMX, Google announced a number of updates to YouTube which provide greater evidence of their focus on video at the heart of internet search as a way to connect brands, products and services to audiences (and that means customers).
Allowing advertisers to reach (and if done correctly, engage) people on YouTube who have recently searched on Google, the new innovation called "custom intent audiences" harnesses Google's vast amount of search information and is currently only available within the AdWords experience. By fusing the data collected in search with audience information and search terms on YouTube, custom intent audiences can be "an effective way to move undecided customers to action using the persuasive power of video." according to the Google annaouncement.
This presents a really interesting opportunity for brands to develop an integrated digital strategy using the power of video to build brand and/or product awareness, brand affinity and product features and benefits in an engaging way. Used in the right way it is clear that this can compliment and increase the performance of SEM and digital marketing campaigns. Particularly in hyper competitive categories such as travel, finance, auto, ecommerce and beyond, a well thought-out strategy to connect with audiences based on historical search behaviour across Google to deliver relevant and timely video content could significantly drive enhanced outcomes for not only awareness and brand building but also customer acquisition.
Google highlights a case study of online investment company Betterment who used custom intent audiences to reach YouTube viewers who recently searched for financial keywords on Google. The brand increased its return on ad spend 6X compared to previous YouTube campaigns, and saw a 245% increase in searches on Google.com, including their brand term: "Betterment". Of course Google would like everything to stay within their ecosystem but in reality the power of social media content to also assist with SEO, customer engagement and acquisition means that a multi-channel social video content strategy would also contribute significantly to overall results and maximise the ROI of video content. This also provides a way for savvy marketers to prove direct results of an integrated digital marketing strategy with video at the heart.
One issue this also highlights is the need for specialist video content experts with a deeper knowledge and understanding of not only the different platforms available but also how video and content creative needs to be optimised for these platforms and the different opportunities to maximise ROI within them. It also highlights the need for multi-disciplinary teams to work collaboratively, in this case the SEM specialists working alongside video & content strategy and creative as part of a wider digital content strategy. It will be interesting to see which brands take full advantage of this new feature as Google starts to roll it out globally.