Google announced at the end of May ’22 that Video action and App campaigns will automatically scale to show on YouTube Shorts, which means exciting news for digital creators and marketers. However, advertising in YouTube shorts is not as simple as promoting the video ads used for other channels.
YouTube Shorts can generate 30 billion daily views globally (four times more than last year), and Google sees the advertising initiative as a chance to compete with other similar platforms that offer monetising opportunities, like TikTok.
Understanding the opportunities of YouTube Shorts
One of the reasons for the exponential growth in the number of YouTube Shorts’ daily views is the investment that Google has been focusing in this area. Last year, Google announced a $100 million creator fund for Shorts, that promised to pay YouTube Shorts creators for their most viewed and most engaging content over the course of 2021 and 2022. This was launched with a goal of diverting creators from uploading their content to TikTok.
TikTok does not disclose information regarding its daily view numbers, however the platform reported back in October 2021 that they had reached 1 billion monthly active users. A quick calculation can estimate that this means at least one video view per active user within a month, will give TikTok an average 30 million daily views. However, this number will be significantly higher in reality, as generally the majority of users watch more than one TikTok video per month.
This comparison highlights the size of the opportunity that digital marketers and creators now have with advertising on YouTube Shorts inventory. But the question is: what type of content and formats can deliver a good performance within YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts ads content and formats
The main benefit of advertising on YouTube Shorts or other similar platforms is engaging with your audience through short-form videos, allowing marketers to provide snack-sized content that can get loads of viewers excited very quickly, thus supporting the possibility of the brand or product achieving viral status.
Also, in a recent article in the Official YouTube Blog, Google released more information about the audience behaviour in YouTube Shorts, and stated that:
“65 percent of Gen Z agree that content that’s personally relevant to them is more important than the content that lots of other people talk about”
That said, creating advertising content for YouTube Shorts should follow the principle that the ads need to be less about the product and be more personally relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. So, imagine that you want to promote a cleaning product on YouTube Shorts. A traditional video ad would be showing the product on a 15”-30” video, highlight the benefits of it and adding a call-to-action at the end.
However, an ideal YouTube Shorts video ad would be completely different, requiring more creativity content that plays into the audience emotional needs. This could be the likes of a tutorial video showing how to clean a tomato soup stain, rather than simply communicating the product features.
A further point to consider is, based on a research released by Statist in 2021, more than 60% of YouTube watch time is on mobile, and this wouldn’t differ for YouTube Shorts. If you’re considering running video ads in YouTube Shorts inventory, it’s essential to make sure that you’re uploading a portrait-oriented video ad to your campaign. This will ensure that your ad will display correctly and in full screen for the user watching the video.
Enabling video ads to be displayed in YouTube Shorts inventory
If the goal is to launch short-form video ads across multiple video inventories in YouTube (including YouTube Shorts), the campaign set-up follows exactly the same process as if you were creating a Video action campaign in Google Ads. The main thing is to check that your video ad is in-line with the best practices we mentioned above to ensure the ad will engage with the YouTube Shorts audience.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to run a video action campaign to display solely on YouTube Shorts inventory, this isn't currently possible. Google does not yet allow inventory opt-in/opt-out features in the set-up for video action campaigns.
One alternative is opting your campaign to run only on mobile devices, but the video ad is still likely to display in other YouTube placements, not just YouTube Shorts.
YouTube Shorts is growing at the same speed that digital creators and brands are looking for new (and trending) ways of engaging with their audiences in a more creative and emotional manner. At the same time that they are looking to increase the number of viewers, followers and subscribers.
Over the past few years, TikTok took the lead with showing digital creators and marketers that short-form creative videos presented a strong opportunity. They highlighted that the online audience was becoming saturated and tired of traditional in-stream/skippable long-form video ads. They indicated that users are now consuming a higher quantity of personally relatable short-form videos as a preference to random video content. We’ve recently discussed how TikTok changed the social media landscape and what your business may lose if it is not on the platform. Read our article to uncover their best practices and what you can do to take advantage of this.
Google is seizing this opportunity with its YouTube Shorts inventory, and being able to advertise within this space is a massive opportunity to scale video action and app campaign to maximise reach.
Finally, Google have also announced that product feeds on video action campaigns will roll out to YouTube Shorts later this year, which will make the shopping experience on YouTube Shorts even better and present even more new sales opportunities.
If you’re looking to run a short-form video ads campaign but are unsure or don’t have a lot of practice with video ads campaigns, get in touch with us and let our PPC experts advise you on how to achieve success within this channel.