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Company Updates
February 1, 2022
min read
Noam Yadin

Programmatic advertising: Nail your YouTube advertising

You are just about to shut your eyes, and you decide to add a little bit of calming, sleep-inducing music (from YouTube) to really get your body in the mood for a good night's sleep. Deep Sleep Music 24/7 was selected and just as you get comfortable, take deep breaths, and prepare for the calming sensation… a loud and stressful productivity app advertisement starts playing! Now not only do you have to wait for the ‘skip ads’ to appear (possibly even twice), but your body is far from relaxed and calm (deep sleep, what’s that?). 

Annoyance with ads on streaming services has peaked - studies show that 64% of respondents stated that targeted ads are invasive while 52% called them 'creepy'. But, as time spent on video and audio platforms continues to increase, so is the interest for brands and advertisers to promote products/services on these mediums. It's imperative that marketers and advertisers acknowledge and address consumers' concerns by providing effective, non-intrusive programmatic advertisements that are contextually relevant.

Currently, marketers and advertisers are depending on privacy-violating tracking to gain information about potential consumers and using these pieces of data to decide when and where to place specific ads on YouTube videos. However, when third-party data and ads combine forces and appear on a video (usually on unrelated content), quite the paradox arises - either there is a "mismatch between an ad and the content it plays on creating a jarring experience for consumers or if the ad is relevant to the viewer, it's creepy because they feel watched". According to reports, 51% of Americans said they’re annoyed by irrelevant ads. As David Tintner, ThoughtLeaders CEO puts it, "this highlights the need to ensure that ads reach the correct people, but more importantly, are shown in the correct context, all while not infringing on privacy with invasive tracking" (especially since third-party cookies have one foot out the door). 

But what is the alternative?

Contextual targeting

Contextual advertising is a way for companies to advertise online by taking advantage of relevant content on a given site. So, with contextual advertising, advertisers can get their brands/products/services in front of people who are likely to be interested in what they have to say - it's not about following people around from site to site anymore; rather it's about synching closely with what they see on a particular web page to maximize results

So, if a viewer willingly chooses to watch a YouTube video about how to effectively plan out your day, they may see a productivity app advertisement during the YouTube ad roll. 

We have always focused on contextual advertising - helping brands connect with creators who have contextually relevant content and reach the ideal consumers. But, we have decided to take it one step further - apply contextual targeting to YouTube's ad roll advertising campaigns.  In other words, we are completely revolutionizing how people receive and relate to ads on YouTube - fundamentally changing the online experience for everyone. 

ThoughtLeaders’ new AI tool

Our new targeting tool provides marketers with an easy and scalable way to apply contextual targeting to their YouTube ad campaigns. The tool allows ad buyers to enter topics or phrases and uses advanced natural language processing to analyze the content of videos and identify those that are most relevant. The list of relevant videos is exported to YouTube and applied when targeting an ad campaign, limiting the ad to only play on those specific videos with matching content. Our CEO shared a great example - "a fast-food chain that is promoting a new plant-based burger can advertise on videos that mention ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’ in the content. This gives brands precise control over where their ads appear, so they can avoid content that is irrelevant or even harmful to their messaging”.

Why did we build this tool? 

To help you stop wasting money

That’s exactly what’s happening when your YouTube ads play on irrelevant videos. However great your product might be, customers aren’t going to pay attention if their focus is elsewhere (and their annoyance is sky-rocketing). 

We have some experience with this: we ran some YouTube ads last year, with all the right demographic filters in place. Still, the number one channel where customers saw our ads was… Sesame Street. It’s no surprise that no one wants to hear about a killer marketing solution when they are singing along with Elmo, so however good our ads were, they didn’t deliver results. 

By placing ads on relevant videos at the right time, you can increase the chances that your target audience is engaged and even interested in learning more about your product/service. So not only can you stop just throwing your advertisements (and money) around YouTube and hoping for the best, but you can feel more confident that the ads you did place on videos are as effective as can be.      

It’s a completely cookie-less solution

Third-party cookies are coming to an end, so this is an ideal solution for marketers that want to reach their KPIs effectively without depending on privacy-violating data collectors. On top of that, this solution helps you target the right people more accurately because you are focusing on content viewers have clearly demonstrated their interest in. 

Viewers are showing their interest via the videos they willingly choose and the creators they willingly subscribe to. That means, gone are the days of following potential consumers around the web hoping to catch on to their interests. 

Adapt to consumers' ever changing behavior

Let's be honest, past behavior is not always relevant to present preferences. Our Target tool allows marketers to adjust ads to the context, rather than a specific person. Continuing with the example above, if a viewer is no longer interested in watching content about 'vegetarian' or 'vegan', they won't see advertisements by fast-food chains promoting new plant-based products. Especially when they are watching a video completely unrelated to food preferences. 

“This is a huge breakthrough that we believe will not only change advertising but has the potential to reshape the fundamental relationship between brands and consumers. We hope that this tool will play an important part in a shift away from intrusive ads, towards ads that meet the consumer where they are, providing valuable information that is relevant to that moment. Consumers care about their privacy, and brands that respect that will be rewarded by their customers and build goodwill. Providing brands with a better way to reach their customers means they no longer need to resort to invasive tracking, paving the way towards a more private internet for everyone.”

How it works

1. Set your filters: Use our content feed to select keywords, brands, creators and more. Then choose the exact videos you want to include in your campaign from your list.

ThoughtLeaders platform search

3. Export list: Download the list of videos from our platform as a CSV file

Exported ThoughtLeaders list

4. Choose your audience: Set your demographic targeting parameters in Google Ads (as you would normally)

Demographic targeting Google ads

Deemographic targeting Google Ads

5. Import video IDs: Import your list to make sure your campaign runs only on relevant videos

Google Ads import

We are super excited for the release of this new feature and we know it’ll be very beneficial for our clients looking to step up their YouTube advertising. If you’d like to get more information about YouTube ad roll, contextual advertising, and our newly released tool that can help you nail YouTube advertising (and reach your campaign goals), don’t hesitate to reach out.

Want to discuss what ThoughtLeaders can do for your brand?

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