ROI on YouTube: Tapping into Personal Entertainment

04/20/2016 04:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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By Peter Cory, Country Sales Director, Branding Sector, Google UK

Consumers are adapting to a multi-device and multi-channel world, which has created a huge challenge for marketers. As more consumers become digitally enabled and connected, marketers face the challenge of how to optimise budgets across different channels, to take account of the role digital can play in driving long term sales. In my session at Advertising Week Europe I will be talking about the future of entertainment, how we can best capitalise on online video and how it should be playing a bigger role in the media mix.

The Future of Entertainment

In today’s online world, consumers are used to receiving what they want, when they want it, and how they want it and there is no better platform to illustrate this than video. According to a study by Comscore, YouTube reaches an impressive 100% of 16-34 year olds and 98% of 34-44 year olds.  

As consumers, we are driven to engage by personal relevance, not production cost, or length of a show, and this is where YouTube dominates. Personal is the new premium and channel menus are being replaced by personalised recommendations. Prime time is really all the time.

This has driven the most common behaviour of ‘binge watching’ videos.This comes as no surprise as YouTube caters for user hobbies, with 14% of people logging on to check out interests like the latest un-boxing video or car drifting video. Possibly somewhat surprising is the popularity of DIY Videos, where 15% of people log on to learn something new every week. These figures would partly explain the huge shift to viewing mobile video, as it’s a little hard to construct your daughter's doll's house while holding a laptop. We are now seeing a massive 50% of video views coming from mobile, with 11% of these during users commutes and 18% at work.

YouTube Just...Works

A huge opportunity exists for marketers to drive offline sales more efficiently by optimising their media mix. To help marketer make informed decisions about their media spent, the need for accurate measurement and effectiveness is hugely important. New data is now available that shows how online video contributes to offline sales and proves that it should play a bigger part in the media mix.

A meta-analysis of 56 case studies across eight countries shows that advertising on YouTube delivered a higher Return On Investment than TV in 77% of cases. The research was carried out with a range of partners including BrandScience, Data2Decisions, GfK, Kantar Worldpanel, MarketingScan and MarketShare and used a variety of robust methodologies to understand the correlation between media exposure and offline sales.

As part of the meta study, a forecast was created for 17 of the campaigns to demonstrate how shifting a portion of media spend into online video would improve the efficiency of the media mix. In more than 80% of these cases, the ‘recommend to spend’ on YouTube was more than double that of historic levels to optimise the media mix.

Focused on Viewability

We’ve seen this week that ad viewability in the UK has risen up to 54%. But more can be done. At YouTube, we are confident we have the best in class viewability of any online video platform - 94% for video based ads. What is our definition of viewability? Our ActiveView technology only counts views which are seen, not ones quickly scrolled passed or below the fold, which means a view on YouTube is a ‘real view’.

Beyond viewability, we are sharing data. We are making it easier for advertisers to integrate rich YouTube data into their own media models to assess for themselves. In a fast-changing market the opportunity for media planners to gain an advantage is huge, and we want to continue partnering with brands to help them in their goals.

As well as providing the world’s most advanced advertising platform, we realise the need to provide accessible data, and analytics to aid marketers in making key decisions. It’s time for brands to take the leap to digital video. If we embrace it, we can be world beaters.