Faster than you can say silent vlogs and Vtubers, video culture is evolving in exciting new ways. In particular, our relationship with video is being redefined by two major shifts, both of which are spurred by technological advances and the changing nature of fandom.
First, today’s viewers consume content anywhere, anytime, in any format, and on every screen. Just look at YouTube, where people go to interact with their favorite creators, enjoy content with depth and variety, and explore their personal interests and passions. On the platform, the streaming boom has met the Shorts boom. Specifically, YouTube has 150 million connected TV (CTV) viewers in the U.S.1 and earns 50 billion views on Shorts daily.2
Second, video content creation has become mobile, participation-based, and format agnostic. While fans used to engage with videos by liking or subscribing, they can now easily create content with their mobile phones and upload their own spin on popular video trends. This also means the creator universe is growing daily.
These shifts present marketers with new opportunities to tell fresh stories and connect with audiences in innovative ways, but you’ll need the right tools and strategy. Fortunately, the AI revolution is in full swing, allowing you to pair your thinking and creativity with the depth, breadth, and magic of Google AI-powered ad solutions on YouTube. Here, I’ll detail three ways you can tap into Google AI to multiply your video marketing.
Connect across moments, screens, and formats
People’s viewing habits may be complex, but reaching them on YouTube doesn’t have to be. Google AI already fuels much of what people love on the platform — from surfacing content they’ll like on their home feed to supporting accessibility features. And it powers the ad solutions that help you run your business.
To take advantage of these solutions, start with creative assets that tell a story unique to your brand. Then think about your marketing objective: Is your goal awareness, consideration, action, or all three? Google AI-powered video campaigns can deploy your ads across a custom mix of YouTube formats and screens by determining your unique mix based on your inputs and your business objectives. It does this by analyzing a variety of signals, such as the number of ads viewers have seen, how viewers typically engage with ads, and the time of day.
If your objective is awareness, go with Video reach campaigns, which use Google AI to help you find as many people as possible in your ideal audience for the lowest price possible. These require less time and guesswork for you, and bring better results for your brand. Research shows that AI-powered Video reach campaign mixes earned an average return on ad spend 271% or 3.7X higher than manually optimized campaigns.
Find customers when and where they’re most engaged
Once people discover your brand, they’ll spend time researching it. Google AI can help drive results during consideration, a phase that’s more important and much less predictable than ever. Because people are learning about your brand and taking action at varying speeds and in various ways, the decision to buy can happen at any time. Recent Kantar research shows that 40% of consumers are in the consideration phase.3 They’re also taking time to make purchases, with 77% of those who made a decision needing up to six months to decide.4
What does this mean for marketers? While search continues to be foundational for your performance strategy, it’s essential to reach people in novel ways to encourage them to buy. That’s where video comes in. According to a survey conducted by Talk Shoppe, viewers say that YouTube is the No. 1 platform they use to research a product or brand, or make a decision about a purchase.5 That means you’ll want to pay attention to new ways you can find your audience, and build brand love or drive action on the platform. Video View campaigns and Demand Gen are the latest AI-powered ad formats that can help you unlock your next stage of performance and growth.
Video View campaigns use Google AI to serve skippable ads across in-stream, in-feed, and Shorts, and help you earn the maximum number of views at the lowest possible cost. In early testing, Video View campaigns are driving 40% more views, on average, compared to TrueView in-stream alone.6
Demand Gen campaigns are designed for the needs of today’s social marketer, using Google AI to help find and convert customers with immersive, relevant creative that grabs attention and drives action when and where it matters. With these campaigns, your best-performing video and image assets are integrated across Google’s and YouTube’s visual touchpoints, such as YouTube, Shorts, Discover, and Gmail.
Early Demand Gen testers are already seeing strong performance. For example, in April 2023, Naranja X, an Argentine fintech company, successfully drove 3X higher click-through rates at a 61% lower cost per action when compared to its paid social channels.
Boost your creative performance
It’s been inspiring to see the many ways creators and fans are embracing new video formats and trends. The rule book for video creativity is being rewritten as the pace of culture and trends moves faster. And for brands, the role of video creativity is more important than ever.
Creative is still the top driver of ROI, and marketers’ great ideas are still the heart of great campaigns. AI helps by making your creative work harder so you can focus on your ideas and stories. For example, you can leverage Google AI-powered tools, like Trim video and Universal Translator with voice-over, to optimize your existing creative assets.
The AI revolution is changing the video landscape and giving marketers the power to stay on top of these seismic shifts.
You can also find inspiration in the ABCDs of effective creative on YouTube — best practices culled from an AI-powered analysis of thousands of ads. Once you have that big idea, these principles can help you bring your best ideas to life on YouTube in the most powerful way, driving better performance. By following the ABCDs, you’ll avoid leaving performance gains on the table.
I can’t wait to see how creators and viewers continue to shape video culture, from what we watch to how we engage. At the same time, the AI revolution is changing the video landscape and giving marketers the power to stay on top of these seismic shifts. Google AI can help you spread your creative ideas further than before, make deeper connections with your audience, and drive better results — so you can get out of the weeds of digital execution and back to marketing.