According to 2019’s State of PPC, 46% of marketers said they would spend more on YouTube ads within the next year. In 2018, that number was 38%. From that, we can assume that advertisers find YouTube to be either:

  1. More measurable in terms of their KPI’s
  2. More accessible in terms of ad creative
  3. Neither more measurable or accessible, but they just “have to be there” because it’s the second-largest search platform, after Google.

I think there are some advertisers in each of those segments, but I would argue that in 2019, YouTube made the most strides on the creative front.

It has been a YEAR for the YouTube team. YouTube is breaking down barriers to entry for the common advertiser. (I don’t mean common in a negative way. I’m simply referring to those of us that don’t have massive creative teams and huge budgets at our disposal. Think…non-Fortune 500 companies. Or, every small and medium-sized business in America.)

Historically, we have felt limited by our creative assets or lack thereof. We either had videos that were too long and not enough manpower on the creative team to continually edit a revolving door of video ads or we didn’t have access to video ads at all.

Now, granted, some advertisers had videos and creative teams but ultimately weren’t sure how to measure the effectiveness of YouTube on their KPI’s. I won’t focus on performance or measurement too much here, as that could be the topic of another 10 blog posts.

As I said, this year has been the year of YouTube innovations and updates. I’m here to share the 3 that I believe are changing the game, on the creative asset front. These updates make it easier for brands with average marketing budgets to get their ads on YouTube and get quality brand reach.

NOTE: I’m not listing TrueView for Action ads because

  1. They were released in 2018 and my list is specific to 2019. However, they came out of beta in 2019, so admittedly they are still pretty new.
  2. For brands with CPA’s above $10-$15, the minimum recommended test budget begins to exceed $5,000/month. In my experience, that’s more than most small-to-medium-sized businesses are comfortable investing in a month-long test. In my opinion, this ad type is exciting but still lacking accessibility due to these budget minimums.

1. Bumper Machine

Bumper Machine allows advertisers to quickly edit their longer videos into variations of six-second videos. Machine learning powers the bumper machine, which makes it so quick! That being said,  definitely review your bumper ads and edit them before saving because machine learning is not perfect.  

Airbnb Bumper Ad

2. Discovery Ads

Discovery ads allow advertisers with NO video assets to begin advertising on YouTube, without launching smart shopping, smart display, or responsive display ads. Lack of video assets has been one of the largest barriers to entry for small and medium-sized businesses since YouTube ads began, so this update is impactful. However,  it’s still in beta. 

Fabletics Discovery Ad

3. 15-Second Non-Skippable Video Ads

In January, YouTube expanded access to advertisers running auction campaigns. Before, only advertisers buying via YouTube reservation could access 15-second non-skippable ads. This update broadens the ad type mix for the common advertiser.

Hero Conf 15-second non-skippable video ad

There are surely more updates to come in 2020. My personal opinion is that TrueView for Action has lots of potential, but it’s not an easy point-of-entry for advertisers who want to test YouTube with lower budgets. I imagine the YouTube team will continue to advance that ad type to the point where it doesn’t need as high of a budget to drive results for businesses. On top of that, I think we can expect Discovery Ads to come out of beta in 2020.

Aside from those simple predictions, it’s hard to know what’s next! But I can’t see Google allowing the momentum to die…

Want to dive deeper into YouTube? Here are some additional resources that may help:

How To Start A TrueView YouTube Ad Campaign – a free 10-minute course via Hero Academy. You just need to create a free Hero Academy account to get started.

Boosting YouTube ROI with Key Metrics and Creative Strategy – On-Demand Webinar featuring experts from Variable Media, Shakr, and Hanapin.

Video is Not Hard: Fearlessly Feed Your Funnel with YouTube Ads– On-Demand Webinar featuring experts from Google, Variable Media, and Hanapin.