By Flora Purbeck

Almost one third of Internet users worldwide use YouTube. This equates to billions of people watching billions of hours of video each day which, in a marketing context, represents a fantastic opportunity. In addition to the formats that Kaarina explores in Full Stream Ahead such as Google Preferred, skippable pre-roll and bumper formats, discovery ads are a great way to tap into the consumer potential of YouTube users.

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Why is the discovery ad format so special?

The best thing about this format is that it runs on a CPV (cost per view) basis. This means that, no matter how many impressions you serve or how many people see your brand on the page (free branding!), you only pay when a user shows clear intent by clicking on the ad to view it. By clicking on the ad, the user is then directed to the brand’s YouTube channel.

Where do discovery ads appear?

Discovery ads do what they say on the tin: they promote videos in places of discovery. Once the targeting has been laid out in DBM, the discovery ad thumbnail acts like a shop window in three different areas of YouTube:

  1. The video can appear in the Search Results page. There can be one to three discovery ads on the page where the results appear when a user actively searches for something with the YouTube search box. Chances are, the user will be searching for a video on a topic that they are interested in.
  2. Discovery ads also have the opportunity to appear in the Watch Page alongside another video (see image below). If the user didn’t click on the ad in the Search results page and chose another video instead, the Discovery ad could appear at the top of the side bar for potential viewing afterwards.
Clinique YouTube Discovery Ad

Clinique's ‘Moisture Surge’ campaign

  1. Finally, discovery ads can appear on the YouTube homepage (on days when the YouTube masthead is not sold).

This sounds too good to be true! Is there anything else I should know?

The only drawback is that it’s currently not possible to add third party pixels to discovery ads. While you will be able to see how many impressions you’ve served, you won’t be able to monitor clicks/CTR or views/view rate/drop-off rate in DBM.

In terms of drop-off rate, it is important to note that, although the discovery video asset will be uploaded directly to YouTube so technically has no length restrictions, YouTube is discouraging 30s non-skippable ads this year due to poor user experience which is worth bearing in mind for all video formats.

To learn more about these YouTube gems, get in touch!

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