Video Essentials

YouTube Will Make Third-Party Videos Shoppable in Coming Months

YouTube already allows advertisers to insert shopping links in their own videos (using its TrueView for Shopping feature), but soon marketers will be able to put shopping links in other people’s videos, as well.

Does your brand have ardent fans who create unboxing or haul videos? Is your product the subject of review or how-to videos? And have you ever watched one of those videos and thought how great it would be to put a shopping link right in the video?

YouTubeShoppingAdYouTube just announced that it has created shoppable ads for third-party videos, and they’ll be available in the coming months. With a shoppable ad, you can place a click-to-buy ad right on a fan’s video. These ads connect to your product feed in Merchant Center, as YouTube’s TrueView for Shopping ads do already.

Videos with shoppable ads display an “i” icon in the top right corner, so they use a format that’s already familiar thanks to YouTube’s Cards and TrueView for Shopping offerings. Viewers can tap that symbol to get more information. When they do, a panel pops out from the right side of the frame showing the ad and providing a shopping link.

While YouTube hasn’t released the details yet, video creators no doubt have to opt into the system and earn a cut of the ad revenue. Rather than buying space on individual videos, advertisers will take part in an auction that selects videos based on multiple contextual signals.

For marketers, this is the ultimate YouTube video ad buy: It’s space directly within the video frame, and the only viewers who see the ad are the ones motivated to click the info icon to get more information. Stay tuned for more details on when they’ll become available.


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