YouTube Introduce Interactive Cards

When YouTube Skippable video ads were introduced to the platform, it provided a customer friendly solution to video advertising. Whilst people’s viewing could have been interrupted, the choice to skip the ad content made them a little less intrusive. The fact that advertisers only pay when 30sec or more of a video has been watched also made it a cost effective platform for brands to reach their audience on YouTube.

A few years have passed now with not a whole lot changing to the core elements of the Skippable ad format (apart from the name - now affectionately referred to as TrueView). YouTube have now expanded this format’s proposition by including Interactive Cards.

What Are They?

YouTube TrueView Interactive Cards allow marketers to provide additional information to customers whilst they watch their video ad content. Additional information / links will be displayed on the right hand side of the video and offer users the opportunity to click through to additional content or to a retail destination.

The below image is of a mockup of what the interactive ads could look like. They may look like they impeach on the video real-estate, however, interactive cards only appear once a user has selected to view the cards from a button in the top corner of the video. It’s also important to note that this isn’t an automatic feature for all TrueView ads. Advertisers will have to select to include Interactive Cards within their ads.

Previously, YouTube allowed advertisers to add annotations to their video ads, however these were text based and only viewable on desktops or laptops. The new Interactive Cards allow advertisers to include images as well as text and will work on multiple devices including mobile and tablet.

Pricing also plays an interesting part in this also. Previously, advertisers only paid when a user watched 30sec or more of their Skippable TrueView video (i.e. they didn’t pay if a user skips). Now, advertisers will have to pay when a user chooses to display the Interactive Cards, even if the same user then decides to skip your ad before the 30 second “cut off” point… so YouTube are really seeing huge value out of this too.

What Do They Mean For You?

Well, all it really means is that you as a brand can provide a richer experience to your audience.

If there are a series of videos that are linked to your TrueView ad, you can easily direct users to that content. You can create bespoke offers / landing pages for those who have viewed content, rewarding them for doing so. If you wanted to you could even send users to a purchase page and see how the ad affected conversions on the site (if at all).

Either way, the Interactive Cards add value to the brand by offering users an additional touchpoint. For YouTube this feature aids platform expansion by creating an additional revenue stream from an already established format.

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