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YouTube Sponsored Search

In the second half of ‘08, YouTube surpassed Yahoo to become the second largest search engine after its own parent property, Google, according to various comScore reports [1]. With this bump in traffic and prestige, it’s no surprise that YouTube began promoting its own PPC-based advertising program, YouTube Sponsored Search [2], around the same time.

Much like Google’s own AdWords program, Sponsored Search allows advertisers to bid on keywords in an auction-based pricing system in order to display videos and text on the top and right rail of organic search results within YouTube. In fact, the program uses the AdWords algorithm and advertisers can manage their accounts right from the AdWords user interface.

However, because YouTube users may be searching for slightly less sophisticated reasons than users on Google (searches skew toward entertainment or diversion rather than information or purchase research), the types of keywords one should bid on may be different. In a recent webinar on the new YouTube program, AdWords representatives encouraged advertisers to focus more on one/two word, high volume queries that may be too expensive in AdWords but that may be cheap and effective in Sponsored Search.

In order to learn the nuances of YouTube’s new offering on our own, The Search Agency’s SEM Editorial Department collaborated to create a video advertisement for Travelation [3], a discount online travel website. As no budget existed for this test, the team designed a fast, funny video concept that could be executed for free using only existing resources. TSA employees acted in the piece, which was shot with webcams around the office and edited with out-of-the-box Windows software.  Have a look:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSSO5JpD6SI [4]

While the video has only been online for a short time, response has been overwhelmingly positive and TSA has quickly identified some of the following best practices: