The Polar Report

The Polar Report: Industry Insights #12

September 7, 2022

Welcome to The Polar Report, a curated view of what’s happening in the world of Digital Monetisation, Audience Development and Measurement. This week we dive into Google commencing shopping season, YouTube testing new ways for creators to promote their content, what place auto-optimised audiences have in media planning and YouTube adding key metrics to its main app.


Google commences with shopping season at Think Retail

Google recently held their annual event called Think Retail 2022 which aims to help retailers and advertisers prepare for the holiday season. Despite difficult economic conditions ahead, and the looming threat of a recession, data from Google shows that shoppers are still actively searching to buy. It can also be seen that although shoppers are returning to stores and closing in on pre-pandemic levels, they are not decreasing their digital approach. It is now more important than ever to inspire shoppers throughout their buying journey.

Advertisements hold a lot of power over the average consumer, so much so that about 60% of them get inspired or induced to purchase something even when they are not actively shopping. To some extent, this comes down to the information marketers can get a hold of, allowing them to put the right ad in front of you. For example, searching for beach holidays and then beachwear ads appear. With this being said, Google has made it clear that they intend on placing their efforts on a more visual search experience. This will result in marketers having the option of running visual shopping ads in the feed.

Google recently unveiled a product feed which allowed for YouTube video ads to be turned into a virtual storefront. This has been proven effective by Levi’s who saw an 11% increase in conversions after implementing product feeds.

The current ad product developments intended for use by product marketers are not to be ignored by media companies and rights holders running paid media campaigns on YouTube. While they might not make direct use of these new ad offerings, it’s clear that YouTube is becoming a key hub for product advertising. Therefore any brand that produces both products and visual media (an online digital series, for example) cannot think of both business arms as unrelated. These audiences are connected. Parents who buy toys for their children will likely come home and put that brand’s TV show on. Identifying audiences who are searching for a product makes them an ideal audience to target in a paid media campaign to boost the performance of a YouTube video. Any of this will likely have positive effects on a business’s revenue.

The trick for marketers and advertisers alike will be to effectively monetise content on YouTube by taking full advantage of the platform's capabilities.

Full Article on Media Post

Audience Development

YouTube to test a new way for Creators to Promote their Content

In a bid to further improve the creator experience, YouTube is now searching for ways to assist users in promoting their content throughout the platform. Testing has begun on a new promotions section that is designed to run promotions related to the specific channel and content directly through YouTube Studio, as opposed to using Google Ads.

The purpose of this appears to be to make it easier for creators to maximise their efforts all through the same platform. If they can run ads via the same platform they use to manage their channels, creators may feel that running ads is more accessible to them.

Thus, creators would get the chance to increase their revenue directly from their channel and their content. Where the main benefit lies for creators is within their audience development. The goal of many creators is to reach a wider audience, and consequently grow their channels. Obviously this comes with a lot of benefits to a creator in terms of brand partnership opportunities and the potential increase in their ad revenue. Therefore, with these benefits in mind, creators may be more inclined to purchase promotions for their content through the Studio.

The question will be, what impact will this have on agencies that run paid media campaigns on YouTube channels? If the promotions tab is effective for creators but is lacking in features available on Google Ads then it will not be the chosen way to run content promotions by these agencies. However, does this mark the start of Google reimagining how ads are run on their platform, and will they scale it to appeal to large brands and advertisers?

Full Article on Digital Information World

Are Auto-Optimised Audiences the Way Forward?

Marketing is ever changing, and one thing that we all thought so important may be changing. It is now possible to spend money on advertising without ever actually defining the target audience. This is because all of the major platforms such as YouTube, Meta and TikTok all allow for auto-optimisation instead of manual selection. We may well be looking at a complete shift within the media planning process.

However, is this such a bad thing? Results show that the performance is generally better when audiences are automatically-optimised. Where typically businesses can spend weeks of effort identifying their target audience and how to reach them, technology can make the process far more efficient by removing the need to focus on the small details like keywords, placements and affinities.

Despite this, there is much to be said about the potential consequences of relying on these AI tools. The concept of spending millions or even billions of pounds on media without actually taking the time to define the targeting is one that many will find completely nonsensical. But if the results are there, then what does it mean for agencies? Will the client want to pay for the service if they can do it automatically? The answer is probably yes, because they currently can’t run paid media without a strategised media plan. There is logic and justification behind every ad, adgroup and targeting strategy chosen, and AI won’t remove the need for that.

Developments will likely arise  within the next few years as these methods are tried and tested to a higher level.

Full Article on Media Post


YouTube adds key Metrics to its Main App

YouTube creators are now able to analyse their key metrics all within the main YouTube app. Prior to this launch, creators were able to access these metrics, however, it would need to be done through Studio Mobile. Now, YouTube has allowed for creators to get the information they need right within the main app.

The goal of this is to help creators better understand how one content type performs against another on their channel, and to make acquiring this information as easy and effortless as possible for creators.

Generally speaking, this will not affect agencies all that much, since if they are going to look at analytics they will do so through YouTube Analytics or other data tools. However, this does hold benefits for the average creator. It can be extremely easy to become overwhelmed by the data presented to you in YouTube Studio. So by providing them with easy access to the key metrics that they need to grow their channel, they may be more inclined to check them out more frequently. This in turn could lead to a higher percentage of channels growing and reaching high levels of success and subscribers, in turn providing more revenue opportunities for YouTube and brands.

Full Article on Search Engine Journal