YouTube has announced the introduction of new advertising formats for its Shorts platform, including the ability for creators to monetize their content through advertisements. Shorts and in-feed video ads are extending into video reach campaigns, which use artificial intelligence to serve the ideal combinations of ads to improve reach and efficiency for awareness campaigns. The new advertising options are designed to provide more revenue streams for creators and increase engagement with viewers, as the platform is experiencing a decline in ad revenue. YouTube Shorts is a short-form video platform similar to TikTok and Instagram Reels, allowing users to create and share short videos with a maximum length of 60 seconds. The new advertising options include pre-roll ads, mid-roll ads, and other creative ad formats that are specifically designed for Shorts. It remains to be seen how successful these new advertising options will be, but they could potentially help YouTube compete with other short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels.
The new YouTube Shorts formats present new opportunities for brands who are looking to expand their influencer strategy. As YouTube has become rooted in users consuming influencer content, these new features will encourage influencers to work with brands and to create engaging content, as they are able to profit financially from the ads. One of the distinguishing factors of YouTube among other video-focused platforms is its massive reach. It features a wide variety of content across various categories, which appeals to users from all demographics: According to Hubspot 56% of Gen Z, 54% of Millennials, 48% of Gen X, and 26% of Boomers say they discover new products most often on YouTube.
Instagram has rebranded its branded content ads as “partnership ads,” according to a recent announcement. The change is part of Instagram’s efforts to align with Facebook’s branding and offer a more consistent experience for advertisers across its platforms. The new name is meant to better reflect the collaborative nature of the ads, which feature both the brand and the creator in the promotion. Partnership ads will continue to function similarly to branded content ads, with brands able to promote posts created by influencers or other content creators in their own feeds. The change also brings new tools to help brands and creators measure the performance of partnership ads, including insights into how the content is performing on the creator’s account.
Instagram’s rebranding of branded content ads to “partnership ads” is a positive step towards creating more transparency and authenticity in influencer marketing. The new name better reflects the collaborative nature of these ads, which rely on the partnership between brands and creators to create content that resonates with audiences. This rebranding is part of Instagram’s larger efforts to align with Facebook’s branding and offer a more consistent experience for advertisers across its platforms. With the new tools to measure the performance of partnership ads, brands can gain better insights into how their campaigns are performing on the creator’s account, which can help them optimize their ad spend and make more informed decisions about influencer partnerships. Overall, we see this move as a win for both brands and creators, as it creates a more authentic and transparent influencer marketing landscape on Instagram.
Amazon has launched a new shopping feed called “Inspire” that supports both photos and videos, in a move that aims to attract younger consumers. The new feature allows users to scroll through a personalized feed of shoppable content that looks similar to TikTok’s format. Brands and influencers can create their own videos showcasing products and services, which will be displayed alongside other recommended items for viewers to purchase directly from Amazon. Amazon Inspire is currently available only in the US on Amazon’s app for iOS and Android. The move by Amazon reflects the growing importance of social commerce and the increasing popularity of short-form video content in e-commerce.
We see the launch of Amazon’s Inspire as a significant development in the e-commerce landscape. With this new shopping feed, Amazon is clearly targeting younger consumers who are accustomed to consuming content through social media platforms like TikTok. The ability to reate and share short-form videos showcasing products and services will be a powerful tool for brands and influencers to promote their offerings and engage with customers in a more personalized way. This move by Amazon underscores the growing importance of social commerce, where social media and e-commerce converge to create new ways for consumers to discover and purchase products. As such, we believe that brands with shops on Amazon should start exploring how they can leverage Inspire and other social commerce platforms to stay relevant and reach younger audiences in a more meaningful way.
After a period of lesser performance in 2022, Meta is seeing a resurgence in interest from marketers due to its AI-driven Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns tool, which optimizes ads across audiences and ad formats using automation and machine learning. Marketers are shifting budgets back to Meta: it has proven out its superior automation and AI tools. TikTok has developed a similar tool to Metaʼs ASC, called mart Performance Campaigns, which automates audience targeting and creative optimizations, among other process. However they have yet to produce significantly improved results and consistency
compared to traditional TikTok campaigns. Some marketers are concerned about the Meta toolʼs black box nature since it doesnʼt provide transparency into the granular campaign details. There is an additional concern that the algorithm could lead to undetected biases among creatives as there is less ability to trace how each creative drove results.
Working smarter, not harder, is a mantra shared by all media buyers. AdParlor always approaches new automation tools, like Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns (ASC), with a conservative budget and strategic testing structure before diving in feet first. After thorough A/B testing, we’ve found success supplementing our business-as-usual (BAU) campaigns with ASC and performing “stress tests” to steadily scale ASC investment over time as we analyze performance impacts. ASC is proving to drive cost efficiencies and improved ROAS for our clients, although we do not anticipate it ever fully replacing our tried and true shopping campaigns. Allowing the algorithm to optimize up to 150 ads per campaign enables robust creative testing while reducing the amount of time spent on manual optimizations. As Meta and other platforms lean more heavily into machine-learning automation, now is the time to test the waters and understand the media mix that best aligns for your performance goals.
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