As of 3 September 2019, YouTube has quietly rolled out beta testing on a new tool called Instant Reserve, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. There is no official announcement by YouTube or its parent company, Google, but tech and marketing magazines are beginning to take notice and speculate about the impact it will have on online advertising in the future. As the latest advancement in a series of advertising updates on the platform, what do we know about this new YouTube Ads tool and what it could mean for businesses?
Reservation Campaigns: YouTube's Current Standard
As of this writing, Google Ad support is only displaying information on booking advanced campaigns through a sales representative, the standard procedure prior to the Instant Reserve tool beta testing. This type of ad is called a reservation campaign and has certain requirements at the time of booking, such as minimum spending requirements that vary based on country and ad type.
There are two types of reservation campaigns that can be booked: CPM, which is a fixed cost-per-thousand-impressions rate; and CPD, which is a fixed cost-per-day rate. Both campaign types require all creative assets to be delivered three business days prior to the start of the campaign. The CPD requires the most lead time, asking that clients book the ads at least three weeks in advance, whereas the CPM only requires three business days for advanced bookings.
Instant Reserve: A New Way to Schedule YouTube Ads
According to the Wall Street Journal report, the new Instant Reserve tool, allows clients to directly book reservation campaigns via YouTube without going through a sales representative. Beta test participants can book YouTube ads up to 120 days in advance, though there are plans to expand this time window to include options for advanced bookings for all of 2020. Clients do not have to pay upfront at the time of booking and are able to wait until the campaign begins. The new YouTube Ads tool also removes the former minimum spending requirements.
There is some concern that the tool and lack of upfront payment would be used to overbook ad space, however, Google has reportedly already addressed this in an email to ad buyers stating that they "reserve the right to strip external reservation privileges."
Benefits of Reservation Campaigns
Reserving ad campaigns in advance mirrors the way ads are scheduled on TV, allowing advertisers to secure spots well in advance for important events. Due to YouTube Ad's ability to more precisely target ads, there is a distinct advantage to steering advertising budgets towards the platform, as opposed to broadcast television.
Google Ads support lists some of the benefits of reservation campaigns as including more control over the impressions purchased, guaranteed ad placements, and a wider audience reach. Furthermore, the list details the ways in which audiences can be targeted: by topics and interests, demographics, and lastly affinity audiences. Affinity audiences can be defined as a way to target viewers by those likely to view content related to their previously demonstrated interests.
Who is Beta Testing the Instant Reserve Tool?
"A Google spokeswoman said the company is currently testing the tool with political advertisers as well as hundreds of others, including media and consumer-goods companies."
~Emily Glazer and Patience Haggin, The Wall Street Journal
The Instant Reserve tool is gaining particular attention because of its implications for the upcoming US political campaigns, as many of the beta testers are buying up ad spots for this purpose. Google has also brought media companies' businesses into the fold, which is of particular interest. The Instant Reserve tool has the potential to be an important asset for marketers and business owners paving the way for better, more targeted ads, and more comprehensive advertisement scheduling and budgeting for years to come.
If you'd like to learn more about targeted YouTube Ads, reservation campaigns, and how Digital Stand can help you leverage these tools to grow your business, contact us today!