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Google has taken the beta tag off of AdWords for video, opening up the ad platform targeted to small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to run video ads on YouTube. To help drive interest, Google is also offering $50 million of free advertising credits to prospects. I wrote about AdWords for video last September when it was first announced, and I continue to be enthusiastic about its potential to broaden video-based advertising to SMBs for which traditional TV advertising was out of reach.

AdWords for video follows on the same performance-based model as AdWords itself, with advertisers setting their budgets and determining the parameters of where and against which targeting criteria their ads will run. AdWords for video offers the four "TrueView" ad formats - In-Stream, In-Slate, In-Search and In-Display. Users get one dashboard view into both their AdWords and AdWords for Video campaigns.

Recognizing that resource-constrained SMBs need things to be simple and straightforward, Google has developed a streamlined work flow for using AdWords for video (see video below). Once a video has been uploaded to YouTube, the SMB sets their budget, geographies/languages/audiences targeted, selects their video, desired TrueView ad formats, ad descriptions and click-through URL. Google has also introduced a "Traffic Estimator" so that AdWords for video advertisers can understand approximately how many impressions and views their campaign will generate based on historical data.

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