Monthly:September 2013

lowcostholidays.com reaches new audiences and drives brand awareness with YouTube

This year lowcostholidays.com, a global online travel agent, wanted to drive awareness of their brand in new European markets. They turned to YouTube for innovative advertising options. ‘We wanted to reach our audience at a different stage of their research, particularly at the top funnel stage, and measure their engagement with our brand,’ explains Claire Goodenough, Marketing manager at lowcostholidays.com.
What did they do? They utilised two distinctive advertising options on YouTube: a bespoke TrueView ad and a Homepage Takeover. 
TrueView:

TrueView ads are pre-roll videos that run on content across YouTube. As the ad starts, the user is presented with a choice of skipping or watching the ad and advertisers are only charged when a user chooses to watch. Consequently users who choose to watch are likely to be more engaged.
The 30-second video that lowcostholidays.com produced was designed specifically for TrueView, in order to take advantage of the features that the ad format offers. In the opening few seconds, the ad invited the viewer to participate in a quiz to win a voucher code applicable to a future holiday. Once ‘hooked’ the viewer was then presented with a range of enticing holiday photographs, and at the end could guess the destination of the photos to win the discount. Annotations appeared throughout the video to encourage users to complete the quiz. lowcostholidays.com tested various targeting options and ensured they were targeting a relevant audience.
Homepage Takeover:

In addition, lowcostholidays.com ran a Masthead Lite on YouTube’s homepage for 24 hours in Ireland, affording massive reach in a concentrated time period. The ad unit consisted of an image banner as well as a video. Careful scheduling helped lowcostholidays.com maximize results. ‘We were able to pick what we deemed the most relevant day in terms of YouTube visits within our market and how it was aligned with our usual visitor behavior calendar,’ Claire explains. ‘Taking over the YouTube homepage for one day allowed us the broadest YouTube reach possible.’
Results:

An astonishing 80% of the Masthead’s traffic was from new visitors.  ‘This was our aim,’ explains Claire, ‘to get broader targeting and reach people who hadn’t heard of our brand before.’
The TrueView campaign also produced excellent outcomes. ‘Our initial objective was to drive brand awareness, which was achieved: our TrueView ad saw a much higher new visitor rate than we normally see,’ reports Claire. ‘Also, it was great that we achieved sales from TrueView at a CPA similar to some of our Search campaigns. Seeing conversions was certainly a bonus. The effort we put into targeting and making bespoke videos for TrueView paid off.’
Next steps:

lowcostholidays.com are extending their reach by testing engagement ads as well as Mobile Roadblocks. Claire adds, ‘after the success we’ve had with YouTube, it’s something we would definitely keep as a constant on our annual marketing plan’.

Click here to view the full case study 

Article by Anna Tong, Industry Manager for Travel

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Google+: author attribution & embedded posts

When you create and share content online, you want people to know you’re the author— no matter how far that content may travel. Not only do you get the credit, you can also grow your audience over time. Today we’re introducing two Google+ platform features that help authors do both — on Google, and across the web.

Author attribution

Starting today we’re integrating Google+ Sign-In with Google’s Authorship program. So if you connect your WordPress.com account with Google, for instance, the articles you publish will now be associated with your Google+ profile automatically.

With this association in place, we can look for ways to surface your info when it’s most relevant. For example, today users may see your name, picture and/or a link to your Google+ profile when your content appears in Search, News and other Google products.

We’re piloting this integration with two major platforms today: WordPress and Typepad. We’re also working with a variety of other sites — including About.com, WikiHow, and Examiner — so we can learn and expand the pilot to all kinds of sites and apps using Google+ Sign-In.

Embedded posts

In addition to sites like WordPress and Typepad, many of you (in fact, millions of you) are posting content on Google+. We want to make it easy to expand your audience across the web, so today we’re introducing embedded posts.

With embedded posts, site owners can now add your public Google+ posts to their web pages — as a primary source, for example, or to highlight your point of view. Text, photo and media posts are all supported, and the embeds are fully interactive, so visitors can +1, comment and follow you inline.

If you’re a site owner and you’d like to embed a post, simply find a public post on Google+, and select ‘Embed post’ from the drop-down menu. Copy the code, add it to your web page, and you’re all set! We’ve also worked with the following sites, so you can see embeds in action: Business Insider, Elle, Eurosport, Financial Times, LA Times, National Geographic, NDTV.com, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, People StyleWatch, TechCrunch, Thrillist, TV Guide, US Weekly, and The Verge.

To learn more about today’s announcements, feel free to check out our Help Center and developer documentation.

Posted by Seth Sternberg, Director of Product Management, Google+Read More