AdWords for Video for Nonprofits?! Imagining a possible future.

AdWords for Video
Over the past couple of years, I have been lucky enough to listen to several presentations by Googlers. The key takeaway has always been that mobile and video are the way of the future, especially as it pertains to Google’s advertising business. Recently, AdWords for Video caught my eye when one of the ads promoting the Google product popped up before a YouTube clip I was about to watch. AdWords for Video is definitely appealing for for-profit businesses, but I started thinking of ways it could also work for the nonprofits I work with everyday.
Video ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network just make sense. People upload 48 hours of new video content every minute of the day and 44% more Canadians reported using online videos when compared to last year. AdWords for Video gives people a way to promote their message, engage the viewer, and connect with customers and supporters in the growing online video community. Video is a tried and true way of conveying great stories and can be easily shared across the internet.
How it works for for-profit businesses right now:
Google has made it possible for advertisers to manage all their campaigns in one single interface. The AdWords interface allows advertisers to manage ads on the Search Network (you may know it as Google AdWords and Google Grants), the Google Display Network, and now AdWords for Video. Advertisers are given four possible TrueView ad formats to choose from when using AdWords for Video.
When you boil it all down, you only need a couple of things to start advertising on Google for Video.
1. You need a video clip of your ad
2. Select the ideal audience for your video ad.
3. Only pay for ads that viewers choose to watch.
4. Monitor and analyze viewer data.
TrueView ad formats to choose from:
Click to view larger image
How it might work for nonprofits in the future:
Nonprofits are no different from for-profit businesses when it comes down to the storytelling. Being able to tell a compelling story is core to every nonprofit’s cause. Some of the nonprofits I work with are already investing some of their resources into creating videos for potential donors and supporters to view on their website or YouTube for Nonprofits channel. All this rich storytelling content can be easily edited into a 30-second spot encouraging people to donate or volunteer right before or in the middle of their YouTube clip. It could even be a PSA to raise public awareness.
Here is what I’m imagining in the future. If nonprofits were given access to AdWords for Video, there would be a grant program in place to manage the budget and other limitations. Like the Google Grants program you hear me and Simon talking about all of the time, nonprofits would be given a small in-kind free advertising grant program which they can use as a budget for their AdWords for Video campaigns each month. Restrictions and limitations should include the amount of advertising budget provided, use of only two of the four TrueView formats, and the video ad spot’s length should be limited to 30 seconds.
The TrueView ad formats that I believe should be available to nonprofits are the TrueView in-slate and in-search ads. For the in-slate ad, three ads appear and the viewer chooses to watch one during their YouTube clip. There should always be a chance that one of those three ad options will be a nonprofit video ad. This way the nonprofit video ad won’t be monopolizing the paid ad time like in some of the other formats. For the in-search ad, it works similar to Google Grants AdWords. Ads appear when triggered by search terms. Nonprofits and for-profit businesses do not compete over the same keywords typically. I think as long as the nonprofit video ads do not impinge upon paid advertiser’s ad spots, the possibility of offering AdWords for Video to nonprofits is a viable one.
What do you think of AdWords for Video’s potential impact for nonprofits? Do you think Google may be open to the idea of offering the product to nonprofits in the future? Any thoughts on my AdWords for Video for Nonprofits grant program? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

One Response

  1. It is an appealing idea, but many (most?) nonprofits won’t have the resources to produce videos. Each would cost at least a $1000 or more. Most nonprofits have little or no budget for such advertising – which is why they are enrolled in Google for Nonprofits. If you have ideas about how costs could be covered, that would make your vision more compelling.

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