Author Archives: Ali Miller

Video creation is fast, easy and free with YouTube Video Builder

Given the current environment, many businesses are shifting how they're communicating and interacting with their customers and are turning to videos to make and maintain connections.


For businesses who don’t have resources to create videos from scratch, Video Builder can help. It’s a free beta tool that animates static assets—images, text and logos—with music from our library. You can choose from a variety of layouts based on your message and goals, customize colors and font and quickly generate a short YouTube video (6 seconds or 15 seconds). 


Because businesses of all sizes are strapped for time and resources and in-person video shoots are no longer practical in many countries, we are accelerating the next stage of Video Builder availability. With this tool, any business who needs a video can create one that helps connect with their customers and keep them informed—whether through an advertising campaign, website or email. 


You may be surprised by what you can create from your laptop in a few short minutes. To see how it works, watch this video or read this guide.
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Mock of a Video Builder layout

Video Builder Mock 1.png

Mock of a Video Builder layout

Different businesses have different creative needs. A restaurant may want to communicate changing hours or promotions, while a supermarket may highlight new services like curbside pickup. For brands or agencies with existing video resources, Video Builder can help bring agility and experimentation to the creation process by generating supplemental, lightweight videos. For smaller businesses and those with less creative experience, it can provide an efficient, low-resource way to create videos, perhaps even for the first time.

Havenly, an online platform offering affordable interior design services, has been using Video Builder to support their team’s video creation needs. "Video is an integral part of our media strategy because our business demands visual context,” says Stang Gappa, Senior Manager of Growth. “Historically, video development has been a slow and labor intensive process. With Video Builder, our small team is able to spin out high quality creative with increased velocity. Given the current situation, where many of us are sheltering in place, free tools like this can help us continue to keep in touch with our customers.”


If you’re interested in trying the Video Builder beta, sign up for access here. We’ll process requests as soon as we are able given tool capacity and email you once your access is granted. If you have a Google team, please request access through them. 


Through tools, insights and resources, we are committed to helping you navigate change and uncertainty.

Shaping ad experiences to an evolving YouTube viewership

Think back … can you remember the first time you heard about YouTube? Or even better–can you recall the first video you watched? It’s a fun parlor game we YouTubers sometimes play–and an occasion to reflect on how far the platform has come since its earliest days.

And for those of us who have been on the ads team for more than a few years, it’s particularly remarkable to think about how our ad products have changed as well. Back when we introduced TrueView 9 years ago, people entered the site typically from a link and typically on desktop, watched a short form video and then left to do other things. In fact, desktop represented 90 percent of all YouTube usage in 2010. The appetite for in-stream ad experiences was extremely low in these contexts, which prompted us to introduce a skippable video format that put the choice to view an ad in the hands of the user. Advertisers only paid if viewers watched the complete ad or 30 seconds if longer, so it was a win-win.

In the years since then, YouTube has grown to accommodate not only diverse content types and audiences, but also a new diversity of viewing patterns. In 2016, mobile viewing eclipsed desktop, and in 2019 TVs are our fastest growing screen. Today, viewers may just as readily binge six or seven short videos on their mobile phone, before they switch on YouTube on their TV and watch several hours of longer form video.

In short, YouTube viewing has evolved to serve seemingly divergent consumer mindsets – active browsing sessions where they discover new content and more longer, more leaned-back sessions. This has required a reconsideration of how we serve ads in each of these varied contexts.

Our mission as an ads team is to build the right ad experience for each of these contexts – from active discovery through to more leaned-back sessions:

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Ad innovations to match viewer modes

The changing ways people watch YouTube also means that a view has different value in different contexts. This is why we continue to develop additional metrics beyond views and view-through rate–like Brand Lift, or direct actions and conversions – to quantify ad impact, while also developing new ad formats that are matched to viewing patterns and advertiser goals. While we work on these new ad experiences, our priority is to align pricing with anticipated advertiser value.

This led us to introduce Smart Pricing over a year ago, which aligns media costs with anticipated value of a given context. For example, if we know a user is watching content in a longer, TV-style session – we will price those ad impressions according to what our effectiveness models indicate is the typical value of that type of viewing mode. Smart Pricing delivers better results for advertisers – at launch we saw:

  • More efficient awareness—5 percent gain in brand awareness per dollar

  • Higher ROI for advertisers – 7 percent gain in ad recall per dollar

Beyond Smart Pricing, we are also working on ways to align YouTube media directly to your marketing objectives, and delivering value as you measure it. For instance, with video reach campaigns, you can optimize for your reach and awareness goals more easily using multiple video creatives and formats within a single campaign. Google’s machine learning will automatically serve the most efficient combination of those formats to help you reach your audience at scale.

The variety of viewing contexts is an asset, as YouTube increasingly meets the needs of viewers looking for short form, long form, TV screen experiences, a go-anywhere music player, social video, highly produced traditional video and more. And the continued evolution of our ad experiences means brands will see a benefit from each viewing mode. We take pride in continuously evolving our platform based on changing user behavior and will continue to experiment with delivering advertiser value across a variety of user contexts. And we invite you, our trusted customers, to partner with us as we build an effective video ad system for the age of choice.