The innovation of today’s current, most popular advertising methods is what keeps the marketing industry running smoothly. Marketers constantly look for new ways to advertise to the world of digital consumers that has formed in the past few years, which is the reason for some of today’s biggest developments in advertising. One such development that is brand new, so new that it is still in its beta testing stage, is shoppable video from Google’s incredibly famous social video network, YouTube. Surely, it is no coincidence that this has been put into action just before the holidays, during the heaviest shopping time of the year.

What a shoppable video actually is, is not really something that could not have been seen already with YouTube. For a long time YouTube has allowed the annotation of videos posted on the network, with these annotations containing links to other pages, most of the time to other videos on YouTube. In almost all of the most popular videos, boxes in a wide range of sizes will pop up during the video at any chosen point, some with text and some without, that lead users to other videos or publisher pages. Now, with shoppable videos, YouTube will allow video publishers to link to purchase pages within the videos, through the use of annotation boxes.

This is similar to what we see with page annotations in news articles, for example. So far, the feature is in its beta stage, and is being used mostly by fashion and retail video ad publishers on YouTube. A great example of the feature is given by a Juicy Couture video advertisement that was posted on November 9, being one of the very first demonstrations of the feature. In the video, we can see many annotation boxes pop up at different points in the video, usually when a wardrobe change occurs with the main actress in the video, and upon clicking these annotations, the video pauses and takes you to a new tab where the purchase page for a product seen in the video loads.

Fashion brands have been making good use of YouTube lately, along with retail brands, which is most likely the main reason that we have begun seeing these shoppable videos appearing on different brand pages on YouTube. Google’s acquiring of the video sharing network has meant countless changes and improvements being made, and these shoppable ads are yet another, perfectly timed, new feature.

In the realm of video advertising, YouTube has become top dog, making it absolutely necessary for them to continue to offer more to marketers. A sort of ad within an ad is the perfect way to increase engagement on video ads that already bring in high engagement levels. For anyone who sees a video and says, “I want that,” while watching, the linked annotations will be the perfect addition to get them to take that next step and purchase or at least visit the purchase page.

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