April 2, 2008, 12:00 AM

Putting YouTube to work in search marketing

Coordinated with a search marketing campaign, a new Google AdSense program that places ad-supported YouTube videos on retail sites has led to much longer visitor sessions and boosted conversion rates, consultant Daniel Yonts says.

Coordinated with a search marketing campaign, a new Google AdSense program that places ad-supported YouTube videos on retail sites has led to much longer visitor sessions and boosted conversion rates, says Daniel Yonts, president of e-commerce technology and consulting firm PayingAttention.net.

Yonts has developed BigMaybe.com as a retail e-commerce site for testing merchandising and marketing strategies, with links to Amazon.com and other retailers for making purchases. To promote particular products, including a Nokia N800 Portable Internet Tablet and Batman collectibles, he has started running YouTube videos on the site through the AdSense program, to which he attracts traffic through Google and Yahoo search ads.

The Batman video has produced an average visitor retention time of 12 minutes, 42 seconds, Yonts says. The average visitor time on other pages is about two minutes, but as low as 20 seconds or less, he adds.

Although the videos are hosted by YouTube, Yonts has arranged them on BigMaybe.com under product descriptions that include several links to the buy pages of the Batman and Nokia products. Both videos have led to higher visitor-to-sales conversion rates. “We’ve seen conversion rates as high as 5% on the Nokia page,” Yonts says.

Retailers that host the YouTube videos as part of the AdSense program earn revenue from ads streamed through the videos. Google runs text ads at the base of the videos as well as video ads incorporated into the main video content.

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