YouTube recently launched a call-to-action overlay ad, which is exactly what it sounds like: a semi-transparent ad that appears over videos, and—get this—enables advertisers to send users to any website they wish. Now, that's a sweet ride!
You might be, like, "Didn't that feature already exist?" But the crazy thing is, no, it didn't, not on YouTube. Prior to the CTA overlay, an enterprising advertiser who wanted to guide people to more information—about the video or anything else—needed to put the link in the info section, on the right-hand side of the video, where people didn't really ever look, anyway.
But now, your YouTube ad can be viewed front-and-center. Awesome!
A few caveats: you can place these overlays only on videos within YouTube's CPC (cost-per-click) Promoted Videos program, which limits the amount of traffic actually leaving the site. Also, you have to be signed on as an AdWords client to take advantage of the offer.
Not to say it's not worthwhile. The program was in beta testing with select brands and charities for a limited time, and at least one—charity:water—claims it raised $10,000 in one day as a result of the video overlay with a link to its Web destination. Not bad.
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