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Google Wants Your Video Advertising: Exclusive

NEW YORK (MainStreet) - Google (GOOG) is continuing its push to get small businesses online with plans to officially roll out a streamlined advertising program in May through YouTube (owned by the giant search engine) that it hopes will result in more small companies creating video commercials. (Those are the ones generally seen before an actual video.)

Called AdWords for video, the self-service ad buying platform was designed specifically with small businesses in mind. Through the platform, companies can create and manage a video campaign in the same way they would for search ads. The company introduced a test version of the program in the fall.

The AdWords for video product is part of a broader Google-wide initiative to help small businesses get online. During the past year, Google has set its sights on offering more products, services and support to the segment, it says.

Last July, YouTube introduced its first search ads product for small businesses called AdWords Express.

Google has a program in the works to make advertising on YouTube easier for small businesses.

Previously the process for video commercials was a bit more complex, required a sales rep to purchase ads and was typically only used by large companies.

Google says large brands have been fairly quick to adopt YouTube to showcase their commercials, run contests and do other interactive promotion, but over the past couple of years more small businesses are using YouTube to reach customers.

"This is because small businesses can tap into a viewer base of more than 800 million worldwide, and essentially one viral video can launch a business. You can get the same impressions -- if not more -- as taking out ads on TV," Baljeet Singh, YouTube's group product manager says.

Like Google+, the AdWords for video component will become another main influence in how Google prioritizes its search results. Basically, if you have a promotional video, Google will prioritize your business higher than your competitor across the street that hasn't created a promotional video.

In an exclusive, Singh shares more details about the AdWords for video program.

Why should small businesses be in the video promotional space?

Singh: We think of it as a great match between what small to medium-sized businesses are looking for and what we're looking for our users and content on our site. For small and medium-sized businesses, it offers an opportunity for them to play big and build a business on YouTube

Typically [small businesses face] challenges as they're trying to think about how to get discovered and get business in the door. They try to think about different ways to advertise. Really the barrier to entry here is quite low for small businesses. All you really need is a video ad and you can get up and running in a few minutes. You can build out a home on YouTube to the point where you may not even need your own website. And then obviously generate sales from that audience.

(YouTube also offers a template to help businesses create promotional videos called My Business Story.)

It's a huge opportunity for us to reach and provide value to these advertisers, while at the same time increasing the amount of diversity of advertising we have on the site. ... If we have lots of different ads to choose from then we can more effectively connect the right ad to the right user.

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