YouTube’s Partner Program, which provides creators with marketing resources and production tips, is now expanding to include advertisers. The pilot program is designed to educate advertisers on their YouTube strategies, similar to what it has been doing for other YouTube creators over the past few years.
Instead of asking consumers to sit through another pre-roll ad, the new program will focus on helping brands actually create engaging content. The program will also help facilitate partnerships and potential sponsorship opportunities between brands and YouTube creators. This could lead to more creative campaigns and add some variety to the ad types going in to videos.
According to YouTube, the advertising program will be structured identically to the existing partner program even though it will run separately. It’s scheduled to start in September with a week-long workshop in Los Angeles. Each advertiser will be assigned a partner manager to help them develop their content strategy.
Industry executives told AdAge that the program is for new and existing customers (brands only) that are committed to spending a certain amount with parent Google. No specifics regarding cost have been made available. The brands involved in the pilot include American Express, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and General Electric. YouTube plans to have 100 partners by 2014.
This move is the latest by YouTube to make the platform more brand-friendly. The company recently redesigned channels using the One Channel format that enables you to better customize what viewers see on your page and entice new subscribers.