YouTube has been pretty consistent about actively updating platform features and tools that make advertisers’ and content producers’ jobs easier. Recently, YouTube expanded custom thumbnails to more partners, enabled TrueView InStream for mobile, and gave partners the ability to swap out their usernames with their Google+ profile names. Still, many advertisers lay their heads upon their pillows at night and dream of the features that have yet to roll out…

Read on for a list of the functionality and tools we hope for, and please add to the wish list in the comment thread below.

5 Features We Want for YouTube’s Advertising Products

1. Annotations for “for-the-rest-of-us” Mobile Users

People are viewing and sharing videos via mobile more and more everyday. After all, smart phones have eliminated any reason for boredom in any waiting room across the globe!

Video mobile referrals continue to grow each year. Cisco forecasts that mobile video will comprise 71 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2016. These projections will make real the need for mobile application capabilities that keep up with the overwhelming usage demand.

So, why are we discussing annotations for all mobile users? Surely there are other mobile features that take precedent over annotations. Well, there probably are… but consider the use of annotations as a means to create a much more engaging user experience! Let’s have a look at some examples.

Video Decision Trees

This concept employs YouTube annotations to allow viewers to select the next part of the story or experience. Sort of a modern day choose-your-own-ending deal.

Embedded Action Buttons

By embedding a rolling snippet of the next video in a series, marketers can use annotations around the preview to drive users to additional channel videos.

Annotations for mobile is an experience currently only available for Android users. We wish it were available for all smart phone operating systems.

2. Detailed Analytics Data for Mobile View Referrals

YouTube Analytics bundles Mobile Traffic with Direct Traffic. This means the bucketed traffic comes from a pretty diverse range of sources, considering direct traffic includes everything from email to instant messaging, even pasting a URL directly into a browser.

The existing solutions are to either own a brand channel to tie a Google Analytics or hope one day that access to regular user accounts will be granted.

As the forecast predicts, mobile usage will continue to scale, making the ability to parse mobile video referrals essential.

3. Traffic Source Data at the Channel Level

Currently, YouTube Analytics is limited to YouTube and Google traffic source data at the video level (and not available at the channel level). This means to gain an understanding of high volume search terms, suggested videos, external websites, Google searches, and annotations across the entire account can only be assessed by viewing search referrals on a video-by-video basis. Yuck!

Options: Either own a brand channel and tie Google Analytics to it or spend your days pining that this level of granularity will be granted to regular user accounts.

4. Segmented Reporting in AdWords for Video

Managing and optimizing any online paid ad campaign is subject to the data collected and applied to each level of the campaign. Unfortunately, the AdWords for Video data available to advertisers is limited.

AdWords for Video Reporting (No Segmentation Available)

AdWords Reporting (Multiple Segmentation Levels)

This is part of the reason managing large TrueView InSearch and InDisplay campaigns in the traditional AdWords UI is more efficient.

It is a disappointment this particular feature wasn’t addressed before AdWords for Video was launched. Sigh.

5. AdWords for Video API Access

This option will be a significant enhancement for advertisers building large YouTube campaigns in AdWords for Video. First off, to marketers who have been building large TrueView InSearch and/or InDisplay campaigns in AdWords for Video: May I first suggest switching back to the traditional UI.

Building large YouTube campaigns in AdWords allows you to duplicate and edit campaigns in batch in AdWords Editor.

This is the other reason managing large TrueView InSearch and InDisplay campaigns in the traditional AdWords UI is more efficient. ;-)

Well, that about does it for our whining / wishing (for now).

QUESTION (comment Below) ► What features would you like to see YouTube add to make your job easier?