How to make great video campaigns, Part 2/3

A guide to optimising your campaign to convert likes and views into sign-ups and sales

How to make great video campaigns, Part 2/3

1 Overview

The challenge

Through YouTube, you have a wealth of ways to track and measure how your video ad campaign is performing. How best to use that information to make the very most of what your campaign can achieve?

Your aim

To know how best to choreograph video metrics to reach more relevant video viewers, to boost search results and maximise conversion rates.

How to go about it

Video is an animated way to bring your brand or product — or both — to life through sight and sound. Put that visual engagement together with the huge range of YouTube targeting options we looked at in Part 1, and you can see how video ad campaigns are a powerful medium to reach the right audience with your message. So, how do you use what you now know about measurement and targeting to shape your campaign into one that not only attracts likes and views, but converts those into sign-ups and sales?

Part 2 is our guide to the most important viewer actions to optimise to reach the most relevant audience on YouTube, and meet — or exceed — your targets.

Note: The following tips are just some of the ways you could maximise your campaign performance for the best results, and shouldn’t be treated as any guarantee of success.

2 Making the most of your cost per view (CPV)

Average cost per view is the average amount you pay for a view of your video ad, and it fluctuates based on factors such as ad length, creative quality, targeting and auction dynamics. CPV is a valuable signal about the competitiveness of your ad. By tracking and adjusting it, you’ll deliver your message more efficiently.

Are you paying more for views than you wanted or expected? Are you seeing CPVs increase over time?

Rising CPVs could be a sign of creative fatigue if your ad has been live for a couple of weeks. Rising CPVs can also be a sign of increased pressure in the auctions that you compete in to win.

Conversely, declining CPVs could indicate that there's less competition in the market and that you may have a chance to gain some views at a lower cost.

Tips to meet your CPV goals

Adjust your bids

Consider changing your bids on your TrueView video discovery ads to increase the likelihood of your ads showing to interested viewers.

In general, because viewers who choose to watch your video discovery ad reflect a desire to engage with your brand, it may make sense for you to increase your bids on these formats.

Conversely, if you’re more interested in views, traffic to your website, or increasing awareness of your brand, consider increasing your bid on the in-stream format to increase the likelihood of viewers seeing at least part of your ad.

Bids have the most direct link to CPVs in that you'll never pay a higher CPV than your maximum bid. However, they act only as a ceiling, and so are only one way to make CPV adjustments.

True value bids

The most effective use of bids is to bid your true value for the view that you’re buying (much as you would with a click in Google Search). As a view can drive far more activity beyond what you pay for directly, the best way to define true CPV value is to asses paid views, owned views (views of content that you own), and earned views (views from shares).

It’s also worth noting that, with TrueView ads, there can be improved engagement and recall for ads that haven’t even been seen for the full 30 seconds, meaning you don’t pay, but still accrue value.

Once your campaign has been up and running for a bit, you’ll start to see which ad formats and ad groups perform best. If you want to increase your reach or engagement on your ads, you might want to bid a bit more aggressively.

Expand your targeting

Expanding targeting will allow AdWords to identify auctions where your ads and bids are more competitive, and so can reduce your campaign’s overall average CPV. You may still find a valuable audience at a lower CPV by exploring broader targets. Remember, the TrueView format itself acts as a targeting filter where you pay only for engaged viewers who choose to watch your ad.

Restricting your targeting will lead to higher competition, manifested in higher CPVs — unless you're already near your maximum bid, in which case you'll simply stop winning auctions and end up with unspent budget.

Relax other campaign-level restrictions

Actions like turning off accelerated delivery, platform targeting or adjusting your ad rotation settings may help drive a higher view rate and lower CPV.

Improve your ads

Because strong ads drive good view rates, they can often impact the CPV. As view rates rise, CPVs fall because the auction values relevant ads that audiences will enjoy as shown by their willingness to view-through.

3 Making the most of your view rate

Your view rate is the total number of views of your video ad divided by the number of people the ad was served to. The higher the view rate, the more engaged viewers are with your content.

A video ad with a high view rate will generally win more auctions and pay a lower CPV than a video ad with a low view rate.

If you're interested in driving the most views for the lowest cost, you might want to identify ad assets and targeting methods that can help increase your ad's view rate.

Similar to CPV, a view rate point-in-time analysis can be useful to understand if you’re doing well or poorly, but it's more critical to understand the trends.

Tips to meet your view rate goal

Improve your targeting

Although it’s not obvious that targeting could be a method to improve the view rate of a campaign, it could impact performance because it affects who is able to view your ad. Here are ways that targeting can affect view rate:

  • Wrong targeting — adjust your targeting methods as you work out who is responding best to your ad. If you identified the wrong target audience to begin with, and are seeing more skipping of your video ad, adjust your targeting as this becomes clear.

  • Missed audience — you might also be restricting where your ad shows, and therefore hiding ads from viewers who may want to view them. Some advertisers think any views outside a specific target demographic group are wasted. But, remember that TrueView video ads are billed only when someone chooses to watch the video, so it may be possible to find a receptive audience by expanding your targeting. This will often have the added benefit of reducing your average CPV.

Improve your ads

Shorter ads have higher view rates so, if your ad can convey the same message in 20 seconds as in 30, consider a shorter version. If you create several ads as part of a campaign, each will provide you a chance to connect with your audience more effectively. Even small differences in your ad's text or video can mean large improvements in view rate and cost over the course of a campaign.

Minor tweaks like changing the introduction, or adding or removing call-to-actions can help shift viewer behaviour and improve view rate.

Try rotating 2 or 3 different ads in and out of the auction to avoid ad fatigue.

4 Making the most of your click-through rate (CTR)

Your click-through rate is the total number of clicks on your video ad divided by the number of people the ad was served to.

While view rate is the primary engagement metric associated with video campaigns, CTR is another way to measure how well your video campaign is doing.

If your goal is to drive more people to your website, YouTube channel or Watch page with your video ad, CTR is the main metric to look at and optimise for.

The higher the CTR, the more engaged viewers are with your content, and the more interested they are in learning about you.

Tips to meet your CTR goal

Add a clear call-to-action (CTA) overlay

CTA overlays can be added to TrueView video discovery and in-stream video ads on YouTube, at no extra cost. They can increase viewer engagement and, because they’re associated with the video instead of the ad, CTA overlays will show whether your video is triggered through an ad or an organic (unpaid) view.

For example, you can mention a specific selling point about your business to put you above your competitors, or mention what visitors can look forward to if they click to your website.

Remove low-performing inventory or placements

You can find information about the placements of your ads by navigating to the Targets tab, and then clicking on Placements under Where my ads were shown. As with placements in AdWords display ads, try to edit any inefficiently performing placements.

5 Refine your targeting

You can show your ads to specific audiences according to their interests, whether they're art and theatre lovers, DIYers, fashionistas, foodies, gamers, pet lovers, home or car purchasers, and so much more...This helps make sure you’re reaching the right, and most relevant customers.

It's important to know, though, that each targeting method you add narrows – not widens – your targeting.

There are two ways to add targeting to your video ad groups:

  • You can click the Video targeting tab in your AdWords account and select an ad group.
  • You can add targeting directly to an ad group by selecting that ad group in either the Ad groups tab or in the left navigation pane.

Here's an overview of the available targeting methods:

Demographic groups

Choose the age, gender and parental status of the audience that you want to reach.

Interests

Pick from available categories to reach people interested in these topics, even when they may be visiting pages about other topics. Learn more about audience targeting.

The two types of audiences you can target are:

Affinity audiences

Raise brand awareness and drive consideration with your TrueView video ads by reaching people who already have a strong interest in relevant topics.

In-market audiences

Select from these audiences to find customers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those that you offer.

Placements

Target unique channels, websites or placements within them. For example, you can target an entire high-traffic blog or the homepage of a popular news site.

Placements include:

  • Channels (YouTube Partner Channels)
  • Videos (YouTube Videos)
  • Websites on the Display Network
  • Apps on the Display Network

Topics

Target your video ads to specific topics on YouTube and the Display Network. Topic targeting lets you reach a broad range of videos, channels and websites related to the topics that you select. For example, you target the Automotive topic, then your ad will show on YouTube to people watching videos about cars.

Keywords

Depending on your video ad format, you can show your video ads based on words or phrases – keywords – related to a YouTube video, YouTube channel or type of website that your audience is interested in.

Tip

To show your video ads to customers in specific countries or regions, who use only certain devices (for example, mobile phones), or who speak a certain language, you'll need to target your ads by geographical location, device and language. These types of targeting apply at the campaign level.

Video remarketing

This powerful tool creates specific lists based on viewer activity — such as watching a video, subscribing to your channel or liking — on your YouTube channel.

You can then use these lists to retarget your ads. If you've linked your YouTube account to your AdWords account already, we'll create custom lists for you automatically.

Learn more about remarketing lists for YouTube viewers

Tip

You can use video remarketing lists for your display ads, just as you can target your videos to people who have interacted with your website. For example, you can create dynamic combination lists to target people who’ve seen your video ad but haven’t converted, or who have been to your website but have yet to make it to your channel.

Prevent your ads from showing to some audiences

You can see how each of your targeting methods have performed for your ads on the Video targeting tab. There, you might find that your ad isn’t relevant to a particular demographic group or in a particular placement. If that's the case, you can add an exclusion at the campaign level in your account.

You can exclude by demographics, interests, remarketing, topics and keywords, or by placements. Always bear in mind that exclusions may limit your video campaign’s reach and closely monitor their ongoing effects.

Add targeting to your video campaign

6 Using advanced campaign settings

Geographic location

You can target your video ads to people located in, or who show interest in, a geographic location. Choose one or more geographic locations relevant to your ads. By advertising to the right customers, you can hopefully increase your return on investment (ROI).

For example, when advertising your bakery in Paris, you can target only people located in Paris or only people who show interest in Paris, or both. Or, if your online business ships to Canada and the US, you can target both countries.

Target language

You can choose the language of the sites and videos that your ads appear in by changing the target language in your campaign's settings. To decide where to show your ads, AdWords looks at a user’s Google language setting or the language of the user’s search query, currently viewed page, or recently viewed pages on the Display Network.

Schedule setting

Use this to specify certain hours or days of the week when you want your ads to appear and to control how long your campaign runs. It's important to keep your content fresh so people will keep coming back. For instance, you might consider scheduling your in-stream ad so that it only runs for one month.

Ad delivery setting

Use this setting to specify how often we deliver your active ads in relation to one another within an ad group.

For example, you can optimise your ads for views, conversions or rotate them evenly. You can also set a frequency cap, which limits the number of times that your ads appear on the Google Display Network to a unique user — helpful if you want to limit the number of times someone sees your ad, or if you want to focus more on gaining exposure of new people.


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