MacAdam Lea
By MacAdam Lea | SEM | February 29, 2016

AdWords TrueView Youtube Advertisements: General Overview

No one wants to pester users with unwanted advertisements. It can annoy potential customers and it’s bad for business if you spend thousands of dollars each month advertising to the wrong people. Our goal at Digital Reach is to make sure that our clients are targeting only the users who fulfill specific requirements and limiting the wasted spend that can take place when ads get shown to the wrong users. We’ve written a few guides on optimizing accounts this way in the past. So, for example, if you want to advertise a promotional video through YouTube but you don’t want your ad to show to just anyone searching for Cat Videos then Google AdWords has got you covered with TrueView campaigns.

Unlike Facebook video ads, which tend to count a “View” once the Ad has been running for a few seconds, TrueView ads wont charge you for a view until someone has actively engaged with your video. An engagement can mean different things depending on how you set up the campaign, but we’ll get into the specifics below. This added level of screening allows viewers to see videos that they’re curious about, and you get more views from an audience that is much more likely to be interested in your product. There are two different types of TrueView advertisements:

TrueView Video Formatting

In-Stream Ads –

These ads play before or during another video from a YouTube partner. Viewers are locked into watching 5-seconds of your video ad and are then given the option the “Skip Ad” in the bottom left hand corner of the video. You as the advertiser don’t pay a dime until the viewer watches your video for at least 30-seconds or until the end of the video (whichever is shorter). You would also get charged if the user interacts with any sort of “Buy Now” or “Visit Our Site” links you have within the video.

Skip Ad Button

In-Display Ads –

These work very similarly to how a normal Display Network campaign works on AdWords. The video ads appear alongside other YouTube videos, on YouTube search pages, or on Google Display Network webpages that match your target audience. Since these ads don’t automatically start playing at the start of someone else’s video you only get charged when someone clicks on your video ad.

If you want to run either of these ads, Google has some suggestions that may be different compared with your past AdWords strategies. I’ll leave their suggestions here:

  • Only TrueView ads and ad groups can be created within the “Video” campaign type. Within this campaign type, TrueView video ad formats, CPV, and Target CPA bidding strategies are supported.
  • TrueView video campaigns cannot include text, images, or other video ad formats.
  • To create a TrueView video ad, your videos must be hosted on YouTube.
  • Reporting for TrueView campaigns and ad groups include metrics specific to video ads, including views, view rate, and earned actions, that aren’t available in other AdWords campaign management tools.
  • TrueView ad groups will each be assigned a format (either in-stream or in-display), and can contain only ads of that same format. For example, a TrueView in-stream ad group can contain only in-stream video ads and their associated targeting criteria and bids. Likewise, a TrueView in-display ad group can contain only in-display video ads and their associated targeting criteria and bids.
  • If you want to run multiple formats in the same TrueView video campaign, you will need to create multiple ad groups.

Hopefully this gives you a bit of an idea of how advertising videos through YouTube and AdWords works and some of the steps you should take before launching your first TrueView campaign. Just like any campaign on AdWords the most important thing is making sure that you’re showing the right ads to the right people. In my next blog we’ll be covering how to set up a TrueView campaign in AdWords, so be sure to check back in for Part 2!

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