Google keeps on changing the ways we produce and consume ads. We already know that people tend to watch more videos rather than read articles - is there any chance for online marketers to grab the attention of Internet surfers and turn them into leads and customers? Google seems to know the answer, focusing more on its main video asset - YouTube and integrating it with AdWords.
First announced in September 2011, AdWords for video is now publicly available to everyone. Let's see what the popular video platform brings to AdWords advertisers, what kind of features are available now and how we can measure the effectiveness of video ads.
What's AdWords for video?
AdWords for video is a video-specific campaign management tool within AdWords. It offers the TrueView family of cost-per-view (CPV) video ad formats. With TrueView ads, you only pay when a viewer actively selects your video, or chooses to continue watching a video when it first loads as they browse video content. So, you won't need to pay every time your ad is shown.
How do you setup your online video campaign?
Let's start with the basic stuff, that is creating a campaign and launching your first video ad. Obviously you should have an AdWords and a YouTube account that should be linked. The setup steps are really simple, just pay attention to a couple of settings that will influence directly your ad reach and budget.
1. Log in to your AdWords account and create a new Online Video campaign.
2. When filling in the General settings, make sure you pick the right ad delivery option, standard or accelerated. If you pick the standard option, your ads will be shown evenly throughout the day. With accelerated delivery, one may run out of the budget early in the morning. If you have a limited budget (which is more common), stick to the standard option.
3. Enter the locations and languages to target. It's also possible to exclude certain locations.
4. After that you can choose a video channel or an exact video URL where your ads might be shown to the potential customers, as well as create your first ad.
Probably the most difficult thing with ads is choosing the right format from the TrueView family. Currently, you have the following video ad options that define how and where your ad will be delivered:
• In-stream: after five seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad.
• In-search: your video's keywords will highlight your video to YouTube viewers who may be interested in your content.
• In-slate: before the longform video plays, viewers have the option to watch one of three ads from different advertisers, or to watch regular commercial breaks throughout the video.
• In-display: the appearance of the ad format will vary, depending on which ad sizes and display formats content publishers support.
5. Let's take a closer look at the Advanced settings below that include scheduling and ad delivery frequency.
Here you can schedule your video campaign, indicate the start and the end dates, and choose the days/hours you don't want the ads to be shown to users. Be careful with the ad rotation option. Just as with the text ads, you'd better try first the even rotation of video ads. As soon as you see the "winners" in clicks and conversions, you can switch to either:
• Optimize for views (default): to show ads expected to provide more views are delivered more often.
• Optimize for conversions: to show ads expected to provide more conversions are delivered more often. If there’s not enough conversion data to determine this, the system will optimize for more views.
The Frequency capping option lets you limit the number of campaign impressions to each unique user. For instance, if one and the same user replays the video several times, your ads won't show each time, if you set the limit. However, the option does not affect the TrueView in-search ad format.
When you are done with these settings, click Save and continue to get to the Targeting part.
Selecting your targeting, you are asked to fill in the default bidding amount (you remember that's cost per view! 1 cent is the minimum amount - I've checked .
"Last year, about 2 to 3 percent of the people who visited YouTube had YouTube accounts which meant that they were the only ones that YouTube could target by demographics," Jarboe said. "Now, with the linking of Google and YouTube accounts, 5 to 10 times more people can be targeted by demographics. What was just an interesting capability has now become a significant opportunity."
Interest/Topic Targeting - This is not a completely new feature, but again considering the updated privacy, interest/topic targeting is likely to also have a broader reach then it previously did.
For your ads to appear in search results, you will need to add the relevant keywords in the Target people who are searching section below. To research the keywords used on YouTube, you can refer to the YouTube Keyword Tool:
How to measure the effectiveness of video ads?
The detailed performance data of your video campaign can be found in your AdWords account. You should also check out the YouTube Analytics tool, found within your YouTube account to get the following data:
• Chronological and geographic distribution of your views.
• Demographic data about your viewers, which provides age and gender distributions.
• Traffic sources data that allows you to determine what external sites and YouTube features are generating traffic for your videos. This will help you determine how many views are generated by your TrueView ads vs other sources of traffic.
As usual, start with a couple of ads, track their performance and then decide whether it works well enough for your business or not. Only those advertisers who engage most effectively with placement, ad timing and demographics are most likely to be the winners. Focus on view rate (like CTR in search) to get the best price for your video views and good luck!
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