VideoGoogle AdWords for Video Launches with Improved Targeting on YouTube

Google AdWords for Video Launches with Improved Targeting on YouTube

Google AdWords for video is out of beta and aims to bring the analytical power of paid search advertising to video content and use the same type of bidding model to make video advertising available, affordable and measurable for everybody.

What does the new Google privacy policy, YouTube and Trueview metrics all have in common? They form the foundation of Google’s latest AdWords platform change which brings video advertising out of the realm of huge budgets and TV ad campaigns and into the hands of small to medium sized businesses all over the world.

Google aims to bring the analytical power of paid search advertising to video content and use the same type of bidding model to make video advertising available, affordable and measurable for everybody. The most significant change for experienced video advertisers is that campaigns will now be able to demographically target 10x more users on YouTube.

Just like paid search, where you only pay per-click to your website regardless of how many times your ad is shown, with AdWords for video you only pay per-view of your video ad. What is more, with TrueView pricing you only pay every time a user watches your entire video ad. Should a user skip your video ad (by pressing the skip button) in the first 30 seconds or before the end of your video ad, you will not be charged. If your ad runs over 30 seconds, you will be charged a cost-per-view at the 30 second mark.

There are four types of TrueView ad formats, which enable you to determine exactly where you want your ad to appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network (GDN). These ad formats are:

  • In-stream
  • In-search
  • In-slate
  • In-display

These essentially control whether you want your video ad to appear as a pre-roll to other videos, in search results, at the end of other videos or in the related videos section.

It’s really simple to get started. All you will need in advance is a YouTube account. All you have to do is go to and link up your YouTube account. To celebrate the official launch of this product Google is also giving away a total of $50 million in free advertising credits worth $75 per account.

New Features in AdWords for Video

Now that AdWords for Video is out of beta, Google has released a slew of new features for users to target and analyze the impact of your video ads. Here is a quick overview video of the AdWords for Video features and an explanation on how to get started (the key points in the video describing new features are linked below).

TrueView Format Selector – Now with the four TrueView ad formats you can opt out of specific types. For example, disabling in-search ads will be denoted as a partial opt in to the Google Display Network.

AdWords for Video TrueView Ad Format Selector

Demographic Targeting – Google’s new all-in-one privacy policy for all Google accounts means that advertisers can now target video ads by age and gender across all Google properties. This actually represents a fairly significant change according to SEW Video expert Greg Jarboe.

“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.”

AdWords for Video Demographic Targeting Tool

Interest/Topic Targeting – Not a new feature per se, but with Google’s all-in-one privacy policy now applicable to YouTube, interest/topic targeting is likely to also have a broader reach then it previously did. What used to be hosted separately as the YouTube Video Targeting Tool has now been decommissioned and re-emerges in the AdWords for Video interface.

AdWords for Video Interest and Topic Targeting Tool

Downstream Video Analytics – the AdWords for Video reporting interface also has a cool new feature which shows you what videos users watched on your YouTube channel after arriving via a video ad. AdWords for Video product manager Lane Shackleton told SEW that the aim of this metric is to show advertisers that “paying for video views can drive follow on viewership on their YouTube channel”. The downstream analytics tool will show many further free views to your channel video advertising can generate.

Advanced Bidding – Unfortunately we don’t have too much information on this feature but it looks like advertisers will be able to optimize their bids against “engagement” metrics such as video shares and +1 button clicks.

Advanced Video Marketing Tactics

In tandem with the launch of AdWords for Video, YouTube will be launching a playbook for advertisers which follows the techniques and strategies of some of their most successful video advertisers.

Shackleton shared some tactics that seemed to be working for some of their advertisers.

Some products, such as the make and model of a camera, are easy to describe in text. But others need sight, sound and motion to fully communicate their value. These products are ideally positioned to be advertised on YouTube and can generate significant direct sales.

The TrueView video metric means that video ad plays count as true play counts on your video and YouTube channel. Use your video ads to highlight the interesting content you have on your channel in general. Make the ad a teaser for your YouTube channel and aim to generate more downstream clicks on your channel.

Think about placement and optimize the length of your video to work for the best placement. For example, In-Search ads might suit longer and more informational content whereas in-stream ads might need to be much shorter (bite-size) and instantaneously engaging.

The winners in the competitive bidding landscape of AdWords for Video will be those advertisers who engage most effectively with placement, ad timing and demographics. Focus on view rate (like CTR in search) to get the best price for your video views.


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