Aug 1, 2018

Maximize your advertising impact with YouTube TrueView

By Supermetrics

Performance Marketing AnalyticsYouTube

[ Updated Aug 1, 2018 ]

10-MINUTE READ · By Tina Arnoldi

Do you communicate through video? Do you have a story to tell or a product that can be better explained via the video instead of text? If so, there is a prospective audience of 1.9 billion users a month on YouTube that may be interested in what you offer.

YouTube is a place for inspiration and information, no longer just for entertainment. YouTube visitors look for more than that which is clear from search trends with queries that include the word “review” in them or that are instructional by nature.

In Google’s Marketing Live Keynote, they discussed ways for you, as an advertiser, to reach video viewers with TrueView for Reach, TrueView for Action, and Maximize Lift. In this post, I’ll cover TrueView for Action which is designed for advertisers who want to drive site conversions with specific goals.

Traditionally, video was a good channel for branding, a way to reach people at the top of funnel but we can now reach lower funnel prospects with these new targeting capabilities. We know that people pay attention to online video ads compared to television ads and pay more attention to ads when they are on YouTube versus other social media channels.

youtube social media

Target on YouTube based on Google Search

If I search on Google for a luxury spa vacation, wouldn’t it be great for you, the marketer for a luxury spa, to reach me with a video showing a walk-through of your resort? With a Custom Intent Audience on YouTube, you can do that. Take that keyword phrase – luxury spa vacation – and use it to a build an audience in Google Ads to use for YouTube.

After I, as a consumer, do my Google Search for a luxury spa vacation , the next time I am on YouTube, I could see your ad that shows me a video of what is available at your resort. Google Ads are more than targeting people on Google or targeting on YouTube. You can do both. Target me on YouTube based on what I do on Google with a Custom Intent Audience.

Custom intent audiences

A custom intent audience is found in the same place as other audiences in your Google Ads account and has been available in the Google Display Network as of the end of 2017. However, this availability for YouTube for Action is new.

youtube custom intent audiences
Create your YouTube audience based on Google searches by creating a custom intent audience in AdWords. If you are unsure of which keywords to target, look at your existing search campaigns in Google Ads. These can be used for ad groups in your YouTube campaigns. A good strategy is to have one that targets your brand keywords, but excludes people who have converted in the past. That way, you do not pay for clicks from people who already know who you are. You could also have a YouTube campaign with keywords that might be too expensive for you to go after on

Once you add a keyword list just like in a regular campaign, Google will constantly refresh the audience based on recency. In the example I gave above, where I searched for luxury spa vacations, I will be in the audience if I did the search over the last seven days. If I looked for a vacation 6 to 8 months ago it is not necessarily something I am still looking for now, so I would not be in the audience.

Smart bidding strategies

Google makes a strong case for using smart bidding in campaigns rather than manual bedding . With smart bidding, there are signals that are unique to Google data sets that cannot be found elsewhere.

youtube smart bidding strategies
Target CPA (tCPA), a smart bidding strategy, “sets bids to help you get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) you set.” Advertisers should allow for 14 or 30 days of learning, depending on the particular conversion window in the existing account.

If you are new to tCPA, set a conservative target compared to what you might do on your search and display as. If you already run video ads in YouTube, use your existing video CPA for YouTube for Action.

With TrueView for Action, tCPA will be the only bidding available in the near future. At the moment, cost-per-view needs to get approval from from a Google account manager and will be sunset in the fall of 2018.

Create and measure conversions

The goal with YouTube for Action is to drive clicks directly from the video such as requesting more information or buying now.

youtube conversions
Since the whole goal of these campaigns is to track action, conversions are a must for these campaigns.

The Google Ads conversion pixel is required to measure cross-device activity and is generated within Google Ads. To accurately track this behavior in your YouTube campaigns, have a separate pixel for YouTube conversions only. This will enable you to do cross tracking, see view-thru conversions and differentiate your the performance of your traffic sources in Google Analytics.

What are the next steps?

As more adults have stopped paying for television and more people are spending time on YouTube, there is a huge opportunity for advertisers to reach and engage an audience. Get creative with your call-to-action since you do not have much time to get somebody’s attention and you want them to take action while they are still on your video.

There are the traditional call now and learn more CTAs, but you can also invite people to join us, get a free trial or sign up for a webinar. Make your CTA engaging and inviting to stand out from competitors and you may discover a new group of lower funnel, high-intent prospective clients. YouTube is no longer a channel just for brand visibility; it is now a tool that marketers can use to reach and engage customers during every part of the journey.

About Tina Arnoldi


Tina Arnoldi is Google Analytics and Google Ads expert and one of the few people in the United States recognized as a Google Developer Expert (GDE) for marketing. Her agency, 360 Internet Strategy, is also a Supermetrics partner. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn.

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