TrueView is AdWords’ video advertising platform on YouTube, and it’s exploding.
Currently, YouTube has over 1.5 billion monthly active users. Yes, billion with a B. Those active users watch more than one hour every single day, too.
That level of engagement is virtually unheard of for an advertising-friendly platform.
Now is the time to set up an AdWords campaign with YouTube video.
AdWords is a tried and true platform for most PPC marketers. Everyone is taking advantage of AdWords search and display network and might be leaving TrueView on the backburner.
Don’t make the same mistake!
Here’s how to create your first TrueView campaign with YouTube video to capitalize on the massive engagement it has today.
What is Google TrueView?
Standard click-through rates on the display network are pretty awful: 0.05%.
Typical conversion rates on the display network are even worse. They average at 0.89%.
The search network isn’t much better, either.
The point is:
As more people use tactics like the search and display networks, they become saturated and users grow tired of them.
Thankfully, Google TrueView hasn’t become over-saturated yet and presents a hyper-engaged audience for PPC marketers to target.
So, what exactly is Google TrueView?
TrueView video ads are a new format for reaching and targeting audiences directly on YouTube with video-based content.
As the name of the ad type suggests, you can only use video content in your ads.
That means no text, no images or other content.
Since these ads will be shown primarily on YouTube, you must have an active YouTube account and the means to create and upload videos.
According to research by ROIRevolution, the new ad formats and additions of TrueView have increased the CTR of YouTube Ads by over 11% on average.
Plus, viewers who have seen more than one TrueView ad from your company have a 500% increased likelihood of engaging with your content and call to actions.
It’s safe to say that TrueView ads are already showing promise for brand awareness.
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How do TrueView ads work?
When you’re on YouTube, the first step you take is likely to search for a video to watch. For example, let’s say you wanted to look up techniques on how to cook the perfect steak:
The first thing you’ll notice (besides the legend Gordon Ramsay) is that the top result is an ad.
That’s Google TrueView in action.
And it doesn’t stop there.
For example, if you go to watch a new video on YouTube, you will start to notice that your sidebar / “Up next” section often contains ads relating to the content, too:
With such specific niches on YouTube for almost any topic and subtopic, you can think of, advertising feels natural.
Sure, it does have an ugly yellow “Ad” label on it. But when you compare the topics of your video to the ads shown, it’s extremely relevant. And that’s what drives clicks.
Plus, these ads work perfectly on mobile now too.
But these formats aren’t the only ones that Google TrueView currently offers. Here is an in-depth look at the current YouTube campaign types using Google TrueView and how you can put them to use today.
AdWords YouTube Video Campaign Types
With TrueView the most common use cases tend to be focused on a few main objectives:
- Brand awareness/consideration
- Downloads of apps or tools
- Website traffic
These common goals each have their own subtype goals, networks and ad formats relative to your selections and desired outcomes:
Specific goals, like integrating e-commerce and Google Shopping only work using the in-stream ad format.
Meanwhile, goals for brand awareness, digital downloads or website traffic are more versatile.
Google TrueView currently offers two main types of ad formats on YouTube that advertisers are finding success with:
- In-stream ads
- Video discovery
These two ad types are vastly different but offer amazing ways to reach new users.
TrueView in-stream ads are shown just before, or during another video from a YouTuber who monetizes their content.
These ads are extremely common and can be seen with almost every YouTube Partner’s content on the platform.
When you load up a video, you’ll likely get a five-second ad at the start and even multiple throughout the duration of the video.
After just five seconds, users have the opportunity to skip these ads and continue back to the video.
The great aspect about these ads is that you only pay when a user watches for at least 30 seconds, or to the end of the video (depending on length).
If people engage with your cards and other elements of your in-stream ads, you’ll pay.
But if someone skips your ad, you won’t.
A great example of this that I recently stumbled upon was from Honey.
Using in-stream ads, they had a short 30-second ad with the goal of driving site visits and mobile app downloads.
Along with video content and CTAs on the actual video itself, you get a sidebar on the right-hand side to display an additional, larger CTA with a headline and your website link:
Overall, the ad format is pretty solid. It allows you to convey both video and a short text-based headline to compel users to click on your site or app.
The second most commonly used ad format is video discovery.
With TrueWiev discovery ads, your video content shows up in detail on the search results, homepage of a user with similar interests and below videos they are currently watching:
This ad type is great for building tons of brand awareness and reaching people in as many locations as possible.
Currently, Grammarly is taking advantage of search result page ads by bidding on specific interest-based searches related to their products:
With discovery ads, you have a bit more room to convey text, which is a great addition. With in-stream ads, you are limited to a headline with a specific CTA.
On the homepage of YouTube, you will likely notice discovery ads each time you log back on:
With these two ad types, any advertiser with almost any goal can find success.
Here’s how you can get your piece of the pie and start a campaign on AdWords for YouTube video today.
Let’s jump in!
The Ins and Outs of Setting Up Your First Trueview Video Campaign
When creating your first campaign with TrueView on AdWords, there are a few key steps to making sure that you meet the right requirements and set yourself up for success.
Here’s the best way to currently set up your first campaign and ad group in just minutes.
Setting up a campaign for success
To get started with campaign set up, fire up your AdWords dashboard and click the campaigns tab:
Next, click on the blue “+” button to create a new campaign. Choose the video campaign type from the list:
Next, you have to determine your objectives for the campaign.
Currently, you have three different options for video campaign objectives:
- Product / Brand consideration: Product or brand consideration is for ads on Google Shopping (if you have ecommerce connectivity), or for customers to download your app or complete a specific action with your brand. Essentially, these ads are sales focused and designed to get people to consider buying your products / services / offerings. *Side Note: if you want to sell products with Google Shopping, this is the only objective you can pick.
- Brand awareness and reach: Simple ads to increase the audience size that you reach for building brand awareness.
- No specific goal: No goal allows you more customization and flexibility in campaign structure. But, selecting this will not allow you to change it after the campaign is created.
After selecting your campaign objective, it’s time to choose a subtype:
If you have a direct ecommerce / online store and want to sell specific products, choose Shopping.
If you want more general consideration for online services or tools, select Standard consideration.
Click “Continue” to proceed to the next step.
Give your campaign an easily identifiable name based on your objective, which you can also edit by clicking the pencil icon if you change your mind:
Fill out the amount of money you want to set aside in your video advertising budget:
In the next step, you can edit a ton of different selections and settings for your new campaign:
You can start by customizing the start and end dates of your campaign. This is great for seasonal sales or capitalizing on upcoming holidays. It allows you to plan in advance and have your campaigns ready to push live the second the clock strikes midnight (or whatever time you set).
Next, I recommend configuring the “Networks” settings tab, as by default, AdWords will leave the “Display Network” selection on:
If you want to advertise on YouTube exclusively, simply deselect the Display Network box.
In the “Devices” settings, you can start to really customize your offering based on your current business model:
By default, AdWords will show your video ads on all device types, which is a great start.
But what if you sell specific applications on mobile that are exclusive to the iOS app store?
You clearly wouldn’t want to waste money on ads to Android users.
Or what if you scan your Google Analytics data and find that tablet-based traffic doesn’t ever convert?
You get the picture.
Do some basic research on your Analytics account and your current business model to assess what changes can be made to reduce wasted ad spend:
You can even target audiences based on cellular networks like Sprint or Verizon if that’s something you are interested in.
Another massively important section to be aware of is the “Content exclusion” box:
Content exclusion helps you filter out potentially negative or sensitive videos that could reflect poorly on your brand or message.
Ensure that you have the “Standard content filter” enabled for starters. This will eliminate most damaging content from displaying your ads.
If you want to get more specific, you can check different boxes based on inappropriate content types like conflict, social issues and more.
While it may seem like a way to limit your audience, you are better off with a positive brand association than a negative one.
Lastly, you can give your ads a schedule to operate on:
For example, if you prefer to run ads during the day when a live sales rep can be around to field calls or questions, set it to their working hours.
Or if you simply want to run it only on specific days of the week, you can do that too.
Make sure to save your progress and continue on to the next step!
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Creating your first ad and ad group
Now that you’ve created your first campaign, it’s time to set up your first ad and ad group.
In this section, you can start to hone in on specific targeting and demographic factors for your first audience.
To get started, continue from the window you just saved and give your new ad group a name and the maximum cost-per-view you are willing to pay.
Note: you can always adjust your CPV bid later in the process. If you aren’t sure what to apply, start small and increase it as results filter in.
Next, it’s audience time.
Start by selecting common demographics from age to gender, parental status and even household income:
For more specificity, limit the number of options you pick to your core target market and typical buyer personas.
Next, you can combine demographics with diverse audience targeting:
Currently, you can run remarketing lists or target based on affinity groups and lifestyle.
Affinity groups allow you to get very specific in what audience you are looking for. You can even combine affinity audiences with in-market audiences to narrow down your target market:
Lastly, in terms of your content, decide what keywords, topics, and placements you want to focus on:
These three options are the guiding principles on which YouTube places your ads. The previous selections focused on audience, but these will determine what videos your ads show up on.
For example, if you sell SEO services, you can place ads on a topic/keyword about SEO or website optimization.
For placements, decide where you want your ads to be shown.
The final step to get your campaign off the ground and running is creating a video ad.
For this step, you need an active YouTube account with video content on it. If you don’t have videos on your YouTube, you will have to upload an ad and use that as your video ad:
Don’t fret if you don’t have one yet. Simply hit “Save And Continue” and come back to the editor when you are ready to paste your video link!
Phewf. You made it. And don’t worry, it gets easier each time you create a new campaign.
With search and display network ads declining in effectiveness, it’s time to branch out.
And thankfully, AdWords has provided easy access for all advertisers to use Google TrueView.
With TrueView, you can reach new customers in the fast-growing, extremely engaged audience of YouTube.
Both consumer and B2B focused brands are finding success with TrueView ads.
To get started, launch a new video campaign on AdWords and choose between the two main ad types of in-stream and discovery.
Want to grow your brand awareness? Check.
Website visits or app downloads? Check.
Try implementing TrueView video ads to capture a new audience on YouTube.
Ready to start? Hold on!