How to improve the performance of YouTube video ads?

How to improve the effectiveness of video advertising? Video advertising

Today, more than 50% of Ukrainians can be classified as a permanent YouTube audience. Moreover, each of them spends an average of 50 minutes daily watching videos. In parallel with the growing popularity of online services, the interest of companies in video advertising on YouTube is also growing, because it is gaining more weight among the tools available to marketers.

Attention! Video content is able to effectively solve important marketing tasks. At the same time, here, as with other advertising mechanisms on the Internet, the correct settings, data collection and analysis play an essential role. It is also important to constantly optimize the campaign during the placement process.

The effectiveness of YouTube advertising equally depends on the video itself, as well as on the right choice of target audience for its demonstration. It is important to work out this aspect not only in the process of setting up the advertising campaign before the first launch, but also during the entire period of the show. In this article, we will look at all the components of the success of this type of interaction with visitors and tell you how to increase the effectiveness of advertising on YouTube.

How to choose the most effective video format?

Getting a lead from YouTube is a task that can often be successfully solved only by professionals who have impressive experience in running campaigns in this area. Before launching an ad, you should decide on the format that is most suitable for solving certain marketing tasks.

  • TrueView for Reach video advertising allows you to minimize the cost of a contact while getting the maximum reach;
  • TrueView for Action ads help motivate visitors to take the targeted action;
  • The TrueView for Shopping format is the best at generating sales. By fitting the message into a video up to 6 seconds long, you can effectively apply introductory ads that cannot be missed;
  • In-stream ads that don’t have a skip button are useful in situations where you want the maximum number of users to watch the video ad to the end.

Advice! Video ad formats can be combined, and this solution is often the most optimal. For example, in-stream videos introduce viewers to a brand, and you can build interaction with an already formed audience using splash screens, showing ads with unique offers and promotions.

Basic rules for effective YouTube video advertising

When developing a script for a commercial for YouTube, one should not forget that the visitor has the opportunity not to watch the advertisement to the end. You have only 5 seconds at your disposal to hook the viewer and make him watch to the end.

Of course, you can choose a format that does not allow you to opt out, but then the entire message should be within 15 seconds. Pay attention to the ads that are shown in the recommended lists. The main thing for a marketer in this case is to motivate a potential client to at least start viewing.

The following recommendations will help to increase the effectiveness of advertising on YouTube:

  1. Important information first. The more important the information is, the closer to the beginning of the video message it should be placed. The first few seconds of the ad, which users will definitely see, even if they want to skip the rest of the video, must be made memorable;
  2. Quick and to the point. There is no time for a long prologue in this format. Users came to the page not to get acquainted with advertising. In just five seconds and before the end of the video, they will have the opportunity to return to watching what they visited the YouTube service for;
  3. Clear and interesting. It is important to communicate with the target audience, which may be heterogeneous, in the same language.

Attention! Videos created for demonstration on other sites do not always meet the above criteria. They will not work effectively on YouTube, so you need to shoot separate videos for an advertising campaign on the service.

How to measure the effectiveness of a YouTube ad campaign?

When analyzing the effectiveness of video advertising, several indicators are used simultaneously. Let’s dwell on the most important of them.

User engagement

The numbers in the ad performance report appear immediately after the first interaction with the video. You will find such information in the corresponding card of the “Ads data” section, in the “Analytics” block. The information presented here allows you to understand what actions viewers take after viewing ads, and makes it possible to improve the effectiveness of your YouTube campaign.

For example, for the In-Stream format (which cannot be skipped), you can analyze the following metrics:

  • Views – the number of people who watched the entire video or more than 30 seconds and interacted with it;
  • Impressions – the total number of times the ad was shown to the target audience;
  • View rate is a calculated value that allows you to find out what percentage of impressions was accompanied by a view. High values of the indicator indicate that the viewers are interested in the proposed video sequence;
  • Clicks – the number of clicks on the ad. The more clicks an ad gets, the more interest it generates.

Advice! To get more detailed data on audience engagement, use the Highlights tool, which helps you evaluate the interaction of visitors with brand elements.

To mark an important moment, click on the Mark button.

Mark important point in YouTube ad

Specify the brand element you want to track. You can put a label on the product name or photo, logo, product description, etc.

Tag product image

For example, use “Product Image”. This option allows you to mark the segment in which the product image appears and study statistics about interaction with it.

Audience retention

As Google Ads displays campaign details, the following statistics will be available in the Audience Retention section:

  1. Spend percentage. Allows you to estimate what share of the total costs was spent on video;
  2. Percentage of views. Allows you to determine the percentage of paid ad views in the total number of paid views of all video campaigns.

Percentage of paid views for a specific video

Average CPC

CPC — average cost per click. This indicator is calculated as the ratio of the cost of showing an ad to the number of clicks on it. It is one of the determinants for evaluating efficiency.

If an ad was clicked 30 times, 20 of which cost the advertiser $1.50 and 10 cost $3 each, then the average cost would be $2.

You can find all the indicators described in the “Video” section of Google Adwords:

Average cost per video ad click

How can you improve the performance of your YouTube ads?

Even if you plan to include only unskippable ads, no one guarantees that the video will be viewed and its message will remain in the potential client’s memory. This means that you need to run only high-quality videos that can attract attention, as well as correctly analyze the results. Follow these guidelines to improve the performance of your YouTube video ads.

Disable untargeted channels

Even at the initial stage, try to exclude those channels that your target audience is most likely not interested in. Collect a database of unwanted channels and use whitelists for targeting. Google Ads implements the ability to automatically track and exclude channels with irrelevant topics.

Advice! If you do not set the appropriate settings, then a large share of impressions may fall on unwanted channels – for example, children’s content or videos with negative content.

If repeat purchases are rare for your business, then place customer contact information in Google Ads to exclude them from impressions.

Adjust your bids based on your campaign goal

Analyze the statistics for a cross-section of used devices and determine the most appropriate adjustments for each of them. For example, for TrueView In-Stream, the highest view rate and the lowest cost are usually observed on Smart TV.

By adjusting the impressions on these devices upwards, you will increase the effectiveness of the advertising campaign. At the same time, if the determining factor is the number of visits to the site, then this type of device will work worse than others.

Information! To calculate the necessary adjustments, analyze the cost of acquisition by the most important metric for you for all types of devices and determine by how much it needs to be changed for each type of device so that the cost of acquisition becomes the same for all.

Determine the optimal frequency of ad impressions

If for you the key criterion for the effectiveness of an advertising campaign is the reach width, then you should limit the frequency of impressions. This way you will be able to familiarize more users with the video ad.

Regular demonstration of the video increases the memorability of the advertising message by the viewer. As an optimization, it is sometimes useful to change the frequency of showing an ad.

Use different ad formats

An effective strategy for long-term campaigns on YouTube is the one that shows the same video, while changing its duration. Thus, you can first be remembered, then become familiar.

But don’t limit yourself to just changing the display time. Even within the same format, you can add variety by working on the plot, the style of presenting information and other elements.

Use a video series

When launching a CM video, you should determine whether a single video will solve all the tasks assigned to it. You may need a series of announcements. This need often arises. Here are some examples:

  1. If the advertised brand has several powerful USPs that cannot be described within 15-30 seconds;
  2. The chain of video ads can lead sequentially from the step of getting to know the product to the step of making a purchase;
  3. If necessary, identify which of several clips performs better. This information can be used for later placement or when creating new creatives;
  4. When promoting multiple products within the same campaign.

Look at YouTube analytics tools

To evaluate the results and determine the necessary adjustments in the process of displaying advertising videos, it is useful to use special tools – Brand Lift and Post-view.

Using the Brand Lift study, you can compare the results of surveys of two segments: users who have read the ad and those who have not seen the video. This allows you to analyze how well the audience remembers the video ad, recognizes the brand and is motivated to choose the product.

In order to track the conversions made by the user who saw the video ad but did not click on it (they are also called view-through conversions), you need to place a special tag in the website code.

Information obtained using the Post-view tool is useful for further optimization of video campaigns. For example, you can continue to work only with videos that are best remembered by the audience and increase brand awareness.

An additional optimization method is to reduce bids where the highest cost of attracting conversions was recorded, and raise bids in the most effective advertising campaigns according to this criterion.

How to optimize a video for YouTube?

The final effectiveness can be affected by any, even the most minor changes to the video. Let’s talk about what you should pay attention to in order to increase the return on advertising without additional costs.

Change the cover image

It is the cover that is evaluated before opening the video. Its attractiveness is important, the text should be well read. Also check if it displays correctly on all devices, including mobile devices.

A beautiful cover will increase the effectiveness of advertising on YouTube

Use a call to action

Using a call-to-action button, the visitor can interact with the ad to go to the website, find brand information, and close the deal.

Add a call to action to your ad campaign

Add subtitles to your video

Many people watch videos in transport or queues with the sound turned off. Subtitles enable the advertiser to improve the perception of the video and convey its main idea.

Adding subtitles to the video

Use end screens

A fully watched True Discovery video indicates user interest, so the end screen is a useful tool for further engagement with the user. Here you can put a link to go to a website or another video, a call to subscribe to pages on social networks, including a YouTube channel.

Enable YouTube end screen

Try to weed out the non-target audience

A user is charged per view of a skippable in-stream video ad only if that view is longer than 30 seconds.

In some cases, it is useful to place at the beginning of the video a request to skip it if the user is not interested in this topic. This allows you to save your advertising budget.


It is necessary to engage in the optimization of the RC only after the accumulation of sufficient analytical data to make a decision. The period it takes to collect statistics depends on the size of the campaign and the budget allocated to it, as well as adjustments made in the process.

You should exclude unwanted channels every day, while it takes at least a week to evaluate the effectiveness of any targeting. Even if the indicators at the start of the campaign do not match the predicted values, do not give up – the situation can be corrected.

Сергей Шевченко
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