Google AdWords for Video, an advertising platform for pay-per-click ads on YouTube, has evolved quite a bit since it was first incorporated into AdWords in September 2011. Marketing Mojo’s Blaine Anderson wrote a series of blog posts about the platform back in July that explained the basics of video advertising in AdWords. At the end of 2013, AdWords for Video made several big improvements to the platform, expanding the capabilities for video advertisers.
One of the biggest changes was the incorporation of Earned Actions as performance metrics. Earned Actions are actions that a paid video ad viewer completes on YouTube within 7 days of viewing the paid ad. “Earned Views” and “Earned Subscribers” metrics now replace “Follow-On-Views” and “Follow-On-Subscribes.” These metrics were also expanded to include “Earned Likes,” “Earned Shares,” and “Earned Playlist Additions.” This change has opened up the ways performance can be measured in AdWords for Video.
Here are four other updates to the platform that have expanded the capabilities for video advertising.
Placements are a bit different in AdWords for Video than in AdWords. As ads can be placed on the YouTube Network and on the Google Display Network, AdWords for Video placements can be the URL of a YouTube video, or the URL of a site on which your video was displayed. Placements are tied to your targeting groups, so this information can be viewed by clicking on a specific targeting group you have set up and navigating to the “Where your ads were shown” option. This feature helps advertisers control where ads are shown and exclude placements where they don’t want their ad shown or they aren’t performing well. You can also include specific placements in the new targeting group interface under Advanced Options.
If you use AdWords Conversion tracking, those conversions can be tracked for your campaigns in AdWords for Video as well. View through conversions, or conversions that take place after a user has viewed a paid ad, can be tracked as well. This is beneficial to advertisers as it opens up the ability to potentially measure ROI from video advertising.
In August, AdWords for Video made some updates to include options to target users on specific devices. In fact, advertisers can get very granular with these targets, going as far as whether a user uses AT&T or Verizon.
Remarketing lists can be built for YouTube channel visitors that have viewed a video or viewed a paid video ad. Some new options include remarketing lists for users who have liked or commented on a certain video or videos. Additionally, these remarketing lists can be used in the standard AdWords interface on your PPC campaigns. This could be helpful if you have multiple videos with similar content, and want to expand your remarketing audience on AdWords with visitors to YouTube.
Although, in my opinion, there are still ways the platform could be improved, the continually updating features of AdWords for Video are making it easier for advertisers to optimize their video advertising performance. It also provides a variety of statistics by which to measure that performance depending on the advertiser’s goals.