Expand Your AdWords Remarketing Strategy with YouTube TrueView Video Ads

One of the newest ways to expand your performance display efforts in AdWords is through YouTube TrueView ads. This is a format that YouTube launched over two years ago (read the TechCrunch coverage here), though integration with AdWords is still relatively new.

Google released TrueView ads from private beta a few months back, and the feature is now available to all AdWords advertisers. You may not have noticed though, because video campaigns have their own separate tab, which is nested under Automated Rules and Labels:

Setting up a new video campaign is simple; however, this segment of the UI is not yet compatible with AdWords Editor so the manual work it requires can prove quite time consuming, depending on how many campaigns you decide to build. Google provides a nice video overview that guides marketers through the setup process, which you can access here.

The Benefits of TrueView...

Advertisers pay only when a user chooses to watch their video to at least the 30-second mark. If the video runs less than 30 seconds, the advertiser is only charged when a visitor watches the entire video.

Since TrueView is a relatively new product within AdWords, the competition is still relatively low and therefore so is the cost. Advertisers can currently expect to pay half the cost for a view on YouTube than we pay for a click on the GDN for the same retargeting audience.

...And The Drawbacks

An In-search TrueView campaign will likely yield much lower conversion rates than a Google search campaign because the audience is inherently less qualified. You can think about TrueView the same way you think about the GDN: you're more likely to reach someone in an information-seeking mode than you are to reach someone ready to make a purchase decision.

TrueView for Remarketing

The greatest success I've had with TrueView has been with remarketing. TrueView allows you to reach users who have already expressed an interest in your product or service through a medium that was previously unavailable.

YouTube remarketing is well suited for companies who have video content that is truly useful to prospective customers. At 99designs, we've found that our short how-to video helps educate users and increases sales of our logo design and other contests. Since launching TrueView a few weeks ago, we've seen a 90% incremental growth in visits to 99designs from the audiences we're already targeting through the GDN, which resulted in more than a 2X growth in conversions.

Here is a simple guide for expanding your efforts through TrueView:

1. After you've named your campaign and set a daily budget cap, click the "Select a video" button choose a video from your YouTube account:

2. In the "Select targeting" step of the campaign setup process, expand the "Advanced options" section, and click "Use remarketing lists." This is where you'll choose your audience. Be sure to uncheck "Target people who are searching" since you won't be using keywords.

3. Now you're ready to specify formats and networks. Do this by clicking "Ad attributes." From here, you'll want to choose only In-stream, so that your ads will be served only to members of your remarketing audience as they view videos on YouTube. You can also choose to include In-display, which will allow you to also serve your ad on GDN partner sites enabling video content. Just be aware that they will perform differently, so you'll want to monitor performance by network.

Also, you'll probably want to add a second video to your targeting groups (always be testing!). If you only have one relevant video and you're opted into the In-display network, you can test the thumbnail:

Before activating your campaign, make sure to add a call-to-action overlay to your video ad you want viewers to be able to easily navigate to your site and complete a purchase!

Voila! You're ready to launch your very first TrueView remarketing campaign.

If you liked this, you might also enjoy 5 Steps to Improve your AdWords Account in 5 Minutes

About the Author: JoAnne Hart

JoAnne is the Search Engine Marketing Manager for San Francisco based startup 99designs, the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced graphic and logo design. She has over five years of experience in online marketing across a variety of industries including Consumer Packaged Goods, Education, Professional Services and Technology. She enjoys nail polish and mini dachshunds.

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