4 Facts You May Not Know About YouTube Ads

YouTube campaigns in Google Ads seems pretty straight forward, right? You have a YouTube channel. You link it with Google Ads. Then you can promote your videos on YouTube to the exact audience you want. Well not so fast. There are a few caveats you should know before creating your new campaigns. Let’s break a few of them down.

Your YouTube Ads Don’t Have to Stay on YouTube

Have you ever noticed the campaign type for your YouTube ad campaigns doesn’t mention the word YouTube at all? Our YouTube ads have a wider reach than you may expect. 

campaign category names

Yes, we link our YouTube accounts to Google Ads. And yes, we use our marketing budgets to promote our YouTube videos. But we don’t have to promote those videos only on YouTube. We can also promote our videos on websites that are part of the Display Network and certain apps.

youtube placement options

Look at the paragraph on the right in the image above. Even if you’re targeting a specific website, your YouTube ad may appear on the company’s app instead. This may be a surprise to you, but it’s a perfect transition into my next point.

Your Targeting May Not Be Reaching the Audience You Think You’re Targeting

Yes you read that headline right. You may think all of your multi-layered, video campaigns are targeting a specific audience. Segmenting the audiences is a great strategy, but you might not be hitting the exact audience you think. If you’re not eligible to show for one of your targeting options, this is much more common if you’re only using placement targeting, you may show up on other network placements Google deems eligible. Here’s the full quote from Google…

video campaign targeting note

Source: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2454017?hl=en

If your video campaigns have ad groups with many layers, monitor their performance early on after launch. You might notice certain targeting layers within the ad group may not have any impressions at all. One time I launched an ad group that was targeting specific YouTube channels with additional layers of topics and interests. When I checked on the ad group a week later, my placement targeting had zero impressions. All of our exposure was going to one of the interest selections. Keep this in mind when selecting and monitoring your targeting options for your video campaigns.

You Don’t Earn Views from Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are the six-second TrueView ads that run before the video a user intended on watching. The main goals of these campaigns are typically to increase brand awareness with a broader reach and frequency. With only six seconds to tell your story, your marketing message needs to be well thought out to have an impact on the user depending on where they might be in the buying cycle. Here’s one example of a bumper ad from Duracell.

Short, simple, and to the point. But the branding message is very clear. Now remember I said the strategy with bumper ads typically is to have a wide reach and frequency to get your brand name in front of a many people. And at 6 seconds a view you can really push your video views. The unfortunate part of this is that any views from your bumper videos as an ad won’t count towards your total view count. If you leave your bumper ads unlisted, this may not be an issue. But if you have all of your videos public, and want all of your videos to have tons of views, you’ll need to push your six-second videos via different methods.

You Can Push for More Leads with Your Video Ads

At the Google Marketing Live Keynote last month, we heard about TrueView for action. This new will show a call-to-action button before, during, and after your video ad is played. So not only can you encourage users to engage with your brand, but now you can encourage customers to act a lot better than the CTA overlays we currently have. 

trueview for action

While the focus on YouTube is typically to drive awareness, you may want to use a different campaign goal and subtype within the Google Ads interface to try and get direct return on your video campaigns. Also, here are a few additional facts about TrueView for action.

  • You have to select a campaign goal of Leads or Website Traffic and the Subtype of Drive conversions.
  • TrueView for action runs only on a Target CPA bid strategy

The more engaging your videos, the longer the CTA will be in front of the user. If your video content speaks to your campaign targeting, you could see a lift in direct return from your awareness campaigns.

Final Point

As PPC advertisers, we can do a lot more with YouTube videos than we realize. But before we open the floodgates on reaching new users, it’s always good to circle back and no all of the options and limitations the channel has. I only went over four, quick facts about video campaigns in Google Ads. Make sure you read all the fine print for each video campaign type within the platform before launching your campaigns. You may find other hidden gems that will either help or hinder your efforts. 

About the Author

Joe Martinez

Joe Martinez is the Director of Paid Media and Community for Granular in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is also the current and founding President of MKEsearch. His focus on marketing psychology and user experience helps his clients achieve record growths and lifetime customers. While he is hands-on in all aspects of PPC, his true passions lie in Display, Remarketing, and YouTube. In addition to being the main blogger for Granular, he is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land and has also written for PPC Hero, SEMrush, Leadpages, Optmyzr, Unbounce, WordStream and AdStage. He has hosted webinars for SEMrush, Unbounce, and Bing Ads. He regularly speaks at conferences such as SMX Advanced, SMX West, SMX East, HeroConf, Confluence Conference, Digital Olympus and more. He was named a Top 25 Influential PPC Expert by PPC Hero in 2017 and 2018.