Google Ads launched in 2000, just two years after the search engine. It functions as a pay-per-click (PPC) marketing strategy as part of paid search advertising targeting digital consumers. In 2018, the platform was rebranded as Google Ads.
While the Google market runs rife with potential leads, its popularity makes it a competitive atmosphere. Four times as many people are more likely to click on a paid search ad on Google than on any other search engine. And, costs for keywords are rising, making these campaigns increasingly expensive. This change has led to questions like, “what can I do to avoid overspending and still meet the demands of an oversaturated market?”
Google Ads may be deluged with business owners making their mark, but there are avenues yet to be conquered. Video is a perfect example of an untapped resource with plenty of potential for growth.
Let’s take a closer look at the ways Google Ads feature in videos and how to make them work for you.
Understanding Google Ads for Video
The most commonly used YouTube video ads are called TrueView ads, and they come in three formats.
- In-Stream: As the title suggests, an in-stream ad is one that plays during a YouTube video stream. The host of the video, also known as a YouTube partner, agrees to have ads play in exchange for monetary compensation. They normally appear at the beginning, middle, or end of the stream. In-stream ads are beneficial because they provide the viewer with the option to skip the ad after five seconds and return to their video. Unlike other types of PPC content, these ads don’t charge you unless a viewer watches your ad for 30 seconds or more. There are also non-skippable ads that do not have a skip button so viewers watch for the full 15 or 20 seconds that are paid for by impression (if in India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore or EMEA).
- In-Search: Unlike in-stream content, in-search ads are linked to keywords. When a YouTube user searches for your keyword, your ad appears in the results window. If the ad video is clicked, you’re charged for it. This method lacks the safety net of the five-second skip rule but has merits of its own. For example, your ad is more likely to reach its target audience if it’s delivered by a search term.
- In-Display (now called Video discovery ads): Finally, in-display ads are those which appear in the sidebar or search results. They’re marked with an “ad” indicator. Once clicked, you’re charged for the ad. These ads are extremely precise, guaranteeing the viewer wants to see your content. Unlike other ad formats which self-populate, the viewer chooses this ad of their own accord.
A fourth option used to be available and it offered the viewer the choice of three ads to watch during a video of 10 or more minutes. That format has been retired in favor of the alternative TrueView styles.
If you’re new to Google Ads, check out our Beginners Guide to get the basics.
Connecting Your Ads to Video
Before you begin with the intricacies of linking ads to streaming video, you need a Google and YouTube account. Once you’ve set those up, create your Google Ads account. Now, you’re ready to get connected and start your campaign with these easy steps:
From your Google Ads page, select the setup option, and proceed to link your accounts. YouTube should be one of the options listed in the account panel. If you have multiple YouTube channels, you can choose the ones relevant to your ad.
Create and Specify Campaign Conditions
From the Ads panel select “campaigns,” “add campaign,” and then “video.” The tool will prompt you to specify whether you want to increase brand awareness or brand consideration with your video.
After a campaign is selected, give it a title, and determine how much you’ll spend daily. Campaign conditions you’re required to specify are:
- The launch and close date
- The language and countries to stream in
- Whether the video is in-search, in-stream, or in-display
- Your bidding strategy – find out 7 ways to boost your bids
- A schedule of appearance
One advantage of this ad strategy is that it targets your audience by demographics and interests. This breakdown appears under the “people” tab, and lets you zero in on your target consumers through:
- Life event celebrations
- Interests or affinity
- Past interactions
- Similar interests
With your audience chosen, you can now select placement by clicking websites or YouTube channels you want your ad to run through. You may also select keywords and categories which relate to your target audience.
Run and Monitor Your Ad
With the ad creation processes complete, all that’s left to do is publish and maintain. Ad metrics reports will show you how your ad is succeeding and where it needs to be improved.
If you need some guidance or want to see samples or previews, download our Google Ads Creator template.
5 Tips for Successful Video Google Ads
Now that you know how Google ads and YouTube work together, here are five tips for a successful campaign:
1. Make an Ad People Want to See
Rather than designing an ad your consumers don’t mind pausing a video for, design an ad they want to watch from start to finish. Consider your target audience and the videos they’re attracted to. The key to a successful video ad is making your audience forget it’s an ad.
A unique way to showcase a brand and reduce its appearance as an ad is turning it into something interactive. For example, if you were a shoe company launching a new sneaker, you might be tempted to create a commercial-style ad. Instead, why not show viewers something they’ve seen, and design the ad as a how-to video for running?
This example from Amazon’s Alexa featuring Michael B. Jordan uses humor to draw a viewer in and makes you forget it’s actually an ad.
2. Show Real Consumer Opinions
According to Trustpilot, nine out of ten consumers read reviews before purchasing a product or service. It’s become second nature to see what others are saying before trying something for ourselves. As a marketer, you can profit from this fact by including real customer opinions in your video ad.
An example of this is the Hello Fresh video campaign ‘TV Spot’, which shows the Glicken family cook together to spend time as a family and get dinner ready in just 30 minutes.
This marketing style is relatable and evokes an emotional response – two things that equal success in an advertisement.
3. Keep It Short and Sweet
This is an especially helpful tip for ads running in the middle of another video. You’re taking the consumer’s attention off the original link they clicked on. Keeping your content short and sweet improves the chances that a viewer will let it run to completion. The length varies for different ads but as a guide, you should try and keep your ads to between 12 and 20 seconds long for skippable TrueView ads, 15 to 20 seconds for non-skippable and 6 seconds for bumper ads.
4. Research Before You Write
Understanding what your target demographic wants to see is crucial to creating a successful video ad campaign. Research which ads on YouTube are doing well within your industry and what types of videos they feature in.
You can also ask your audience outright what kind of ads they’d like to see and where. Use a poll in your social media feed or send out an incentivized email survey to gather intel.
5. Draw Inspiration from Past Content
You’ve done your research; you know your audience. You probably have plenty of content already posted to blogs and social media feeds to prove it. Rather than trying to create brand-new ads from scratch, draw on the inspiration of past content.
Repurposing your social media content to form something new as a video is a brilliant way to give your audience something you already know was a hit.
Overcome Google Ad Traffic Jams with Video
They call it the information highway, so it’s no surprise that digital marketing feels like driving in rush hour. 63 percent of consumers say they would happily click on a PPC ad, so in addition to organic search, Google Ads is certainly a desirable route to take.
There may be no reprieve for cars stuck in a 5 p.m. traffic jam, but marketers are far luckier. Video marketing uses tried-and-true PPC ads in a less congested environment. Invest in PPC video marketing and you will give yourself a far greater chance of standing out in your industry or niche.
Supercharge your Marketing Campaigns with Google Ads
The best way to get the most from your paid advertising campaigns is to learn from the experts. DMI has teamed up with Neil Patel to create a Professional Diploma in Search Marketing that covers SEO, PPC and digital display advertising, along with platforms including Google Ads, Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads), and Google Analytics 4.