Google suggests that its “Display Network sites reach over 90% of Internet users worldwide.” The Google Display Network encompasses more than just websites; it reaches apps and videos. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of videos on the Google Display Network? The answer usually is YouTube and there are several reasons why you ought to be targeting the video platform to help boost your online advertising campaign and audience reach.
So, let’s have a quick look at all the key areas you need to be focusing on to optimize your display ads on YouTube which will help boost ROI, conversion rates and traffic.
- How do I funnel my ads to be presented on relevant YouTube content?
- How do I track my ad placements?
- How do I measure the success of my Display Network ads?
According to brandwatch.com:
- ‘The platform has over 1.9bn logged-in monthly users.’
- ‘6 out of 10 people prefer online video platforms to live TV.’
- ‘By 2025, half of viewers under 32 will not subscribe to a pay-TV service.’
- ‘In an average month, 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube, while 90% of America 18-24 year-olds use it.’
- ‘YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and second most visited site after Google.’
- ‘YouTube is the 2nd most popular social media platform with 1.9bn users.’
- ‘70% of YouTube views come from mobile devices.’
Getting started with YouTube display ads
When you get started you will need to specify your targeting. This is done by clicking on the ‘Content’ option so you can tell Google’s algorithm where you want your ads to be displayed. You can funnel your display ads by defining keywords, topics and placements that are relevant to your campaign.
Once you click on ‘Placements’ you will be offered a few options to define particular areas on YouTube that you would like your ads to be featured. Firstly, you could choose ‘YouTube Channels’. This allows you to search for specific YouTube channels or browse through recommended lists of channels depending on your choice of keywords.
Number two on the list for outlining your YouTube placements looks very much like the first option we just mentioned. However, rather than limiting your selection to just ‘YouTube Channels’ you could also choose the ‘YouTube Videos’ option. By selecting the videos option you can search for and pinpoint the types of videos you want your ads to be displayed on depending on the keywords you specify.
Last but not least in our quest for letting Google know the exact requirements for the YouTube placements option is to provide the exact video ID of specific videos on YouTube. What is the video ID and where do I find it? The video ID is simply the section of the URL that comes after the ‘/watch?v=’ part. For example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huir874y6dh the area in bold is known as the video ID.
Then by pasting the specific video ID into the search box, you can see if the video you are looking for is eligible to display ads. Not all YouTube placements are eligible to display ads. So, if you search for specific placements but they do not come up on the search results don’t fret, it just means that you have to look for substitute placements.
Placements and keywords go hand in hand…
In an article entitled How placements and keywords work together Google outlines how keywords and placements cooperate:
‘Placements and keywords can team up to determine where your ads will appear on the Display Network and how much you’ll pay for them. You can choose to show your ads based only on your keyword list while using placements to adjust your bidding. Or, you can use a combination of placements and keywords to refine where your ads are eligible to show. Using both together helps you narrow the audience for your ads and set the right price for clicks from those potential customers.’
What’s the catch?
Google says that your ads can also show up on sites, apps and anywhere it deems relevant to the keywords and terms you specify. So, what does this mean?
If you supplement your ad group targeting with additional information such as keywords and target audiences, and for whatever reason your Network Display ads do not feature on the placements you specify, your display ads could be displayed elsewhere. This could be down to eligibility issues or due to the sheer level of competition that exists on the video platform.
What about formatting?
When it comes to formatting your display ads, there are a variety of ways that your ads can appear on YouTube. According to Google’s YouTube advertising formats post, there are six different formats:
- Display ads
- Overlay ads
- Skippable video ads
- Non-skippable video ads
- Bumper ads
- Sponsored cards
Keeping track of your display ads campaign
Optimizing your YouTube display ads campaign to improve its performance requires a lot of maintenance and monitoring of what does and doesn’t work.
First of all, you need to open the ‘Where Ads Showed’ tab in Google Ads Placements report. This will show you whether your ads appeared on your targeted placements. Keep a close eye on your placements report because it will give you an accurate reading as to whether your ads are being displayed exactly where you want them. If not, then you can make changes to the criteria when selecting your targeting.
Don’t miss out…
YouTube is the second largest search engine with just under 2 billion monthly active users. These statistics alone speak for themselves. Your target audience is most likely on YouTube, so you ought to be putting a lot of effort into creating an engaging and relevant ad campaign that can boost conversions and ROI.