The YouTube ad platform has changed a lot in the past month or so.
We've been getting a ton of questions about the changes, and what we're doing to adjust, while still profitably managing $5M+ USD on the platform.
So here we're going to dive into some of the most common questions we've seen...
Question 1: True View for Action vs. Responsive Metrics
Here's our first question from Nicholas C. about the recent forced changes from True View for Action Campaigns (TVA) to Video Action Campaigns (VAC):
"How is the change from TVA to Responsive YouTube ad campaigns affecting average metrics in your business? For example, I have seen a significant drop in: View Rate, CTR, and increase in Cost per Conversion, on my YouTube campaigns where I am looking for “leads” to build my email list and make a sale after nurturing that list."
Thanks Nicholas for the question! Here are a few key points to consider:
1. Metrics in VAC can no longer be viewed as in TVA campaigns. That’s why you need to filter traffic into two parts - “In-stream” and “Discovery” if you want to better understand what’s going on.
2. To filter those two ad formats go to: "Placements" - "Where Ads are Shown" and search "youtube.com", which represents traffic from the Discovery format. See for yourself how different the metrics are.
3. CTR, View Rates and the big sum of other metrics are lower because discovery format is a different thing than In-Stream. Discovery format CTR is usually between 0.05% - 0.4% that is 10 times lower than CTR on In-Stream ads.
4. Don't make decisions based on bundled metrics from these two ad formats.
Question 2: Pausing old campaigns - Yes/No? + Video Titles?
Our next question has to two parts:
1. Should we pause the old YouTube ads and re-create same campaigns without True-View setup ? Is that new type converting better and generating cheaper webinar leads?
2. Will titles of videos be showing up for in-discovery ads? All of my ads are named like "DD AD 17.02b (mik hook)" which obviously wouldn't get any clicks.
1. If your campaigns are performing good, there is no reason to pause them. Keep running what is working for you. We cannot tell you how it will affect your business, but if you take care of your presence in the discovery format and test different thumbnails and headlines, you can improve your performance. Regarding your question on CPL changes: We don't see significant change in CPL on similar offers.
2. Your video titles won't be shown on In-Stream ads. Only in the discovery format, in which case they will be behind an automatically generated extension (so the prospect will need to close that extension in order to see your video title). However, you should still make sure to take care of your video title for the discovery format.
Question 3: Delivery on Google Display Placements?
Next we have questions around placements & delivery:
1) DELIVERY ON GOOGLE DISPLAY - unfortunately, most of my budget buys display placements… and they don't convert… the only good placement is YouTube as display placement (discovery feed)… is there a way to optimize the delivery at this day?
2) My campaigns delivered on many YouTube placements last month, spending €0.30-0.50 on each one. This is a problem because I can't ascertain which placements are profitable and which aren't. For example, we spend €2000, but €1400 are invested on placements without any click (0.30 - 0.60 cents at a time).
Any strategy for solving these problems (pretty serious for us ATM), please?
A lot of folks are complaining about this situation. Unfortunately there's no easy fix:
1. There is no way to optimize delivery at this moment unfortunately.
2. If you want to spend some specific budget on certain YouTube channels, then do Placement targeting and target the specific YouTube channels you want.
Suggestion - do not pay so much attention to placements if you do Video Action Campaigns. You cannot have control over what your potential customers are watching on YouTube nor all of them are watching the same content there. Your problem is high CPV which can be up to targeting or creative performance.
Question 4: What ads are ACTUALLY working right now?
Ok - this one is all too common:
"My ads have taken a dive since iOS + the platform update. I was VERY profitable through the first half of 2021, spending $5k+ per day. But now? Nowhere near that. Am I alone here? What's ACTUALLY working right now???"
For many advertisers, most of 2020 and 2021 was more or less a "gravy train" on YouTube. But with the iOS & platform updates we've seen, it's gotten a lot more difficult recently.
Again like we keep saying in blog after blog: it's all about the creative.
So what ads are working right now?
Dig into VidTao, search your favorite keywords, sort by views in the past 30 days and you'll discover quite a few actually!
Here's one that came up when we searched "click" (always a great way to find direct response ads asking for a click in the transcript)
Let's take a look at this ad with over $500k in spend in the past month and a half, from Training with Jeff:
Notice a few things about this ad:
- Under 3:00 for cheaper CPMs - It's right under the nose of that 3:00 cutoff rule we talked about in last week's blog post.
- Great Curiosity-Provoking "Hook" - He presents a contrarian viewpoint in the first 5 seconds of the video: "Looking for a lifeline in these tough times? Forget about stocks, ... etc." This buys relevant viewers' attention for a few more critical seconds.
- Disqualifies Before 30 Sec - Before 30 seconds hits, he presents a compelling reason to stick around to hear the pitch: "How are more people than ever becoming millionaires faster than ever before? Stick around for the next 60 seconds and I'll teach you how..." (This also disqualifies the viewers who are not interested in hearing yet another MMO pitch, who skip the ad before 30 seconds and don't cost Jeff a cent.)
- Great Offer - Free downloadable book delivering on the promise of his video, sent immediately via email.
- "Evergreen" Urgency Elements - Notice how he frames the offer scarcity with the line "I'm not going to do this forever but for right now it's 100% free" and uses a 20 second countdown timer at the end of the video. These are urgency elements that you can use regardless of offer timing & availability.
Add these elements into your YouTube ads and see how performance improves!
What are your YouTube ad questions?
In the meantime though, what questions do YOU have about YouTube ads?
Let us know in the Comments section below, and we’ll make sure to cover your question in an upcoming post.
Have a great week!
The VidTao Team
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