Best Ways To Optimize Your YouTube Video Ads Campaign – TubeTalk Podcast #45

How do you set up a “Similar to Watched a Video” remarketing list? How do you get viewers to click rather than skip ads in the first five seconds? What are TrueView In-Display ads and what are the best ways to use them?


Tip #1: Set Up a “Similar to Watched a Video” Remarketing List

Jeremy Vest says that remarketing is usually created by having a cookie on your website, so that if a viewer comes to your website, you’re able to follow people around the web and show them ads or videos. This is also true for YouTube. One lesser-known feature related to this is the “Similar to Watched a Video” in AdWords for YouTube/TrueView. What this does is enable you to target people who have not yet visited your website or even your YouTube channel. AdWords instead uses its algorithm to find users with very similar profile to the ones who do watch your videos. The list size can be 10x your original remarketing list, and yet still very effective and inexpensive, enabling you to grow your list and views quickly.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. In AdWords for Video, click on “All video campaigns” (left column at the bottom).
  2. Then click “Targets.”
  3. Then click “Show more criteria” to see the remarketing lists.
  4. Then click “Remarketing lists.”
  5. Click on the “+ Remarketing Lists” button.
  6. Click “add” to the right of “Similar to Watched a video from.”
  7. Click on the “+ Remarketing Lists” again to save, and you’re done!

Jeremy says that sometimes the traffic sources are amazing, and sometimes you have to play with it. Ryan Noel says that he likes it because there’s no code to add.

More info: Remarketing to YouTube viewers with AdWords

Tip #2: Get Viewers to Click Not Skip Ads in the First Five Seconds

Dane Golden says that over the past few weeks we’ve had three of the top TrueView experts on the show, including Jake Larsen, Gideon Shalwick and Tom Breeze, and they’ve each talked a lot about the timing of TrueView In-Stream ads and how to get the most conversions. Each have to some degree talked about the choreography or the timing of how an In-Stream ad should work if you want good conversion. But today we’re just going to sum up what they’re saying about how to optimize the first five seconds of the video.

The first step would be targeting. Jeremy has some tips on remarketing today and we’ll continue to cover those tactics going forward. So say you’ve done the right targeting and you’re doing a pre-roll ad and you want people to click on the video ad that takes them to your website landing page.

How do you get viewers to click rather than skip?


Well, some of the experts, including Jake Larsen, will actually tell you that sometimes they absolutely do not want people to click – instead he wants some people to skip. Today we’re using one of his ads for as an example. Why would you want someone to skip right away? Two reasons:

  • They’re not going to buy from you anyway
  • If they skip before 30 seconds, you the advertiser don’t have to pay for the ad they watched.

Let’s just be courteous and save everyone a lot of time and get this ad over with. They’re not going to buy because they don’t like trucks.

So Jake will sometimes prequalify viewers. Instead of begging them not to click the “Skip Ad” button, he says quickly in the first five seconds that, 1) this is what we’re selling, and 2) if you’re not interested, please skip this ad here. That way, he’s going to have a much higher likelihood of only paying for views of people who might be interested. But there’s a flip side. In the video in our example Jake has the presenter saying these words right at the start: “Make your vehicle stand out from the crowd while keeping bug splatter off your hood and click the shop now button.” And she’s actually pointing to a physical-looking button at the top of the screen. It’s big and yellow and says “Shop Now.” She’s also standing in front of a truck in a garage, so you know right off the bat that this is about trucks, and if you’re not interested, you can leave at any time.

So what’s happened there. He’s prequalified the shopper by telling them what the video is about, and then he’s had a call-to-action with a very tactile-looking button. This means that even before the first five seconds are up, he might have some people clicking. And importantly, he pays nothing for these clicks because it’s before 30 seconds. You never pay for clicks before 30 seconds unless the ad is shorter than 30 seconds.

Now in an In-Stream ad it doesn’t actually matter where you click. If you click anywhere but the Skip ad” button it will take you to your landing page. But he’s found that if you target your ad to the right audience, and then make a specific request with a specific place to click, a lot of people will do just that.

And whether the viewer skips or clicks “Shop Now,” by giving them clear options, you’ve saved the viewer time, and they probably appreciate that and they can do whatever they are going to do as much as 5, 10, or 25 seconds faster. And you’ve dramatically increased the click-through rate on the ad and got some clicks for free besides.

Tip #3: The Best Way to Use TrueView In-Display Ads

Ryan Noel was recently interviewed by Tim Schmoyer on the ReelSEO YouTube channel about YouTube TrueView ads. Today he talks about TrueView In-Display ads, which he says are often not used in campaigns. But they can be very effective, particularly with recent changes. The In-Search ad format has been removed and replaced by In-Display ads used YouTube search results.

Inside your campaign settings you have different networks you can target, including the YouTube search network and YouTube videos. Make sure you have both selected. Then make sure you have the right targeting groups. In-Display ads require a little bit more thought and creativity when crafting the ad that will be shown, because you have to select a thumbnail and write some text. Because you have to entice viewers to click on them, you want to target specific keywords.

Ryan targets keywords and topics, rather that interests, because those target the specific user and often show up on pages out of context. Keywords and topics will come up with what someone is searching on at the time or next to videos that actually have that topic or keyword. He targets three-word phrases but nothing longer. Ryan also notes that there is a quality score, so you should target only for words relevant to your video. Jeremy Vest agrees that In-Display can have much greater conversion rates.