Video ads run on YouTube and across the web through the Google Display Network. With more than 1 billion users, YouTube is available in 70+ countries and 60+ languages, and offers rich content from all over the world. The Display Network reaches over 90% of Internet users worldwide through 2 million sites and apps (source: comScore). By targeting your video ads to create effective video ads on YouTube and the Display Network, you can advertise to consumers at moments that matter.

  • Demographic groups: Choose the age, gender, parental status, or household income of the audience you want to reach.
  • Interests: Pick from available audiences categories to reach people interested in certain topics, even when they may be visiting pages about other topics.
  • Affinity audiences: Raise brand awareness and drive consideration with your video ads by reaching people who already have a strong interest in relevant topics.
  • Custom affinity audiences: With custom affinity audiences, you can create audiences that are more tailored to your brands, compared to our broad, TV-like affinity audiences. For example, rather than reaching Sports Fans, a running shoe company may want to reach Avid Marathon Runners instead.
  • In-market audiences: Select from these audiences to find customers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer.
  • Video remarketing: Reach viewers based on their past interactions with your videos, TrueView ads or YouTube channel. If you’ve linked your YouTube account to your AdWords account already, we’ll create custom lists for you automatically. Learn more about remarketing lists for YouTube viewers.

Content targeting methods let you define where you want your ads to show. These include:

  1. Placements: Target unique channels, videos, apps, websites, or placements within websites. For example, you can target an entire high traffic blog or just the homepage of a popular news site. Placements can include: YouTube channels, YouTube videos, Websites on the Display Network, and Apps on the Display Network.
  2. Topics: Target your video ads to specific topics on YouTube and the Display Network. Topic targeting lets you reach a broad range of videos, channels, and websites related to the topics you select.
  3. Keywords: Depending on your video ad format, you can show your video ads based on words or phrases–keywords–related to a YouTube video, YouTube channel, or type of website.

Video remarketing allows you to show personalized ads to millions of viewers across YouTube and video partner sites, based on their past interactions with your videos or YouTube channel. Advertisers who use remarketing on YouTube have improved their return on investment (ROI) by showing video ads to people interested in their product or service. With YouTube’s vast network, your video ad can reach potential customers on your remarketing list. The AdWords auction model offers competitive rates that meet your target ROI. With CPV bidding, you’ll pay for video views and other video interactions, such as clicks on the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards, and companion banners. Website remarketing (also known as “remessaging” or “retargeting”) is based on visitor’s’ actions on a website. You can remarket based on actions specific to your YouTube videos, including when viewers like, dislike, comment on, and share your video.

Remarketing lists are created by first linking your YouTube account to your AdWords account. Once you link accounts, you can create remarketing lists that reach people who have done the following YouTube-related actions: Viewed any video from a channel, Visited a channel page, Viewed any video (as an ad) from a channel, Liked any video from a channel, Commented on any video from a channel, Shared any video from a channel, Subscribed to a channel, Viewed certain video(s), or Viewed certain video(s) as ad(s). You can then use these lists in your targeting settings for new or existing campaigns. Manage your lists anytime in the “Audiences” section of the Shared library.”

  • Refined targeting: Remarket to your potential customers by using specific categories, such as topics, interests, keywords, demographics, etc.
  • Various ad formats: Build and target your remarketing campaign with video ads and other creative formats (text, image, and rich media ads on the Google Display Network).
  • Detailed reports: Optimize your remarketing campaign based on performance metrics. For example, raise bids on specific topics or channels that generate the greatest ad response.
  • Ease of use: Easily create, manage, and target your remarketing lists.
  • Custom audiences: Customize your targeting by combining your remarketing lists. For example, you can reach audiences who viewed your movie trailer but haven’t yet viewed your ad promoting the DVD release.

Reservation campaigns have minimum spend requirements. Advertisers booking Masthead ads are encouraged to participate in a kick-off call with our technical team to get specs, turnaround times, and campaign expectations. Our advertising team sends weekly campaign performance reports for your review. You can then request targeting changes to help improve ad performance.

Benefits of advertising on a reservation basis

  • More control: You can buy impressions at a fixed rate.
  • High visibility: You can run ads on the YouTube homepage.
  • Brand awareness: You can reach a wide audience.

Buying reservation advertising

Advertisers and agencies can buy reservation advertising on a fixed, cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) or fixed cost-per-day (CPD) basis.

  1. A CPM campaign has to be booked six business days in advance, and creative assets need to be delivered for implementation at least four business days before the campaign start date.
    • Standard in-stream: This is a non-skippable format that plays before a video. It’s ideal if you want to communicate a simple, powerful message and get visibility. It forces the impression and won’t accrue views on the video. Standard in-stream ads can be a maximum of 15 or 30 seconds. Those that are a maximum of 30 seconds can run only on long-form videos (10 minutes or longer).
    • In-stream Select: This skippable ad appears when someone starts a video (pre-roll). It can be up to 60 seconds long, and it’s skippable after 5 seconds. This format increments the view count on the YouTube video ad. Whether or not the ad is skipped, the advertiser pays on a CPM basis. Learn more about in-stream video ads.
  • A CPD campaign has to be booked a couple weeks in advance, and creative assets need to be delivered nine business days in advance.
    • Desktop custom Masthead: This is a 970 x 250 pixel, in-page unit that spans the full width of the YouTube homepage below the navigation bar. This unit, which can include a video, can drive brand relevant activity and an increase in branded search. Learn more about desktop custom Mastheads.
    • Desktop universal video Mastheads: This is a 780 x 195 that runs on the YouTube homepage. It includes a video on one side and an information panel or a flash/image panel on the other. The flash/image panel can optionally expand/close when someone clicks on/closes it.
    • Mobile video Mastheads: appears on the homepage of all YouTube mobile and tablet properties, including the Android native mobile app, the iOS app, and for smartphones and tablets. It features a video thumbnail, channel icon, and customizable headline and description.

Add placement exclusions to your campaign or ad group

Viewing where your video ad was shown is a great way to make sure it’s not showing on irrelevant videos or websites. Just click the Placements sub-tab on the “Video targeting” tab, and then click the Where ads were shown sub-tab for any campaign or ad group. Based on that report, you can add exclusions to both campaigns and ad groups. Here’s how:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab, and then select the video campaign you want to edit.
  3. Note

  4. Your TrueView campaigns are located with your other campaign types (if any) from the “All campaigns” drop-down menu. You can also use this drop-down menu to view only your TrueView campaigns by selecting Video campaigns.
  5. Click the Video targeting tab, and then click the Placements sub-tab.
  6. Scroll the page down and click the Where ads were shown sub-tab. Go through the list and make sure your ad isn’t showing on any irrelevant videos or websites.
  7. To exclude a placement in a specific ad group, click the green dot next to the placement you want to edit and select the red dot to exclude it.
  8. To exclude a placement in your campaign, click +EXCLUSIONS at the bottom and add your excluded placements.

Improve your CPV bidding

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab, and then select the video campaign you want to edit.
  3. Click the Ad groups tab.
  4. Hover the cursor over the figures in the Max CPV column and make edits directly, or click the ad group to edit its content directly.

Adding a call-to-action overlay

Call-to-action overlays are eligible to show on any TrueView video ad on YouTube. This feature is available at no extra cost to you, can increase viewer engagement, and add an interesting element to your ads. Also, because they’re associated with the video instead of the ad, call-to-action overlays will show whether your video is triggered through an ad or an organic (unpaid) view.

Steps to add a call-to-action overlay

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab, and then select the video campaign you want to edit.
  3. On the Videos tab, click Edit Call to Action on the “Analytics” drop-down.
  4. If you don’t see this option, you may still need to link your YouTube account with your AdWords account. On the “Analytics” drop-down, click Link your YouTube Channel.
  5. On the box that opens, select either I own this channel or Someone else owns this channel, and then complete the steps to link your account.

After linking your YouTube account to your AdWords account, you can create these lists based on various ways people interact with your videos, such as watching a video, subscribing to your channel, or even liking. Learn how to remarket to YouTube viewers with AdWords.

You can target your video ads to people located in, or who show interest in, a geographic location. Choose one or more geographic locations that are relevant to your ads. By advertising to the right customers, you can hopefully increase your return on investment (ROI). Understand that users come to YouTube to learn, watch and be entertained. As such, create videos that feature original content.

You are the expert on your industry, product or service. Try creating videos that teach and engage the YouTube community on your expertise. Keep your message simple and concise. A good benchmark is to try to keep your video to two minutes or less. Use the Audience retention report to see which parts of videos keep your users most engaged. Based upon user engagement data, optimize your video content to keep users watching. Update your content on a regular basis. The YouTube users who have been successful keep their message fresh with regular updates to their channel. Read user comments on your own and similar video and channel pages for ideas.

  • Standalone image ads (image ads built outside of the Ad gallery)
  • Image ads built with the Ad gallery
  • Video ads built with the Ad gallery
  • Use the “Free clicks” view on the Dimensions tab to see several additional statistics for your image and video ads (including those built with the Ad gallery).
  • Customize your ads statistics table to show specific placement metrics for your ads performance on the Display Network. The available performance metrics will vary depending on the image ad format you’ve chosen.


Learn how much of your video ads customers actually see. Video ads with low play rates or early viewer drop-off may indicate a creative change that needs to take place to keep people engaged with the video content. A tracking pixel is similar to AdWords’ conversion tracking code. It’s code that’s inserted into the video ad itself (provided by a third-party ad server). This code tracks the IP address of the viewer. This pixel tracks cases when someone doesn’t click on the ad, but comes back to the website in your final URL later. If you use third-party tracking pixels, you’ll need to use your own external reporting tools to evaluate the data. he Display Network can be a valuable branding partner: it reaches 83% of unique Internet users around the world. (Source: DoubleClick Ad Planner).


Video Campaigns


  • Core performance:
  • Views show you the number of times people watched or engaged with your video ad. Note: TrueView video ads views will also count towards your video’s public YouTube view count only if a video is longer than 11 seconds.
  • View rate shows you the number of views or engagements your video ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (video and thumbnail impressions).
  • Avg. CPV is the average amount you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your video, whichever comes first. Note that your average CPV may not be the same as your maximum CPV. Your maximum CPV is the most you’re willing to pay for an ad view.
  • Click performance: Clicks show you the number of times people clicked on your video. Clicks can help you understand how well your ad is appealing to people who see it. Engaging ads are more likely to receive clicks. Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown, expressed as a percentage.
  • Engagement performance: Engagements show you the number of clicks on interactive elements such as teasers or icons to expand any cards that may be on your video. Engagement rate is the number of engagements that your ad receives (for example, clicks on card teasers and icons) divided by the number of times your ad is shown, expressed as a percentage (engagements ÷ impressions = engagement rate).
  • Reach and frequency: Unique cookies is the number of cookies (which store preferences and other information that’s used on webpages that they visit) specific to an individual browser on people’s computers. Unique viewers by cookie is the number of times your video ad was viewed by a unique cookie over a given time period. Avg. impr. freq. per cookie is the average number of times your video ad is shown to a unique cookie over a given time period. Avg. view freq. per cookie is the average number of times that a unique cookie viewed your video over a given time period.


  • Video viewership (also known as “quartile reporting”)
    • Video played to: 25% shows how often a video is played to 25% of its length.
    • Video played to: 50% shows how often a video is played until the middle of its view length.
    • Video played to: 75% shows how often a video is played to 75% of its length.
    • Video played to: 100% shows how often a video is played to its completion.
  • YouTube engagement: Earned actions happen when a viewer watches a video ad and then takes a related action on YouTube. The following are different types of earned actions:
    • Earned views increment if a YouTube viewer watches subsequent videos on your YouTube channel or Watch pages. This type of earned action increments whether or not someone chooses to watch the same video again or any other video on your channel.
    • Earned subscribes happen when a viewer subscribes to your channel. This type of earned action provides unique value because the content from these YouTube channels and the channel avatars themselves may be viewed on the YouTube home page.
    • Earned playlist additions happen when a viewer adds the video to a playlist.
    • Earned likes happen when a viewer likes the video.
    • Earned shares happen when a viewer shares the video.

Many of the robust reporting features available for Search and Display campaigns are also available for video campaigns, such as: Advanced filtering – Filter your account statistics to search for the data that interests you the most, for example, “YouTube earned actions” or “Max. CPV.” You can either filter by label or create your own filter. Once you’ve created a filter, you can save it for easy access in the future.

  1. Segments – Use segments to split your data into rows based on the options that matter most to you, such as format, network, device, etc. This makes it easier to view the data by isolating exactly what you want to see. You can also segment by view type to split out your performance by in-stream views versus video discovery views. Your segment choices vary, depending on the tab of your AdWords account that you’re viewing.
  2. Automated reporting – You can find specific performance data about your video campaigns that interest you, by customizing the statistics tables of your AdWords account using columns, segments, and filters. Once the tables look exactly how you want, you can download them as reports in a variety of formats and save them. You can also set up reports to run at specific intervals, and schedule them to be emailed to you or other people who have access to your account.
  3. My Change History – The My Change History tool lists the changes you’ve made to your account. It shows each change within a timeline, mapped to your account data. You can view all changes for a particular time period, filter the results by the type of change (such as budget adjustments or ad group edits), or see changes for a particular video campaign. By comparing your changes with the timeline of performance data, you can find out which changes may have contributed to changes in your performance.
  4. Modifying columns – When you’re viewing your AdWords account from the “All campaigns” view, some columns might be pre-populated with information not relevant to your video campaigns. You can add and remove columns on any tab, by clicking Modify columns on the “Columns” drop-down menu. Whatever you unselect will be hidden the next time you sign in to your AdWords account. When you select “Video campaigns” on the campaign type drop-down menu, you’ll see the following predefined types of columns:
    • Views – Use these columns to monitor your video views and audience engagement.
    • Audience – These metrics help you track the growth of your YouTube audience.
    • Branding – See how well your video ads are building brand awareness.
    • Conversions – Analyze clicks and conversions on your website.


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