How to sell with YouTube?

Ewa Skowrońska Ewa Skowrońska

YouTube campaigns are often very underestimated, it is hardly surprising, they do not directly generate conversions in such quantities as, for example, shopping campaigns. If we do not look at assisted conversions, the effects are usually not visible. However, do they really not affect our sales? Is it worth investing in YouTube from the point of view of a SEM specialist? How to create and target YouTube campaigns so they make sense and sell?

What type of campaign should I select?

If we want to focus on sales, it is worth taking an interest in video action. This type of campaign allows you to display skippable in-stream ads and in-feed video ads. This campaign was created to bring conversions. What's more, we can add sub-page links and a product data file to the campaign. We can add all the products from GMC or choose specific ones that we want to promote, which allows us to strengthen the advertising message even better. The user has a ready "button" to buy a given product.

How do I target a YouTube campaign?

Targeting your YouTube campaign depends on your goal, budget, and scale you want to achieve. You need to get to know the brand and the competition well to choose the right groups of recipients. So how to target a campaign to generate sales? The number of YouTube users is huge, so you would need a huge budget to hit most of them. So it's a good idea to target your ad broadly, but with exclusions. For example, we can look at sales data and see which age groups generate the least transactions and whether there is not a big difference in revenue between women and men. If we see dependencies, it is worth excluding certain age groups and deciding to target only women or only men. For example, looking at the data below, you can consider excluding the 55-64 and 65+ age groups and target the campaign only to women.

Campaign on YouTube

Campaign on YouTube

In addition, we may also exclude users who have made transactions on the site in the last two months and users who have visited the site in the last 7 days.

When we have exclusions, we can plan to target. We should focus primarily on:

  • users with purchase intentions – a properly configured list of custom recipients
  • broad remarketing lists – users who visited the website some time ago, but have not returned to it for a long time
  • similar recipients
  • remarketing YT – if we previously ran a campaign on YT, we can add a remarketing list of people who saw the ad last time
  • targeting the list of customers – in the case of video action campaigns, it seems to be an ideal solution. The list of customers is based on e-mail addresses, in most cases the user is logged into the Google account by watching Youtube. What's more, after uploading the list of customers, we can use a list of similar recipients. We will reach new users – similar to our customers.

Of course, during the campaign, you need to pay attention to the data and observe whether one of the audience groups does not work "too poorly" compared to others or whether a given group does not stand out from the rest and optimize. The data that you should look at when assessing your audience is, in addition to conversions, certainly the view rate and the number of clicks:

Campaign on YouTube

Conversions can often be assisted, and seeing your ad and clicking on it indicates interest.

Additionally, you cannot forget to create remarketing lists from YouTube for users who watched the video as an advertisement. These will come in handy later in your Search Network campaigns. As you can see below, a list from YT has a higher conversion rate than a simple remarketing list – all users.

Campaign on YouTube

Lists from YouTube do not belong to the Display Network, so if you want to reach these users again on the Display Network, it is worth creating a list in Google Analytics for users who went to the page from a given YouTube campaign.

Campaign on YouTube

Making the ad

Creating an ad on the Google Ads side is also a very important matter. You need to pay special attention to this and do ad tests with different texts. Sometimes a single headline or call to action can cause big changes in results. The results shown below are the results of a test – changing the headline in an ad. This was the only change that was made. After 5 days of the change, compared to the previous period, you can see how the number of clicks from the ad increased by approx. 132%, and the number of users by approx. 150%, at lower cost. Thanks to a better headline, interest from users has increased significantly.

Campaign on YouTube

What additional settings to look out for?

  1. Ad scheduling – YouTube ads can run all night, when the user we want to reach may be asleep for a long time.
  2. Frequency capping – we don't want to reach one user 10 times a day.
  3. Placement exclusions – preparing a list of channels for children to exclude will greatly improve our work on the campaign.

How to measure results and decide if YouTube makes sense?

Even with the best advertising video and YouTube campaign settings, we will not see the results that Product or Brand campaigns give us. In the case of this type of activity, we have to look at the data a little differently than we are used to in other types of campaigns. So what should we be looking at and paying attention to?

  1. Google Ads Conversions – Google Ads tag conversions will measure assisted conversions and provide this data to conversion maximization algorithms. In addition, setting up extended conversions will allow us to see more reported conversions. It's important to have a well-set tag before launching a YouTube campaign.
  2. View-through conversions – A conversion that counts when a user views any ad, but doesn't interact with it, and later converts. This type of conversion doesn't count if a user interacts with another type of ad. This data automatically excludes conversions made by users who interacted with your other ad.
    Campaign on YouTube
  3. Observation of conversion paths and assisted conversions. The goal of the campaign is to initiate a purchase, not necessarily to end the purchase path. As you can see below, the conversion paths were initiated by YouTube, but ended with other sources.
    Campaign on YouTube
  4. Observation of sales in other sources – hasn't it grown organic or direct since we have a YouTube campaign? Or is our Brand campaign performing better than before?
  5. Increase in the number of new users.
  6. Conversion Lift – this option is not available on all accounts, you can activate it by contacting your account manager. It allows you to measure the number of conversions, visits to the site made by users who viewed our ad. Google compares our audience to a control group and generates data on conversion growth relative to the base group. Conversion lift data can help us optimize and improve your ads to generate more sales.

If you have a big campaign on YouTube, and no transactions or growth is seen in other sources, we can actually undermine its relevance. However, if we see it in the conversion paths, if there are assisted conversions and the revenues from organic and direct are also growing compared to previous periods, it is a good sign for us that we have a campaign that allows us to promote the brand and increase sales 😊.

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