There are many great sources of information about what Google TrueView ads are, about the value they offer, the various types of TrueView ads, and generally how to use them. However, after the searches I recently conducted, there aren’t a great number of sources to inform you about the results you can achieve with TrueView ads.
This is the information gap I’m hoping to help fill by sharing my recent experience with these ad units, and I’ll share a few tips toward the end of this article.
Admittedly, I don’t have worlds of experience with Google TrueView ads, but I was recently challenged by a friend to help to generate relevant views on their small business’ video content and we decided together to put them to the test.
For context, this business is just getting started strategically utilizing social media and currently does not have a huge community. Also, their presence on YouTube is virtually non-existent, meaning they have literally zero subscribers (yet).
Here are the results of our test-buy of YouTube TrueView ads:
Investment – $250
Views – 5,500
Cost per view (CPV) – $0.045
Impressions – 32,500
Click-throughs – 437
Cost per click (CPC) – $0.57
To achieve these results I really didn’t do anything overly special. I spent a bit of time working through the targeting options – which are robust – and set up my campaign to run through my budget as quickly as the network would allow. I ended up spending the $250 in roughly 2 hours.
Overall, I was fairly happy with the results. The CPV seemed reasonable, I was happy to achieve a CPC that is competitive to Facebook’s suggested bid for my targeting selections, and I was very happy with the targeting options.
On the flip side, I was a little disappointed with the lack of engagement by way of likes and comments, though the content we were pushing could probably be optimized to encourage increased engagement, so I’m eager to test these ads with different content.
Despite having limited experience using these ads, I do have a few tips or suggestions to consider when diving in:
1. You can burn through cash
If you want to run a campaign with a longer duration, set your daily spend to allow for it. Otherwise, you’ll burn through your dollars in no time.
2. Google will charge you more than you want to pay
If your campaign is successful, Google will automatically run your ads to exceed your daily spend by 20%. This doesn’t make much sense to me, but you can account for this by setting your maximum daily spend to a total that is lower than your budget.
3. Not all ads are created equal
Of the various types of TrueView ads, there’s something about the ‘in-slate’ ads that makes them feel less valuable to me. With the promise of a 10+ minute video on the other end of viewing an ad, I think consumers are more likely to put up with watching an ad and aren’t necessarily openly opting into watching your video content. When setting up your ad buy, all options are automatically selected, so if you want to avoid running ‘in-slate’ ads, you’ll have to deselect those manually.
4. Give your video content a fighting chance
Don’t feel guilty for promoting your content with paid advertising. I find that particularly with small business owners, they feel a sense of pride or obligation to grow their audience organically, without the help of paid ads. The reality is that most video content that garners a huge view count has a number of traffic and view drivers including paid media, supporting advertising campaigns, PR, influencer support, seeding programs, and on. Use the tools at your disposal to give your content a helping hand.