Google is improving YouTube's direct response advertising performance with the addition of custom intent audiences and TrueView for Action ads. Previously, YouTube ad performance was based purely on engagement and reach metrics, however, through these additions and other recent developments, performance metrics can now highlight a wider spectrum of insights into YouTube's performance, particularly when it comes to its potential influence on search.
Custom intent audiences for YouTube
Custom intent audiences have been available via the Google Display Network (GDN) since the end of 2017, and since the recent development of these audiences that can be used within YouTube, the potential to reach relevant users at the top of the funnel is now greater.
During campaign creation, a list of relevant keywords is added, which will include keywords that users are likely to be searching as part of their research. Users searching for these keywords can then be reached through YouTube with contextually relevant ads.
These audiences have been developed with performance advertising in mind and allow targeting to reach beyond the traditional pre-defined audience categories, by reaching users when they're showing more purchase-driven intent.
TrueView for Action ads
Following the creation of purchase-driven audiences, Google developed TrueView for Action ads. Custom intent audiences are supposed to work best with this new ad format, which is designed to move video ads beyond typical branding by driving users already engaged with a product or service (through keyword searches) to site, where they can complete the desired action (i.e. make a purchase).
The new ad formats allow advertisers to customise the calls-to-action that appear alongside their video ads on YouTube, with the tailored banner remaining visible throughout the duration of the video. The banner can be personalised to show a specific action or goal, and images or logos can either be manually uploaded by the advertiser or can be pulled automatically from the landing page.
Much like other TrueView ads, TrueView for Action ads can be skipped after five seconds, and advertisers are charged when a user views 30 seconds of the video or engages with the ad. With these campaigns automatically set with target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding, Google provides advertisers with the opportunity to add performance metrics to their YouTube activity, encouraging advertisers to look beyond the traditional display metrics.
The addition of these new features within YouTube will help to create an unprecedented synergy between search and video.