YouTube Ads That Actually Drive Sales

It has almost never been possible to justify YouTube ad spend by any trackable path to sale… however indirect. New tools available with TrueView for Action ads are changing that.

Traditionally YouTube ads have been great at building awareness with cheap views… and traditionally, data driven, ROI-focussed advertisers have responded accordingly.

Occasionally, advertisers are genuinely interested in using digital ads to drive ‘awareness’, and are open-eyed about the limited scope they have to track this meaningfully.

That’s fine, and YouTube will tell a great story about Growing Awareness, with impressions or views as the main protagonist, and organic search volume as the ineffective sidekick…

But it has almost never been possible to justify YouTube ad spend by any trackable path to sale, however indirect.

New tools available with TrueView for Action ads are looking to change that.


What is it?

TrueView for Action is a campaign type that you can access with the following settings as you create your campaign.The sub-type ‘drive conversions’ is the crucial part.

Ads will include a prominent call to action (10 characters), and run on the in-stream, skippable ad format.



This is the key improvement. Targeting users based on a channel or a video takes you so far, but the insight behind the move to leverage YouTube for genuine conversion campaigns, is that ‘intent is better than content’.

You can target users based on intent using either ‘In-Market’ or ‘Custom Intent’ audiences. In both cases, users are deemed to have a high commercial intent towards a given topic, based on signals from their recent history across Google’s properties.

For example, if you like watching videos about cars, you’ll probably be in Google’s ‘affinity’ audience for ‘Auto Enthusiasts’.

If you start visiting car price comparison sites, watching car reviews on YouTube, visit a couple of car dealerships (with your phone in your pocket) etc… then you’ll probably be put into the ‘In Market’ audience for ‘Autos & Vehicles/Motor Vehicles’.

Custom intent audiences are similar, but even more powerful in that they let you specify and narrow down the topic of interest you want to target, based on a selection of keywords you choose.



Your two bidding options with TrueView for Action campaigns are Target CPA & Max Conversions. (Neither of these is available for traditional YouTube ads, where conversions are an afterthought at best).



Driving sales or leads directly through YouTube ads is still difficult.

The measurement method acknowledges this and takes a more liberal, Facebook-style approach to attribution.

The ability to identify convertible users on YouTube, and reach them at the right time, has taken a leap forward with these tools – and will only improve further.

As it does, we will soon find ourselves with a large new playground for our ROI-driven digital marketing fun… It’s now time to start taking it seriously if you want to be among the first to benefit from that massive potential..

Watch Google’s video guide for setting up TrueView for Action campaigns.

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