Video Advertising with AdWords for Video

AdWords for Video makes it easy for businesses and artists to advertise on YouTube if they already have an established YouTube channel.  It is ideal for businesses that are placing a large focus on branding and remarketing as part of their marketing initiatives.  It was officially rolled out of beta in April 2012, allowing easier management of video campaigns for advertisers that were already using Google AdWords.  Advertisers are charged for every TrueView, meaning they are charged only when viewers choose to view their video – at least 30 seconds or the full video length if shorter.  Currently users can run their video ads in four formats and on three different networks.

Ad Formats & Network

Among the basic campaign settings, advertisers can select from four different ad formats, creating diversity and flexibility in the advertising space:

The ad format options vary depending on the networks that advertisers choose to display their video ads – YouTube Search, general YouTube sites outside of Search or websites on the Google Display network that are compatible with video ads.  Customizing video ads is made simple.  Advertisers simply select existing YouTube videos, to which they add a headline and description, similar to text ads in AdWords Search campaigns.  Two landing page (destination URL) options are available: the YouTube Channel page or the video Watch page.

Layered Targeting

Several targeting options are available for video campaigns, including keyword targeting on the Google Display network and YouTube search.  By adding a list of Display network keywords, campaigns contextually-target to identify relevant placements on the Display network.  YouTube Search keyword lists match to queries users are searching for video content.

adwords for video targeting

To customized additional reach, advertisers can identify target audiences by demographics, topics and/or interests.  Currently the only demographic targeting available is by age group and gender.  The lists of Topics and Interests, however, is extensive.  Note that Topic-targeting allows advertisers to select the type of websites that video ads are placed on, whereas Interest-targeting focuses on users who have displayed interests in certain themes based off their user behavior.

Reporting & Segmentation

Where AdWords for Video is lacking is in performance reporting and segmentation.  Although campaign settings can be customized on some basic levels including device, location, language, audience and ad scheduling, the ability to segment the data is limited to ad format and network.  The granularity of segmenting that is available in normal AdWords campaigns is absent in the AdWords for Video UI, making reporting less-than-stellar.  Particularly, the lack of time segmentation requires advertisers to pull individual reports for each time frame they would like to compare.  This is an area that seems half thought-out and will require expansion for the interface to become valuable to advertisers.

AdWords for Video is now available to any advertiser and can be easily set up at

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