Valuable Lessons For YouTube Ads Optimization




Why advertise on YouTube in 2021? The answer is simple - YouTube Ads are excellent in generating awareness and revenue for your business, so you need to learn effective YouTube Ads optimization strategies this year.

First, I want to show you how effective YouTube Ads are. Here's a real-life example from Gatorade's “We Love Sweat” campaign that YouTube analyzed:

One campaign we measured, Gatorade's "We Love Sweat," earned $13.50 sales in return for every dollar spent on TrueView (return on ad spend, or ROAS). Gatorade's campaign was also interesting because it delivered a remarkable 16% lift in sales among new buyers that had seen the video vs. new buyers that had not.

This YouTube ad campaign was successful because of persistent branding and strong creative to boost sales.

But do YouTube Ads affect offline sales? Yes, they do!

Here's another finding from the same YouTube study:

78% of TrueView campaigns we studied on YouTube showed an increase in offline sales, with 61% driving a statistically significant lift in sales of the advertised brand.

These numbers prove that video content is valuable and YouTube Ads work, and it's not surprising. YouTube has over 2 billion users, with 500+ hours of content uploaded every minute.

Youtube ads optimization - Global Users

Most Popular Social Networks 2020

With that said, let's talk about how to optimize YouTube Ads for better results.

Valuable Lessons About YouTube Ads Optimization

Let's take a look at the things you need to do to optimize your YouTube ad campaign. I will break down how you can systematically do this to simplify it for you.

Here we go!

1. Analyze Your Stats Thoroughly

The first valuable lesson you need to learn about YouTube Ads optimization is understanding what the stats tell you. Many metrics can help you focus on improvement when it comes to YouTube Ads.

Here's a list of them:

  • Core performance:
    View rate
    Avg. CPV
    Avg. watch time/impression.
  • Click performance:
    Clickthrough rate (CTR)
  • Engagement performance:
    Engagement rate
  • Reach and frequency:
    Unique users
    Unique cookies
    Unique viewers (cookies)
    Avg. impression frequency/user
    Avg. impression frequency/cookie
    Avg. view frequency/cookie
  • Video viewership (also known as "quartile reporting"):
    Video played to 25%
    Video played to 50%
    Video played to 75%
    Video played to 100%
  • YouTube engagement:
    Earned views
    Earned subscribers
  • Earned playlist additions
  • Earned likes
  • Earned shares
  • ActiveView

For now, I'd like to talk about two YouTube ad metrics that you'll need to analyze from this long list.

View Rate

Youtube ads optimization - View Rate

View rate can help you understand if your ad targeting is effective. It can also let you work out how engaging your video content is.

By definition, the View rate tells you the number of views or engagements your YouTube video ad gets divided by the number of times your ad is displayed, including video and thumbnail impressions.

For example, your view rate would be 0.5% if you had 5 views and 1000 impressions. Here's how it's calculated:

Youtube ads optimization - View Rate Formula

View rate is like clickthrough rate (CTR). Instead of measuring clicks, it counts users who watched your video ad after seeing it on YouTube or Google's Display Network. 

Clickthrough Rates

Youtube ads optimization - Click through rate

Clickthrough rate or CTR is the number of clicks that your YouTube ad gets divided by the number of times your ad is shown.

A low clickthrough rate can also suggest that your ad doesn't encourage users to take action. Keep in mind that YouTube users need to be told what to do next.

Never assume that users are just going to take any action that you want them to. Always include a clear call-to-action in your YouTube videos to ensure that users know what they need to do next. Walk them through the process on how to take advantage of the offer in the ad.

As you can see, the view rate and clickthrough rate go hand in hand. If you've got a strong view rate, but your clickthrough rate is low, it probably points to an issue with your offer or call to action.


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2. Adjust Your Bidding Accordingly When You Identify Opportunities

Adjusting your bidding strategy is another lesson you need to learn about YouTube Ads optimization to produce more significant results. However, your adjustments will depend on your current ad results.

You might need to raise your bids if you've already done everything you can to create great YouTube ad content and you know your targeting is where it should be.

To do this, adjust the Max CPV (cost-per-value) for your Ad Groups that contain YouTube Ads.

You'll usually discover that one YouTube ad targeting method is unequally driving better results than the others when evaluating existing Ad Groups producing excellent results.

3. Don't Be Afraid To Take Risks And Experiment

Optimization is a great practice you should do to advertise easily on YouTube in 2021. Part of optimizing is testing.

Don't be afraid to experiment with ad variations, even with content that us performing well. You should always have one or two ads running where you're merely testing things out.

Consider creating another ad that does the complete opposite of what you think makes the winning ad group work if you have an online video ad working at the moment.

Here are some examples of changes you can make:

  • Make the video ad exceptionally short or long.
  • Update the CTA (call to action).
  • Add music or remove music.

The only way to continually improve is to test. When testing, only change one variable at a time so you know why a certain ad outperforms another.

4. Experiment With Different YouTube Video Creatives

You can increase engagements with YouTube users by uploading videos fit for different types of devices like desktop or mobile with different messaging strategies.

I recommend uploading videos in different aspect ratios with different messages for each:

  • Vertical Video
Youtube ads optimization - Vertical Video
  • Square Video
Youtube ads optimization - Square Video

Square and vertical videos are a more creative asset variety, provide you with a larger canvas to deliver your product's message, and fit users' natural intent to watch the video in a vertical mode.

5. Use YouTube Remarketing

Remarketing, which includes YouTube videos, is a powerful tool that takes user activity on any online advertising channel to create highly specific lists to retarget your ads.

You can create lists based on how users interact with your videos after linking your Google account to your Google Ads account, like catching a video, channel subscriptions, and likes.

You can use YouTube video remarketing lists for your display ads to target your videos to users who have interacted with your site.

For instance, you can create dynamic combination lists to target users who've watched your video ad but didn't convert or who have been to your site but have yet to subscribe to your channel.

Other benefits of YouTube remarketing includes:

  • Improved ROI
  • Broader scope
  • Efficient pricing
  • Flexibility

And those are valuable lessons you need to learn about YouTube Ads optimization!

Check out the recommended resources section below to learn more about YouTube Ads optimization. 

Recommended YouTube Ads Optimization Resources

Optimizing Your Video Marketing Campaigns

3 Tips for Optimizing YouTube Ad Placements

A Step-by-Step Checklist For a Successful YouTube Ad Campaign

So what do you think about this article? Are you ready to optimize your YouTube Ads in 2021?

Leave a comment below, and let's chat!

As always, it will be a great honor if you think this article is worth the SHARE.

Are you looking for more online advertising help? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising for Small Businesses.


Have you tried one marketing tactic after another, and nothing seems to work?

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Header image courtesy of Jumpstory.

About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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