Google last week completed integrating YouTube for AdWords into Google AdWords — more than three years after the product was launched.
YouTube for AdWords, released in April 2012, promised to make it easier for AdWords advertisers to run YouTube video campaigns. But AdWords video campaigns were easily missed or overlooked, hidden away in a separate and easily missed “All Video Campaigns” reporting tab.
Worse, it was all too easy to lose track of video campaign spend, as it wasn’t included in AdWords totals. And many of the normal AdWords functions, including bulk edits, were not available for YouTube campaigns.
Hallelujah! Now it’s possible to see at a glance how much you’ve spent on all your campaigns, without having to remember to look elsewhere to find Video ad spend.
To be fair, the integration has clearly presented some difficulties.
The obvious challenge was in meshing performance data for quite different mediums. While clicks, cost per click and clickthrough rate are all reasonable metrics for search and display campaigns; video views and viewthrough rates are better indications of video performance.
Reporting for all campaigns will now show “Interactions” and “Interaction Rate” which, for TrueView campaigns, will mean video views and view rate (views divided by impressions).
Currently, video reporting data continues to be only available by manual download or automated email, not via API. Google has yet to announce when the AdWords reporting API will be updated to support the changes.
Why should you care?
Advertisers will find it easier to run and manage TrueView in-display ads (which appear alongside the main video), and the skippable pre-roll in-stream ads. Reporting too will be easier, as it will be aligned across all different campaign types (search, display, video, and — if you are advertising outside NZ — shopping).
There will be some changes in how things are reported in AdWords, however. Notably, all AdWords campaigns will now be measured in terms of interactions, rather than clicks. Interactions for search, display and shopping campaigns will, of course, mean clicks; but video will be measured in views. Interaction rate, meanwhile, will signify clickthrough or view rates.
Another change — video campaigns will no longer have targeting groups. Instead, to bring them into line with search and display campaigns, they’ll have ad groups.
If you’ve run YouTube TrueView video campaigns previously within AdWords, you can now choose to migrate to the new setup yourself or wait until Google does the job for you, in mid-October. Either way, Google assures advertisers that all historical data and targeting will be preserved.
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