Google advertising has long been an effective option for small- to medium-sized businesses that want campaigns targeted at an audience demographic at a low cost. AdWords for video, the latest addition to Google’s advertising suite, takes advantage of the fastest growing marketing tool — video. AdWords for video enables you to precisely target your audience, and you only pay when viewers choose to watch your video.

To get started, make sure you have a video advertisement already uploaded to YouTube. If you don’t, here are some handy instructions on how to make a great video for your business. The video you use should be the same caliber used for other inbound marketing initiatives — sure, you won’t be charged if people don’t watch your video, but your message won’t get across, either. Check out GoAnimate for an easy to use animated video solution.

Targeting is extremely important — in fact, it’s one of the key benefits of Google AdWords over other methods of distribution. You can target by demographics, such as age and gender, or by interests. For example, if you make athletic apparel and want to reach people who watch sports action videos — AdWords can help you do that. But be sure you do not use too many targeting settings, or your total impressions will drop drastically. Analytics will tell you how many people watched your video to the end, clicked through to your website, watched another video on your channel or subscribed.

YouTube reports that 15-45 percent of viewers choose to watch the advertiser’s message. YouTube offers four TrueView ad formats to choose from, which impact the viewer’s experience. TrueView ads are only paid for when viewed. The most popular, in-stream, plays your video before another YouTube video, but the viewer has the option to skip. It’s a great chance to grab brand awareness, but since your video will be soon followed by other content, you may see fewer clicks through to your site.


adwords for video - in-stream

Both in-search and in-display give the viewer what feels like serendipitous discovery, appearing on the search results page and under recommended videos, respectively. For both, your video will be competing for attention with other videos on the page.


adwords for video in-search



adwords for video - in-display

In-slate gives the viewer a clear option to pick your video as one of three offered as an alternative to regular commercials during a 10-minute YouTube video. So, in all formats, viewers get a great experience with full control over what they see, but in-stream is the only option that can hook them with video content itself. With the others, you have to rely on keywords and the copy around the video.


adwords for video - in-slate

Since three of the four TrueView formats require the viewer to click to play your ad, you will want to make good use of the real estate you have: your headline, description and thumbnail. Use a descriptive title that includes what the viewer will see or learn. The description should be brief and tease your video content. YouTube offers a few choices for the thumbnail, or preview images that shows up on your video, so pick the one most representative of your content.

YouTube allows you to link back to your website in your video with a call-to-action overlay, which is particularly powerful since it is on top of, rather than outside, the picture field. This sends viewers from YouTube to your website, where you can collect email addresses, take donations or make sales. It can be highly effective. For example, Non-profit Charity:Water raised $10,000 in one day from a call-to-action overlay campaign.


adwords for video - call-to-action overlay

The text should offer more information about the video, persuade viewers to come to your website or subscribe to your YouTube channel. Only one is permitted per video and it will link back to your specified website. This feature is unique to an AdWords campaign.

Pricing for Google Adwords for video works much like other Google advertising products. But instead of paying for every impression, you only pay when someone watches your video — which is more valuable to you. You’ll decide a maximum you want to pay for each view, and set that as your CPV (clicks per view) bid. Finally, all of your Google ad campaigns can now be managed on one dashboard. This move by Google signifies how central video marketing is to businesses. Your videos already aim to engage and inform viewers, now they can be distributed to your target audience efficiently and bring quality referrals back to your website.