Google has opened a new subdivision in their AdWords interface and some of us have been invited to move in. If you’re like me, you already have your video campaigns built out in your All Online Campaigns area. So, you’re probably a little hesitant to just uproot your family of campaigns/ad groups/keywords, etc. and just move them to a new area. I’ve decided to scout the new neighborhood to see, “How does the new house differ from my old place” and “What’s it going to cost to move in”?
1. There Are No Ad Groups
The rough equivalent seems to be Targeting Groups but they don’t work the same way. Targeting Groups are targeting methods like demographics, topics and interests that can then be grouped together and assigned to videos which then form ads. This is less of a hierarchical system than most of us are used to. The interface, although it has the same targeting types, has a more user-friendly approach to applying any and all methods to the Targeting Groups. There is also apparently a bug in the Targeting Groups system. Users can only create 10 targeting groups per campaign. According to our reps, Google is aware of the problem but they’ve said nothing about changing it.
2. “Ads” & “Videos” Are Separate Entities
Ads and Videos are in their own tabs. “Videos” are just the videos and “Ads” are videos with targeting associated to them. This is distinctly different and unlike anything from the way must link your YouTube channel to the AdWords for Video account. This is great because it adds an additional ability to drive traffic from video assets on YouTube to off-YouTube landing pages where conversions can be made.
4. Views Vs. Clicks
There is of course an emphasis on calling actions “views” instead of “clicks” which is obviously appropriate but also a distinct and necessary change in paradigm. Along with this comes the ability to know when users stop watching the ads. This is great because it allows future videos to be crafted based on proven performance with historic data.
5. All Ad Formats Are Bundled Together
During campaign and ad setup, all ad formats – In Search, In Display, In Stream – are bundled together by default into an “Automatic” selection. Although this can be changed to “Let me choose…” this seems to indicate a Google best practice. However, general paid media best practices would argue to break formats into their own campaigns because they are different formats that are served to the audience in different ways and each format will have a distinctly different interaction with users. Bundling ad formats into one setup makes it difficult to break out data and see where certain targeting might be working better with specific videos or ad copy.
Remarketing lists are generated based on current or historic marketing efforts in video in the account. There are some really interesting targeting methods including the ability to remarket to users that have been to a channel before or people that have seen other videos associated with an account. This is also interesting because remarketing efforts are not based on pixels but instead, Google’s data. Remarketing can also be targeted to users for up to 540 days which is a pretty significant amount of time. Users can also apply retargeting data to Google Display Network efforts.
What’s it going to cost?
7. Reporting Problem
One seemingly obvious missing piece is the ability to see data broken down by date over a single month all together. The only way to see data day to day is to generate a report for each individual day to be aggregated in a report outside of AdWords.
Geo-targeting, which is specific to people watching videos is still set at the campaign level but it does give an estimated reach number. This number feels a lot like other advertising platforms but it is not yet as dynamic as these other platforms – something like Facebook for instance. It does not update when non-geo targeting is changed. For example, if I’m targeting all of the US, remove English and add Arabic, my estimated reach should change but it does not. This is estimated reach number is nice when targeting specific areas inside the US and Canada because it comes with the ability to see numbers based on those specific locations.
9. Third Party Tags
Third party tags, specifically click tags still need to be incorporated into the system through Google reps. This is the same problem as with All Online Campaigns but one could hope that this would have been fixed in a new system.
10. A Couple Miscellaneous Things
The AdWords Editor desktop tool does not support AdWords for Video which means no bulk work. In the agency world, bulk is what we do. Also, to get the AdWords for Video to even show up, you must create a new video campaign in the All Campaigns area.
So, the house is not bad but the cost of moving my family to a new place may be more than I can afford right now. The layout and approach are certainly different and in many ways improved for a change in life. But I have to say that right now, I have no plans to move campaigns that already exist in All Online Campaigns to AdWords for Video. For the amount of work that it would take to uproot these campaigns and their history as well as produce new reporting for my clients, it just does not seem to be worth it. Yet.
With regards to new video campaigns, I’ll probably give the new format a try. I know that the video advertising paradigm is changing regardless of whether we like it or not so advertisers need to embrace this change in order to stay with or ahead of the Jones.