Meaningful YouTube Ads metrics you should track


Date: 27 July 2020

A woman records YouTube content for her channel to market her business

YouTube is the second most popular website in the world, drawing approximately two billion visitors a month. This makes it a fantastic tool to get your brand's message out and to attract new customers.

When you're running any new ad campaign, it's essential to know what metrics to look out for, particularly if it's the first campaign you're running on a new platform.

In this article, we'll take a look at the meaningful metrics you need to pay attention to when running YouTube ads and what they can mean for your business.

Types of YouTube ads

Before considering which metrics you need to measure, it's important to know what choices you have when deciding on which YouTube ads to run.

There are three main type of YouTube ads:

TrueView ads

TrueView video ads come in two different forms, In-Stream and Discovery ads, also known as In-Display ads. In-Stream ads are played before the selected YouTube video, while In-Display ads appear as a sponsored video suggestion in the top right-hand sidebar above playlists and YouTube suggested videos.

TrueView ads can be any length of time, as the viewer can decide whether they want to keep watching the ad or not. In-Stream ads are skippable, with the 'Skip Ad' button appearing after five seconds of viewing.

Both In-Display and In-Stream ads are defined as 'pay per view ads'. In-Stream ads views are counted when a viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the ad or engages with the video. If an In-Stream ad is shorter than 30 second in length, then a view is counted if the viewer watches the whole ad.

With In-Display ads, a view is counted as soon as a viewer clicks to watch the video.

Pre-Roll ads

Pre-Roll ads are non-skippable and can play before, during or after the selected YouTube video. Pre-Roll ads are between 15-20 seconds long and allow the user to include people, dialogue, audio.

If you're going to use Pre-Roll ads, try and build in elements that best represent your brand during this 15-20 second window. Pre-roll ads are based on a pay-per-click basis, so it's important to make the click worth it.

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are the shortest type of YouTube ad. At just 6 seconds long, these ads play before a YouTube video. These ads are great if you can get your brand message across in just six seconds and can make a great additional to a larger video campaign.

Meaningful YouTube insights to pay attention to

When you run YouTube ads, you're given insights into a lot of different areas. The insights you'll want to pay attention will depend on what you're trying to achieve and the objectives for your campaign.

The core insights of your campaign will be focussed on:

  • Impressions - the number of times your ad was shown to a potential customer.
  • Views - A view is counted on YouTube when someone watches 30 seconds of your video ad or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds, or if someone interacts with your ad.
  • View rates - YouTube defines their view rate as the percentage of people who watched your ad when it was served to them. In layman's terms, the total views divided by the total impressions. If you have a low view rate, it means that too many people are skipping your ad.
  • Cost-per-view (CPV) - This is how much you spend every time someone engages with your ad or views it for at least 30 seconds.
  • Video viewership - If you link your YouTube account with your Google ad, you'll be able to view ad completion rates for videos that are linked to your channel. This metric gives insights into how often people watch 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of your video.

Your click performances stats are centred around:

  • Clicks - clicks show the number of times that people clicked your ad. Engaging ads are more likely to receive clicks.
  • Click-Through Rate - Your Click-Through Rate tells how many people clicked on your ad compared to how many people saw your ad.

Your engagement stats focus on:

  • Earnings Per View - The earnings per view metric tracks how much money you're earning per ad view. Your earnings per view is one of the most important metrics to determine if your campaign is generating a positive ROI.
  • Earned Actions - Earned actions include subscriptions, likes and additional video views that happened after someone saw your ad. If you get more actions, this suggests a deeper level of interest and engagement with your content.

What stats do YouTube recommend you focus on?

YouTube themselves recommend paying close attention to view rate and cost-per-view. As mentioned earlier, your view rate will show you the number of people who watched your video or interacted with your video, divided by the number of times your ad appeared. 

Your cost per view stats show you the average amount you're paying for each view.

View rate is important as it's the primary metric for showing you how well your video ad is performing. A higher view rate shows your video is keeping the attention of potential customers. If your view rate is low, consider tweaking your actual video, but you should also refine the demographics of who your ad is reaching.

Shorter ads tend to have a higher view rate. If you can, keep your ads as short as possible while still getting your message across. Minor tweaks such as adding/removing calls to action can shift user behaviour to improve your view rate.

What are your objectives?

The metrics you'll want to pay attention to depend on the aims and objectives of your campaign. As with any new marketing campaign, it can take time to see what is and isn't and adjust as you move forward.

Before you start running a YouTube ad campaign, make sure you've done proficient research into who you're trying to reach, what you want to achieve and what your metrics for success are. Doing this will help you understand the meaningful metrics that you need to focus on.

Copyright 2020. Featured post made possible by Tom Welbourne of The Good Marketer, a marketing agency in London which drives more traffic, generates conversions and increases sales for small- to medium-sized businesses

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