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Bring Search Intent to Video: Google Extends Custom Intention Hearings to YouTube and Launches TrueView Ads for Action

Google unveiled two features designed to improve direct advertising performance on YouTube – beyond e-commerce formats and Shopping ads – at SMX West in San Jose, California on Tuesday morning .

Nicky Rettke, group product manager for YouTube commercials, announced the extension of custom intent audiences to YouTube and a new ad format called TrueView for Action.

Bring the Search Intent to YouTube

Advertisers started using Google user data for advertising targeting on YouTube in January 2017. Expanding custom audiences to YouTube means advertisers can reach people on YouTube who have recently searched for specific keywords on Google.com.

Google introduced custom intent audiences on the Google Display Network (GDN) in November. They allow advertisers to build audiences based on their campaign data, websites, and YouTube channels.

To use custom audiences on YouTube, advertisers create a video campaign in AdWords and add keywords related to their products or services that their prospects might search for in their searches.

These people can then be contacted by commercials when they watch videos on YouTube. Targeting is based simply on users who have done specific searches on Google.com.

"For example, an airline could reach people on YouTube who recently searched Google.com for" flights to Hawaii, "said Rettke


Custom audiences for YouTube are available exclusively in the new AdWords interface.

TrueView for Action Announcements for Direct Response

This leads to the other announcement of the day of YouTube: the unveiling of TrueView ads for Action. Google claims that custom intent audiences work best with this new ad format, which was developed specifically to meet direct response goals.

With TrueView for Action ads, advertisers can customize the calls to action that display with their video ads on YouTube. On mobile, ads appear below the video and persist even after the end of the video ad or if it is ignored while playing the host video. On the desktop, an accompanying ad will appear next to the video player at the top of the column of recommendations on the right. According to Rettke, advertisers can add their own creative elements, such as a logo or image, or Google automatically pulls items from the landing page.

Like all other TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView ads for Action can be skipped after five seconds. TrueView campaigns for actions are automatically set with target CPA bids.

ClassPass, which allows users to book fitness classes in nearby stores and offer fitness videos online through their app, is among those who test custom audiences with TrueView for Action ads on YouTube. . Mary Rykaczewski, head of Paid Media for ClassPass, told me in an interview yesterday that YouTube has recently become a key acquisition channel, largely because of the features announced today.

ClassPass tested custom intent audiences and TrueView for Action ads with campaigns aimed at reaching people who are defining New Year's resolutions focused on health or fitness. To promote a two-week trial promotion, Mr. Rykaczewski said he set up four custom-designed audiences based on separate sets of keywords: New Year's resolutions, course types such as Yoga and Pilates, brand and competitors.

Rykaczewski said he saw the conversion increase in both Google search and YouTube and gradually increase memberships.

"We see a synergy on research and video that we have never really seen before," she said of the new features.

Custom intent audiences and TrueView for Action ads will soon be deployed to accounts.

Google has also announced new productivity features, including Notes, in the new SMX West AdWords interface.

About the author

Ginny Marvin is Associate Editor of Third Door Media. She helps with the daily writing of all publications and oversees paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes on paid online marketing topics, including paid search, paid social, posting and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Land Marketing. With over 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held internal management and agency positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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