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The Marketer's Guide to YouTube, Part 2: Platforms

Published: October 1, 2012

Author: Ron Fusco

youtube logoIn part 1 of the Marketer’s Guide to YouTube advertising, we explained why you should be using YouTube, who should be using it, and who shouldn’t be using it. (If you missed it, go back and read it. We’ll wait.)
Now that you’ve been persuaded to advertise on this (very powerful) channel, we’ll break down the differences and relative strengths and weaknesses of the two available platforms: AdWords and AdWords for Video. Here goes:

How does it work?
It functions just like the AdWords you know and love, with the exception that ads must be built in the UI and cannot be created in AdWords Editor. With this use of AdWords, note that “clicks” are actually “views,” meaning that users stayed on the video view page long enough to register as a view.
Who should use it?
People who want to use the old “Promoted Video” format will be most comfortable with this platform.  Its big benefits are: the ability to scale campaigns quickly through AdWords Editor; and access to standard AdWords segmentation and reports.  It’s also good for marketers comfortable using search as a conversion-focused campaign.

Old AdWords video UI
Old “Promoted Videos” UI – if you used this, you’ll be comfortable with the AdWords platform.

Who shouldn’t use it? 
Anyone interested in video view metrics, anyone who wants to run TrueView in-stream ads, or anyone who wants to get in front of a new audience (since the most reliable way to do so is with TrueView in-stream).
How is it limited?
AdWords only works for in-search and in-display ads (note: we’ll break down the different types of YouTube ads in part 3). It does not support video-view metrics.
in-slate and in-display ads
In-slate ad (left) is only available through AdWords for Video; you can get in-display ads (right) on either platform.

AdWords for Video (AWFV)
How does it work? 
AWFV has a new UI. It maintains a similar structure to AdWords platform in campaigns and uses targeting groups in place of ad groups. Ads are at the campaign level and can be distributed across one or all targeting groups in the campaign. When creating the ad, users have the option of utilizing one of four ad types: in-stream, in-search, in-display, in-slate (again, ad type breakdown coming in part 3 of the series).
AWFV UI – note the four types of ads and the video metrics.

Who should use it?
Advertisers who want access to video-view metrics and use quality of view as a KPI; advertisers who want to create in-stream and in-slate ads; advertisers who want to get in front of a new audience; and advertisers who value the power of commercials for branding and awareness and seek a more targeted and cost-effective platform with better reporting.
Who shouldn’t use it?
Advertisers using in-search and in-display only where view metrics are not important;  advertisers who value the Dimensions tab and segmentation; advertisers attempting a DR campaign using search.
How is it limited?
AWFV has much lower caps than the AdWords platform, e.g. 10 targeting groups and 400 ads. If you use more than one target in a group, your ad is only served to the intersection — and not the combination — of the targets. It definitely has cool segmentation, but it’s missing some core AdWords features such as geo reports.
Keep reading: there’s a guide to YouTube ad types and a guide to YouTube targeting optionsto go!

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