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I’m heavily invested in YouTube Remarketing for one of my clients, and when I look at my stats in the AdWords Video UI, I see something along the lines of:

adwords video UI

So, in order to calculate my Professional Upgrade CPA, which is my targeted metric, I divide $402.48 by 5 Conversions to get $80.49.

Well…not so fast.  :.)

Let’s take a closer look at some definitions.

-A “Conversion” is counted when a person “views” the full video (or at least 30 seconds of it) and then converts.  The video view is paid for.

-A “View-Thru” is counted when a person “views” only a portion of the video and then later converts.  The video view isn’t paid for.  Advertisers generally get several “partial” views for free for every full view they pay for.

IMO, viewing some of the video has the exact same funnel value as viewing the whole video.  So, I’m totally comfortable for including view-thrus as part of my CPA calculation in reporting the value of the paid advertising.

Therefore, the Professional Upgrade CPA here is $402.48/27 or $14.90. Much more favorable stats.  :.)

However:

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I target a much lower Paid CPA number for YouTube Video Remarketing than I do for my click-based remarketing efforts (roughly 1/3). I can justify paying full CPA target for click-based retargeting because the user intent is always present. Video will help push some people towards conversion, but it will also frequently steal some credit for conversions that would have happened anyway. Watching a video is a much more passive than clicking a link, and I have to judge the media accordingly.

A couple other anecdotes:

-You need to be very patient waiting for latency to kick in for conversions touched by YouTube.  The average latency for this particular client is 5 days, but I pretty much focus only on 14-day (or longer) time periods for really accurate CPA measurements.

-For In-Stream Video Ads, tweaking your CPV bids a penny at a time is very important for maximizing ROI.  Decide what your budget will be, and then determine the lowest possible CPV that you can pay to spend your budget.  Unlike search, Google, not the user, chooses which In-Stream Video to show…so, you don’t need to worry directly about your competition and whether the visitor will choose their video or yours.  You just need to worry about the metrics of your account.

I’m getting some pretty awesome ROI from my YouTube Remarketing Campaigns, so if you have the right video asset, I really recommend giving it a try.

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Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz, who has been with 3Q Digital since March 2011, has worked in search engine marketing since 2000 and has used Google AdWords since it began. He also is very visible in the SEM social media space and is a curator/contributor at MarketingLand. He was one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group), is a current board member, and writes regularly on their blog.