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AdWords Video Remarketing

Video’s role in marketing is dramatically increasing every day. Recently, Twitter added promoted videos as an option. Last year, Facebook enhanced video metrics.

Video remarketing is another great option within Google Remarketing by opening up your audience to a much larger list. Expanding the audience provides great value when you have a list of people that have expressed interest in your services by watching a video. In fact, it’s not just video viewing. YouTube remarketing provides multiple actions that can be targets.

Available Remarking Actions

  1. Video view or interaction (likes, comments, shares)
  2. YouTube channel visit and subscription
  3. In-stream ad views

Linking AdWords and YouTube
The first step before starting any video remarketing is to make sure YouTube is connected to AdWords.

  • Choose Video Manager -> Channel Settings -> Advanced
  • Open your Google AdWords account in a new tab, sign in, and copy your Customer ID
  • Assign a name to the AdWords account. It’s often best to use the same name you are currently using for you for your existing AdWords account. This will prevent confusion when alerts our sent to all users that a name has been changed.
  • Set permissions for the account. I tend to allow all permissions. It provides more options down the road when looking for more targeting areas.

Creating a Video Remarketing Campaign
Once all the connectivity is working then the real fun begins. Now, you can setup AdWords campaigns that utilize your YouTube audience. This process becomes as easy as another remarketing campaign that you have setup in the past. Video viewers just becomes another audience option.

Video Remarketing Is More Than Video Ads
If you Google video remarketing all articles are quick to point out creating video ads for remarketing. It’s important to distinguish that video remarketing does not have to mean video ads. That’s certainly an aspect that can be used, but not a limitation. After the video marketing audience is built and grown to a significant number, the options are much wider than video ads. You can still create banner ads like you would any other remarketing campaign.

Dive into video remarketing. There is a wealth of data that can expand any audience.

Use YouTube Video Calls-to-Action for Better Results

YouTube Video CTAs-megaphone

You have developed a great video strategy, but are you using calls-to-action (CTAs) in them like you do elsewhere? Adding CTAs to YouTube is a easy process than can yield great benefits, including conversions, subscriptions, likes and shares.

While we would all like to think people will take action on their own, the reality is people need to be told what to do next and preferably why. (Collective sigh.) Luckily, YouTube provides multiple easy ways to do it along with standard production ones you may use.

Before jumping into calls-to-action, you need to do two steps first. First, you need to determine the goal of the specific video and how the CTA can help support that goal. What are you trying to accomplish? If you want more subscribers, does the CTA encourage it? Do you want someone to make a purchase? Does the CTA allow them to click through to make the purchase? Presumably you know the first part since you have a video strategy, but you need to make sure the second part ties into it.

Next, with so many possible types of CTAs available, decide on the style and type(s) that will best support your goal. You want the style of your CTAs to complement your video. Otherwise, it is a jarring experience for the viewer who will quickly exit the video and not take any action. You also want a call-to-action that will bring the desired action and have it placed appropriately in the video. An exaggerated example would be to make a subscription request when you want viewers to purchase a product or service.

Now, let’s discuss some possible calls-to-action to use in your YouTube videos:


Annotations are pop-up messages, not ads, which appear in the video. People can immediately interact with them. Unfortunately, they often cause people to leave the video and can only be linked to other YouTube content. Therefore, do not place them during a vital part of the video. Waiting to use them in an end card may be a better option. However, you must weigh that placement with people’s short attention span. One-third don’t get past the first 30 seconds. YouTube provides more information on creating different annotations and best practices.

Most annotations are self-explanatory, but the spotlight one is a bit different. Spotlight annotations allow you to create subtle clickable areas within a video. The text appears when a viewer hovers over the it but only a light outline appears otherwise.

Call-to-Action Overlay

With an AdWords for TrueView ad, you can create CTA overlays. The overlay appears at the bottom of the player when the video starts and can be closed by the viewer. Share information about the video; promote other videos and websites, etc. When viewers click on the overlay, they are directed to the designated website. The overlays remain on the video until you remove them. They are, however, subject to review via the Google AdWords program.


Descriptions allow you to provide more information about the video and include CTA links. People will not be distracted from the video and naturally want to read more about the video’s content. However, be  very careful with the first couple lines of the description. Keep the YouTube SEO intact because that is what shows up in a YouTube search. YouTube is the second largest search engine so you don’t want to mess that up. For example, you can link to a related blog post, YouTube channel, email subscription. 

End Cards

For the end of the video, create an end card with a call-to-action. You can do something as simple as a screen with a text message or make it interactive with annotations. Use a template to maintain consistent branding. As mentioned earlier, some viewers will have already stopped viewing the video. However, those remaining are more likely to be willing to act on your CTA.

Host / Narrator Mentions

The host or speaker talks directly to the camera to request a specific action. Voiceover can also be done. The downside for this method is you need to stick with one action and the cost of changing it is high. Therefore, choose your CTA carefully.

In-video graphics

You can also include other graphics at key points in the video. For example, have a graphic with a URL landing page URL after your standard opening and then have it appear later.

The types and combinations of YouTube video calls-to-action are numerous. You will need to experiment and test to see what types of CTAs resonate with your audience. Get creative. Make it interactive. Check out brands that are known for great videos for inspiration. Use whatever combination of tactics that will help you further reach your goal but no more. Goals for engagement, subscriptions, purchases, etc. will be reached once you find the find the right combination and balance.


photo credit: floeschie via photopincc

Video and Your SEO Strategy

Video SEOVideo is an ever increasingly important part of content and inbound marketing. In fact, more than 100 hours of videos are uploaded every minute to YouTube alone by individuals and businesses. Imagine if you add other video-sharing sites and company and personal sites. With such a crowded field, how do you stand out in results?

Whether your goals are rich snippets, conversions, brand awareness or link and social shares, techniques exist to get your videos noticed.

Solve Problems and Provide Information

Cute cat videos are great (like the one below), but few companies benefit from producing them. So how do you come up with video content? Put yourself in your customers’ position. What problems do they face? How can you solve them? What information do they need to better understand your products or services? These questions are a great starting point for creating content that is relevant in searches. Also, look at your FAQ page and customer feedback for more possible topics. The video itself can take many forms, such as an interview, animation, product demonstration or screen views. Be creative.

Organize Videos for Easy Browsing and Indexing

Knowing a site or video-sharing has the video with the information you need is great if you can find it. If not, it’s an exercise in frustration. Use categories and tags to help people find what they need. A long list of videos on your site or a hodgepodge of videos on a video-sharing sharing channel is not conducive to video views. If self-hosting, use separate landing pages so search engines can index each video. Again, think about what keywords people will use to search through your video collection.

Use Interactive Elements

Use interactive elements to create calls-to-action at key points. Such elements capture your viewers’ attention and can drive them to take specific actions. Elements can include social sharing, in-video links, forms, surveys, subscriptions, YouTube annotations and other such CTAs. As technology evolves, the list of possible CTA elements will grow.

Use Relevant Metadata

Depending on where you host the videos different metadata applies. Titles should include keywords. Use relevant categories and tags. If hosted on your website, use hidden tags in the HTML code of your video landing pages, especially Facebook’s OpenGraph tags,’s microdata tags and possibly Twitter Card tags. Also, include detailed descriptions of the video’s content. On YouTube, you can create rather long ones and include a URL back to your domain. Add closed captioning on YouTube if you have the time to create your own.

Offer Video Transcriptions

Add transcriptions of your video directly on the pages where your videos are hosted. Not only do they allow people the option to read when they cannot watch but provide indexable content for search engines. Transcriptions can also be used to create blog posts, slide presentations and other content.

Video Hosting

Should you host your videos on your own website or a third-party site? Some experts advise clients to host videos directly on their own sites. Other experts, like Crescent Interactive, advise posting directly on YouTube because they feel the SEO impact is minimal. However, video hosting does not have to be an either/or proposition. Some videos may be best suited for your website, such as conversion-focused ones. You will need to decide between the benefits and risks of the two options.

If you host videos on your own domain, you can easily use rich snippets, send SEO juice to your own domain, keep people on your site and have higher conversion rates. However, videos can slow down your site’s load speed and require additional storage. Also, you risk lower exposure and social shares.

Hosting on YouTube gives the benefit of being on a Google owned video-sharing platform. The potential for exposures and shares is very high if your video is well-produced with great descriptions and strong organization. Video-sharing sites are suitable for top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) videos. Unfortunately, SEO benefits go to YouTube or other video-sharing sites, not to your domain.

So what are you waiting for? Start creating videos and reap the associated SEO benefits. Be creative about ways to reach your audience.

Video Advertising Options

As we’ve heard many times, YouTube has become the 2nd largest search engine based on volume of queries. Because of that, there are a lot of advertising opportunities within YouTube. However, most marketers do not know where to start when it comes to video. There are two ways to setup a video ad campaign: AdWords for Video and Display Ad Builder

AdWords for Video
Adwords for Video uses a CPV (cost-per-view) bidding format. Using the TrueView video formats and CPV marketers only pay when videos are watched. “Watched” is the keyword there, not “shown”. The advantage is viewers choose ads that they want to watch and relevant to them.

Display Ad Builder
Using the Display Ad Builder approach is the way to go if you interested in cost-per-click measurement in video marketing. The Display Ad Builder allows you to create multiple banner formats and sizes, plus video. YouTube provides templates for those that don’t claim to have a creative side.

Using the Display Ad Builder allows you to mix your display, video, and even search ads together in the same campaign. Although, that may not be the recommended approach.

Display Ad Builder

TrueView Video
As mentioned above TrueView videos uses the CPV format. Below are some options when using AdWords for video.

  1. In-Stream Video Ads
    In-Stream Videos appear at the beginning of YouTube videos. After 5 seconds, they provide the user with the option to skip the rest of the ad video. Advertisers are charged when 30 seconds of the video is viewed.
  2. In-Search Video Ads
    In-Search advertising uses the search results of YouTube to advertise, also known as “YouTube Promoted Videos.” Just like traditional search PPC, this approach uses keyword searches. The cost for the ad is triggered when someone clicks on the video.
  3. In-Display Video Ads
    This includes promoted videos, suggested and related video promotions, plus Click-to-Play. The video ad formats allow for multiple sizes. Advertisers can choose whether the video plays within the ad unit or when the user clicks to watch the video. Advertisers are charged when a video is watched.