Optmyzr Blog

How YouTube & Video Drive Growth & Learning: PPC Town Hall 12

Ashwin Balakrishnan

Senior Marketing Manager



We all know the power of good video.

People use the moving picture to sway opinion, win hearts, and tell stories. In a marketing setting, it brings consumers as close to a brand or product as the online experience will allow.

But video continues to be ignored by many businesses for a variety of reasons

“It’s expensive.”

“We don’t have the resources.”

“Our target audience isn’t on YouTube.”

All these misconceptions were dismantled this week during episode 12 of PPC Town Hall, where we discussed the intricacies of YouTube (and video in general) with:

  • Joe Martinez, Director of Client Strategy at Clix Marketing (email, Twitter)
  • Cory Henke, Founder and CEO of Variable Media (email, Twitter)

As always, you can view this week’s episode as well as previous editions of PPC Town Hall right here.

Here are five tips from our panelists on how to use YouTube and video to drive growth and learning.

1. Exclude ads from content you don’t want to show for.

Joe: In terms of content exclusions, we’ve seen really good hand-curated lists from other marketers. I’ve created one that stops your ads from running on channels geared towards children; others have created exclusion lists for news, political and controversial channels.

So there are options if you don’t want to run your ads on specific types of content. Some of the ad formats, like TrueView discovery campaigns, give advertisers greater control. They let you limit yourself to targeting just YouTube search results; you don’t have to be a pre-roll or in-stream ad all the time.

2. Use the data to learn about your audience.

Cory: When you start to find different channels and videos that work well, that’s a key insight into your consumer — you see the videos they watch after your ad play. One advertiser we worked with had a baby product that was not really succeeding on YouTube.

What we found was that the minimal conversions that happened all came before hurricane-related news content. We saw that was driving conversions, and we learned that it was a fear-based action. Before people watch hurricane content, they’re in a heightened state of awareness or fear; serving something that could potentially help your future child play into that mood.

3. Try out the YouTube Video Builder.

Joe: For me, there’s no longer an excuse for a brand to not be on YouTube. It no longer matters if you don’t have someone with video editing skills or high-value assets because Google basically takes your visuals and does the work for you.

There are dozens of templates based on what you want to promote — product, service, mobile app. When you pick a template you like, it shows you what images you need, as well as the format and sizes for those images. I did a few demos of my own to show some clients. For a free tool, it’s very good.

Get Access: Opt into the beta of YouTube Video Builder here.

4. Learn from skippable and non-skippable video ads.

Cory: Non-skippable ads usually drive very high CPCs with high completion rates; with a 15-second interstitial ad, you usually get a completion rate similar to a bumper ad. I think you’ll find people who are willing to watch your ad until the end, but not necessarily willing to click through and find out more.

So it’s kind of like a brand placement. I like it, but it’s harder to learn from.

With a skippable ad where you don’t pay for a user until 30 seconds, there’s a lot you can learn in that time — and greater scope to optimize these ads to make them more effective. With a skippable ad, there’s also unlimited time; your ad can be 10 seconds or 40 minutes. That variation lets you learn what your customers want to see from your future video content.

We could take this episode of PPC Town Hall and run it as a skippable ad, and compare it to another episode that we also promote similarly. You would know which users are willing to stay longer versus who ends the video early, and you might even see a link between that and who’s in the video.

We ran a test for a client’s 20-minute yoga ad where we used two versions with a black male and a white female to see what people would respond to. We also created a funny version and a more serious one. The white female version had better CTR and CPC, as did the serious version. What we learned from that is who to put on the next Instagram post or in-feed ad. The goal is to present that variation at the beginning of the video to maximize your learning.

5. Repurpose video beyond YouTube.

Joe: It’s absolutely worth doing video — especially if you’re budget-conscious — because it goes so much further than just YouTube.

You can use videos in responsive display ads, in your universal app campaigns and engagement display ads, in your Gmail ads. Or use video to really boost other campaigns and awareness; it’s still video views we can create audiences from to do remarketing with fresh video content.

To do this, you’ll need to optimize your videos for different online platforms and purposes. And make sure to use good video editing software for your needs to edit your videos quickly and professionally without breaking the bank.

Remember that different video formats work best on different digital platforms, so it’s important to optimize them properly when you’re repurposing this content outside of YouTube.

You don’t have to make a video and use it once on YouTube when there are ways to enhance your other paid media campaigns within Google.

Must Read: Check out Joe’s advice on how to use YouTube to power your non-video Google campaigns.


YouTube advertising is all about two things: freedom and flexibility.

You have the freedom to present your product, service, app, or brand in a way that offers something different from search, display, and shopping campaigns.

At the same time, different ad formats and product innovations give you the flexibility to set up variant campaigns to test what works best for your business.

There’s never been a better time to invest in content (YouTube is cheaper than ever), experiment with ads (more people are online), and learn from the data (you might discover an audience you didn’t know you had).