As YouTube’s action-oriented ad types continue to evolve, we’ve recently learned that the TrueView for Action format, which has been YouTube’s primary direct response-focused ad type, will be migrating to a new ad format called Video Action on September 30. Although this won’t be a huge change, we do feel there are some important implications for advertisers to be aware of. We’ll break down what you need to know about this new ad type and what you can do to prepare for the transition.
What is a Video Action? How is it different from Trueview for Action (TvA)?
Video Action is very similar to TvA in that they both focus on driving conversions and use either tCPA or maximize conversions bidding. Google has called Video Action “the next evolution of TvA”.
The biggest difference is that Video Action uses Responsive Video Ads, which allow the ads to show as either a Video Discovery ad or an In-Stream ad. This allows advertisers to manage ads across different inventory placements all in one campaign. Right now, this inventory includes the YouTube mobile home feed, YouTube watch pages, and Google video partners.
So what is actually changing with this transition?
You will no longer be able to create new TvA ads and instead will only be able to use Video Action. Essentially, this means that action-oriented video campaigns will no longer just be In-Stream ads and will instead show ads in both the In-Stream and Video Discovery formats. In addition, you will no longer be able to opt out of showing ads on the Google Video Partners (GVP) network for Video Action campaigns.
Note that existing TvA ads will continue to run and you will still be able to make edits to them for several months after the transition. No exact date has been provided yet as to when the ad type will be fully sunset.
What is the GVP network?
You can think of GVP as basically opting YouTube ads into the GDN. Having this selected allows ads to show across GDN sites and apps. Historically, MT has recommended not opting into this due to low-quality placements and a high volume of app traffic. Moving forward, it will open up the inventory for Video Action campaigns but will require a close eye on placements and putting proactive exclusions in place when launching campaigns.
Should I expect performance to change with Video Action compared to TvA?
In the initial tests we’ve run, Video Action has outperformed TvA in almost every case, so this should be a positive change overall. Google has cited that Video Action ads drive 20% more conversions per dollar than TrueView for Action ads based on data from initial testing.
One thing to be aware of is that Video Action will always have a lower view rate than TvA. This is because the ads are showing as In-Stream and Video Discovery, and Video Discovery ads typically have a much lower view rate due to users having to click the ad to start viewing.
What should I do to prepare?
For any new video campaign you create where you want to drive toward action, use the Responsive Video ad group type to create Video Action ads instead of TrueView for Action.
If you are currently already using Video Action and do not opt into GVP, opt-in and start monitoring placements closely to determine the best exclusions and optimize performance. Consider excluding topic categories for games to prevent mobile game app or game website placements. Also, consider excluding app categories to avoid showing on certain types of apps.
For existing TvA campaigns that you want to transition to Video Action, we recommend creating a new campaign using the Responsive Video ad group type and transitioning the traffic over the course of a few weeks. This will allow you to easily compare performance between the campaigns and have more control over shifting the budget to the VAC campaign.
Note that this approach does require more budget since both the existing TvA campaign and the new Video Action campaign will need to have enough budget to meet the appropriate bid-to-budget ratios for action-focused campaigns.
If it’s not feasible to create new campaigns with Video Action ads to transition, you can create Responsive Video ad groups within an existing campaign and transition the traffic to those new ad groups from the existing TvA ad groups.