Video experiments boost creative performance on YouTube

Video experiments boost creative performance on YouTube

Experimentation should be a critical part of any successful marketing strategy. Relying on proven results is how leading marketers stay agile in dynamic markets, craft more effective campaigns at scale and identify the true impact of their efforts on business results.

Knowing the outsized impact of creative on driving sales, we’re launching video experiments globally in Google Ads over the next several weeks. These experiments are easy to set up and quick to deliver results you can act on. So whether you’re looking to understand the impact of different video ads on Brand Lift, conversions or CPAs, you too can make more informed decisions that improve your results on YouTube.

Keep up with the pace of change

Given how rapidly our environment and consumer behaviors are evolving, it can be challenging for marketers to stay on top of how their brands can connect with consumers. But it shouldn’t be a challenge to get results and insights to help guide you. Running an experiment on YouTube means starting with a question or a hypothesis and, often in a matter of weeks or even days, understanding approaches that work and, equally importantly, ones that don’t.

Take Decathlon, for example. The sporting goods retailer was interested in seeing if video creatives customized for key audience segments would be more effective than using a single standard creative. Thanks to video experiments, they were able to learn that the customized approach resonated much more with audiences and drove business impact: they saw 175% more incremental online conversions at a 64% lower cost-per-conversion and boosted return on ad spend (ROAS) by 51%.

Improve creative and business results

In global studies we ran in 2019 and 2020, advertisers who successfully used video experiments to optimize for lower funnel performance on YouTube saw a 30% lower median cost-per-acquisition from the better performing creative. And those who used video experiments to optimize for upper funnel impact saw a 60% higher ad recall from the better performing creative. (Successful experiments were those with a significant difference in Brand Lift between experiment arms.)

A creative test entails showing two distinctly different video ads to the same audience. You may choose to experiment with different visual language elements like framing, pacing, brightness or text. That’s what India-based life insurance company Aegon Life did. By experimenting with different text overlays, they were able to drive 139% more conversions and 23% lower CPA.

No matter what you decide to test, you’ll be on your way to consistently improving your video ads through data, not just gut feelings. The ultimate goal of experimenting is not only about boosting a single campaign’s performance, but also about knowing what works for your brand and audience on YouTube more broadly. That’s why insights from experiments are so essential to helping you make video ads that consistently drive better outcomes for your business.

Here are three easy experiments, all of which borrow from our best practices for video ads, that can help you find your creative sweet spot on YouTube:

  1. Supersize text. Does making text elements (including logos) bigger drive more brand awareness?
  2. Tighten framing. Does zooming in on important subjects, whether they’re people or products, drive higher consideration?
  3. Make it easy to buy. Does placing the call to action at the beginning of the video drive more conversions than placing it at the end?
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