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Sarah Vlietstra

Finding eCommerce Success on the Display Network and YouTube

Finding eCommerce Success on the Display Network and YouTube

10/25/19 UPDATE: Hello Facebook Agency Visitor Person!  We’re delighted to have you visit this awesome post. About a year ago, ZATO stopped offering Facebook Ads solutions so we could focus solely on what we do best: Google Ads. Because of this, we’re always interested in partnerships with great Social Advertising agencies (like yourself, wink wink!) and we offer referral fees for signed clients!  Anyway, back to it, and happy reading…

Post Summary

Is It Possible to Find eCommerce Success on Display?

Working as a rep for Google, one of my responsibilities was to pitch Display to the agencies I worked with as a channel for performance marketing.  Truthfully, many of the conversations I had with these agencies would turn out one of two ways:  either the agency had been burned in the past and was not willing to run Display at all or it would turn into a well-intentioned campaign, with no directly attributed ROI and a lot of perceived wasted time and money. The reason?  Being able to directly attribute ROI to channels such as YouTube or Display doesn’t come easily.  In fact, you may not notice any direct return at all.  Most of the value derived from marketing on the Display network or YouTube will come from secondary metrics.  You may see ROAS increase across branded search.  You could even see a jump in organic sales.  Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you will be able to measure return through view through conversions or sales.

Does that mean you will never see conversions or ROAS from your Display or YouTube?  Not necessarily.  It depends on how targeted your campaign is and how easily the user viewing or clicking on your ad is able to make a purchase.  Recently, Google has launched a few newer products that are not well-adopted that work really nicely into performance marketing across Display that I’d like to discuss as a possible way to branch out to new users and drive some additional upper funnel traffic. However, as a word of warning, your best success with Display and YouTube will be because you’ve set proper expectations with your client and they are knowledgeable about how they may see the return attributed. Let's start with Google's big acquisition, YouTube.  YouTube has been touted as the second largest search engine in North America. In fact, I find YouTube campaigns to be a huge opportunity that most agencies underutilize. The inventory is massive and the cost per view remains extremely low (We're talking .01 in some cases.).

The skippable ads we all know and love are called TrueView Ads. Across the TrueView platform, two campaign types are uniquely dedicated towards performance:  TrueView for Shopping and TrueView for Action.  The former being more geared towards eCommerce.

TrueView For Shopping

TrueView for Shopping is a skippable, in-stream ad with clickable product listings alongside the video.  A TrueView for Shopping campaign has a very straightforward setup.  Choose “brand and product consideration” under the campaign creation flow, then select Video and Shopping.  From there, you can choose whether you’d like to target all products within this campaign, or only have a few select products.  The latter method being more advantageous if you have videos targeted towards specific products.  One thing to note about these campaigns is that the availability of smart bid strategies is a bit limited.

(Here I was able to pull a mockup of a TrueView for Shopping ad for “watches” playing with a Peppa Pig video. For the purpose of this article, let’s assume that Peppa Pig is in the watch business.)

Discovery Campaigns

Discovery Campaigns are also a lesser adopted format that yields itself to be very beneficial to those that have found success on social media.  Discovery campaigns run their ads on customers across the YouTube Home and Watch Next feeds, Discover*, and the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs using a single campaign.  Creating these campaigns involve selecting the marketing objectives of either 'Sales', 'Leads', 'Website traffic', or 'No goal', then selecting “Discovery” for campaign type.

Discovery Ads across YouTube, in the Discovery Feed, and in Gmail (open and closed).

No matter what campaign type you’re utilizing across display, probably the most important parts will be the targeting and the creative.

Audiences, Audiences, Audiences

There is a reason Facebook is so wildly successful with generating relevant ads.  They are full of audience targeting and we’ve single handedly given them the information pertaining to our targets.  Now, Google isn’t as lucky as Facebook in that endeavor, however, they still are brimming with excellent audience targeting options.  Among many of the audience targeting groups available, there are In-Market (users who have shown intent to purchase), Affinity (larger groups that share a commonality), Life Events, and Demographic Targeting.

Available Audiences on the Display Network[/caption]However, the jewels of the Display network remain in the custom audience targeting options.The beauty of a custom intent audience is that if you know your client’s target audience, you can recreate that audience using keywords, frequently visited sites or even their searches on Google.

Custom Audience Targeting[/caption]Don’t forget about the existing audiences in your account either.  Similar audience and Life Event targeting are fairly new, but very effective Google-created audiences.There is also something to be said about utilizing existing remarketing audiences.  I specifically recommend creating a remarketing strategy across cart and checkout abandoners to give them another opportunity to make that purchase.  You will definitely want to create audiences around your upper funnel campaign interactions (i.e. viewers of a TrueView for Action ad or Visitors From Discovery Campaign) so you can remarket to them as well.

In Conclusion

Your success across the display network will most likely start with setting proper expectations for the campaigns’ attribution.  You may not see success right away, but through proper targeting throughout the funnel, from upper funnel TrueView campaigns to recapturing those users through remarketing, you will be able to see results in time.

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Sarah Vlietstra
Senior Paid Search Strategist

Sarah started her career in digital marketing by working as a contractor at Google for 6 years before joining ZATO.

During that time, she worked with thousands of Google Ads accounts, gathering specific insight into industry benchmarks, trends and data. Because of her time representing Google, she excels at implementing Google Ads best practices in ZATO clients to maximize machine learning applied intelligently through a human framework.

Sarah is also passionate about educating others regarding Paid Search products, and actually taught the existing ZATO team about a specific product on her first day ever working at ZATO!

Sarah lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband, two sons and dog.  She enjoys spending time with her family, beautifying her house, and visiting new places.

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