Optimizing marketing hero image
Measuring and Refining

How to see how you’re doing - and do even better

You’re running video marketing campaigns on YouTube – but are they performing as you’d like? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. And it can be even harder to get going in the right direction.

Don’t worry. Here’s where we’ll dig into some easy-to-learn, essential concepts that’ll help you get the most out of your current campaigns, ensuring they help you reach your business goals.


If you’re new to video marketing, note that most marketers call this topic optimization and, though it’s a little technical and covers a lot of different concepts, you’ll see this word throughout the article.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Getting started with optimization

Video campaign optimization includes everything you can do – analysis, in-account changes and creative updates and so on – to improve the performance of your video marketing.

When to start optimizing your video campaigns

If you’re just getting started running video ads, we recommend waiting at least two weeks until you have enough results to inform the updates you make.

What to optimize for

While there are a wide variety of video metrics available in Google Ads, we recommend familiarizing yourself with view rate and cost-per-view as they are good indicators of video campaign health. You’ll be better able to optimize your campaigns when you understand what these metrics represent:

View rate

The number of people who watched your video (for at least 30 seconds) or interacted with your video (by clicking, for example, a call-to-action overlay) divided by the number of times your video ad appeared (otherwise known as impressions).

Average cost-per-view (CPV)

The average amount you’re paying for each view.

Note: A view is only counted when your video is watched for at least 30 seconds or to the end (whichever is shorter) or when someone interacts with your ad.

Optimizing for View Rate

View rate is the primary metric for understanding how well your creative (in other words, your video ad) is performing. A higher view rate usually indicates your video ad is keeping the attention of potential customers. Making changes to your video ad is one way to improve your view rate, but you’ll also want to consider refining who your ads are reaching.

The importance of view rate

A high view rate will generally result in your ad winning more ad auctions and a lower CPV – meaning you’ll drive more views at a reduced cost.

Improving your video ads

Small changes to your video ad can result in big improvements in view rate and campaign cost:

  • As a general rule, shorter ads tend to have a higher view rate. If you can say the same thing in 30 seconds that you’re currently saying in one minute, consider shortening your video ad for greater impact.
  • Even minor tweaks like changing titles or end cards, or adding/removing calls-to-action, can shift user behavior in such a way as to improve your view rate.
  • Consider rotating two or three video ads to keep things fresh and avoid creative fatigue.

Creative fatigue is a term that refers to an ad losing effectiveness because your target audience has already seen it too many times.

Refining your targeting

Targeting is a marketing term that refers to the choices you make to ensure your video ads are seen by the people most likely to become your future customers.

With a wide variety of targeting methods available to you, such as demographic groups, interests and remarketing lists, you can reach specific or niche audiences based on who they are, what they’re interested in and what content they’re viewing.

If you’re reaching the wrong audience or have yet to use targeting at all, you’ll likely see that more people are skipping your ads than you would like. You can positively impact your view rate by adding targeting to your campaigns and making refinements over time.

Learn more about targeting for video campaigns

Optimizing for Cost-Per-View

Average cost-per-view (CPV) is the average amount you pay when someone views your ad on YouTube. While how much you pay can rise and fall based on a number of factors, you can give yourself the best chance of a low CPV by making changes to your bidding strategy, refining your targeting and improving your video ad.

The importance of CPV

The lower your CPV, the less you pay each time your ad is viewed by a potential customer – helping you make the most of your budget.

Adjusting your bids

Bids have the most direct link to CPV. They act as a ceiling and you’ll never pay a higher CPV than your max bid. The most effective use of bids is for you to bid the true value of the view that you’ll be buying.

Expanding your targeting

Targeting a narrow audience can often result in increased competition and a higher CPV. Reconsider your video marketing strategy and expand your targeting to see your ads compete in auctions where they’re more competitive, which may reduce your average CPV.

Note: The TrueView format acts as a targeting filter where you’ll only pay when viewers choose to watch your ad. With this in mind, expanding your targeting may lead you to discover a new and valuable audience who’s interested in what you have to offer.

Improving your video ad

Because strong creative can drive a good view rate, it can often impact your CPV. As view rate rises, CPV falls because the auction values relevant ads that your potential customers enjoy (as indicated by view rate).

Learn more about creating an effective video ad

You’re ready to optimize

Once your ads have been running for two weeks you’ll be able to use what you’ve learned here to ensure you’re connecting with the right customers for your business – and getting the most from your video marketing budget.

Learn more about the topics discussed above and other metrics

Need help setting up your campaign?

A YouTube Advertising expert is available to set your account up. And it’s free (when you spend at least $10 per day).

Talk to us*

*For customers committing to $10 per day or more in ad budget. Phone support operating hours are Mon - Friday, 9am-9pm PST