10 Ways TrueView Has Changed Advertising

June 29, 2015

According to Business Insider, digital video advertising is the second fastest growing advertising format and medium next to mobile. It’s no doubt that video advertising works. With the rise in video advertising, subsequently, there has been an increase in video advertisers.

To train, educate, and certify video advertisers, Google came up with their Video Advertising Certification as a part of their Adwords Certification program. This 74-question exam tests for both basic and advanced knowledge of creation, management, and optimization of video advertising campaigns for YouTube.

I took this exam and, during the process, quickly learned that the world of video advertising is full of possibilities and features that have never been accessible through other means of advertising. Here are 10 ways that online video has changed the world of advertising.

1. Only reach the people you want to reach

Typing on keyword

One of the biggest perks of digital advertising is the ability to hyper-target people for your ad. Gone are the days when reaching a target audience meant spending a lot of money to reach a lot of people that weren’t necessarily in your target demographic.

Now, with Google TrueView, you can target specific age and geographical demographics, different topics of interest, and ensure that your ad is being seen by the people you want to see it. Google uses their massive user database to inform targeting decisions including user search habits, interactions with other videos, and history. For example, if someone has been specifically searching for products similar to yours or has been watching videos related to your industry, he or she will have a much higher chance of seeing your ad.

2. See how you’re doing in real-time

After creating an ad, it’s not always easy to track exactly how effective your ad has been. You may have questions like:

  • What are consumers doing after watching my ad?
  • Has my ad effectively increased brand awareness?
  • How many people has my ad actually reached?

Traditionally, these questions would have been hard to answer, but with the help of Google Analytics and AdWords, you can now see exactly what happens after people watch your ad. You can track user behaviour like site visit habits, online purchases, ad recall and lifts in brand awareness.

3. Only pay for engaged users

CPV stands for Cost Per View. This is a revolutionary pricing system–especially if you’ve ever worked in Television Advertising. Normally for TV advertising, you pay for a time slot on TV and, depending on the average viewers and air time, you pay a certain price (that price usually being relatively expensive).

With CPV, you only pay when someone chooses to watch your ad. This is great for two reasons:

  • You’re not losing money when uninterested people watch your ad.
  • This encourages advertisers to create more meaningful, helpful, valuable ads. (Stay tuned for my next blog post about creating an effective video content strategy!)

With this pricing system, the relationship between consumers and advertisers in not only stronger, but mutually beneficial.

4. Get valuable information about your customers

Digital Marketing Specialist

This was touched on in #2 but I want to emphasize other types of data that can be extremely helpful for advertisers using Google and YouTube Analytics.

For example, you can track audience retention and drop off rates. This helps you know exactly where in the video you’re losing people’s attention so that you can optimize ads for the future. Information on demographics, user interaction after watching your ad, and engagement rates are all examples of data that can help you create and manage better video ad campaigns.

5. Build a community

A big part of YouTube TrueView ads is not just the ability to distribute your ads, but the ability to create and encourage community between your business and your customers. YouTube is known for its communities and subcultures, which some brands have been able to tap into. GoPro is a prime example of a brand that has successfully created a strong brand loyalty and community through YouTube. By creating valuable content and encouraging user-generated content, they have built a solid community of engaged fans.

Creating valuable content is the start to creating a strong community with your customers, and now with TrueView ads, you can make sure your content is being seen by potential customers.

6. Target interested customers

Remarketing is a targeting method for your digital ads. Originally, remarketing ads were designed to appear for people who had already visited your website; you could target those specific people to continue to see your ads. Now, with YouTube TrueView Ads, you can create remarketing lists that are targeted at people who have interacted with your videos.

This opens up some incredible creative opportunities. For example, L’oreal created an episodic series of videos in which subsequent episodes would only be shown to people who had watched the previous episode.

If someone has either i) interacted or viewed your YouTube videos ii) subscribed to, or unsubscribed from your channel iii) viewed your TrueView ads or iv) visited your channel, you can target them for future ads.

7. Measure lift in brand awareness

clients at table

Beyond measuring impressions, clicks, and engagement to really see how effective your TrueView ads are in raising brand awareness, Google has developed a product called Brand Lift. Brand Lift uses survey and search results as a way of measuring the impact of your TrueView ad on consumer search behaviour.

Brand Lift conducts consumer surveys to both people exposed to your ad and those that have not been. If there is an increase in interest to your brand after people have seen your ad, Google will measure that as a lift in brand awareness. This data is all available to you in real-time so you can optimize your ads as you go. This allows for a flexibility in your TrueView ad campaign.

Anyone that spends money on marketing and advertising will recognize that this a huge breakthrough in measuring marketing effectiveness. This allows for measurable results in brand awareness, giving exact data for calculating ROI.

8. Generate user interaction

One of the biggest differences between television ads and TrueView ads is the fact that they are being accessed through a digital device. This allows for user interactivity including clickable call-to-actions and annotations. Imagine the possibility of allowing people to physically interact with your television ads. This is finally possible through YouTube’s awesome set of interactive tools.

Some brands have taken advantage of this feature by creating clickable annotations that lead to subscribing to their channel, other videos, or linking to the website. Annotations allow you to prompt users to engage with your content in a deeper way, building stronger brand loyalty and awareness.

9. Engage people everywhere they go


Mobile media consumption is growing like never before. If you don’t believe me, let these statistics enlighten you:

  • YouTube has over 1 billion active users watching their videos every day.
  • Of those billions of views, about half of them are being watched through a mobile device or tablet.
  • Last year that ratio was around one quarter.

This means that the way your advertisements are being watched isn’t going to be the same for every viewer. However, YouTube TrueView ads allow your ads to be targeted for different devices so that every person watching online content is getting access to your ads. This poses both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is that you have the ability to reach people almost everywhere they go. The challenge being that you are now forced to design your ads effectively for the medium.

10. Purchase ads easier than ever before

Traditionally, ad buying is a laborious and costly step in distributing your ad. TrueView ads allows you to buy ad space easily and cost-effectively. Rather than hiring a team of media buyers to find placements for an ad and paying lots of money to purchase that space, you can set up and place ads on YouTube quickly and easily. This has allowed small businesses and organizations to have the same potential reach as any other organization.

Using YouTube and Google AdWords, you can create a video campaign in only a few minutes. Of course, if you’re unfamiliar with video advertising, studying for and taking the Video Advertising Certification will be hugely helpful for you, but if you want to get started right away, check out this quick tutorial by Google.


TrueView is just one advance in the digital advertising world. As advertisers, we are now challenged with a leveled playing field to create stronger and more meaningful content as these tools are now accessible by everyone.

The power is now in the hands of consumers to choose who they want to watch. How will you use this tool to connect with your audience better and in a more meaningful way?

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By Daniel Roe