Why E-Commerce Brands Should Give Video PPC a Chance

E-commerce brands should give PPC a chance
E-commerce brands should give PPC a chance

If you’ve been using Google Ads, you already know that it can be hard to compete for those top spots in the SERPs.

With all of the changes hitting Google as of late, brands need to come up with new ways to stand out in a crowded, competitive space. As such, video PPC has become increasingly valuable for e-commerce brands, allowing them to show off products that people can’t always try before they buy.

Free Download: 6 Reasons that Video Can Boost On-Site Conversions

Why Video, and Where Does it Fit in With E-Commerce?

We’re not here to argue that video is better than text or static Shopping ads. We see all of these mediums as part of one broader strategy; in other words, this isn’t a revival of the whole pivot to video nonsense from a few years back. 

Video is perfect for e-commerce: it instantly builds trust and gives customers an idea of what a product looks like “in the wild.” It doesn't matter if you're selling clothing, electronics, or something completely new; video sells and the… Click To Tweet

According to this study, over 90% of consumer participants have watched a tutorial to learn about new product, while 97% of marketers who were surveyed found video to be an effective way to help users understand their offerings.

What’s more, according to Vidyard, marketers who used video ended up growing revenue nearly 50% faster than non-video users in 2017. And Kissmetrics reported that video ads boost purchasing intent by a whopping 97% and increase brand association by 139%. 

So, as you might imagine, video PPC stands to be a pretty powerful tool for e-commerce brands. 

What is Video PPC?

Video PPC is exactly what it sounds like. You’re replacing static text ads or your Shopping feed content with videos designed to generate brand awareness. Shopping campaigns with video content can be displayed in the SERPs, on YouTube and Google partner sites, or as part of a retargeting strategy.

Video PPC comes in several different forms, ranging from YouTube retargeting ads to search network video placements. And like the rest of the PPC options in the Google Ads suite, campaigns are based on goals, targeting, and bidding strategy. 

Here’s a quick look at your options and when it makes sense to use each one. 

TrueView Videos

TrueView is Google Ad’s YouTube advertising feature. What’s important to understand about TrueView is that it only applies to video and it only covers YouTube advertising. 

Aside from a massive user base, the key benefit of using TrueView is that the format offers a LOT of insights for advertisers, making this something of a learning experience. You’ll learn who your users are and where they are coming from. 

And, of course, you’ll learn more about how people consume your content. Do people skip your ad after that five-second mark (when applicable)? Do your ads make people ditch the YouTube video they wanted to watch? Are your ads being flagged as irrelevant?

These bits of data can be analyzed and used to make better decisions about the audiences you choose to target and the keywords that inform your ads and landing pages. 

As with Google Ads, setting up TrueView ads begins with choosing a campaign type that aligns with your goals. 

Video PPC
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In-Stream YouTube Ads

In-stream ads are similar to a TV commercial: they are embedded into the video player. These are the ads you’ll see before or during a YouTube video, as well as video content found on Google Display Network sites–think of ads that play on a news or media site before the content you’re trying to watch. 

As you can see in the chart we included above, TrueView’s in-stream format supports both Shopping and Standard campaigns, both of which can be used by e-commerce brands to drive awareness and highlight products.

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Shopping Ads look like this example below, featuring shoppable products next to the video player. 

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As you do with other Shopping campaigns, you’ll add feeds that determine which products will display after the ad plays. From there, you can apply filters that allow you to control which items are shown. While the process is pretty straightforward, product selection is done at the campaign level and all campaigns must be created manually without using the Google Ads Editor. 

Video Discovery Ads

Video Discovery ads are exclusive to YouTube and are designed to reach people as they’re discovering content on other platforms. You’ll find Discovery ads on top of the platform’s search results

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YouTube Shopping Cards

Shopping Cards are another option for online retailers, but they work a bit different than Discovery and In-Stream ads. Instead, Shopping cards are used to advertise products that are already featured in the accompanying video. Reviews, tutorials, and other product-focused content that highlights items available for sale will likely work best here.

Video PPC
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Video PPC–Google Ads Edition

Video still hasn’t rolled out across the entire Google Ads ecosystem, but they do present a few options for retailers outside of YouTube. Here’s a quick look:

Video Showcase Ads

Showcase ads are part of the Google Shopping stack. As a point of reference, this is that multi-image format designed to increase visibility, in part because they take up a great deal of space in the SERPs.

Video PPC
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For e-commerce brands, Showcase ads stand to drive a lot of top-of-the-funnel activity. Google reports that the format offers a 3.6x higher CTR than other ad formats and credits it with 20% more conversions. 

We say that Google merely “credits” this format with these advantages because Showcase ads are priced on the CPE model, not cost per click or conversion, so you’re not getting those hard numbers that prove ROI. While we tend to prefer PPC bidding based on conversions, Showcase ads are one of the few options for brands to add video to the Search network.

Outstream Ads

Outstream ads are shown on Google’s partner sites and are only available on smartphone and tablet. An outstream ad might take the form of an in-app pop-up that interrupts a game or a pop-up video on a news site. 

The mobile-only format makes it easier on viewers, allowing them to tap the screen to play your video. The benefit to advertisers is that out-stream presents an alternative method for increasing brand awareness outside of YouTube.

Video PPC
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In-Stream Ads

In-stream ads aren’t limited to YouTube. Advertisers also have the option to target searchers on the Google Display Network and can choose from skippable or non-skippable ads.

Non-skippable in-stream ads allow you to increase the odds your audience will hear your entire message. Skippable ads, remember, give users the option to abandon ship after five seconds.  

With that said, you can’t hijack the entire viewing experience. Non-skippable ad spots come with a 15-second limit and really only work for campaigns focused on awareness and reach. Skippable ads are more versatile and can be used with the following campaign goals:

  • Awareness and reach
  • Lead generation
  • Web traffic
  • Leads
  • Product/brand consideration
  • Unspecified goal

Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are a super short ad format, made to boost awareness by way of a short, memorable message. These ads don’t come with a “skip” option and are limited to six seconds or less. The goal is to create something that speaks to users’ emotions within a short time frame. Again, brand association is the name of the game. 

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How to Create a Great Video Ad

The best-performing video ads are the ones that provide real value to the viewer and respect the fact that people aren’t typically excited about watching an ad before they can get to the content they wanted. 

Here are a few pointers that can help you make sure quality comes first. 

Shorter is better

Let’s face it: humans get bored quickly. Whether our attention spans are actually getting shorter, or our interest is waning due to an overcrowded internet environment, we can’t be sure. 

Whatever the case, shorter ads tend to yield better results than longer ones. Don’t forget that video PPC is just another word for ads, and people want to go about their business. 

Leverage Testimonials

You can tell people how great your products are all day long. But when you’re tooting your own horn, people will likely want to see some third-party assurance to back up your claims. 

To provide some assurance to your customers, try conducting short interviews with your customers and use these as content for your ad. Or if your customers are up for it, have them record unfiltered testimonials in their own words. 

Stay On-Brand and On-Message

Who are you targeting and what kind of content do these people want to see on the platform? 

What do they expect from your brand? What are your values? How do you sound? What kind of visuals represent your brand?

These things should be defined and documented well before you start producing video ads, or for that matter, content in general. 

Landing Pages and Message Match

As with any PPC effort, your video and landing pages must be, well, on the same page. As a reminder, make sure you don’t link to your homepage. Instead, your ad should link to a landing page that matches the offer highlighted in the video.

While it sounds obvious, maintaining a strong connection between the ad and what happens after the click will help you improve your ROI and stay in Google’s good graces.

Repurpose Your Content

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that you don’t always need to start with a fresh video each time you want to launch a campaign. Mine your content library and look for engaging videos that highlight the products and services you’d like to promote. 

Keep in mind that you can repurpose videos you’ve uploaded to YouTube by slicing and dicing them into ad content. This way, you don’t have to record a new video each time you set up a new Google Ad campaign. 

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that video is here to stay. Those brands that fail to embrace the format at this point stand to get left behind. For the better part of this decade, video has been on the rise—the next big thing—replacing text and connecting with audiences in ways that static ads can’t compete with. 

While creating the content itself may be daunting, Key PPC can help with all things Google Ads. 

Our team works exclusively with e-commerce brands, using proven methods to lock down sales and grow revenue at a sustainable pace. Get in touch for more info, and we’ll discuss how we can do the same for you.

Free Download: 6 Reasons that Video Can Boost On-Site Conversions