Pervorm - Nino

Author: Nino van den Bos

Date: March 2019

Video advertising has always been a great way to support upper funnel activities. Lot’s of reach and views to enhance an advertisers branding efforts, but don’t expect to drive traffic or conversions. It seems change is coming as YouTube’s latest video advertising feature focusses on driving leads and conversions.

In this article we’ll discuss the way TrueView for Action works and what updates can be expected in the near future. Lastly, we’ll share some tips and tricks to make TrueView for Action work for you. Let’s jump right into it!

How does it work?

Essentially, TrueView for Action ads are in-stream video ads with added features to increase viewer engagement and encourage viewers to take certain actions after viewing the video. The video is skippable after 5 seconds and will run before, during or after a video on YouTube. Another notable feature of this new ad format is the ability to optimise towards your target cost per action (tCPA). Traditionally, video ads are optimised towards cost-per-view (CPV) or CPM if you’re running a bumper ad. Now, with tCPA bidding, Google’s algorithm will find the customers who are likely to convert at your decided target price.

One last thing to note is that TrueView for action works for both Google Ads and Display & Video 360. What platform works best for you depends on a few things, which you can read all about in this article. In order not to overcomplicate things, we’ll focus on DV360 in the rest of this article.


What does it look like?

So what makes TrueView for Action video different compared to the traditional video format on Youtube? Let’s take a look. The left image below shows a regular TrueView ad on a mobile phone and the image on the right is a TrueView for Action ad. Both formats include headlines, but the TrueView for Action ad has a manual headline, while the regular one is automatically generated. Another additional feature in the TrueView for Action ad is the call-to-action button encouraging viewers to “Shop Now”.

The examples below show TrueView on desktop. The nice thing about the desktop version is the companion banner. This is a banner that is shown next to or beneath the ad and is available for both regular TrueView and TrueView for Action. Google makes it possible to either upload your own image or to automatically generate an image. Again, the difference is mainly in the prominent call-to-action button.

TrueView for Action on desktop

Regular TrueView on desktop

Now that you know how TrueView for Action works, let’s get into how to make it work for you! Because although the way it works sounds easy, there are a few things to take into account before setting up you campaign.


Conversion tracking

The first one is conversion tracking. Obviously, Google can’t optimise towards conversions if you’re not tracking any, so keep the following things in mind when implementing conversion tracking. If you’re working with Floodlight conversion tracking, it is important to setup the conversion as a global site tag or iFrame tag. Next to that the “Conversion tracking for TrueView inventory” option needs to be enabled. If you’re not using Campaign Manager to serve ads or track conversions, you’re set with the setup above. If you’re using Campaign Manager (CM) there’s a code generated when enabling “Conversion tracking for TrueView inventory” that needs to be pasted into the Dynamic Tag section of the Floodlight in CM. To avoid going into the nitty gritty: check out Google’s clear guide on conversion tracking for TrueView.


Audience targeting

Now that your conversion tracking is in place, audience targeting is the next thing you should be thinking about. To achieve your lower-funnel KPI’s it’s important to target an audience that’s likely to convert. For this you can use custom intent and in-market audiences. With these audiences Google takes different signals across the web into account to determine which users show high purchase intent and are likely to convert on your website. The in-market audiences are pre-defined audiences by google. The custom intent audience lets you take more control in shaping the audience. You can provide relevant keywords that your audience is searching for and URL’s that your audience has visited. Google will use this input to find the most relevant users for you.


Conversion volume

Tracking conversions correctly and targeting the right audience is great, but anyone who’s ever ran a CPA bid strategy knows that getting enough conversion volume to fully utilize the algorithm can be a pain. If you notice that your conversion volume is low (Google recommends 50 conversions per week), try optimizing towards more upper-funnel conversions. For example, a retailer would benefit from adding add-to-cart or even product page views as a conversion. Keep in mind that these conversions are of lower value, so make sure you adjust you target CPA accordingly!

Another way to increase conversion volume to benefit the algorithm is to use your low-funnel remarketing list to boost your conversion volume. Generally, the Google algorithm needs one to two weeks of learning before CPA bidding can be fully effective. After this period add your custom intent audience and you’ll be raking in conversions!


TrueView for Action as a mid-funnel tool

Lastly, there’s another way to make TrueView for Action work for you. The new TrueView format is not only applicable in the lower funnel, but also in the mid-funnel. Since retargeting TrueView viewers with display banners is no longer possible within DV360, advertisers have been looking for ways to fill this gap in the full-funnel approach. Deploying TrueView for Action in the consideration phase is a great way to do this. If you target landing page views as a conversion and retarget your awareness campaign viewers, Google’s algorithm will optimise towards page visits. Setting it up this way makes TrueView for Action a good tool to drive traffic and achieve your consideration phase KPI’s.


Updates in the near future

Google always keeps improving. This means we can expect new features with regards to call-to-actions in the near future. According to Google’s latest update, they are sunsetting all existing CTA overlays and replacing them with CTA extensions. Part of this is the CTA button as shown in the example earlier. Another cool feature is manual end screens! Now end screens are generated automatically (see example below). Being able to manually create end screens gives you more control on how you engage your audience! To learn all about the new CTA extensions check out this page.


Whether or not TrueView for Action is your new conversion driver remains to be seen. What’s evident is that Google provides us with a ton of options to engage our viewers. The next step is to start rolling out TrueView for Action campaigns and measure our results. Be sure to look out for an update when the results are coming in.



Does all of this sound interesting to you, but no idea where to start? If you’re interested in setting up a TrueView for action campaign, just get in touch here and we’ll be glad to help you out.

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Pervormers who worked on this case:

Bart Bloemsma

Sr. Marketing Consultant

Roland Willems

Sr. Marketing Consultant

Pervorm | Erik Hornung
Erik Hornung

Sr. Marketing Consultant