In Google TrueView AdWords latest update, marketers will now be limited to running video advertising campaigns that are optimized for views only effective January 2017. Previously, campaigns could be structured to optimize for conversions or rotate evenly, but these ‘advanced settings’ features are no longer supported.
Photo Source: Google AdWords, Marketing Land
This update aims to simplify ad serving and ongoing campaign management, but this change threatens performance advertisers who run video advertising campaigns to generate conversions rather than just views.
Furthermore, this change will affect video campaigns because advertisers will no longer be able to run a true A/B test in YouTube to test out different messaging since the platform is shifting to optimizing ad rotation for views only. In the past you could run two different videos head-to-head against one another and set the ad rotation to “rotate evenly,” illuminating which video was performing best. If you have multiple variations of a video within the same ad group, Google will now algorithmically determine which video it is going to show based on its likelihood to be completed or watched to 30 seconds by users (a video view is counted upon a user watching 30 seconds of a video ad or the entire video if it’s less than 30 seconds).
This is also a significant change because YouTube may not be as effective of a direct response platform as it once was. Since you can no longer rotate your ads to drive conversions, ads that may not have a strong ROI could serve more impressions than ads that users are converting on.
This update only affects video ad rotation, and not cost per acquisition bidding (CPA). Advertisers will still have the option to set up campaigns to bid for conversion acquisition or cost-per-view (CPV) bidding.