TV & Audio

Direct Response Video Ads are Coming to Google Search: Stay Ahead of the Curve

By Tinuiti Team

In 2016, videos are going to dominate one of the richest direct response landscapes: the almighty Google search result. Brands that have not figured out how to convert brand advertising videos into direct response machines will face challenges.

Last year Google’s TrueView video ads were reported to be the primary source for the drop in the total aggregate CPC prices, but that is going to change. How do we know? In April 2015, the outgoing Google CFO at the time, Patrick Pichette explained:

“Quality improvements on TrueView ads means that more people are choosing not to skip them, increasing overall ad views. This means that there is a much higher volume of TrueView ads being seen, which has been a significant driver of the Y/Y growth numbers you’ve seen in Site clicks.”

But here’s where is gets juicy – Pichette further explains:

“TrueView ads currently monetize at a lower rate than ad clicks on As you know, video ads generally reach people earlier in the purchase funnel, and so across the industry, they tend to have a different pricing profile than that of search ads. Excluding the impact of YouTube TrueView ads, growth in Sites clicks would be lower, but still positive and CPCs would be healthy and growing Y/Y.”

Goldman Sachs has been pushing Google’s new CFO, Ruth Porat to break out exactly how much revenue Google generates from YouTube and other assets. If she did so, Goldman Sachs believes Google could add more than $100 to its stock price. However, with Google facing its current TrueView CPC challenge, it isn’t likely to do so.

So, with this challenge laid before her, it only makes sense that Porat would begin experimenting with ways to combine the branding success from the longer video ad viewing with the direct response success of search ads. Especially since search engines like Bing and Yahoo search and social sites like Twitter and Facebook have already begun to experiment with video ads in search results and news feeds; and some direct response video campaigns. While Google declines to comment on the potential integration of video ads premiering in search results as early as next year, rumor has it that it has already begun to experiment with such ads.


How will Direct Response Video Ads Affect the Search Landscape?

The simple answer is: tremendously! Especially if the videos are auto-played on mute like on Facebook. This will draw leads to websites from video much further down the purchasing funnel.  

However, the brands that will gain the most advantage from this new trend will be those whom master direct response video campaigns now. Brands must first be able to develop an attribution system to directly tie revenue back to specific customers who were exposed to their video. Perhaps they can do so by using Bing or Yahoo sponsored video search ads. This can also be done with TrueView because now TrueView has been integrated into Google Adwords. We see an advantage in mastering TrueView monitored video ads before the wave of video search ads hits Google.


How do I create a Direct Response Video Campaign?

Last May, Google premiered TrueView for Shopping with a direct response video spin. This was a pretty clear introduction to what shopping search results will look like in the future.

The mobile-friendly TrueView for Shopping tool gives brands the option to highlight featured products in a card-like format right within the video and then makes the product instantly purchasable on the site.

Brands like Sephora and Wayfair have both served as powerful case studies for the tool and reported exciting results for direct response video revenue increases. Brands are able to target by demographics, geography, and even past views of products on the brand’s sites. Imagine integrating retargeting strategies directly into your videos!

However you choose to begin experimenting with direct response video ad tactics, whether in search engines like Bing and Yahoo, social platforms, or using TrueView, don’t delay! Get help mastering the art of direct response videos. Search Engine Video Optimization (SEVO) is coming to Google and digital advertising as we know it will never be the same.

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