Use Floodlight optimization for YouTube

This article describes configuring YouTube line items to report and optimize based on Floodlight data. 
You also have the option to use YouTube-enabled Floodlight activities for conversion reporting and optimization. Learn more

Overview

YouTube line items can be set to report and optimize toward conversions as measured by your Floodlight configuration. This allows more consistent optimization and measurement of conversions across YouTube and non-YouTube campaigns within the enabled advertiser. 

Using Floodlight optimization for YouTube eliminates the need to enable YouTube conversion tracking at the Floodlight activity level. This unlocks the ability to report and optimize toward in-app and offline conversions on YouTube line items, and web conversions that are using the image tag format. 

If it is not already, your Floodlight group will use Engaged View conversions and a default Engaged View attribution model will be created. This is to ensure that conversions that occur after users engage with your video ads on YouTube are accounted for in both reporting and optimization. This default model does not contribute to attribution model caps, and existing attribution models will not automatically opt into Engaged Views.

When Floodlight optimization for YouTube is enabled, the option to use line item-specific conversion goals for YouTube video action line items is not presented during campaign creation, as this is on by default. The Floodlight activities included for measurement and optimization are selected at the line item level.

Enable Floodlight optimization for YouTube

Floodlight optimization is an advertiser-level setting that applies to all new and existing YouTube line items within the advertiser. 

  1. Open your advertiser in Display & Video 360.
  2. In the left menu, click Advertiser Settings > Basic details
  3. In the YouTube section, check Use Floodlight data for conversion optimization on YouTube line items

After enabling Floodlight optimization, check the Conversion tracking section of your existing YouTube video action campaigns to confirm that Floodlight activities are selected for optimization and conversion counting. If no Floodlight activities are selected, the line item will not optimize toward any conversions.

 YouTube auto-tagging should be enabled to accurately account for conversions when Floodlight optimization is enabled. Check Partner Settings > Advertiser Configuration > YouTube auto-tagging to confirm auto-tagging is enabled.

Create a YouTube video action line item with Floodlight optimization

YouTube video action line items are a simple and cost-effective way to drive conversions across YouTube. To use YouTube video action line items optimized using Floodlight data, start by enabling Floodlight optimization for YouTube.

Set up your line item

  1. Start in an existing insertion order or create a new one.
  2. Click New line item.
  3. Click YouTube & partners video.
  4. Enter the following information for your line item:
    • Name for your line item.
    • Select Drive conversions as the objective.
  5. Click Next.

Configure your line item's settings

  1. In the Targeting section, you'll see that the inventory source and device targeting are set automatically. You can click Add targeting to set other line-item level targeting options. Additional types of targeting are available in the line item's ad groups.
  2. Configure your line item's settings:
    • Pick custom flight dates or use the same dates as the line item's insertion order.
    • Enter the line item's budget and pacing settings. After you save the line item, you can't change between daily and flight, but you can update the budget amount. 
    • In the Bid strategy section, choose either maximize conversions or target CPA as your bid strategy. If you choose target CPA, set your target bid. (Optional) Once you’ve collected enough conversions you can update the bid strategy to maximize conversion value or target ROAS. Learn more about value based bidding strategies for YouTube video action line items.
    • (Optional) Select the line item's frequency cap. Learn more about frequency caps in Display & Video 360.
    • (Optional) Add a lead form to generate leads for your business. Lead forms can serve on mobile and tablet devices running Android. The lead form option is visible during line item creation if you’ve enabled this feature for your advertiser. Learn more about lead forms
    • (Optional) Add a product feed to your line item to show browsable product imagery below your video ads. The product feed option is visible during line item creation if you have linked a Google Merchant Center account to your advertiser. Learn more about product feeds.
    • (Optional) After you have configured and saved your line item, add sitelinks to it to enhance your ads on mobile devices with more links, taking people to specific pages on your site. Sitelinks are a best practice for all video action line items. Learn more about sitelinks
  1. Select the Floodlight activities you want the YouTube video action line item to optimize towards and track as conversions. At least one Floodlight activity must be selected.
    • With Floodlight optimization for YouTube enabled, the Engaged View (read only) model is used for default reporting and optimization and this cannot be changed.
    • The post-click and post-view window can be customized, which impacts reporting and optimization if set to a shorter window than your Floodlight configuration. Learn more about conversion counting for line items
  2. (Optional) Choose any additional settings for your line item, including Third-party vendors to enable third-party measurement for your line item.

Create your ad group and ads

  1. Select Create new ad group to set up an ad group for your line item:
    • Enter a name for your ad group.
    • Click Add targeting to configure ad-group level targeting. Learn more about targeting options for YouTube & partners line items.
      • If using audience targeting, choose one Audience type per ad group for best control and visibility into performance.
      • Enable Optimized targeting to use Google’s machine learning to discover new and relevant customers likely to convert within your campaign goals.
      To prevent narrowing eligible inventory, positive targeting of keywords, categories or placements is not available for YouTube video action line items. Exclusions are supported. 
    • If you're using target CPA bidding, enter a target CPA for your ad group in the Bid strategy section. Leave this section blank to use the bid value you set for the entire line item.
    • Click Create new ad to pick a YouTube video to use as a creative, set the landing page, and add a CTA and headline:
      • Enter a name for your ad.
      • Search for a YouTube video or paste a YouTube URL. Videos must be 10 seconds or longer.
      • Enter the landing page URL for your ad. You can customize the display URL for your ad by providing up to two descriptive terms that will be appended to your landing page domain.
      • Enter the text for your call to action, which can contain up to 10 characters including spaces. The CTA should be a compelling action that directs users to the website specified in your final URL.
      • Enter the text for your headline, which can contain up to 15 characters including spaces. The headline should promote your product or service.
      • Add a long headline and description. Long headlines can be up to 90 characters and descriptions can be up to 70 characters.
      • (Optional) Click Click tracker options (advanced) to add a tracking template, final URL suffix, or custom parameters to the final URL. 
      • Select either an image that's automatically generated from the videos in your YouTube channel (recommended) or an image that you manually upload as your companion banner. Companion banners appear on computers only.
    • Click Done to create the ad.
  2. (Optional) If you'd like to use multiple ads, click Create new ad again and repeat the steps above. For best results run at least 5 ads per ad group, with a different call-to-action button and headline for each ad. 
  3. Click Done to create the ad group.
  4. Click Create to save your new line item.

When starting a new line item or making changes to bids, targeting, or ads, allow for 7 to 10 days before evaluating performance and making optimizations.

Reporting when Floodlight optimization for YouTube is enabled

Floodlight activities selected at the line item level are used to drive the YouTube video action line item’s performance and tracked as conversions in reporting.

When Floodlight optimization for YouTube is enabled, YouTube video action line items are optimized based on conversions that take place after a user clicks or engages your ad. The lookback window for post-click and post-Engaged View conversions is set in your Floodlight configuration, or your line item (if shorter). The Engaged View window is based on the Post-View conversion lookback window. Engaged Views have a default minimum time threshold of 10 seconds of your video ad, set in your Floodlight configuration. 

When Floodlight optimization for YouTube is enabled, conversion reporting for all YouTube campaign types will default to being based on the Engaged View attribution model:

  • Standard report & Conversions metric
  • YouTube conversion report & YouTube Conversions metric

Conversion reporting based on alternative attribution models can be achieved by selecting another model in standard reports.

We recommend using Standard reports for most reporting needs and to compare performance against non-YouTube line items. If you need to analyze dimensions (e.g. audiences) that are only available in YouTube reports, the YouTube Conversions report can be used to achieve these detailed data cuts. When using target CPA bidding and deciding what CPA to set, we recommend basing it off the CPA reported in the YouTube Conversions report.

Overview of standard and YouTube reports when Floodlight optimization for YouTube is enabled:

 

Standard report

YouTube report

Default attribution model

Engaged View model

Report based on Floodlight activities selected at the line item level. Same if Biddable Conversions model selected.

Engaged View model

Report based on Floodlight activities selected at the line item level.

Possible to report on alternative attribution models, including those not used for bidding

Yes

If alternative attribution models selected, report will be based on all Floodlight activities, not only those selected at the line item level

No

Possible to break out reporting by specific Floodlight activities

Yes

Use Floodlight Activity & Floodlight Activity ID dimensions

Yes

Use Conversion Type dimension (note: not compatible with revenue metrics)

Conversions reporting metric

Total Conversions metric

Includes: Post-click conversions and

Post-view conversions, which, depending on the attribution model selected either includes all Post-view conversions, or only the Post-view conversions that met the Engaged View criteria set in your Floodlight configuration.

YouTube Conversions metric

Includes: Post-click conversions and Post-view conversions that met YouTube’s minimum Engaged View time threshold of 10 seconds. Possible to break out Post-click and Post-Engaged View conversions using the Conversion Ad Event Type dimension. Possible to use the Inventory Source dimension to break out Google video partners and YouTube inventory.

Recommended to evaluate overall performance and compare with non-YouTube line items

Yes

Choose your primary or “source-of-truth” attribution model

No

Recommended to set target CPA for YouTube video action line items

No

Yes

 

The Engagement metric acts differently for YouTube video action line items and other YouTube line item types in the YouTube Standard report:

  • For YouTube video action line items or skippable formats: The number of clicks on the ad or 10 seconds of viewing time. If both happen, only the click is counted.  
  • For all other YouTube non-skippable formats: The number of clicks on interactive video elements, such as teasers or expanding cards, that don't take users to an external site. 

Differences between Conversions and YouTube Conversions metrics

Enabling Floodlight optimization for YouTube allows for the YouTube Conversions metric in the YouTube report to be based on conversions deduplicated by your Floodlight configuration. There may still be differences between the YouTube Conversions and Conversions metrics due to measurement differences. 

  • Conversions in the standard report are attributed to the day of the conversion, whereas YouTube Conversions in the YouTube report are attributed to the day of the ad interaction. Reporting on cumulative conversions across a wide time horizon can take this into account.
  • Conversions in the standard report take into account the Engaged View time threshold as defined in your Floodlight configuration.  YouTube Conversions in the YouTube report only take into account Engaged View Conversions that meet YouTube’s minimum Engaged View time threshold of 10 seconds.

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