Create a video experiment

You can create a video experiment to determine which of your video ads is more effective on YouTube. With a video experiment, you can test different video ads with the same audience, and then use the results of the experiment to determine which ad resonates more with your audience. This article explains how to create a video experiment.

Illustration depicting creative experiments for Video campaigns

How it works

  1. Set up 2 to 4 different groups (known as experiment arms).
  2. Choose the campaigns to include in the experiment (with a different video ad in each campaign).
  3. Select a success metric (“Brand lift” or “Conversions”) to measure and compare the performance of the campaigns.

Example

A car manufacturer wants to see which of their video ads for a new sport utility vehicle (SUV) leads to more conversions. The manufacturer is targeting users in the market for a new luxury or performance vehicle. They set up an experiment to compare the performance of 2 video ads (one in each campaign) and choose “Conversions” as their success metric. After running the experiment, they find that one ad outperforms the other ad in conversion volume by as much as 8 times.

Before you begin

  • Start with a hypothesis to determine your testing strategy. Your hypothesis should be tied to your overall goal for the campaign. For example: “Which of these video ads drives the higher conversion rate for my customer acquisition campaign: a 2-minute tutorial or a 15-second direct-offer video?”
  • Create at least 2 Video campaigns with different creatives before setting up an experiment.
  • Use the same settings (such as audiences, bids, ad formats, and more) in each campaign to understand how each video ad performs independent of other campaign characteristics.
  • Keep in mind that Brand Lift is not available for all Google Ads accounts. To measure Brand Lift in a video experiment, contact your Google account representative. If you don't have a Google account representative, you won't be able to measure Brand Lift in the experiment.

Terms for video experiments

You may not be familiar with some of the terms for video experiments. To familiarize yourself, expand the section below to find a list of terms and their definitions.

Expand all

  • Hypothesis: A hypothesis is a statement or question that your experiment will answer.
  • Experiment arm: An experiment arm refers to a campaign or a group of campaigns that have specific settings. Video experiments have at least 2 experiment arms so that you can compare performance between them.
  • Traffic split: The traffic split is how you want to split your experiment. Most experiments with 2 experiment arms have an even traffic split of 50% per arm.
  • Statistical significance: A determination that a relationship between 2 or more variables is caused by something other than chance. In other words, when an experiment has reached statistical significance, you can trust the results are based on more than just random chance or luck.

Instructions

Create your video experiment

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the page menu on the left, click Experiments, click Custom experiments, then click Video experiments.
    • If you don't see Experiments in the page menu, click More to expand the available options in the menu.
  3. Click the plus button to start a new experiment.
  4. Enter a name and an objective for the experiment.
  5. Enter a name for each experiment arm.
  6. Click Select campaigns and assign a campaign to each arm. You can only select one campaign per arm.
    For an effective experiment, make sure to include campaigns that have different video ads in the experiment. This allows you to see which ad is performing better with your audience.
  7. (Optional) To add more experiment arms, click Add experiment arm. You have 2 experiment arms by default, and can include up to 4 experiment arms.
  8. Click the Select a metric drop-down and select Brand Lift or Conversions as your success metric.
    As you set up your experiment, insights and recommendations appear in Google Ads. If the insight or recommendation is green, you can move forward with the experiment. If the insight or recommendation is yellow or red, you should resolve the issue flagged by the message before saving the experiment.
  9. Click Save.
  10. (Optional) If your success metric is "Brand Lift", click Create Product or Brand in the notification that appears to create a Brand Lift study. Learn more about creating Brand Lift studies.

End your video experiment

When an experiment is running, traffic is split evenly between the campaigns. Before you make changes to your campaigns, you should end the experiment. After you end the experiment, the campaigns will return to their previous traffic distribution levels.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the page menu on the left, click Experiments, click Custom experiments, and then click Video experiments.
  3. Find the experiment that you want to end.
  4. Click End experiment.

Next steps

Green checkmark Monitor the performance of a video experiment

Green checkmark Run a video experiment on YouTube

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