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 from below to measure and compare the performance of the campaigns.
    • Absolute Brand Lift (not available as part of Demand Gen Beta)
    • Clickthrough rate (CTR)
    • Conversion rate (Conv. rate)
    • Cost per conversion (Cost/conv)
    • Cost-per-click (CPC)
    • Cost-per-thousand impr. (CPM)
    • Cost-per-view (CPV)
    • Video view rate

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

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.

Create your video experiment

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Experiments.
  4. Click Video experiments.
  5. Click the plus button to start a new experiment.
  6. Enter a name and an objective for the experiment.
  7. Enter a name for each experiment arm.
  8. 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.
  9. (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.
  10. Click the Select a metric drop-down and select one success metric among:
    • Absolute brand lift (not available as part of Demand Gen Beta)
    • Clickthrough rate (CTR)
    • Conversion rate (Conv. rate)
    • Cost per conversion (Cost/conv)
    • Cost-per-click (CPC)
    • Cost-per-thousand impr. (CPM)
    • Cost-per-view (CPV)
    • Video view rate
      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.
  11. Click Save.
  12. (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.

 


Directional vs. Conclusive Results

You can view the supposed winner of your experimental arms while the video experiment is still running and gathering data, allowing you to have directional results earlier. We recommend waiting until the experiment finishes for conclusive results but if you don’t have time and are comfortable with directional results, you can have them as early as when the experiment reaches a threshold of 70% confidence. You also have the option to wait until the experiment reaches 80% confidence (still considered directional results) or wait until it reaches completion at 95% confidence (results at this stage are considered conclusive results).

A threshold of 70% confidence or what is known as a “confidence interval” means that if you were to repeat this experiment, you would get this same result 70% of the time. If you choose to wait for conclusive results, those will be at a 95% confidence interval.

 


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. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Campaigns drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Experiments.
  4. Click Video experiments.
  5. Find the experiment that you want to end.
  6. 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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