About video ad sequencing

With video ad sequencing, you can tell your product or brand story by showing people a series of videos in the order that you define. You can use a video ad sequence campaign to build interest, reinforce a message or create a unifying theme. This article explains how video ad sequencing works, what type of bidding strategies and ad formats you can use and how you can view the results of your campaign. Learn more about how to create a sequence campaign and sequence campaign troubleshooting

Before you begin

Keep in mind that video ad sequence campaigns are different from other Video campaigns in the following ways:

  • You can't target keywords, topics or placements, but you can exclude keywords, topics or placements at the campaign level.
  • If someone sees a video promoted in a video ad sequence campaign in another campaign, they’ll progress through the sequence without being served the same video.
  • By default, the frequency cap for video ad sequences is one sequence per person in a 7-day period. You can change the frequency cap to show one sequence per person in a 30-day period. You can't edit the frequency cap after you save your campaign.
  • Traffic estimates for video ad sequence campaigns aren't available.

How it works

A video ad sequence is made up of a series of video ads that you’d like to show to a person. Each sequence campaign is made up of a series of “steps.” Within each step of a sequence is an ad group and a video ad. Most of a sequence’s settings are selected at the campaign level – such as a bidding strategy and targeting – but you’ll select your sequencing rules, ad format and bid within each of your sequence’s steps. Viewers will see your sequence campaign once it's running and the ads will be shown in the order that you have defined.

Depending on the settings that you choose when adding sequence steps, a viewer’s progress through your sequence is based on impressions, views or skips. For example, for a person to move to the second step in your sequence, an impression must be counted for the video in the first step (if you choose impression as the condition to move to the next step).

Templates for video ad sequence campaigns

Sequence templates give you guidance on how to create a video ad sequence. After you select a template, Google Ads will help you build the sequence (along with guidance on ad formats and ad lengths to include in the sequence).

Note: Sequence templates guide you while creating a sequencing campaign and are only available during campaign setup. Templates don't appear in your Google Ads reporting or when you're editing the campaign.

There are four templates that you can use:

  • Introduce & reinforce: Introduce your brand with a long video ad, then reinforce your message with a short video ad.
  • Prompt & inspire: Prompt viewers with a short video ad, then inspire them with a long video ad.
  • Attract & direct: Attract viewers with a short video ad, inspire them with a long video ad, then direct them to action with another short video ad.
  • Engage & differentiate: Divide your brand narrative into multiple parts or tell the same story from different angles with 4 short video ads.

The templates reflect insights from Ipsos’ research on using narrative structures to tell better stories and create more effective ads.

Available bidding strategies and ad formats

Bidding strategies

  • Target CPM (recommended)
    • With Target CPM, Google Ads optimises bids to show your entire sequence campaign to your audience, which can help you get a higher sequence completion rate.
  • Maximum CPV
    • With Maximum CPV, you set the most you’re willing to pay each time your video ad is viewed.

Ad formats

  • Skippable in-stream ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads
  • Bumper ads
  • A combination of the above

The bidding strategy that you select will determine which ad formats you can use. View the table below to see which formats are available for each bidding type.

Bidding strategy Available formats
Target CPM (tCPM)

Skippable in-stream ads

Non-skippable in-stream ads

Bumper ads

A combination of the above

Maximum CPV (Max. CPV) Skippable in-stream ads

Sequence campaigns can only run on YouTube. To help you find the right audience, sequence campaigns let you choose Audience and Demographic targeting. However, sequence campaigns don't allow targeting with keywords, placements or topics. Furthermore, Audience and Demographic targeting and exclusions can only be set at the campaign level.

Keep in mind that traffic estimates aren’t available in video ad sequence campaigns.

Reporting for video ad sequences

You can see different metrics for your sequence campaign, such as impressions, views and clicks at the campaign and ad group (sequence step) levels, as with other Video campaigns. These metrics can be seen per step when you view your ad group-level reporting.

You can also use the 'Sequence path' column to review each step in your sequence, the interaction required to progress to the next step, and the step’s ad. Interaction types include impressions, views and skips.

How people progress through your sequence

Typically, your potential customers will progress through your sequence campaign, seeing the first video ad of your sequence, then the video ad for the next step based on the previous impression or interaction with the first step and continuing until the sequence is complete.

In some cases, people will progress through your sequence campaign by seeing the next video in a sequence step when it appears in a different campaign. By following the sequence by video ad, regardless of the campaign that serves it, more people will complete the sequence at a lower cost to you. Bear in mind that the video ad’s targeting must be the same in both campaigns in order to serve as part of the sequence campaign.

Bear in mind that you can set a frequency cap for video ad sequences to limit the amount of times people see your sequences. By default, the frequency cap is set to one sequence per person in a 7-day period, but you can change the frequency cap to one sequence per person in a 30-day period.

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