Drive sales, leads and web traffic with Video action campaigns

Official checklist for driving online conversions with YouTube ads.

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Whether they’re discovering a product or making a purchase, people are turning to digital platforms like YouTube for shopping inspirations. In fact, a study showed that YouTube viewers are twice as likely to go in-store or online to buy something after seeing it on YouTube vs the competitive average, and 70% of viewers say they’ve purchased products they found on YouTube.1 Follow these best practices for effective direct-response campaigns on YouTube.

1. Make it easy for viewers to take action from your video

  • Use Video action campaigns to make it easy for viewers to engage with your business on places on and off YouTube.

Google Ads Tutorials: Creating Video action campaigns

Why: Video action campaigns automatically scale your video ads with prominent calls-to-action on destinations across YouTube and its partners, providing you a simple and more cost-effective way to drive conversions. 


Experiment with creative variations. Try 5+ variants using different CTAs & headlines or add sitelink assets to your video ads to make them even more useful and actionable.

To showcase your products alongside your video ads, add a product feed to your Video action campaign and drive on average over 60% more conversions at a lower cost.2 

Case Study

Levi's logo

Levi Strauss & Co. used product feed on their Video ads to reach more customers and drive incremental sales, resulting in an 8 to 1 return on ad spend (ROAS).

Why: With a catalog of video ad templates to choose from, you can transform your existing image and text assets into video ads made for YouTube. Pick a template designed to showcase your product catalog, share a promotion, explain your offering or promote your app.

2. Set yourself up for measurable success

Why: This is essential to understanding how people interact with your ad and what their path to conversion looks like.


In addition to optimizing for your desired conversion event, add actions such as a site visit, form completion, or ‘add to cart’ to better understand your customer’s journey.

3. Reach audiences most likely to convert on YouTube

Why: These audience strategies focus on those most likely to convert so you can drive efficient conversions. Additionally, advertisers who used optimized targeting saw an average of 20% more conversions among the automated audiences compared to manual audiences.3 

Why: This helps you reach people that have already interacted with your marketing and reach them at varying stages of the purchase funnel.

4. Set your bidding strategy depending on your campaign goal

Why: Smart Bidding strategies like Maximize conversions and Target CPA use machine learning to optimize for conversions based on your campaign objectives.


If you know what your CPA should be, start with tCPA bidding with a daily budget of at least 15x your Video CPA. You can also check out the bid guidance widget that will appear during the campaign set up to optimize your bidding strategy. If you’re trying to drive as many conversions as possible, start with Maximize conversions and set your daily budget as 10X your expected Video CPA.

5. Measure your campaign’s impact and scale beyond action

  • Use cross-network reports and data-driven attribution to help you understand YouTube’s role in the customer journey. These reports can help you improve CPA or budget setting by giving credit to assisting Google campaigns across Search, Shopping and YouTube.
  • Expand upwards in the marketing funnel with Discovery ads if you have images, or Video reach campaigns if you have a video-first strategy.

Why: Customers are on YouTube at multiple points of the purchase journey and expanding your campaigns can help you achieve incremental results. In fact, more than 80% of advertisers who complement Video action campaigns with Discovery ads see incremental conversions at or below their original CPA.4


Get better insights from your reports by creating your Video campaign in the same Google Ads account as your Search and Display campaigns.

To optimize your campaigns, check your optimization score and learn what tweaks you can make to improve your campaign performance.  

Get started on your Video action campaigns and reach out to your account team with any other questions.



1.  Google/Talkshoppe, US, whyVideo study, n=2000 A18-64 Genpop video users, Feb 2020.
2. Global, March 2021. Compared 941 campaigns that added product feeds versus without product feeds.
3.  Google Internal Global, Jan 2020 - Jul 2020.
4. Google Data, Global, Feb-Mar 2021. Data from 350 Video action and Discovery campaigns adhering to budget best practices with a minimum of 20 conversions. Incremental conversions are defined as conversions earned at or below the marginal cost for a conversion.

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