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About interactive video ads

So, you're running TrueView video ads to reach your ideal audience and increase awareness. Now, you want to take your video ads to the next level by driving more engagement with your audience.

Adding interactive elements can create opportunities for viewers to engage with your brand on a deeper level, beyond watching and enjoying your video ad. Making your video ads interactive can also help you tailor your ads to better achieve specific advertising goals, such as driving app installs, product purchases, or visits to your website.

Here are some ways to make your video ads interactive:

Goal Interactive feature Where to create it
Increase engagement with your video ad or brand

Cards

  • Showcase the features of a product or service within a video.
  • Promote other videos or playlists to generate follow-on engagement for your channel.

End screens

  • You can manually create an end screen in your YouTube account to encourage further engagement with your brand. 
YouTube
Drive visits to your website

Call-to-action overlays

  • Show an overlay to drive clicks to your site.
AdWords or YouTube
Encourage viewers to buy your products

Shopping cards

  • Show listings with product details from your linked Merchant Center account.
  • Connect viewers to products they’ve already viewed or that are related to the video they’re watching.
AdWords - TrueView for shopping campaign
Drive visits to your website and increase conversions Auto end screens
  • Show an automatically-generated screen at the end of your video ad that encourages viewers to take an action, such as installing an app.
AdWords -
TrueView for mobile app installs campaign

 

TrueView video ads are billed on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis, which means you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or engages in other video interactions, such as clicks on call-to-action overlays (CTAs), card teasers or icons, or companion banners.

Note: Some interactive features may not be supported across all devices and platforms, for example the YouTube mobile site (m.youtube.com) doesn't support all features on mobile.

Here’s more information about each interactive feature:

Cards

Cards are created in YouTube and show on a per-video basis, on both desktops and mobile devices. You can provide a final URL from a list of eligible sites and, depending on the card type, customize an image, title, and call-to-action text.

A teaser is shown at the designated time for a few seconds, and viewers who click it can then access the card directly. At any other point in the video, viewers will see an icon appear when they hover over the player on desktops or whenever the player controls show on mobile devices. Viewers can also click the icon to browse all of the cards present on the video.

Learn how to set up cards for your videos in YouTube.

Call-to-action (CTA) overlays

If you have a YouTube channel linked to your AdWords account, you can create CTA overlays for video plays across YouTube (whether the video play is triggered by a video ad or not). The overlay will appear as soon as the video begins to play and can be closed by the viewer. When viewers click the overlay, they'll be redirected to your external site as specified in the overlay's final URL.

Currently, CTAs remain on the video for as long as the video owner chooses, even if the video is no longer being promoted.

Create a CTA overlay in AdWords

Only one overlay may appear per video at a time. If you change the overlay, the original overlay information will be replaced. To create or edit a CTA overlay in AdWords for an existing video campaign, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab, and then select the video campaign you want to edit.
  3. Go to the Videos tab. Click the drop-down menu next to the video you want to edit and select Edit Call to Action.
  4. Enter the required information and click Save.

Note: If you don't see the drop-down menu, you may need to link your YouTube channel with your AdWords account. Click next to your account name at the top of the page, click Linked accounts, and select YouTube. Learn more about linking your accounts.

Create a CTA overlay in YouTube

To create or edit a CTA overlay in YouTube for an existing video campaign, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account.
  2. Go to Creator Studio by clicking your account icon > Creator Studio.
  3. In the left menu, click Video Manager.
  4. Click the drop-down menu next to the video you want to edit and select Info & Settings.
  5. Below the video, click the Call-to-action overlay tab.
  6. Enter the required information and click Save changes.
Shopping cards

TrueView for shopping campaigns use shopping cards to make video ads interactive by linking viewers directly to products they’ve already viewed or to products related to the video they’re watching. They are created in AdWords and run on in-stream TrueView ads only. The product images and details are generated by information from a linked Google Merchant Center account.

A teaser with the name of a product will show for a few seconds, and viewers who click it can see the shopping card. At any other point in the video, viewers can click an icon to browse the shopping cards. Up to 6 shopping cards can appear on your video ad, depending on the number of products eligible from your feed.

  • Note: When shopping cards are added to a video ad, they will replace any other cards or call-to-action overlays created for that video in YouTube.

How shopping cards work

Shopping cards use your Merchant Center product data and can be personalized using either remarketing information or other audience signals. Additionally, you can tailor the products that can show on shopping cards by using the product filter.

If you're familiar with dynamic remarketing for Display ads, shopping cards  use the same information to dynamically generate cards based on items visitors previously viewed on your site. If you don’t have dynamic remarketing set up in AdWords, you can create custom filters based on attributes from your product data, including brand, product type, AdWords label and AdWords grouping. 

End screens

End screen for mobileThere are two types of end screens: auto end screens, which are generated in AdWords and run only on your video ads, and YouTube end screens, which are created in YouTube and show on both video ads and organic videos. Auto end screens are automatically-generated screens that appear for a few seconds at the end of your video ad only to show details about your products or services. YouTube end screens are setup by the video creator within YouTube and show on organic and video ad views of your video.

YouTube End screens

In YouTube, you can make custom end screens to add to the end of your videos with Creator Studio from your YouTube account. You can use them to build viewership and:

  • Point viewers to other videos, playlists, or channels on YouTube
  • Call for subscriptions to your channel
  • Promote your website, merchandise, and crowdfunding campaigns

Learn more about adding end screens to videos in YouTube

Auto end screens

Auto end screens help drive ad performance with your audience by providing information that encourages viewers to take an action, such as installing your mobile app or buying your products. In AdWords, auto end screens are automatically generated using information from your campaign. For example, in a mobile app installs campaign, the end screen will show certain details about your app, such as the name and price, along with a link to install the app.

Advertising policies for interactive features

All interactive features used for your TrueView video ads, such as CTA overlays, end screens, and cards, must adhere to the Google AdWords Advertising Policies.

 

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