How to Set Up YouTube Remarketing Video Ads

When it comes to digital marketing, remarketing campaigns will usually trump other campaigns in terms of ROI. For those that aren’t aware, remarketing is the process of adding a piece of script to certain pages of your site or landing pages. Once a visitor lands on this page, a cookie is dropped onto their computer or mobile device. As the visitor continues to search around the Internet, ad networks like Adwords will check for any remarketing scripts prior to displaying an ad. If a script is present on the visitors machine, they will see an advertisement of the page they just visited.

YouTube’s ad system is tightly integrated with Adwords, which means you can leverage your Google remarketing campaigns and link them with YouTube. The end result is that visitors to your website will now begin to see your videos and commercials play before they watch any videos on YouTube. This gives your customers the impression that you are everywhere on the Internet while paying a small fraction of the price of a full ad campaign on YouTube.

Here is how to set that up in a few easy steps.

1. Generate Google Remarketing Tag

(Read Full Remarketing Instructions at Google)

  • Log into Adwords.
  • Click on Shared Library (left hand column)
  • Select Audiences, then go to the Remarketing Tag button at the top.
  • Click the View tag details button then click Setup.
  • Click View remarketing tag and instructions to get the remarketing code.

Google Remarketing Tag


2. Place Google Remarketing Script on your Website or Landing Pages.

  • Add the remarketing tag code to all your website pages, before the closing </body> tag.
  • If you’re using WordPress, this can usually be added by going to the Editor tab, then selecting the Footer.php file and pasting it right before the </body> tag, then click Update File.

How to add google remarketing tag to wordpress


3. Create a Remarketing List

  • While in Adwords, click Audiences, then + Remarketing Lists
  • Enter the name of this list. Something like “All Visitors – 30 Days
  • Select Visitors of a Page
  • Enter your homepage URL
  • Set your membership duration to 30 Days (30 days is my suggested time but you can enter a max time is 540 days if you want)
  • Hit Save

google remarketing list setup


4. Set Up Video Marketing Campaign in Adwords

  • In Adwords, Select All Video Campaigns on the bottom of the left side column
  • Select + Campaign
  • Enter Campaign Name
  • Set your Daily Budget. This is the maximum Google will charge you per day, so your daily charge will usually be less than this amount.
  • For delivery method, my preference is standard. Standard will display ads over time, accelerated will show as quickly as possible.
  • Select Location you want your video to play in. My recommendation is to focus it around the area where you do business.
  • Ad – Enter in the URL for the video you want to remarketing towards the visitors of your website.
  • You can edit Schedule, Ad Delivery and Device Targeting for Tablets and Phones. What you select here will depend on your business. You can always edit these later, so my recommendation is to revisit this after the campaign has run for a few days.


5. Select Bidding and Audience

  • Select Name
  • Enter Max Cost Per View. This is how much you’re willing to pay per video view that a persons views for more than 15 seconds. If the viewer presses the skip button while your ad is playing, you will not be charged.
  • Under Target People Watching Content, click Remarketing Lists and select your List
  • Select Save Targeting Group

google adwords select audience

google adwords remarketing audience

6. Build an Ad

  • Select + Video Ad
  • Ad Formats and Networks. My recommendation is to leave on Automatic. This will run your ads on YouTube, Google Display Network and YouTube Search. You can manually select the ones you want to by clicking Let me Choose.
  • Enter Headline, Description & Description 2. This is what appears on under or besides the video while its playing.
  • Select the thumbnail you want for the ad.
  • Enter Display URL (this is what the viewer sees). My recommendation is to just use your homepage URL.
  • Enter Destination URL (this is where the visitor actually goes. This can be a long URL that includes tracking variables.
  • Give your ad a Name
  • Under Advanced Ad Attributes, you can upload a 300×250 or 300×60 banner ad that will display in the sidebar next to your video while its playing. Its not required but I’d recommend doing this to gain double the exposure while your ad is playing.
  • Ensure your targeting is set for the remarketing list you created.
  • Click Save

create a new youtube ad


7. Set a Call to Action

The final step is one that many people are not aware of. It ads a call to action overlay to any specific videos.

  • Click the Videos tab when viewing your Campaign.
  • Next to your video, select Add Call-to-Action-Overlay
  • Enter Headline
  • Enter Description 1 & 2
  • Enter Display URL
  • Enter Destination URL
  • Upload 74×74 image. The ad appears on a black background, so I added a blackbackground to my image.
  • Click Save

google adwords youtube video remarketing call to action

google youtube remarketing calling to action


Well done, you’re finished and should be all set. Visitors to your website will now be amazed at how they see your commercial or video when they are watching YouTube or an embedded YouTube video on another site. Just make sure to keep tabs on your spend and watch the analytics for how many people are clicking away from your video before it finished. Just make sure to optimize your budget and spend more money on the videos that people are watching longer.


The Darkside of Paid Search Click Fraud Explained

I’ve always been aware of click fraud with Facebook or Adwords, but I’ve never been able to explain in a simple manner until I watched this video. Click fraud is basically the process of individuals and/or automated programs that attempt to generate money by clicking on your ads.

In the attached video, Veritasium provides a clear example complete with data about how the Facebook ad system allows this, and in some instances actually promotes this happening. The video also goes in specific details about how the issue of fake “likes” has grown into a major problem and why Facebook can’t necessarily stop it.

The video follows an example of a fan page for “Virtual Cat” that paid to increase their likes, only to find out that most of those likes were from oversea countries or from accounts that appeared to be fake.

While the attached video mostly focuses on Facebook, I see this same type of occurrence often happening with Google ads. The bottom line, click fraud is a known evil and while the major companies are fighting to reduce this when possible, there is actually little you can do on your end to prevent it. My advice, know it exists and watch out for it, but understand that it will probably never be completely solved.