Case Study: What $8,000,000 in Sales Taught Us About YouTube Advertising
By Mike Krass on June 13, 2016
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world
Second only to Google, naturally :)
So we decided to share some “rules of the road” based on campaign data from 8 clients in the Consumer Package Goods (CPG), Retail and Ecommerce verticals. These 8 campaigns racked up:
- More than 23,000,000 paid views
- Over $8,000,000 in physical, retail store transactions
- Triple-digit boosts in (direct) and Natural Search Engine traffic to our clients website
- Average Return-on-Ad-Spend (ROAS) of 3x
- Average of $3 in ecommerce revenue for every single impression served
Keep on reading to learn what our study of these eight clients and campaigns found.
YouTube Campaigns Generally Bump Search Engine Activity by 2x - 5x
The two clients that contributed to this study operate in the retail and CPG verticals, and their KPIs were to generate more in-store foot traffic to buy their products off a physical shelf.
While the two campaigns brought in more than $8,000,000 (a 9x ROAS) in measurable retail sales lift, there was a secondary benefit that we did not anticipate: Major spikes in Natural and Paid Search traffic.
The retail product say a boost of 5x (515%, to be exact) in the number of Paid Search visitors that were making it to their website. The only thing that changed across their entire marketing mix? Investing in YouTube TrueView video campaigns.
The CPG client didn’t do too badly themselves either: They saw a 2x bump in Natural Search traffic to their website. Same story on the marketing mix - not a single change besides investing in YouTube TrueView campaigns.
We’d love to see if this secondary benefit is constant for all of our client campaigns over the next six months or so, but needless to say our study uncovered the fact that running YouTube Video Campaigns boosts Natural and Paid Search performance.
Wait back up … did we say we can measure retail sales lift off YouTube video campaigns?
TrueView Campaigns Can Link YouTube Video Ads with Retail Transactions
While Google did set a beta program for Search Network into the wild that tracked offline (i.e. retail) activity at the end of 2015, we hadn’t heard too much about this being rolled out for YouTube or Video Pre-Roll ads anytime soon.
Until now :)
Based on an NDA we’ve signed with our Google agency reps, we can’t publish too too many details about ‘how the sausage is made’, so to speak. If you want those details you’re welcome to shoot me an email and ask
But needless to say, our team has been selected from a handful of Google agency partners (literally, ONE hand full) as certified beta partners on this program.
And the ROAS and match rates are solid.
Without giving too much away, here’s how Google is able to track offline, retail transactions against Video campaigns:
- Google partners with TWO independent, third-party data providers that bring in Credit Card and Loyalty/Member card data from big-box retail stores and supermarkets of all sizes
- The advertiser can segment their video ads to a control and test segment within specific zip codes. You'd want to focus your zips within 10 miles of retail locations where your product is sold.
- The recommended timeframe is to serve video ads for 90 days, pausing campaigns on day 91 and instituting a 30 day "dark" policy where no campaign impressions are served
- Circling back around to the third-party data partners ... Google provides a "clean room" at the conclusion of the campaign to measure all your campaign metrics (clicks, views, completions, etc) as well as ingest and process all the Credit Card and Loyalty card data to measure sales bumps in the key zip codes you've outlined
Being completely honest: Is this something that is brand spanking new? NO! (see the aforementioned Search Network beta last Winter).But the match rates on users and retail transactions are higher than any solution we’ve seen to date, which is extremely encouraging for CPG brands that need to justify their budgets and allocate resources where performance is best.
TrueView Campaigns Drive Ecommerce Activity Exceptionally Well for Marketplace Businesses
Four of the eight clients included in this study represented a marketplace: Flowers, furniture, packaged foods and clothing (to be specific).
These marketplace businesses averages a ROAS of 3x for every dollar spent (right at the study average of ~3x) and we were able to actually measure revenue per impression ($3 earned for every impression earned - papow!)
And while it’s still a relatively small sample size (eight clients/campaigns of millions on YouTube each year), marketplace businesses tended to OVER-deliver against the Sales Forecasts put forward by our end clients. The study average was a sales increase of 7x in any given market, whereas marketplaces tended to see sales increases closer to 10x the target.
Again, our sample size is fairly small. But what this tells us is that marketplace businesses (with many SKUs and product lines) are fantastic businesses to run YouTube TrueView campaigns against.