Video ads on Yandex can help you reach all sorts of marketing goals, whether you want to tell the market about a new product, improve your brand awareness, expand your audience reach or boost your sales.
1. Select the payment method: pay-per-click or pay-per-impression
Your choice of payment method depends on what you are aiming to achieve with your campaign.
If you want to process your current demand, performance video ads with pay per click model are a good choice. CPM video ads, in contrast, can help if you want to increase your audience reach and generate demand. Combined with precise targeting for your audience, CPM video ads can help you attract traffic or get more conversions on your site.
What is your goal in placing ads in the Yandex Video Network?
There are two ways to optimize your CPM video ads on Yandex.Direct. They let you set the focus of your campaign: increasing your site traffic or the number of full views.
- If you select site traffic, the system tries to bring you the highest number of impressions that result in high-quality clicks.
- If you select full views, the system tries to bring you more impressions that result in full views, regardless of your clip's length.
2. Targeting setup: display regions and targeting criteria
Decide who you would like to show your videos to, and select the relevant targeting types based on your target audience's characteristics. The better your targeting types match the audience description, the more likely your ads are to meet the user's needs and your objectives.
In Yandex.Direct display campaigns, you can select display regions (via geotargeting) right down to specific cities, and also adjust your bids depending on current weather conditions.
Moreover, there are options to show your video ads based on user profiles:
- Socio-demographic profile — age, gender, income.
- Behavioral features: TV viewing time, online behavior, companies visited, and others.
- Marital status, children, and profession.
- Interests (both long-term and short-term).
- Yandex.Audience segments.
- Yandex.Metrica goals and segments.
You can overlap targetings to define your target audience more precisely. However, overly narrow or multiple overlapping targeting types may in turn reduce the reach of your ad. It is obvious that targeting "married women aged 25-34 earning above average incomes with children aged 3 to 6 and living in a city with no more than 1 million inhabitants" is bound to significantly decrease your potential reach. If your goal is to reach a broader audience, then it would be wise to remove some of your restrictions.
To evaluate how your video ads help you reach your overall aims, decide in advance how you plan to measure achievement of your campaign goals. Let's say you want to increase brand awareness. A good indicator to measure is the number of search queries mentioning your brand's name. To increase it, target users similar to your current customers.
Here is a list of indicators and ways to best improve them:
- Breadth or growth of reach — use the broadest possible targeting settings.
- Number of or increase of branded queries — select users similar to those already searching for you online.
- Number of or growth of site visitors — use the Yandex.Metrica goal "Visited site" in your targeting.
- Number of or growth in conversions on your site — choose targeting settings as close as possible to the Yandex.Metrica data about your target site visitors.
Of course, other variants are possible, as are combinations of them.
How to combine targeting types for greater reach or effectiveness
We analyzed all the CPM video campaigns in Yandex.Direct to figure out the targeting types (and combinations of them) that bring the highest number of impressions, full views and clicks. Our findings can help you choose the best targeting settings based on your aims.
Large businesses most often use a combination of two targeting types in the same ad group. The most popular combinations are:
- demographic + audience interests
- demographic + segments from Yandex.Audience or Yandex.Metrica
- demographic + audience interests + segments from Yandex.Audience or Yandex.Metrica.
For large businesses, the maximum number of impressions is brought by ad groups using demographic targeting only, and by ad groups combining demographic with family status:
For most videos, a higher full view rate goes to videos that have:
- demographic targeting only: for example, only by gender of the target audience (but without age, interests, and other indicators).
- demographic and audience interests: for example, gender and interest in several subjects are specified.
The highest CTR are seen by ads that combine demographic with other targeting types: based on behavioral indicators, marital status or occupation, children, Yandex.Audience and Yandex.Metrica segments:
Small and medium-sized businesses often use one or two types of targeting in their ad groups. The most popular combinations are:
- Demographic only
- Demographic + audience interests
- Demographic + segments from Yandex.Audience or Yandex.Metrica
For small and medium-sized businesses, the maximum number of impressions go to groups with only demographic targeting enabled:
Among the majority of video clips, the most full views are for ad groups where demographic targeting is combined with other targeting types:
The highest CTR is found among ad groups that combine demographic targeting with targeting by Yandex.Audience or Yandex.Metrica segments and use 15-second videos:
3. Select the video ad format
The format of your video ad can affect its performance. Yandex offers several formats of display ads, with each of them reaching a different audience segment by appearing in various types of content. We recommend using all available formats to maximize your reach.
- Instream (multi-roll) — video embedded within video content, e.g. in a movie, TV program, show. The ad can play before, during, or after the main content.
- InPage — on the pages of a site.
- Interstitial video in mobile apps. The ad plays either while the main content loads or switches.
- InBanner video embedded within a mobile app. The banner fits into the mobile app interface in such a way that it neither interferes with content consumption nor irritates users.
- Rewarded video in gaming mobile apps. The user earns a prize or in-game currency by watching the ad.
Full views of a video depend, among other things, on its format:
4. Pay attention to the weather
Our data show that some ad offers are more popular among the users under certain weather conditions: demand for food delivery, for example, increases on a rainy evening, and outdoor goods are more popular on warm weekends. Yandex.Direct lets you take the weather forecast in the user’s region into account, with the data updating every hour.
You can control the number of ad impressions at certain temperatures, levels of cloud cover and precipitation, or disable your impressions when the weather isn’t right. To do this, set conditions in the Bid Adjustments block.
5. Make a creative
You can film a video on your smartphone if it has a good camera, make it in Video Builder in Yandex.Direct or buy one from a stock database. It is best if your potential customers can “recognize” themselves or the situation in your video. The main character of your video, for example, should coincide with your target audience's demographic group. You can even create a separate video for each demographic to maximize this "recognition."
Here are several tips to help you make a creative:
- Shorter videos get more full views, so stick to videos 5-15 seconds in length.
- Mention your brand at the beginning of the video to increase its memorability.
- Use call-to-action buttons to give the user a hint as to what they need to do.
- Add a packshot — a clickable image shown for several seconds at the end of your video. It helps to imprint the image of an advertised item in the viewer's mind and redirects users that click on it to your site.
To get the best return on your ads, refine your targeting settings based on your knowledge of your customers. A/B testing can help to analyze the behavior of the audience already buying your products or services. Reach out to those who have already seen your video ads — gather an audience of users who saw video form your display campaign, and use it to set up retargeting.
6. Add a call-to-action button
A call-to-action button can be placed in different parts of your ad. Here are some tips on how to boost the effectiveness:
- The most effective combination in terms of CTR and bounce rate is an arrow button without text located on the right or in the middle of your ad.
- A "Watch" button located to the right, in the middle or at the bottom of the ad works well.
- The label on the button often reduces the video's CTR, but in 50% of cases if also decreases the bounce rate on your site and improves traffic quality.
You can also use a static packshot image for your call to action at the end of the video.
7. Evaluate your campaign effectiveness
There are several ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your video ads — you can choose the ways that best appropriate for you. There are some indicators that you can track yourself:
- You can use Report Wizard to track the reach, views and cost per view immediately after launching your campaigns.
- You can use Brand Lift analysis in Yandex.Direct. to evaluate the effect of your CPM video ads on brand awareness and ad memorability. You can order an analysis when setting up your campaign if the daily budget of your campaign is at least 35,000 RUB or its total budget is at least 500,000 RUB, and the audience reach is at least 2 million users.
There are additional reports that you can order through your Yandex manager or agency:
- Post-campaign analytics, along with the standard statistics for full views and cost per view, the report creates a profile of your engaged audience, e.g. determines the interests of people who fully viewed your video, their queries on Yandex Search and TV viewing time.
- The measurement of the post-view effect or associated conversions. To evaluate the effect of online video ads, it also makes sense to measure post-view and post-click conversions: they let you determine the contribution of your video ads to users' purchase decisions. According to our observations, the percentage of delayed conversions for video ads is usually 30-50%, but it can reach 70% in some cases.
- The Search lift report, which shows the increase in search interest for your brand among users after they saw your video.
- An independent audit of your campaigns by using Mediascope and Weborama. Audits are available to customers with a budget of 1 million rubles (excluding VAT) and a campaign duration of up to 30 days.
The Yandex Video Network offers first and foremost high quality in terms of the host sites where yours video ads can appear and in terms of the metrics host sites as well as high-quality metrics used to count these impressions. To ensure high-quality impressions, Yandex uses the MRC/IAB standard, only counting impressions that last for at least two seconds, provided that at least half of the video player area is continuously present in the visible area of the screen, meaning you can be sure that your video ads are seen.
We have gathered all these tips into a single checklist for you, so you can reference it as you set up your campaigns and be sure not to miss anything important.