Every month, nearly 2 billion logged-in users visit YouTube and watch a billion hours of video on a daily basis. Many advertisers leverage YouTube to expand their upper-funnel prospecting efforts and keep up with the momentum of digital video advertising. Similar to measuring display prospecting, advertisers cannot rely on last-click conversion data for measuring YouTube success. Instead, it’s important to look to other performance metrics, like how YouTube efforts impact your market’s relationship with your brand. YouTube offers Brand Lift Studies as a solution to measuring the impact of your video campaign on metrics that matter– like brand awareness, ad recall & brand consideration.

What Are YouTube Brand Lift Studies?

YouTube Brand Lift Study is a feature that allows you to measure the impact of your video campaigns on consumer perceptions of your brand. Brand Lift operates in an experiment setting, and Google will only report on lift metrics if they are statistically significant. Brand Lift Studies are free to run through YouTube, but they do have minimum campaign budget requirements to ensure enough data for statistical significance.

Brand Lift 1.0 versus Brand Lift 2.0

  • Brand Lift 1.0 studies cannot be set up in channel. They are set up through a Google rep, and results are delivered at the end of the study. The benefit here is that budget requirements are a few thousand dollars lower than for Brand Lift 2.0.
  • Brand Lift 2.0 is Google’s next iteration of the Brand Lift measurement offering. It’s the way to go if you have the budget. The core benefit of Brand Lift 2.0 is that you can see continuous results as your campaign runs and make optimizations in real time. Brand Lift 2.0 also offers further segmentation of results and more impact KPIs–see if your video drove the highest lift for a certain demographic and report on the cost per lifted user.

Which Metrics Can I Measure?

Brand Lift measures metrics at various stages of the funnel–from Ad Recall to Purchase Intent. When choosing metrics, it’s important to consider how much you are willing to invest in your YouTube campaign– further down-funnel metrics like Brand Interest require larger budgets to create a large enough sample size to report causality. As with other types of brand lift measurement, no amount of budget guarantees that a Brand Lift Study will have definitive results, and it’s important to invest in creating quality video ads that follow best practices.

Survey-Based Metrics

Ad Recall, Brand Awareness, Consideration, Favorability and Purchase Intent can each be measured by showing surveys to a group of consumers that saw your ad and a control group that did not. The difference between positive responses from the exposed group and the control group is what determines the lift that your ads drove. To be eligible to measure one of these questions, you will need a budget of at least $3,500 in the first 7 days of the campaign for BLS 1.0, and a minimum of $5,000 in the first 7 days for BLS 2.0. The required budget increases from the minimum based on how many metrics you want to measure. Below outlines what each question measures.

  • Ad Recall: Do consumers remember seeing an online video ad for your brand or product?
  • Brand Awareness: Are consumers familiar with your brand after seeing a YouTube ad?
  • Consideration: Would consumers consider your Brand for a purchase they are making?
  • Favorability: Do consumers have an overall positive opinion or attitude about your Brand?
  • Purchase Intent: Given a choice of a number of brands to purchase from, would consumers pick your brand over others?
  • Search-Based Metric: Brand Interest

Brand Interest measures the actual lift in organic searches from the group of users that saw your YouTube ad. This tends to be the most sought-after metric for advertisers to measure, but it also requires the most data and therefore has the highest budget requirements. To measure Brand Interest, your campaign will need to spend minimum $20,000 within the first 14 days.

Which Metrics Should I Measure?

Think about the types of targeting and creative you are using as well as the goals of your YouTube campaign– is your goal to reach audiences in the consideration stage of the funnel? Or are you targeting upper funnel audiences that are unfamiliar with your product offering? If you want your YouTube campaign to move viewers to purchase or engage directly, measure a further down-funnel metric like purchase intent. Or, if your focus is spreading awareness for a new product launch, choose the awareness question and measure lift of that specific product.

You will need to consider campaign budgets as well– if you want to measure multiple metrics or measure a down-funnel metric like Brand Interest, you will need a healthy YouTube budget to back it up. At Metric Theory, we most frequently recommend measuring ad recall for advertisers that are just getting started with Brand Lift Studies as results of this study can give a good initial sense of how memorable your creative is and doesn’t require a significant amount of budget to measure.

Brand Lift Studies are a unique opportunity to measure impact of video campaigns, which can offer a lot of real business impact beyond direct conversions. Running a study successfully can prove the efficacy of your YouTube efforts or signal that it’s time to switch up your creative or targeting methods. Contact us for an audit of your YouTube efforts and plan to measure Brand Lift.