Measuring the Impact of YouTube Ads on Brand Metrics

For online video platforms like YouTube, engagement metrics (such as views, likes, shares, comments, and watch time) provide a basic barometer to how an audience responds to videos. While these metrics are important to inform strategies and creative direction, when it comes to measuring effectiveness views and shares are often a proxy for brand metrics such as awareness, perception, and audience interest.

In the past, gaining insight into brand metrics has been tricky. While you could get instant feedback in the form of clicks and views, it was difficult to measure brand impact without expensive, time-consuming testing, and sometimes those results wouldn’t come in until the campaign was over. When it comes to YouTube ads, that’s no longer the case: our Brand Lift solution allows you to gather brand metrics about YouTube ads in a matter of days. Advertisers across a variety of verticals have used the tool to test and optimize their online video content.

To understand how our Google Preferred offering performed for advertisers, we conducted several different meta-analyses using Brand Lift data. After analyzing around 50 campaigns from Fortune 100 brands and category leaders running on Google Preferred (some of YouTube’s most popular channels), we found that 94% of the campaigns drove a significant lift—an average of 80%—in ad recall. We also found that 65% of Google Preferred ads saw an increase in brand awareness, with an average lift of 17%. This is particularly impressive considering that the brands in the study were already well-known.

We also measured YouTube’s impact on what we call “brand interest,” or interest in a brand as measured by an increase in organic searches for it on Google. Looking at more than 800 Brand Lift studies, we found that 65% of YouTube TrueView campaigns drove a significant lift in brand interest, with an average lift of 13%. These numbers tell a compelling story. YouTube advertising is about more than lean-back impressions; after YouTube viewers see ads they love, they lean in and search for those brands and products.

Content may be king, but brand metrics play an integral role in everything from planning quarterly media spend to creative direction. With tools like Brand Lift, brands can now have access to brand metrics that matter in near real-time. See how brands are using Brand Lift to move the needle, and get tips on how to drive impact with Brand Lift on YouTube in our YouTube Insights report for March.