Videos are everywhere. And as digital marketers, the need to know what kind of video to make for which platform is never-ending. 

One way to get clearer insights to your YouTube ad performance is by setting “Moments.” This concept of a “Moment” in your YouTube ad is basically like a quick-view timestamp of performance.  You can identify specific moments in your video that will receive a select reporting of metrics as data accumulates. By identifying what factors are (and aren’t) being seen by your users can help with making your video creation process and efficiency. 

Step 1: Here’s how to make them

Within your Google Ads platform, you’ll see a list of segments on the left side. (This should come as little to no surprise, as it’s been there for years now!) Listed below Ads & Extensions is the Videos segment, and beneath that the “Analytics” tab.

As you click on that tab, you’ll see a screen with all sorts of information about your video ad. This is where the Moment begins.

In considering my video ad, I want to know how much product exposure viewers had. Some of my videos were 15 seconds. Some were 30. And the average time spent viewing each varied, too. But at the end of the day, how many times did users hear my brand’s name? Or see my brand’s logo? This the answered through Moments: 

To the right of my video ad, I see a box reminding me that I have yet to create a “Moment” for this ad. 

Well, let’s fix that. 

As I play my video, I choose the moment I want to set a “Moment” for. I hear the announcer mention the product and immediately select that bright blue “MARK MOMENT” button! I am brought to a drop-down where I can choose what kind of moment this is. 

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what type you choose (at least not as far as May 2021 is concerned. Stay tuned for whatever magic Google might have up its sleeves in the coming year). 

So I create my moments:

  1. When the second logo appears in my ad (since I already have one logo ever-present in the video)
  2. When our product name is used, both in the audio and caught in the closed caption.
  3. The final time our product name is said aloud. 

As data populates (or as the retroactive numbers populate, which also works), I can see what percentage of viewers were exposed to our name and our logo image.  

I repeat this with multiple videos, of differing lengths and content, but with the same criteria of what I’m looking for segmented reporting on.  And voilá! A plethora of insight as to what’s happening in my video ads!

Step 2: But now what?

Alright, I get it. Fancy or interesting new features aren’t much without some kind of takeaway. You don’t just want to fill your time creating “Moments” if you just look at them, shrug and then go back to the actual work. 

So let’s dig into what insights you might gain from these. 

  • If you have a client (or internal stakeholder) who is particularly insistent on specific content within their videos, these markers can show when we lose viewers or if those cherished aspects of the video actually have an impact on view rates. 
  • Often videos have plot lines within them — Are your users getting to the big reveal? Or the punch line? Setting moments will allow you to easily quantify how many viewers make it to the big buh-dun-tsssss moment! 
  • One of my favorite things to do in an account is segment, something PPC Hero author Dani Gonzalez may have differing views on. When working with Moments, however, this can be a game-changer. If your video ads are the same, but serving to different geographic targets or audience segments, these Moments can show how your targets fundamentally behave differently. Not just “view rates are higher” but how does one segment stay through specific content compared to others. You may be missing a huge opportunity, simply because you haven’t realized the nuance of your audience. 
  • Perhaps you’re experimenting with different lengths of video. We all know that between Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, Pinterest, and other video serving platforms, there are a lot of specs to work within. But in your YouTube ads, what is most effective? What are the details that are being seen and heard? Before scrapping that 30-second video, take a look at when the important moments are happening and what percentage of your viewers stay to experience them.

All in all, the benefit of setting up these Moments is to have a clear picture of what is or is not being viewed by the majority of your audience. Although the broader sense of view rates may help gauge if video ads are working, this extra level of detail can reveal so much more. 

With this internal timestamp, you can see the timing of when you retain and when you lose those precious viewers. They may stay through the first Call to Action, but if segment 2 and 3 are naming the product or brand, what kind of lost opportunity are you facing? That answer can guide you in how you create your content moving forward. 

As Google continues to perfect its YouTube interface, we’ll continue to lean into the tests they offer and pull even the tiniest gains from them to ensure we’re pushing for the best quality, experience, and outcome to our efforts. 

Happy Making Moments!