Bidding Process For Video Ads

Bidding Process For Video Ads: How To Get The Right Bargain


In this article, I want to talk more about what you need to know about the bidding process for Video Ads. With your targeting in place, we can now plan our bidding strategy. There are three bidding approaches available on the GDN:

  1. Default bids:
  • If you don’t set specific bids for your targeting, AdWords will use your ad group’s default bid that you have set when creating your Ad group.
  • Google Ads also uses your default ad group bid when you don’t have custom bids enabled or you have custom bids that don’t apply to where your ad is being shown.
  1. Custom bids:
  • Use custom bids if you want to set bids for an individual targeting method in your ad group. You can set these as max CPC or max vCPM.
  • You can set a custom bid on each of the targeting options in the GDN. For example, you can set a max CPC bid on a specific placement. If the user is on that placement, you will be bidding with a higher bid than on other placements that your ad is being shown. Or if you place a customer bid on a certain topic, if the page where your ad is shown matches that topic, your ad will be using a higher bid than for other topics and so forth.
  • When you implement a custom bid, AdWords will use this bid on the GDN and not your default bid if the criteria match.
  • Note, you can only set a custom bid on one targeting method in each ad group, so it’s important that the customer bid choice matches your advertising goals.
  1. Bid adjustments:
  • Bid adjustments allow for better control over when and where your ad appears.
  • Bid adjustments allow you to increase or decrease the bid amount for a specific targeting that is used of the max CPC or max vCPM in the ad auction.
  • A Bid adjustment is a percentage change in your bid and is applied on top of the bids that AdWords uses to show your ad, either your custom bids or your ad group bid if you have not set a custom bid.
  • A bid adjustment for any ad-group level targeting method can be set from -90% to +900%
  • A bid adjustment can be set at the campaign level for the time of day, specific days, location and/or device.
  • You can also set this at the ad group level for individual targeting methods and top content but you can’t have bid adjustments and custom bids for the same targeting method.
  • You can set a device bid adjustment on both the campaign and ad group levels.



Enable Bid adjustments at the targeting method level:

In your Google Ads account:
1. On the side menu bar, click All campaigns and click one of the targeting methods – Keywords/audience/demographics/topic/placement
2. Select the line for whose bids you wish to edit
3. Click Edit
4. Select Change bid adjustments
5. Enter your new bid or bid adjustment percentage
6. Click Apply

  • It’s important to develop a bidding strategy because a well-developed bidding strategy will make your ad group be at its most competitive at the right time, the right placement, on the right device when you most need it to be.
  • Before developing a bidding strategy, you will need to know what your advertising goals are: in general, you will need to know what the advertising objectives are for each specific campaign and you will need to decide what the best targeting methods are and what account structure you need to meet those objectives.


How do bidding strategies work together? If you make multiple adjustments to the same campaign, all of the bid adjustments will be multiplied together to determine how much your bid will increase or decrease. Let’s say you set a custom bid of €1.00 for the “Beachbound Travelers” affinity audience, a bid adjustment of +20% for the “female” demographic, and a campaign-level location bid adjustment of +10% for people in Italy.


Google Ads will use your custom bid of €1.00 any time your ad shows to people associated with the selected interest. If the ad also shows to someone in the “female” demographic, add +20% of your custom bid to your max CPC bid, to make it €1.20 when your ad shows to these people. And if those people are in Italy, add +10% of your custom bid times your demographic bid adjustment, to make a max. CPC bid of €1.32.



When you are planning your bidding strategy, do not over look your device bid adjustment and consider the importance of mobile (as well as desktop and tablet) in your video strategy:

  • Over half of all views on YouTube come from Mobile devices
  • Video length (shorter videos perform better on mobile)
  • Orientation (increase in popularity of vertical video)
  • Specs (logo sizing, screen sizes)

Netflix tested 3 video ad formats (30-second TrueView ad, 15-second TrueView ad and a bumper ad) to see which resonated best with a mobile-first audience. The main results were:



  • A Bumper ad proved best for product awareness & highest lift in a search query
  • Teaser (15-second) ad proved best for Branded ad recall


They tested what kind of creative resonated with their viewers to help tap into a previously challenging market (Asia-Pacific).


You can alter your bids when your ads appear on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices by specifying a desktop, tablet or mobile bid adjustment at the campaign level or at the ad group level.
Apply bid adjustments for Desktop, Mobile and Tablet devices in campaign settings:

  • In Campaigns or Ad groups, select the campaigns or ad groups that you’d like to modify
  • Under “Device bid adjustment” in the edit panel, enter a value for “Desktop”, “Mobile,” and “Tablet” from -90% to +900%, inclusive
  • You can also enter -100% to opt-out of a device for the selected campaigns or ad groups.



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