YouTube TrueView for Action Drives In-Store and Online Action

YouTube’s TrueView for Action (now evolving into “Video Action”) campaigns help drive down funnel action. YouTube audiences are engaged and attentive. According to Google, consumers are 2X more likely to pay attention to ads on YouTube vs. on other social media platforms,1 and 3X more likely to pay attention to online ads vs. ads on TV.2

What’s more, YouTube drives purchase decisions. Over 40% of global shoppers say they’ve purchased products they discovered on YouTube.3 And it all happens at scale, with over 2 billion monthly logged in users on YouTube.

YouTube released their TrueView for Action to help brands reach customers in the lower segment of the marketing funnel. It includes audiences, extensions, measurements, and smart bidding machine learning which helps drive ad conversions. 

86% of people use Google to search for ideas about what product to buy. YouTube’s TrueView for Action helps you grow your business by allowing you to reach audiences who have been searching Google for what you offer.4 Viewers see ads which promote your business with a way for them to take immediate action, and when compared with standard TrueView the results are significant. In some case studies, we’ve seen a 200% increase in conversions and reduced CPA cost vs standard TrueView.5

How Does It Work?

Advertisers can use a variety of different Google property audience types to reach customers based on action, intent and interest.

High Intent Audiences

Custom Intent: audiences created from your already-existing Google Search Keywords]

Remarketing: go after audiences who have already interacted with your brand ads across Google properties

Customer Match: audiences similar to customer contact information imported from your brand CRM.

Mid-Funnel Audiences

Similar Audience: reach new audiences who are similar to your users in your remarketing list and showcase similar buying behavior.

Life Events: audiences on the cusp of major life events like getting married, graduating college, or moving

In-Market: reach people who are actively researching and intending to buy products or services you offer – including those thinking of buying from your competitors

Affinities: reach people based on a holistic picture of their lifestyles, interests, and needs.

It’s smart because even the strongest search campaigns miss undecided shoppers

Brands can layer these audience targeting options with custom inclusion lists that allow them to run in brand suitable environments contextually aligned with their brand, as well as finding high intent consumers.

Pairing these approaches can drive effective lower funnel results. Google’s own research show that TrueView for action campaigns using Custom intent generate 30% higher conversion rates.

Creative Recommendations

A few top tips for creative that works best for TrueView for Action campaigns:

  1. Introduce the brand/product early and as a solution to a problem
  2. Show & tell how the brand works and what makes it great
  3. Include a clear call-to-action or offer
  4. Use both sight and sound because YouTube ads are 95% viewable & 95% audible.
  5. Build for small screens by using close framing, big text, and bright footage to stand out

Some Real Life Examples

airbnb wanted to get people thinking about and booking their 5 million listings in 81,000 cities around the world, especially in markets where they face stiff competition. They used YouTube for action to drive 14% increase in bookings, proving a brand campaign can impact sales, as well as a 142% increase in branded search terms.

Their creative approach: airbnb developed highly tailored creative using Affinity Audiences to align with video content people were likely to watch. For example, if someone was about to watch a video related to water sports, they would see the ad featuring a host with a passion for surfing.

Their Targeting approach: airbnb used TrueView for Action’s Smart Bidding and Google’s Consumer Patterns targeting to under- stand where to find audiences most likely to consider their hosts’ properties. They also tested different consumer engagements along the way to understand and optimize their customer’s journey. 

TrueView for Action enables brands to convert intent into action. To learn more about YouTube, check out our Ultimate Guide to YouTube.


1: Google/Ipsos, Video Mobile Diary, US, 2017, n of 4,381 (saw ads occasions). Online video includes video platforms such as YouTube & Hulu, social platforms such as Facebook & Snapchat and TV Full Episode Players like

2: Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, Video Ad Cross-Platform Biometrics Research commissioned by Google. Conducted in the US using 8 advertisements, 4 platforms and 400 participants, 18-35 year olds, Nielsen CNS Lab, Boston, US 2016

3: Google/Ipsos, Global (U.S., CA, BR, U.K., DE, FR, JP, IN, KR, AU), “How People Shop with YouTube” Study, 18–64-year-olds who go online at least monthly and have purchased something in the last year, n=24,017, July 2018.   

4: Google Internal Data, 2020

5: Google Internal Data, 2020