Video and Display Advertising with Google Ads: Few Direct Conversions, but a Good Introduction to the Customer Journey?

Have you ever used video or display campaigns and noticed that hardly any purchase is made through them? Isn’t that depressing? In this blog post, we explain why these two forms of advertising should still be used, how they can be better measured and what goals can be achieved with them.

Introduction: Potential in Numbers

Both video and display advertising offer a great deal of reach. How much and where exactly? More about this below:

Why video?

Video ads are mainly played via YouTube (an example of a video ad below). As the world’s largest video platform and the second largest search engine with 400 hours of new video material per minute, YouTube offers an enormous number of opportunities for advertisers. The reason for this is not least the 1.9 billion registered users per month who spend over an hour on the platform every day.

Why display?

Display ads are shown in the Google Display Network and with partners. These contain over 2 million websites, videos and apps with which a reach of 90% of all Internet users can be generated. A total of around 4.13 billion people use the Internet.

Possible concerns & opportunities

Possible concerns

The main difference between reaching users with video and display ads compared to search ads is that users get in touch with video and display ads without searching or asking for them. This makes it more difficult to reach the right users and to avoid wastage and thus unnecessary costs.

Both video and display advertising ultimately prepares the purchase or conversion and reaches the user in a phase in which he is not yet actively looking for the product or service. It is often through this advertising that he comes into contact with a product or company for the first time. For this reason, display and video campaigns cannot be compared to search campaigns in the analysis. We’ll talk about which KPIs can be used to analyze them in a moment.

Further concerns can be that it takes a lot of time to create such campaigns and that a certain brand security (e.g. with regard to corporate design) must exist in order to use a recognition value for yourself. In addition, appropriate know-how for the creation of the right image and video material must be available so that the potential, which we will talk about shortly, can be used.

But then why bother? Because it can be worth it if done right!


Video and display advertising are ideal for introducing your own brand, product or company to the user, creating awareness, attracting attention and achieving a high reach. Even if this advertising is mostly not consciously perceived, the user still takes the colors, the logo and the like. For this reason, the recognition value is extremely important. In the best case scenario, a purchase request is triggered directly. However, this is very rarely the case.

Once the user is aware, interest can be built up later. For this purpose, the image material should then speak a more precise language. The aim here is to anchor our message in the mind of the user so that they come back to us at the latest when they need a corresponding product – i.e. when the need is there. In this phase we then reach the user with our search campaigns.

For the reasons mentioned, video & display ads are particularly suitable for generating new customers. Video ads in particular allow almost unlimited creative design options, which is why they should be used for new products that require explanation. In addition, video ads can be evaluated very well and in detail, so that the corresponding performance is clearly visible here. Last but not least, the advertiser remains competitive by using these advertising formats.

Target group -the advertiser can determine who sees what and where with great precision

The well-defined target group should not be disregarded when considering the opportunities for video and display advertising. In addition to the alignment options listed below, the target group can be refined using, for example, device (desktop, mobile phone, tablet) or location information.

Targeting target groups is about the “who?” And the “where?”. This means that the advertiser can determine who sees what and where with great precision. What alignment options are behind the “Who?” Can be seen in the graphic below under “Target groups”. With regard to the “where?” There are again various options. Keywords can be specified that should be included on the respective website / app, topics that should be represented in terms of content, but precise websites / apps can also be named.


One of the greatest potentials that display and video advertising offer is remarketing. This addresses users who have previously interacted with the advertiser’s website. So you stay in the user’s memory. Also dynamic remarketing is possible. This means that users are addressed again with the content they have already viewed. So if he looks at a product that does not result in a purchase, this exact product will be displayed again later, e.g. in the display network.

Use potential

Display and video advertising should not be neglected, especially for B2B companies. Trustworthiness, awareness and authenticity play an even greater role here, as the decision-making process for concluding contracts takes longer than with private customers, and it is often about long-term cooperation. Once a company has a business partner with whom it is satisfied, it is rarely changed.

In addition, a company does not do business with a company, but people with people. Whether consciously or unconsciously, display banners and videos create a certain emotional bond that creates recognition and trust. Anyone who has ever tried to reach a B2B target group has surely noticed that this is a lot more challenging than with B2C target groups. That is why the creation of video and display campaigns is also beneficial for the advertiser. This target group can also be easily reached with the help of lookalikes. Here, digital twins (users who are similar to a given target group in terms of their user behavior, interests, etc.) can be created and targeted by existing customers, for example.

Measure success – goals & KPIs

Since video and display ads are used at a completely different point in time in the customer journey, it is also important to achieve completely different goals and to assess the achievement of the goals using other KPIs. In contrast to search campaigns, which are primarily intended to achieve sales, we aim here for reach, brand awareness and attention, for example. These can be evaluated using the following KPIs :

  • Impressions
  • Reached users
  • Clicks
  • Click-through rate
  • Prepared conversions

The following KPIs from YouTube can also be useful for video ads :

  • Calls
  • Individual users
  • Achieved subscribers
  • Playback time
  • Average rendering / impression

The extent to which the relevant campaigns have contributed to the company’s brand development can be assessed using these measures / tools:

  • Auction data: Share of possible impressions, impressions in the top positions
  • Development of brand campaign traffic
  • Develop organic brand traffic
  • Compare time periods
  • Google’s Brand Lift Program

Above all, the constant analysis, evaluation and optimization of the respective campaigns remain important. This is the only way to recognize what can be improved and how, and to learn from previously published content so that it leads to maximum success.

check the following topics too:

Storytelling in Content Marketing – This Is How Companies Captivate the Readers of Your Website

33 Formats for Content Marketing

The Google Ads Performance Planner in the Quick Check


Video and display advertising are relevant – far more relevant than many would expect at first glance. The most important thing here is the correct evaluation based on relevant KPIs. So that the potential can be fully exploited, it is important to be aware that these advertising formats in particular increase brand awareness, but that a purchase transaction is rarely generated directly. For a purchase, however, a certain brand awareness is more than helpful – in the B2B area it is often essential. Special potential can be tapped with remarketing. Above all success through video and display advertising, however, is the correct alignment via target groups, without which even the best campaign will not be very promising. In this regard, however, the advertiser has almost unlimited room for maneuver.

And one more important thing at the end: Don’t forget to test, test, test!

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