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YouTube Action Campaigns: How do they work?

Ads appearing on YouTube are becoming increasingly important for companies' digital positioning strategy on social media. This platform helps you connect with the people who are most important to your business. Get potential customers to choose your company by showing them ads that encourage them to take action.  

In this article we show you what YouTube Action campaigns are and how to create them effectively so that you can reach the maximum possible audience with minimum costs.


  • What are YouTube Action campaigns?
  • Advantages of using YouTube Action Ads
  • How YouTube Action campaigns work
  • Steps to create a video action campaign
  • Steps to creating effective YouTube ads

What are YouTube Action campaigns?

Video action campaigns are a very simple and cost-effective way to generate more conversions both on and off YouTube, from a single automated campaign.  These campaigns are an enhanced version of TrueView for Action. They help drive more conversions at a cost-effective cost and allow you to expand coverage of the best features of this format to show your ads to more sites.

These campaigns allow you to reach as many users as possible without exceeding your budget through skippable ads that run before, during, or after a YouTube video.

These types of campaigns are suitable for your company in the following cases:

  • You want to use videos to generate shares for your company, service, or product.
  • You want to expand reach or improve CPA efficiency and performance.
  • You already use conversion tracking in your campaigns.

YouTube Action Campaign  

Advantages of using action ads on YouTube:

  • Get more conversions: Your campaigns' presence on YouTube and elsewhere is amplified to drive more conversions, while still optimized to pay the lowest possible CPA.
  • Improve campaign performance: Combining YouTube home feed inventory, display pages, Google video partners, and a few more elements; video action campaigns help reach new customers and thus improve campaign performance.
  • Easily extend the reach of your campaigns: They allow you to very easily serve ads on mobile, desktop, and TV with a single campaign without having to define bids and budgets for each inventory source.

How YouTube Action campaigns work

YouTube video action campaigns use skippable in-stream video ads and in-feed video ads. The videos you include in the campaigns must be at least 10 seconds long.

YouTube Action tipos de anuncio

The ads included in these campaigns can use a title, a description in the creative, and a call-to-action.  You can also use extensions or a product feed in your campaign to influence conversions. It should be noted that adding extensions or other creative options to the campaign may change the functionality or appearance of the ads.

Some features are not compatible with all ad formats included in video campaigns. Below are the specifications to follow:

Features Specification
Call-to-action Max 10 characters
Headline Max 15 characters

(Used in the skippable in-stream ad format)

Long headline


Max 90 characters

(Used in the video discovery ad format)

Description Max 70 characters
Creative options (optional)

They are used in the skippable in-stream ad format.

The following can be added: 

  • Site link extensions.
  • Lead form extensions
  • Merchant Center product feeds

(Only available on mobile)

Steps to create an action video campaign

To create an action video campaign on YouTube the following steps must be followed:

Step 1: Log in to Google Ads, click on the left menu and select a new campaign.

Step 2: Select the objective and the name of the campaign. 

Step 3: Define the budget type and amount in the "Budget and dates" section.

Step 4: Select the languages and locations to define where the ads can be displayed.

Step 5: Add site link extensions, product feed, or specific devices (Optional).

Step 6: Enter the ad group name and choose the demographics you want to reach.

Step 7: Create the ad with the editor and choose a companion banner. 

Step 8: Enter the ad name and click create the campaign.


Steps to create effective YouTube Ads

Creating ads involves a lot of decision-making. If we keep in mind these four simple steps below on how to make decisions, we'll be more likely to achieve our marketing goals. The ABCD steps can help you launch YouTube campaigns in the most effective way possible.

Steps to create effective YouTube ads

In YouTube Ads that follow these ABCD principles, the average probability of obtaining short-term sales increases by 30%, and long-term brand contribution grows by 17%.

A = Attraction: captures the audience's attention.

For an ad to be good, it must strive to capture attention from the start. Sounds, music, voiceover, and effects help create a complete sensory experience to capture the attention of users. You should also give importance to color and contrast to make your visuals vivid and impactful.

B = Branding: apply comprehensive branding strategies early and often.

It is advisable to incorporate brand identity into the story, whether with product or packaging shots, set branding, graphic elements, voiceover, or music.  The YouTube experience is almost always audio, so take advantage of the multisensory aspect of the medium for maximum impact.

C = Connection: makes the audience think or feel something.

Inform, inspire or entertain the user to create interest. You must show a story that they can identify with, that is "human".  Use emotional resources and brand storytelling techniques such as humor or surprise. Convey a clear message to connect with them that is not too complicated.

D = Direction: ask them to take action.

Tell your audience clearly and simply what you want them to do, so they can respond to your message in the way that suits you. You can guide viewers with a call-to-action, graphics, or sound elements.

As we have seen, the main benefit of using YouTube Action campaigns is that you extend the presence of the campaign getting more conversions, while still optimizing to pay the lowest possible CPA. So don't hesitate to use it if you want to reach your audience effectively. 


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