What You Should Know Before You Start Advertising on YouTube

Let’s start with the basics. 

We already know that video content is powerful. 

Did you know that YouTube alone has over 2 billion users – and each day, those users watch a billion hours of video, generating billions of views? (Statista, 2021)

This number is perhaps higher since we are only accounting for the viewers who log into the site, but anyone can view videos without logging in to YouTube. 

YouTube is second only to Facebook in the number of active users and reaches more people in the 18-49 year old demographic. 

There’s a massive and active market with great potential for digital marketing efforts. 

YouTube Video Ads

Video ads are the most effective way to reach your audience on YouTube. Video ads can help build your brand on the platform. However, it’s vital to understand each ad type before embarking on creating your first YouTube marketing campaign. 

Three Types of YouTube Ads for Video 

Let’s cover the three types of YouTube Ads for video. It’s essential to know these three types of YouTube ads so you can tailor your ad to fit the format. 

  • TrueView (skippable) ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads
  • Bumper ads
TrueView Ads

TrueView Ads are the primary advertising format on YouTube. This format gives users control for limited costs. 

With TrueView videos, you can advertise through how-to videos, demos, video testimonials, and more, making this format genuinely functional. 

TrueView In-Stream Ads 

TrueView in-stream ads play before the chosen video. These in-stream ads are customizable with calls to action and text overlays. 

If a user skips a video quickly, you don’t pay for that ad. This provides you with a few seconds of free advertising on YouTube. 

With TrueView ads, advertisers only pay when users watch for at least 30 seconds, watch an entire short video, or click a call to action.

With an in-stream ad, even a skipped ad can boost engagement. 


TrueView Discovery Ads

TrueView Discovery Ads are the recommended videos that pop up on the YouTube homepage on the right-hand sidebar or related videos on the search page.

Users see a thumbnail image and up the three lines of text. If the ad grabs a user’s attention, they can click to watch it. Since viewers opt-in, these TrueView discovery ads can be videos of any length or type. 

Both kinds of campaigns: TrueView In-Stream Ads and TrueView Discovery Ads, are low risk and offer high rewards. 

Whether you’re a small business or a larger corporation, to market your business on YouTube, it’s essential to produce what your target audience wants, not what you think your audience wants. 

YouTube, like Google, is essentially a search engine, so you need to make sure the right people find your videos. This means you’ll need to optimize your content for the YouTube algorithm, just like you would for Google SEO.  

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads 

Non-skippable in-stream ads are similar to TrueView in-stream ads, except that viewers CANNOT SKIP them.

These non-skippable in-stream ads can play either at the beginning or in the middle of a video. These videos are limited to 20 seconds or less by YouTube to keep users happy. 

Advertisers pay a fee per thousand views for these ads, so accurately targeting your audience and testing are crucial. 

  • Low Cost – you can test out the flexible campaign settings and targeting options at your liberty. You only pay when a viewer has watched 30 seconds or more of a video ad. 
  • Native Advertising – TrueView Ads have the potential to appear very naturally on the YouTube platform as long as they are well-targeted and engaging to encourage viewers to watch them instead of skipping. 
  • Earned conversions are free – A viewer doesn’t need to watch the full video or click on an ad to convert. They may decide to visit your website and later convert. 
  • Granular Targeting – it’s possible to target certain types of users based on demographic categories like age group and gender and categories of video and specific channels, so ads only get shown to the kinds of people you are targeting. 
  • Push whatever content you like – maybe your latest eBook or upcoming webinar, even testimonials or product launch. The list is endless, both for in-stream and in-display ads. 
  • Call-to-Action (CTA) – encourage viewers to click through to your website from your TrueView Video Ad. 
Bumper Ads 

Bumper Ads are short, non-skippable videos that play before or during a main YouTube video.

Bumper Ads are a short video ad format designed to allow you to reach more customers and increase awareness about your brand by using a short, memorable message. With videos of 6 seconds or less, bumper ads let you reach people with bite-sized messages. 

These ads are ideal for targeting mobile users and reinforcing the brand message expressed in other ads and longer videos. 

  • Cost-effective – Advertisers pay Google based on impressions CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions). An advertiser is only charged once every 1,000 times your ad is displayed. 
  • Limited Disruption on Viewing Experience – Just six seconds or less, these bite-size video ads are ideal for delivering concise messages without being annoying. 
  • Non-skippable – since viewers cannot skip, you increase the chances that your ad remains directly in front of the eyes of potential customers before, during or after the main attraction. 
  • Improved Ad Recall – In 2016, Google tested over 300 bumper campaigns and found that 9 out of 10 led to a “significant lift in ad recall.” Bite-sized videos aren’t “too short” to register in viewers’ minds. Bumper ads 
  • Boost Brand Awareness – by capturing the attention of viewers with video ads that are quick, clean and concise, more people are familiarized with your brand. 
  • Appeal to viewers with Short Attention Spans – In today’s world, brevity is key. We are consuming video through mobile devices more than before. Bumper ads are fool-proof in this sense because of their six-second window. 
YouTube Ad Placements: Display (Non-Video)

In addition to video advertising, YouTube offers display ads. Don’t fret if you want to market through YouTube but don’t have videos. You can advertise with overlay ads, display ads, and sponsored cards. 

YouTube Overlay Ads: These ads show a text or display in a banner at the bottom of a video. Advertisers can use them to direct users to a link or a call to action. 

Display ads: These ads appear above the video suggestions list on the right sidebar. 

Cards and Sponsored Cards: Small pop-ups that invite users to click. 

Tips For Running a Successful YouTube Marketing Campaign
  • Users respond to video campaigns that tell a relatable story; therefore, videos should offer more than just information. A good advertiser seeks to provoke a target customer’s interest quickly. 
  • Measure your success with analytics. Under the analytics in your YouTube account, you can track:
    • Most viewed ads 
    • How long users watch the ads
    • The moment users stopped watching 
    • Which ad formats perform best. 
  • Connect your YouTube account with Google Analytics to get the most from your YouTube advertising investment. 

Not sure where to start with your own YouTube Ad campaign? Talk to us about how we can help you craft a YouTube digital advertising strategy to drive your goals.

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