Guide to YouTube Video Ads

Table of Contents

YouTube continues to grow in its popularity and is one of the most visited websites each month. Many users also show an increased interest and level of engagement for video ads versus a standard picture or text ad. As many businesses develop their marketing efforts and ad campaigns, they are considering YouTube video ads as an effective and efficient marketing effort. YouTube video ads offer a unique platform for a brand to showcase its product or service in an intriguing and captivating format. As users who visit YouTube are already looking for exciting video content, video ads are more likely to capture their attention and resonate with them. Discover how you make a YouTube video ad with the guide below.

What Is YouTube Advertising?

YouTube advertising is offered via Google Ads and is a form of video advertising that can be displayed on the YouTube homepage and YouTube search results to maximize your brand’s reach. A video ad may be played before or during a YouTube video. In addition to these placements, a video ad may also be shown in between two organic videos.

In-Stream Video Ads (Skippable)

As the name implies, viewers can skip these in-stream video ads after a certain period of time. These ads play either at the start of the video (pre-roll) or throughout the video (mid-roll). Skippable in-stream video ads can be skipped after five seconds of viewing, meaning you will want to place the most important information as early in your video as possible to gain viewers’ attention. An advertiser is not charged for the ad unless a viewer chooses to watch beyond 30 seconds, watch the entire video or click the ad. It is recommended that an in-stream video ad be 12 seconds to three minutes in length. TrueView is a payment type where an advertiser only has to pay for an ad impression when a user watches the ad. Note YouTube analytics do not track views shorter than 10 seconds.

In-Stream Video Ads (Unskippable)

On average, 65% of people skip online video ads. Unskippable video ads can be a useful tool that may make users more likely to listen to or pay attention to an ad actively. If your objective with an ad is to increase brand awareness and recall, consider unskippable in-stream video ads. When running an unskippable ad, you will want to ensure your video is unique, creative and engaging. Your ad should intrigue viewers and display all relevant information a viewer may need to learn more about your product or service. Advertisers that choose to use unskippable YouTube ads will pay per impression, known as cost per mille (CPM or per 1,000 views).

Bumper Ads

Bumper advertisements are a type of video ad that viewers can’t skip. This type of ad is displayed before, during or between a video. Bumper ads are six seconds long, so the messaging of these ads needs to be clear, concise and compelling enough to pique a viewer’s interest. Many advertisers typically use bumper ads for reach and awareness campaigns. Like traditional unskippable in-stream video ads, bumper ads are charged per 1,000 impressions under the CPM model. Many advertisers use bumper ads in addition to running larger video ad campaigns. Bumper ads can be an effective refresh for viewers if you are running other ads and help to continue fostering interest in your product or service.

Discovery Ads

While in-stream ads are similar to a traditional TV commercial, discovery ads, on the other hand, are more similar to an ad that you may see on a Google search results page. A discovery ad appears alongside the organic results of a YouTube search. Many viewers may be likely to click on a discovery ad if it is relevant or seems like it will share useful or unique information the user may be searching for. In addition to a traditional thumbnail, discovery ads include a headline and description to entice viewers. If a viewer clicks on a discovery ad, they will be taken to your YouTube channel or your video page. Discovery ads are another form of TrueView video ads, as a viewer must watch the ad actively. This ad type may appear differently depending on where the ad is run, including a search results page, the YouTube mobile app’s homepage, YouTube video watch page and YouTube mobile web search and watch pages.

Nonvideo Ads

There are two main types of nonvideo ads, including nonvideo display ads and in-video overlay ads: Nonvideo ads are often ideal for those who may not have a budget for traditional video ads. Nonvideo display ads are an ad type shown on the right sidebar that includes text, image and a call to action button linking to your website. In-video overlay ads appear to be a floating box of text displayed over a YouTube video from a monetized YouTube account. Ideally, nonvideo ads are related in some way to the video a user is watching to increase the ad’s relevancy and the potential for a viewer to engage with the ad itself.

How to Create a YouTube Ad

YouTube has grown in popularity due to its educational attributes, with tutorial and instructional videos being highly sought-after. With this information, it’s safe to say YouTube video ads that take on an informative tone may perform more effectively. Your brand can create an engaging ad that gains the audience’s attention while informing them of your product, service and other relevant details. Ideally, your video ad will be featured before or during a relevant video topic. For example, if your company sells high-end grills and grilling accessories, it would be most effective if this ad was displayed before a tutorial on how to grill salmon in the summer. Your YouTube video ad should aim to present information a user is looking for. With that in mind, you can follow these steps to make a YouTube video ad:

1. Upload Your Video to YouTube

The first step is to create your video ad content and upload your marketing video to your YouTube account. To upload your video, log in to your account and follow the simple steps to complete the process. Ensure you optimize your YouTube video by creating a title and description using relevant keywords. You will also want to add any relevant tags to your video before uploading. When considering how long to make YouTube video ads, remember to place the key information as soon as possible in the video. From there, the length of a video ad depends on the type of YouTube ad you plan to run. In general, you will only want to make a video as long as it needs to be while meeting the minimum length required to prevent viewers from becoming disinterested or missing vital information your ad provides.

2. Create a Campaign

Now that you have uploaded your marketing video, you’ll begin setting up your YouTube ad campaign. To begin, head to your Google Adds account and select the create a new campaign button. When you start a new campaign, you will have to choose the campaign type, including Search, Shopping, Video, Display and Universal App. After selecting a video, determine which campaign goal type you want this ad to achieve for your brand. Campaign goals include increasing brand awareness and reach, product and brand consideration, website traffic and leads. Determining what action you are looking for a user to take can help you choose the campaign goal for your marketing needs. Then, as you set up your marketing campaign, there will be recommended features and settings to consider, which complement your chosen campaign goal. Campaign goals are key to creating a purposeful video marketing strategy.

3. Determine Your Budget

A best practice for creating a campaign is determining how much you want to spend each day on video advertising. If you are new to YouTube advertising, consider starting with a smaller daily budget as you test and optimize your ads. When selecting your budget, you can also choose a standard or accelerated delivery method. The standard option will spend your budget throughout the day. On the other hand, the accelerated option will show your ads at the earliest opportunities until the budget runs out for the day. A smaller starting budget allows you to test and refine your marketing efforts and determine which campaign strategy may work best for you.

4. Choose Your Networks

Selecting your networks allows you to determine where you want your video ads to appear. Deciding where you want your ads to be displayed can help you create a more effective video marketing strategy. In some cases, a combination of networks may prove to be the most beneficial and effective approach. Common YouTube networks include: YouTube search results: This option is only allowed for TrueView discovery ads. YouTube search results will display your video ad alongside other organic videos a user may be searching for. This option can be ideal if your video ad is engaging and relevant to what a viewer may be searching for on YouTube. YouTube videos: When you select YouTube videos as an option, your video may be displayed on YouTube videos and YouTube channels. In addition to these placements, your video ad may also be displayed on YouTube’s homepage. Google Display Network: You can also deliver your video ad to video partners on the Display Network. This option allows your video ad to be shown across other Google advertising platforms.

5. Pick a Bidding Strategy

After choosing the networks you want to display your video ad on, determine the bidding strategy that best suits your needs. Your bidding strategy is how you will pay for your video ad being viewed across YouTube and the Display Network. When considering how much YouTube video ads cost in 2021, understand this number varies depending on budget, bidding strategy and more. In general, with a $10 daily budget, YouTube ad costs are $0.10 to $0.30 per action or view, depending on the details of your campaign. There are four main bidding strategies to choose from, including: Maximum cost-per-view (CPV): With CPV, the costs are determined by the number of interactions and views a video receives. Target cost-per-acquisition (CPA): The CPA option determines costs based on actions a viewer takes, including if a viewer clicks on your video ad. Maximum cost-per-mille (CPM): A CPM bidding strategy will charge you for every 1,000 impressions your ad receives. Viewable cost-per-mille (vCPM): Like CPM, vCPM charges you for every 1,000 impressions your ad receives if the ad has been viewed. If a user lands on the page but immediately leaves, it will not be counted.

6. Refine Your Audience

One of the most important aspects of creating a successful marketing campaign is selecting the right people for your ad to reach. Honing your target audience can help you reach a demographic more likely to be interested in and take action with your product or service. You can refine your audience with options, including gender, age and other demographics. When creating your audience, consider basic demographic information, detailed demographics, interests and other factors. Targeting for video campaigns allow your brand to advertise to a relevant audience at times that matter while being more likely to encourage positive interaction.

7. Select Ad Placements

Selecting ad placements allows you to choose where you want your video ad to be displayed as well as other relevant information. These content marketing methods help you further define the reach of your ad and ensure you are showing your ad to a relevant audience. Common placements and details to consider include: Target keywords: Targeting relevant keywords or key phrases gets your video in front of people with similar interests. You can use keywords associated with a YouTube video or channel or a type of website. Relevant topics: You can select relevant topics related to your ad. This selection allows you to further target a video ad to specific topics on YouTube, as well as the Google Display Network. Appropriately targeting topics can help you reach a wider audience and range of channels and websites directly related to these topics. Devices: Targeting specific devices can help you show your ad to those who may be watching YouTube videos on their phone, computers, tablets or even TV. Understanding the device most of your audience uses can help you create a successful video ad campaign. Ad placements: You can target specific channels, videos or placements within websites, such as choosing to target the homepage of a popular news website. Common placements include YouTube videos, YouTube channels, apps on the Google Display Network and websites on the Google Display Network.

8. Configure Video Format

One of the final steps to creating your video ad campaign is to select your video format. At this step, you will see which video format options are available to you based on the campaign selections you have made throughout the process of setting up your strategy. As you configure your video format, you will want to make sure to add any relevant copy, such as a headline or call to action (CTA). You can also link to your website or a specific product or service page to direct potential customers. After configuring your video format, you have successfully set up your first video marketing campaign.

9. Optimize and Refine Campaign

While many advertisers may think their job is complete after setting up a campaign and seeing their ad is running, one critical step is to monitor and refine your campaign. Consumer needs and opinions are constantly changing. A successful video ad campaign may not continue to perform well if there is a change in the mindset of consumers. You will always want to consider various aspects of improvement you can implement to make your ad even more effective. Depending on your marketing product or service, you may experience more success with specific placements or demographics. If you notice a small change to your demographics increases conversions, cater your efforts more to this market. It is generally recommended to only change one aspect of a campaign at a time to measure its success.

5 Tips for Effective YouTube Ads

There are various types of videos to use for YouTube ads, which can be an effective marketing option to increase brand awareness and lift. You may also want to consider YouTube marketing if you are looking to increase audience engagement or share information about a new product launch. When creating a YouTube video ad, consider these five tips for a successful marketing campaign:

1. Choose Your Ad Format Wisely

To make the best YouTube video ad, test various ad formats to see which format may be best for your brand. There are numerous video formats, from bumper ads to unskippable ads. Each of these video ad formats performs differently and offers unique advantages. In addition, some formats are only available if you choose specific campaign goals, including reach or brand awareness. A best practice is to try different ad formats to determine which may work best for your brand. Your target audience is likely to respond differently to various ad formats. If you determine an ad format that works best for your product or service, you will likely want to use this as your main format when creating different video ad campaigns.

2. Place the Most Important Information First

The length of a YouTube ad can be up to three minutes. While three minutes may seem like plenty of time to display pertinent information, it is essential to realize many viewers may move past an ad if they are not immediately interested or engaged. Even if you create an ad that is one or two minutes long, you will want to put essential information as early in the ad as possible. Even if a viewer only watches 10 seconds of your ad, they should still have a basic understanding of your brand, products and services. It is a best practice to place key information immediately at the beginning of the ad to increase brand recall and lift.

3. Segment Ads Into Separate Campaigns

If you are running multiple YouTube video ads, separate them into relevant campaigns. For example, suppose you have several ads focused solely on one product. In that case, you can create a campaign specifically for this product to easily differentiate between ads for this product versus ads for another item your brand offers.

4. Implement Video Remarketing

Remarketing lists allow you to show personalized ads to people who have seen your YouTube videos or have previously interacted with your channel. While these users did not convert when seeing or interacting with your brand, they may be more likely to take action or make a purchase if they see another ad from your business. There are many benefits of remarketing, including large-scale reach, efficient pricing and much more.

5. Create Unique Content

An essential aspect of any successful advertising campaign is to provide unique and engaging content. Selecting one of the best video editors for YouTube ads can ensure your video is informative and provides a high-quality experience that encourages users to take a specific action or make a purchase. Unique content is key to helping your brand stand out and improve brand recall for many users.

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