There’s a hidden side to Google AdWords that often remains an untapped resource– YouTube ads.
These days, YouTube ads are so much more than the frustrating, unskippable videos playing before the content you actually came there for. They’re an increasingly effective way to reach your audience. With over 500 million hours being watched on YouTube a day, it’s no wonder video ads are now accounting for more than 35 percent of all online ad spending.
Brands now understand the need for videos and including them in their advertising plan and budget. But, there’s not a one-size-fits-all video ad… there are multiple kinds available, and they each can do something different for your brand.
Video streaming currently reaches more 18-49 year olds than broadcast networks and cable networks combined. By the end of 2017, video streaming will account for 74 percent of all online traffic. With more people spending their Internet time streaming videos, brands will soon have to make the choice between embracing video marketing or losing exposure to an ever-increasing audience.
Google, who has owned Youtube since November 2006, says in their guide that YouTube ads have the potential to increase your millennial audience by 42 percent, multiply your engagement 10 times over, and boost views of previous video content by 500 percent.
So, the question is, why wouldn’t you want YouTube ads to work for your brand?
youtube ad formats
One of the best, and most overwhelming, parts of using YouTube ads is the option to choose what your brand needs. While some traditional AdWords-style display and banner ads can be purchased directly through YouTube, video ads are a whole different animal.
There are three formats you can choose from:
- TrueView In-Stream Ads
- TrueView Discovery Ads and
- Bumper Ads
What’s TrueView? As Google explains it, “Trueview is built on the promise that you’ll only pay when someone chooses to watch your ad.” That means you can specifically target the audience that will be most interested in your brand without paying for those who choose to skip the ads. When someone chooses to watch your ad all the way through, you know they’re interested in what you’re selling.
Google also says that viewers who watch Trueview ads all the way through (or, at least 30 seconds of them) are 23 times more likely to visit or subscribe to a brand channel, watch more from the brand, and even share brand content.
TrueView In-Stream ads are what most users are familiar with. They usually run before or during a video, and viewers can choose to continue watching or skip the ad after 5 seconds. The means your first five seconds need to be dynamic and eye-catching. The benefit is that you only pay for these ads if someone watches at least 30 seconds or interacts with the in-stream ad.
The major benefit is getting as many views as possible since your ad is imposed on the viewer. If your brand’s goal is for more exposure, TrueView In-Stream ads might be the best option for you. However, the drawback to this style is an increased annoyance factor. As anyone who spends a fair amount of time on YouTube can tell you, seeing the same unskippable ad over and over again really makes you start to dislike the brand and what they’re selling even more if you’re not already a fan. Since viewers are forced to watch at least 5 seconds, they’ll probably be very tempted to skip as soon as possible.
TrueView Discovery ads, formerly known as In-Display ads, most commonly appear alongside other YouTube ads listed to the right or below the video player. But that’s not the only place you can find Discovery ads; they can appear as an overlay in the video you’re watching, as well. Your brand only pays for these ads when someone clicks on them to view. When using TrueView Discovery ads, Google recommends using a CTA on the videos to help drive traffic to your site. While TrueView In-Stream ads have an increased annoyance factor, Discovery ads don’t have that. Since they’re not required viewing, you’re only paying for those with a genuine interest in your product or service. This gives you a more solid viewer base that’s more likely to subscribe to your channel. But because they’re not required viewing, your brand’s overall exposure might be limited.
Bumper ads are a more recent development from Google, appearing for the first time in 2016. These six-second ads play before videos and are unskippable. While Bumper ads aren’t long, they do have a lasting impact. Some notable examples are:
YouTube created this short rendition of the play to promote their new digital advertising. With most people being familiar with the play Hamlet, the clear rendition of a modern-day Claudius’ plan for revenge is unexpected and funny.
This Geico ad, titled “Unskippable”, won AdAge’s 2016 Campaign of the Year. The ad is very self-aware of the audience’s annoyance of pre-roll ads and ends before it can be skipped. But, it’s unique and witty, and it sticks in your memory.
A pro of Bumper ads, as stated by YouTube, is that you can reach viewers broadly with a short and memorable message. It makes them ideal for upper-funnel goals like ad recall and awareness. Again, one drawback is the potential to frustrate viewers since there’s no option to skip.
Ultimately, the format your brand chooses should depend on your goals. If you’re looking solely for exposure, In-Stream ads will probably your best bet. If you’re looking to build your subscriber base, In-Display ads might be more beneficial. It might take some experimenting with each format to determine what best fits your goals.
Running a series of YouTube ads is just a tool to build your brand and, with the new formats and tracking capabilities, you have more ways to report on its ROI. But, it’s important to understand that running a series of YouTube ads is very different from running a traditional PPC campaign or a paid social advertising campaign. There are a ton of options on this platform but also some constraints to be aware of.
Video content is a must-have part of your content strategy. Youtube ads are a great way to target users based on their search histories in a less competitive real estate than Google Search.
ready to start using YouTube ads?
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