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An Introduction To YouTube Advertising

Updated: Feb 12

As the second most popular search engine worldwide, YouTube is one of the most powerful platforms for businesses trying to capture customers' attention.

There are many benefits to advertising on YouTube - from targeting and customization capabilities to measurability and affordability - but the most valuable benefit is the simplest: Reach.

The Types of YouTube Video Ads

There are several key types of video ads in which you can invest on YouTube. Google outlines the basic formats here. Below, we go into more detail.

1. Video Discovery Ads

Video discovery YouTube ads show up on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and related videos on YouTube video watch pages.

For example, this ad appeared after performing a YouTube search:

youtube video discovery ads

2. TrueView In-Stream Ads (Skippable Ads)

TrueView ads are the standard video ad type on YouTube. Advertisers only pay for TrueView ads when viewers watch or interact with their ad (for example, by clicking on a call-to-action), and videos can be easily customized to share various content.

TrueView in-stream ads play before someone watches the video they've selected on YouTube. Viewers sometimes can skip the ad after watching it for five seconds. In-stream ads let marketers customize video ads with different CTAs and overlay text.

youtube skippable ads

Because these videos can be skipped, you need to give your audience a reason to keep watching, and product plugs historically don't get the views you might expect.

Instead, tell a story with the time you have in this video. People love seeing case studies of those who faced a struggle that they can empathize with. It's a source of entertainment that makes your brand memorable and less tempting to skip.

3. Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

Non-skippable ads can play before, mid-roll, or after the main video. They can be 15 to 20 seconds in duration.

Non-skippable mid-roll video ads appear midway through a YouTube video that's 10 minutes or longer. On the desktop, viewers will see a five-second countdown, and on the app, they'll see yellow markers where the ads are placed.

Because non-skippable ads can't be skipped, these videos are best created with a call-to-action (CTA), so you can optimize the attention you do have from the viewer. In other words, encourage viewers to click on your ad and receive something in return. Perhaps you've released a new product or are promoting a major event this season — use non-skippable ads to get those clicks.

4. Bumpers

Bumpers are the shortest type of YouTube video ad available to you. These ad spots play before a viewer's chosen video at just six seconds per bumper. It's also non-skippable.

Bumper video ads obviously can't tell a good-enough story in just six seconds. Still, they make terrific complements to more extensive video campaigns on a new product launch or event. Just be sure to use the six seconds wisely, and include only the components of your brand you want your audience to remember.

5. Overlay Ads

Overlay ads are banner ads that hover at the bottom of the video, as shown below. This type of ad is ideal for supplementing your other in-stream video campaigns. A banner ad is a great way to avoid advertising your product in an intrusive way.

youtube overlay ads

How Long Should YouTube Ads Be?

Generally speaking, somewhere between 6-45 seconds.

This question is a bit nuanced because there are different length requirements for different ads, as we've discussed. Bumper ads need to be six seconds long, but technically, there is no limit on skippable TrueView ads so a 20-minute video ad might work in rare cases.

As opposed to one universal length, take advantage of the different ad types by creating videos specifically tailored to the ideal length of each ad unit.

  1. Bumper ads: 6 seconds of branding

  2. Pre-roll: 15-20 seconds of branding

  3. TrueView in-stream: 15-30 seconds of branding and/or conversion content

  4. TrueView discovery: 45 seconds – 3 minutes of educational content

How Does YouTube Ad Pricing Work?

YouTube follows a cost-per-click and cost-per-view pricing model, similar to its parent company, Google. This pricing model means your YouTube advertising rates depend on user actions.

If someone watches the entirety of your ad or clicks on your ad, for example, you will be charged for that action. Whether you pay for views or clicks depends on the type of ad you create.

So, how much do YouTube ads cost when someone clicks on your ad or watches your ad? Find out in the next section!

How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on YouTube?

When you advertise on YouTube, there is no minimum amount you must spend. This results in two questions: How much should you spend on a YouTube ad, and how much does it cost to advertise on YouTube?

The amount you spend on a campaign will depend upon the daily budget you set for your campaign. Most businesses invest $10 or more a day to run an advertising campaign on YouTube. This amount increases as companies know more about their campaign's performance.

YouTube video ads can cost anywhere from $0.10 to $0.30 per click or view in the U.S.

In most cases, you're going to pay on a cost-per-view scale. Every time someone views your ad, you will pay for that view. It's essential to set a maximum amount you want to spend on views to ensure that you don't overspend your campaign's budget.

This isn't a standard cost every time, but it is the typical rate that businesses experience when they invest in YouTube advertisements. Your YouTube ad prices will vary depending upon the video quality, your target audience, and your campaign goals.

Set Your Target Audience

Your target audience is who you are trying to reach with your ad campaign. If you want to have an effective advertising campaign, you must know who you are targeting.

There are different ways you can target your ideal audience. Here are a few:

  1. Demographic groups: This includes attributes such as age, gender, income, or parental status.

  2. Interests: Topics and information your audience is interested in watching through videos on YouTube.

  3. Remarketing: Marketing to people based on their past interactions with your video content.

  4. Topics: You target people based on specific topics they look for while searching on YouTube.

  5. Keywords: Showing YouTube ads based on keywords and phrases your audience searches on YouTube.

These are all the options available to your business. You can choose which format is best for your business based on your budget and goals.

The Takeaway for Business Owners

As digital marketing continues to skew toward video, YouTube is an essential part of your overall marketing mix. And since there are plenty of ad types that don't charge you until you get results, what are you waiting for?

Need great marketing videos for your YouTube ad campaigns? There's no easier way to get started than with ShivuKey!


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