You’ve spent months working with a video design & production company to write the perfect script, find the right voice-over actor, polish your storyboard, and so much more. Now, you have a video that captures your brand essence and you want users to see it. So what’s the best way to get impressions on your video? As a premier video design & production company, we know there are countless options for getting your video in front of users. 

With over 2 billion users and more than a billion hours of videos watched daily, YouTube is one of the best ways to ensure your target audience finds the video content you’ve produced. To truly understand just how powerful YouTube can be as a platform, it’s important to understand the basics. Keep reading to learn more about YouTube advertising and it’s different kinds of ad formats.

What Type of YouTube Ads are There?

YouTube Ads are controlled through the Google Ads platform, allowing advertisers to maximize their reach. Through YouTube Ads, you can decide whether you want your video to appear before, during, or after the video a user is watching. The six primary ways you can advertise through YouTube are:

  1. Skippable in-stream ads
  2. Non-skippable in-stream ads
  3. Video discovery ads
  4. Bumper ads
  5. Masthead ads
  6. Outstream Ads

Let’s take a look at each one.

Skippable In-Stream Ads

If your goal is to drive website traffic and/or conversions, this is a great option for you.

Skippable video ads play before, during, or after a video and users have the option to skip the ad after five seconds. As such, advertisers are only charged when a viewer watches 30 seconds of the video (or the full duration of the video if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with the video. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your ad short, sweet and to the point. Don’t bury your main points 25 seconds in the video, but rather front load with interesting content that hooks a user and encourages that conversion action. Alongside skippable video ads, advertisers have the option to display a companion banner in the top right and a video overlay CTA button in the left. Needless to say, skippable video ads can be great for a lot of reasons.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

Given the nature of non-skippable in-stream ads, this is a great format if you’re aiming for a lift in brand awareness. With 76% of users skipping ads out of habit, it can be worthwhile to run ads that don’t have an option to be skipped. However, with non-skippable ads, you need to be confident that your video is strong enough to hold your audience’s attention for the full 15 seconds. Given that viewers have to watch the full video, these ads typically have higher CPMs than other formats on YouTube.

Video Discovery Ads

Video Discovery ads are best for product and brand consideration. Just like Google paid search ads, YouTube Discovery Ads display alongside organic YouTube search results. As a more native approach, if your video appears relevant to users, people are more likely to watch it. Alongside a thumbnail of the video, these ads allow for three lines of text to help provide users with more context and information. The text opportunity is great, because it ensures that a user consumes some brand messaging even if the video isn’t played. Furthermore, in the best case scenario, the description text further encourages the video play action, and eventually results in a lead or conversion. 

Bumper Video Ads

Are you looking to capture viewers with a short, memorable message? Then bumper ads are for you! At only 6 seconds, bumper ads are a quick, snappy way to leave viewers wanting more. Billed on a CPM basis, these ads are best for building brand awareness, given that they are also non-skippable.

Masthead Ads

Masthead ads are a fantastic way to drive awareness for a new product, service, or event for a short period of time (i.e. a trade show). While most YouTube ads are purchased through the Google Ads auction, masthead ads are bought on a reservation basis. By buying on a reservation basis, masthead ads give you more control over your budget (buy impressions at a fixed rate), greater visibility (guarantee the placement of your ad), and better brand awareness (reach a wide audience).

Outstream Ads

Outstream ads are another great tactic for boosting brand awareness and bringing users to your site. With over 40% of YouTube viewers watching content on their mobile devices, a mobile-first ad campaign is a smart approach. Outstream ads, for example, are mobile-only and play on partner sites and apps outside of YouTube. While this might seem counterintuitive at first, this actually allows advertisers to expand their reach to publishers such as CNN and Forbes. In addition, users are more likely to view outstream video ads by over 25% when compared to instream ads. 

Knowing that there are so many options for YouTube ads, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know what format to select. It’s important to start with your goal, and work backward from there. Better yet, consult a digital marketing agency for advice on the best ad format and strategy for your business. If you’re interested in working with a video design & production company to create your next video or need help figuring out how to promote your videos, contact us here!