An Introduction to YouTube Video Advertising

If you are a frequent YouTube user, it is likely you’ve stumbled across different types of ads – the short and the long; the ones you can skip and the ones you cannot. In this blog post, I will introduce two types of Ads: TrueView Videos and Bumper Ads.

What are TrueView Ads?

TrueView Video in-display ads are placed next to related videos, appear as part of search results, and on YouTube mobile homepage. For many searches within YouTube, you may see that the first result below the title of the video has a yellow “Ad” square. This Ad is a TrueView in-display ad. These are best used to promote a video. In-display Ads use a cost per view payment method when a viewer clicks to watch the video.

TrueView Video in-stream ads play before, during or after videos. However, after 5 seconds, a user can skip the ad and move on to the content they came for. If you are a frequent YouTuber, you are probably familiar with the “Skip Ad” button that appears after 5 seconds in the bottom right corner. TrueView in-stream ads run on YouTube and Display Network, providing a much broader reach than in-display ads. These ads use a cost-per-view payment method. A single view is triggered when a user watches at least 30 seconds of the ad or clicks on the ad.

What is a Bumper Ad?

Bumper ads are used to reach potential customers and increase brand awareness. These video ads are very short at just 6 seconds or less. They are played before, during or after other videos and the user does not have the ability to skip the ad. This ad format is best used for increasing brand awareness and reach. Bumper ads are displayed on YouTube and Display Network, wherever a YouTube video is embedded across the web.

How to Create an Effective Bumper Ad

With such a short span of time to work with, your bumper ad must grab the user’s attention, display a clear message, and entice the user to learn more. Although the video can include text, you want to keep it simple to make it easy for the user to read and digest as they watch. Grab the viewer’s attention right from the start with a fun and engaging visual.

It’s easy to assume that users will automatically ignore an ad that plays before their selected content. However, if you surprise and engage the user from the start, they will continue to watch, your brand will be seen, and you’ll increase your chances of engagement.

Before you produce any video, you must first identify your target audience – who do you want to engage with this video? Highlight why a user should use your product or service, what emotions you want to capture, and what you want the user to do with the information about your brand. As you brainstorm, consider visuals by creating multiple storyboards. Storyboarding helps solidify the message you want to get across to your users.

How Are These Ads Charged?

Unlike the other two formats discussed above, you pay for bumper ads based on impressions, or the number of times your video is seen. YouTube uses Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM) bidding – you pay each time your bumper ad is shown 1,000 times.

How Do I Create a Bumper Ad?

A bumper ad campaign is created directly through Google AdWords. For more in-depth instructions, visit Google AdWords Support – below are some basic instructions:

1. Log into your AdWords account
2. Go to “Campaigns”
3. Select “+Campaign”
4. Select “Video”
5. Name your campaign
6. Set your campaign to “Standard”
7. Select “Bumper Ads”
8. Set Budget to “Bidding”
9. Set Target location and language
10. Create Ad Name and add your video.

You can also set your video to run for a certain duration of time – just make sure to select the start and end date for your campaign.

Due to their short length, bumper ads are an effective type of ad for digestible, simple branding campaigns. Depending on the message of your ad and your goal, you may want to conduct additional research into the different types of YouTube ads to determine which is best for your campaign.