The Quick Guide to YouTube Ad Types

October 29, 2019

YouTube ads are quickly gaining popularity as a leading advertising platform across the entire consumer decision journey.

With a low cost per click and a user base of 1.9 billion per month, YouTube presents a unique opportunity for businesses willing to experiment with video content. With the right targeting and interesting content, marketers can quickly inform new audiences about the brand and set themselves apart from the competition.

Below is a quick overview of the latest YouTube ad types and how they can foster valuable brand interactions that influence final goal completion.

TrueView In-Stream Ads

This ad type is most common on YouTube. These are skippable ads and appear at the beginning of  each video.

In-Stream ads can be played for 30 seconds or longer and prompt an action from the viewer. Since TrueView ads can be skipped after five seconds at no cost, TrueView in-Stream ads are a popular, cost-effective way for advertisers to showcase a product or service.

These ads reach a wide, relevant audience as YouTube takes Google search history into account when matching relevant content to each identified user.

TrueView for Action

This new format allows advertisers to target for performance by driving leads and conversions with calls-to-action that overlay the video ads.

Utilizing a TrueView for Action campaign allows customers to sign up for a product or service and share contact information. While most YouTube ad types are more top of funnel, this option allows advertisers to reach buyers ready to make a purchase.

TrueView Discovery Ads

YouTube TrueView Discovery ads appear in places where users discover content on YouTube, including the search results page, related videos on the watch page and the YouTube homepage.

These are the recommended videos that appear on the homepage or as recommended videos on the search page. For example, if you have “how-to” content, this would be excellent content to use for building brand awareness. It can introduce your brand to users at the exact time they’re looking.

TrueView for Reach

This new type of advertising allows brands to quickly reach a wide audience. Through a CPM model, brands can utilize ads that are between six and 30 seconds long.

Advertisers looking to reach a broad audience should consider this ad format.

Non-Skippable Ads

The average viewer will probably find these as pretty annoying, but most accept non-skippable ads at the cost of enjoying YouTube. These ads are 20 seconds long and can appear either before or at the mid-point of a 10+ minute video.

Non-skippable ads are ideal for gaining a high impression volume over specific markets.

Bumper Ads

These are like non-skippable ads, but only last six seconds and only appear at the end of videos. Bumper ads are ideal for mobile users who likely have shorter attention spans than those watching video on desktop.

Targeting Options

Before considering the type of YouTube ad you want to run, it is vital to understand the types of audiences available for targeting. These include:

  • Demographic groups: Choose the age, gender, parental status or household income of the audience that you want to reach.
  • Interests: Pick from search history, affinity audiences or life events to build an audience that perfectly lines up with your buyer profile. This type of targeting allows you to get granular so you’re only targeting the most relevant audiences to your brand.
  • In-market audiences: Select from these audiences to find customers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer.

Through strategic ad placement on YouTube, you can effectively reach your target audience at a relatively low acquisition cost. Have you experimented with YouTube ads? Let us know in the comments below.


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