After Google, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. It would therefore be naive to think that advertising on the platform would not be worthwhile. The various YouTube ad formats are a great way to create brand awareness and increase it.

Plus, YouTube Ads let you pick up your customers right where they’re looking. This is because the platform is not only a social media platform, but is now also in demand as a search engine. Furthermore, the platform offers a wide variety of formats for ads, which are differently suited for different marketing goals. In a fully comprehensive marketing strategy, you simply can’t avoid YouTube Ads anymore, too many users interact with the platform for that by now. We explain what matters for successful YouTube Ads.

Create the perfect content for your YouTube Ads

Before you can run YouTube Ads on the platform, you first need to create the right content for it. Before your ads are placed, you should think carefully about which ad formats you want to serve and exactly who and what you want to reach with your advertising. We will explain which ad formats are available to you in the next section. Accordingly, you should create a mature content plan for your YouTube Ads. This should be part of their overall content plan and fit your target audience and company values.

With YouTube Ads, you can either increase brand or product purchase intent, or increase brand awareness and reach. The most important thing is to keep users’ attention for the duration of the ad. Additionally, you should prompt users to perform an action. For example, visiting your website, taking a closer look at a product, or signing up for something. The following three content types can grab users’ attention depending on your company values and your target audience’s inclinations:

  • Inspirational content: Inspire your target group with emotional and comprehensible stories
  • Informative content: share useful and valuable information with your target audience
  • Entertaining content: surprise your audience, make them laugh or share sensational content

Once you’ve decided on a type of content to interact with your target audience, you need to think about how you’ll produce it. You also have three options for this. On the one hand, you can produce the content of your YouTube Ads completely by yourself, on the other hand, you can also produce your content in collaboration. Lastly, existing content can also serve as content. Once you have created the content for your YouTube Ads, you still need to make sure that your ads are served properly.

Five guiding principles for YouTube Ads content

  1. Know what problem you are solving!
  2. Know who you want to reach with your ads!
  3. Know your brand on YouTube!
  4. Know your competitors!
  5. Know what success looks like for YouTube Ads!

The ad formats for YouTube Ads

YouTube provides advertisers with three basic ad formats. Firstly, non-skippable in-stream ads, TrueView ads (e.g. YouTube Discovery Ads) and display ads. Each advertising format can be used for different marketing goals.

Non-skippable YouTube In-Stream Ads

Non-skippable YouTube Ad formats can be up to 15 seconds long, and 20 seconds in select regions, including Europe. Many advertisers choose to run a non-skippable ad. Since the majority of users skip the ads when the option is available.

The non-skippable ads are played before, in the middle and after the actual video. Which is why this type of ad is very unpopular among users. Nevertheless, these ads can also contribute to more brand awareness. However, for this to happen, your promotional video needs to hold viewers’ attention for up to 15 or 20 seconds.

Moreover, with the longer commercials, you can also spread your entire marketing message and not just a snippet. Moreover, these ads are also aired on all devices, so you can reach users anytime and anywhere and increase your brand awareness. Billing is by CPM, price-per-1000-impressions.

YouTube Bumper Ads

YouTube Bumper Ads are also one of the non-skippable in-stream ads. They are switched before, during or after playing a video. YouTube Bumper Ads can have a maximum length of up to six seconds. Since this type of ad is extremely short and cannot be skipped by users, it is particularly suitable for increasing your brand awareness or achieving high reach.

YouTube Bumper Ads are played on all devices on which the platform is available. That is, with such an ad you will reach users from mobile devices, computers, game consoles and TVs. Due to the shortened advertising time, you should use it effectively. This YouTube Ads format is billed by CPM, or price-per-1000-impressions.

Tips for a successful Bumper Ad:

  • Present your product or service as concisely and precisely as possible
  • Create emotions and grab users’ attention with your promotional video
  • Draw attention to additional content that users can reach by clicking on the video

You can find more tips on how to effectively design your YouTube Ad formats directly at Google and in the YouTube Help.

Skippable YouTube In-Stream Ads & TrueView Ads

The skippable ads on the platform can be skipped by the user after five seconds. They are also played out on all end devices available for the platform. This allows them to reach all users. The skippable YouTube Ads format is played before, in the middle of and after videos. There is no time limit for all TrueView ads. However, the optimum length for this is 12 to 15 seconds.

You pay for the ad only if the user watches or interacts with your ad for at least 30 seconds. If the user skips their ads, they don’t have to pay anything. YouTube’s TrueView payment method only allows advertisers to pay for the display if the user actually interacts with it. The platform provides you with various TrueView YouTube Ad formats for different marketing goals.

YouTube Discovery Ads

The YouTube Discovery Ads are part of the TrueView ads and are displayed above the organic search results, just like the ads in Google search. If your video now seems more relevant to the search query, it will be displayed as a Discovery Ad. This YouTube Ads format is also a TrueView ad, as users have to actively opt-in to your video.

The Discovery Ads format contains three lines of text and a preview image. Furthermore, Discovery Ads will also be played on apps, games and videos on the Google display network. However, this type of display can sometimes go down. Especially if your video does not fit the user’s search query perfectly.

Display indicators

In addition to the various Video YouTube Ad formats, the platform also offers ads in the form of overlay banners over videos or image ads on the right side. However, overlay ads can only be played on computers. In addition, these display ads are also delivered on the advertising partners of the Google Display Network.

This YouTube Ads format is played whenever the content of the video matches the theme of your ad. For example, if you sell cosmetics, your display ad will be shown when the video is about facial care or make-up. You can determine the topics yourself and also exclude content where your ad should or should not be shown.

YouTube Ads formats at a glance

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The right YouTube Ads format for your marketing strategy

Even when creating your promotional video, you should be aware of your marketing goals. Do you want to generate leads with your YouTube Ad? Or do you want to make your brand better known and achieve reach?

Video YouTube Ad formats can always achieve your individual marketing goal. Bumper ads, for example, are predestined to achieve large reach and increase brand awareness. Brands like Duracell and Schwarzkopf have already benefited from this YouTube Ads format.

YouTube Discovery Ads, on the other hand, are optimal for driving purchase intent and increasing interest in your business. With display ads, on the other hand, you can increase user interaction. However, the most important thing is that no matter which YouTube Ads format you choose, your ads should always be high quality, meet your marketing goal and always pick up users.

Place YouTube Ads

In order to be able to place your produced YouTube Ads, you as a company need a YouTube channel on which your advertising videos must first be uploaded. Now that your ads are uploaded, you can run your YouTube Ads through your Google Ads account.

First of all, you need to define the campaign type and the campaign target of your ad. To start running your YouTube Ads, the first thing you need to do is create a new campaign in your Google Ads account. To do this, click on the + and on Create new campaign. You will then see a selection of campaign targets to choose from. Video ads are available at just about all destinations for your ad. You can choose from the following destinations:

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Website traffic
  • Product and brand purchase readiness
  • Brand awareness
  • App advertising
  • Campaign without target project

In the next step, you can name your campaign and set your preferred YouTube Ads format. We have already explained the different ad formats in more detail. After you have chosen the appropriate format for your ad, you will then need to set the budget for your advertising campaign. The budget can be set by you on a daily basis or on a campaign basis. Furthermore, the delivery method of your YouTube Ads can be selected. By default, your ads are delivered evenly throughout the day.

Instead of having your ads delivered throughout the day, you can also select expedited delivery. Then the playback of your YouTube ads will be increased as soon as possible. This is especially interesting if you are spreading news or serving a trend with your video ad.

After you determine budget and delivery type, you can specify whether your YouTube Ads should be broadcast during videos or in YouTube Search. Under Location you specify where and in which regions your ad should be placed. You can also exclude certain locations. In addition, you can also specify for which operating systems, device models, and mobile networks your ads are delivered.

In the section of the start time, end time and advertising time you set the duration of your campaign and you can even determine at what times of the day it will be delivered. Under Video Ad Design, you can name the ad group, add the link to your YouTube Ads ad, and choose either the In-Stream format or Discovery Ads format. If you choose the Discovery YouTube Ad, you still need to add a title and a small description to your ad.

Under Bids you determine how much you want to pay per ad delivery. This is followed by the Targeting section. Here you define your target group according to interests and buying behavior. In advanced targeting, you can also define additional keywords and topics for your ad. In addition, you can also set here to retarget users who have already come into contact with your brand. So you can also do efficient remarketing.

Last but not least, you can click Finish and your YouTube Ads campaign is successfully launched. However, this requires that your Google Ads account is already linked to your YouTube channel.

YouTube Ads strategy for successful video ads

Set key figures & targets

In order to run successful YouTube Ads, you should consider a few things and properly prepare and optimize your YouTube Ads campaign. To do this, you should first define your metrics and goals. In your Google Ads account, under the Reports tab, you can find all the metrics related to your video ads you’ve served.

The views show you how many users have seen an ad from you and for how long. Under earned likes, shares and views you can see how well your YouTube ad is received by your target audience. The view rate, i.e. how many users have viewed your ad in full, also tells you how well your campaign is being received. Conversions show you if your YouTube Ads campaign is also leading to leads.

Use these metrics to set specific goals that match your campaign objectives. You should note that not all metrics are equally suitable for all campaign goals. Keep an eye on these metrics and optimize your campaigns and make adjustments as necessary.

Use info cards

In YouTube videos, a small “i” can be inserted in the top right corner to add even more information about your video. You can also time the appearance of the info card so that it is only displayed when users actually interact with your YouTube Ads. Link to promoted products, to another URL, or to another video to generate even more leads and traffic.

Use call-to-actions

When you run YouTube Ads, you can create call-to-action overlays that link to a URL. Link to a landing page, info page, product page, or to any other page. This way you can give the user even more input about your brand.

Customize your target audience

To avoid showing your YouTube Ads only to users who already interact a lot with your brand, you should adjust your target audience. You should do this especially if you have set up your campaign for a longer period of time. In this case, you should create a new audience in your Google Ads account and determine not to spend budget on users who regularly watch your videos. This is also called negative remarketing.

To do this, you should create the new target group under the Remarketing tab in your Google Ads account. Then users who have ever interacted with your channel or watched your promotional videos will be excluded.

Customize your target audience

To avoid showing your YouTube Ads only to users who already interact a lot with your brand, you should adjust your target audience. You should do this especially if you have set up your campaign for a longer period of time. In this case, you should create a new audience in your Google Ads account and determine not to spend budget on users who regularly watch your videos. This is also called negative remarketing.

To do this, you should create the new target group under the Remarketing tab in your Google Ads account. Then, users who have ever interacted with your channel or watched your promotional videos will be excluded.

Conclusion about YouTube Ads

If you want to run successful YouTube Ads, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Therefore, you should set up a detailed plan for your YouTube Ads campaigns in advance, which should be part of your overall marketing strategy. What you should definitely pay attention to, so that your campaigns also fulfill your set goals:

  • Create a content plan to showcase the best content
  • Choose ad formats that fit your marketing goals
  • Set your target audience and metrics according to your campaign goals
  • Make adjustments to your YouTube Ads campaigns
  • Use the full design possibilities of the ads
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