Part 1 of this post dealt with deciding which ad format would work best for your needs. In this final part, we’ll look at the different formats in more detail.
There are no less than seven different YouTube advertising formats plus a custom solutions options delivered by Google. While it’s possible to set up YouTube ads from your AdWords interface quickly and easily, the sheer volume of choice makes a closer look worthwhile. Standard text ads are often chosen because they are the most familiar and take the least time to set up, but branching out and trying just one new format from the half dozen or so available is a way to provoke a different reaction from your audience.
Whether you’ve been running YouTube ads for a while or are just about to click on the default text ad for the first time, take a few moments beforehand to consider these alternatives. Pushing outside of your comfort zone and exploring these equally powerful options can open your brand to a whole new audience of users. For example, those who breeze over text ads or are desensitized to them will need to be wowed a little more before bestowing their attention on a product or service that is new to them. A video channel or an in-video ad may reach them while the tried-and-trusted text ad won’t.
You no longer have to be a billionaire broadcaster to start your own network. You can create your own dedicated YouTube channel for free and post all your content in one place. The channel is entirely your own and can be branded with your company logo, customized background and other elements. When you have created your first video and posted it to the channel, it functions as your advertisement by being visible for viewers to find, share and embed. Users can add a comment, add the video to their playlist and subscribe so they see other new videos as you add them.
TrueView ads are financed in a similar way to Google’s traditional pay-per-click ads in that you only pay when a user actually chooses to watch your video. There are also strong echoes of PPC in the payment process – as an advertiser you place a bid, choosing exactly how much you want to pay for each view. There are four different display options for TrueView:
- In-stream ads, which are TV-style advertisements that play before the video clip the user wants to watch. The viewer can skip the ad after five seconds, but advertisers pay only if the video is watched for 30 seconds or more or to the end of the ad itself in the event it is less than 30 seconds in duration.
- In-slate ads are displayed in conjunction with YouTube partner videos of ten minutes or longer. The viewer can view the whole ad before unlocking the desired video content or can opt to have their viewing experience broken up with ad breaks, as on traditional TV.
- In-search ads appear — as the name suggests — on the search results pages of YouTube and are charged for only when a user clicks to play the video.
- In-display ads run at the side of other videos and on other sites in the network.
Pre-roll ads function in exactly the same way as traditional TV ads. The advert is played as a commercial break, with the ad rolling either before a video or during the video as an ad break segment. Adverts uploaded as pre-roll must be either 15 seconds or 30 seconds in duration. For longer ad break-style advertisements, the TrueView option must be used.
Possibly one of the most intriguing of the YouTube ad formats, mobile advertisements deliver video to tablets and smartphones – all of which record more than 400 million views each day. As a mobile advertiser, you can choose to create your own mobile-specific channel, opt for pre-roll ads to be shown before someone watches a video on a mobile device, or purchase a mobile roadblock for 100% share on all mobile browser and search pages as well as the m.youtube.com home page. To double up, this can be coupled with a roadblock on the regular homepage.
5. Homepage Ads
If you have the budget for it, you can advertise on the YouTube home page, arguably one of the busiest intersections on the whole of the information superhighway. Designed as a digital stage, a homepage roadblock gives exclusivity for 24 hours. Ads can include interactive rich media and social media links for better audience engagement.
So there you have it. YouTube offers a lot of different options for ad placement and given its enormous audience and engagement with that audience, it can be an incredibly powerful part of your advertising plans. As always, however, you need to assess your target market to make sure that any budget you allocate toward YouTube advertising is going to pay off.