In the current digital environment, one type of content has clearly taken over from all others: videos.
Video content is very powerful. More and more research is highlighting how much people love to watch videos on a daily basis.
In this sense, one only has to think of the explosion had by a social such as TikTok based entirely on user videos and the trend of the behemoth Meta pushing more and more video on Facebook and Instagram.
Emblematic is the case of Instagram, which began as a social media focused on photos but in the last period has made its intention rather blatant in changing its strategy by focusing on videos and creating quite a bit of controversy among the platform’s main creators.
Among the different platforms, there is a rather well-known one that has made video its main business model since 2005: Youtube.
Youtube has a special feature: it is a kind of hybrid between a search engine (second most used after Google, owner of Youtube itself, by the way) and a social network. In fact, users in platform can interact with other users in different ways and share video content (social network) and at the same time search for solutions or answers to their questions, doubts or curiosities (search engine).
According to recent research (July 2022), Youtube has 2.5 billion users worldwide, including 1.7 billion active users on the platform. There are over 40 million active users in Italy. Quite a large audience, of which 42% are between the ages of 19 and 44. Even from a business perspective, more than 60 percent of businesses say (Buffer research 2019) that they use Youtube as a channel to publish video content.
That being said and considering the main topic of this blog related to online advertising, it becomes central to delve into the topic related to YouTube ads and focus on the features and tips of an effective video campaign.
Youtube Ads: Types and Features of a Video Campaign
Because Youtube has long been a platform belonging to the Google ecosystem, in order to create a video campaign, it is necessary to have an account on the Google Ad s platform and from there proceed to create a Youtube ad.
Google provides advertisers with different types of video ads on Youtube, depending on the needs and goals of advertisers.
Specifically, we read from official Google channels, that the different formats offered meet different goals of the company: awareness (awareness), consideration (consideration) and action/conversion (action). Let us see together what they are, considering them in relation to these three goals.
1) Bumper ads:
These are non-ignored video ads lasting only six seconds that incentivize increased coverage, frequency and brand awareness. They are purchased on a cost per thousand target impressions (CPM) basis and are designed especially for mobile devices.
2) TrueView for Reach:
These are ignorable video ads focused onawareness and coverage optimization (i.e., the number of users reached). As with bumpers, Trueview For Reach ads are purchased based on the target CPM. Recall that impressions are defined as ad views (1000 impressions = 1000 views).
3) In-stream announcements that cannot be ignored:
These are video ads lasting 15 seconds or less (or 20 seconds in some markets) that theuser is obliged to watch in their entirety (not ignorable, in fact). They are very similar in a way to TV ads, and their billing is based on target CPMs.
4) Masthead ads:
These are video ads that achieve massive coverage on both mobile and desktop as they are placed on the YouTube home page and home page feed, in an intermittent frame.
They are ideal for advertisers who want to promote awareness when launching a new product or brand and reach a huge audience in a short time frame. They can be purchased on a target CPM basis or even on a cost per day (CPD) basis. The former solution allows the advertiser to avail himself of audience options, the latter does not but provides broader coverage.
5) OutStream ads:
These are video ads that are published outside the YouTube platform and only on Google’s video partner sites. Through such ads, Google takes an existing video provided by the advertiser and autonomously adapts it to the different formats required by different websites so as to maximize coverage, especially on apps and mobile devices.
1) TrueView in-Stream:
These are ignorable video ads based on user views of the ad. In fact, costs are only charged if the user
(a) watch the ad for at least 30 seconds or if he watches the whole ad if it lasts less than 30 seconds or if he
b) performs an action from the video ad (e.g. performs a click that takes him to the advertiser’s landing page or downloads the app). This is referred to in technical jargon as CPV (Cost per View).
Ads are also available for those who choose the Maximize Augmentation bidding strategy. TrueView in-Stream ads are ideal for reaching consumers by keeping their attention active, ensuring audience impact, and achieving high-yield results.
2) TrueView Discovery:
These are ignorable video ads that are sponsored on the home page feed, display page, and in Youtube search results . It allows you to reach your target audience at times when they are watching or searching for content on the platform.
As with its predecessors, Discovery is also purchased on the basis of views (CPV). Unlike In-Stream, Discovery has a slightly different logic: users in fact have to click on the ad to watch it instead of having the option to ignore it after 5 seconds of viewing (In-Stream).
1) TrueView for Action:
These are ignorable video ads that aim to incentivize the user to take key actions (conversions) within the advertiser’s website (purchase a product/service or acquire a lead).
They are based on a smart CPA target (Cost Per Purchase) or Maximize Conversions bidding strategy that optimizes ad placement for those users most likely to take the required conversion action. You can also insert a call to action (buy now, discover now etc.) that appears throughout the video and incentivizes the user to take the desired action.
Some Tips for Your Youtube Video Campaign
Having defined the types of video ads that can be implemented on Youtube, let’s look together at some practical tips that can make a difference in the results of your campaigns.
1) Make your brand logo and name visible throughout the duration of the advertised video:
As we have seen, most types of videos are optimized for the brand awareness and consideration phase. For this reason, making the distinctive signs (logo, name etc.) of your brand highly visible is essential for users to remember your offer and your solution to them any problems .
Remember that Youtube’s target audience is part of the latent demand category since by the time our ad intercepts them, they are looking for content to entertain them and not our offer.
For this reason, we do not rule out the possibility that they might search on our brand at a later time, but only if the first ad that intercepted them had all the elements that would allow the user to later remember the brand in question.
2) Test several Hooks in the opening seconds of the video.
Since in a YouTube video ad the first 5-6 seconds are critical (unless the ads are non-ignoreable), it becomes of absolute importance to test different initial sequences and identify the pattern that prompts the user to watch the entire video and take a relevant action.
3) Separate different types of ads into different campaigns
To get a clearer view of the results of video ads on Youtube, it becomes necessary to segment campaigns according to the type of ads chosen. For example: non-ignoreable ads are different from the ”family” of TrueView (ignoreable) ads or again TrueView Discovery ads, as seen, have a different format than TrueView In-Stream ads. These differences are significant and should therefore be considered when analyzing the performance of various ads.
4) Take advantage of Youtube’s targeting options.
Google provides different types of targeting for the Youtube network. Based on the advertiser’s offer, relevant audience segments can be identified and video ads can be shown to them in a way that increases the relevance of the ad.
Example: we run a women’s fashion e-commerce, we can choose as our target audience only women who have an interest in fashion or have been looking for clothing products in a recent period.
5) Think strategically
This is probably the most important advice. A good advertiser must define an advertising strategy from the tools at hand, often thinking outside the box as well. As such, in the context of Youtube, it must then insert (at times when it sees fit) this channel within the advertising funnel in a manner consistent with the overall goals to be achieved.
Thus, considering the relevance that video content has assumed in the digital world and considering the popularity of Youtube, it often becomes useful for small or large brands to create video campaigns to achieve awareness and/or conversion goals.
While creating a video nowadays does not necessarily require expensive equipment and experienced video-makers, it is strongly advisable to still create quality video content, which definitely requires more effort than other formats.
By then choosing the ideal Youtube ad format according to our goals, positive results can be achieved.
If you are a small or large business that wants to leverage Youtube or Google Ads to achieve certain sales or lead generation goals, know that we at WebGas run daily Google and Youtube campaigns for different types of business (e-commerce, lead generation, local business etc.).
If you would like to explore a future and possible collaboration with us, please contact us here.