YouTube currently has 1.9 billion users and counting. That’s more than half all Internet users in the world! And if you give YouTube advertising a shot, you can potentially reach out to millions of potential customers in your target demographics. Your audience will appreciate it, too—68% of consumers prefer learning about new products or services via video. Exciting, right?
Want to make the most of these trends and give your brand a signal boost? Here’s an essential YouTube advertising guide to help you figure out the basics! Read up on the types of YouTube ads, dimensions for each type, and important metrics for measuring your ads’ success.
Your Essential Guide to YouTube Advertising
While YouTube advertising is relatively simple, it’s not a mere matter of producing a single video ad and then letting it go live. For one, did you know that there are actually 3 different types of video ads you can create on YouTube? Aside from that, there are also 3 kinds of non-video ads to round out your advertising strategy. Take note these different types of ads and their specifications as listed below!
3 Basic Types of Video Advertisements on YouTube
1. TrueView Ads
These are the skippable ads that appear at the beginning of YouTube videos. They can roll for a maximum of 30 seconds, which lends them versatility. Use them to introduce your brand, showcase your hero product, or put up a short how-to.
TrueView ads are also cost-effective for reaching the right audience. Uninterested viewers will generally take the “Skip in 5 seconds” route. Meanwhile, you only pay when a TrueView ad has either:
- played for at least 30 seconds or until the end, or
- prompted the viewer to act (e.g. click)
This means that you’ll mostly be spending only on genuinely interested viewers!
There are three further types of TrueView videos, which can appear on other publisher sites:
a. TrueView In-Stream. These ads play in the middle of YouTube videos. However, you might also see them in apps, games, and other places throughout Google’s Display Network. They run for 3 minutes max, though 30 seconds is all you need, really. When they start playing, a matching display ad appears on the right side to lead viewers directly to your site.
b. TrueView Discovery. These ads show up as recommended videos on the YouTube homepage or on the search page. They have no running time limit. Headlines can be up to 25 characters long, while copy maxes out at 2 lines with 35 words each.
c. TrueView for Reach. These shorter ads can be 6 to 30 seconds long. Your payment for these ads goes by CPM (cost per mille or per 1,000 views). This is handy for reaching a wide audience in a short amount of time.
TIP: Include a clear call to action at the start of the video! This can be either in the video itself or in overlay ads and sponsored cards (under Non-Video Ad Formats).
2. Non-Skippable Ads
These ads could formerly run for 30 seconds, but the max length of non-skippable ads now sits at 20. The key advantage of this cut is that viewers will have more patience for your ad. You’ll just have to squeeze everything you want to say into less time. There are two types of non-skippable YouTube ads:
- Pre-roll ads which play before the start of a video
- Mid-roll ads which appear halfway through 10 minute-or-longer videos
Want your non-skippable ads to be truly effective? Be sure to put up a highly focused video that puts your product’s value front and center. It should also deliver your message audibly so that the viewer can hear your ad even if they’re not looking at it.
3. Bumper Ads
Bumper ads are also non-skippable, but viewers can tolerate them more because they’re short and placed at the end of a video. A maximum length of 6 seconds makes bumper ads useful for targeting mobile users.
Video Ad Requirements
It can be frustrating to find out that your newest video advertisement doesn’t match the specs required by YouTube. To prevent that from happening, take note of the following requirements (applicable to all three types of video ads):
- Video Codec: H.264, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4
- Audio Codec: AAC or MP3
- 640×360 for 19:9 aspect ratio
- 480×360 for 4:3 aspect ratio
- Frame Rate: 30 frames per second
- File Size: maximum of 1 GB
Tips for Creating Eye-Catching Video Advertisements on YouTube
One way to catch viewers’ attention is to ensure that your video is actually enjoyable to watch. Here are some tips for this:
- Maximize Your First 5 Seconds. Win viewers over in the first 5-8 seconds, and they’ll be more likely to continue watching instead of skipping your ad.
- Look and Sound Familiar. Your ad should capture the spirit of your industry, from the language to the cinematography. Even your ad’s thumbnail should reflect this! This helps you get more attention from your target market.
- Focus on One Key Point. Otherwise, you might end up confusing or overwhelming your viewer.
- Tell a Story. A relatable and relevant story can easily hook your audience. Just be sure to keep it within the applicable time constraints!
3 Kinds of Non-Video Advertisement Formats for YouTube
You can complement your video advertisements with the right kinds of non-video ads. Take a look at these 3 types, all of which you might have already encountered on YouTube.
1. Overlay Ads
See those little banner ads that run along the bottom of a video? These are overlay ads, which can either feature simple text or graphics.
Display ads appear in the space above the suggested videos. They can accompany in-stream ads, serving as direct links to your site.
TIP: Maximize display ads’ reach by managing them on Google Ads. From there, you can tap the Display Network for your ads to appear even in games, apps, and Gmail!
These clickable little pop-ups appear within the YouTube player. Bearing CTAs for viewers to act upon, cards can easily make your video a bit more interactive. They’re also unobtrusive, as they expand only when clicked.
Want to add cards to your YouTube video? Here’s how:
- Enter the Creator Studio on your YouTube channel.
- Enter the Video Manager. Choose the video where you want to add your card.
- Click Edit > Cards > Add Card.
- Choose between two types of cards:
- Video or Playlist to promote videos on your channel
- Link to send the viewer to a sales page with a sponsored card.
- Position the new card in your video and specify when it appears.
Non-Video Ad Requirements
Yes, even non-video ads have their specifications! Keep these in mind to be sure that your YouTube advertisements display properly.
Overlay ads require one image which will appear in the lower 1/5th of the screen. Animated images should have loops below 10 seconds in length.
- Dimensions: 480 px by 70 px
- Ad image type: PNG, JPG, GIF (static or animated)
- Ad image size: 150 KB max
Animated display ads (like GIFs) must have animation loops of 30 seconds max. Also You can include animated GIFs in your display ads, but the animation loop must be 30 seconds or under. If an ad has a black or white background (even partially), you must also include a visible border highlighting the ad’s clickable area.
- Dimensions: 300 px by 250 px
- Ad image type: PNG, JPG, or GIF
- Ad image size: maximum of 150 KB
The best cards match a clear image with a convincing CTA. These little square-shaped YouTube advertisements can be animated, too!
- Dimensions: variable as long as they follow a 1:1 aspect ratio
- Ad image type: PNG, JPG, or GIF
- Ad image size: maximum of 2MB
NOTE: YouTube also has rules about the types of content they will and won’t allow in ads. For example, adult content and shocking content are both not allowed.
Important Metrics to Track Your YouTube Advertising Success
Now that your YouTube advertisements are up, how will you be able to check on their performance? After all, you want to be sure that you’re actually getting return on investment from these ads.
You can do this by linking your YouTube campaign to Google Ads. However, the dashboard can be a little confusing for first-timers. You might not know what you’re looking for at first.
To help you out, here are the key metrics you’ll be tracking:
- Impressions – people exposed to your video
- Views – people who watched at least 30s of your ad
- View rate – percentage of Impressions that became Views
- Cost-per-click (CPC) – your expenses per link click from the ad
- Cost-per-view (CPV) – your expenses per 30-second view
- Earned actions – new subscribers, site visitors, or video likes that resulted from the ad
Ready for your first YouTube advertising campaign? Bookmark this essential guide to have all these lists and specs at your fingertips! With a solid YouTube campaign built on the basics, you can earn viewers together with new customers in no time.
Need more help with your YouTube advertising efforts? Feel free to send us a message at Mustasa Republic. Our experts are ready to help you out from pre-production to post-production, all the way until your ad goes up on YouTube. Afterwards, we can even lend you a hand with your social media presence. Contact us to find out more!
Found this post helpful? Visit our blog regularly for more handy articles on video advertisements!