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The Three Types of Video Ads on YouTube (& What Content You Should Use for Each)

Jul 20, 2018

If you’re planning to produce a marketing video to top all marketing videos it’s important to consider, as early as possible in the process, where your video will be hosted. Different platforms require different approaches, different durations and will also have different objectives such as encouraging click throughs to a website, collecting leads, expanding brand awareness or in support of a larger marketing campaign.

This doesn’t mean that you should spend hefty sums to create unique videos for your website, social media, youtube or online commercials, instead you should work with a production company who understands that the concept they pitch to you must be flexible enough to be able to adapt to each of these avenues for release. A well made video that has a very clear objective and is right on brand can often be edited to fit most if not all niches within online distribution.

Today we are going to take a look at YouTube ads, and specifically the three types of ad placements available for purchase and what types of content suit each best.

1. TrueView Ads

These are your most common ad formats on Youtube. The advertiser pays when their video is viewed or when a viewer clicks a link. The “skippable” version of these ads are required by YouTube to be between 12 seconds and 6 minutes in length. The “non-skippable” version must be 15-20 seconds in length.

There are two main categories of TrueView Ads: The Video Discovery Ads and the In-Stream Ads. The Video Discovery ads appear on both the Watch Pages (if you’re watching a video, you’ll notice these in the “Up Next” column to the right of screen), and they can also appear as search results on the YouTube homepage.

The In-Stream Ads play before a video, and can also be Skippable or Non-Skippable. This format also allows you to add personalized Calls To Action and Text Links (over the video player).

Content Recommendations:

With the exception of R-rated material, and using licensed music or license-free music, YouTube does not enforce any restrictions regarding the content of TrueView Ads. The biggest mistake most people make when they purchase this ad space is to use product-driven content. Videos that feel more like commercials you might see on late night television. The problem with this is that viewers are being interrupted by your ad. The viewer wants to watch something specific and you are in the way and so you must earn their attention. You do this when instead of trying to sell them, you tell them a story. Grab their attention in the first 3 seconds by introducing a real human who they can relate to in some way. If the actor (or employee or customer) in your video is of a similar demographic to your audience then the viewer is immediately more interested. If this person also has similar problems or desires and have had them met by your product, even better!

But most importantly, lead with authentic story first!

2. Pre-Roll Ads

These differ as they cannot be skipped and are limited to 15-20 seconds. Pre-Roll Ads are played before, after or in the middle of a video (when a video is at least 10 minutes long).

Content Recommendations:

As viewers cannot choose to skip past your Pre-Roll Ad, you can focus less on engaging them with something familiar, funny or unique, and lean a little more towards a sales-focused message. These are ads are short and so delivering the highest priority information quickly and clearly is key; who you are, what you sell and why you’re different. These ads also work well with limited time offers, competitions and promotions, or click-through incentives.

This ad is all about getting the viewer to take action, and so the CTA (call to action messaging) must be en pointe.

3. Bumper Ads

These are the final and shortest ads available through YouTube, they are usually used to support a larger Ad or Marketing campaign. If you are marketing to a specific audience who have already interacted with your brand in someway (engaged with an ad on a different platform, visited your website, have friends who have recently wrote positive reviews, etc.), then these are a create way to make sure you stay within their subconscious. Bumper Ads have a maximum duration of 6 seconds and require laser-focused precision.

Content Recommendations:

What ONE piece of information do you want viewers to take away from this ad? Do you have a suburb and memorable tagline? A well-known spokesperson who can give a 6-sec cameo? A limited time offer with mere hours left on the countdown clock?

This format can be challenging, but with restrictions always comes the opportunity for out-of-the-box and creative solutions!

We hope that this article has helped you to make some decision regarding how you might plan to create content that can be adapted for use in one or more of the YouTube Ad formats, or how you can better utilize your existing video content to get better performance from your ad placements.

If you’d like some help in creating unique, bold marketing video for your company that is also highly flexible and designed to be adapted for multi-platform usage, then send us an email so we can have a chat, or check out our website for more about what services we offer and to view some of our award winning work. /

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Front Runner Films is a corporate video production company telling humorous and heartfelt stories helping bring products, companies and passion to light.

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