YouTube Advertising Opportunities & Best Practices

Lauren Owens - April 28, 2015

According to a recent Business Insider report, YouTube reaches more adults in the 18-34 demographic than any single cable network. This makes advertising on YouTube a great option for marketers trying to reach that demographic – especially those who are strapped for cash. In this post, we’ll discuss the opportunities for advertising on YouTube and offer tips for success.

 YouTube Advertising Opportunities

YouTube offers advertisers the opportunity to create three types of ads – “TrueView In-Stream ads, TrueView In-Display Ads, and In-Video banner ads that are run through the Google Display network.

  • TrueView In-Stream Ads are the ads most YouTube viewers are familiar with. These are the ads that play prior to a publisher’s content. Options for In-Stream Ads include 15-second, 20-second, 30-second and 60-second ads. While the 30- and 60-second ads are only for select advertisers, the 15- and 20-second ads are open to all advertisers and can be created through Google AdWords.
  • TrueView In-Display Ads appear as promoted content in the Suggested Videos section of YouTube. These ads can be longer than the standard 15- or 20-second “in-stream” ads, and are a great option for getting eyes on your brand’s video content.
  • In-Video Banner Ads run though the Google Display Network (GDN) and are great for marketers who would like to advertise on YouTube, but don’t want to invest in creating video content. Once clicked, these ads can either 1) open to a landing page 2) open to a video within the video player or 3) open to an interactive Flash ad within the video player.

Best Practices for Advertising on YouTube

As with advertising in any channel, you either win big on YouTube, or spend your budget on annoying would-be customers. To ensure a “win” we recommend the following:

  • In the case of video ads, it’s extremely important that your ads are professionally shot, narrowly focused, and well-branded. If you have a goal beyond branding, it’s important to include a call to action.
  • In the case of banner ads, your ads should be extremely clear, aesthetically pleasing, and include a call to action. Because your goal is to get users to click away from the content they’re viewing, your ad will have to be extremely compelling and well targeted in order to drive engagement.
  • In both cases, it’s extremely important that you fine-tune your ad targeting. YouTube enables marketers to target by content, geography, demographic or interest. We suggest running tests in order to ensure you hit upon the optimal ad targeting specifications, before devoting a large part of your budget to YouTube advertising.
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