Digital Marketing 101: What You Need to Know About YouTube Ads

Digital Marketing 101: What You Need to Know About YouTube Ads

As a Digital Marketer, you’re equipped with multiple platforms to advertise your business on. Each platform offers a variety of unique value propositions to help your business build sales through either increased brand exposure or conversion-driven campaigns.

YouTube Ads provide businesses the potential to reach potential customers and have them take action when they watch or search for videos. As the advertiser, you only pay when a user shows interest and interacts with your ad.

Your business should utilize YouTube Ads to connect with people who are interested in what you have to offer. People come to YouTube for the content they love. This ranges from sports fanatics to coffee enthusiasts and everyone that falls in between. Which demonstrates the power of advertising on YouTube and the audience you can reach with creative and effective video advertising.

If your company is looking at new marketing platforms to help grow business, YouTube serves as an excellent platform to help achieve your goals.

So let’s get started, and answer a few of the questions you may have with regards to what exactly YouTube Ads are, what options are available, and how exactly they will benefit your company.

What are YouTube Ads?

YouTube ads are video promotions that appear on the YouTube website and app, along with partner sites that belong to the Google Display Network (GDN).

These campaigns are built by first uploading the video ads to a YouTube account, and then creating a video campaign through your Google Ads account. Once your video campaigns are set up, you will be presented with several options that range from ad formats, budgets, bidding strategies, audience targeting, etc.

For more steps on how to set up YouTube Ads, please click here.

Format of YouTube Ads

It makes sense on a platform such as YouTube, where creative individuals upload a variety of unique videos on a daily basis, that advertisers also have a range of creative options.

YouTube offers plenty of different placement and content options for advertisers to promote their businesses on their platform. Let’s get into them.

1. True View Ads:


TrueView ads are the most popular ad format that exists on YouTube’s marketing platform. The main advantage with TrueView ads is that advertisers only pay when users watch for at least 30 seconds, watch an entire short video, or interact with an ad in any way, such as clicking on a CTA.

TrueView Ads range anywhere from 12 seconds to 6 minutes. Advertisers have the option to use TrueView ads in two different formats: in-stream ads and discovery ads.

a) In-stream Ads

These ads play before or during a video (“pre-roll” or “mid-roll”). Viewers can choose to skip these ads after the first 5 seconds.

See the image below of an example of TrueView In-stream Ads in action:


It’s easy to identify the value of in-stream ads, as you can see the real estate that it takes on a potential customer's YouTube interface.

Advertisers are provided the benefit of advertising a unique CTA directly on the specific video they are watching, along with on the companion banner ad that’s displayed in the right-hand sidebar above the suggested videos list.

b) Discovery Ads

In-stream Ads can be identified as something similar to a TV commercial, whereas discovery ads are more similar to what would appear on Google’s SERP (Search Engine Result Page).TrueView Discovery ads appear in a more organic fashion within the Youtube search results and in the right-hand sidebar above the suggested videos list.

The ads consist of an image thumbnail and up to three lines of text. If a viewer is interested and clicks the discovery ad, they’re sent through to your video page or YouTube channel. Then only are you, the advertiser, charged.


2. Non-skippable instream ads

Not much of an explanation is needed here. The ads are exactly what the title implies: “non-skippable.” They are similar to TrueView instream ads in which advertisements can be placed either pre-roll or mid-roll, but the only difference is users can’t skip this type of video ad.

In addition, non-skippable ads have length restrictions of 15 to 20 seconds.

With TrueView ads, advertisers only pay when viewers decide to interact with the advertisement. Non-skippable instream ads are charged on CPM (cost-per-mille/cost-per-thousand views) pricing model.

However, non-skippable ads can benefit companies looking to increase brand exposure and attract viewers considered to be at the top of the funnel (awareness) stage in their marketing journey.


3. Bumper Ads

This ad format available to marketers advertising on YouTube is the same as non-skippable instream ads, but is only 6 seconds long. So, viewers cannot skip these ads, and advertisers are once again charged by CPM (cost-per-mile).

With only 6 seconds, your priority objective for these campaigns should brand awareness and reach.


4. Overlay Ad:

These ads are fairly straight forward. Essentially, they are either text-based or 480x70 image ad banners that are displayed at the bottom of any YouTube video being watched.


Viewers are given the options to either click the “X” present on the Overlay ad, or to click the CTA (call-to-action) that will redirect them to a website or landing page, similar to a Facebook or Google Ad.

Some benefits to using overlay ads:

  • They are non-disruptive, as they do not interfere with viewers’ watchtime; this also improves user experience
  • They help increase reach and brand awareness
  • They make unique audience targeting possible

5. Display Ads

Display ads are similar to the display ads you see through the GDN (Google Display Network) when they are set up using Google Ads.

Display Ads provide marketers the option for either a 300x250 or 300x60 image ad that contains an image, text, CTA, and link to either a website or landing page.


These ads can be found in the right-hand sidebar above the suggested videos list. They are set up, priced, and have similar benefits to that of Overlay ads (as explained earlier).

Audience Targeting with YouTube

Marketers are presented with detailed targeting audience options when advertising with YouTube Ads.

In order to prevent ad spend where your video would be displayed to the wrong audience at the wrong time, it’s important to use data on hand to understand your ideal customer. Once you have a buyer persona, this can help build your target audience for YouTube Ads.

To begin building an effective target audience to drive a healthy ROI, marketers must select the following:

Demographics: The demographics here are your basics, and include gender, age group, life status (student, parents, homeowners, etc) and household income.


Interests: This is similar to Facebook but not as detailed, as you can narrow your audience down to their interests, hobbies, what they are researching, and of course a remarketing list, which includes how they interact with any of your online assets.


Keywords: You can create an audience list based on the user’s input on Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page), or narrow down your existing audience list with additional keywords that your ideal buyer may be searching for.


Benefits of YouTube Ads

Since YouTube is part of Google, it’s clear that advertisers will benefit from the extensive data the search engine behemoth has to offer from the billions of search queries that are conducted on it daily.

Moreover, not only do you benefit from Google’s accessible targeting data, YouTube’s audience reach is enormous, and is only growing! With roughly 2 billion users, 18 - 49 year old’s on YouTube mobile create more traffic than any TV network in the United States.

Acting as an extension of Google Ads, you not only benefit from extensive data, reporting, and reach, YouTube Ads also work in conjunction with your Google Ads to improve performance. Take advantage of remarketing, which means that users that land on your website or landing page from Google Ads can be implemented into your audience list on your YouTube campaigns.

If search ads and video ads are both active, you should see increased performance in which both campaigns complement each other.



YouTube Ads are a wonderful platform for advertisers to showcase their businesses to the world.

With the flexibility of different pricing models, video ad formats, and targeting options, it’s no secret that YouTube Ads will help your business grow by providing an immediate return in increased conversions, reach, and brand awareness.
Standout to your customers by advertising your business in a way that is strategic, creative and driven by data. Begin your journey to reach your customer on YouTube by contacting TechWyse today!


It's a competitive market. Contact us to learn how you can stand out from the crowd.

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