Youtube TrueView Ads

TrueView ads are the standard video ad type on YouTube. Advertisers only pay for TrueView ads when viewers watch or interact with their ad (for example, by clicking on a call-to-action), and videos can be easily customized to share a variety of content.

Advertisers only pay when a user watches the ad for at least 30 seconds or until the end of the video or if the viewer takes an action, such as clicking on a call-to-action. YouTube requires that skippable TrueView ads be between 12 seconds and 6 minutes in length, and that non-skippable TrueView ads be 15-20 seconds in length.

Video Discovery Ads (Previously Named In-Display Ads)

Video discovery YouTube ads show up on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and as related videos on YouTube video watch pages.

These ads appeared after performing a YouTube search:

This display ad appears as a related video on the right-hand video sidebar:

This display ad appears as a related video on the right-hand video sidebar:

What are YouTube TrueView ads?

In the decade since Google acquired YouTube, the democratized video platform has seen a significant evolution from the days of simple banner ads and “Charlie Bit My Finger” to the most recent incarnation of its TrueView platform. This evolution has coincided with the rapid expansion of the digital environment, now encompassing an immense selection of diverging tastes, interests, and concerns throughout an often fickle consumer base with ever-shortening attention spans.

TrueView has become an ad platform that gives viewers and advertisers alike choices that are tailored to their desired experience.

All available through the Google Ads platform, TrueView gives a marketing strategy the agility and flexibility needed to properly engage an audience. Between the in-stream and display models, advertisers can choose which format best fits their specific customer base. Since companies typically only pay for the ads when the audience engages with them in some capacity, TrueView also provides a cost-effective solution that inherently breeds enhanced ROI and likelihood of conversion.

Similarities and differences between TrueView

The TrueView platform is the most flexible choice in terms of creating a customized experience for the viewer. Still, the other YouTube ad formats, pre-roll ads, and pop-up ads, in particular, share a handful of qualities with TrueView.

All YouTube ad formats allow advertisers to focus their attention through variables like basic demographics, interests, subject matter, location, and language. By establishing a familiarity between the ad itself and the accompanying video, YouTube ads are especially effective at matching a message within a relevant context. That familiarity plays a significant role in engaging the viewer and drawing them further into the sales funnel. Pre-roll and pop-up ads are, like TrueView, also cost-effective as the advertiser only pays when a user clicks on a particular ad

It’s the differences between TrueView and the other YouTube ad formats within Google Ads, however, that truly distinguish it as a preferred choice for advertisers looking to optimize the overall customer experience. Between its three primary formats — in-stream ads and in-display ads including video discovery and bumper ads — TrueView gives advertisers a more immersive impression along with choice for the viewer.

For instance, in-stream ads give viewers the ability to skip the ad after five seconds. The underlying video ad can still be longer, giving it an opportunity to establish tone, voice and story, but the advertiser doesn’t pay unless the user clicks through after 30 seconds or the end of the video, whichever is shorter.

In short, in-stream TrueView ads are better equipped to enhance brand awareness and availability by leveraging the unique traits afforded by streaming video. This is true as evidenced by audience engagement and impact yields 2.8 times greater than YouTube pre-roll ads. In the case of TrueView display ads, their ability to match the content and tone of organic search results on the YouTube platform create a similar familiarity that naturally lends itself to greater CTRs.

In-Stream Ads

TrueView in-stream ads play before someone watches the video they’ve selected on YouTube. Viewers sometimes have the option to skip the ad after watching it for five seconds. You can also make them play anywhere in the Google Display Network (GDN) — or sites that purchased Google video ad space.

In-stream ads let marketers customize video ads with different CTAs and overlay text, as highlighted in the skippable in-stream ad example below from Grammarly.

Here’s what another skippable in-stream ad from Wix looks like. In this example, there’s another CTA from Wix on top of the right-hand video menu display:

What TrueView Videos Can Include

TrueView video campaigns can include people, dialogue, and music that was retrieved with permission — or is considered royalty-free. However, it’s best not to run a standard promotional commercial. Because these videos can be skipped, you need to give your audience a reason to keep watching, and product plugs historically don’t get the views you might expect.

Instead, tell a story with the time you have in this video. People love seeing case studies of those who faced a struggle that they can empathize with. It’s a source of entertainment that makes your brand memorable and less tempting to skip.

With TrueView ads, advertisers can gain a ton of information about the performance of their ads for optimization and testing purposes.

Using AdWords, YouTube account managers can collect data on an ad’s completed views, partial views, if the video drives channel subscriptions, clickthrough rates on CTAs, views sourced from a user sharing the content, and views on the brand’s other content that can be attributed to a person initially viewing a video ad.

These actions help advertisers better understand the full value of their video ad spend and where to allocate budget to increase results.

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