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YouTube Advertising

YouTube advertising provides sophisticated options that can help marketers reach a multitude of goals. YouTube targeting provides a multitude of choices in order to engage with the right audiences at the right time, while its ad formats provide unique ways to engage with different audiences.

In YouTube Advertising Series Part 1, we discussed the importance of online video advertising and the opportunities that exist within YouTube Advertising Platforms in particular. In Part 2, we will discuss the targeting options and ad formats available to marketers through YouTube’s Platforms, as well as the types of goals that these ad formats can help your brand reach.

Targeting Options

For this particular article, we will focus on targeting options available through Adwords for Video, because of its vast options. This platform allows marketers to access the same targeting options as those available through the Google Display Network, including:

  • Location: Country, state, DMA or zip code.
  • Language: Determined either by the language setting of the browser that a consumer is using or the language setting a consumer has set within their YouTube account.
  • Interest Categories: Consumer interest in a particular category of content is determined by their past viewing behavior.
  • Remarketing: Options include consumers who have previously visited your site, interacted in a particular way on your site, visited your YouTube Brand Channel or watched one of your YouTube videos.
  • Demographics: Age and/or gender.
  • Contextual: Pages or videos that speak to particular topics or keywords.
  • Keywords: A list of video terms that individuals may search for within YouTube, GDN, Google.com and Search Partner Networks.
  • Custom Content Packs: Custom selection of channels or videos that are hand selected by YouTube’s media specialists.
  • Single Picks: Individual YouTube videos, categories, channels or GDN sites/pages.
  • Negative Targets: Filter out particular searches or sites.
  • 3rd Party Audience Data: Audience targeting through data sources like BlueKai.
  • User Type: Based on the category users manually select for themselves on YouTube
  • Uploaders: Users who often or have recently uploaded YouTube videos.

Google has recently released a combined planning tool set under Adwords called Display Planner. Display Planner allows advertisers to find page/site placements based on keywords, topics, interests or YouTube channels. It also allows advertisers to easily narrow placements by age and gender, as well as identify estimated CPMs for specific placements.

Ad Formats

There are many different ad formats available through YouTube. Google breaks these out into Display, Video or Rich Media ads, and they either appear on a page or within a video. 

For this article, we will break these formats out by their buying function: Auction and Reservation. Auction based ads allow advertisers to utilize the science of search for media buying. This bidding system allows brands to only pay for clicks or certain interactions. Reservation based ads allow advertisers to buy media based on placements, and work similar to traditional display buys.

Ad placements exist on YouTube Homepage, Search and Browser Pages and Watch Pages. Now let’s discuss the ad formats that are available through YouTube and its partner networks.

Auction Media Buying

Auction based media buying can be done through AdWords for Video. The Auction allows advertisers to bid on ad placement within YouTube and the GDN, whereby the winner only has to pay the minimum amount necessary to outrank the next advertiser in the auction. This type of media buying is ideal for advertisers with conversion goals and those looking to keep their campaigns running for a long period of time. Ads available through the auction are called TrueView ads, and are ideal for advertisers that are looking to participate in competitive conquesting, audience engagement, research stage engagement and direct and indirect sales at a more granular level than reserve buying. If utilized in tandem with larger reservation media, these ads can help support and extend momentum around brand awareness and product/service launches long after the larger media pushes have ended. Below are the Auction based ad formats currently available.

TrueView In-Search

TrueView  In-Search allows advertisers to promote particular videos and to bid on particular keywords that may be searched through YouTube. It also allows advertisers to target specific audiences searching for any keyword set within YouTube. These ads appear at the top of the search results within YouTube and advertisers only pay if a user clicks on their ad. Call-to-Action text overlays are available for the videos you promote through In-Search, as well as the ability to remarket anyone that has watched the advertisement. Targeting is available through keywords, location, interest categories and topics. It is available on desktop and mobile. Think about testing longer videos within this ad format. One of our international clients had 28% of video viewers watch at least 25% of their 5 minute In-Search video, and 18% of US viewers complete the entire video.

TrueView In-Display

TrueView In-Display ads appear next to videos on the YouTube Watch page and within specific ad placement areas across the GDN network. Advertisers only pay if a user clicks to watch the video. Advertisers can target these ads using placements, location, keywords, interests, topics and demographics. This ad is also available on desktop and mobile, allows for call-to-action text overlays and the ability to remarket ad watchers.

TrueView In-Slate

TrueView In-Slate ads run on top of video players for videos running longer than 10 minutes. It also allows viewers to select one of three different ads that are bidding on that video view. This ad shows as a commercial break during a long form video, and advertisers only pay when the user chooses to watch their ad above the other two options. Advertisers can target these ads using placements, location, keywords, interests, topics and demographics. This ad is also available on desktop and mobile, allows for call-to-action text overlays and the ability to remarket ad watchers.

TrueView In-Stream

TrueView In-Stream ads appear within the video player on a YouTube Watch page or Channel page. The ads can appear as a pre-roll, mid-roll or post- roll. Advertisers are only charged if the user chooses to watch the full video or view the video for 30+ seconds – whichever comes first. Though you pay after a user chooses to watch the video for 30 seconds, you can actually have the ad continue for longer than 60 seconds. This gives advertisers an opportunity to provide more information to engaged users. Advertisers can target these ads using placements, location, keywords, interests, topics and demographics. This ad is also available on desktop and mobile, allows for call-to-action text overlays and the ability to remarket ad watchers.

Reservation Media Buying

Reservation Media Buying can be done through YouTube Sales and DoubleClick for Advertisers. Reserved buying allows advertisers to pay a fixed price to ensure their ads are placed during a specific time, for a specific duration or show against specific targeting criteria. This is good for advertisers working toward impression goals and those looking to keep their campaigns turned on for a shorter time frame. Larger media buys, like those on the YouTube home page, are perfect for brand awareness and product/service launches, as well as to create virility around one or a few of a brand’s videos. Ads on Search, Browse and Watch pages are great for competitive conquesting and direct and indirect sales. If display ads on these particular pages are assisting YouTube Homepage ads, then they can extend brand awareness and engagement with consumers during a product/service launch. Below is a list of ad formats available through Reserved Media Buying.

Homepage Masthead

Homepage Masthead runs the full width of the YouTube home page (970x250 pixel in page unit), just below the navigation bar. These ads work best when multimedia is embedded in the ad, and can have multiple multimedia options for users to pick from.  Any auto-play animations or videos will last 30 seconds, and can include a set of call-to-action buttons. Two Brand Study pixels can be placed on the ad and all impression and click remarketing must be set up through Adwords.

Homepage Expandable Masthead

Homepage Expandable Mastheads are identical to Homepage Mastheads (970x250 pixel in page unit). The only difference is that upon clicking, the ad expands to most of the page. The ad creates a more engaging experience directly on the home page to ensure multimedia is viewed in the most optimal way.

Masthead Lite

Masthead Lite is a 760x150 pixel video ad unit that includes a 265x150 pixel video and a 495x150 pixel banner asset. 265x150 pixel video ad unit positioned at the top of the YouTube Home page. The ad can either auto-play for 30 seconds or it can be a click to play ad.

Masthead Lite Expandable

The Masthead Lite Expandable, formerly known as a YouTube Video Ad (YVA). works identical to the Masthead Lite. The only exception is that when the video is played it pops up as an overlay to the entire YouTube homepage. The ad is a 760x150 pixel video ad unit that includes a 265x150 pixel video and a 495x150 pixel banner asset. The expandable ad unit is 640x380 pixels and appears over a 970x500 background image.

Homepage Roadblock

Homepage Roadblock is the largest and most expensive ad format available today. It allows advertisers to own the YouTube homepage for 24 hours. The ad format gives advertisers creative reign to build an engaging experience that will help grab the user’s attention and get them to take further action. Homepage Roadblock provides extensive and customizable reporting, as well as the ability to add third party tracking to unique areas of your creative. It is available on both desktop and mobile.

Standard Banner Ads

Standard banner ads run across all YouTube pages (300x250 pixel banner ad unit), except for the homepage. Any animations will run for 30 second loops and advertisers have the option to build call-to-action buttons, or clickTags, on their ads.

Standard Mobile Banner Ads

Standard Mobile Banner Ads appear on YouTube mobile home and search pages as the Mobile “Masthead” (300x50 pixel banner ad unit).

Rich Media Ads

Rich media ads are the same as Standard Banner Ads, but also include a 30 second animation or video with unlimited loops (300x250 pixel rich media ad unit). The animation does not have sound until clicked, and can have up to a 10 minute video run when the user clicks.

Interactive Video Ads

Interactive Video Ads allow advertisers to engage with mobile users that are launching an app or click on a particular banner ad. These ads can appear across Android and iOS apps available on the Google Display Network. Advertisers can add a button to their video ad that allows users to click through and find out more without ever leaving the video experience within their existing app.

First Watch

First Watch lets advertisers display their in-stream ads to the first video a viewer sees on the YouTube Partner Network. This ad provides massive audience reach, delivering approximately 22M daily impressions. Advertisers can choose to show both in-stream and in-video ads at the same time to increase exposure.

InVideo (InVideo Overlay)

InVideo or InVideo Overlay is a banner ad that appears within the bottom 20% of the video player on Partner Watch pages only (480x70 pixel ad unit). Partner Watch pages are Watch Pages that exist on the YouTube Partner Network. These ads can be text and animation, with animation lasting 10 seconds. The ads typically appear after the first 15 seconds of the video, and viewers have the option of closing the ad or waiting for the ad to minimize after a certain period of time. These ads can be targeted through placements, location, keywords, interests, topics and demographics.

In-Stream Ads

In Stream Ads appear within the video player on a YouTube Watch Page or Channel Page. The ads can appear as a pre-roll, mid-roll or post- roll. They are also set to run on mobile, connected TV, game consoles and the Google Video Network. These ads can last for 15 seconds in most countries, and 20 seconds in EMEA (30 second videos are allowed on a specific set of inventory). Traditional In-Stream ads are non-skippable and are paid-per-view. These ads can be targeted through placements, location, keywords, interests, topics and demographics. Viewers can click on the ad to be taken to the URL of the advertiser’s choice. It is available on both desktop and mobile.

YouTube Contest

YouTube Contests is not an ad format, but does need associated ad spend for access to the functionality. It allows advertisers to get their own community to create videos for the brand. YouTube provides a contest gadget that can help brands build out the most optimal experience. It also provides an avenue for advertising and a platform for consumers to submit, view, vote and see the final results of the contest.

Custom Solutions

YouTube also has custom solutions that you can build with your Google Representative. If you are interested in Custom Solutions, please contact your rep to learn more.

In Part 3, we will discuss video best practices that go beyond traditional YouTube Advertising.

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