What are the differences between each format of YouTube Ads?


What are YouTube Ads?


YouTube Ads are video ads that attempt to maximize your user reach. You can discover videos on YouTube through different channels, such as searching keywords on the search page, clicking suggested videos on the watch page, and choosing videos from the homepage feed directly. Therefore, you can advertise on YouTube in order to provide a platform for your audience to search for or grab their attention. R-Digital, as a digital marketing agency in Hong Kong, we can help you advertise on YouTube to perform a better impression of your products or services, resulting in meeting your targeted campaign goals. 



Formats of YouTube Ads


In YouTube Ads, there are different ways for advertisers to engage with your audience, including TrueView in-stream ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, outstream ads, video discovery ads, bumper ads, and masthead ads. 


All video ads content must be arranged on YouTube while video ads can be shown on YouTube and websites and apps which are operated by Google video partners, i.e. Google Display Network (GDN)


  • TrueView in-stream ads

Advertisers can use TrueView in-stream ads when they want to promote your video content before, during, or after the videos on YouTube, and Google Display Network (GDN). Viewers can choose whether to skip the TrueView in-stream ads after 5 seconds or not. If they choose not to skip the video ads, the views of the YouTube video will be counted when they watch 30 seconds of the video ads, or get involved in your video. The interactions should include the click-through rate to your website, companion banners, and call-to-action (CTA) overlays that can also increase the click-through rate in which R-Digital will monitor and generate reports for you.


The views of video ads on YouTube can be a concern for advertisers. As a result, it is suggested that your video ads should be less than 3 minutes but at least 12 seconds, instead of less than 10 seconds, since YouTube analytics cannot track the views. According to cost-per-view (CPV) bidding, you have to pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video ads, the whole video ads if they are less than 30 seconds, or interacts with your video ads. If you aim at increasing sales, the leads, website traffic, gaining brand recognition, or product and brand consideration, R-Digital recommends you to select TrueView in-stream ads. 


The requirements of video ads are: video ads must be uploaded to YouTube; embedding must be approved; video ads must be set to public or unlisted; true streaming is prohibited. 


  • Non-skippable in-stream ads

Non-skippable in-stream ads are the short in-stream ads that also appear before, during, or after the videos. In this case, viewers are not allowed to skip the video ads. The length of the non-skippable in-stream ads must be 6 to 15 seconds, providing a platform for you to get involved with your target audience by the messages shown on the video ads. However, the views of your non-skippable in-stream ads will not be counted.


Non-skippable in-stream ads are charged based on target CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bidding. Target CPM bidding is determined by how much you are willing and able to pay every thousand times when your video ads are shown to viewers. Besides, the bids will be optimized by applying Display & Video 360 in order to gain more impressions. It is noted that you are not allowed to have to remarket for non-skippable in-stream ads. If you aim at gaining brand recognition, R-Digital advocates selecting non-skippable in-stream ads. 


  • Outstream ads

Outstream ads are mobile-specific video ads that are shown on partner sites and apps, instead of playing video ads on YouTube. Applying outstream ads can raise brand recognition. Since they are designed to appear on mobile devices and tablets, the ads will play automatically on mute when they are shown on the screen. Viewers can simply tap on the video ads and they will be unmuted at that moment. After that, viewers can scroll past while visiting the web pages. Therefore, you can engage with your target audience cost-effectively.


Outstream ads can appear in banners, interstitials, in-feed, native, and both portrait and fullscreen by running across different mobile placements, including mobile web placements and mobile apps. Outstream ads are charged based on viewable cost-per-thousand impressions (vCPM), meaning that you only pay when a viewer plays your video ads 2 seconds or above. R-Digital suggests you select outstream ads if you aim at gaining brand recognition.


  • Video discovery ads 

Video discovery ads will appear in different places, including YouTube search results, YouTube video watch page, YouTube mobile apps homepage, and YouTube Mobile Web search and watch pages. You only charge when viewers click on the image thumbnails. When you aim at gaining product and brand consideration, R-Digital will choose video discovery ads for you.


Take YouTube search results as an example. Video discovery ads usually appear along with the organic search results. The ads include an image thumbnail, a headline text, the channel name, and view count. It is observed that some top-ranked ads may repeat below the organic search. Another example is the YouTube video watch page. Video discovery ads appear in different locations such as appear in the related video section or appear as an overlay in the video. Both of them include the same video ads that appear on YouTube search results while the latter one is overlaid and embedded in the video.


In general, the video ads contain image thumbnails and at most 3 lines of text. The video must be uploaded to YouTube. The 3 lines of text include the headline text with a maximum of 25 characters and the description with 2 lines and a maximum of 35 characters each. It is noted that only the headline text will be shown in Suggestions.


  • Bumper ads

Bumper ads are short videos that appear before, during, or after the videos and they are not allowed to skip. Creating bumper ads can grab the attention of your target audience at first glance. The video ads must be at most 6 seconds and they do not count the views. Bumper ads also apply target CPM (cost-per-thousand-impressions) bidding which you pay whenever the video ads are disclosed every 1,000 times. Sometimes, bumper ads will work along with TrueView in-stream ads which are more effective on mobile. In the sight of R-Digital, if you aim at gaining brand recognition, bumper ads are suggested.


  • Masthead ads 

Masthead ads are suggested for driving massive awareness from viewers rapidly, planning viewers’ buys and avoiding auctions, and showing off your products or services. Since masthead ads are charged on a reservation basis, you are charged on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis.


In general, masthead ads will appear on desktop, mobile, and TV screens. The video ads will play automatically on mute for at most 30 seconds at the top of the YouTube Home feed which can be in a widescreen or 16:9 aspect ratio. Viewers can click on the video ads and unmute them. The video ads will turn into video thumbnails after autoplay. If viewers click on either the video ads or video thumbnails, they will be led to the YouTube watch page. The video ads on desktop and mobile include video thumbnails, a headline text, description, and external call-to-action (CTA) whereas only the video ads on TV screens cannot insert the call-to-action (CTA). 


From the article, several types of YouTube Ads are introduced. If you would like to work with R-Digital by advertising on YouTube or have any other questions, please contact us or visit our website.



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