What ad formats are available on YouTube?

Driving value through your digital advertising is crucial whether you are managing campaigns both in-house and through clients in an agency. If you cannot justify the ad spend when compared to the results, you will have a hard time justifying your value to clients and superiors. 

Getting good results from your digital campaigns often means diversifying the type of ad that you run and, with the help of AB split testing, working out which one is best suited to your campaign objectives. Google Ads offers the ability to run video ads through YouTube and Google Partner Sites which have the potential to drive leads, brand awareness, and sales for your business. Here we break down what the different ad formats are and where you should use them. The backend of YouTube Ads are constantly being updated with new formats to test and audiences to target; currently, the main ad formats that you can try are:   
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads
  • Skippable in-stream ads
  • Video discovery ads 
  • Bumper ads 
  • Outstream ads 
  • Masthead ads 
  All the ads are good for different campaign objectives, but how do you know whether to go for a bumper ad compared to an in-stream one?   

Non-skippable in-stream ads (Good for brand awareness)

skippable In-stream ads are video ads that appear at the start, during, or at the end of youtube videos and the non-skippable variety are 15 seconds or less and can run across YouTube and the partner sites. YouTube states that these ads are best for brand awareness and reach, which also means they are charged based on the number of impressions. 

Skippable in-stream ads (Good Sales, Leads and website traffic +more)

nonskippable Skippable in-stream ads are placed in the videos before during or after and can be charged based on cost per view; so you only pay when the viewer has watched the 30-second ad without skipping. Target CPM, CPA, and maximise conversion bidding are strategies where you will be charged based on impressions.  They can be double the length of the non-skippable in-stream ads and are best used for a variety of different campaign objectives including lead generation, website traffic, brand awareness and sales. 

Video discovery ads (Good for product/brand consideration)

discovery Video discovery ads are slightly different from in-stream ads in that they are not shown within the organic video formats. These display ads are placed in ‘areas of discovery’ on YouTube such as next to the related videos page and the home page of YouTube on Mobile. YouTube states that these ads are best suited for product and brand consideration and you will be charged when a viewer clicks on the ad to view your ad. 

Bumper ads (Good for brand awareness)

bumper If you are looking to increase your brand awareness and business reach then the YouTube bumper ads could be a good route to go down. These 6-second ads are charged based on the number of impressions the ad receives. These are non-skippable ads that usually run at the start, during or end of a video. These ads are a good place to start if you are testing the waters of a video ad campaign. 

Outstream ads (Good for brand awareness)

Outstream ads are perfect if you are looking to expand the reach of your ads on mobile. These mobile-only apps only appear on websites and apps that are part of Google’s video partnership program. These ads start with the sound off but can be unmuted, you are only charged when someone views your ad for more than 2 seconds. 

Masthead ads (Good for large scale brand awareness)

Mast head ad Masthead ads are some of the most wide-reaching on youtube and are charged on a fixed cost-per-day rate. The video runs at the masthead of the YouTube home page and is good if you want to reach a massive audience for a shorter period of time. 

Experiment with different ad formats 

Getting the right mix of video ads for your campaign is an iterative process. Remember the best bumper ads are not longer ads compressed into 6 seconds, but rather a piece of creative in their own.  The best ad campaigns incorporate different formats (like bumper ads and in-stream ads) to take the viewers on a journey and showing them the right ad in the right format at the right time. After you have started running your campaign, tailoring it based on performance is the best way to go. 

Happy Christmas from the AdPilot team! 

Whilst 2020 has been a challenging year for many in the digital sphere, AdPilot continues to work with a host of great passionate clients on a range of different projects. We wish a happy Christmas to all of our clients and look forward to driving more ad value in 2021!