YouTube TrueView video advertising campaigns: an introduction

Man in red sweater using smartphone with laptop on table in a modern room with large windows.

You jump into YouTube to watch a quick video. It’s definitely something useful like how to get more customers and not the new Game Of Thrones trailer (again.) As you tap the play button, you’re greeted by an ad.

This time it isn’t an ad made by a big brand with a monthly advertising budget that makes you feel a little lightheaded. It’s made by a small business, just like yours. Then it hits you. This is definitely something you can do.

Video is a powerful advertising tool – it packs an emotional punch that’s difficult to replicate. So, what better way to increase your marketing ROI than running a video advertising campaign? Google’s TrueView may be just what you need.

Why advertise on the YouTube and Google Display Network?

Your advertising budget isn’t the size of Scrooge McDuck’s vault.

Two men reviewing footage on a camera screen in a dimly lit room.

Film crews are expensive and that’s before you get to actually running the ad. So, why should you even start to consider designing video ads?

I’ve got six words for you: Affordable access to a huge network.

What is YouTube TrueView?

YouTube TrueView ads are the skippable ads that play just before a video or during a particularly long video. They’re also the ads that sometimes appear in the search results and the side-bar.

What video ad formats are available?

TrueView ads come in two different formats: in-stream ads and discovery ads.

TrueView in-stream ads

You know the ads you see at the start of a video or, for longer formats, during a video? That’s the in-stream ad. It’s displayed on YouTube and on sites that partnered up with the Display Network.

This kind of ad is great for establishing brand awareness. Why? It’s interruptive – that’s its strength and its weakness. To be honest, most of us don’t really like having our viewing interrupted. Think back to the few times you watched an ad all the way through. Something about it grabbed your attention and spoke directly to you. It made you stop, pay attention and remember this brand.

Use this for your own ads by creating an attention-grabbing ad that packs a punch.

TrueView Video Discovery Ads

Discovery Ads appear in a variety of places, including in your YouTube search results. This makes them a phenomenal tool because when the viewer clicks on them, the intent behind them is the same as clicking on a YouTube video.

This gives you the chance to craft a longer story and dig a little deeper into your product or solution.

If the ad provides value, people will stick around to watch. This kind of ad works best when it’s tied to specific keywords. It’s stronger when it answers a question and offers a solution, instead of pushing product.

Benefits of video advertising through TrueView

Ever wondered how many hours of video we watch on YouTube every day? One billion. That’s about eight minutes per person, per day, based on current population estimates and long-forgotten math skills. People love YouTube and running an ad campaign comes with a lot of benefits.

Can you really afford it?

Most video ads are charged on the Pay Per View (PPV) model. What’s a view? It varies. Facebook considers a video viewed after 3 seconds. YouTube, on the other hand, only considers it viewed after 30 seconds.

If you run an in-stream ad, you only have to pay if:

  1. The user watches the entire ad (if it’s under 30 seconds).
  2. The user watches at least 30 seconds of your ad. The ‘skip ad” button appears at the 5 second mark, which means they’ve spent 25 seconds willingly watching your ad.
  3. They click on one of the interactive CTAs.

But what about display ads? Because display ads are a little different, you pay as soon as the user clicks. That’s why it’s important to use very clear headings and make sure they’re relevant to the keyword searches they appear in.

This makes TrueView ads more than just affordable. It makes them far more likely to convert.

Just make sure you set up your per bid and per day budget clearly and set start and finish days for your campaign. That way, if something happens, you’re minimizing the danger of overspend.

How targeted can you get?

Irrelevant ads suck. When you create an ad, you want to hit as targeted an audience as you can. TrueView makes that possible. You can target people based on location, language, age or interests. Or, you can go much, much deeper.

You can:

  • Set super specific locations. You can target people who live in the same zip code.
  • Chose when the ad plays. Are your viewers early risers? Do they only watch Youtube in the small hours of the morning? Set the exact times you want your ad to run.
  • Selling a Mac-only product? Crafting an exclusive Android app? Time to target your people! You can target people based on operating systems, device type and even internet type.

This is just scratching the surface. Once you’re inside Google AdWords, you can get super specific. This level of targeting makes these ads incredibly potent.

Measuring video ad performance

If you want to know your efforts are paying off, you can find out how your campaign’s doing by logging into your Google Ads account and checking out the video analytics tab, or by logging into YouTube and checking your analytics.

What stats can you track? And which stats should you be tracking?

Here’s the thing. AdWords analytics are exceptionally comprehensive. You can track everything from the number of views or clicks all the way to how many subscribers the video earned and what percentage of the ad someone watched. And it doesn’t just end there: you can create unique segments and use advanced filtering.

So, if there’s so much data you can track, which metrics should you be paying attention to?

It’s simple. You need to track the metrics that align with your goals. If you tried to track everything for every video, you aren’t just wasting time – you’re flushing money down the drain.

Every advertising video should have a specific goal. Focus on a few select metrics that show whether you are hitting the mark or missing the point.

Your quick TrueView ads setup guide

To use TrueView ads, you need to link your Google AdWords account to your YouTube account.

Log into your Google AdWords account, select Linked Accounts and click on YouTube.

Google analytics dashboard highlighting various website metrics and statistics with a focus on a youtube video statistics card.

To link your YouTube channel, just paste your channel link into the box or search for your channel by name. Easy!

Interface for linking a youtube channel with a search bar and cancel button.

Now you’re all set to run your first video campaign!

But is TrueView advertising actually right for me and my business?

Look. We think video is awesome – it would be foolish to run a company that creates video making software and think otherwise.

Most of the time, the answer is a resounding yes. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from video advertising. You can use it to raise brand awareness, show off a new product or drive traffic to a landing page.

Creating an effective, engaging video ad doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

You can use our free ad maker to craft fantastic-looking ads for mobile or desktop. Just pick a template that supports your goals and start loading your unique content into it.


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