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Youtube ads: types, formats and setting | Digital marketing for digital dinosaurs

We continue our analysis of the different types of digital activities on social media by analysing the second big platform, YouTube.

Youtube is a video platform where you can promote your products through different types of video ads

First of all, lets start looking at different types of ads we can promote on YouTube

Skippable video Ads (TrueView ads): is the best way to drive brand engagement on YouTube.

These ads can be skipped after five seconds. you only pay when the viewer watches 30 seconds or more unless you’re optimizing based on action or reach.

With CPV bidding, you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the full duration of the video if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with your video, whichever comes first. With Target CPM, Target CPA, and Maximize conversions bidding, you pay based on impressions.

Non-skippable video Ads These ads are paid for on a CPM basis. Non Skippable ads have a time limit of only 15 to 20 seconds

In-feed video ads: Use in-feed video ads to promote video content in places of discovery, including next to related YouTube videos, as part of a YouTube search result, or on the YouTube mobile homepage. You’ll be charged only when viewers choose to watch your ad by clicking the thumbnail.

Bumper Ads: Bumper Ads are also Non Skippable ads but they last only six seconds, max. Like non-skippable ads, bumpers are paid for on a CPM basis.

Overlay Ads: YouTube overlay ads are banner advertisements that you’ll often see running along the bottom of a video. They can be simple text ads like the one above, or image-based banners.

Masthead ads Masthead is the top part of the youtube page where the ad will appear and will autoplay without the sound for up to 30 seconds at the top of the YouTube Home feed. It is very visible and makes a huge impact Masthead ads are only available on a reservation basis, you’re charged on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis

In order to buy ads on youtube you need to access from google ads

From there, just like in FB you’re requested to set the objectives of your campaign before start setting the ad

Choosing objectives will dictate what type of google ads you can create (including YT ads obviously)

Once you’re in the platform, and you choose to create a video ad, then the system asks you to decide whether you want to go for reach or non skippable ads

Once made a choice you’re required to set budget and time plan before selecting your target

Here is where the story becomes very interesting

Let’s start from an the consideration that YT is actually the second search engine online after its big brother Google

This means that besides the traditional targeting based on demographics you can target people based on other very interesting and important dimensions:

  • Segments: groups of audiences, similar to FB custom audiences, that are grouped on specific dimensions examples based on what they are researching and planning (example there’s a segment on children car seats or bath and body products) or how they interacted with your business or custom segments you can upload

  • Keywords: appear in search when they search specific keywords are relevant for your business

  • Topics is a way to place ads on many webpages, apps and videos about a specific subject. Topics are based on broad industries or interests, such as agriculture or music. For example, when you target the "Autos & Vehicles" topic, your ad may appear on websites, apps or YouTube videos with content about cars or other automotive themes.

  • Placement to target specific locations on the Google Display Network or YouTube. On the Display Network, a placement can be an entire website, a specific page of a site or a mobile app. On YouTube, a placement can be a YT channel or a specific YT video.

Main take out here is that with YT you can target people at the place and moment where they manifest important signal of interest. You can only do this here

Once you’re done with setting ads and targeting, you can upload your video ads

YouTube is a massive platform where advertisers will invest huge amount of money to drive awareness, consideration and conversion.

It is important we track results of our activities, therefore we want to monitor a number of key metrics, some more directly related to the quality and content of our ads, some more related to the performances of the channels and when part of the plan, some related to the ability of the videos to drive actions we have planned for, whether a visit to a website or a purchase

Most relevant KPI's for Video ads

Number of views: that’s vanity and although exciting to see millions views, this metric is relatively less important as it can be bought through advertising and other means, that’s why YT algorithm prefers watch time,

Reach: the amount of people who have seen the video ads one time

Impressions: the amount of times the video ads has been watched (Impression = reach x frequency)

Engagement and engagement rate: the number of actions (comments, share) that have been taken on the video ad (engagement rate = engagement / impressions)

Average view duration: the average amount of video that is watched; this metric shows your video’s ability to keep a viewer engaged.

Audience retention: what percentage of your video your audience watches. Videos with high audience retention are favoured by YouTube as it means viewers are staying on till the end. You can understand what parts of video the audience rewatch and the point where they start to leave.

Cards click-through rate: when used, cards are interactive notifications that appear on the video to prompt your viewer into taking a particular action. Click through rate = how many click a card gets / number of impressions. This metric can be used to compare different cards and improve effectiveness.

Number of unique viewers: the number of people watched your videos regardless how many times each one watched it

Cost per reach / CPM: cost per different units (per reach or per mille 1.000)

Most relevant KPI's for Channels and videos

Watch time: this is the amount of time that your viewers have spent watching your videos. This metric is YouTube’s number one ranking factor because when people spend a lot of time watching your videos, a part from signalling interest in what you have to say, this tells YouTube’s algorithm that those videos must be engaging. Therefore, YouTube promotes the channel to other people and this turns into more views and higher engagement.

Average view duration: as per above

Subscriber growth: how many new subscribers we get over time. Subscribers tend to be watching your videos a lot more than non subscribers so it is important to understand what they like.

Engagement: the amount of actions people take on the video, whether liking, sharing or commenting

Traffic sources: this lets you understand where your traffic comes from. Once you understand how a viewer finds you, it is much easier to target the right keywords and add better tags that will put you in front of similar viewers.

Playlist engagement: Some metrics to track to understand your playlist engagement are playlist exit rate, average time in playlist, and views per playlist. The playlist exit rate of a video is the percentage of viewers that exit a playlist on that video. If a video has a high playlist exit rate, it might be a sign to remove the video from the playlist or push it to the end of the playlist.

Impression click-through rate: This tells you what percentage of your video ads impression turned into views. A high impression click-through rate means that viewers find your thumbnail and video title compelling enough that they clicked on your video.

Sources: above material is mainly taken from Google and YouTube, I will post a series of links to useful sources towards the end of the series of those blog posts.

For now if you want to learn more about YouTube ads I suggest you to study here

Hope this is helpful for you, please stay in touch.


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