What Are the Different Types of YouTube Ads?

Posted By Pete Stafford on September 09, 2020

YouTube marketing

We've all done it — got trapped in a vortex of cute cat or dog (or cat and dog) videos on YouTube and realized that hours have passed. While we might mourn the lost time, this habit is actually a good thing for marketers. After all, almost every YouTube video is accompanied by some type of ad. In YouTube, marketers can reach a vast audience of potential customers. The platform has 2 billion monthly active users, making it the second-highest-ranking website in the world.

You're probably thinking, "But everyone skips ads on YouTube." That may be true, but viewers who don't sit through a full ad are still 10 times more likely to take action than people who don't see the ad. In short, YouTube advertising should be a part of your marketing strategy. Now, you just have to decide which YouTube advertising options are best for you.

The Types of Ads on YouTube That You Should Know About

There are a lot of YouTube advertising options to choose from. Here are the six most important types of YouTube video ads you can incorporate into your marketing mix:

  1. Bumper Ads: These are six-second (or less), non-skippable video ads that are viewable in mobile and desktop. Six seconds is not a lot of time to get your point across, which is why bumper ads are best used to generate brand awareness and reach — one Google study found that 70% of 122 bumper ads created significant increases in brand awareness in viewers. After all, the viewer can't skip past them.
  2. Display Ads: Of the types of ads on YouTube, display ads are probably the most familiar. Appearing on the right of the YouTube video, these clickable images or animations are only visible for viewers using desktops. If a user switches to full-screen video, the display ad will disappear. Despite that, the location of display ads is eye-catching because they're placed near video suggestions. The YouTube ad specs for display ads are 300x250 or 300x60. If you add soundless animations, they only run for 30 seconds or less.
  3. Overlay Ads: If you're wondering what is the least intrusive ad format on YouTube, overlay ads just might be it. They are semi-transparent banners that take up the bottom portion of the video screen. Overlay ads are only viewable on desktops; if viewers close the ads, they still see them as their mouse hovers over the "X." Overlay ads are so unobtrusive that viewers may even forget to close them. The YouTube ad specs for these ads are 468x60 or 728x90, and they are ideal for deep dives into products rather than quick snippets.
  4. Skippable Video Ads: As the name suggests, these are the type of YouTube video ads that can be skipped and are played before, during, or after videos. While you don't want viewers to skip your ads on YouTube, the benefit of these is that they can be viewed on all platforms, including desktop, mobile, TV, game consoles, etc. They can range from as short as 12 seconds all the way up to six minutes. The main thing to keep in mind when creating skippable video ads for YouTube is to hook viewers in the first few seconds with your unique message.
  5. Non-Skippable Video Ads: Of the pre-roll video ads on YouTube, non-skippable ads are unavoidable — before viewers can watch a video, they have to watch an ad. Like skippable video ads, they can be placed before, during, or after the video. However, these YouTube commercials can only be 20 seconds in length. Thanks to YouTube's targeting abilities, it's likely that the viewer will match your target audience.
  6. Sponsored Cards: Sponsored cards are clickable images that relate to the main content (think products that are featured in the video). Though they only display for a couple of seconds, viewers can easily click on them to learn more — they are also viewable on desktop and mobile devices. As you might have guessed, this YouTube advertising option is most beneficial when posted on your own videos because you can use them to advertise your product or service.

All these types of YouTube video ads have their merits and drawbacks. No matter which YouTube advertising option you choose, make sure it fits seamlessly with your overall marketing strategy and target customer preferences.

Contact CMG Local Solutions today to learn how we can help you create engaging YouTube commercials.

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