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6 YouTube in-stream ads for online marketers

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By Dennis Smith

A major challenge companies face today is how to improve product promotion while minimizing cost. This is why many big and small businesses are looking towards YouTube in-stream ads as a powerful alternative to traditional marketing. So what exactly makes YouTube in-stream ads so powerful?

YouTube In-stream ads are short, TV-format ads that often appear during YouTube videos. Advertisers are only charged if the viewer watches most or all of the advertisement. Here are just a few reasons why advertising on YouTube is becoming so popular.

  • Phenomenal Reach: According to a Nielsen report, just in March 2013, 58% of American Internet users — 122.7 million to be exact — used YouTube. Worldwide, 800 million users use YouTube in any given month.
  • Targeted Ads: YouTube allows you to carefully select what demographic watches your ads. You can target based on geographic location, age, language, interests, search habits, or keywords. Click-through URL’s in your ad also allow you to drive traffic to your site. This gives you much more control as compared with TV ads.
  • Cost-effectiveness – Being able to select who watches your ad already makes YouTube more cost effective; but according to SearchEngineWatch.com, YouTube In-stream ads can cost you as little as three cents per view.

6 types of YouTube in-stream ads

Here are six options for YouTube In-stream ads as well as a description of their unique features and benefits:

  • TrueView in-stream ads – These ads play just before a video, and allow your audience to skip it after the first five seconds. You would only pay for the ad if the audience watches the entire ad — or if they watch for 30 seconds, whichever comes first. This allows you to deliver your message to the selected audience while maximizing your budget.
  • First Watch – When you select a First Watch ad, your advertisement is played the first time a viewer initiates a YouTube partner video; usually prior to any other advertisement. These ads are especially powerful for marketing your brand, with approximately 75 million daily impressions from 56 million viewers worldwide.
  • In-stream select ads – These ads can be up to 30 seconds long, and appear before YouTube Partner videos. As with the in-stream ads, the viewer can skip the ad after five seconds, however you would pay on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis and you’d get charged when the ad loads.
  • TrueView in-slate ads – These ads appear before long-form videos (10 minutes or longer) and present your audience with a slate of three ads to choose from – or the option of having regular commercial breaks. You only pay if the viewer selects your ad.
  • Standard in-stream Ads – Standard in-stream ads play prior to, during, or after a YouTube partner video. These come in varying lengths: 15 seconds for short-form videos (less than 10 minutes) and 30 seconds for long-form videos. One main difference is that standard in-stream ads cannot be skipped.
  • Google: 30s – These are 30-second in-stream ads which you can play on YouTube as well as the Google Display Network, making them much more scalable and boosting reach to your target audience. You can either choose a specific video content category, or run the ad across Google’s video inventory network.

YouTube advertising offers much more flexibility, control, reach and cost effectiveness as compared to traditional TV ads. However, if you have the budget, you may want to utilize both channels for advertising. A recent Ipsos study concluded that people who watched ads on YouTube as well as television were twice as likely to recall the advertisement as compared to people who just saw the ad on television.

Read more about the social aspects of video programming on our Tech Page One post. And if you have experience running pre-roll ads on YouTube, feel free to share!

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