8 Video Ad Formats Explained [Infographic] Title

When creating a video ad campaign, you might be confused about Google’s many video ad formats. This post will provide an explanation and an infographic to reference when creating your ads! But why create a video ad campaign in the first place?

Why Use Video Ads?

With coronavirus affecting consumers globally, there’s not a more appropriate time to begin a video ad campaign.

YouTube says its data show more than 500 percent increases in views on March 15…for personal activity videos…Videos on meditation (55 percent), cooking (100 percent) and working out (200 percent) also increased…

Dennis Romero, NBC News

And it’s not only YouTube. Many of Google’s video ad formats can run on news sites and other websites. So, what are these formats, and how do you know which one to use?

Consider Your Marketing Objective

As with any marketing campaign, establish your goal first. Google’s video ads have 3 main objectives: growing awareness, increasing consideration, and driving action.

  • Awareness formats target impressions and put your business in front of potential consumers.
  • Consideration formats focus on building interest for your products/services by encouraging engagement and views.
  • Action formats target high-intent audiences and focus on driving actions, like subscribing to a list or purchasing a product.

Your business’s goals will influence your video ad format choice and the associated bid approach.

Marketing Objective: Awareness

The awareness objective has the most options. These formats generally use a CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bid approach with a few variations.

  1. Bumper Ads: These are 6-second ads that are not skippable. They play before, during, or after YouTube videos and on sites running on Google Video Partners.
  2. TrueView for Reach Ads: This the first of a group of TrueView ad formats. TrueView for Reach ads are in-stream ads that viewers can skip after 5 seconds. Like Bumper ads, they play before, during, or after YouTube videos and on sites running on Google Video Partners.
  3. Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads: These ads are 15 seconds and aren’t skippable. They play in the same places as TrueView for Reach Ads.
  4. Outstream Ads: These ads are different from the previous formats. Outstream ads are not played on YouTube and are only served on mobile devices. This ad format also uses a vCPM (viewable cost-per-thousand impressions), which means impressions only count if 50%+ of the video ad is viewable for 2+ seconds.
  5. Video Masthead Ads: These are displayed prominently on YouTube for Desktop, Mobile, and TV. They are purchased on a reservation basis and can use CPM bidding. However, because Masthead ads are often used for time-sensitive campaigns, such as product launches, businesses can also use CPD (cost-per-day) bidding.

Marketing Objective: Consideration & Interest

Consideration formats build interest further down the marketing funnel. They use a CPV (cost-per-view) bid approach.

  1. TrueView In-Stream Ads: Like many of the awareness formats, these ads play on YouTube and sites running on Google Video Partners. Users can skip them after 5 seconds.
  2. TrueView Discovery Ads: Discovery ads include a thumbnail and a few lines of text. They appear in places users find content on YouTube, including the watch page, search results, and the mobile homepage.

Marketing Objective: Action

  1. TrueView for Action Ads: These ads drive actions and play on YouTube as well as on sites running on Google Video Partners. They use a CPA (cost-per-action) or Maximize Conversions bid approach.

Additional Resources

The information above is based on Google’s Skillshop course on Video Ads. Check out this video from the course:

Video ads are just one biddable media type. To learn more about others, read my blog post:

8 Video Ad Formats Explained Infographic

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