20 Things You Should Know About TrueView In-Stream

TrueView In-Stream Video Ads

In a bid to boost my own knowledge on all things YouTube, I’ve written a listicle outlining the need-to-know, the good-to-know and the ‘I’m telling you anyway’ of in-stream advertising on You Tube for marketers.

I’m going to jump right in with the basics and work my way up to in-depth information for seasoned advertisers.

  1. People choose to watch your video ads: TrueView ads offer viewers the choice to skip after 5 seconds — those who don’t skip make a conscious decision to watch a portion, if not all, of the video ad and are 75% more engaged that those who are forced to watch.
  2. If they skip it’s free: Advertisers only pay when a viewer chooses to watch 30 seconds, to the end or clicks on a card in the creative. If they skip, it doesn’t cost you a penny!
  3. The first 5 seconds are crucial: If there was just one piece of information I could tell you about your creative, it would be to get your branding and the wow factor into the opening screens. Even if the user skips, they’ve seen 5 seconds of branded material about you which may invoke brand recall in the future.
  4. Keep it short and sweet: We want snappy, punchy video content that makes you want to watch to the end and which resonates with the target audience. Google recommend no less than 12 seconds and no more than 3 minutes of video ad content.
  5. But not too short: Be aware that YouTube analytics doesn’t track views less than 10 seconds and we want data! Data leads to educated optimisation of campaigns.
  6. Size matters: Don’t forget to resize your video based on YouTube’s best practice recommendations before uploading it — this will help it to look the best it can possibly look. We want people to remember your ads for all the right reasons.
  7. You determine the worth of a view: As with other AdWords campaign types, you determine what a view is worth to you — anything from pennies to pounds!
  8. It’s VTR (not CTR): This is the total number of views on a video ad, divided by the number of people the ad was served to.
  9. We want engagement: This can be any interaction with a video including clicking, subscribing, commenting, liking, sharing or favouriting. We want it all!
  10. Ad titles aren’t just for you: Give your advertisement a great name that means something to the user, because everyone sees it. We don’t want to see ‘Ad 1’ and ‘Ad 2,’ we want to see something which reinforces the brand messaging.
  11. There are multiple opportunities for video content: Just because you don’t have a glamorous product doesn’t mean people don’t want to hear about it. Use product demos, testimonials, how-to videos and story-telling to get your message across.
  12. Make it interactive: Show customised images, titles and calls-to-action in the ads to enhance the viewer experience.
  13. Use a call-to-action overlay: An overlay that appears when the video starts playing and collapses to show just the thumbnail image after 15 seconds.The below highlights an example from GoPro and how they use call-to-action overlays.
CTA Overlay

Image Source: TrueView in-stream ads, Google Support

Expanded & Collapsed CTA Overlay

Image Source: TrueView in-stream ads, Google Support

On desktops, viewers can hover to expand the CTA and on mobiles, viewers can click on the thumbnail image or arrow to expand it.

14. Give users ample time to react: The last ten seconds or more of your video should give users time to click and take that all important requested action.

15. Use a companion banner: An optional static ad or gif that allows for clicks after the video has ended.

16. Testing is essential: Test different ad lengths. Test different videos (or edited versions of your video). Test different static images as thumbnails. Test it all!

17. Watch your TrueView ads outside of You Tube: These ads are served on Google Display Network sites and apps in addition to YouTube. Be prepared to see your ads on YouTube videos embedded on other sites.

18. Use remarketing to hammer home that brand message: Just as you would for other campaigns, pair TrueView with a companion video remarketing campaign on the Display Network to increase reach and re-engage past viewers.

19. Link AdWords to You Tube: To get information on those key viewers who saw ads and watched yet more videos. Information will fuel your next campaign idea.

20. Reporting is key to optimisation: Analyse reach and frequency, view-through conversions, follow-on views/ subscribers and use this information to optimise your ads and their targeting.

And that’s 20 tips and hints I think you should know about Trueview In-Stream ads, to help you expand your reach online and drive more traffic to your website.

Originally published at thetomorrowlab.com.

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