YouTube Advertising in 2020 – How to Advertise on YouTube

If you’re looking to grow your brand in 2020 then YouTube advertising is a no-brainer. If you need a little convincing, consider this:

YouTube is the second-highest ranking website in the world with 1.9 billion monthly active users. When users on YouTube watch an ad to completion, they are 23x more likely to act upon the call-to-action of the video, and even when they don’t watch the ad in its entirety they are still 10x more likely to take action than those not exposed to the video ad.

The sheer enormity of the platform, combined with the encouraging success rates of video ads, could be the reason that 88% of marketers who responded to our State of Video Marketing 2020 survey said they plan to use YouTube in 2020. But there’s a lot to consider before you get started.

You need to know the different types of YouTube ads and how to advertise on YouTube. And, as a marketer the main question you’re probably asking yourself is: “How much do YouTube ads cost?”

In this handy guide, we’re going to breakdown all of that and more. Consider this your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about advertising on YouTube in 2020.

Types of YouTube Ads

There are currently 6 different types of YouTube ads, some are videos and others are still images or text boxes. Before we get into how to advertise on YouTube, we’re going to compare these different types to find out which one(s) would be best suited to your 2020 marketing strategy.

1. Display Ads

A display ad is a clickable image or animation that appears to the right of the feature video when the viewer is using a desktop. It’s above the video suggestions list. Here’s an example:

The specs for this type of ad are 300 x 250 or 300 x 60, and animations can run for a maximum of 30 seconds (although there is no sound so as not to interfere with the main video). The maximum file size allowed is 150KB, and file formats supported are: GIF, JPG, PNG, and HTML5.

Display ads can only be seen on desktops and if viewers choose to make their video full-screen then the ad will be completely removed from view. However, the spot of display ads (directly above suggested videos) is a prime location and the ad does not interfere with the viewer’s enjoyment of the video.

2. Overlay Ads

An overlay ad is a semi-transparent banner that appears in the lower 20% portion of a video. It is a clickable image or text box and is only visible to desktop users. Here’s an example:

The specs for this type of ad are 468 x 60 or 728 x 90, and the maximum file size is 150KB. Supported file formats are: GIF, PNG, and JPG.

Although they are simple and static, overlay ads are pretty genius. They demand attention without being too imposing. They are subtle enough that some viewers may leave them on while the video plays out, but even if a viewer does close the ad they have still seen it–and thus become aware of your brand, product, or service.

3. Skippable Video Ads

A skippable video ad plays within the video player either before, during, or after the main video. They can be anywhere from 12 seconds to 6 minutes in length, and viewers are given the option to skip the ad after the first 5 seconds. Here is an example:

These ads must be uploaded to YouTube in an MP4 format, but they can remain unlisted if you only want to use the video for advertising purposes. As such, the specifications are the same as any YouTube video–1080p is preferred but 720p is also accepted. A major benefit of skippable video ads is that they can appear on any platform: desktop, mobile, TV, and even games consoles.

The main downfall of skippable video ads is in the name: they can be skipped. However, if you make the first 5 seconds of your ad as compelling as you can then you should be able to keep viewers watching. Some advertisers even acknowledge that the skip button is there as a way to ‘break the fourth wall’ and hook viewers. Here’s a great example:

4. Non-Skippable Video Ads

A non-skippable video ad must be watched in order for a viewer to continue to the main video. Like the above, these ads can also appear before, during, or after the main video. Here’s an example:

The specifications and maximum file size are the same as skippable video ads, but the length of the ad is different. Non-skippable ads can only be a maximum of 20 seconds (and in some regions the limit is just 15 seconds), so you’ll need to get your point across quickly.

The best thing about a non-skippable ad is that you are guaranteed the viewer’s full attention, and with YouTube’s impressive targeting capabilities you are also pretty much guaranteed that the viewer will fit the profile of your target audience.

5. Bumper Ads

A bumper ad is a non-skippable video ad with a maximum length of 6 seconds. They can be viewed in both desktop and mobile. Here’s an example:

The maximum file size is 1GB and the following file formats are accepted: AVI, ASF, Quicktime, MP4, or MPEG.

If you thought traditional non-skippable ads were limited, with bumper ads you have even less time to get your point across! But, despite their short length, there has been encouraging research around their effectiveness. According to a Google study of 489 bumper ad campaigns, 61% drove a significant lift in brand awareness!

6. Sponsored Cards

A sponsored card displays content that is relevant to the main video, such as products featured within the video. They are similar to overlay ads but they only appear on screen for a few seconds. If viewers then want to find out more, they can click on the icon in the top right-hand corner of the video. Here’s an example:

Sponsored cards can appear within videos viewed on both mobile and desktop, and the following file formats are accepted: JPG, GIF, and PNG. The aspect ratio of the cards must be 1:1 and the maximum size is 5MB.

These clickable images are great way to advertise your products or services within one of your own YouTube videos, but aren’t the best option if you’re looking to roll out ads across the entire platform.

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