Understanding Different Types of YouTube Video Ads | Tier10lab
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Understanding Different Types of YouTube Video Ads | Tier10lab

Understanding Different Types of YouTube Video Ads

Tier10 | On 18, Mar 2020

YouTube gives marketers and content creators several ways to display ads to their audiences. You need to understand the different types of YouTube ads, though, before you can make the most of the platform’s features.

TrueView Ads

TrueView ads are some of the most popular video advertisement options on YouTube.

Many marketers choose TrueView ads because they:

  • Only pay when viewers watch for at least 30 seconds or interact with the advertisement.
  • Offer plenty of flexibility to share the types of ads that resonate with target audiences.
  • Often let viewers skip ads that don’t interest them.

YouTube puts its TrueView ads into three categories. Knowing the features of In-Stream and Video Discovery TrueView ads will help you choose the option that fits your outreach and budgetary needs.

TrueView In-Stream Ads

TrueView In-Stream ads can last up to 3 minutes. Most marketers keep the ads to 30 seconds, though, so they don’t overwhelm or bore their audiences.

When your TrueView In-Stream ad plays, a companion banner appears on the screen’s top right corner. Viewers who click the banner get redirected to your website.

TrueView Video Discovery (In-Display Ads)

TrueView Video Discovery ads (previously called In-Display Ads) don’t automatically play before, during, or after a video. Instead, they appear as recommended videos. YouTube recommends Video Discovery ads based on the user’s past views and searches.

Video Discovery ads have several advantages, including:

  • Unlimited video time that lets you give your audience as much information as you want.
  • A display ad headline with up to 25 characters.
  • Body copy that can display up to two lines with 35-word limits.

There is a minor disadvantage to Video Discovery ads. They have the word “Ad” clearly displayed within the video’s description. Some people won’t click on the videos because they don’t want to watch ads.

On the other hand, you can grow brand awareness and convert viewers by making engaging content. Without great content that keeps viewers interested, though, you could end up spending money on ads that don’t appeal to many people.

TrueView for Reach

TruieView for Reach ads have a 30-second maximum length that makes them easy for audiences to watch.

Unlike most ads, you don’t pay per interaction. Instead, you pay for every 1,000 views.

Bumper Ads

Audiences can skip all types of TrueView advertisements (at least after a few seconds). Bumper ads, however, give you a non-skippable format.

Understandably, some people hate non-skippable ads. Who wants to sit through an advertisement that lasts several minutes?

Bumper ads help manage viewer frustration by limiting content to 6 seconds. The Bumper ad also plays at the end of videos, so viewers could simply close the screen to avoid the advertisement. For the most part, though, YouTube audiences don’t mind sitting through 6 seconds of ads while they wait for the next video to play.

Pre-Roll and Mid-Roll Ads

As their names suggest, pre-roll ads play immediately before YouTube videos. Mid-roll ads appear during videos that last at least 10 minutes.

Pre-roll and mid-roll ads work well when they play before or during compelling videos that captivate audiences. Make sure you optimize your ad to target a key demographic. That way, you can reach people who find your ads interesting.

In-Video Sponsorship Ads

You don’t have to use Google’s platforms to advertise a company’s products or services. Instead, you can partner with popular YouTube channels to generate sponsored content.

With sponsorship ads, the content creator usually takes a break in the middle of a video to explain the advantages of using your company’s goods and services.

Smart content creators choose to partner with companies that relate to their audience. Make sure you reach out to influencers that really want to partner with you. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting a boring endorsement that doesn’t motivate viewers.

Simone Giertz, a robotics enthusiast and maker with more than 2 million subscribers, does an excellent job choosing sponsors. Since she knows that her audience enjoys watching her build robots and other items, she partners with companies like Kiwi Co, which sells “maker kits” designed for kids and adults.

As a marketer, you can browse YouTube channels to find popular creators that might want to partner with you or your client. The more relevant the channel’s content is to your target audience, the easier it is to build brand awareness and convert viewers.

Non-Video YouTube Ad Options

YouTube also gives you non-video advertisement options. These unobtrusive formats don’t distract from a viewer’s experience, which audiences tend to like. Because they don’t interfere with YouTube content, though, non-video advertisements are easy for people to ignore. Still, they’re an inexpensive advertising option that uses each viewer’s search history to target your demographic.

Overlay Ads

Overlay ads appear at the bottom 20% of a video. They’re semi-transparent, so viewers can watch videos even when ads get displayed.

Overlay advertisements take up a significant amount of space, so YouTube does not show them to people using mobile devices. Since 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices, your overlay ad will miss most of the platform’s viewers.

Sponsored Cards

Sponsored cards get displayed on desktop and mobile devices, so they should reach a wider audience. Viewers see a teaser for your card that lasts a few seconds. After the teaser, they can click your sponsored icon in the top right corner of the video.


Now that you know more about the types of advertising formats that YouTube lets you use, you can create a campaign and track ad performance. Over time, you will find that small adjustments to your ads can make a big difference in reaching KPIs.