There is a lot of interest in YouTube advertising these days, and so I wanted to share the “anatomy of a TrueView In-Stream Ad,” which is by far the most popular and common type of video ad on YouTube.  The key features of this type of YouTube ad are as follows:

  1. As an advertiser, you pay only if someone does not skip the ad for at least 30 seconds or 50% of the ad. This “choice” is where the name “TrueView” comes from, although you could argue that this is a bit of a passive choice to view the ad.
  2. This is primarily a branding ad format, as almost all video ads are, but you do get two opportunities for a display URL, at the top of the ad in the form of a video title, and at the bottom of the ad.
  3. The clickable video title lets you direct traffic to your YouTube page, which you should do primarily if you have additional video content that you think will push leads further along the sales funnel.
  4. The clickable display URL at the bottom left of the video works just like any normal display URL works in Google ads. In the example below, it points to, but you can in fact point to any page within, so you can and should direct traffic to an optimized landing page.  That said, don’t expect these types of ads to drive tons of immediate traffic and clicks, because most people will watch the ad and take some action later, bypassing the landing page.

I hope the image below is helpful as you explore your options with YouTube ads, as they can be an incredibly powerful ad format to grow you brand and connect with consumers.

Diagram of TrueView InStream Ad

Will Marlow is a search engine marketing consultant who loves helping high growth companies optimize and improve their PPC results: and he holds seven certifications: Google AdWords Search, Display, Mobile, Shopping, and Video Certification, Google Analytics Certification, as well as certification as a Bing Ads Accredited Professional.

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