Understanding YouTube Ads and How They Can Help to Grow Your Business

As the second largest search engine in existence today, after Google, YouTube has 1.9 billion active users on a monthly basis, out of which, 50 million are content creators uploading 576000 hours of video content to YouTube on a daily basis. In such a competitive environment of content, it’s crucial to set yourself apart from the rest, and making use of YouTube ads can help you do just that. The right type of YouTube ads can increase the number of YouTube subscribers you have while adding to the number of YouTube views your account receives, promoting the growth of your business.

Ads are an investment, and to ensure you reap the maximum benefits from that investment; it’s essential to understand the different types of YouTube ads and what they’re most suited for. With this understanding, you can increase the number of your real YouTube subscribers and monetize your channel. Here’s your guide to the different types of YouTube ads and how to utilize them to promote business growth.

To begin with, YouTube ad formats may be video ads or non-video ads.

Video ad formats on YouTube

People come to YouTube looking for video content so it’s only natural that video ad formats are the most effective when it comes to reaching your target audience and promoting the growth of your brand on YouTube. Video ads may be any of 3 types: TrueView ads, Non-skippable video ads, and Bumper ads.

TrueView Ads

Skippable YouTube ads appearing before the selected video plays are called TrueView ads. They’re an excellent opportunity to reach out to your audience, and you can use them in versatile ways to advertise your products and services through demos, testimonials, how-toto videos, and more. To be effective, they need to contain a call to action, and if done right, they can boost the number of YouTube views and YouTube subscribers on your channel.

Another great benefit with TrueView ads is that they’re reasonable, requiring you to pay only if the ad has played for 30 seconds or longer, or encouraged viewers to take action. In this manner, you won’t even be wasting money on those who are completely uninterested. They also allow you to reach a wider audience by taking into consideration, Google search history results.

TrueView ads can be of 2 types: in-streamam or discovery ads.

In – Stream ads

In – Stream ads can not only play during YouTube videos but also on apps, games, and other locations in the display network of Google. Although ads of 30 seconds are generally preferred, in-streamam ads may be 3 minutes long and do not have a word limit, with clicks going directly to your website or digital store. A display ad in the top right hand corner can provide a direct link to your website.

Discovery ads

Discovery ads are presented as recommended / related videos on the homepage or search page and have no video length limit. There’s a 25 character limit on the ad headline, while the body copy can have two lines with a maximum of 35 words each.

TrueView for Reach

TrueView for Reach was introduced in 2018, through which you will have to pay per 1000 YouTube views, helping you to reach a wider audience more quickly with ads of length between 6 and 30 seconds.

Non – skippable ads

Non – skippable ads may be of 2 types:

  • Pre – roll ads that appear before a video starts to play.
  • Mid – roll ads that appear in the middle of videos of 10 minutes or longer.

With non-skippable ads, you’ll want to build-up your product / service and make it super focused so that your target audience is drawn in and convinced of its value. It’s also important to ensure your message is strong, both visually and audibly, so that even if viewers look away from the screen as the ad is playing, they can’t escape listening to the message. In this way, non – skippable ads can be an important tool to make a specific audience more aware of your brand. Increased brand awareness, in turn, can result in business growth with more YouTube subscribers and YouTube views. You also get to plan your ad expenditure better since non-skippable ads have to be paid for on a cost-per-mille basis.

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are the less lengthy versions of non – skippable ads that last for up to 6 seconds usually, come up at end of YouTube videos, and are required to be paid for on a cost-per-mille basis. Bumper ads can also be used to present longer content of earlier and target mobile users due to their brevity, resulting in a growth in the number of your YouTube views and YouTube subscribers.

Non – video YouTube ad formats

Overlay ads, sponsored cards, and display ads are perfect choices when you want to achieve more interaction on your video ads or don’t want to produce video ads of your own as yet.

Overlay ads

Banner type of advertisements on YouTube that are seen at the bottom of a video in the form of either visual banners or simple text ads are called overlay ads and are helpful for reach maximisation, thereby promoting business growth and potential for an increase in the number of YouTube subscribers and YouTube views you manage to get.

Display ads

Display ads, manageable within AdWords, are shown on top of the list of video suggestions and can help you reach out to a wider audience through use of the Display Network.

Sponsored cards

Sponsored cards can be arranged to be shown within the YouTube player as tiny call to action pop-ups, through which, you can make your videos interactive. Sponsored cards are extremely effective because they only expand when clicked by interested viewers, helping you to drive viewer action to your brand.

Ad specifications required on YouTube

In order to be able to make effective YouTube ads that boost your YouTube followers, YouTube views, and promote business growth, you need to be aware of YouTube’s specifications for ads and ensure you meet the specifications to achieve the results you want.

For video ads, video codec requirements are H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4; audio codec requirements are AAC, MP3; at 30 FPS, with maximum 1 GB file size, and resolution of 640×360 (19:9 aspect ratio) or 480×360 (4:3 aspect ratio). 4 auto-generated thumbnail previews are available for TrueView ads that appear in search results of YouTube as well as in the Display Network.

Overlay ads will require 1 image to appear over the video’s lower 20%, with animation loop requirement of less than 10 seconds if you choose an animated image. Overlay ad type must be PNG, JPG, GIF (static or animated), with maximum 150 KB ad image size; and 480 px by 70 px ad dimensions.

For display ads, PNG, JPG, GIF image type is necessary, with maximum 150 KB image size, and 300 px by 250 px ad dimensions. Included animation loops must be under 30 seconds and the clickable ad area needs to have an evident highlighting border if it’s got a black or white background.

For sponsored cards, ad dimensions are variable with 1:1 aspect ratio; image types may be PNG, JPG, or GIF (animated), with maximum image size requirement of 2MB.

It’s not enough to just know about the different types of ads and how they can promote business growth. You need a plan for what you’re trying to achieve and it all starts with having the right audience in mind. You must be clear about the demographic group you’re trying to reach out to and what their interest is to be able to tap into their needs and compel them to engage with your brand. Targeting people based on their search terms is also likely to result in more engagement.

No matter what else you do, your ad is just not going to draw people in if it’s not engaging, so make sure you’re making a good impression and try to develop content that viewers already resonate with at some level. It’s also extremely important to find the right balance in the timing of your ads. Shorter doesn’t always mean better. You don’t want to bore your viewers with content such that they’re frustrated by your ad, but at the same time, you don’t want your ad to be so short that you’re unable to communicate the message effectively to your audience.

Optimizing your videos for search, including a visually appealing thumbnail, and a clear call to action are sure to produce better results. Calls to action can also help in the generation of leads apart from driving conversions, all of which will increase the number of YouTube subscribers you have and the number of YouTube views you receive, driving the growth of your business.

Things to Keep in Mind While Posting Child Content on Your YouTube Channel

Everyone knows that YouTube is a video sharing application that makes it easier to search and watch videos online. YouTube was founded by three early PayPal employees – Chad Hurley, Lawed Karim, and Steve Chen. The story starts in 2004 with Janet Jackson’s performance at the Super Bowl and the incident that became YouTube’s first inspiration. The second inspiration came from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, both of the videos that were not easily found online.

The idea for YouTube was developed in the early months of 2005 after the three had difficulties sharing videos shot at a party. The party incident strengthened their inspiration to create YouTube, and on 14th February 2005, the famous YouTube domain was activated. When YouTube was officially launched, it didn’t have much market recognition. Now, it is one of the most popular sites on the web, with more than 6 billion hours of YouTube views in a month.

What are the key benefits of YouTube?

YouTube has experienced immense growth over the past years, with several users subscribing the YouTube channels for their benefit. Some of the key benefits include:

  • YouTube offers you an option to create your account that allows you to upload and share videos of 15 minutes length. You can also share videos of more than 15 minutes if you verify your account.
  • You can create a movie with music and other features using the YouTube edit facility.
  • The YouTube privacy settings let you restrict who views your videos.
  • You can search the archive for your favorite video clips.
  • You can comment and rate the movies you have watched.
  • You can also watch a full-length feature film on the site using your computer.
  • If you have missed any program on TV, you can watch them via ‘channels’ like 4oD.
  • YouTube also offers caption and subtitle facilities. You can also take advantage of YouTube’s 3D and high-definition capabilities.

Film and television companies block the illegal sharing of their programs by maintaining tight control over their content. But YouTube allows repeats of recently aired shows and high-quality trailers to its fans.

What content can you find on YouTube?

When YouTube was created, the main intention was to share original videos. But over time, several different types of content were uploaded by YouTube subscribers. These contents include:

1) Product review: These videos are the most popular video type of YouTube. Product reviews on YouTube allow the viewers to see how a product performs, as well as hear feedback from a creator of the product.

2) How-To videos: They are the perfect combination of utility and education. There are many channels dedicated solely to this video type and have millions of real YouTube subscribers.

3) Vlogs: Vlogs are authentic video formats that get millions of views for their originality and authenticity. Many influencers incorporate vlogging into their channel and see a lot of success as well.

4) Gaming Videos: If you love games, then you surely must be a gaming channel subscriber on YouTube. It is one of the most popular formats to subscribe to.

5) Comedy and skits: They are the liveliest video format, and one among the videos that get the highest YouTube views.

6) Challenge or Tag videos: They are hugely popular on YouTube, and it allows users to watch numerous creators do a similar challenge in their unique way.

7) Cartoons and Kids videos: Cartoons are not just created for kids, but for adults as well that are available on YouTube.

8) Haul videos: They are incredibly popular among brands that rely on hauls to show their newest products.

9) Educational videos: Apart from cartoons that are suitable for children, YouTube also offers educational videos.

10) Unboxing videos: They are a favorite among YouTube subscribers as they have become a crucial way for viewers to make purchase decisions.

These are only a few types of video content that real YouTube subscribers prefer and watch. There are many more video types on YouTube that viewers watch and share. But the most important question that needs answering is, how can you make YouTube child-friendly? How can you ensure that children do not access adult content? How can they be protected?

Things to keep in mind while posting child content on your YouTube channel

YouTube is a website created to share videos. But the video content varies to the extent that it is suitable to all age groups, from infants to the old. Is YouTube appropriate for all age groups? It is important to note that YouTube is not appropriate for all, especially for children aged thirteen and below. To ensure that YouTube is age-appropriate, Google launched YouTube Kids in 2015.

Do you own a YouTube Channel? If you are a YouTube subscriber, then you will be aware that YouTube Kids is a separate version of YouTube. The difference is that YouTube Kids is squarely focused on posting age-appropriate kids’ content. It limits the world of content to family-friendly videos and channels and educational clips. YouTube Kids application’s interface features colorful icons, large images, and carefully chosen promotional videos on the main homepage.

  • How does YouTube Kids work?

YouTube Kids is a free application that needs parents to set it up the first time. You will sign-in with your Google account, and as a parent, you will be asked to give consent to the Terms of Service. You will then create an account for your child, and your child can access millions of kid-appropriate videos. You can also create more accounts if you have two or more kids. Once you create an account, all you have to do is choose who will watch, select the account, and hand over the device to the child. The contents in YouTube Kids are age-appropriate, and you can be assured that your child will not stumble upon anything that they must not.

  • Determining whether the content is suitable for kids

There are several guidelines while posting child content on your YouTube channel. Regardless of where you are from, what your profession is, what you like, and how you raise your children, YouTube requires all creators to tell whether the content is made for children or not. You must comply with the COPPA or Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. YouTube has made an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission to ensure that everyone complies with the applicable law.

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s guidance on COPPA, a video is ‘made for children’ if children are the primary audience based on:

  • The subject matter of the video, such as educational content
  • Whether the video includes child models and/or actors
  • Whether children are the actual or intended audience
  • Whether the content includes celebrities, characters, toys that appeal to children
  • Whether the language used in the video is intended for children
  • Whether the activities included in the video is intended and suitable for children
  • Whether the video includes stories, songs, poems and such that appeals to children
  • Whether the content is advertised to children and whether the advertisements are suitable for children

If your content includes some of these factors, it does not automatically mean that the video is ‘made for kids.’ You must also consider who your target audience is- ‘Children!’ You must evaluate your content further and must be able to offer the content appropriately.

How can you evaluate your content further?

As per the guidelines set forth by Federal Trade Commission, your content is ‘made for kids’ if it features characters, actors, activities, songs, stories, games, or other subject matters that mirror a purpose to target children. But content is not made for children just because:

  • It is family-friendly or safe and appropriate for everyone to watch
  • It covers an activity that is habitually associated with children
  • Children may incidentally view it

It is important to consider who you are trying to reach and evaluate your content accordingly. Make sure you do not post any content on your channel as ‘made for kids’ if it fits any of the descriptions below.

  • Sexually explicit videos featuring minors
  • Videos that show a minor participating in or encouraging dangerous activities
  • Contents of emotional distress that include violence, coercing minors, simulating parental abuse, and divulging minors to mature themes.
  • Content that contains sexual themes, violence, obscenity that targets young minors and families
  • Family-friendly cartoons that contain adult or age-inappropriate themes such as sex, violence, and such.
  • Videos of cyberbullying and harassment involving children or minors that
  • Reveals personal information
  • Encourages others to harass or bully
  • Targets individuals for humiliation or abuse
  • Sexually harasses
  • Records without consent

It is important to note that if your content that is ‘made for kids’ violates any of the guidelines, your content will be removed and a warning sent to you and your channel terminated after three strikes.

How to Take Your YouTube Marketing to the Next Level

Video content is the rage of the day, and what better platform for viewing videos than YouTube itself? It shot to popularity ever since it was launched in 2005 and was acquired by Google in 2006. Today, it has experienced growth with over a billion users who can access videos in 76 different languages, making it the 2nd largest search engine in the world, after Google.

Its growing popularity makes it ideal for individuals and businesses to use it for marketing purposes. But like all good things, this popularity comes with a downside for marketers. The popularity of YouTube implies that it is a platform with intense competition, with over 400 hours of video being uploaded every minute to YouTube. Trying to stay ahead of your game amidst such intense competition is a challenge, but if done right, it has the potential to help you reach out to billions of users, grow your YouTube subscribers, and increase YouTube views for your videos. That is why it is imperative to develop an effective YouTube marketing strategy to ensure you’re getting the most out of your YouTube marketing efforts and gaining real YouTube subscribers.

Developing a YouTube marketing strategy

Creating a marketing strategy is crucial to begin your YouTube marketing and grow your YouTube views as well as YouTube subscribers. Clearly jotting down your goals is the first step here. Targets you’re looking to achieve must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound to help guide your marketing efforts. Decide on what you’re looking at in terms of clicks/traffic, number of YouTube subscribers and YouTube views, as well as the kind of engagement you’re targeting with your viewers. Determining your key performance indicators (KPI) will aid in measuring the results of your efforts. Once you’ve got a well-defined strategy in place, it’s time to put in the work to see results, and these tips can help you in getting the maximum benefit from your YouTube marketing efforts and witness growth.

Ways to get the most out of your YouTube marketing strategy

Having a YouTube channel is just the beginning. If you’re a business looking to experience growth, you’ll benefit more from creating a Google Brand account as it’ll allow other people from the business to also help you in running the show. The keys to taking your YouTube marketing to the next level is unlocking the secrets to getting discovered, gaining more YouTube subscribers and YouTube views, and automating your YouTube marketing process.

Here’s how you can achieve all of that and take your YouTube marketing to the next level.

Know what your audience wants

Making use of analytics will help you access both quantitative and qualitative information about your YouTube subscribers, including details like subscriber demographics, average watch time, view counts, retention rates, interaction across videos, sources of traffic, and revenues generated. Such data provides valuable insight into where and when your videos are being viewed, age and gender of your viewers, and can help you determine whether you’re reaching the audience you had planned to. If you’re not, you can decide to either modify your content or explore the new target audience that you weren’t initially expecting. Qualitative insights can also be accessed by reading and managing video comments.

Find out about your competitors and favorite channels

Look up the competition, as well as your favorite channels. How many YouTube subscribers do they have? Which of their videos have received the most and least YouTube views? What keywords have they used? What are their audience interactions like? Knowing how well your competitors are doing is going to help you stay unique, avoid the same drawbacks, and experience more growth. Analyzing your favorite channels will also help you assess why you return to a particular channel, what’s unique about it, and may even give you inspiration for your own channel.

Optimize your videos for SEO

Even if you have great content, you’re not likely to grow if your videos can’t be discovered, so it’s important to optimize your videos for SEO. Your metadata is very important here as it contains details about your video, including video title, subtitles, tags, description, category, thumbnail, and closed captions.

  • Make sure your title is around 60 words so that it’s not cut off from search results, and do some keywords search to ensure that the title includes relevant keywords relating to the topic.
  • Only the first 100 words of your video description will be visible before viewers click on “show more,” so make sure you’ve included keywords upfront. A video transcript with links to your social channels, video credits, and video-specific timestamps is also useful. If you’re using hashtags, don’t use too many, and make sure you’re following the hashtag rules of YouTube.
  • Use tags to highlight your main keywords and help in broadening the reach of your video by associating it with similar videos. Categorizing your video will help to group it with similar platform content. YouTube’s categories include Music, Film & Animation, Pets & Animals, Autos & Vehicles, Gaming, People & Blogs, Sports, Travel & Events, Comedy, News & Politics, Entertainment, Nonprofits & Activism, How-to & Style, Education, Science & Technology.
  • Use a custom thumbnail image to generate more clicks and YouTube views. A thumbnail using a 1280 x 720 px image will ensure that the image looks aesthetic irrespective of the size of the screen the video is being viewed on.
  • Uploading a compatible text transcript or a synchronized subtitle file will enable you to add subtitles or closed captions. You may also have a complete video transcript and automatically make YouTube time the subtitles, type the subtitles/translation while watching the video, or employ a professional translator or transcriber.
  • Make use of cards as well as end screens to link to external websites, poll viewers, and direct people to other videos. Cards are rectangular alerts displayed in mobile and desktop platforms at the top right corner; up to five cards can be added per video, but if you have multiple cards, ensure they’re spread out equally to give the audience time to take the necessary action. End screens permit you to prolong your video for 5-20 seconds to guide viewers to other YouTube videos or channels, to grow your YouTube subscribers, or support external links, like those leading to your website. 

Decide, upload, and schedule your videos 

Decide on the type of video you want- tutorials, customer testimonials, thought leader interviews, vlogs, live videos, event videos, case studies, or product demonstration videos. Follow the YouTube video specifications and look to grab attention early on with a video that’s recorded using quality equipment, while deciding the length and multimedia elements of the video. Since most viewing happens on mobile phones, make sure your video is optimized for the mobile format. Uploading content consistently will help your YouTube subscribers engaged and promote channel growth and engagement. You can even schedule your videos for cross-promotion with other social media posts.

Attract YouTube subscribers through channel optimization

Optimize your channel for a consistent experience overall through relatable content that gives your channel a personality.

  • Fill out your YouTube profile by including a bio that’s rich in keywords, social media profiles, and website links, a 2560 x 1440 pixels, 2MB max eye-catching banner image, and maybe even featured channels to open up avenues for cross channel collaborations.
  • Make a video playlist with videos that progress logically from one topic to the next, keeping viewers on your page for longer and raising your channel’s average watch time statistic.
  • Include subtitles in your videos to help increase the video’s reach.

Make YouTube advertising work to your advantage

Apart from just accessing content on your channel, people can also view your content through ads that appear on YouTube. You can make use of overlay ads, skippable and non-skippable video ads, bumper ads, sponsored ads, and display ads. It’s imperative to make people forget they’re even watching an ad, so it’s important to create engaging content that’s relevant, specific, entertaining, and brief.

Don’t be afraid to work with an influencer

Influencers have the advantage of already having a massive fan following that trusts them, so tie-up with an influencer to promote your brand. Choose an influencer who has a genuine interest in the product/service because paid partnerships become less attractive if they come across as very controlled. The influencer talking in a non-scripted manner about the brand would be far more convincing and succeed in generating more YouTube subscribers and YouTube views for your channel.

Be prepared to adapt after analysis

Even with everything else on point, you still have to make sure you’re monitoring your channel and adapting to changes signaled by the data. When you put up a video, analyze how it’s helped in changing subscriber count, audience demographics, traffic sources, and locations for video playback. Paying attention to reports and comments can also provide you with a direction on what’s working and what needs to change for your channel.

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