It’s the fourth week in our blog series ‘Use YouTube to your advantage: A Marketing Manual’ where we will show you how to format your video so you can promote it through paid media.

A brand may be producing great YouTube content as part of its marketing strategy, but these videos will have no effect if their target audience never sees them.  That’s where paid media comes in! Paid media is used to connect with audiences who have not already found your videos or channel.  In order to make the most of this tool, however, a brand must choose the right video ad format for the content they’re promoting.

Here is everything you need to know when it comes to your video ad options…

YouTube paid advertising uses a program called TrueView, often referred to as “skippable advertising”. TrueView allows viewers to skip an ad after the first five seconds if they are not interested in what it’s promoting.  But, what does this mean for you? If your brand chooses to upload ads to TrueView, you only pay when a user watches your ad in full!  By actively choosing to watch your ad, viewers are more likely to pay attention to the content and retain the information you provide. These viewers may not have naturally searched your brand or product but after watching your paid advertisement, they will, more than likely, go on to your channel explore more of your content.

Using TrueView, advertisers can choose between three different types of ad placement:

  1. With TrueView you only pay when viewers watch all of your video.In-stream – ads play before the start of another YouTube video and audiences have the option of skipping after 5 seconds.  With this option, you pay a “cost-per-view” only if the viewer chooses to continue watching.
  2. In-display – ads appear as a thumbnail in the panel of YouTube’s recommended videos.  In this case, you pay only when a viewer actively clicks on and watches your video.
  3. In-search – ads appear in a promoted section at the top of YouTube’s search results.  Like the previous two options, those who choose in-search pay only when their videos are viewed.


Now, choose your ad format based on content type…

Before choosing between these three TrueView options, it is important to consider the type of content you are advertising. Remember the ‘hero, hub, hygiene’ concept?

When promoting hygiene content, which answers highly-searched questions related to your brand, in-search or in-display advertising are your best options.

For hub content, which includes video series that encourage viewers to regularly return to your channel, in-stream ads are most effective. TrueView allows you to target audiences who may be interested in your hub content by placing your ads before videos that cover similar topics.

For hero content which attracts a new audience, a different approach known as reservation-based advertising, is ideal.  This form of advertising allows you to reach a large audience within a certain time-frame but does require you to pay up-front rather than by view. Examples of reservation-based YouTube ads include a feature on the website’s masthead, as well as pop-ups that appear on users’ mobile devices for just 24 hours.

After you have chosen your ad format, optimize your paid advertisement …

Regardless of which ad formats you may choose, there are several ways to optimize your videos for the most effective online advertising:

  1. Create a compelling first 5 seconds that will encourage viewers to keep watching.
  2. Keep it short (about 30-60 seconds).
  3. Ask viewers to visit your channel and subscribe.
  4. Maintain a style that is consistent with the content on your channel.
  5. Upload a clear and interesting thumbnail that encourages viewers to click on your video.
  6. Include at least 10 seconds at the end of your video for viewers to click and visit your channel.


Paid media is proven to enhance the discovery of your content, boosting channel views and increasing the shares of your videos. It may not be an ideal marketing strategy for everyone but the obvious benefits of paid advertising make it a definite option to consider!

Make sure to check out next week’s post on delivering a better YouTube channel experience.

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