As is true with many organizations, direct conversions may be the ultimate goal of your brand’s paid advertising. But generating both brand awareness and engagement through channels like YouTube is still a highly potent practice that should not be overlooked in your marketing efforts. To that point, executing a TrueView Video Discovery campaign is practice that is also often overlooked when brands are setting up their YouTube advertising. One of the reasons behind this is likely the fact that this ad type often generates fewer direct conversions than other formats like In-Stream ads.

However, as an agency, we have seen firsthand that YouTube Video Discovery ads can consistently produce higher engagement rates than its counterparts, which makes it a particularly strong ad type for brands to test out if they’re looking to get started with YouTube advertising. Let’s discuss the different types of TrueView Ads, and how to use them to drive higher engagement on YouTube.


Different Types of TrueView Ads

There are four main types of TrueView Ads, and each has its own specific function.

TrueView In-Stream

TrueView in-stream ads are ads that can appear before or during another video as your brand advertisement. These types of ads are primarily run on videos that are hosted on YouTube or partner sites within the Google Display Network.

TrueView In-Stream ad types

So how do you get charged for a TrueView in-stream ad? For a True-View in-stream ad, you only pay when a user watches at least 30 seconds of your video ad (or the duration if it’s less than 30 seconds long) or a user engages with your video, whichever occurs first. After the video has been playing for 5 seconds, viewers have the option to skip the advertisement with a button screen prompt. When users take that action, you aren’t charged for that ad.

TrueView Reach Ads

Different than a strictly in-stream ad, TrueView Reach Ads are a combination of the in-stream ad format paired with the ease of a cost-per-impression (CPM) buying model. TrueView Reach Ads will help you reach your target audience in a more effective way, as you can be sure that your target audience is both seeing and hearing your ads as a result of YouTube’s 95% viewable and 95% audible environment (Thanks, YouTube!).

In fact, it can be argued that TrueView Reach Ads are best for use in awareness campaigns. Trueview Ads improve ad recall and produce a trackable brand lift, so if your company has awareness and reach at the top of your list of priorities, TrueView Reach Ads might be the smart choice.


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TrueView Video Discovery Ads

True to their name (no pun intended), TrueView Video Discovery ads are video promotions that are intended to be discovered on YouTube while a user browses the platform. Video Discovery ads are shown in search results and YouTube watch pages, and they help to bring your brand closer to your target audience in a more passive way – introducing your brand to a user without annoying them. Also, one of the benefits of Video Discovery Ads lies in the reporting metrics, which include views, clicks, and impressions served.

TrueView Video Discovery Ads

But due to the passive nature of this delivery method, you might be asking yourself, “when will I be charged for a video discovery ad?” Much like that of ad models like PPC, you only pay when a user clicks on your video to watch it.

TrueView Action Ads

Also referred to as TrueView for Performance, TrueView for Action Ads are integrated in their design to help drive leads and conversions. This is done by including calls-to-action, headline text overlays, and an end screen to a video ad. TrueView Action ads allow you to perform multiple actions, from inviting viewers to explore your business offerings to subscribing to your email list. There is a multitude of desired actions you can target to help you grow your brand.

TrueView Action Ads

The primary benefit of this format is that it allows advertisers to drive traffic to a website, primarily, and it is best utilized for lead generation and direct response campaigns. But keep in mind, you must have conversion tracking set up before you’ll be able to create a TrueView Action campaign.


Using Trueview Ads To Drive Higher Engagement

While this all may still seem so new to you, as you expand your YouTube Ad offerings to begin including Video Discovery ads, keep these tips in mind for crafting your next campaign.

youtube trueview ads

Refine Your Targeting

To get the  most out of your ad spend, focus on refining your targeting. Almost identical to that of In-Stream campaigns, the targeting options for YouTube Video Discovery campaigns include keywords, demographics, audiences, topics, and placements. These ads can display in YouTube search results, so keyword targeting for Video Discovery is of an elevated importance when compared to the likes of In-Stream ads.

For example, you can select only the YouTube Search network during campaign set up for your keyword targeting. Then, you can create video ads that function similar in a way to those of SEM ads. Here are some recommendations based on what we’ve seen to be successful.

– Target your brand’s top performing short-tail keywords (or competitor keywords), and limit the campaign reach to only the YouTube Search network

– Replicate the targeting from your existing In-Stream campaigns and compare the performance

– Utilize Google Ads Audience Insights and any additional social media insight data to target specific topics and channels your ‘converters’ have shown are interested in

– Target specific channels that are directly related to your industry or niche

Tailor Your Ad Creation

When you are formulating the strategy behind your ad videos, you’ll want to also think about aspects like your thumbnail and ad copy when looking to create effective content. Your ad copy should clearly state what the video is about, but also be creative enough to capture the eye and attention of the viewer.

Choose an esthetically appealing thumbnail image. Yes, Google will auto-generate thumbnails to choose from, but we suggest populating a custom image designed to grab the attention of users. Also, make sure it’s something that strongly represents your product or service and is ‘on brand’.

Compose a clear headline and description – Headlines and descriptions can be creative, but focus on telling people why they should watch your video. Basically, they want to know what they are going to get out of it. So give them the information they need to pique their interest.


Final Thoughts

In our experience, TrueView ads generate higher levels of engagement and lower costs that what we’ve witnessed from Video Discovery ads. It’s just one of the reasons that TrueView ads are an appealing option for marketers and advertisers, especially those looking to drive brand consideration or awareness. Whether your budget is big or small, you can run effective campaigns that target your core audience.


We only do marketing that works.

Work with us →

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