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Do Not Annoy Your Viewers: Top YouTube Ad Formats

Digital Marketing
April 3, 2023

No matter how big your brand name is, the worst thing you can do is to annoy your viewers with intrusive ads. The big question here is whether there is the least intrusive ad format in YouTube

As an art in itself, YouTube commercials necessitate the utmost creativity. Most brands, though, lack creative approaches regardless of whatever ad format they opt for in Youtube video advertising.

As an essential part of video marketing, we suggest creatives as the best-fit option to save viewers from the ‘hard sell’ effect especially when everyone’s ‘me time’ is at stake.

While most branded YouTube commercial streams have bored viewers to death, bet on human touch and creativity.

With focused and engaging short-form video content in trend, YouTube bumper ads will be on hype in 2023.

Today, Promodo experts have come with a new piece of video marketing expertise, so keep on reading to know more.  

Make Your Ad Journey Sensitive

To voice your brand awareness across various YouTube ad formats, bet on the human touch. On an emotional level, the ads associated with your brand name should be both engaging and enjoyable. Instead of pursuing a hard sell, make your YouTube commercials resonate with people’s needs.

People do not like sales-driven interruptions even from the world’s best brands, so be sure to entertain your audiences. At least a bit. Humor is what will help viewers associate your brand name with creativity.

Our expert says: Always be creative! Try to show different types of YouTube ads to the same audience. For the initial appearance, show a 10-15-second ad, and adapt it up to 6 seconds for further appearances (see. YouTube bumper ads). The approach will allow you to increase the frequency of your Youtube video ad campaign and keep viewers unannoyed. Use this tactic as your passive communication. Balance your timeline. It is ok to translate an ad campaign to the same target audience more than 3-5 times a month, though no longer than that. Vitaly Аlexandrov, Media Team Lead at Promodo.

What’s On The Other Side of the Fence?

Among the major issues faced by YouTube today is how many ad interruptions users are ready to tolerate.

6-15-second ads, let alone longer ones, absolutely discourage viewers and create a negative association with an advertiser. Insider Intelligence (2022) reports that 63% of overall ad duration is up to 15 seconds, 20% of YouTube ads last for 16-30 seconds, and a mere 3% cover 31-35-second-long video ads.

Notwithstanding, YouTube is about to grow at an unskippable ad rate. This means that if we put up with more ads, YouTube will show us more.

Unskippable pre-roll ads discourage users from watching their intended videos. Ad interruptions within larger videos often come as a major deterrent.

The fallout of ad breaks is evident through a rising association of YouTube with cable TV.

According to a recent Google Research, 59% of respondents claim YouTube ads as much more relevant than their linear TV and streaming app counterparts. This means that more and more people take direct action on the platform.

YouTube Premium ad blockers and supportive features are the only possible way to watch ad-free videos.

Part of the human touch in video marketing is letting viewers skip your ads, no matter how creative they may come. In the first few seconds, allow users to decide whether they are interested.

In 2018, IPG reported that more than 65% of viewers skip online video ads. The number has turned above 90% today, according to the BrandGym.

While brands invest billions in YouTube ‘pre-roll’ ads, more and more users are hovering over the ‘skip’ button. Habitually, we all want those 5 seconds to end up asap.

At the very best, people will view up to 30% of an ad before they skip it.

While you may spend extra budgets on your YouTube ads, never insist on people watching them!

The longer you will distract viewers from watching their intended video, the less loyal they will get to your brand.  

To make users un-skip your ads, make your products and/or services relevant to your target audience. Keep people watching your commercials for at most five seconds. This time is just enough to voice your brand name and a unique offer behind it. If you fail at this vital time, you’ll lose them!

You may even let viewers skip your ads once they pop up. While this is a super-human option, you may still want ads to pay you off by getting your message across. Remember your deadline here is up to five seconds.

Keep your video commercials as concise as possible. Creative approaches will help your ads grip viewers immediately. To this end, Think With Google (2019-2021) reports that advertisers who experiment with creatives see higher ad recall by up to 60%.

To resonate with your offer, provoke a sense of curiosity. The most concise offers will never annoy your potential customers.

Voicing a message clearly will help you hook viewers' interest and resonate with your call to action (CTA). Promise them more information with a one-click option to YouTube channels or social media platforms. Once they are in, you can offer longer ads.

Don’t Sell: Be Creative!

Beyond human touch, bet on creative elements to reel people into watching more. A crucial question here: What would make your users want to watch your ad? Your only choice here is to bet on creative Youtube video ad formats.

Right from scratch, fill your ads with a creative spin. Make your commercial offer unlike what people see among your competitors. Make your product and/or service outstanding. With more creativity, you are highly likely to get organic ads.

And there’s much more to that.

Creative ads that bring you organic traffic are the most cost-effective. Experts say that paid promotions will never generate the same effect.

Ben Jones, Head of Creative Works at Google, insists that ads should drive action on platforms like YouTube. However, the effect is the opposite whenever advertisers downplay creativity.

Many advertisers fail to sell their brand story short on a lower-funnel stage. This is because they lack the creativity to align lower-funnel ads with people’s passion points. Consequently, they cannot make a more targeted offer directly.

on a lower-funnel stage

Brands are getting more and more creative with their calls to action (CTAs) as a feasible extension beyond the first ad impression. The most engaging ads foresee the next step taken by a viewer. This explains why 63% of users buy directly from the brands they spot on YouTube.

This is when people start loving you and making positive associations with your brand name.

With the same effect, you make them want to see more ads. Pure magic, isn’t it?  

As creative as you may get, captivate viewers with your brand’s story with an authentic touch. People will start resonating with your outstanding experience.

This is how you generate your brand identity through YouTube marketing campaigns.

Once again, always make viewers relate to your story.

How Do You Spot Your Best-Fit YouTube Ad Format?

The choice of the right ad format is essential to YouTube campaigns. With an array of options ranging from skippable to stream masthead ads, we'll now show you how not to get lost.

Your Best-Fit YouTube Ad Format

First things first, just a brief outline of three types of video ad types, namely:

🔴 Video ads appear anywhere around or within your commercial

🔴 Non-video ads are text and banner ads shown alongside your video.

🔴 Premium ads are native YouTube Mastheads.

YouTube Video Ads allow you to reach out to potential customers while they watch or search for videos. So how long are YouTube ads?

Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

Formerly referred to as Youtube Trueview ads, skippable in-stream ads may appear before, during, or after a video. YouTube viewers will see your commercial for 5 seconds only. Then, they have a choice to watch more or skip it.

With all your creativity, do your best to engage viewers the more the better.

Skippable in-stream ads will work best once you want to:

🔴 Surge brand awareness

🔴 Generate leads

🔴 Boost sales on YouTube.

With skippable youtube in-stream ads, you may experiment with a variety of interactive elements: call-to-action (CTA) buttons, links to your site or social media platforms, and product feeds to encourage people to get in touch with your brand.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

Non-skippable in-stream ads are your perfect choice once you need to push your brand awareness.

They emerge anywhere around a video, before or after it. There is no skip option whatsoever.

Non-skippable in-stream ads

🔴 Depending on regional requirements, non-skippable in-stream ads last 15-20 seconds.

🔴 To get a message across in the best possible way, YouTube marketers make these ads last from 6 to 15 seconds.

🔴 YouTube non-skippable ads cost per view varies from $0.05 to $0.30

Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are among the shortest video formats. Marketers particularly benefit from bumper ads to leverage brand awareness and reach more customers.

The format is about generating concise commercials to make your message memorable.

With six-second videos or less, bumper ads embrace bite-sized messages that do not interfere with people’s viewing experience.

Bumper ads are short non-skippable commercials placed before an intended user ad. Owing to the short length, the magic of bumper ads is in keeping user attention. This is also owing to a countdown timer that indicates a duration.

Six seconds of watch time or less feature bumper ad format as non-disruptive to people’s viewing experience.

Bumper ads are trending in 2023

Overall, bumper ads:

🔴 Use short, memorable messages

🔴 Do not annoy viewers

🔴 Make viewers focus on ad content

🔴 Enable broad outreach, and

🔴 Boost brand awareness.

Bumper ads are mostly used by large companies to inspire target audiences and boost brand awareness on an upper-funnel level.

You may also want to know how much do bumper ads cost on YouTube. While bumper ads are charged by cost per thousand impresions (CPM), our expertise indicates that the cost varies from $1 to $4 per 1000 views.

Our expert comments on how to make a YouTube ad? Your best choice of YouTube format will mostly depend on a set goal and purposes of your ad campaign:  If you need to share your ad or tell people more about your brand, bet on non-skippable in-stream ads.  If you try to boost engagement, rely on bumper ads. Once your strategic goal is to get maximum views, be sure to launch skippable in-stream ads. Vitaly Аlexandrov, Media Team Lead at Promodo.

Which YouTube Format will work best for you?

Youtube Video Discovery Ads

Discovery ads come just like the videos suggested by YouTube.  

Benefit from this video ad format in the later stages of your business development. Discovery ads on Youtube are feasible when you want to:

🔴 Engage with people who search for similar videos as yours  

🔴 Get more views and subscribers

🔴 Rank atop of the competition.

In-Feed Video Ads

Marketers use 15-20-second-long native ads to align your brand name, product, or service with YouTube content and better resonate with targeted audiences. Placed inside a feed, in-feed ads ensure an advanced user experience and help you monetize.

In-feed video ads assume diverse display formats, ranging from YouTube search pages to mobile search pages.

Outstream Ads

Outstream video ads autoplay with the sound turned off in-page, in-banner, and in-text formats. These are mobile-only ads appearing on Google video partner apps and sites.

Non-available on YouTube, outstream runs across various mobile placements and appears in banners, fullscreen and portrait modes, as well as in-feed and native formats.

Users spot outstream ads by scrolling over a video. The video pauses automatically once the user scrolls away. Users can unmute the video by tapping outstream ads.

You’ll spot an outstream ad playing within your area of vision. However, the video commercial will pause once you scroll down. This features outstream ads as non-interruptive commercials allowing viewers to choose whether to watch them or not.

For example, outstream video ads organically appear as part of online articles. Once you scroll over the ad, they start playing.

To make outstream ads visible, it is crucial to display at least 50% of the commercial content on screen for no less than two seconds.

As a non-intrusive video ad alternative, advertisers use outstream ads to ensure higher click-through rates (CTR) and enhance viewability. Most importantly, the advertised video content in this case matches user interests.

The format is super beneficial whenever you want to expand your brand awareness on mobile devices and reach more customers.

Non-disruptive to user experience, viewers appreciate the choice of playing outstream ads. In their turn, marketers are happy to pay only for the viewed ads. Finally, publishers benefit from an enhanced brand sentiment.

Video Sequence Ads

Sequencing comes as a creative advertisement. This video marketing format boosts user action throughout the conversion funnel.

As a cost-effective strategy, sequential advertising emphasizes the ads that best resonate with viewers at a definite point in time.

You are free to set up a series of videos that will best tell people about your brand, product, or service.

We consider video ad sequencing campaigns as the best-fit approach to drive interest, put the message across, or emphasize a shared theme. This way, you generate user-oriented content for every stage of your customer's journey.

As a targeted content marketing strategy, video ad sequencing will help you nurture leads, grow retention rates and ensure an agile brand experience.

Masthead Ads

YouTube Masthead is a native video-based ad format to help you show your brand, product, or service.

Masthead ads appear on your homepage for 24 hours with a maximum reach of up to 60 m. viewers. The en masse ad format will help you drive greater reach with effective and memorable ads.

The format is feasible for an en masse outreach and brand awareness, though you can show your ad only in one country.

Finally, while YouTube Mastheads are of a broadcast nature, they are less targeted.

Summing Up

We suggest launching YouTube campaigns by experimenting with short 6-second video advertising formats that will allow you to come up with the best-fit value proposition.

Do not make ads longer than 3 minutes.

Be sure to display the most important information about your brand, product, or service in the first 15 seconds. Beware that YouTube counts all video ads from 6-to-15 seconds as non-skippable.

While knowing your best YouTube ad format will take a test and trial, we suggest skippable in-stream ads if you start your YouTube journey. The format will help you surge brand awareness in the most cost-efficient way.

Once your focus is on promoting a YouTube channel, opt for discovery ads.

If your budget is sufficient and you want to get your brand message across to a wide audience, be sure to benefit from YouTube Mastheads.

Our expert says: Plan your ad campaigns in detail. Target them at specific audiences. It is of vital importance to split YouTube ads as per audience segments. At Promodo, we also recommend benefitting from the stack of available Youtube analytics tools to track how YouTube ads impact your site performance, user behavior patterns UX, and sales rates. If your budget is not scarce, make the best use of Brand Lift to understand how ads add to your brand awareness and user purchase intent. Vitaly Аlexandrov, Media Team Lead at Promodo.

Combining several ad formats within a single campaign is also a way to reap fruit from multiple ad formats. Lastly, do not be afraid to experiment with and test creatives and new target audience segments. Once you’ve spotted your perfect video marketing strategy on YouTube, be sure to stick to it!

Written by
Taras Bereza

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Taras has 16 years of hands-on copywriting experience overseas with 3000+ unique copies.

Accredited with Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2 level) by Cambridge University. Studied at Writing Launch Academy (United States) and owns an Academic Writing Certificate from Oregon University. Author of 12 dictionaries with Apriori Publishers.

April 3, 2023
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