YouTube’s TrueView video ads have become a wildly efficient way to reach large audiences at relatively low cost. Google has continued to refine the somewhat confusing options for TrueView ads and is set to make another change starting in April. This latest move is an effort to simplify the buying process while giving advertisers a full set of targeting options.
Google already axed the in-slate ads that showed in videos that were ten minutes or longer awhile back. Now, it will reduce the number of ad formats from three to two by rolling up TrueView in-search ads — the thumbnail ads that display in YouTube search results and are targeted by keywords — with the other thumbnail ad option, TrueView in-display, which show in the list of suggested videos. In-search and in-display both use the same creative assets, the only difference is where they run.
The two ad format options that will be available are in-stream and in-display. An overview:
- In-display – These thumbnail ads will now be targeted to show either in the suggested videos list in the right rail or in search results. Advertisers are charged on a cost-per-view basis.
- In-stream – These ads run as pre-roll before another video on YouTube. Viewers can choose to skip the ad after a few seconds. Advertisers are only charged if a viewer watches for 30 seconds or to the end of the ad if it’s shorter than 30 seconds.
The ad format change sets the stage for an update in how ads are targeted. After April 15, advertisers will select a network (YouTube videos, YouTube search or the Google Display Network) at the campaign level rather than at the ad level.
Advertisers can then target audiences with the following settings:
- Remarketing lists
These options apply to in-display ads as well, so ads set to run on YouTube search pages can now be targeted with more than just keywords.
Again, targeting will occur at the campaign level, and advertisers can combine dimensions such as keywords and demographics to narrow their audience targets.
Starting next month, advertisers will be able to update existing video campaigns. On May 15 all campaigns will automatically be transitioned to the new functionality. All historical reporting will remain intact.