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What Are YouTube TrueView Ads

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Digital Marketing, Paid Media

What Are YouTube TrueView Ads, and Why Should You Use Them?

YouTube is the world’s largest video-streaming service. With over 3 billion monthly viewers, it’s an excellent platform for reaching customers. However, gaining traction on YouTube can take some work. This post explains what TrueView ads are and why marketers might consider using them.

TrueView ads offer several benefits for advertisers:

  1. They allow marketers to target specific audiences based on interests, demographics, and behavior.
  2. They provide better tracking data compared to standard ads.
  3. They help increase conversions because they don’t disrupt the viewer’s experience.
  4. Since trueview ads are embedded into the user’s original video stream, they can be shown repeatedly without annoying the viewer.


Keep reading for more information about using YouTube for your brand.


What Is a YouTube TrueView Ad?

YouTube TrueView is a way to connect with highly responsive audiences to your brand. This type of campaign allows brands to target specific demographics based on their interests, behaviors, and preferences. By connecting with the audience while they spend their time online, marketers can reach their intended customers without investing in expensive campaigns.

TrueView ads allow advertisers to run creative campaigns focused on engaging viewers rather than simply reaching more eyeballs. They’re also able to measure the success of their campaigns and optimize future spending accordingly.


Types of TrueView Ads

  • TrueView In-Stream

TrueView in-stream ads come in three types: pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. Pre-roll ads play before the start of a clip, mid-roll ads play in the middle, and post-roll ads play after the end.

Pre-roll ads are generally shown on longer clips, such as music videos, while mid-roll ads are often used on news stories, short films, and sports highlights. Post-roll ads are typically played after the end of a long video, like in movies and TV episodes.

To serve ads to users who watch videos online, YouTube charges advertisers for each “impression” of an advertisement viewed by a user. An impression occurs whenever an individual views a single banner or displayable advertising unit. Impression fees vary depending on the type of media being displayed (e.g., banner ads) and the size of the audience served. 

You’ll also be billed differently according to the type of video your ads run. If you’re advertising in a news clip, you’ll be billed per minute of airtime, whereas if you’re advertising in an entertainment video, you’ll be billed by the total length of time your video plays.

  • TrueView Reach Ads

TrueView Reach Ads integrates into Google’s existing advertising platform and can create an impression across multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets, desktops, laptops, TVs, and connected speakers. You can also choose to serve these ads within YouTube videos, allowing them to play seamlessly alongside video content. In addition, you can target users based on age, gender, location, device type, and interest to ensure that only relevant audiences see your ads. Learn more about TrueView Reach Ads here.

  • TrueView Action Ads

TrueView for Action Ads (formerly known as TrueView for Performance) is one of several different video ad formats that Google offers marketers today. These include:

  • TrueView for Shopping: An overlay that appears over the product image with a call-to-action.
  • TrueView for Performance: An end screen that appears once the viewer finishes watching the video.
  • TrueView For Video: A full-screen view of your video ad that appears while viewers watch another video.


TrueView for Action ads allow you to add a call-to-action button to your video ads that prompt visitors to take specific actions like downloading a file, signing up for a newsletter, or subscribing to a mailing list.

You can use TrueView for Action ads to promote products, sign up for an event, or encourage customers to make purchases. They are best suited for direct response and lead-gen campaigns because they prompt viewers to take immediate action.


  • TrueView Video Discovery

TrueView video discovery ads are indeed video ads meant for discovery. They are shown in search results and YouTube Watch Pages. These ads allow brands to reach out to potential customers without annoying them. One might see one of these videos while browsing YouTube and potentially end up clicking on it. Once clicked, you will go to the advertiser’s website, where you learn about their products and services.

What happens when clicking on a video discovery ad? One is sent directly to the advertisers’ website. Once there, the viewer may watch the entire video or skip ahead to another section of the page. Furthermore, you can choose whether or not to subscribe to the advertiser’s e-mail list.

With traditional e-mail marketing, you’re often bombarded with messages from companies trying to sell you stuff. But once you get an e-mail from someone who knows you well enough to send you something personal, you’re likely to be interested in reading their message.

You can track how many people clicked on your video discovery ad by looking at the metrics within YouTube Analytics. You can see the number of times each one was seen, the total number of viewers who saw them, and how long they watched for.

The good news is that you don’t have to pay for every impression. For example, let’s say you run a campaign for $100 per day. You’d only be billed for impressions that resulted in clicks. So if you ran a campaign for $100 for three days, you’d only be charged for those three days.

However, keep in mind that you must meet specific criteria to qualify for TrueView video discovery ads:

  1. You must have a verified channel on YouTube.
  2. Your channel must have over 10,000 followers.
  3. You must have at least 2,500 hours of uploads.
  4. Your total view count must exceed 500 million minutes.
  5. Your channel must be active for at least 90 days.


You can start running TrueView video discovery ads if you meet the above requirements.



Where Do TrueView Video Discovery Ads Appear?

  • YouTube Search Pages

Alongside the organic search result as a top result, containing a headline, channel name, thumbnail, and video count.

  • Youtube Watch Pages

The watch page is an extremely relevant way to display video discovery ads. They can appear in several positions, including the related video section as a separate video or overlayed on the video.

  • Youtube Mobile Apps Homepage

Video discovery ads can also appear on the homepage of the YouTube app.

  • Youtube Mobile Web Search and Watch Pages

Discovery ads can appear on the YouTube mobile search and watch pages and will show as promoted videos in the top related video slot.



Why Should You Test TrueView Ads?

TrueView is one of the newest advertising options on YouTube. This type of ad allows you to target specific audiences based on their interests and behaviors. For example, if you sell a product related to sports, you could place an ad targeting only fans of NBA basketball. Or, if you sell a car, you could target people searching for “car insurance.”

With TrueView ads, you don’t pay per impression as traditional ads do. Instead, you pay a flat fee every time someone watches your video. So, even if your video runs for 10 seconds, you still pay $0.10. And since there are no limits on how long your video can run, it doesn’t matter whether it takes 5 minutes or 50 minutes to watch.

Recent Changes to the YouTube Platform to Note:

YouTube has limited its use of cookies and pixels to improve the quality of advertising experiences. Because more than 50%of YouTube views are now on smartphones and tablets, YouTube has moved away from traditional tracking forms like cookies and pixels that are better used for web views on desktops. Instead, it is adopting a more accurate way to track and set targeted ads across multiple devices, which includes Google’s Customer Match feature. By implementing this change, advertisers can provide more relevant content to their target audience.

Access to More Detailed Insights Continue to Become More Available

Google announced today that it is expanding access to more detailed insights about ad campaigns on YouTube. These include video views, watch times, and other data points that help advertisers understand what audiences are watching and how well their ads perform. To make this possible, Google partnered with the media rating council (MRC)-accredited third parties, including iSpot.tv, Mediamath, and VideoEgg.

The announcement follows recent efforts by Google to improve the quality of advertising on YouTube. In 2017, Google launched a program called Quality Ads, which allows advertisers to run ads across different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter while still measuring each campaign’s success.

Since launching, Quality Ads has helped advertisers reduce fraud rates by up to 90%, according to Google. However, the company says there is room for improvement. For example, some advertisers report that their accounts are flagged for review even though no one has reported the issue.



30-Second Unskippable Ads Have Been Phased Out

YouTube announced that it would stop offering 30-second unskippable ads starting January 2020. This change comes after several months of testing where the ad format was used on select channels. In addition, Google says it will continue to offer shorter formats like 20-seconds and 6-seconds.

The reason behind this decision is simple: many people abandon videos that contain long ads. For example, according to research conducted by YouTube, the average video viewed on YouTube comprises about 3 minutes of advertising. And while the vast majority of those ads are skippable, there are some exceptions. A recent study found that nearly 40% of the videos that had been watched for at least three hours contained an unskippable ad.

So what does this mean for marketers? Since you can’t just repurpose your TV ads into YouTube videos, you’ll have to come up with something else. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Create a “TV Commercial” version of your original ad. If you’re already producing TV commercials, you could take one of your existing spots and edit it down to fit within the length restrictions. Or, you could make a completely separate spot for YouTube. Just keep in mind that this will likely cost you more money upfront.
  2. Use your brand’s logo. Instead of showing a generic product, show a picture of your logo. You can even use stock footage of your logo against a white background.
  3. Show a short clip of your product. If your product isn’t very visual, try showing a short clip of your existing product.
  4. Reuse your existing social media posts. If you’ve already posted about your product on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other similar platforms, you could post that same content on YouTube. Just remember to include the link to your campaign landing page.


Grow Your Business by Using a Team That Understands TrueView Ads

In recent months, we’ve seen a number of companies begin experimenting with YouTube TrueView ads. These ads are designed to help advertisers reach their target audiences while keeping costs down. Some marketers have reported seeing up to a 70% increase in ROI when running these ads.

But what does this mean for you? Are you ready to start testing out YouTube TrueView ads? 

We want to make sure to give you the best opportunity for success and to do that, and we will help you decide how best to approach YouTube advertising. We can advise what type of content best suits your needs, such as deciding on a direction for your videos.

Do you want to get your brand name out there? Do you want to focus on a specific product or service? Do you want to tell an ongoing story by releasing new videos over a period of time to better hype an upcoming event or release? Having us in your back pocket brings years of YouTube advertising experience to the table to make your advertising stand out. 

Connect with our V Digital Services team and learn how YouTube TrueView ads can help your business grow today!