The Ultimate Guide to YouTube Advertising

Posted on December 18, 2018

What’s up, guys? Today we’re going to be talking about YouTube Advertising, but before we do that, remember to smash that like button, and subscribe for all the latest news about e-commerce. Also before we get started, I’d like to let you know that this article is sponsored by Engine E-Commerce — the eCommerce platform for the next generation.

YouTube Advertising is one of the most effective tools your business can use in 2019. How effective? According to a study by Hootsuite: “YouTube is the second biggest internet search platform after Google, with an audience of 1.5 billion users logging in each month (and it’s still growing). Ninety-six percent of U.S. online teens use the site, and more than one billion hours of YouTube content are viewed daily.” That’s a lot of video content. Pair that with the fact that by 2020 almost 80 percent of internet activity will be video consumption, and you’ll see that this is clearly a market you need to get into fast.

Let’s break down the six types of YouTube ads so you can determine which one is best for you:

1. The Ones You Can Skip

If you want to make a splash, the TrueView ad is probably your best bet. TrueView ads are the kind you can skip within five seconds. TrueView ads are effective though, as “Brands who post TrueView ads often see engagement with their other YouTube content increase by up to 500 percent.” That’s an incredible boost. You do need to make an impact within the first five seconds though, as people have almost become conditioned in a Pavlovian way to skip these kinds of ads. These ads get to a large audience, but are also affordable, making them a pretty easy starting point for your YouTube advertising experience.

2. The Ones You Can’t Skip

These ads are… less than popular. I’ll be upfront and say you should not use these. YouTube doesn’t allow these ads to be longer than 20 seconds, and users are prone to click out of videos with these ads because of their intrusive nature. Do your brand a favor, and leave these as a relic of the past.

3. Bumper ads

Bumpers can’t be skipped, but they’re worth your time. How does that work? Didn’t I just tell you not to use unskippable ads? Yes, I did, but the crucial part here is that these ads come at either the beginning or the end of videos, and can only be six seconds long. Anecdotally, I see very few of these, and think there’s a lot of potential in this kind of ad. Vine rose to massive success behind a seven-seconds-or-less platform, and I think other companies could do the same. The limitations of the medium call for greater creativity, but that greater creativity could be what pulls in customers.

4. Overlay ads

Overlay ads are those little banners that pop up on the bottom part of a video. Sometimes they’re just text, other times they have images. They’re less invasive and can be easily closed, but as we’ve already said, that might be to your benefit. Customers can be drawn to the text you’ve posted, but will especially be drawn in if you have great imagery.

5. Display ads

Display ads appear above the “up next” section of YouTube’s recommended videos. They’re usually a static picture, but can be easily managed through Google AdWords. This is probably the least invasive ad type, but you run the risk of being ignored because of that. If the viewer goes full screen on the video, your display ad will not be seen. Here you have to grab attention instantly or run the risk of being ignored.

6. Sponsored cards

Cards do well if you create your own YouTube content. They’re great for linking out to your website or getting people to subscribe. They also favor people who are willing to engage in your content because they only expand when clicked on. If you have a loyal following, sponsored cards are a great way to monitor and encourage audience engagement.


Obviously, your business will determine which ads are best for you. You know your business more than me. Personally, I think the TrueView ads and Bumper ads are the best bet if you’re trying to increase awareness, and sponsored cards work best for maintaining and growing audience engagement with your content. Whatever works for you, YouTube is the second most popular search platform on the web (sorry Bing), and you would benefit greatly from beginning to test the waters of YouTube advertising.