Video ads on Google – what you should know and how to use them

October 27, 2022

Google is possibly the world’s largest search engine today. In the more recent past, just two years after it was created in 1998, this “information highway” launched what are called Google Ad Words. Today, these are known as Google Ads and they have a profound impact on the ways in which businesses advertise. But apart from the standard types of ads that we see on Google, we’re increasingly seeing a rise in YouTube usage. 

With 2.1 billion monthly and global active users, the number is increasing each year and YouTube shows no signs of slowing down. With this in mind, it’s important to emphasise that ads on YouTube result in large purchase rates. Recent research puts this at 43%. As a massive search engine in its own right, modifying your Google ads for video is an important step to take for your business’ success. Here’s why.

Google Ads: a brief outline of the different types

Google ads come in many shapes, sizes and types. For the novices among you, a brief outline of the types of ads you can see on Google include the following:

  • Search ads: ever typed in a search query on Google and saw an ad at the top of the search results page? Well, this is a search ad. It’s a text ad that is displayed among the search results on Google. 
  • Display ads: these are generally image-based ads and are shown on web pages within the Google Display Network (GDN).
  • Shopping campaigns: these types of ads appear in two primary areas: firstly, they appear among search results and secondly, they can be found in the Google shopping tab.
  • App campaigns: here, ads are optimised across websites and within app stores such as the Google Play Store.
  • Smart campaigns: with these ads, Google finds the best targeting in order to achieve the highest possible returns on your ad budget.
  • Performance Max: this is a new campaign type. It enables advertisers to have access to all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. 
  • Video ads: finally, we have video ads. These are between six and 15 seconds long. They are generally found on the YouTube search engine. Visually stimulating, these are the ads we’ll be focusing on in this article.

Video ads: what they are and how they work

Although video ads may appear in one category of Google ads, as mentioned above, they can be further subdivided into various video ad types. Here are the main ones you need to be aware of:

1. In-feed/in-search video campaigns

Perfect for brands that are looking for affordable ways to reach audiences related to a certain topic, in-feed video campaigns can appear on the YouTube homepage, in search results or in the related videos section of a watch page. Essentially, they use placement targeting, which roughly translated means that advertisers are able to choose the specific pages and search queries that they would like to appear under. The way that these ads work is by having your video ad placed alongside YouTube content which is relevant to a user’s search. It’s great for building brand awareness, driving sales or even growing your YouTube audience. 

2. In-stream ads

In-stream ads are meant to be used by brands that are seeking to drive major awareness campaigns. So, how do they work? It’s important to note that these ads can be skippable or non-skippable. The skippable ads are charged on a cost-per-view basis while non-skippable ads are charged based on the number of impressions. In addition, they can appear before, during or after a video if it is over 10 minutes long. These ad types can also appear as related videos as well as across websites and apps that run Google ads. The purpose of in-stream ads is to help drive conversions and reach new audiences. They are also quite cost effective. 

3. Bumper ads

Next up, we have bumper ads. Ideal for retargeting purposes, they help give your target audience more information about your brand or product, especially those who have already made a purchase. These ads are short – only about six seconds long. As a result, they’re considered less disruptive and create a sense of urgency. These are the shortest type of video ad that YouTube currently supports. However, although short, they can truly help drive conversions with short, punchy messages. 

4. Masthead ads

Masthead ads are typically found at the top of YouTube’s homepage feed. This applies both to desktop and to the YouTube mobile app. These are quite a unique advertising opportunity that can help brands drive conversions. However, their costs are considerably higher than the three YouTube ad types mentioned above and they will need to be reserved through a Google sales representative. In addition, it’s good to note that although these ads can reach a much wider audience, their relevance, however, may be lower. It should therefore be a careful balancing act in terms of your conversion and campaign goals. 

Steps to creating video ads on Google

With all the options available to you in terms of advertising on YouTube with video ads, there are a few essential steps involved in the process to getting started. 

  1. As a starting point, you need to know exactly what your goals with a particular ad are. In your Google Ads account, you’ll be able to select from the following: Sales, Leads, Website traffic, Product and brand consideration as well as Brand awareness and reach. The main goal will also determine your campaign subtype. This will play an instrumental role in the ad formats that you can use to help you achieve your goals.
  2. Secondly, it’s important to have a clear budget set out because this will determine how often your ads are shown and their prominence when featured. Be aware of your bidding because this will determine the way in which your budget is spent. Luckily, you have options to choose from. For example, you can select whether you’d like your budget to be targeted at ad views, clicks, site conversions and more. In addition, you can always readjust your campaign to improve its performance.
  3. The next consideration relates to your targeting. With your campaign, you can explicitly focus on reaching people in specific locations, who speak a particular language or those who have a given interest. There is also the option to add content exclusions to help you reach a more focused audience.
  4. Furthermore, you will also be able to organise your ads with ad groups. This is an important way of helping you refine your targeting. It’s a great way of showcasing various products in a range. Alternatively, it’s a way to show different product categories.
  5. Lastly, there’s the aspect of actual ad creation. Some of the most important features of successful ads include creating relevant headlines and calls-to-action. Being creative means that you’re more likely to inspire your audience to take an action. 

Other related aspects to consider for a successful video ad campaign

When it comes to the actual creation process of your video ad, you need to always be thinking of your target audience. Create something that they’ll want to watch from start to finish. Interactive content is one of the best ways to do so. 

You’ll also want to make sure that you show real and satisfied customer reviews. With their massive influence on consumer behaviour, don’t hesitate to include these in your ads as well. 

Your ad should also be short and to the point. Since you’re essentially interrupting a user’s video watching experience, you want to make sure you do not frustrate them with overly long videos. Sticking to the best practice of 12 to 20 seconds should help you achieve this goal. 

Research is another crucial element to consider. It not only involves studying what your competitors are doing but also understanding your target demographic’s needs. 

Finally, you may have created the perfect ad but it’s no use if your entire digital presence doesn’t support it. For example, an ad that requires a purchase should lead your audience to an ad landing page. Ensuring that you actually have such a page will mean that you do not waste your precious clicks. There are also optimised “thank you” pages for new leads post-conversion. Therefore, it’s vital to have a comprehensive and complete offering to support your ads. 

Final thoughts

Video ads can be a powerful way for you to target and engage your audience. However, they require knowledge of the right ad format and a clearly defined strategy that is supported by a holistic online offering. With this in mind, are you ready to create your next video ad? And do you need any help? Remember that at Interval Digital, we’re just a click away and ready to offer our assistance. Simply reach out to our friendly team and we’ll get the ball rolling.

If you need some assistance with your overall social media and digital presence, let us know and get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.

You May Also Like…