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How to Use YouTube’s Call-to-Action Overlay Ads

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How to Use YouTube's Call-to-Action Overlay Ads

Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day, and with that much traffic, it’s no wonder why marketers are extending their strategies to include YouTube ads.

Brands have the opportunity to link commercials back to the products they’re selling and potentially increase their conversion rate. In this post, we’ll help you achieve those goals by teaching you how to share YouTube overlay ads and give you tips on how to run them successfully.

Not all YouTube ads are short videos; overlay ads are a type of imagery that pops up on the video player as viewers watch their chosen content.

youtube overlay ad example on video platform

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They’re relatively small and inoffensive to the viewing experience and leave enough space to garner the attention of various potential customers. And making them isn’t a challenge, let’s get into it.

How to Create YouTube Overlay Ads

1. Create a banner that fits the dimensions of overlay ad specs.

how to create youtube overlay ads: create a banner that fits necessary dimensions

You can easily create a banner on graphic design platforms like Canva or Photoshop, choose from pre-existing templates, and customize it to reflect your brand identity. And for ideal sizing of the banner, make sure it follows these dimensions:

  • Image dimensions: 480×70
  • File type: Static .GIF, .PNG, .JPG
  • File size: 150 Kb

2. Begin a new campaign in Google Ads.

YouTube ads are created and managed through Google Ads.

how to create youtube overlay ads: begin a new campaign in Google Ads

3. Select “Display” campaign type.

You’re looking to advertise your overlay banner ad, meaning an image you want to be displayed on YouTube.

how to create youtube overlay ads: select display campaign type

4. Choose the type of audience you want to reach.

how to create youtube overlay ads: choose your target audience

When advertising on YouTube, you want to pay to reach the people who are most likely going to be interested in your offering. This means you need to choose your target audience or demographic carefully.

Along with plugging in those specifics, you can set up your ad:

  • Budget: Cost-per-click (CPC or PPC)
  • Duration: Start and end date
  • Content Exclusions: Type of devices to run on

5. Add in your overlay ad banner and run your campaign.

When you’ve finished adding specs to your overlay add, it’s time to run the campaign.

In the case that you want to edit the ad, you can use Google Ads Manager to make adjustments where seen fit.

Youtube Overlay Ads Best Practices

1. Keep your overlay simple and clear to read.

When using Google Ads, you need to adhere to image quality requirements to avoid the risk of having your campaign ended abruptly.

Policies aside, you only have so much space in your overlay ad to show prospects. If it’s hard to read and comprehend at first glance, viewers most likely will press X instead of wanting to learn more about your brand, product, or service.

2. Don’t over-promise in your overlay ad.

When you get your prospects’ attention and get them to your landing page, the last thing you want to do is underdeliver or mislead them, as it makes your brand look untrustworthy.

Use your YouTube overlay ad to familiarize your target audience with the type of solution you can meet, and they’ll have a much more pleasant experience and introduction to your company.

3. Use a compelling call to action.

A strong call-to-action can distinguish between a campaigning budget is well-spent or not.

Overlay ads have already been successful for non-profit organizations because, as blogger Ramya Raghavan reported, they “drive traffic to an off-YouTube web page, where they can collect signatures, email addresses or even donations.” Charity: water best demonstrates the success potential of the new YouTube feature. This non-profit raised $10,000 daily by using the Call-to-Action overlay ads.

4. Send viewers to a dedicated landing page.

Landing pages are uniquely powerful components of a business’s digital marketing strategy.

It’s your business’ opportunity to ask visitors for their contact information in exchange for something of value, otherwise known as an offer.

Make your landing page rich in:

  • Benefit-focused H2s
  • Compelling copy
  • Lead forms or relevant offers

You want prospects to feel like they’re gaining something of value made just for them, so make sure it’s a page worth visiting.

5. Experiment with different in-video overlay ad formats.

youtube overlay ads best practices: experiment with different formats

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You can run more than one campaign at the same time on YouTube. Google Ads lets users create multiple different ads for YouTube, so feel free to get creative. Alongside your overlay ad campaign, you can make other using formats like:

  • Skippable or non-skippable video ads
  • Bumper ads
  • Sponsored cards

Catch Your Audience’s Attention with Overlay Ads

With YouTube overlay ads, you can meet your prospects where they are by targeting and gaining their interest in YouTube. We hope you found this post helpful and implemented some of these tactics into your marketing strategy.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 2009 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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