Answers to Your Top Video Ad Questions

If you’ve ever watched videos on YouTube, you’ve most likely seen a video ad.

But for many advertisers, even seasoned ones, video ads can seem like a foreign country.

Therefore, when businesses ask us about video advertising — or if we suggest it to them — they often have lots of questions.

I will use this post to answer some of them.

YouTube video ad questions

Q: Why should I advertise with videos? Can’t I just stick with text and display ads?

A: You can, of course, stay with running text or display ad formats.

Indeed, video ads aren’t a good fit for all businesses. And not all advertisers will have the budget to create video assets and run video ad campaigns.

However, for many businesses, video ads is a great choice.

For example, videos are especially good at showcasing new products. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. Videos are also lauded for their ability to grab and hold attention.

Videos are also popular among younger generations. So if your product is geared towards millennials, for example, video advertising might be a good fit.

One of the knocks against video advertising is the expense of creating videos in the first place. But if you already have existing video assets, then this argument doesn’t hold.

There’s also no disputing the audience size for YouTube. Over 1.9 Billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month. It’s ranked the second largest search engine after Google. It’s simply too big to ignore!

Q: Does YouTube have its own advertising network?

A: Not technically.

YouTube ads are managed through your Google Ads account. (YouTube is a Google Ads property, purchased in 2006.)

YouTube is technically considered a partner of the Search Network. But in practice, it operates like a “video only” equivalent of (after all, it has its own search engine).

Therefore, it’s easier to think of Google Ads as having three networks (even though that’s not technically correct):

1. The search network (text ads, call only ads and shopping ads on

2. The display network (display ads)

3. YouTube (video ads) (technically part of the search network).

Q: What kinds of video ad formats are available?

A: These days, you have many video ad formats to choose from. Here are some of them:

1. Discovery video ads

These ads show up in YouTube search results pages or alongside related YouTube videos. They can also display on the YouTube mobile homepage.

They consist of a thumbnail image from your video with some text.

You’re charged only when viewers choose to view your ad by clicking the thumbnail.

2. In-stream video ads

These are the ads that you see either before, during or after your selected video is played.

They can appear on YouTube watch pages, on videos on partner sites and apps in the Display Network.

Skippable in-stream video ads can be skipped after five seconds. With CPV bidding, you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video or interacts with your video. With CPM bidding, you pay based on impressions.

Non-skippable ads cannot be skipped and must be 15 seconds or shorter. You pay based on impressions. They use target CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bidding, so you pay each time your ad is shown 1,000 times.

Bumper ads are similar to non-skippable ads but are only six seconds long (or shorter).

3. Videos added to responsive display ads

Recently, Google launched responsive video ads for the GDN network. These videos are added to responsive display ads. Videos are shown instead of images whenever Google Ads determines that videos would drive better performance.

These types of video ads are still in the early days, and we’re just starting to test them.

4. Videos with a call to action overlay

Called “TrueView for action” campaigns, these video ads have an overlay with a headline and call to action button:

Video ad questions

We love this feature as it encourages viewers to take action.

It also allows us to track viewer activity more precisely. Not only can we see that they watched the video, we can also whether they clicked the CTA button and continued to engage with the brand.

Q: If I want to run video ads on Google properties (but not necessarily YouTube), do I still need to have my assets in YouTube?

A: Yes!

As mentioned above, YouTube is a Google property. Therefore, all we have to do is link your YouTube channel to your Google Ads account to manage them both.

Recently, we had a client who didn’t realize this was the case. They decided to remove all of their video assets from YouTube, and shut down their YouTube channel, before coming to us to run their video advertising.

I felt bad when I had to tell them that, in fact, they would need to reopen that YouTube channel and upload all of their video assets again!

Q: What’s the best way to get started in video advertising without spending a fortune?

A: I often recommend remarketing as an initial approach for businesses just getting into video advertising.

When done correctly, you’re likely to get good results without having to put up a huge budget.

Remarketing is a way of targeting people who’ve already interacted with your company. Maybe they’ve visited your website, used your mobile app, or shared their contact information with you.

Because they already have some familiarity with your brand, they’re more likely to be receptive when you present them with a video ad.

You can also get quite specific in whom you remarket to. For example, you can choose to remarket only to people who’ve viewed a certain category section or page of your website.

You can even remarket to visitors who have viewed any video from your channel, or only certain videos.

The nice thing about this approach is that it doesn’t usually require a huge budget to get started because you’re going after a smaller, more specific group.

Talk to Us About Video Advertising!

Have more questions about video advertising? Don’t hesitate to reach to your Group Twenty Seven account rep and ask. 

Granted, video advertising isn’t a great fit for every business.

But for many of our clients, it’s an excellent choice!