In our ongoing NuVoodoo studies of the best ways to reach those likely to participate in the ratings, YouTube has enjoyed spectacular growth over the past few years.

Not only do its weekly, daily and chronic (multiple daily occasions) usage levels rival those of Facebook and Instagram among the PPM and diary-inclined, but YouTube has also put distance between it and other sources of audio entertainment, including radio.

Industry vets may remember fondly the good old days of million dollar+ station ad budgets, but today’s programmers can achieve comparable reach and frequency and in a far more targeted fashion for far less. Last week Google added to the growing list of ways advertisers will be able to reach YouTube viewers with paid ads. When added to current options, the choices are dizzying.

YouTube Bumper Videos – Short, non-skippable and reasonably priced, this is our go-to ad unit when we need to cast a wide net fast in the zip codes where the diaries fall or the meters are installed. Videos run next to other video content, so they tend to be viewed with the audio on – unlike videos that play in the largely audio-off environment of social news feeds. Need longer than :06 seconds to get your message across, but don’t want to give viewers the option of hitting the skip button? YouTube can accommodate with its recently reintroduced :15 second non-skippable ad unit. You pay more but get more time to tell the story.

YouTube TrueView – These are longer form video ads. Viewers can hit the skip button after five seconds, but advertisers pay only for engagement or action. Need to give format listeners a free taste of your funny new morning show’s long form bits? Running a contest requiring some type of online action, such as registering for a contest? TrueView and TrueView for Action video ads are a great choice. Best of all, you can take as much time as you need to get your message across, knowing you will only be charged when a viewer watches for a minimum amount of time or takes some type of action.

Google Outstream Ads – A way to extend the reach of a YouTube campaign. These are mobile-only ad units, distributed off YouTube on Google Video Partner publisher mobile sites and apps. The advertising shows up in the middle of content, like videos that start auto-playing on a social media feed. Think of them like billboards with moving pictures that run mostly with the sound off.

Coming Soon: Discovery Ads – These are different than the legacy YouTube Video Discovery ads, which are essentially clickable thumbnails of TrueView Ads. Discovery ads are image carousels, designed to help users discover products they weren’t even looking for. These ads will be featured on Google’s ‘Discover’ feed in mobile browsers, YouTube’s home feed and in the Gmail promotions tab. Discovery Ads should be available some time this year.

Don’t worry…there won’t be a quiz at the end of this. It’s our job to navigate the ever-changing YouTube toolkit, which is why our clients trust their digital ad buys to us so that they can keep focusing on what comes out of the speakers. Feel free to get in touch with me here for a complementary needs analysis.

Mike O’Connor
EVP/Marketing
NuVoodoo Media Services