Video Marketing on YouTube using In-feed Ads

In-feed video ads are one of the most powerful new ad types available in YouTube to add to your video marketing strategy—and may very well be one of the most underutilised and underrated ad type in the platform. We use that alot in our Youtube ads agency.

The biggest misconception is that it is the same as Discovery Ads—but trust us, it goes beyond that!

In this article, we’ll break down what YouTube In-feed ads are, learn about in-feed video ad assets, technical specs, reporting tools you can use, as well as show you how you can set one up to get started. 

What are YouTube In-feed ads?

In-feed video ads are a great way to place your brand, product, or service where your target audience is likely to see it. These static ads that show up in three key distinct places:

  • YouTube Search results;
  • YouTube Watch Next; and 
  • YouTube app Home feed. 

In-feed video ads feature a thumbnail image with a headline and up to two lines of text. Upon interaction with the thumbnail, viewers are taken to the YouTube watch page for the ad (in some cases hovering on the thumbnail will start a muted auto play). 

Why are YouTube In-feed ads so powerful?

There are a few key reasons why in-feed video ads are such a powerful marketing tool.

First and foremost, they’re highly targeted.

Unlike banner or interstitial ads—which can be seen by anyone who visits a YouTube channel—in-feed video ads can be targeted specifically to viewers who have watched specific videos from that channel or individual user.

This means that you can reach more engaged viewers who are likely to be more interested in what you have to say.

Secondly, because they’re embedded within the content of popular channels and videos, in-feed video ads tend to be more effective than traditional banner or interstitial Ads when it comes to click-through rates (CTRs).

Why are YouTube In-feed ads underutilised?

There are a few reasons why in-feed video ads might not be as widely used as they could be.

First, they require some additional set-up.

Unlike regular banner or interstitial Ads, in-feed video ads need to be created specifically for each channel and video making it a little less popular. 

The other thing is that they're not as widely seen as other ad types on YouTube.

While banner and interstitial Ads make up the majority of all ads, in-feed videos account for just a fraction of total views on YouTube. This is likely due to their small size (in comparison to banner or interstitial Ads), and the fact that they're less intrusive than other ad types.

Third, some people may not realise that in-feed video ads exist due to their unique design.

As mentioned earlier, they feature a thumbnail image with headline and two lines of text which may not immediately stand out among all the other content on YouTube.

That being said, the key to maximizing your chances of success with in-feed video ads is to make sure you have a well executed strategy that incorporates these features into your overall marketing mix.

How to tell if you’re looking at an In-feed Ad?

In-feed ads are static ads. That means there's no video. They can be found in either your YouTube search results, watch next suggestions, and the Home feed.

The first being Search

When you go inside of YouTube and you search for a video and a bunch of results populate—usually at the top of that list is a sponsored ad, and that is what the first type of in-feed ad is.

Traditionally, this is also known as a discovery ad—hence the misconception, but we’ll get back to this in a bit. 

The second place where you would see these infeed ads is on the Home page. Usually it's the first thumbnail that is suggested as an ad. 

And then finally, In-feed Ads on your Watch Next feed.

This is when you are watching a video and you get a bunch of suggested videos on your right hand side—while some may be found on the right hand column some video placements pop up as an ad. 

Now, we did say we’d go back to why In-feed ads are NOT the same as Discovery Ads. So…

What is the difference between In-feed Ads and Discovery Ads?

The biggest difference between In-feed Ads and Discovery Ads is that Discovery Ads are placed in relation to other videos on the channel whereas infeed ads are generally placed in relation to other videos on YouTube.

With Discovery Ads, they only show up as either the top search results, top homepage results, or the top watch next results. 

With In-feed Ads, placements are popping up NOT just on the first search result placements. It varies all the time—you may get them as your fifth or sixth placement. This is especially the case on your Watch Next recommendations. You see these ads littered throughout the entire list—not just the top results!

What’s great about these is that they appear on both mobile and desktop which gives you plenty of freedom and flexibility when using these types of ads.

How to set up an In-feed Ad campaign?

The process for setting up an In-feed Ad campaign is a little different than setting up a Discovery Ad campaign.

When you are setting up a Discovery Ad campaign, you would go into your YouTube Ads Manager and create a new campaign. With an In-feed ad, you would first need to create the ad itself. 

Then, in the same tab as where you created the ad, you would click on the Create Campaign button and then select In-Feed from the drop down menu.

After that, you would fill out all of the necessary information such as Budget, Territory, and Country. 

You would also have to choose which channel(s) or videos will be eligible for this particular ad campaign and then enter your targeting criteria such as age range or interest category.

After all of that is complete, you would hit Save and your campaign would be live!

If you want a step-by-step tutorial on how you can create a YouTube In-feed Ad campaign, click on this video where we guide you through the process.

Final thoughts

In-feed ads are a great way to get your video noticed by potential viewers. All you need to have is a well executed strategy in order to make sure you're getting the most out of these bad boys.

Now that you know a little more about in-feed ads and how to set them up, it's time to start thinking about some great ways to use them.

If you want to find out more about what our Youtube ads agency could do for your business, jump on a free strategy call with us to know how we can help you grow your brand!

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