Should You Advertise on YouTube?

Today I’ll be talking about Google Adwords, and in particular Adwords for video, which is known as TrueView. This advertising stream is usually overlooked by many businesses, so I’ll let you know how it works, how to use it, and how to optimize your videos for this format.

01:01 – In-Stream
01:35 – In-Search & In-Display
02:05 – In-Slate
02:25 – Optimising Your Video

TrueView allows businesses to have targeted, customized video ad campaigns on YouTube. While larger businesses have been using this feature for a while, small and medium business have largely stayed away and missed it’s awesome potential.

TrueView lets you target specific demographics, such as age, gender and interests, and will put your advertisements with appropriate searches and videos. The best part is, you will only be c harged when a viewer actually watches your video, so you aren’t paying for abstract “impressions” on websites. You are given 4 different options of how you’d like your video to be delivered to your audience when you advertise on YouTube.


This option plays your video before another YouTube video. It’s the most popular choice, because the viewer is only able to skip your video after 5 seconds. This gives you at least 5 seconds of unbroken attention to generate brand awareness. You will also only be charged if the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of your video, or the full video if it’s less than 30 seconds. While it is a great way to catch your audience’s attention, you might see less clicks through to your website, as your viewer might be distracted by the video that comes after it.


In-Search & In-Display

These two options are pretty much the same, as both options will see your video appear as search results for relevant searches on YouTube. In-search will put your video link at the top of the search results page, while In-Display will place them on the right hand side with other relevant videos. This gives the illusion that your video has come up as a search result naturally and the viewer will see your video as being a legitimate result from their search.


This will give the viewer the option of choosing your video as an alternative to regular commercials. This option only works on YouTube partner videos that are at least 10 minutes long. If the viewer chooses your video (remember: you won’t be charged if they don’t), you will have their attention because they actually CHOSE to watch your video.

Optimising Your Video

I’ve seen many videos on this format and the biggest issue I’ve noticed is a lack of optimization. Companies aren’t customizing their videos to properly engage the audience. If you choose the In-Stream option, and have 5 seconds of undivided attention from your viewer before they have the option to skip, you need to do all you can with those first 5 seconds. Bring your brand’s identity to their attention early and make your video as compelling and interesting as possible right from the start.

Using comedy or something with shock value are great ways to quickly gain an audience’s attention. Or you can make a promise to your viewer that you will fulfil later in the video, and all they have to do is keep watching. Arouse interest and make sure you utilize every opportunity you have, whether it’s the 5 seconds of video space you get with In-Stream, or a thumbnail and heading from a search result with In-Search.

It’s cost-effective, it’s on one of the largest websites in the world and it can be used by anyone, quickly and easily. I think TrueView will be a great asset to getting attention to your next web video. Take a look at our comparison of YouTube Vs other video hosting services here. If you’ve had results or experience with TrueView, leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.



 Ryan Spanger


Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-profit sector to connect with their audience by using video.

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