YouTube Ad Types

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2024

Why Use YouTube Ads?

YouTube ads are a form of online advertising that allows businesses to promote their products or services on the YouTube platform. These ads can appear in various formats to help achieve your business’s unique goals. Due to the inclusive nature of the YouTube platform, it can serve as a very successful channel to include in your marketing efforts.

YouTube ads can offer a variety of benefits for businesses looking to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing objectives. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Large potential audience: With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube boasts one of the largest audiences of any online platform, making it an ideal place to reach a wide range of consumers.
  • Targeted advertising: YouTube allows advertisers to target their ads to specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. This specification helps ensure that your ads reach the right audience at the right time.
  • Cost-effective: YouTube offers a variety of bidding options, including cost-per-view (CPV) and cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM), which allow businesses to choose the pricing model that best fits their budget.
  • Measurement and analytics: YouTube provides advertisers with various measurements and analytic tools. These reporting features allow for real-time performance tracking and the ability to make data-driven decisions to improve the quality of your ads.
  • Video format: YouTube is a video-first platform that allows advertisers to use video content to tell their story and connect with their audience in a more engaging way than text or image-based ads.
  • Remarketing: YouTube allows advertisers to target users who have previously interacted with your website or mobile app. Remarketing can be a powerful strategy for increasing conversions and driving repeat sales.
  • Brand awareness: With visual storytelling, YouTube ads can help increase brand awareness and reach a larger audience than traditional advertising methods.
  • Amplifying the reach of your content: Advertisers can use YouTube ads to amplify the reach of video content by promoting it to a wider audience, increasing views, and making it more visible on YouTube’s platform.

What Are the Different YouTube Ad Options?

YouTube offers several ad types to help businesses reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals. These ad types include:

Skippable In-Stream Ads:

These ads play before, during, or after a video and viewers can skip them after five seconds. We recommend this ad type to businesses looking to raise brand awareness and drive website traffic.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads:

These videos can also be played before, during, or after regular video content; however, users cannot skip these ads. They are generally 15-20 seconds long and are great at educating users and driving website traffic. We prefer not to use this ad type unless there is a compelling reason to remove the option to skip. Non-skippable ads can irritate potential customers, so we typically recommend skippable ads.

Bumper ads:

These are short, non-skippable ads that play before or after a video. These videos are only 6 seconds long, so it is important to get your message across clearly and concisely. They are best for raising brand awareness at a large scale. Engagements for this ad type are generally low because they are so quick, but they do offer the ability to reach lots of unique users at an efficient cost.

Discovery Ads (In-Feed):

These ads appear in YouTube search results, as suggested videos, or on the YouTube homepage. They are best for driving website traffic, increasing brand awareness, and growing your brand channel. These ads are great for establishing a connection with your customer base and responding directly to relevant search queries.

Video Ad Policies and Requirements

It’s important to note that YouTube’s advertising policies can be strict, and ads must meet certain guidelines to be approved. Additionally, each type of ad has its own set of targeting options, so it’s important to choose the type of ad that best aligns with your marketing goals and target audience. 

YouTube has certain requirements that video ads must meet to be approved and run on the platform. These include:

  • Ad length: Advertisers can choose the length of their video ads. However, in-stream ads must be at least 12 seconds long, while bumper ads must be 6 seconds or shorter.
  • Ad format: YouTube accepts various video ad formats, including .MP4, .MOV, .AVI, and .WMV. The recommended resolution is 1080p (1920×1080) or higher.
  • Ad content: YouTube has strict guidelines regarding the content of ads, including rules against misleading or deceptive practices, sexually suggestive content, and hate speech. Advertisers should also ensure that their ads comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Ad targeting: Advertisers must target their ads to specific demographics, interests, and behaviors to ensure that the ads reach the right audience. YouTube also has strict policies against targeting ads to children under the age of 13.
  • Ad captioning: YouTube requires that all video ads include captions or subtitles to make them accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Ad measurement: Advertisers must use YouTube’s measurement tools to track the performance of their ads and make data-driven decisions about future campaigns.
  • Ad Policies: Advertisers must comply with YouTube’s ad policies, including the advertising policies and the Creator Studio policies.

It’s important to note that YouTube regularly updates its ad requirements and policies, so advertisers should stay informed about the latest guidelines to ensure their ads are approved and run smoothly. Additionally, if an ad violates the policies, it may be rejected, or in some cases, the channel may be terminated.

Check out these YouTube best practices for more helpful information.

And if you need more help, schedule a call with one of our YouTube experts. Our YouTube advertising services include everything from strategy development to campaign management to YouTube description optimization. We’re excited to learn how we can help you achieve your digital marketing goals.


Increase in organic users by 150% YoY

Learn More

B2B SaaS

136% increase in sessions within 30 days

Learn More

Did You Learn Something New?

Subscribe to our newsletter for more digital marketing insights.