Introduction to Google TrueView (How YouTube Video Advertising Works)

If you’re trying to dominate your category online, then there’s a good chance you’re probably using video content to engage your site traffic, and are also investing in Google AdWords to drive new traffic to your site. But did you know that with the Google TrueView platform you can take your investments in AdWords and video production to a completely different level to achieve even greater ROI at a fraction of the cost of traditional display and search ads? For digital marketers, TrueView offers a substantially low-cost solution to engage prospects using video advertising on YouTube and the Google Display Network (GDN), and what makes it extremely appealing is that it is largely unknown to most marketers, so-called AdWords experts inclusive.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a quick overview of the Google TrueView video platform and the different types of video advertising campaigns you can execute, including an example of a YouTube Bumper Ad.

How Google TrueView Video Ads Work

The TrueView video advertising platform is really flexible. It offers digital marketers multiple ways of injecting their video content onto YouTube and its display partners’ domains. If you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube, then you’ve most likely already experienced video advertising from a viewer’s perspective.

In-Stream Advertisements

With this type, the ads play prior to other videos playing on YouTube or the Google Display Network. These types of video marketing placements are a great way to quickly generate brand awareness amongst people searching for similar video content. Here, viewers have the option to skip your video after 5 seconds, but as an advertiser, you pay only if a viewer interacts with your content or watches 30 seconds of your video, or, if your video is shorter than 30 seconds, the viewer watches for the entire duration.

Here’s an example of a YouTube In-Stream ad that we ran for Telideo.

Video Discovery Advertisements

TrueView Discovery ads are very similar to the traditional Google Search ads. They appear in various places based on a user’s search or current YouTube experience. Discovery Ads can appear in desktop and mobile search results, on the YouTube homepage, or as an on-screen overlay over a video you’re already watching. They can also appear next to videos with similar content that a viewer might be watching. They work similar to the traditional Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Cost Per View (CPV) bidding model, and the video content must be hosted on YouTube.

TrueView Discovery Ad.png

 Bumper Video Advertisements

Just like TrueView in-stream ads, Bumper ads play prior to when a viewer’s desired video has started. But unlike their counterpart, you will be paying on a Cost-Per-Impression (CPM) bidding model and the viewer does not have the option to skip the ad. The biggest difference here is that the video ad itself has to be shorter than 6 seconds. These types are only recommended mainly for creating brand awareness.

Here’s an example of a YouTube Bumper Ad that we’ve been running for one of our customers.  These ads must be six seconds or shorter in duration.


Compared to traditional AdWords, advertising with video content on YouTube and the Google Display Network is an inexpensive and cost-effective way to generate brand awareness and engage online prospects in new and different ways, at least for now.  If you’re already investing in AdWords and video production, then it’s worth exploring what the TrueView platform can offer.

About the Author

Naren Tichy is a co-founder of Telideo Productions, a Denver video production company and video marketing agency that helps businesses create and distribute high-quality and impactful video content.