How to run video ads through Google Ads


Video advertising is the most promising format for online advertising. 80% of users prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read information about it or look at pictures. At the same time, 64% of those surveyed are willing to buy a product after watching a video about it.

Are you thinking about launching a video ad? Here’s how to do it with Google Ads.

Google Ads video advertising formats

1. True View In-Stream.

What is it.

A video ad format in which the advertiser pays to see the ad. The money is deducted when the user has viewed the ad in its entirety or for a certain period of time. If he or she closes the video immediately, viewing does not count.

Requirements for a video ad

You will only be able to use an In-Stream video ad in your campaign once you have uploaded the video to YouTube and made the settings:

  • Allow the video to be embedded on other resources;
  • make the video publicly available or accessible via a link;
  • don’t use live streaming.


The minimum length of a video should be at least 12 seconds. The maximum recommended duration of the video should be no more than 3 minutes. If you run an In-Stream video with a skip option, you should remember that you can close the ad after 5 seconds. That’s why it’s important to fit all the main information into this short space of time before the “Skip commercial” button appears.

You can upload an accompanying 300×60 px banner along with the video. The maximum size is 150 Kb. Suitable formats are JPG, GIF or PNG. If there is no banner, a 300×250 px video wall will be displayed instead.

YouTube does not support all video formats. Acceptable formats include MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI and others. See the full list of formats here.

When creating In-Stream ads, specify:

  • call to action: address the user in a way that makes him want to go to the site; you fill in this field when you create ads in
  • Google Ads, the size of the call can not exceed 10 characters
  • header text: talk about your products and services; you must fill this field when you write your ad in Google Ads, the
  • maximum length of the header is 15 characters

True View In-Stream video ads come in two flavors: skip-able and skip-free.

In-Stream with skip option

Placed on YouTube and KMS Google sites. Ads are shown at the beginning, middle or end of the video on YouTube. The skip option is available after 5 seconds of display.

If you choose this format of advertising, you will pay in one of two cases:

You view the ad for at least 30 seconds, or you view the entire video if it’s less than 30 seconds long
The user interacted with the ad, for example, clicked on the accompanying banner, tooltip, or overlay with a call to action

Pay per 1000 impressions.

In-Stream with no skip option

Video ads are shown as a whole, so you can’t skip it. The duration of the video does not exceed 15 seconds. The optimum duration of ads – 7-15 seconds. Otherwise there are no differences from the previous format.

2.TrueView Video Discovery ads.

What is it

A format of video advertising, which is a text ad unit, consisting of a frame and a description of the video.

Ads are shown on YouTube:

  • in search results
  • on the homepage
  • mobile homepage
  • mobile search and review pages


A video is considered watched if a user clicks on it. Payment is for clicks.

Requirements for video ads

Before setting up your ads, upload your ad video to YouTube. Make it open for access or accessible via a link.

To set up Video Discovery video ads, follow YouTube’s guidelines for video clips:

formats: AVI, ASF, Quicktime, Windows Media, MP4, or MPEG
resolution: 640×360 (aspect ratio 16:9), 480×360 (aspect ratio 4:3)
Maximum video file size: 1 Gb

When creating video ads in the Video Discovery format in Google Ads, fill in

Title. Maximum size – 100 characters.
Description. Add a short description of your product/service. You can add a total of two lines of description, each 35 characters long.
Title of the ad. Name your ad so as to capture the essence of the ad and interest users. The maximum length is 255 characters.
Image. Select one of the four options for icons created in Google Ads. This is the image with which your ad will be shown.

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After you click “Create campaign” in Google Ads, your ad will be automatically submitted for moderation. In order to avoid problems with ad moderation, read the recommendations in our article “How to pass ad moderation in Yandex.Direct and Google Ads without problems”.

3. Out-Stream announcements

What it is.

A format of ads for smartphones. Users of mobile devices can see such ads in applications and sites of Google partners.

When you go to the page, the video is automatically launched without sound. The user can turn on the sound, scroll through the video or close it. Payment is made per 1000 impressions.

Two conditions must be met at once:

  • the video has been viewed for at least 2 seconds
  • at least 50% of the ad should be displayed on the screen

Requirements to the ads

Upload a video to your YouTube channel first, so you can include the video URL when creating your video ad in Google Ads.

When creating your video ad in Google Ads:

  • Come up with a headline of up to 80 characters
  • Write a product/service description of up to 100 characters
  • Enter a call to action in up to 15 characters.
  • Upload your logo. Your image should be square and your background should be transparent. Suggested size is 200×200 px minimum. Suitable formats: JPG, GIF or PNG.

4) Bumper Ads.

What they are

These are 6 second long videos that you can’t skip. They are shown at the beginning, middle and end of other videos on YouTube, partner sites and KMS applications.

Ads are paid per 1,000 views.

Requirements for video ads

Upload a video not longer than 6 seconds to YouTube. You can read about the secrets of creating memorable caption ads in the article “Recipe for success Bumper Ads: how to use the video format effectively”.

When creating a video ad in Google Ads:

  • Specify the final and display URL
  • Create a banner automatically from the video, or upload your own image of size 300×60 px
  • Write the title of your video ad, up to 255 symbols

5. masthead ads

What it is

A special video ad format that is only available through ad reservations. Ads are shown on the YouTube home page at the top.

Reservations are made through a Google sales representative. Specialist selects relevant sites for the display of the video and calculates the price of impressions. The advertiser does not participate in the Google Ads auction to reserve a spot.

These ads are shown differently on different devices:

Desktops. Roller is loaded automatically and shown for 30 seconds without sound. Sound can be turned on if desired. There can be 2 formats for displaying the ad – full screen and 16:9 aspect ratio.
Mobile devices. Clips are played automatically without sound. The user cannot close them or skip the video until it is shown in full. Displayed in the YouTube app and on the home page.
TV. Plays automatically in the YouTube TV apps. Shows in full, sound should be turned on by user.

Advertiser pays a fixed price per day or per 1000 shows.

If you’re not sure which format is best for your video ads, read the recommendations in the article “Selecting the best video format for your ads”.

How do I launch a video ad through Google Ads?

To create a campaign, click on the “+” icon in Google Ads, select “New Campaign”.

Select the purpose for launching your ad campaign with your chosen ad format in mind:

  • In-Stream with a skip option. Set up in campaigns with the following goals: “Potential customers”, “Site traffic”, “Brand awareness and reach”, “Interest in brand and products (all)”.
  • In-Stream with no skip option. Set up in campaigns with the Brand Recognition and Reach target.
  • Video Discovery. Adjustable in campaigns without a goal and with a “Brand and Product Interest” goal.
  • Out-Stream. Customizable in campaigns with Brand Awareness and Reach and in campaigns without goals.
  • Caption ads. Same goals as the previous video ad format.
  • musthead ads. Can only be set up through a Google sales rep.
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Setting up video ads using TrueView for Action as an example

This type of campaign is suitable if you plan to increase the number of conversions.

1. Specify one of three goals: Sales, Potential Clients, Site Traffic.

2. Next, select the type of advertising campaign “Video”.

3. Give the name of the campaign. Its length cannot exceed 129 characters.

4. In the “Bid assignment strategy” section select an appropriate strategy:

Maximum conversions. If you select this strategy, bids will be selected automatically by the advertising system. The budget is distributed in such a way, that you will receive the maximum number of conversions.
Target price per conversion. You set the amount you are willing to pay per conversion. Specify an average price, and the system will distribute bids so as to get a maximum number of conversions at specified price.

5. In the Budget and dates section, set the budget type, set the start and end date of the campaign, and the display method.

Select one of the two budget types:

Daily. Specify the average amount you are willing to spend each day.
For the entire campaign. Set the total amount of expenses for the whole campaign, and the system will distribute the budget itself.

The start and end date of the campaign can be set manually. If you do not set a start date, the ads will start showing automatically after moderation.

6. Configure the video to be shown in networks. By default, In-Stream ads are shown on YouTube. You can set up their demonstration also on partner resources.


7. Specify the languages and locations to be used for the campaign.

Learn more about configuring geotargeting in the article “How to configure contextual advertising in Google Ads: instructions and check-list.

8. In the “Excluded content” block, set the types of resources whose content will be displayed next to your ads. The default setting is “Standard Resources”. In this case, ads are shown with videos that are appropriate for almost all brands.

If you want to exclude inappropriate content entirely, select “Precision Resource Settings. If you want to increase the number of resources to show your ads, choose “Extended Resources.

9. Under “Excluded Content,” select the content categories you want to exclude from showing your video ad.

10. Use the “Excluded Types and Labels” settings if you want to limit the display of ads next to a certain type of content based on age restrictions. You can exclude videos labeled “for parentally supervised children,” “for teens,” etc. from showing your ads.

11. Set advanced settings. You can perform selective optimization, select the devices on which your ads will be shown, set frequency limits, and set ad display schedules.

12. In the “Selective optimization” item, specify which conversions to include in the “Conversions” column for the video campaign. By default, the campaign is set up to include account-level data in the “Conversions” column. But you can select specific conversion actions to be counted in this column.

13. Set the devices on which your ads will be shown. By default, your ads are set to show on all appropriate devices. This means that your ad will be seen by users on smartphones, computers, tablets, and TVs.

To narrow your reach, set up displays on specific devices. For example, you can show ads only on smartphones if your video ads are aimed at mobile users, or exclude TVs from the list. Targeting is also available for specific types of operating systems, device models, and networks.

14. In the “Display frequency limitation” section, you can specify the maximum frequency of displaying ads to the same user. To do this, check the “Limit number of impressions” box and specify the number of impressions for a specified period (day, week, month).

You can also limit the frequency of views or interactions with ads to the same user who can receive these ads.

15. Set the ad display schedule. By default, ads are shown all days of the week around the clock. But you can change the settings and show ads only on weekdays, weekends, or on specific days of the week at specific times.

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16. Proceed to create an ad group.

Set up demographic targeting and audience targeting in the Users section.

If you want to attract the most promising users to your KMS, but do not have enough information about your target audience, set up audiences by intention. Read about how to do this in the article “How to set up special audiences by intention in Google KMS.


17. In the “Content” section, specify keywords, topics, and placements.

You can specify keywords yourself or use the service’s help. To get keyword options, specify your site and the product you are advertising. You can also collect keywords with Google Ads keyword planner. Read about its features and how to work with it here.

18. Set up thematic targeting. To do this, select the topics next to which your ads will appear in apps, web pages, and videos.

19. Set where to place your video ads. By default, ads are shown on all YouTube KMS placements that meet your targeting criteria. But you can set your ads to show on specific channels, videos, apps, and sites. This will allow your video ad to be shown only on the home page of the news site or in the highest-rated videos on YouTube.

To speed up the selection of semantics, use the keyword auto-selection tool in the free service. It will help you put together a media plan of your requests based on the content of your site, data from analytical systems or the content of your competitors.

20. Create a video ad. Upload a video to YouTube beforehand. To do this, go to Creative Studio, click the camera icon at the top of the page, and select Add Video. Select the video files and upload to your channel.

To create a video ad in Google Ads, paste the link to your YouTube ad into the empty box. The ad format you chose at the beginning of your campaign setup will appear.

Set the final URL and display URL. Write a short call to action (10 characters), select the title, and click Create Campaign.

If you want to use a different video ad format, use the recommendations at the beginning of the section on selecting the appropriate campaign target. After that, set up your ads the same way you would when running In-Stream ads.

If before launching a video campaign you have doubts about its effectiveness, you’ll find useful tips in the article “Secrets of successful video advertising”.

How to create an effective video ad?

In conclusion, let’s share a couple of recommendations on how to create the most effective contextual videos.

Keep it short

Make sure the main point of the video is revealed in its first five seconds. If it’s TrueView, then it will have a “Skip Ads” button and the opportunity to capture the user’s attention may be missed.

Keep keywords in mind

Link your advertising message to keywords from your targeting. This will allow your ads to reach relevant ads more often, discovered by users who are interested in your topic.

Add calls to action

By focusing on the script and the visuals of your ad, it’s easy to forget about the important element of advertising, such as the call to action. Don’t make that mistake: a call to action is necessary in any format.

Take advantage of every opportunity

Don’t let lack of budget for production or time for script be a barrier for making commercial. In this article, you’ll learn how you can shoot it with virtually no investment.

Save money by automating routines and rewards

Since Google Ads videos are still contextual, you can still get rewards from, provided you comply with the Affiliate Program requirements stipulated in your partnership agreement. You can get up to 6% of your expenses back to your account. Over 15 tools will save you time and money on configuring and managing your campaigns: the media planner will make accurate budget forecasts, the autobidder will save on smart rate management and the Google Ads recommender will intelligently optimize your campaigns.

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