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The Beginner’s Guide to YouTube Bumper Ads

Introduced in 2016, Youtube bumper ads are six-second video ads that automatically play before an organic video.

After being acquired by Google in 2004 for a cool $1.65 billion, YouTube has become the definitive platform for watching videos online. 

Each month, over 2 billion people from across the world access the platform on a computer or mobile device to watch videos. 

As a business owner, you can tap into YouTube’s exceptional reach by creating bumper ads.

What Are Bumper Ads?

 Not all organic videos are monetized with bumper ads. If an organic video has a bumper ad, though, viewers must watch it before the organic video. The bumper ad will play until completion, at which point the organic video will load for the viewer.

Benefits of Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are non-skippable, meaning viewers don’t have the option of stopping them prematurely — at least not without abandoning the organic videos with which the bumper ads are used. 

Their non-skippable format makes them effective at grabbing viewers’ attention and, therefore, maximizing their performance as a digital marketing asset.

Most viewers are willing to sit through a bumper ad to watch an online video at just six seconds long. 

If you use longer videos to promote your business, you can expect fewer views and more unsatisfactory marketing performance. 

On the other hand, using bumper ads allows you to capture and maintain viewers’ attention thanks to their short length.

You can use bumper ads to raise brand awareness. According to a study conducted by Google, 70 percent of all bumper ad campaigns significantly increase brand awareness. 

Including your business’s name, logo, colors, and slogan in your bumper ads will expose viewers to your business’s brand, resulting in greater brand awareness.

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Bumper ads can complement other videos that you’ve created to promote your business. Rather than creating entirely new and unique bumper ads, for example, you can re-purpose content from other promotional videos. 

If you have a more extended video ad that generated a lot of views, consider cutting one or more sections from it to use in a bumper ad.

You can choose from a variety of targeting options when creating bumper ads. For instance, you can target YouTube users with bumper ads by age, gender, parental status, and income, or you can target organic videos with bumper ads by keywords, topics, and placements.

How to Create Bumper Ads

Because YouTube is owned and operated by Google, you must create bumper ads, as well as other video ads for YouTube, through Google Ads

After signing up for Google Ads, log in to your advertiser account and click the “New Campaign” at the top of the page, followed by “Brand awareness and reach” for the goal and “Video” for the campaign type. 

You can then select “Bumper” for the campaign sub-type to create bumper ads.

All bumper ads use cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing. Depending on the competition among advertisers, as well as your target CPM bids, Google Ads will charge you a small amount per 1,000 views of your bumper ads. 

CPM prices for bumper ads typically range from $1 to $10. Therefore, you’ll often pay less than 1 cent per view when using bumper ads.

Tips on Creating Effective Bumper Ads

When creating bumper ads, you should convey your promotional message as quickly as possible. Viewers are most engaged during the first few seconds of a bumper ad. 

If you wait until the end of a bumper ad to convey your promotional message, it may fall on deaf ears. From the moment your bumper ads begin playing, viewers should immediately see their promotional messages.

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Along with audio, you can use text overlay to convey your promotional messages in bumper ads. 

While most viewers watch bumper ads with their speakers turned on, some do not. 

If you rely on audio, including narration or spoken dialogue, to convey your promotional messages, you won’t reach these users. 

A simple solution, however, is to use text overlay. By displaying a message in graphic text, most if not all viewers will see it.

Keep in mind, any overlay text used in a bumper video should feature a large, readable font. If the font is small, clunky, or too decorative, viewers may struggle to read it.

Avoid trying to stuff too many messages or too much material into your bumper ads. Simpler bumper ads typically outperform complex bumper ads. 

You can still tell a story in bumper ads, but it should be simple and easy for viewers to follow. Otherwise, its performance will suffer.

Targeting, of course, will affect the performance of your bumper ads. For a successful bumper ad campaign that drives a positive return on your advertising expenditure, you must target a narrow audience of relevant viewers. 

Granted, you’ll attract more views by targeting a broad audience, but it’s not the number of views that matters most with bumper ads; it’s the quality of views. 

With narrow targeting, more viewers will watch and respond to your bumper ads.

Don’t Forget to Split Test

Like with other types of online ads, you should split test bumper ads. Don’t just create and run a single bumper ad. Instead, create at least three bumper ads while allowing them to run simultaneously. 

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Known as split testing, running multiple ads such as this allows you to optimize your bumper ad campaigns more effectively.

If you only create and run a single bumper ad, you won’t be able to compare its performance to that of another bumper ad. 

Running multiple bumper ads allows you to analyze their respective performance data to determine which one works best. 

After running two bumper ads for at least a week, you should have enough data to identify the winner. 

You can then pause or delete the underperforming bumper ad while creating a new bumper ad to take its place.

Bumper ads are just one of several video ad formats supported by YouTube. 

The platform also supports display ads, overlay ads, skippable video ads, non-skippable video ads, and sponsored cards. 

With that said, bumper ads are distinguished by their short length. The six-second video ads play at the beginning of organic videos, where they generate strong engagement among viewers.

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