How to use YouTube call-to-action overlays


Almost 5 billion videos watched on YouTube every day, and with that much traffic, it’s no wonder why marketers are expanding their strategies to include YouTube ads.

Brands have the opportunity to link ads to the products they sell and potentially increase their conversion rate. In this post, we’ll help you achieve those goals by teaching you how to share YouTube overlay ads and giving you tips on how to run them successfully.

Not all YouTube ads are short videos; overlays are a series of images that appear on the video player when viewers watch the selected content.

an example of a youtube overlay ad on a video platform

Image source

They are relatively small and inoffensive to the viewing experience, leaving enough space to attract the attention of various potential customers. And making them is not a challenge, let’s look into it.

How to Create YouTube Overlay Ads

1. Create a banner that matches the dimensions of the overlay specifications.

how to create youtube overlays: Create a banner that fits the required dimensions

You can easily create a banner on graphic design platforms such as Canva or Photoshop, choose from pre-existing templates and customize it to reflect your brand identity. For the ideal banner size, make sure it fits these dimensions:

  • Image dimensions: 480×70
  • File type: Static .GIF, .PNG, .JPG
  • File size: 150 Kb

2. Start a new advertising campaign in Google Ads.

YouTube ads are created and managed through Google Ads.

how to create youtube overlay ads: Start a new campaign in Google Ads

3. Select the “Display Network” campaign type.

You want to advertise your banner overlay, which means the image you want to appear on YouTube.

how to create youtube overlay ads: choose a display campaign type

4. Choose the type of audience you want to reach.

how to create youtube overlay ads: choose your target audience

When you advertise on YouTube, you want to pay to reach the people most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. That means you have to choose your own target audience or demographically cautious.

In addition to entering these details, you can set up your ad:

  • Budget: Cost per click (CPC or PPC)
  • Duration: Start and end date
  • Content Exclusions: Type of devices to operate

5. Add your banner overlay and start your campaign.

Once you’re done adding specs to your overlay, it’s time to run your campaign.

In case you want to edit the ad, you can use Google Ads Manager for adjustments where deemed appropriate.

Youtube overlay best practices

1. Keep the overlay simple and clear to read.

Things to keep in mind when using Google Ads image quality requirements to avoid the risk of your campaign ending abruptly.

Policy aside, you only have so much space in your overlay to show potential customers. If it’s difficult to read and understand at first glance, viewers will most likely press X instead of wanting to learn more about your brand, product or service.

2. Don’t overpromise in the overlay ad.

Once you’ve captured your potential customers’ attention and landed them on your landing page, the last thing you want to do is underperform or mislead them, because your brand will look untrustworthy.

Use your YouTube overlay to introduce your target audience to the type of solution you can encounter and they will have a much more enjoyable experience and presentation of your company.

3. Use a compelling call to action.

Strong call to action it can make the difference between a campaign budget being well spent or not.

Overlays have already been successful for nonprofits because, as blogger Ramya Raghavan writes reported“they drive traffic to a website outside of YouTube where they can collect signatures, email addresses or even donations.” Charity: Water best illustrates the potential for success of YouTube’s new feature. This non-profit raised $10,000 daily with use Call to action overlay ads.

4. Send viewers to a dedicated landing page.

Landing pages are uniquely powerful components of a company’s digital marketing strategy.

This is your company’s opportunity to ask visitors for their contact information in exchange for something of value, otherwise known as an offer.

Make your landing page rich with:

  • H2, focused on benefits
  • Attractive copy
  • Lead forms or relevant offers

You want prospects to feel like they’re getting something valuable made just for them, so make sure the page is worth a visit.

5. Experiment with different formats of video overlays.

youtube overlay best practices: experiment with different formats

Image source

You can run more than one campaign on YouTube at the same time. Google Ads allows users to create several different ads for YouTube, so get creative. In addition to the overlay campaign, you can create other formats such as:

  • Skippable or non-skippable video ads
  • Repulsive ads
  • Sponsored cards

Grab your audience’s attention with overlay ads

With YouTube overlays, you can meet your potential customers where they are by targeting and capturing their interest on YouTube. We hope you found this post helpful and implemented some of these tactics into your marketing strategy.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in July 2009 and has been updated for completeness.

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