Justin Sardi explains the new changes to Google ads and how to design a killer thumbnail with TubeSift’s Banner Design Studio.
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Video Transcript

The new changes for your YouTube Ads

Justin Sardi: YouTube and Google have made some big changes to the way that the YouTube ads function and are shown, which means that it is more important than ever to have a custom thumbnail. And today we’re going to be talking about what changes were made, and these were actually done a little while ago but I know a lot of people are still overlooking this and not using custom thumbnails, but we’ll talk about the changes that are being made, or that were made, and how to get the most out of your ads going forward through using custom thumbnails and take advantage of all of the different ways that your YouTube ad could be shown. So let’s dive right in.

I’m Justin Sardi, I’m the CEO and co-founder of TubeSift.com, which is a precision targeting tool for YouTube advertisers, and we also have VideoAdVault, which is basically a Facebook ads library, but for YouTube. So definitely give those tools a look. But today we’re here to talk about what changes Google made to YouTube advertising and how to take advantage of those changes and get the most out of your ad spend.

So what they did is they basically… we used to have a couple of different formats of ads and the main ones were video discovery ads, which were essentially ads that showed up in-feed, those are now called in-feed ads, and then we also had in-stream ads. Now, in-stream ads were the ones that most people are familiar with that show right before a video ad. Or sorry, it’s the ad, it is a video ad, it shows right before the video that somebody wants to watch on YouTube.

Your audience will now see your thumbnail with the way YouTube ads are run and an eye-catching thumbnail can make or break your ad.
Your audience will now see your thumbnail with the way YouTube ads are run and an eye-catching thumbnail can make or break your ad.

Your Unlisted videos now need a thumbnail

Now previously you’d be able to choose which one you wanted and most people ran in-stream ads and they didn’t bother putting a custom thumbnail on their video ad because, well, you don’t need it, nobody’s going to see the thumbnail. Most videos were unlisted, which by the way, VideoAdVault will help you find those unlisted videos, which is a really cool feature of that, actually, probably the main one.

But basically the unlisted videos, they never showed a thumbnail so you never had to have one, you never needed a description, anything like that. Well, with the rollout of responsive video ads, it now means that video ads can be shown as either in-feed ads, which was video discovery ads. And for those, you did need a custom thumbnail because if you do a search on YouTube, you notice all the thumbnails are custom, branded, they pop, that’s what gets people to click, it captures attention. You can put custom text on them, all that good stuff, and really use it to capture your viewer’s attention, get them to click on the thumbnail, and ultimately watch the video. So since they’ve combined those two types of ads, it’s now essential that you use a custom thumbnail.

Now the size for a custom thumbnail is 1280×720 and you can either use Photoshop, something along those lines, or you can use TubeSift, which actually has a Banner Design Studio where we have custom templates built in there for you to create your custom thumbnails.

TubeSift Banner Design Studio allows you to easily create thumbnails and banners that are ready to go for your YouTube ads.
TubeSift Banner Design Studio allows you to easily create thumbnails and banners that are ready to go for your YouTube ads.

Use the Banner Design Studio by TubeSift

Now, like I said, these can be used almost as a banner ad, right? It’s that extra 1280×720 square that you can put whatever you want on it, there’s no restrictions. I mean, obviously, you can’t put nudity or anything like that, you can’t promote drugs, but as long as you’re within Google’s Terms of Service, you can put anything there. There’s no whatever, 80/20 rule for text, anything like that, you can fill it up with text, you can put big banners, things that pop. It doesn’t even have to be part of the video.

Now, if you don’t use a custom thumbnail, YouTube’s going to pick a random scene from your video, which might look something like this… just because it literally picks a random freeze-frame that… you’re probably going to have your mouth open, it’s terrible. Every time I look at them I’m like, “Ah, why do they pick the worst ones?” But it doesn’t really matter because we’re using custom thumbnails.
So like I said, it’s more important than ever to a custom thumbnail. In fact, if you’re not using a custom thumbnail, you probably shouldn’t even be running your ad on YouTube because it’s going to look like crap when somebody sees it. So definitely use a custom thumbnail. And also with these responsive ads, it’s more important than ever to put a description in your ad as well. So definitely do that. Or sorry, in your video that you’re going to be running as an ad. Now you can still leave them as unlisted, it’s all good, but just don’t make the mistake of not using a custom thumbnail. And again, TubeSift, we have a banner design studio that allows you to create those custom thumbnails with just a few clicks, got a bunch of cool templates, all that good stuff so definitely check out TubeSift.com for your targeting and your graphic design needs. That’s it for me on this video, get out there and use some custom thumbnails.

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