How To Buy App Install Ads on YouTube


In the last post of our series on buying app install ads on the major social media platforms, we take a look at YouTube TrueView mobile app install ads. The principle of these ads is simple: Getting viewers to watch, not skip your ad for your app.

The reason TrueView install ads to developers is because users are able to click and install the app directly from the ad running on YouTube, rather than being directed to a download page. It’s that seamless. And the power of sight, sound and motion makes YouTubers twice more likely to download apps. With TrueView, advertisers can reach potential customers based on their interests, previously-watched videos and demographics.

Google’s research for TrueView ads claims that 80% of its consumers preferred TrueView ads to streaming ads. “These units provide a choice of subject matter, give viewers the ability to skip repeats and help advertisers narrow down which products appeal to which consumers”.

Being forced to watch an ad before the video you want to watch is no fun for anyone. But getting to choose the ad you watch creates an entirely different experience – and hopefully if it’s for your app promotion it will lead to another download.

Creating A Campaign
YouTube’s mobile app install ads are connected to the AdWords, platform so developers obtain the same privilege of connecting their account with Google Play with access to all the download data. See our previous post: How to buy App install Ads on Google AdWords to set up a campaign for your app in Google Play or the App Store.

For more on how video ads work in general see this Google document.

True Video App Promotion Ads

Screenshot: How TrueView delivers a seamless experience



Here are the guidelines provided by Google for TrueView app promotions.

  • If your app has a YouTube video uploaded to the app store, Google will automatically add it to your ad. You can change or add a video if you haven’t uploaded one to the store
  • The video will automatically play on devices with WiFi connections. People using 3G/4G/LTE connections will need to click on the video for it to play
  • To pause the video, people can click on the pause button or on the video itself
  • These ads will play at the volume of the user’s phone and won’t change the device’s overall settings. If the phone is muted, the ad will also be muted
  • Ads will include a download button (with text in the local language) that begins downloads and cannot be customised

Note: App install ads on the Search Network can be shown where paid app content is available.

Ton find out more on this subject checkout: Paid app availability for Google Play and Content availability for iTunes Store.

Video: TrueView app promotion





TrueView in-stream ads
In-Stream are pre-roll ads that appear before the content a user wishes to view. These ads may be skipped after five seconds. You only pay for this ad format if a user watches the whole video, or 30 seconds of the ad, whichever comes first. TrueView in-stream ads run on videos served on YouTube or within Google Display Network videos, games and apps. These ads are also able to run on YouTube videos that are embedded on other sites. They can also appear on Android and iOS YouTube apps, as well as (on iPad and Android).

TrueView in-display ads
In-display ads can run across YouTube and Google Display Network. On YouTube they can run on the search and watch pages for both desktop and, as well as the home pages for desktop and YouTube mobile apps. The ad unit consists of an image thumbnail and up to three lines of text. Clicking the ad will deliver a user to the YouTube watch or channel page to view the video rather than playing the video within the ad unit itself. In-Display offers your ad as an opt-in format, showing your ad thumbnail and some ad text either as an overlay on other videos, on the YouTube sidebar, or as an ad on Display Network partner sites other than YouTube. With this format you pay only if a user chooses to click your ad.

In-Search ads
In-Search ads appear as a result of a search performed on YouTube. Again, this format is only charged against the advertiser if an ad is clicked by the user.

Tip: Google recommended to use CTA overlays on the videos to drive the users to the advertiser site.

The Budget
Google gives the developer complete control over his/her daily budget, so you can spend what you’re comfortable with. Plus, you only pay when someone engages with your ad. If they skip it before 30 seconds (or the end) you don’t pay a cent. YouTube also has  built-in analytics that make it easy to see how your ad performs – and make adjustments to your ad at anytime, with the option of running multiple ads at once to see which works best.

For more information check out this Google doc: Get tips on setting a campaign budget.

How to Buy App Installs on TrueView
The ads work by linking the app ID to TrueView for mobile app promotion campaigns. Bidding on YouTube is on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis. App video ads on YouTube are automatically created using a link from the YouTube account and the app ID. The app name, icon, price, and ratings display next to the video ad.

In general the CPM per view on TrueView is typically very high ($80 CPM at 0.08 CPV), but effective CPM at 20% view rate is $16 CPM.

Note: TrueView will let users watch much longer format pre-roll 1:30 or 2 min, since the skip is enabled, this allows much deeper interaction for a subset of users.

For small developers or businesses, TrueView skippable is perhaps a  better option as it offers more control, is more cost effective and enables remarketing options. If you’re running a small-scale campaign you can achieve much lower CPMs (on ‘5 sec’ impressions) on TrueView than say a direct buy option.

Research shows that average CPV for TrueView ads is in the region of 0.15$ – 0.45$.

Buying tips:

  • Experiment with strong call to actions in the video ad itself
  • Collect remarketing lists of users who’ve watched your ad and reach them via the Google Display Network
  • Use keyword targeting to find highly relevant placements for your ads

So that’s our guide to buying app install ads on YouTube – hopefully it’s provided some useful tips and you can find out more about other platforms in our coverage of Facebook, Twitter and Google in our previous guides.