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The Guide to Video for Event Promotion

What event marketers need to know about using video advertising to increase brand awareness and reach new audiences to promote your event.

When you think of paid online advertising campaigns to support your events, you likely think of traditional banner ads or search and display advertising.

But there is another important format that should be part of your organic and event PPC marketing campaigns: video.

If you need a little convincing, consider the following:

Why online video advertising makes sense for events

As a natural storytelling medium, video is particularly persuasive and engaging for viewers, including event attendees. The Brightcove’s 2018 Video Marketing Survey reported that after viewing a video, seventy-six percent of consumers have purchased a product or service.

Running ads across the YouTube platform as well as across video partner sites on the Google Display Network (GDN) expands your event’s digital reach to relevant audiences thanks to a broad range of ad formats and targeting methods that include interests, remarketing lists, demographic groups and placement. 

Types of YouTube ad formats

As video becomes more and more relevant, there are several available video ad formats to incorporate into your online event advertising programs.

TrueView in-stream ads

TrueView in-stream ads play before, during or after other YouTube videos, videos shown on partner sites or videos on apps in the GDN. 

Learn more about improving your event marketing strategy with custom intent audiences.

This ad format gives the viewer options, with the most common being the ability to skip an ad after five seconds. Skippable in-stream ads run on a cost-per-view basis, meaning advertisers only pay for ads viewed in their entirety or until 30 seconds have elapsed – something marketers may find appealing since it can save money while reaching a highly targeted audience. 

Non-skippable in-stream ads are at least 15 seconds in length and run on a target cost per thousand impressions (CPM). Event organisers pay every time the ad is shown 1,000 times, making this type of ad particularly effective for raising brand awareness and increasing reach. 

TrueView video discovery ads

TrueView discovery ads appear next to related videos or on search results, with the length of the ad being dependent on where it appears. The ad includes an image thumbnail and up to three lines of text.

Advertisers are charged when users choose to watch the ad by clicking on the thumbnail.  

Bumper ads

Bumper ads play for six seconds or less – appearing before, during or after a YouTube video. These ads are also available on video partner sites and GDN apps, as well as apps. 

While six seconds might seem quick, a short, memorable video bumper ad is cost-efficient and effective to increase awareness and reach. Advertisers pay for these ads on a CPM basis, and they have an average brand message lift of more than 30 percent.

Outstream ads

This newer video type was designed to bring video to mobile sites and apps. Unlike TrueView in-stream ads or bumper ads, outstream ads don’t require placement within a YouTube video.

Outstream ads run without sound until a user taps to turn on the sound. Advertisers are charged on a viewable cost-per-thousand-impressions (vCPM) basis when the video has played for over two seconds and more than half the ad screen space is used. 

Event organisers can use outstream ads in combination with TrueView and bumper ads to reach larger audiences across the mobile web and apps. 

YouTube targeting options

With such a large user base, there are a variety of target options to ensure you’re reaching the right groups of people on YouTube.


Ads can reach specific audiences based on detailed demographics, such as age, gender, education level and homeownership status. 

Audiences can also be layered to allow for narrow targeting, which is a significant benefit of video ads.  


Interest targeting reaches audiences interested in specific topics by choosing from certain audiences, including:

  • Affinity audiences: people already interested in general pre-defined related topics and categories
  • Custom affinity audiences: create niche audiences using keywords, URLs, places and even apps that go beyond predefined affinity audience segments
  • Life events: reach users at a significant life milestone, like college graduation, job change or new home purchase 
  • In-market audiences: similar to affinity audiences, this type of targeting uses buying signals to reach those who are searching for and actively considering services similar to what you offer
  • Custom intent audiences: utilizes specific keywords users have recently searched on Google to reach people during their purchasing decision


Your video ads are shown to people based on words or phrases related to videos or channels on YouTube, or websites types that are of interest to your audience.  


Topic targeting allows your ads to be shown on videos across YouTube and the GDN to users watching videos related to selected topics. 


Ads can be remarketed to users that have watched or interacted with other videos on your channel, as well as visitors to your event website. 

With the growth in popularity of video, online video advertising is a powerful strategy for organisers to increase awareness and reach new audiences with their event marketing campaigns. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage any of the online ad types or audience targeting in your YouTube campaigns, talk to the Tag Digital team!