The YouTube Masthead Is Effective for Brand Awareness

The YouTube Masthead Is Effective for Brand Awareness

By Dave GrendzynskiFeb 16 /2023

If you’re not using YouTube as part of your marketing strategy, you probably should be. It’s the second-most important search engine after Google. Why? Because it’s the second-most used search engine after Google.
According to CNET, YouTube has close to two billion users logging in and watching videos each month. That’s nearly one of every four people on the planet looking for content to educate and entertain. But producing videos and posting them is just one way to make YouTube a part of your video marketing landscape. Another way to reach potential customers is by using YouTube Masthead.

Now, before you run out and sign up for sailing lessons, let’s take a look at what YouTube Masthead is and how it can be effective for your business.

What Is the Youtube Masthead?

The YouTube Masthead ad is old-school (outbound) marketing at a time when inbound marketing is all the rage. As the name suggests, think masthead, like on a ship, or a newspaper. 

For all intents and purposes, it's a billboard that sits on top of your YouTube channel that works as a homepage ad that supports video, social network sharing buttons and/or a call to action. 

YouTube Masthead won’t show up at the bottom of your videos (that’s an overlay ad). Nor will it pop up at the beginning of a video that you’re about to watch. Those are skippable TrueView ads. That means the advertiser only pays if the user interacts with the video, or it's ‘truly viewed’.

Instead, your masthead is designed to reach a massive audience (remember those two billion users) and get a high number of views (like that freeway billboard you pass on your way to work every day) in a short period of time. That’s because YouTube Mastheads only stay up for 24 hours. They’re similar to your Instagram or Facebook stories, except you’ll have to pay for this story to be shown.

How Much Do YouTube Masthead Ads Cost?

Because the audience is so large, they cost a pretty penny. Now, we’re not talking about Super Bowl ad-type prices, but according to researchers at VidAir, the average price is $300,000-$400,000 and can reach $1 million. 

At that cost range, you might think you have creative and technical freedom. Not so much. Those same researchers also point out that the high price tag comes along with specifications that are required to be met for these ads, including:

  • Private videos cannot be used.
  • The maximum time limit for autoplay is 30 seconds.
  • Autoplay for zero seconds is not allowed.
  • The thumbnail of the video will be visible after the autoplay is done.
  • It is recommended to use a 16:9 aspect ratio for the best video results.
  • There is an option to crop the thumbnail on the left and the right side.
  • You cannot change the form as well as the color of the CTA button.

But you do get what you pay for because the masthead reaches a massive audience in a short amount of time. On top of that, you get the benefit of premium placement, guaranteed reach, and flexible CPM buying (short for cost per thousand impressions). 

The YouTube Masthead is Effective For Advertisers With Which Goal?

Because the ad is geared towards a wide, untargeted audience, this ad type is best suited for businesses who want to maximize their brand exposure and have the budget to do it.

Your business may consider it if you’re looking to replace TV campaigns and achieve awareness as more of a tentpole event approach. You’ll see masthead ads for new movies or TV shows, for example. But if you want to drive awareness for a new product and you have a big budget, it may work for you.

Revamp Your Digital Marketing Strategy

YouTube Masthead ads are a great way to get your brand, product or services in front of a huge amount of people quickly. They are pricy and serve a purpose, but if your ad isn’t designed correctly or the messaging is off the mark, it could be money that’s anything but well-spent.

Kuno Creative works with many companies looking to draw in an audience around a tent (like YouTube). If you’re interested in learning more about how we can optimize your YouTube channel, develop compelling video or help you build a marketing ecosystem around your product or service, let us know. We’d be happy to talk.

video marketing

The Author

Dave Grendzynski

Dave uses the skills that won him three Emmy Awards as a television news producer to create compelling content for our clients. Dave honed his email, blog and social media writing skills in the Corporate Communications Department at Cleveland Clinic.