TV & Audio

What is TrueView's YouTube Companion Banner?

By Tinuiti Team

The YouTube Companion Banner is a new TrueView for Shopping video advertising feature that allows viewers to scroll through a variety of products while the video is playing next to it.

The TrueView for Shopping platform allows retailers to showcase product details and images – along with the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site – all within their video ad.

As seen in the mobile example below, when an in-stream video ad ends (or is skipped) the companion banner remains on the YouTube page and the user can click on it at any time.

Example of a youtube companion banner ad

According to Google, if a custom companion banner creative is not supplied and the ad is a public YouTube hosted video, a video wall companion will be automatically generated which includes information about the channel hosting the video ad.

Pro-Tip: This automatically generated companion links to the channel, and will include the channel icon and name, link to advertiser’s site, as well as thumbnails of up to 3 videos from the most recently updated playlist on that channel.

Below are the technical requirements for YouTube companion banner options:

example of youtube companion banner requirements

youtube companion banner

In addition to YouTube Companion Banners, Google also introduced the Product Picker feature to help give retailers additional control over their branding.

The TrueView Product Picker allows advertisers to select and prioritize which of their products are featured as cards in a TrueView for shopping campaign. This optional feature lets advertisers show specific products for specific campaigns, or they can let the format dynamically feature products from their Merchant Center.

The Cards feature gives retailers an opportunity to add interactive cards to their videos with a CTA, additional branding message and more. Google Shopping ads in YouTube are an element of that program and can be managed in AdWords True View Campaigns.

About TrueView for Shopping

According to Google, TrueView video ads Shopping interactive cards provide an easy bridge to purchase for viewers. They are also a powerful audience solution, enabling advertisers to remarket to viewers who may have visited their site or viewed other videos.

Facts about TrueView for Shopping:


jeff-colemanWhen TrueView for Shopping was introduced last year – Jeff Coleman, Director, VP Marketplace Channels said one of the potential risks of the program is that although retailers are reaching a lot of people – these YouTube users are not necessarily searching and ready to buy which could lead to lower conversion rate.

“Remember to budget accordingly but yes, this will give retailers access to more visitors and potential views,” he said.

To read the full article, check out: Google Shopping Ads on YouTube: The Impact of TrueView on Retailers

Although we do not have specific data on the latest YouTube Companion Banner feature – we have seen historically low conversion rates for interactive card placements from our client pool. Although video advertising continues to pave the way for advancement – we’ve seen low adoption rates from shoppers.

How to Optimize Your TrueView Ads for Shopping

Below we outline 10 of Google’s best practices for improving your TrueView Ads:

  1. Define the right objectives for your TrueView for shopping campaigns
  2. Account for all of the digital touchpoints that led to a conversion.
  3. Make your TrueView ad’s first five seconds count
  4. Use relevant images and text to increase CTR
  5. Well-designed titles, descriptions and images for TrueView video discovery ads can lead to a positive impact on your CTR
  6. Use call-to-action overlays and cards to to drive people to your site or app
  7. Use Customer Match to create custom audience segments.
  8. Extend remarketing with in-market audiences & drive qualified traffic to your site
  9. Use video analytics to fine tune your YouTube creatives and audiences.
  10. Set video ad rotations to optimize for testing purposes


Additional Resources:

YouTube Shopping Ads Now Available To All Advertisers

YouTube Advertising for Retailers

Active View for YouTube Advertisers

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