Marketing Pro’s Handbook: Your Comprehensive Guide on YouTube Advertising

YouTube Advertising Defined

YouTube advertising involves videos creation and utilising them to promote your brand and product. It is among the most popular social platforms in the world and most—if not all—business owners are making the most out of this space to support their marketing strategies. Through well-crafted videos and messaging, your offers will gain better exposure.

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Why Should You Advertise on YouTube?

There’s more than one reason to choose YouTube to extend your reach to a broader audience. At a time where there’s an increasing interest in videos over static, image-only ads, advertising on YouTube is absolutely necessary.

An Extensive, Ever-Growing Audience Reach

No entrepreneur would ever say “no” to having greater reach, especially since the competition is tight regardless of the industry. YouTube has unique qualities as a platform that perfectly balances the functions of a search engine and social media network. It’s no wonder nearly 23 billion people worldwide access it on a regular basis.

Recent statistics show that YouTube is becoming more popular among individuals between 17 and 50 years old. This shift in viewing habits from traditional TV to YouTube further underlines the platform’s relevance today. Considering these age groups hold considerable purchasing power in any market, it’d be ideal to reach them via this medium.

Your business’s video ad content won’t even be limited to YouTube—while it does have to be hosted there. Depending on your Google ad setting, your ads can appear on other websites and apps that also operate on Google video partners.

Cost-Efficient and Faster Output

There’s nothing to worry about when it comes to YouTube advertising costs. The starting rates are quite reasonable, allowing you to test which ads would perform better without spending excessively. There’s no minimum spend, basically, but you do have to consider how you can outbid your competitors to get those much-needed views and clicks.

The cost would depend on your ads’ views, and each view can cost between $0.10 and $0.30—varying based on your target keywords and industry. It’s still advisable to have a daily budget set up (Cost Per View or CPV bid amount) so that you won’t get charged beyond what you expect. It’s also up to you how much you’ll set. It can be $3, $5, or more, based on your goals for a specific ad campaign.

With the guidance of a YouTube advertising specialist, you’ll be able to adjust your budget based on your goals. Whether you want to advertise on the homepage (a.k.a Masthead) or via TrueView in-stream ads, you’ll be able to showcase your offers without burning cash.

Capabilities for Advanced Targeting

You’ll be spending time and money to market your products and services digitally. This makes it all the more important to choose a platform that can target the right people efficiently. Much like in Google ads, YouTube is capable of doing that and more. You can set varying degrees of precision if you prefer to include any of the following:

  • Demographic targeting (age, gender, and parental status)
  • Keywords
  • Topics
  • Interest targeting
  • Remarketing

YouTube also allows for affinity audiences, channel-specific, and video-specific targeting. Imagine being able to reach an audience that has already expressed interest in a product or service similar to yours. The likelihood of lead generation, conversion, and sale shoots up.

Take advantage of the phenomenal reach of popular videos and have your ads pop up in them. It’s not advisable to just choose a popular video, though. You also have to make sure that your offerings are related to the video your ads will pop up in.

If you’re still on the fence, it’s also good to know that YouTube also has the capability to use contextual placements. This means your ads can be placed in specific channels, videos, or websites—places where they’ll most likely attract audiences that will convert. High-intent users will then be placed within your radar regardless of where they are in the buying process.

Real-time Reporting

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. For any business from any industry, numbers and figures dictate where changes are necessary. Are your efforts yielding the desired results or should you shift gears and head to a different direction? Fortunately, you can get accurate and real-time reports on your YouTube advertising campaign.

Through Google AdWords, you gain access to data on views and costs, while more in-depth information on viewers can be seen through YouTube’s analytics. You can also know how often your ads are watched and how long they’re watched by specific audiences. Monitoring video viewership has never been so easy, and these data can help you maximise your YouTube video advertising budget.

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Types of YouTube Ads

Now that you know the “why”, it’s time to explore the “what”. What are the different types of ads at your disposal on YouTube?

Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

Skippable in-stream video ads can appear before, after, or at the middle of a video. These types of ads play for at least 5 seconds before the viewer is given the option to skip them. Ideal video ads length is 12 seconds minimum and 3 minutes max—longer ads aren’t as well received by viewers.

Payment-wise, advertisers are not immediately charged if your ad appears on a video. You’re only charged for the ad if:

  • It’s watched for at least 30 seconds
  • The viewer clicks on it
  • The entire ad is watched (for ads shorter than 30 seconds).

Skippable in-stream video ads come with a banner ad at the screen’s top right corner. The banner is there to keep the ad somewhat visible in a very small space in the video even after the viewer hits “Skip Ad”.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Video Ads

Statistics show that more than 75% of people skip ads. This can be problematic, especially for brands that desperately need to boost brand awareness through more YouTube views and clicks. Fortunately, there’s another ad type where skipping is not an option.

Similar to skippable in-stream video ads, non-skippable in-stream video ads can appear at the beginning, end, or middle of a video. The viewer won’t have a choice, but to watch it, though. Advertisers are charged differently for these types of ads. You will be charged per impression, every time you reach 1000 views (Cost Per Mille, CPM).

Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are perfect for brands that want to send a simple message to their target audience. These are 6-second, non-skippable video ads that play right before the actual video. Sometimes, you don’t need all the frills, special effects, and over-the-top 3-minute long videos.

These can be used for event promotions, awareness campaigns, and boosting your brand’s reach. 6 seconds is actually a magical figure in the world of YouTube advertising. After analysing 300 bumper ads, Google discovered that 90% led to an ad recall. People remembered what they saw and this worked in the advertisers’ favour.

Discovery Ads

Discovery ads are closer to Google search ads than actual video ads. They work in a similar fashion as the paid search ads you see on Google’s search engine results page (SERP). Remember that YouTube is also a search engine and it functions as such, so organic and paid search ads will also be in it. YouTube’s Discovery Ads have the word “Ad” in a box next to them to inform users which are paid ads and which are organically ranked.

Discovery ads have three lines of text and a thumbnail image. Interestingly, these ads can also appear on Google’s SERP, YouTube’s homepage, and other websites in the Display Network if the right keywords are used.

Non-Video Ads

For those who want to start with a more conservative spend, non-video ads are a great alternative. You will be charged in a cost-per-click (CPC) basis for such ads. Some brands may not want to come in strong on YouTube and would like to test the waters first—and that’s perfectly fine.

Some advertisers opt to have their ads displayed on the results’ right-hand side as a video is playing. Others choose to have a banner ad overlay, which pops up in monetised videos.

The following are featured on a non-video ad:

  1. Ad Image
  2. Ad text
  3. Call-to-action (CTA) Button for your website or specific landing page

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How Can You Create a YouTube Video Ad?

After going over the “why’s” and “what’s”, it’s time to learn the “how’s”.

Step 1: YouTube Video Advertisement Upload

Before you can advertise, you need to have a video uploaded. Hit the camcorder icon at the top-right corner of your YouTube account page, then click on “upload”.

Step 2: New Google Ads Campaign Creation

Now that you have a video to advertise your offers, it’s time to create an ad campaign through your Google Ads account. Just choose “Video” from the 5 different ad options, then go through the different steps to completely set up the campaign.

Step 3: Campaign Configuration

Configuring your campaign involves:

  1. Choosing the campaign name
  2. Setting your budget
  3. Choosing the start and end dates
  4. Choosing your networks (YouTube search results, YouTube videos, or video partners on the Google Display Network)
  5. Selecting a Language and location
  6. Choosing the bidding strategy
  7. Choosing an inventory type
  8. Excluding content

Step 4: Target Audience Identification

This involves two critical steps: Choosing your demographic and honing in on your target audience.

Step 5: Ads Placement Selection

Specifying your target keywords, topics, and where your ads will be placed are critical to having more YouTube advertising views.

Step 6: YouTube Ads Video Ad Configuration

This is where your knowledge of the different YouTube ad types will come in handy. Choose your preferred video format, add your CTA, headline, and URLs, save your work, then hit “Continue to campaign”.

YouTube video insights

Video Ads Optimisation Tips

An un-optimised video ad won’t convert and there are several YouTube advertising best practices that can help kick-start optimisation.

Metrics, Goals, and Performance

Among the top considerations when going through YouTube advertising guidelines is how you measure or assess performance. What are the metrics or goals that you need to look at?

  1. Audience
  2. Conversions
  3. Views and Impressions
  4. View Rate

Knowing which ads are not performing that well allows you to re-strategise more efficiently and make meaningful tweaks to your ads.

Customised Thumbnail

Your video is among the thousands of videos that will appear on the results page. Make sure it stands out by adding a customised thumbnail. This is an eye-catching, edited still of a section in your video, giving the viewer a preview of what they’re about to watch.

YouTube Cards, CTAs, and End Slate

YouTube cards pop up by clicking the small “i” symbol at the top-right corner of a video.

From advertising specific products to driving traffic to your website, this is a useful subtle way of promoting your offers.

Another feature you can take advantage of in relation to your YouTube video advertising is the end slate. Use this to feature other videos on your YouTube channel or drive your potential customers to your website. Don’t forget to add CTAs on your banner overlays so that those views have somewhere to go—and something to do.

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Empowered Through YouTube Ads

This is just the beginning of your journey as an advertiser on one of the biggest search platforms today. You may be overwhelmed by the different terms and steps you need to cover. Fortunately, you’re not alone. There are numerous marketing professionals and consultants that can point you in the right direction. Realise where you need to go with the help of an experienced YouTube advertising campaign manager.

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