Advertising on Youtube? Here’s the Lowdown, the 101, the Beginner’s Guide…(You Get the Idea)


We’ve all been bombarded by adverts on YouTube. In some respects that shows you the power of marketing your product on this platform in being a far-reaching campaign-vehicle, but in other ways it also demonstrates the difficulty: in a place where consumers have dozens of adverts thrust upon them every day, how do you A) make yourself stand out from the crowd, and B) market yourself in the most effective way possible. There are a few different advertising options on YouTube available to marketers, but it’s definitely not a “one-size-fits-all”: different Ad Options suit different needs. In this article we’ll tell you about which option will work best for the marketing goal you want to achieve, go through how to create a video campaign on YouTube, and briefly touch upon how to optimize your YouTube ads so that your campaign can be taken from inception to completion with a well polished result.



First things first, why use YouTube to advertise in the first place?


In a crowded market, maybe it’s difficult to justify, but at the same time the figures speak for themselves. A recent study has discovered:

  • 78% of marketers agree YouTube Ads give a good Return on Investment

  • 99% of businesses marketing themselves on YouTube will maintain it as a marketing strategy

  • YouTube garners almost a third of the Internet’s daily usage with a billion unique hits a day

  • With 3 billion searches a month, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet, bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL combined.

Now you know the why, let’s move on to the what.




There are a variety of YouTube Ad options to choose from:


1) True View Ads

TrueView ads are designed for active viewer participation rather than passive, with the advertiser only paying when the viewer clicks on a link or decides not skip the advert and watches for a given amount of time.

There are two kinds of TrueView Ads:

  • TrueView Video Discovery Ads: the advert is not shown before a video, but alongside other YouTube videos (e.g. on the right-hand side of the user’s screen), or in YouTube search results. TrueView Video Discovery ads are paid for only when the viewer clicks the ad and chooses to watch the video. This is not necessarily the most prominent form of YouTube advertising out there, but if someone clicks, it’s by choice. In that vein, TrueView Video Discovery ads are great for businesses looking to boost conversion rates, since consumers already have a good idea of what they want as they actively look to view your advert.

  • TrueView In-Stream Ads (also known as Skippable In-Stream Ads): these are shown before a viewer’s chosen video. The viewer has the chance to skip the video after five seconds, and you, as the advertiser are only charged when the viewer watches thirty seconds or to the end of the video (whichever the shorter), or clicks through a link within the video. This is a more direct approach than Video Discovery, and whilst you in essence have a limitless amount of time on the video itself, in reality you only have five seconds to make an impression. Because of the skippable nature of these adverts, In-Stream ads are used by marketers trying to generate brand awareness, rather than aiming wholly at boosting sales rates.



2) Pre-roll/Mid-Roll/Post-Roll Ads (Also known as Non-Skippable In-stream Ads)

These are shorter than In-Stream Ads, and (as you can tell by the name) can appear at any selected point in the user-selected video. They are usually 15 seconds long, and not skippable. As an advertiser you are charged per click rather than per video views, making this a very cost effective approach.


This is most suitable for campaigns that are looking to maximize their cost-outlays, and directed towards on-site conversions whether it be via link clicks or growth of your marketing subscribe list.


3) Bumper Ads


Bumpers are six second (or less) non-skippable clips that play before, during or after another video, where you pay every time your ad is shown. These tend to be very effective when it comes to brand awareness, with a Google study finding that over 300 bumper campaigns, 90% saw a significant lift in brand recall.



How To Create a Video Campaign on YouTube


As you can see, the different types of YouTube Adverts available lend themselves to exciting and creative campaigns that can really benefit your business whatever the marketing goal for your brand at this moment in time.

When it comes to creating your campaign, you’ll need to first set yourself up with a Google Ads account, the online adverting platform that flows your video ad through YouTube.

Once you’re signed up to Google Ads, head to the Campaign page, after which you can click on the plus button and select New Campaign. At this stage the process-flow is pretty self-explanatory, beginning with selecting your campaign goal (i.e. increased website traffic, brand awareness, product consideration etc). After this, you’ll be directed to the appropriate Video Campaign Type where you can choose between the choices above.

You will then be able to customize your ad campaign in the following:


  • Budget (how much you’d like to spend, and whether that is per day or over the duration of the campaign)

  • Delivery Method (spend your budget evenly over time, or accelerated for that marketing blitz)

  • Networks (where you want your campaign to appear: in YouTube search results, alongside YouTube Videos or Channels, or even on Google Video Partner Sites)

  • Locations

  • Languages

  • Additional Settings (Ad Schedule, Ad Frequency, Specific Devices)

  • Desired Target Demographics

  • Enter URLS, Links and Call-To-Action that directs people to the brand website.

When it comes to creating your YouTube Ad Campaign there is a lot to the creation process, so it’s best to have all the above details laid out rather than approaching on a piece-by-piece basis.



When it comes to creating your YouTube Ad Campaign there is a lot to the creation process, so it’s best to have all the above details laid out rather than approaching on a piece-by-piece basis.




How to Optimize Your YouTube Ad Campaign


You’ve got your idea, you’ve clarified your goal, the only thing left to do is nail the execution. Sometimes all it takes is a single detail to drive a view count into a click into a client. With that in mind, here are a few quick ways to make your Ad Campaign go further:

1) Spend money on decent video production


Gone are the days when “gorilla filming” was cool and trendy. A consumer expects high quality from the product they’re purchasing, so if that brand scrimps on its own advertising campaign how can the client have confidence in the service being offered? Showing off your quality brand demands a quality production, and whilst it may be a more expensive cost to start with, you’ll find it pays back in multiples when done right.

2) Close Captioning


YouTube’s automatic captioning system can be widely inaccurate at the best times, and in locations where your ad might be played in the background with the sound off, it makes sense to ensure your message is being delivered as your want it.

3) Don’t always cast the widest net


Sometimes less is more, especially with the state of the internet as it is. Whilst traditionally the case might have been showing your ads in the widest spread possible was considered the most effective, the variety of content available on YouTube means you want to ensure your ad isn’t playing behind or in front of content questionable to your brand values. Look to specify in as much detail as possible the actual content you want to market behind, so that your ad campaign isn’t impaired by a third party.

When it comes to advertising on YouTube, there’s a lot to take in - it might seem daunting but with the proper execution it can drive traffic and sales to levels traditional advertising just can’t reach. Standing at the bottom of the valley, the mountain may look to be a difficult climb but as they say, the highest peak always has the best views.

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