YouTube Advertising Guide: How to Advertise in YouTube Videos

YouTube Advertising Guide: How to Advertise in YouTube Videos

YouTube’s growing prominence in popular culture has shown that it can serve as much more than just a way to share adorable kitten videos – it has become a highly effective venue for accessing massive audiences through online advertising.

To put things in perspective: YouTube gets over 1 billion views per day, which means that if YouTube was a search engine, it would be the #2 largest, nearly 2X bigger than Bing and Yahoo search combined, and roughly a third the size of!

What is YouTube Advertising?

YouTube advertising, done through Google Ads, is a way of advertising your video content on YouTube or in search results so you can maximize your user reach. This could be your video playing before a user views another’s video or showing up in YouTube search results for people to watch in full.

How Much Do YouTube Ads Cost?

Cost is of course one of the main factors when it comes to advertising. YouTube has a great reputation for fair costs, especially because you only pay when viewers watch your video ad for 30 seconds or more (or in its entirety if it is less than 30 seconds), or if it is clicked on (this applies to both video ads and still images).

The cost of your ad depends on a couple of different factors, such as targeting and the competitiveness of the industry you are in. For example, if you want to target females aged 18-80 with an interest in make-up, that’s a really wide net and a very competitive topic, so your cost per view will be higher than, say, if you wanted to target females aged 18-25 with an interest in black eyeliner–which is a much smaller niche.

YouTube ads have an average cost per view of $0.10 – $0.30. So the estimated cost of reaching 100,000 viewers is around $20,000. The good news is, there is no minimum spend for YouTube advertising–CPV bids start from just $0.01! You just set a daily budget that you’re comfortable with, and can edit that according to the results of your campaigns.

The bottom line is, there is no clear answer to the question: How much do YouTube ads cost? because it is different for every ad. But now that you know the average CPV and how to keep costs down by targeting, you should have a better grasp on how much you want to spend.

This guide will help you rise to the challenge.

By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll know how to navigate YouTube’s ad manager and understand the platform’s six ad formats. You’ll also have a firm grasp of YouTube ad targeting, and have a better sense of how to monetize your channel.

Let’s begin with the bread and butter of YouTube advertising: video ads.
Types of YouTube Ads

There are six types of YouTube ads:

  • Display Ads
  • Overlay Ads
  • Skippable Video Ads
  • Non-Skippable Video Ads
  • Bumper Ads
  • Sponsored Cards

Before you begin creating your first campaign, it’s important to understand each YouTube ad type. That way, you can tailor your ad for the format you plan on using.

Let’s get to know each of them.

1. Display Ads

A display ad is a clickable image or animation that appears to the right of the feature video when the viewer is using a desktop. It’s above the video suggestions list. Here’s an example: 

The specs for this type of ad are 300 x 250 or 300 x 60, and animations can run for a maximum of 30 seconds (although there is no sound so as not to interfere with the main video). The maximum file size allowed is 150KB, and file formats supported are: GIF, JPG, PNG, and HTML5.

Display ads can only be seen on desktops and if viewers choose to make their video full-screen then the ad will be completely removed from view. However, the spot of display ads (directly above suggested videos) is a prime location and the ad does not interfere with the viewer’s enjoyment of the video.

2. Overlay Ad

An overlay ad is a semi-transparent banner that appears in the lower 20% portion of a video. It is a clickable image or text box and is only visible to desktop users. Here’s an example: 

The specs for this type of ad are 468 x 60 or 728 x 90, and the maximum file size is 150KB. Supported file formats are: GIF, PNG, and JPG.

Although they are simple and static, overlay ads are pretty genius. They demand attention without being too imposing. They are subtle enough that some viewers may leave them on while the video plays out, but even if a viewer does close the ad they have still seen it–and thus become aware of your brand, product, or service.

3. Skippable Video Ad

A skippable video ad plays within the video player either before, during, or after the main video. They can be anywhere from 12 seconds to 6 minutes in length, and viewers are given the option to skip the ad after the first 5 seconds. Here is an example:

These ads must be uploaded to YouTube in an MP4 format, but they can remain unlisted if you only want to use the video for advertising purposes. As such, the specifications are the same as any YouTube video–1080p is preferred but 720p is also accepted. A major benefit of skippable video ads is that they can appear on any platform: desktop, mobile, TV, and even games consoles.

The main downfall of skippable video ads is in the name: they can be skipped. However, if you make the first 5 seconds of your ad as compelling as you can then you should be able to keep viewers watching. Some advertisers even acknowledge that the skip button is there as a way to ‘break the fourth wall’ and hook viewers. Here’s a great example:

4. Non-Skippable Video Ad

A non-skippable video ad must be watched in order for a viewer to continue to the main video. Like the above, these ads can also appear before, during, or after the main video. Here’s an example: 

The specifications and maximum file size are the same as skippable video ads, but the length of the ad is different. Non-skippable ads can only be a maximum of 20 seconds (and in some regions the limit is just 15 seconds), so you’ll need to get your point across quickly.

The best thing about a non-skippable ad is that you are guaranteed the viewer’s full attention, and with YouTube’s impressive targeting capabilities you are also pretty much guaranteed that the viewer will fit the profile of your target audience.

5. Bumper Ads

A bumper ad is a non-skippable video ad with a maximum length of 6 seconds. They can be viewed in both desktop and mobile. Here’s an example: 

The maximum file size is 1GB and the following file formats are accepted: AVI, ASF, Quicktime, MP4, or MPEG.

If you thought traditional non-skippable ads were limited, with bumper ads you have even less time to get your point across! But, despite their short length, there has been encouraging research around their effectiveness. According to a Google study of 489 bumper ad campaigns, 61% drove a significant lift in brand awareness!

6. Sponsored Cards

 A sponsored card displays content that is relevant to the main video, such as products featured within the video. They are similar to overlay ads but they only appear on screen for a few seconds. If viewers then want to find out more, they can click on the icon in the top right-hand corner of the video. Here’s an example: 

Sponsored cards can appear within videos viewed on both mobile and desktop, and the following file formats are accepted: JPG, GIF, and PNG. The aspect ratio of the cards must be 1:1 and the maximum size is 5MB.

These clickable images are great way to advertise your products or services within one of your own YouTube videos, but aren’t the best option if you’re looking to roll out ads across the entire platform.

How to Create Your First YouTube Advertising Campaign

Advertising on YouTube is a three step process:

1. Setup

2. Targeting

3. Launch

Once you’ve uploaded your ad footage to YouTube, you’ll need to set up a campaign with a targeted audience.
  • Setting up your campaign
  • Click Campaigns on the main toolbar.
  • Click the +Campaign button, then New campaign.
  • Select Video as your campaign type.
  • Establish your campaign goal and subtype.
  • Name your campaign.
  • Enter your budget.
  • Enter the locations and networks where you want your ad to appear, as well as the locations and networks you’d like to exclude.
  • Enter your target audience’s language.
  • Name your ad group.
  • Establish your bid amounts.
  • Establish your target audience.

Step 1: Upload Your Video Advertisement to YouTube

Before you start configuring your ad campaign, it’s best to upload your marketing video to your YouTube account.

You can do this by logging into your YouTube account and clicking the small camcorder icon on the top-right of YouTube. Then, simply click ‘Upload Video.’

You’ll be taken to the upload window where you can select the file you want to upload. 

Be sure to fill out all of the necessary information like the title, description, and tags.

Step 2: Create a New Campaign in Google Ads

Once you’ve uploaded your video, you’re ready to set up your YouTube ad campaign.

First, go to your Google Ads account.

(If you haven’t already got a Google Ads account, check out this guide on how to sign up for an account.)

Once you’re logged into your account, click “All campaigns” in the left-hand sidebar. Then click the large blue “+” icon to create a new campaign.

This will take you to a window where you’ll need to select a campaign type. Currently, Google provides five options:

  • Search
  • Display
  • Shopping
  • Video
  • Universal App

Once you’ve clicked “Video,” you need to select a single goal that corresponds to the main thing you want your campaign to achieve for your business.

For example, if you want to use YouTube ads to increase the number of visitors to your website, you would select the “Website traffic” goal. Then, as you continue to set up your campaign, you’ll see recommended features and settings that can help you to generate visits to your website.

To find out more about a goal option, simply hover your mouse over it.

And for more context, the chart below shows further details about video campaign goals and subtypes.

You can add or remove a goal at any time. And if you’d prefer, you can create your campaign without seeing a goal’s recommendations.

Step 3: Configure Your Campaign

Now, let’s configure your campaign.

Choose a Name

This is only for your internal use, so choose a name that clearly describes your campaign.

This will help you to easily identify the campaign when you start running multiple campaigns in Google Ads.

Set Your Budget

Start by setting the average amount you want to spend each day.

It’s best to start small at first. That way, you can test and refine your advertising campaign to ensure that you’re getting the highest return on investment possible.

You can also choose the standard or accelerated delivery method.

Standard will spread your budget throughout the day, whereas accelerated will show your ads at every available opportunity and your budget will run out faster.

To begin, opt for accelerated delivery. That way, you can quickly collect data that you can use to optimize your campaign.

Choose Your Start and End Dates

Simply input your start date and choose an end date (if you’d like one).

Select Your Networks

This section allows you to select where you want your ads to appear.

Because we’re creating a video ad, there are three options available:
YouTube search results: Ads can appear next to YouTube search results. (This option will restrict you to TrueView discovery ads only.) 

YouTube videos: Ads will appear on YouTube videos, channel pages, and the YouTube homepage.
Video partners on the display network: This means that your ads will also appear across Google’s other advertising avenues.

 In this example, we’re going to leave the selection as it is.

Select a Language and Location

Make sure that you select the country and language you want your ad to appear in.

Select Your Bidding Strategy

Now you need to choose how you want to pay for your campaign. Google Ads provides four options:

Maximum CPV (cost-per-view): Costs are based on the number of views and interactions a video received. 

Maximum CPM (cost-per-mille): You’ll be charged for every thousand impressions your ad receives.
Viewable CPM (cost-per-mille or vCPM): You’ll only be charged per thousand impressions when your ad has definitely been seen. For example, if a user lands on the page and immediately bounces off, you won’t be charged. 

Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition):
Costs are based on actions taken by viewers, such as clicking on your ad.

In this example, our campaign goal is to increase the number of people who visit our site, so we’ll opt for “Target CPA.”

This means we’ll only pay for viewers who convert.
Choose an Inventory Type

This section allows you to only show your ads on the content that’s inline with your brand.

For example, if you’re a dropshipping business selling children’s toys, you won’t want your ads displayed alongside content that is violent or sexual.

It’s worth reading through each option to ensure that your ads aren’t shown on inappropriate content.

Exclude Content

This section goes a little deeper by allowing you to opt out from individual sensitive content categories, such as “Tragedy and conflict,” and “Sensitive social issues.”

Once again, don’t skip this step — doing so could result in a branding disaster!

Step 4: Select the People You Want to Reach

Before you begin selecting your audience, make sure to give your ad group a descriptive name. That way, you’ll be able to use the same audience selection for future ad campaigns.
Select Your Demographic

This is the first stage of honing in on your target audience.

Ads allows you to define who you want to reach by options such as their gender, age, and parental status, etc.

Hone in on Your Target Audience

In this section, Google Ads gives you plenty of options to find your perfect target market. It’s well-worth exploring them and being as specific as possible.

Step 5: Select Where You Want Your Ads to Show

Next, you can choose the specific type of content that you want your ads to appear on.

Input Your Target Keywords

Enter or paste your target keywords into the box using one word or phrase per line.

You can also use the “Get keyword ideas” tool to find related keywords to target.

Select Topics

Simply select any relevant topics to show your ads on content about specific subjects.

Choose Your Ad Placements

Okay, now you can select specific places where you would like your ads to show.

If you leave this section blank, your ad will appear on any YouTube or Display Network placements that match your other targeting selections.

Step 6: Select Your Marketing Video

Next, use the search bar to find your marketing video. Or, if you haven’t yet uploaded your video, click the link to upload it on YouTube.

Once your video appears, select it by clicking on it. 

Step 7: Configure Your YouTube Ads Video Ad

Lastly, you need to select your video format.

Ads will show you which options are available based on the campaign selections you’ve made up to this point.

Then, make sure to add your URLs, CTA, and headline.

In this example, we’re choosing an in-stream ad format. Remember, in-stream video ads have a companion display banner. So in this case, you can upload an image or let Ads automatically generate one using videos from your YouTube channel.

To finish up, simply click “Save and continue,” and then click “Continue to campaign.”

Congratulations, you just set up your first YouTube advertising campaign!

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