Your Crash Course on YouTube Advertising

2019 Crash Course on YouTube Advertising

How does YouTube Advertising work? How can you ensure you earn from your ads? Learn more about video marketing in this short guide to YouTube advertising.

Widespread brand awareness doesn’t fall from the sky. Reaching millions of people isn’t a simple to-do list done overnight. It’s weeks of planning, research, and consultations.

But the first step is choosing the right platform, the perfect stage for your product, wherein you can maximize user reach and engagement. One such trusted platform is YouTube, a great site racking up billions of views from its billions of users.

But beware, video advertising isn’t just viral videos and quirky pop-ups.

To launch a successful campaign using YouTube advertising, you must brace yourself for crunching data about your platform, audience, and competitors. This is to concretize your relevance to your base and expand your reach to more consumers.

Luckily, you don’t have to face these daunting tasks empty-handed. There are various ways to develop an ad campaign, in which a digital company can help. You can avail pay-per-click services to help boost your ad exposure and revenue not only on YouTube but in other online platforms as well.

But first, let’s find out what exactly YouTube advertising is, and how can it help your product conquer the digital world.

What is Youtube advertising?

Powered by Google Ads, YouTube advertising is a way of reaching audiences through a powerful platform to promote your product. It may be in the form of in-video advertisements, or search results. These can help you broaden your company’s reach and, in turn, increase the awareness and demand for your product.

What are the types of Youtube Ads?

YouTube ads don’t come in just one shape or form. Depending on your strategy, audience, and budget, you can choose among six types of YouTube video ads:

The key to a successful campaign strategy is understanding the difference between these types of YouTube ads, so you can maximize your advertisements to reach audiences further and more profound.

1. TrueView ads

TrueView ads are the most common type of YouTube ad used in videos. You only pay for these ads when viewers choose to watch the ad; this set-up gives the most freedom to viewers and advertisers alike. Viewers watch the ads they are interested in, and advertisers such as yourself can relate more to audiences curious about the product.

Advertisers only pay for ads as long as viewers watch them for at least 30 seconds. These ads can be as long as 6 minutes and as short as 12 seconds, according to YouTube. This means you can creatively experiment with storytelling in your video ads to effectively capture your audience’s attention.

There are two types of TrueView ads: Instream ads and discovery ads. Let’s see what sets them apart.

TrueView Instream ads are placed at points during the video. Viewers are given 5 seconds to view your ad, indicated in the small countdown timer at the lower right-hand side of the video. You'll only pay for the ad if viewers watch the video for at least 30 seconds, or if they sit through the whole thing, whichever is shorter.

Instream Ads also feature an optional ad banner at the right-hand sidebar, above the suggested videos. You can customize these ads with links to your website and calls to action.

TrueView Discovery ads show up with YouTube videos in YouTube search results and as a sidebar above the suggested video list. Now that we’ve discussed the TrueView ads, let’s get into exploring the other types of YouTube ads.

2. Non-skippable Instream ads

Non-skippable instream ads may show up at any time during the video. These can last between 15 and 20 seconds, which was changed because the initial non-skippable 30-second ad received flak from users.

What’s the difference between non-skippable instream ads and TrueView instream ads? Viewers must watch non-skippable instream ads fully before the video plays; while in TrueView instream ads, viewers have the option to view the advertisement in full or skip after 5 seconds.

Another difference between the two is you pay for non-skippable instream ads via a ‘cost-per-mille’ (CPM) basis. This means that advertisers pay a certain amount of money per thousand views of the ad, while TrueView advertisers only pay when viewers choose to watch their ad.

3. Bumper Instream ads

Another type of YouTube ad is the Bumper Instream Ads. These are less-than-6-seconds, non-skippable ads placed before a video plays. Advertisers pay for Bumper ads on a CPM basis, like Non-skippable Instream advertisements.

Sponsored Card Ads is the fourth type of YouTube Ad, which are small call-to-action (CTA) pop-ups at the upper right-hand side of the video. A little i appears on the upper right corner, which can be clicked to show various sponsored cards. These cards can show other Youtube videos or options for Google Shopping.

5. Overlay ads

The next form of YouTube ad is the Overlay ad, a banner-type of ad that appears at the bottom part of the video. The banner can contain a promotional poster or text that when clicked, will direct the viewer to the advertiser’s website.

6. Display ads

The last form of YouTube ads are Display Ads, a simple type of advertisement that appear above the suggested video list at the right-hand side of the screen, which also redirects the viewer when the ad is clicked.

Now that we’ve pretty much covered what you need to know about the types of YouTube advertisements, let’s get right into setting up your ad campaign.

Setting up an Ad campaign


Photo by Kaboompics.com from Pexels

Before you get started on cooking up your YouTube ad campaign, you should first make your ad video. Remember, you only have the first few seconds to capture your viewers' attention, so make it count! You can refer to these tips to create a more memorable YouTube Ad.

1. Upload your video advertisement to YouTube

Once that’s done, you can now jumpstart your YouTube ad campaign by logging into your YouTube account and uploading your ad. Then, fill out the video details such as the title, tags, and description.

2. Create a new campaign in Google AdWords

After you upload your video ad, go to your Google Adwords account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can refer to Google’s guide on setting up a Google Adwords account.

Once you’ve logged into your account, under the “All Campaigns” tab you can see a blue “+” icon; click this to create a new campaign.

Create a new campaign in Google AdWords

This will redirect you to a page where you can select a campaign type. Then, you'll be asked to select a main business goal of your advertisement. This table from Google also helps in contextualizing the choices.

You can customize your goals by adding or removing them at any time. And you can also create a campaign without a goal, if you prefer.

3. Set up campaign configuration

Now we’re all set to configure your campaign. You can start simply by naming your campaign, and then we can move onto the more technical part of the configuration.

  • Setting a Budget
    First, set your budget. Take account of what you want to accomplish and what you're willing to spend at a set amount of time. You can change this at any time.

    YouTube ads, on average, cost $0.10 to $0.30 per view while the average cost of reaching 100,000 users is $20,000.

    You can set a daily budget for a month, but your charges may differ per day depending on ad traffic. You can also set a budget for a certain amount of time.

  • Bidding Strategy
    After that, you need to choose a bidding strategy, or how you want to pay for your advertisements. According to Google, Smart Bidding Strategies will depend on your advertising goals and what aspect of the campaign would you like to focus on, like impression, views or conversions.

  • Duration
    Here, you can set when your ads start and end, create a schedule when your video should be shown, and set limits for audience engagement.

  • Networks
    You also need to choose where your ads should be placed to maximize ad exposure. YouTube gives three options:

    1. YouTube Search - your advertisements will be shown alongside YouTube search results, which is limited to TrueView discovery ads only.
    2. YouTube Videos - your advertisements will be placed during the video.
    3. Display Network - your advertisements will be shown in video partner sites of Google’s Display Network.
  • Placements
    Here, you can choose where on specific sites and videos your ads should be shown, which can help you match your ad with the audience known to visit these pages.

4. Choose your target audience

Choose your target audience

Alright! You’ve named your campaign, tallied the expenses, and mapped out the placements. It’s time to get to know your audience, a crucial part of your business goals.

The following are factors you’ll need to consider about your viewers:

  • Demographics
    Choose the gender, age, nationality or economic status of the people you want to reach.

  • Interest
    Match your ads with your viewers’ interests by checking out the videos they view and like. You can choose from viewer categories for the perfect ad-user fit.

  • Affinity audience
    Reach audiences with an existing solid interest in certain topics that match your brand, to drive product engagement and enthusiasm.

  • Custom Affinity audience
    You can specify further your affinity audiences by particularizing the users you want to reach, as opposed to selecting a general idea of viewership. For example, an affinity audience would be pet lovers; a custom affinity audience would be dog lovers.

  • In-market audience
    Find consumers from users who are actively searching for the type of product or service you offer.

  • Custom intent audiences
    Match your advertisements with audiences based on the keyword searches they’ve made on Google.

  • Life events
    Get in touch with audiences in the midst of changes in their lives (i.e. graduations, marriages, having children) which influence consumer patterns and behavior.

  • Video Remarketing
    Find audiences based on past engagement with your previous videos; YouTube will automatically create lists for you if you link your Google account to your Google Ads account.

  • Topics
    Place your videos on YouTube research results and Google Display Networks based on specific topics.

  • Placement targeting
    Focus on getting your ads on channels, videos, apps, and/or placements within websites.

  • Keyword Targeting
    Target audiences with keywords relating to your product or service by placing advertisements on YouTube channels or videos or websites that they are interested in.

  • Device
    Target audiences specifically by the device they use (mobile, tablet, or desktop).

Considering what your audience wants to see can save you a lot of money because you won’t be blindly posting up ads just to get attention.

Once you’re done customizing your ad and pinpointing your audience, it’s time to know the format and dimensions your YouTube ad should have.

5. Know your Youtube Ad Specs

Know your Youtube Ad Specs

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Before you launch your campaign, you first need to make sure that your video ad fits in with the required specs for a YouTube Ad to ensure high quality ads to reel your viewers in.

YouTube Ad TypeVideo Codec: H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4
Audio Codec: AAC, MP3
Resolution: 640×360 (19:9 aspect ratio) or 480×360 (4:3 aspect ratio)
Frame Rate: 30 FPS
File Size: 1 GB max
Overlay AdsDimensions: 480 px by 70 px
Image type: PNG, JPG, GIF (static or animated)
Image size: 150 KB max
Display AdsDimensions: 300 px by 250 px
Image type: PNG, JPG, GIF
Image size: 150 KB max
Sponsored Cards AdsDimensions: variable (1:1 aspect ratio)
Image type: PNG, JPG, GIF (can be animated)
Image size: 2MB max

6. Conduct thorough campaign optimization

Conduct thorough campaign optimization

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Alright, you’ve uploaded your video, shaped your strategy, and launched your campaign. But your job as an advertiser doesn’t end when your ad’s live online. You’ll have to keep track of how the audience engage with it and just how much you spend and earn. In this way, you can adjust your ad configuration to reach your goals. To do so, you’d need to optimize your campaign based on the data of user interaction you garnered after a period.

YouTube recommends that your ad run for at least two weeks before you make updates to maximize data collection from user engagement.

Here are some ways to optimize your campaign:

  • Remarketing
    Remarketing your ad campaign means showing your ads to people who have steady engagement with your videos or channel; a list of these users will be generated if you link your Google account to your Google Ads account. You can now optimize your campaign based on user behavior such as the videos and channels they view, liked, or added to their playlists.

  • Inclusion of interactive elements (CTA)
    If you’ve found that users usually ignore your advertisements, one way you can engage them is to include interactive elements or calls to action in your advertisements. This can hook their attention into actively participating in your advertisement, and open avenues for them to express what they prefer from a product.

  • Frequency capping
    Another way to optimize your ad campaign is to control how frequently your ad appears to users and limit their engagement with it. This is an optional setting you can get for your ad. Frequency capping can help you target new ad viewers and avoid overexposure of your ad to certain viewers. This is especially helpful when your target audience is small and would typically see your ad repeatedly.

  • Campaign segmentation
    Lastly, you can optimize your ad campaign by taking account of user categories to deliver advertisements relevant to them so as to maximize your budget by making sure who you reach is who will surely be your consumer. You can use user demographics and interest to segment viewers into categories.


Youtube ads key takeaways

Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

Now you’re all set! You’re ready to take on the challenge of YouTube advertising. Let’s run down what we’ve learned so far:

  1. A good advertising campaign starts with the right platform. We’ve talked about how YouTube, as one of the leading social media sites on the Internet, is a good choice of ad placement.
  2. It’s also best to learn how to differentiate between types of YouTube ads to ensure that you choose well for your business goals.
  3. Another thing we’ve learned today is that it’s important to strategize your campaign configuration and audience targeting to maximize exposure and expansion.
  4. But it’s also crucial that we ensure the quality of our ads by following YouTube’s recommended ad specs.
  5. And lastly, we’ve learned that a good campaign does not end with its launch; a good campaign learns from its experience and is willing to recalibrate its strategy to achieve bigger goals and reach more people.

Sounds overwhelming? Don’t worry, if you choose to work with us, we’ill walk you through the process and shape your strategies based not only on your initial goals and needs, but also based on the knowledge you’ll mutually gain along the way.

Need to know more about YouTube advertising? Hit us up at our Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts. We look forward to hearing from you!


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