How to Advertise on YouTube in 10 Steps
Why advertise on YouTube?
At this year’s Google Marketing Live, Google put a big emphasis on visual content, even announcing new features for ads in YouTube Shorts. Let’s take a look at some more benefits of advertising on YouTube.
Exposure: YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
Sales: 70% buy a product after seeing it in a YouTube ad
Brand Identity: YouTube videos allow you to create a unique brand experience and express the personality of your business.
Data: YouTube Analytics provides a wealth of data, including the number of points viewers stop watching a video. For example, take a look at these YouTube Studio reports not found in Google Ads Analytics.
Remarketing: You can run remarketing campaigns for people who have already watched your previous videos on YouTube or the Google Display Network.
Youtube ad stats – 70% of consumers buy a product after seeing it in a youtube ad
How much does a YouTube ad cost?
As with Google Ads costs, it depends on your business and goals, but here are some general benchmarks for YouTube advertising costs from LOCALiQ:
Most businesses pay between $4 and $10 per thousand impressions (CPM).
Most businesses allocate between $10 and $50 per day for a YouTube ad campaign.
It costs an average of about $2,000 to get your YouTube ad 100,000 views.
Youtube advertising costs
For more help with YouTube advertising costs, we have 6 tips for more profitable YouTube advertising.
Types of YouTube Ads
When you think of “YouTube ads,” you probably think of 30-second in-stream skippable ads. But you might not know it’s called that! Many different YouTube ad formats can be used to achieve different goals, and of course, they are constantly changing. Currently, there are six YouTube ad formats:
Skippable in-stream ads: Play before, during, or after other videos and can be skipped after five seconds.
Non-skippable in-stream ads: Play before, during, or after other videos, but not skippable and 15 seconds or less in length.
Bumper: Plays before, during, or after other videos, cannot be skipped, six seconds or less.
Out-stream ads: Mobile ads that appear only on Google video partner sites, but not on YouTube.
Masthead: Appears on the YouTube homepage.
Overlay ads: These are not video ads, but text/image display ads that appear on desktop YouTube videos.
In-feed ads: Formerly known as video discovery ads (not to be confused with discovery campaigns), this isn’t technically a video ad at all. That’s how you can get YouTube to recommend your videos in YouTube search results and the “Watch Next” section. Here’s what an in-feed ad looks like on mobile:
How to advertise on youtube – in-feed ad example
Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a YouTube ad format:
Length: Your video ad can be any length, but generally, “views” are counted at the 30-second mark or at the end of the video, whichever comes first. Bumper ads are 6 seconds, non-skippable in-stream ads are 15 seconds, and skippable in-stream ads are 30 seconds.
Skippability: Can users choose to skip your ad after 6 seconds, or ask them to watch the entire content? Bumper ads and out-stream ads are not skippable.
Web: When a video ad is served in the YouTube video player, it’s called an in-stream ad. When it plays on other sites (for example, within a partner site’s display ad slot), it’s called an out-stream ad.
Sound: 95% of YouTube videos are watched with the sound turned on. That’s in stark contrast to Facebook’s 15 percent. Most YouTube ads will play with sound. However, by default, out-stream and masthead ads start with the sound off.
YouTube Advertising Metrics
It’s important to understand the difference between “views” and “impressions” for YouTube ads.
Opinion. As long as the ad is skippable, a “view” will be counted at the 30-second mark or at the end of the ad, whichever comes first. Think of “views” in the same way as “clicks” on search ads—it’s a sign of engagement.
impression. If the ad is non-skippable, then there are no views, only impressions, because the user has no agency to choose whether to participate. No matter the format, anyone who sees the ad will count as an impression, but only those who view it will interact with your ad, so only those who view it are eligible to be added to your YouTube in the remarketing list.
Keep this in mind when developing your YouTube advertising strategy! You can’t remarket to people who have seen a bumper ad, because bumper ads are non-skippable and therefore only provide impressions, not views. However, you can serve bumper ads to users on your remarketing list.
Don’t forget to monitor these four underrated YouTube metrics:
- video plays to
- winning action
- View-through and cross-device conversions
- audience performance
How to Advertise on YouTube (Step by Step)
Before launching your YouTube campaign, determine if you’re focusing on awareness, consideration, or conversion. This will affect the formats and bidding strategies you choose in the future.
For example, an awareness campaign might have the goal of getting as many impressions as possible, so you can bid on impressions, and a conversion campaign might have an online sales goal, so you can bid on conversions. We’ll cover this in more detail later. That said, let’s go through the steps.
Create a new campaign
Open your Google Ads manager and select New campaign. When prompted, I always select “Create campaign without goal guidance.”
Select your campaign subtype
For your campaign subtype, choose the appropriate option based on your advertising goals and format. If you’re not sure, you may need to customize your video campaign or drive a conversion campaign. You can always come back and change this setting.
Set up your bid strategy
Depending on the campaign subtype you choose, you’ll only have one or two options. In this example, for a custom video campaign, the bidding options are maxed CPV (cost per view) or target CPM (cost per thousand impressions).
Bidding: If you think Google Ads bidding is complicated, see YouTube ad bidding. Each format has its bid requirements that will be offered (or unavailable) to you depending on the format you choose. Our potential options are:
Target CPM: Set a target price per thousand impressions (for non-skippable in-stream ads)
Viewable CPM: Set a target price per thousand viewable impressions (for out-streaming)
Max CPV: Set the maximum price you’re willing to pay per view, similar to how manual CPC bidding works. This is the bidding strategy I typically use for YouTube campaigns unless I have a small channel audience and strict conversion goals.
Maximize conversions: Let Google Ads try to get you as many conversions as possible within your budget
Target CPA: Set a target price per conversion
Select your network
If you don’t like search partners and the Display Network in your search campaigns, you’ll need to deselect Video partners in the Display Network. Note that you may not be able to deselect some of these options for some campaign subtypes or even some bid strategies.
Choose your content exclusions
Standard inventory is available to most advertisers. If you’re very concerned about placing ads next to potentially sensitive content, you can choose limited inventory. If you don’t care where your ad appears, choose to expand your inventory – this will open up a lot of additional placements for you, potentially less costly due to less competition.
More contextual exclusions: Even if you choose standard inventory, you can choose to exclude certain types of content. I don’t usually include live and embedded video, but that’s a personal preference rather than a best practice.
Likewise, if you’re concerned about the type of content shown next to your ad, exclude unmarked content, DL-MA, and maybe even DL-T.
Add related videos
This part of the YouTube campaign setup is often overlooked. Don’t forget to add relevant videos from your channel to increase engagement, and if you have a Google Merchant Center product feed linked to Google Ads, be sure to opt-in here so you can show product cards in video ads.
If you do want to fiddle with finicky things like frequency caps or ad scheduling, you’ll find those hidden under “Other Settings.”
Set your goals
YouTube campaigns provide advertisers with a full set of targeting options in Google Ads. You can use each type of audience, along with a wide range of contextual options.
When you choose campaign targeting, you’ll notice two main options: People and Content.
People: This allows you to set targeting based on who you want to cover, no matter what video they’re watching. You can target people based on:
Demographics: age, gender, parental status, household income) and/or any audience at Google
Audience segment: Any of Google’s audiences or your custom audiences:
You can target people who were recently married, are buying accounting software, are similar to your clients, have certain apps on their phones, recently watched your YouTube videos and more.
Content: This allows you to set targeting based on the type of videos you want your ad to serve alongside, regardless of who is watching them. Using the “Content” option, you can target your ad based on keywords, topics, or placements.
Keyword targeting is the most specific and will show your ad with content relevant to those keywords. This can be a good option for things like in-feed ads, as they can appear in search results.
Placement targeting allows you to show your ads on specific YouTube videos, YouTube channels, YouTube “programs” (such as “Top Content”), and certain apps or websites, just like a display ad campaign.
Topic targeting also works the same way in Display campaigns, allowing you to show your videos alongside content related to a specific topic, such as “Hiking and Camping” or “Exotic Pets.”
I usually prefer to use people targeting over content targeting, but you can choose from a variety of options and even layer them to narrow your reach. For example, you can target users who purchase child safety seats only for content related to child car seats.
Create your ad
Time to create that ad. Note that for a YouTube video to be used in your video ad, it must be uploaded to YouTube. Don’t want your ad to appear on your channel? No problem, just set it to “Unlisted” instead of “Public”.
Paste the URL of your YouTube ad here, and options will appear based on your campaign subtype. In this example, we can create a skippable in-stream ad (the “normal” type) or an in-feed video ad (the type that shows a thumbnail and description)
Set your bids
Set your bids and you’re ready to go! In this case, I usually start with a max CPV bid of $0.05 to $0.10.
Measure your success
How do you choose the right metrics for your campaign? First, remember whether your goal is awareness, consideration, or transformation. If your YouTube campaign is built around raising awareness, it doesn’t make sense to measure success by conversion rate!
As a general rule of thumb for any Google Ads campaign, I like to choose a reach metric (impressions, views, clicks, etc.) and an efficiency metric (CPV, pageview, CTR, etc.). ).
If you have a dedicated Google representative and you’re spending 5-6 figures per month on YouTube ads, ask them questions about running a brand lift study.
This is a special survey that Google can run for you to measure how well your campaign is driving key outcomes such as brand awareness, ad recall, search lift, or purchase intent. It does require a minimum investment for a set period, which varies by location, so ask your representative for current program requirements.