Script, check. Storyboard, check. Shooting, editing and production. Check.

There’s a lot of effort and investment that went into your brand or content video, so you want it to make a difference. While you may think your video is gaining traction being embedded into your website or social media pages, if you don’t have much of a following it’s likely not being seen by many.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could skip past the steps of building an audience and put your video directly in front of your target clients and customers? Well, the solution is to run a YouTube ad!

By running YouTube Ads, you can target your ideal audience who would be most likely to watch your video. Aside from video views, YouTube Ads are also great for getting someone to take action on your website such as filling out their contact information.

How it works

Google lets advertisers reach more viewers on YouTube and its mobile platform. It also gives them the ability to target an audience based on their viewing behavior and Google search history. This is a huge leg up since this information also includes products recently searched for. So, if the ad is relevant to the interests of the viewer, they are more likely to watch and click.

Types of ads

YouTube has space for various types of ads, including TrueView In-Stream, Video Discovery, Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads, Bumpers and Overlay.

  • TrueView In-Stream is a standard type of ad that is only paid for when the viewer watches or interacts with it. Videos should be between 12 seconds and six minutes. These videos play in front of the video selected by the user.
  • Video Discovery Ads are found on the homepage, search results page and as related video customized for the user. If the ad is selected, a banner will appear on the destination page.
  • Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads will play before, in the middle or at end of the selected video.
  • Bumpers are short and sweet. They are just six seconds and will play before the selected video and are also non-skippable.
  • Overlay ads are a banner that float at the bottom of the video. It is a great tool for in-stream video campaigns, as it provides a quieter method to advertise a product or service.

How to advertise

Using a Google Ads account, create a new campaign as a video and select a goal, like brand awareness or local store promotion. From here, choose a subtype for your YouTube ad. This is where you start to build out your strategy. You’ll select your ad type, campaign name, budget, network, location, languages and where the ad will appear. As a best practice, create separate campaigns for different searches within YouTube. Campaigns are determined by goals of an ad group and by themes of videos selected for searches you want to show up for.

Depending on your familiarity, you will have advanced options to consider. You will also need to define your audience segment. Gender, age, parental status, income and other options are available to build your audience segment.

Of course, you can target the audience based on keywords. It’s important to test different keywords to compare and contrast video performance. Google also lets you target an audience who may already know a little bit about your brand or a specific channel.

You will also need to set the max price for each view. This is an average amount you’re willing to pay for every thousand times the ad is shown. There are many ways to bid, including automated bidding.

A few tips

  • Don’t fall in love with one ad type. Mixing it up is the key to running successful campaigns. It’ll take some experimentation to see what works best for your business, so keep plugging away until you meet every goal.
  • Get a good sense for your target audience. You’ll have a wide range of characteristics to work with, such as age, gender and buying habits as mentioned in the above section. As you fine-tune the target audience, the ads will have greater appeal and will have a greater chance at success.
  • Don’t waste time getting to the main message in your video. The hook should appear within the first 5 seconds, otherwise you risk losing people’s attention.
  • Even if the ad is non-skippable, it’s so important to grab the audience’s attention from the start. A question that raises eyebrows or an exciting promise early on is an effective way to get the message heard.
  • All ad types should include a call to action. Remember, the goal here is to lead the user to the next step. A call to action is the most direct way to know if the ad resonates and compels the audience to learn more. Make sure the call to action is crystal clear and irresistibly clickable. You should consider using a landing page on your website to help your track conversions as well.

We have run several successful YouTube ad campaigns and would be happy to chat with you should you have any questions about getting started!

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