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A Simple Guide to YouTube Advertising

A Simple Guide to YouTube Advertising

YouTube is a powerful platform with over 2 billion active users. That’s a huge potential customer base for businesses of all sizes. And, best of all, advertising on YouTube is relatively simple and inexpensive. Not only is YouTube the second largest search engine in the world (second only to Google), but it’s also a platform where you can target your ads to a very specific audience. And with over 1 billion hours of video watched on YouTube every day, there’s no shortage of potential viewers for your ad. In this blog post, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to run successful ads on YouTube.

Why Advertise on YouTube?

If you’re like most businesses, you’re always looking for new and innovative ways to reach your target market. And while there are endless options when it comes to marketing channels, YouTube definitely deserves your attention. Here are five reasons why advertising on YouTube is a smart move for your business.

Your Target Market Is Active on YouTube

YouTube has over 2 billion active monthly users, making it one of the largest social media platforms in the world. What’s more, these users are highly engaged, watching an average of one hour of video per day. This presents a major opportunity for businesses to reach their target market where they’re already spending time.

Source: Hootsuite

Advertising on YouTube Means Reaching a Global Audience

YouTube is available in 91 different countries and 80 different languages, which means you can use it to reach a global audience. No matter where your target market is located, you can create videos that speak to them in their own language. As a result, you can expand your reach and grow your business on an international scale.

Source: Statista

You Have the Chance to Go Viral

One of the biggest benefits of advertising on YouTube is the potential to go viral. While this may seem like a long shot, it’s not as impossible as you might think. And if you do happen to create a viral video, the rewards can be significant. Not only will you get a lot of views and traffic to your website, but you’ll also enjoy a major boost in brand awareness and reputation—all at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.

You Can Tell Your Brand Story

YouTube provides businesses with a unique opportunity to tell their story in a way that resonates with their target market. Through video storytelling, you can connect with your audience on an emotional level and show them what makes your brand special. This is an incredibly powerful way to build trust and loyalty among potential and existing customers alike.

Advertising on YouTube is Affordable

One of the best things about starting YouTube ads is that it’s surprisingly affordable—especially when compared to other paid media channels. You can start running ads for as little as $10 per day, making it easy to test the waters and see if YouTube is right for your business before making a larger investment. And once you do start seeing results, you can gradually increase your budget as needed to scale your campaigns and achieve even greater success.

Further reading: Increase Your ROI by Running Effective Campaigns

Types of YouTube Ads

Before you start creating your ad, it’s important to understand the different types of YouTube ads and when each one is best used. The key is understanding which one will bring the best results for your business goals—whether that’s generating leads, making sales, or increasing brand awareness.

Source: YouTube Help

  1. TrueView In-Stream Ads

    These are the most common type of YouTube ad and what most people think of when they think of a “YouTube ad.” TrueView in-stream ads are skippable video ads that play before, during, or after other videos on YouTube. They can be up to 12 minutes long, but most are around 30 seconds.
    One thing to keep in mind with TrueView in-stream ads is that you’re only charged when someone watches for 30 seconds or more (or the duration of your video if it’s shorter than 30 seconds). So if someone skips your ad after 5 seconds, you don’t pay anything.
    Because of this pricing model, TrueView in-stream ads are best used when your goal is brand awareness or consideration, rather than direct sales. That’s not to say you can’t use them for direct sales—you can!—but you might get better results with a different type of YouTube ad if that’s your primary goal.

  2. TrueView Discovery Ads

    Discovery ads show up on both YouTube and across the millions of websites and apps that make up the Google Display Network. They appear as a thumbnail image with some text above or below it—usually between 4 and 6 lines. You’re only charged for discovery ads when someone clicks on the thumbnail image to watch your video. So unlike TrueView in-stream ads, there’s no way for users to skip your ad without being charged (unless they leave YouTube entirely).
    Since discovery ads are charged on a per-click basis, they’re often more effective for driving traffic to your website or landing page than other types of YouTube ads—making them a good choice if you’re looking to generate leads or make sales.

  3. Overlay Ads (a.k.a. “Bumper Ads”)

    Overlay ads are non-skippable video ads that appear as a semi-transparent overlay at the bottom 20% of a video screen while someone is watching another video on YouTube. These are short—typically just 6 seconds long—and must be watched before someone can continue watching the video they were originally trying to watch.
    While overlay ads can be effective in getting people’s attention, because they’re non-skippable, they can also annoy viewers and cause them to dislike your brand. So while they might work well for Awareness stage campaigns, we recommend avoiding them for Consideration and Decision stage campaigns unless you’re absolutely sure they won’t turn off potential customers.

  4. Sponsored Cards

    Sponsored cards are small rectangular images that pop up during a video and suggest other videos related to what someone is watching. They appear at the right side of the screen near the “Up Next” queue and can include up to 3 videos at a time along with an image and headline for each one.
    Cards are interactive—viewers can click on them to watch one of the suggested videos or dismiss them entirely by clicking the “x” in the top corner. You’re only charged when someone clicks on one of your suggested videos; dismisses don’t cost anything.

  5. Skippable Ads

    Skippable ads are exactly what they sound like—YouTube ads that viewers can choose to skip after five seconds. If you opt for a skippable ad, you only have a few seconds to make an impression, so your ad must be attention-grabbing and concise. Skippable ads are less expensive than non-skippable ads, so they’re a good option if you’re on a tight budget.

  6. Non-skippable Ads

    Non-skippable ads cannot be skipped by viewers and must be watched until the end. These types of YouTube ads are more expensive than skippable ads, but they offer the advantage of guaranteeing that your ad will be seen by viewers. Non-skippable ads are best for brand awareness campaigns or if you have a longer message to communicate.

How to Run YouTube Ads?

  1. Upload your video ad to the YouTube channel

    First, log into your business YouTube channel and upload a new video ad.

    Once you’re ready, you can optimize it for organic YouTube searches. This includes inserting keywords and phrases into the description, tags, and video title and adding hashtags to the description.

  2. Sign into your Google Ads account

    Now it’s time to set up your advertising campaign. Go to your Google Ads account; if you don’t have it, you can sign up with a Google Workspace email. Then you’ll be prompted to create your campaign immediately. When you access your Google Ads dashboard, click the button that says “+ New campaign.”

  3. Pick your objective

    When you start creating your ad, you need to know your goal. What do you want your ad to accomplish? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Increase sales? Select whatever goal you’d prefer, and choose “Video” under the campaign type.

  4. Choose your format and strategy

    YouTube offers a variety of ad formats, so you can pick the one that best suits your needs. The most popular format is the skippable in-stream ad, which appears before, during, or after other videos on YouTube. These ads can be up to 12 seconds long and are skipped after 5 seconds unless the viewer chooses to watch them. Other popular formats include Non-skippable in-stream ads (15-20 seconds), Bumper ads (6 seconds), Discovery ads (appear on the YouTube homepage or next to related videos), and Display ads (banner ads that appear on websites within the Google Display Network).

    In the same screen, select a campaign subtype – video reach campaign.

  5. Select a campaign name

    Next, you need to enter a name for your campaign and leave the bid strategy as it is.

  6. Get started on your budget

    First, you need to decide what type of bidding you’ll use for pricing. You’ll have three options:

    • CPM (cost per impression) — pay when your ad has been viewed 1,000 times
    • CPV (cost per view) — pay when somebody has watched your video for 30 seconds
    • CPA (cost per action) — pay when somebody takes an action

    Then move to the costs and how much you’re planning to spend. Set a campaign budget so that you can run ads until your budget is spent. Or, decide how much you want to spend on the YouTube ad each day and run them continuously.

    Next, set up targeting and decide who’ll view your ad. Set this up by selecting:

    • Language — Select the language that your ad works for
    • Networks — Decide where your ad will be placed (search results, outstream or in-stream videos on the Display Network)
    • Location — Choose the geographical locations that your ad should run in
    • Exclusions — Input information that will keep your ad running alongside videos that may not be appropriate for your ad
    • Additional settings — Choose which devices your ads can run on and more

    Once you set your target, you can create ad groups to dive deeper into targeting, and choose interests and demographics.

  7. Choose your target audience

    Now that your YouTube ad has been created, it’s time to choose who will see it. YouTube offers various targeting options, including location, language, demographics (age, gender, interests), topics, and even behavior (e.g., recent purchasers). Choose the targeting options that make the most sense for your business and products or services.

  8. Launch your campaign

    And there you have it—you’re ready to launch your very first YouTube ad campaign! Just keep an eye on your campaign metrics so you can adjust accordingly if needed. Good luck!

Further Reading: How Much Do Google Ads Cost in 2023?

How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on YouTube?

The answer, unfortunately, is not as straightforward as we would like it to be. There are a number of factors that go into determining the cost of a YouTube ad, including the current demand for advertising space on YouTube, your budget, your target audience, and your objectives.

That said, there are some rough estimates we can use to get an idea of how much it might cost to advertise on YouTube. For example, according to tubularinsights.com, the average CPM (cost per thousand views) for a pre-roll ad (an ad that plays before a video) on YouTube is $6.10 for in-stream ads that are skippable after 5 seconds and $17.00 for in-stream ads that cannot be skipped. The average CPC (cost per click) for a display ad on YouTube is $0.03.

Source: LocaliQ

Of course, these are just averages and your actual costs may be higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned above. However, this should give you a general idea of how much you can expect to spend on YouTube advertising.


Hoping to take advantage of YouTube’s massive user base? Advertising on YouTube is simple and affordable—and with over 2 billion monthly active users , it’s a great way to reach new customers. Just follow our step-by-step guide above and you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful YouTube ad campaign. And if you still have any questions, contact our team of experts for more information.

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