A Guide to YouTube Advertising

Demi Newlands 04/07/2022 6 minutes

With over two billion logged in users using YouTube every month, it’s definitely a platform that your business needs to be on, whether it’s manning a channel that serves fantastic content or creating paid ads that link viewers directly to your website. Either way, it is a great opportunity to increase brand exposure and target the right people at the right time. In this blog post, we’re going to look at some of the main benefits of advertising on YouTube, as well as the different types of ad formats available to help you fastrack and improve your marketing strategy.

What are the Benefits of Advertising on YouTube?

Increase brand awareness

Regardless of your industry or marketing goals, YouTube is a fantastic platform to advertise on. It’s the world’s second largest search engine so there’s great potential to get in front of your target audience. Not only are you targeting the right people, you’re also appearing to them when they’re in their ‘personal prime time’, meaning the search intent is already there and viewers are more likely to take an action off the back of an ad. 

Before you begin choosing the ad type that is best for your business, it’s important to understand why adding video content to your marketing strategy and taking the time to create something a little ‘out of the box’ can massively improve your overall marketing results. 

A cost-effective advertising solution

The YouTube advertising cost is built around engagement. Unlike other paid advertising platforms, such as Google Search Ads where you pay per click, YouTube offers an alternative method known as ‘TrueView Ads’. This means that you only pay when a user engages with your ad or views it for a certain duration of time – meaning you’re not wasting media spend on someone who skips your ad straight away. 

Use advanced audience targeting

YouTube channel advertising allows for a wide variety of targeting methods and you can also pull audience signals from other Google platforms such as Search and Maps. For example, you can target a user who has been watching video tutorials for a product similar to yours. Let’s take a closer look at some of the targeting options available: 

  • Demographics – Target audiences based on their age, gender, parental status etc.
  • Interests – Choose interests from certain topics and lists including affinity audiences, life events, in-market segments and more
  • Custom – Build your own audience to reach viewers as they’re making purchasing decisions, eg. a list based on what keywords users are searching for on Google 
  • Your data segments – Reach audiences based on their past interactions with your videos or channel
  • Customer match – Use your first party data to re-engage with past customers across YouTube 

These audience signals are available at every stage of the marketing funnel.

  • Awareness 👀 – Introduce your brand to new customers and get noticed by the ones who matter most to your business
  • Consideration 💭 – A great choice for marketers looking to target people already interested in your message; your ad will help them decide which product or service to buy
  • Action 🛒 – Choose audiences based on the probability that they’ll buy your product or service

Stand out in a crowded market

We already know that video is an essential marketing tool that 86% of businesses are already using, but with an ever growing number of people wanting to see more video content (studies show that 54% of consumers want to see additional video content from brands they support), you need to be thinking of ways to stand out and make the most of this opportunity. When creating your video ads, be sure to make them engaging and know your audience. 

Here are some of Google’s top tips for making effective video content:

  • Keep your videos short and sweet
  • Deliver the most important message early on in the video
  • Be clear about what your business offers
  • Provide clear next steps for customers to take when they finish the video

Great – How Do I Get Started?

There are five main types of ad formats to choose from – but don’t worry, we’ve summarised each of them below and why/when you should use them.

Skippable in-stream ads 

Skippable in-stream ads appear at the start, middle or end of a video. Once the video ad has been played for five seconds, users have the option to skip it. The video has to be a minimum of 12 seconds but advertisers only pay when the user has watched the first 30 seconds, viewed the ad in its entirety (if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or if they click on your ad – whichever comes first. 

Key takeaway: This ad format is great for sales or driving website traffic and brand awareness.

Image credit: Google Ads Help

Non-skippable in-stream ads 

To help overcome the barrier of users skipping ads, advertisers can opt for non-skippable in-stream ads. Similar to the above, these ads appear at the start, middle or end of videos but the key difference is that there is no option to skip them. With this type of ad format, advertisers pay based on impressions. If you choose to run non-skippable ads, it’s essential to have visually engaging content that will keep users captivated for 15 seconds. 

Key takeaway: This ad format is great for driving brand awareness to reach a large audience at scale. 

Image credit: Google Ads Help

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are another type of non-skippable in-stream ad. They work the same in the sense that they appear at the start, middle or end of videos and use CPM bidding – however, they’re only around six seconds or shorter in length and we would recommend using these when brand awareness is a main campaign goal. Bumper ads are also a great way to provide your audience with a ‘teaser’ – for example, you can provide the user with a small insight into what they can expect from your product or service, and then once they’re hooked, keep them engaged with a longer video ad that provides information on where to go next. 

Key takeaway: This ad format is great when you want to reach viewers broadly with a short, memorable message.

Image credit: Google Ads Help

In-feed video ads 

In-feed video ads appear in a variety of sizes and places across the platform – for example, on the search results page or at the side of videos. Audience signals are used to place your ad alongside content that is likely to be viewed by your target audience. 

How much is YouTube advertising when you use in-feed video ads?

This ad type uses cost per view (CPV) bidding, which means you’ll pay for video views when a person interacts with a video thumbnail to watch your ad. You’re charged when the video loads successfully in a viewer’s browser or in the YouTube app.

Depending on where the ad is displayed, it will include an image thumbnail, a headline and up to two lines of text. 

Key takeaway: This ad format is great for product or brand consideration campaigns.

Image credit: Google Ads Help

Outstream video ads 

Outstream video ads are mobile-only ads that appear on partner sites and apps (outside of Youtube). These ads can help increase brand awareness and get your content in front of more people. When they appear on the screen, they work by automatically playing on mute and users then have the choice to unmute and watch, scroll past or dismiss the ad completely. Outstream ads are charged by viewable CPM (an ad counts as viewable when 50% of the ad screen space is visible for two seconds or more of continuous video play). 

Key takeaway: This ad format is great for expanding the reach of your video ads on mobile.

Image credit: Google Ads Help

YouTube is a large part of many people’s lives – whether they are at home, at work or on their commute – making it a great platform to advertise. Now that you’ve got a good understanding of how YouTube advertising works and the benefits of doing so, it’s time to put this knowledge into practice. At Passion Digital, our experience has shown us that YouTube can drive a huge volume of views, improve click through rates and lead to a variety of business conversion objectives. Learn more about how our Paid Media team can help you achieve your business goals through social media advertising.