YouTube Ads for Beginners: A Guide

YouTube Ads for Beginners: A Guide

With over 2 billion users frequenting the site, YouTube takes 2nd place in Google’s search engine popularity contest. Considering these stats, running engaging video ads across the platform is a surefire way to increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website. The powerful targeting capabilities and variety of ad formats provide plenty of options for different budgets and goals. 

Let’s dive in and learn more about YouTube Ads.

The 5 different types of YouTube ads

1. Non-video ads. YouTube offers non-video ads that are usually shown alongside related content, either in the search results or during another video. Similar to discovery ads, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. There are two types of non-video ads on YouTube:

  •  Display ads. These show up in the right-hand sidebar when people are watching videos, and include an image, text, and a call to action (CTA).
  • In-video overlay ads. These are displayed on top of existing video content from monetized YouTube channels. 

Best for: Non-video ads are ideal for brands with a lower budget that still want to reap the benefits of video advertising on YouTube. 

  1. Discovery ads. Discovery ads show up alongside organic YouTube search results and include three lines of text and a thumbnail. When a viewer clicks on the ad, they can either be directed to your video page or your YouTube channel. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. 

Best for: Competing with similar content and sharing relevant, high-quality videos on niche topics. 

  1. Skippable in-stream video adsThese ads play before or during a video and give viewers the chance to “skip” after five seconds. You only pay when users watch the first 30 seconds, the whole thing, or if they interact with your ad by clicking it. Skippable in-stream video ads need to be at least 12 seconds long, but it’s the first few seconds that really count—you only have five seconds to grab the attention of viewers and persuade them to watch more.

Best for: Increasing your reach, particularly if you’ve got a strong video with an engaging start. It helps to be specific with the content of your ad to capture the attention of your target audience from the get-go. These ads are also good for brands who want to drive traffic and conversions since you only pay when a viewer clicks. 

  1. Non-skippable in-stream video adsNon-skippable in-stream video ads let you serve ads pre-roll or mid-roll that viewers can’t skip. Because users can’t skip, you pay per impression (per person who sees the ad) at a cost per 1,000 views (CPM). These ads need to be 15 seconds long and really punchy to attract a captive audience. 

Best for: Increasing brand awareness, particularly if you have a really strong creative or message that can capture viewer attention for the entire 15 seconds. 

  1. Bumper adsLike non-skippable video ads, bumper ads can be served pre-roll or mid-roll and can’t be skipped. The only difference is these ads run much shorter at six seconds a pop. Again, you pay for impressions at CPM. 

Best for: Raising brand awareness with short, snappy messages. When Google analyzed 300 bumper ads, it found that 90% created a big lift in ad recall. 

How to advertise on YouTube 

Here’s a quick rundown of how you can get set up with YouTube advertising: 

  1. Create a Google Ads account

If you don’t already have a Google Ads account linked to your brand, start by doing that. 

  1. Create a new video ad or ad campaign

Click the Video option as your campaign type. Choose your campaign goal (leads, website traffic, product and brand consideration, or brand awareness and reach). 

Upload your video (Google will provide tips on the best run time for your chosen campaign goal). Create a YouTube ad.

  1. Select your target audience 

Google has powerful targeting options that span its YouTube ads. This means you can really hone in on the people you want to connect with, select your audience and move to the next step.

  1. Set your budget

Choose your bid strategy. This will usually be determined by your campaign type, goals, and whether you want more conversions, clicks, or impressions. Choose your budget. Select either a daily budget or the total amount you want to spend over the lifetime of the campaign. Choose your campaign dates. Decide when you want your ads to start running and when you want them to stop. 

How much do YouTube ads cost to run? 

YouTube ads have an average cost per view of between 10¢ and 3¢, with the views generated counting toward your overall viewer numbers. To put this into perspective, it costs around $2,000 to reach 100,000 viewers.  

Get started with YouTube ads 

YouTube ads are a great way to expose your brand to billions of viewers who are actively searching for relevant topics in your industry. Leverage the power of these ads and drive more traffic to your site. Connect with us today and let's grow your business together!

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