Guide to YouTube Advertising

YouTube serves an audience of more than a billion viewers, amounting to about a third of all Internet users. The platform enjoys overwhelming popularity from users ranging from teenagers to octogenarians, with impressive statistics for both desktop and mobile views. 

YouTube provides users with content for education, entertainment and shopping. Video reviews, testimonials and how-to guides can greatly simplify decision-making for shoppers buying products and services, helping them make informed purchases. Buyers not only discover the features of certain products, but also see them in action and learn how to use them. 

Many users are unwilling to spend time reading long product specifications. Short, bright and captivating videos can reach your target audience with minimal effort on their part. 

YouTube is a huge video universe that can skyrocket your promotional campaigns. It offers a variety of easy-to-launch marketing solutions wirth customization features that ensure your videos will reach the right audience. 

If this is your first foray into video marketing, our comprehensive guide will help you take your first steps. 

6 YouTube Advertising Types

You can choose among the following ad options  for your video promotional campaign:

  1. TrueView Advertising

This is the most popular format for both viewers and businesses.

  • Users are not forced to watch irrelevant content, and can skip ads at any time. 
  • This option is very cost-effective and easy on your marketing budget.

With TrueView advertising, YouTube only charges for content that is viewed for more than 30 seconds, for short videos that were viewed in their entirety, or when users click on CTAs or interact with ads in other ways. You can reach interested prospects without spending money on users who are not interested in your services. 

To use TrueView advertising, create engaging videos that  are 12 seconds to 6 minutes long, and decide where you want your target audience to see them:

  • Instream ads are played at the beginning of a user’s selected video. You can place a CTA or other text above your clip, linking viewers to your website, or provide a timer to give users an idea of the clip’s length. While your ad is playing, YouTube displays your banner to the right, above the lineup of related videos. 
  • Discovery advertising appears at the top of YouTube’s internal organic SERPs, and at the top of the related content lineup, inviting users to view your ad. You can create thumbnails for your clips and provide short descriptions of up to three lines. 
  1. Non-Skippable Instream Advertising

In this format your ads are limited to 15 to 20 seconds, but users cannot skip your clips, For videos lasting 10 minutes or longer, your ad will  appear both before the video and somewhere in the middle. 

Instream ad fees are charged per thousand screenings, whether users interact with your content or not. This can be costly, since the majority of viewers will bypass your offers. We recommend using this option only for mass use offers that appeal to a broad range of demographics. If your offers are  tailored to a specific audience, PPC (pay-per-click) ads are a better choice. 

  1. Bumper Instream Advertising

Use short bumper clips to unleash your creativity. You have only six seconds to grab the attention of prospects and entice them to follow your links before their chosen video begins. Fees are charged per thousand views, so this format is also recommended for mass use offers. Use it to supplement other ad types, rather than as a standalone solution. 

  1. Sponsored Card Advertising

In sponsored card ads, a small “I” icon is displayed at the upper right corner of a clip. When a user hovers over the icon, a card opens, providing brief information about your offer. You can embed thumbnails and links to other videos in the card. This advertising option is discreet and unobtrusive, since users have to take action to view your ad. 

  1. Overlay Advertising

A YouTube overlay ad is the simplest option on our list. You simply place a horizontal banner with an image or text at the bottom of a view window. 

  1. Display Advertising

Display ads are placed above the related content lineup on the right side of the screen.  You can customize their size, and add links and CTAs. 

YouTube Advertising for Beginners
How to Advertise on YouTube

Now that you know about your different advertising options, you are ready to launch your first YouTube campaign. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Upload your ad clip in the same way you would upload any video. 
  2. Open Google Ads and begin a new “Video” marketing event, defining the outcomes you want your ad to deliver. 
  3. Give your campaign a name, for example, “Spring Promotion,”  so you can easily find it when you have multiple ads running. 
  4. Limit your daily budget to keep your expenses under control. Start with a small sum to test your strategy and determine if it needs adjusting.
  5. Use special settings to define how your budget should be dispersed. YouTube ads can quickly drain your resources if your content is displayed on all suitable videos, 
  6. Decide on your campaign’s timeframe and where your ads will be displayed. Choose among YouTube’s internal search results, view pages, or partner platforms within Google’s Display Network. 
  7. Select language and location settings for your ads. 
  8. Choose your bidding strategy. YouTube can charge advertising fees based on the number of complete views, interactions with your clips, non-skippable screenings, or combinations of these methods. It is most cost-effective to pay exclusively for complete views and interactions. 
  9. You can restrict the types of content where your ads are displayed, and exclude profanity, sexual or violent content, political content or content on controversial topics. 
  10. Create a profile of your average prospect by setting demographic parameters, interests and behavior patterns.
  11. Select keywords and topics to help internal search algorithms understand the context of your marketing clips and banners. 
  12. Choose your ad placements, to avoid having your content pop up on random Google Display Network pages or partner platforms that otherwise fit your settings. 
  13. Select your uploaded ad clip. YouTube will suggest the ad types that conform to your settings. Select your preferred option and specify what information should be displayed over your clip or image. 
  14. Save your ad and get back to your campaign. 

Once you launch your YouTube’s advertising campaign, be sure to continuously monitor and analyze its effectiveness, and refine it as needed to make the most of your advertising resources.