Influx Digital

A Beginners Guide to YouTube Ads

Get The Most From The World's Second Largest Search Engine.

If you’ve had your finger on the pulse when it comes to marketing, then you’ve no doubt by now realised just how important video marketing is. The chances are you’ve invested time and other resources experimenting with how the medium can best serve your business and hopefully, by now, come up with some content that you are happy with and believe really tells your brand’s story. In fact, it might just have all the hallmarks of a piece of cinematic history – an awesome, Hollywood-esque production that just deserves to be seen by the world.

You get it optimised, upload it to Youtube and get it nicely embedded in your website. Finally you can step back and take a moment to breathe… or can you? The thing is, although the better the content, the greater the chance of it being found, it is simply not enough to assume that the rest will magically happen all by itself. Yes, some random videos do go viral overnight, but the reality is that this is unlikely to be the case for most of us (even if you do have cameos with cats).

In order to really build momentum with your video to attract and educate prospective clients, you really need to put as much energy and effort into proactive promotion as you did with production. One of the most powerful platforms for this is Youtube, which has today established itself as a major brand marketing channel.

Youtube video marketing offers many advantage over the traditionally popular Pay Per Click (PPC) or paid social campaigns used by so many companies. In order to get your campaign off to the best possible start, it is essential to engage in a crash course on how Youtube Video Marketing works.


1. Cost benefits

One of the first and foremost attractions of Youtube advertising at present is the relatively low keyword cost in comparison to traditional Google search. A video view costs an average of $0.06 per click, compared with $1-2 on for normal search listings.

In addition, it is now possible for marketers to target ads at people who have recently searched for a certain product or service, enabling them to target the video ads they’ll be served on the platform. Research suggests that if the content of a video ad is closely related to a search the viewer has been researching, they might be more likely to watch the entire ad or click through the ad to the website – helping to further add to the value for money.


2. Video Discovery Ads vs In Stream Ads

There are two types of standard video ads on Youtube – The first are TrueView Video Discovery Ads, which appear on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and as related videos on YouTube video watch pages after performing a YouTube search.The other type is TrueView in-stream ads, which appear at the beginning of a video someone has chosen to watch on Youtube.

Both types of videos can be easily customised and in both cases, advertisers only pay for the ads when viewers watch or interact with their ad (for example, by clicking on a call-to-action). A payable view is defined as when a user watches the ad for at least 30 seconds or until the end of the video or if the viewer takes an action, such as clicking on a call-to-action. Whichever type of ad you choose to use, it is also important to know the requirements for video length. Skippable TrueView ads must be 12-60 seconds in length and non-skippable TrueView ads must be 15-30 seconds in length.

So that’s enough about what the two types of ads have in common. Now let’s take a look at the key differences.


Video Discovery Ads (Previously called In-Display Ads)

For want of a better comparison, video discovery ads function in a similar manner to paid adverts on Google, either appearing above the main results when a user searches for a video, or on the right-hand side in the ‘up next’ column.

If the ad is clicked on by a user, the video will load and in addition a companion banner ad will be displayed alongside to the right. The overall effect is a good amount of the display space being allocated to your content and of course your brand.


In-Stream Ads

In-Stream ads are the adverts that appear before you are able to watch a video you have chosen. Depending on what option the advertiser has chosen, you may be able to skip the ad after five seconds. In other cases, the ad cannot be skipped at all. They can also appear mid-roll in films of over ten minutes in length (much like an advertising break on television) or at the end of a video.

A further attraction of in-stream ads is that they allow marketers to customise video ads with different CTAs and overlay text. A great example of this are the ongoing campaigns by Grammarly and wix.

Whichever you choose to use, Google provides a fantastic amount of information using the adwords reporting system. This includes data on completed views, partial views, subscriptions, click-through rates on CTAs, views sourced from a user sharing the content, and views on the brand’s other content that can be attributed to a person initially viewing a video ad. This in depth picture means advertisers are better positioned to understand the full value of their video ad spend and where to allocate budget to increase results.


3. Creating a Youtube video campaign

Now that you have a full understanding of the types of Youtube ads, it is time to shift our focus to how to setup and launch a Youtube video advertising campaign. We’re going to assume here that you have already prepared your video and uploaded it to Youtube.

Now is the all important first step in creating your campaign – log into your Google Adwords account. The first thing we are going to do is click on the red ‘+ Campaign’ button and choose video. You’ll then be asked to enter a campaign name. At this point, you can double check that the campaign type is set to video in the ‘type’ dropdown.

In order to ensure your video advert is of one or the Trueview types previously discussed, you’ll then need to select ‘In-stream or video discovery ads’ in the video ad formats option.

With the video technicalities out of the way, it is time to move onto the all important budget. There are two options for the budget per day here – standard delivery, which shows ads evenly during the day, or accelerated delivery, which drives views as quickly as possible. The latter would be useful if you want to capitalise on a trend or news item relevant to your brand’s video. In most cases, we would advise new users to use the first option.

Just like with a standard Google Ads campaign, you can then choose the networks on which you want your video ad to appear. This may be one of the following:

  • YouTube Search: Your video ad will appear in results for searches and will appear on the YouTube home page, channel pages, and video pages.
  • YouTube Videos: This runs TrueView ads that can appear in-display ads or in-stream ads. With this option, you can choose for your video ad to appear before or around videos shown across the Google Display Network.

It is worth noting that best practice is to create separate campaigns for YouTube Search and YouTube Video in order to better track performance metrics. Depending on the selected network, the different ads are served to people performing very different activities and require a different amount of commitment from the viewer, so it’s best to monitor performance separately.

Other settings of note are locations, which you can use to either include or exclude locations even down to specific towns or cities. You can also configure your target language and control your device and mobile bidding. This allows you to increase the value of a bid for selected devices over and above your baseline.

There are also some advanced options that give you the opportunity to schedule your ads, as well as limit the number of times per day they appear to the same viewer.

The next step is to set up the ad creative. Once you’ve named the ad group, it is a simple job of inserting the Youtube link for the video you would like to run the ad for. Once this step has been completed, you will choose whether you want this to run as an in-stream ad or an in-display ad.

If you opt for the in-display option, it is then necessary to add a title and short description which are entered on two separate lines. They have a character limit of 25 and 35 characters respectively.

With an in-stream ad, there is the all important option to add a url to display over the video. Now, if you have a catchy and clever url already you might just want to use this, but with most videos going directly to a landing page with a longer url, it is worth pausing for thought here. One popular approach is to use what are known as vanity urls. These are urls that are simple and memorable and redirect to the desired location. You can of course add tracking options to the url.

Once the video has been uploaded, you will also see the companion banner, which is created from still images taken from the video.

We now take a brief return to the financials as we set the bid price. This is where you set the maximum price you are willing to pay for each view. This can be adjusted to increase the number of projected views your video may receive.

The last step of the campaign step up is targeting. Now if you’ve been paying attention, you will recall we already mentioned targeting earlier on – location and language specifically. What you can control at this stage is the audience. Among the options available are gender, age and parental status, as well as a huge variety of interests from cars and kitchens to kids and… cats – and anything in between. Good practice when it comes to targeting is to run different campaigns for different audiences and monitoring their engagement, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Advanced targeting options such as websites allow you to drill down even more.


4. Linking your Adwords account

The final step for a successful Youtube video ad campaign, if you have not already done it, is to link the AdWords account to the YouTube channel where the video is hosted, which you will be prompted to do at this point. Once that’s done, all that remains is to hit finish and let your campaign start running!


Provided you start with great content and follow the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be well on the way to running successful Youtube Video Ad marketing campaigns. However, here at Influx Digital we recognise that all this takes up valuable time that you could be using to come up with top quality creative content and telling the story of your brand – as well as providing the products and services that are at the core of your business.

That’s why we look after digital marketing campaigns for our clients. We can take the pressure out of getting your story seen by the people who matter so that you can focus on doing what it is that matters most to you.

To learn more about our digital marketing services, simply complete our online contact form available here or email