Video marketing is being embraced by more small business owners who understand the power of videos in their overall marketing mix. If you have spent a significant amount of time building your YouTube channel but still don’t have the results you were hoping for, it may be time to try YouTube advertising. We’ve pulled together some helpful tips for small business owners to get started.

What is YouTube advertising?

YouTubeYouTube advertising works similarly to any other paid ad platform. With YouTube ads, you can reach potential customers and have them take action when they watch or search for videos on YouTube. You only pay when they show interest in your ad. Brands advertise on YouTube because it’s the world’s second most popular website, drawing 2 billion logged-in visitors a month. There is also a large, unregistered group of youtube users who contribute to the platform’s approximately five billion daily video views.

Advertisers have several options for advertising on YouTube and believe it or not; not all ads require videos! There are essentially four types of ads you can run on this platform:

  1. Skippable in-stream ads
  2. Non-skippable in-stream ads
  3. Video discovery ads
  4. Non-video ads

Choosing which type of ad to run depends on your resources, budget, and target audience. Skippable in-stream ads,  ads play before or during a video, and viewers can choose to skip them after the first 5 seconds. You only pay when viewers choose to keep watching your video ad past those first 5 seconds.  Non-skippable in-stream ads are ads that people can’t skip past, so you have somewhat of a captive audience. Unlike skippable ads, since people have no choice but to watch your video, you’re typically charged by video impression. These include “bumper ads” that are also charged by impression but much shorter ads. Video discovery ads work similarly to Google’s search results page. They show up next to organic search results, so if your video looks more relevant than the organic results searchers see when they input a search, people can choose to watch your video instead of one of the other search result options. Non-video ads are useful for those advertisers who don’t have videos, so leverage for marketing. They appear in the sidebar of a video, and include an image and text, alongside a link to your website.

Which type of YouTube advertising is best?

Which type of YouTube advertising is bestYouTube has made it possible for almost anyone to advertise on their platform, based on their needs, resources, and budget. Skippable ads, as mentioned previously, are only charged if viewers keep watching for a certain amount of time, so it’s more likely you have an engaged viewer by the time the ads generate a charge. Non-skippable ads are best when you’re trying to reach a broad audience in a more general sense. Discovery ads tend to work like Google Ads and are based on search results, so again, you have a better chance of reaching searchers who are a good fit for your product or service. Non-video ads are good for those who don’t have videos to leverage on YouTube for advertising.

How to set up an ad on YouTube

Google adsRegardless of which type you create, you’ll need a Google Ads account to get started. Although your ad will appear on YouTube, you’ll manage your campaign using Google Ads, an advertising platform used by businesses running ads on Google and its advertising network – which includes YouTube. Once you have a Google Ads account, here are the basic steps; it’s been said it’s not the most intuitive platform to set ads up on, so use the list below to guide you:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account and select “New Campaign”.
  2. Choose your campaign goal (there are options to choose from if you’re unsure)
  3. Select Campaign Type. NOTE: Since you’re in Google Ads, it’ll show Google Ads-related options along with YouTube options, so be sure to choose Video or Discovery campaigns to show your video to audiences on YouTube.
  4. Select a video subtype:  if you’re working with video (choices 1 – 3 from the list of 4 above), you’ll want to select your video campaign subtype from that list.
  5. Name your campaign
  6. Define your bid strategy (clicks, impressions or conversions; this is usually defined for you based on the type of campaign you choose)
  7. Define your budget
  8. Select where your ads will show up
  9. Choose the language for the ads
  10. Choose any specific sensitivity settings like profanity, adult content filters, etc.
  11. Define your target audience by demographics, interests, etc. so your ad is in front of the right people.
  12. Set when you want your campaign to go live.

As you can imagine, most first-time YouTube advertisers choose to work with a marketing consultant to set up their initial campaigns! YouTube also provides a helpful, creative guide to get the most out of your campaigns.

Measuring YouTube ad performance

measuring resultsHere are some key metrics for your video campaigns include:

  • Views show you the number of times people watched or engaged with your video ad.
  • View rate shows you the number of views or engagements your video ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (video and thumbnail impressions).
  • Avg. CPV is the average amount you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your video, whichever comes first. Note that your average CPV may not be the same as your maximum CPV. Your maximum CPV is the most you’re willing to pay for an ad view.
  • Watch time measures the total amount of time people watched your video ads, shown in seconds.
  • Average watch time/impression measures the average number of seconds someone watched your video ad per impression of the ad.

Google provides quite in-depth analytics; here’s a full list of what you can see in ad results.

Why you may want to advertise on YouTube

While the set up can be challenging, there are several reasons you may want to consider advertising on YouTube. In comparison to other social media channels, YouTube’s users tend to spend more time on the platform. This is great for small businesses looking to drive more attention to their ads.  A typical video ad runs between $0.10 and $0.30 per view, depending on your video quality, your targeting, and your overall goal. Advertising on YouTube is more measurable than many other paid ad platforms.

A few YouTube advertising tips and tricks

tips and tricksKeep these in mind when advertising on YouTube, compliments of Wordstream:

  • Choose your YouTube ad format wisely for best results
  • Segment in-stream and discovery ads into different campaigns for better tracking
  • Take advantage of YouTube targeting options to reach the right audience
  • Set up video remarketing to recapture engaged viewers
  • Create compelling, human content for better engagement
  • Drive action by adding interactive elements to your ad

HubSpot created a guide for YouTube ads, adding these suggestions:

  • Use a custom thumbnail image for branding
  • Create strong calls to action
  • Use close captioning and transcriptions

When you’re ready to take the next step to YouTube advertising, try these tips, tricks, and insights for better results.

Patty Hughes
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