A Comprehensive Guide On YouTube Video Ads

YouTube is not only a social platform where you can spend your time in enjoying the videos that you like but it has also emerged a platform of opportunities for marketers and advertisers to reach out to a wide audience.

YouTube is a frontier of possibilities for brand awareness as well. Click To Tweet

Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube on a daily basis and 1.3 billion people use YouTube. YouTube is an effective platform to reach a massive global audience in more than 60 countries.

There are a lot of people who watch YouTube videos on all type of screens like the desktops, tablets and mobile phones. Hence, with the help of YouTube video ads, the advertisers can be there when their target customers are watching the videos.

As the popularity of the video content is rising, therefore, it becomes really important for the advertisers and marketers to invest in YouTube Ads.

Why should you be running YouTube Ads?

Why Should You Be Running YouTube Ads

Owing to the fact that YouTube has a wide reach in terms of audience and the demand for video ads is rapidly increasing.

YouTube is a promising marketing tool for big as well as small businesses as they have been successfully running the YouTube Campaigns over the past years and have generated better results to reach a wide audience and to drive more and more engagement.

After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Click To Tweet

Although, you should know that advertising on YouTube is quite different from that of advertising on PPC. This is because YouTube Video Ads have particular creative content constraints and a plethora of display options.

Hence, to get the most out of the YouTube Video Ads, you need to have a proper understanding of the terms and conditions of this platform.

YouTube Video Ads have been evolving over time and in the beginning of this year, Google made some changes in this platform saying that advertisers will be able to reach more people on YouTube especially through the mobile phones.

As an advertiser, you are at an advantage here as now you will be able to target the viewers based on their search history on Google. You can also target the people based on the recent product or service they searched for.

Also in YouTube Video Ads, the keywords are relatively less expensive. Hence, it is a more cost-effective platform to target your potential audience.

The Type Of YouTube Video Ads

Before jumping into the making of YouTube Video Ads, it is very important for you to understand the various type of Ad formats.

You should have a proper understanding of how these Ad Formats work, where they get displayed, how much do they cost and how far do they reach in term of the audience.

The main purpose of the Ad Format is to particularly target the users who are interested in your product or service. If they are not interested, they will simply skip the video and hence you will be required to pay no cost at all.

On the other hand, if they are interested, they will watch your video until the time it gets completed. Thereby, increasing your views.

The True View Ads are the standard Ad Type on YouTube. The term True View stands for a promise that you will only have to pay when someone chooses to watch your video ad.

As an advertiser, you will only have to pay when

  • A user watches the ad for at least 30 seconds
  • Completes watching the whole video ad
  • Takes an action like clicking on the ad

Now, let us just dive in the YouTube Video Ads formats available and see which one is right for your business.

1. In-Stream Ads

The In-Stream Ads are the most common YouTube video ad type. Basically, these ads appear before someone watches the video that they have selected on YouTube. On the more, they can also appear during or after the videos that you watch on YouTube.

With these ads, the viewers sometimes have the option to skip the ad after watching it for 5 seconds. If you are an advertiser, you will have to pay once the viewer watches your video ad for at least 30 seconds or when they interact with the ad by clicking on it.

YouTube In-Stream Ads

The In-Stream YouTube Video Ads can be displayed on desktops, mobile devices, TV and Game Consoles. These Ads can be skippable as well as non-skippable.

The In-Stream Video Ads generally plays before the video. Click To Tweet

The main purpose of this ad is to generate impressions and target specific landing page. With the help of In-Stream Ads, you can target your potential audience on the basis of demographics and interest.

While using the In-Stream Video Ads, you should make sure that your ad grabs the attention of the viewer in the first 5 seconds and also give the reason to the viewer to continue seeing the ad.

These are simply great for as many views as possible. Hence, if your maximum goal is exposure, you should definitely go for In-Stream Ads.

2. Video Discovery Ads

The Video Discovery Ads was previously known as In-Display Ads. These ads appear on the YouTube Homepage, on the search results page and as related videos on YouTube watch page.

YouTube Video Discovery Ad

These Ads help you to promote your videos in areas where the audience finds the relevant videos. These ads appear differently depending on the way they run like in the YouTube Watch Page, they can appear in the related video section or as an overlay of the video that you are watching.

YouTube Video Discovery Ad 1

The best thing about this ad is that you are only entitled to pay when someone clicks on your ad to view it.

These ads show a thumbnail image of your video along with three lines of text that are present to invite the audience to click and watch your video.

The Video Discovery ads can also display on the GDN to the relevant audience. Click To Tweet

The main aim of these ads is to build subscribers and views. As your viewers do not get directed to a Landing Page so this means that you have to include a strong Call-to-Action.

Since, these ads do not require, so viewers who have a genuine interest will only click on your Ad. Thus, you will get a solid viewer base who is more likely to subscribe to your channel.

3. Bumper Ads

The Bumper Ads are small clips which are of 6 seconds and they appear before other YouTube Videos.

The Bumper Ads are a cost-effective way to reach your target audience. Click To Tweet

They also ensure that your message is seen and heard and also keeps you at the top of the mind of the users. If you want to reach out to a broad audience with a short and memorable moment, you should use Bumper Ads.

4. Non-Skippable Video Ads

The non-skippable video ads are those YouTube Video Ads that can appear before, in the middle or after the video has been watched.

They can be 15-30 seconds long and the viewers have to watch the ad before watching the video that they have selected. The non-skippable video ads are available for desktop and mobile only.

The non-skippable are created to generate impressions & launch specific landing page. Click To Tweet

Just like the In-Stream Ads, the Non-Skippable Ads can target the audience on the basis of demographics and interest.

5. Remarketing Video Ads

With the Remarketing Video Ads, you can capture the interest and re-engage with the users who already watch your videos on YouTube.

The Ad serving engine saves the information of the person who shows an intent or action on your YouTube Videos and ads it to a custom list. This list is then used to retarget people.

You can also use the Remarketing Video Ads to reach out to viewers based on their past interactions with your video ads.

Benefits of YouTube Video Ads

Benefits of YouTube Ads

There are many benefits of YouTube Ads that makes it one of the most promising platforms for video advertising.

1. YouTube Ads are Cost-Effective

As mentioned earlier, as an advertiser, you are only supposed to pay when the viewers watch your ads for 30 seconds or more and when they take an action like clicking on the ad.

As you are only going to pay for the viewers who are actually interested in your business, this will prevent your budget from getting exhausted. In YouTube Video Ads, you get the advantage of choosing what you want to actually pay, you get the right audience at the right price.

2. YouTube Ads are Customizable

The YouTube Ads are highly customizable in the sense that you decide everything related to the video ads. From the running time of the videos to the content type, it is you who is going to decide everything.

3. YouTube Ads Have a Wide Range of Targeting Options

YouTube Video Ads gives you a plethora of targeting options to target your potential users. Click To Tweet

You can target the audience based on the topic i.e subject of the YouTube video content.

There are demographic options also available such as age and gender. You can also target with the help of specific keywords that are relevant to the Ad. There are placement and category options that are also available.

4. YouTube Ads Have a Wide Reach

YouTube has over 1.3 Billion users. Click To Tweet

This number is only expected to increase over time. Owing to its wide user base, YouTube provides a great opportunity to you to deliver your message to millions of people who have the potential of becoming your prospective customers.

5. YouTube Ads are Measurable

Advertising on YouTube is quite measurable, you can track the performance of your videos by utilizing the clicks. YouTube also allows you to see when someone stopped watching your video as well as when people watched your ad till the end through YouTube’s Analytics.

How to setup YouTube Video Advertising Campaign in AdWords

YouTube with AdWords

To get started with YouTube Advertising, you need to follow the steps given below.

1. Create AdWords and YouTube accounts

The very first thing that you need to do is create an AdWords as well as a YouTube account.

2. Create a video that you want to advertise on YouTube

Keep the video that you want to advertise ready beforehand to avoid last minute confusions and chaos.

3. Upload your video on YouTube

Upload the video ad that you want to advertise as a public video on your YouTube Channel.

4. Set up your campaign

To set up your campaign, go to your Google AdWords Account. In the AdWords dashboard, click on the +Campaign Button.


And then select the video option from the drop-down menu.

Video Campaign

5. Name your campaign

The thing that you should do is to name your video campaign and in the “Type” option choose “Video” from the drop-down menu.

YouTube Name Your Campaigns

6. Choose your Ad Format

You have to be very careful while choosing the type of Ad format that you want. As the different Ad formats have different features, so you have to be sure that the Ad format that you choose perfectly aligns with your business goal.

The type of Ad formats has already been mentioned earlier in the blog. So, choose wisely so that you can the most from the YouTube Video Ads.

YouTube Choose Your Ad Format

7. Set your Budget

Set your budget on a daily basis. And the next thing is to decide on the delivery method. You get 2 options under the delivery method. One is the Standard Method where your ads are shown evenly during the day. And the next is the Accelerated Method where your ads are shown as quickly as possible.

YouTube Set Your Budget

YouTube Set Your Budget

8. Decide the network where you want your ads to appear

It is you who is going to decide where your YouTube video ads are going to appear. You get 2 options here as well.

(i) YouTube Search

If you choose this network, your ads will appear in search results, YouTube homepage, video pages and channel pages.

(ii) YouTube Videos

Here, your Ads will appear as In-stream and Video Discovery Ads. You can also choose whether you want to display your ads before, in the middle or after the videos that are watched.

YouTube Decide Your Network

However, it is also recommended to create separate campaigns for YouTube Search and YouTube Video Network. This will help you to track the performance of your video ads in a better way.

9. Select your preferred location

Selecting and targeting your preferable location is very important to target the right audience. Therefore, you should pay a lot of attention while choosing the locations that you have to target because by targeting the wrong location would mean that you are targeting the wrong audience and this is definitely what you want.

Apart from targeting the most relevant locations, you can also exclude the locations that are the most irrelevant to your audience.

YouTube Select Your Preferred Location

10. Choose the Language & Device

After you have decided the location, it is now time to choose the language. You should be definitely knowing the Language that your customers speak.

You also have to choose the device where you want to show your video ads on.

By default, your video ads are shown on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. Click To Tweet

For more advanced targeting, Google AdWords also lets you choose the particular operating system, device and even carriers.

YouTube Choose Language and Device

11. Go to Advanced Settings

If you want to have a start and end date for your campaign, then you should go for Advanced Settings. With Advanced Settings, you can also create a custom schedule that will specify when do you want to show your video ads.

YouTube Advanced Setting Ad Scheduling

On the more, you can also set a frequency cap on your videos. This will let you can limit the daily impressions and the views from the users as well.

YouTube Advanced Setting Frequency Capping

12. Create Your YouTube Video Ad Group

For this, you first need to name your Ad Group and then insert the link of the YouTube Video for which you would like to run the Ad for. The next thing to choose is whether you want to run the Ad as an In-Stream or Video Discovery Ad.

YouTube Create Your Ad Group

If you choose the Video Discovery Ads, then you will have to include a title and a short description that is going to get displayed on 2 separate lines. Titles have a character limit of 25 whereas the descriptions are limited to 35 characters.

If you tend to choose the In-Stream Ads, you will get the option to put a display URL on the top of the video.

YouTube Create Your Ad Group 1

13. Set your Bidding Strategy

This is one of the most important things that you need to ascertain. Owing to the intense competition, you have to be very precise about your bids as it mainly decides on the exposure of your ads.

Determine the maximum price that you are willing to pay for each view of your ad. You can easily adjust the bids according to the performance of your video ads.

YouTube Set Your Bidding Strategy

14. Determine your Target Audience

With YouTube Video Ads also you get the option of targeting a lot a wide range of audience. The targeting options include:

(i) Demographic Groups

Under this, you can choose the age, gender, parental status and household income to target your potential audience.

YouTube Targeting Options Demographic

(ii) Interests

The interest targeting option is further classified into a number of options that you should consider for sure.

YouTube Targeting Options Interests

  • Affinity Audience

With this, you can reach out to people who already have a strong interest in your business. This will further let you increase your brand awareness.

  • Custom Affinity Audience

Here, you can create audiences that are more tailored to your brand or business.

  • In-Market Audience

For the In-Market audiences, you can find the audience who is actively searching for products or services that are similar to yours.

(iii) Video Remarketing

Video Remarketing helps you to reach out to viewers on the basis of their past interaction with your videos.

15. Use the Advanced Targeting Options

Apart from the above-mentioned targeting options, you can also target your potential audience with the help of the advanced targeting options.

YouTube Advanced Targeting

The advanced targeting options include:

(i) Placements

With Placement Targeting, you can target the unique channels. videos, apps and even websites.

(ii) Topics

You can target your video ads to unique topics on YouTube. Moreover, this lets you reach out to a broad range of videos, channels and websites that are related to your selected topics.


With Keyword Targeting, you can show your video ads on the basis of certain words and phrases. Hence, Keyword Targeting is very helpful in finding the audience who are looking for a visual answer to their question. It is recommended that before targeting the keywords and phrases, you should consider a proper research and test the different keywords to get the top performing ones.

How to optimize your YouTube Video Advertising Campaigns in AdWords

Now, you are all set to launch your YouTube Video Ads Campaign. No matter how good is the performance of your YouTube Video Ads, you should know that there is always room for improvement.

There is a possibility that you are going to see ups and downs in the case of YouTube Ads. For this reason, you should know how can you optimize your YouTube Video Ads to get the most profitable results.

1. Define your goals clearly

This is perhaps the most important thing that you should take into consideration. Before launching the YouTube Video Ads Campaign, you should clearly define what type of goal do you want to achieve. Different businesses have different goals.

Some have the goal of brand awareness while some have the goal of getting more and more conversions. Understand your business goal first and then choose the YouTube Video Ads Campaign that perfectly aligns with your business goals.

2. Optimize your Cost-per-View (CPV)

The Cost per View is the amount that you will have to pay for a view of your Video Ad. the CPV varies on the basis of the length of the ad, the creative quality and targeting. It measures the competitiveness of your ad in the auction area.

You should optimize your CPV to make sure that you are not paying for more views than what you wanted or expected or to prevent your CPV from increasing over time.

Optimize the CPV by adjusting the bids as they have a direct link with the CPV. Click To Tweet

The next thing that you can do is to expand your targeting options.

Narrowing your target will lead to higher competition, which will result in higher CPV. By expanding the targets, you can make your Ads and bids more competitive and can also reduce the campaign’s overall average CPV.

To optimize your CPV, you can also improve your Ads. As strong ads lead to good view rate and as the view rate rises, the CPV falls.

3. Optimize your View Rate

The view rate is the total number of the views of your ads divided by the number of people your ads were served to. The views rate indicates how good your video ads are.

Higher the view rate, the more are the people engaged with your video ads. The view rate is one of the basic metrics that signal the health of the video ad. If your video ads have a high view rate, then you will have to pay a lower CPV and vice versa.

To optimize your view rate, you should try and focus on improving your ads. Click To Tweet

Shorter ads have a much higher view rate. Hence, if you can convey your message in a shorter span of time, you should indeed do that. Try to rotate your ads in such a way so as to avoid ad fatigue.

You should also look forward to improving your targeting to optimize the view rate. Avoid targeting the wrong audience because they will only skip your video ads. Also, avoid missing the right audience.

4. Optimize your Click Through Rate

The CTR is the total number of clicks on your video divided by the number of people your ads were served to. CTR is a way to measure how well your campaign is doing. The higher CTR means that there are more viewers who are engaged with your video ads and the more they are interested in knowing your business.

To optimize your CTR, you should add a clear Call-to-Action in your video ad. Click To Tweet

You can also mention a selling point of your business to stand out in the crowd. The next thing that you should do to optimize your CTR is to remove the low performing placements.

5. Trace the Placements with Low Performance

You can find the information about the placements of your video ads by navigating through the “Targets” tab and then clicking on Placements under “Where are my ads shown” label.

After you get the complete information on the Placements factor, you should try and edit the placements which are inefficient or low performing. Moreover, you should at once exclude these sites or placements from your Ad campaigns to prevent your CPV from increasing.

6. Use a high-quality thumbnail image

To entice and persuade the viewer to click on your Ad, you should design or probably use a high-quality thumbnail image for your video ad. Make sure that the thumbnail image is compatible with all the devices like desktops, tablets and not to forget the mobile phones.

7. Add a Call-to-Action

You should include a CTA overlay that links to a specific URL when it comes to YouTube Video Ads. You can link the CTA to a Landing Page, information page or a product page.

Adding a CTA overlay can increase your viewer engagement. Click To Tweet

8. Improve your Bidding

As the bidding strategy is one of the most important strategies when it comes to YouTube Video Ads, hence, you should consider improving your bids in order to optimize your YouTube Video Ads.

To increase the frequency of showing your ads to the interested viewers, you can consider changing your bids of the Video Discovery Ads.

On the more, if you are interested in increasing the traffic of your website or creating brand awareness for your business, then you should increase the bids on the In-Stream formats.

9. Use Video Remarketing

With Video Remarketing, you can take into account the viewer’s activity on your YouTube channel. And thereby create specific lists of the audience to retarget the audience. When you link your YouTube account with your AdWords account, then you can create the remarketing lists on the basis of how people interact with your videos.

10. Qualify the Viewers

There may be times when your ads will be seen by an irrelevant audience who absolutely have no interest in your business. To filter the interested audience, you should qualify the viewers in the initial stage only.  You can let them skip the ad if the ad is irrelevant to them. This will let you save your Ad Spend that would have been wasted if you did not give your viewers a chance to skip the video and they had to watch it in spite of not being interested.

Final Thoughts

Over the years, digital marketing has taken new forms. The digital marketing industry has been diversifying across multiple channels. In the recent years, the prime focus of the people has been shifted from televisions to computer screens.

Owing to this popularity of the video content, YouTube has become as one of the most promising platforms. As mentioned earlier, YouTube is the second most visited site in the world after Google. Hence, advertising through YouTube ads should be accepted and executed as soon as possible.

Through this blog, we have taken an initiative to make it easy for you understand all the things that you need to know about YouTube Video Advertising. Hopefully, we have succeeded in answering all your questions about YouTube Video Ads and have given you insights to be more and more better at it.

Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh Thakur is the co-founder of Ads Triangle which is a Google Partner and Bing Ads Accredited agency. He has over 7 years of experience in Pay per Click marketing. Dinesh has helped hundreds of businesses to grow their revenues through PPC. He has expertise skills in Google Adwords and is passionate about Pay Per Click.

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