A Comprehensive Guide to YouTube Ads
YouTube is an incredible platform, but many people, including some marketers, take it for granted. According to the latest reports, YouTube is home to over 2.6 billion global users monthly.
That’s why it is unsurprising that it is the most popular video-sharing website in Australia, with 14+ million unique monthly visitors. On average, these Aussie users spend 19 hours and 12 minutes per month watching YouTube videos.
With these staggering figures, you are missing out if you do not have a solid YouTube marketing campaign in 2023.
Why Advertise on YouTube
Videos are powerful marketing tools. And if you’re the “numbers don’t lie” type of person, studies like this one have proven that consumers crave video content in online spaces, such as YouTube. 91% want to see more videos from their favourite (and competing) brands.
In the previous Google Marketing Live, the search engine giant placed heavy emphasis on the unprecedented demand and growth of visual content. Understandably, small businesses may not have the luxury of time and budget to create long-form videos to entice customers to purchase their products or services. However, with the introduction of YouTube Shorts (videos that are 60 seconds or shorter), there’s truly no excuse to avoid the wonderful and lucrative world of YouTube.
As an entrepreneur, business owner, manager, or social media creator, the YouTube space is inevitable. Here are eight reasons why you should certainly put in the effort of advertising your brand, business, and product/service on the platform:
- You get more exposure with YouTube. Not only does it have billions of users around the world, but it is also the second-most popular search engine. That means people go to YouTube to search for what they are looking for, beating the likes of Bing, Ask.com, and Yahoo when it comes to monthly searches.
- With incredible reach comes incredible potential sales. Over 60% of consumers buy from a brand after seeing its ad on YouTube. Make sure that there is a strong CTA to support the likelihood of sales, increasing the chances by up to 30%.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an effective marketing method. That’s because you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ads. You also decide how much to spend for those clicks. Therefore, you will never overspend. This same strategy applies to YouTube ads, making them highly cost-effective. You have the creative freedom to create videos representing your brand’s personality. You can use your videos to highlight the unique experiences that your brand can offer to your audience and customers.
- YouTube analytics gives you a wealth of data, from where viewers stop watching to visitors’ public details and your video’s performance. Combining the data with your Google Ads information to learn about the views, budget, and prices gives you even more insight.
- A successful campaign relies on granular targeting, a strategy that enables businesses to identify and target a specific segment or group in their target audience. With YouTube ads, you can narrow your audience by their demographics and interests, among others, to create ads matching your customer goals.
- Also known as remarketing, retargeting lets you target viewers who have already watched or interacted with your ads. This strategy benefits you in many ways, including getting higher conversion rates since you’re focusing on users who have shown previous interest in your product, service, or brand.
- When customers see the brand in action, they feel more connected to the brand. That’s why TV commercials were very effective back in their heyday. YouTube videos allow interaction with the faces of the brand, experience how the product operates, and understand the business mindset.
When done right, YouTube ads can give you quicker results. With over two billion monthly visitors, it is easy to see why a good advertising campaign can generate a greater user base and more website traffic and clicks. These elements can lead to more sales.
Launching Your YouTube Advertising Campaign
One thing to note about YouTube ads is that they are not the same as running a paid social media or pay-per-click campaign. And if you haven’t figured that out, it’s probably why your marketing campaigns are ineffective.
Before embarking on a YouTube ads campaign (or any campaign for that matter), it’s essential to understand the options, as well as the creative constraints for advertising on the platform. YouTube constantly evolves with modifications that benefit and affect users, including marketers and brands. If you’re going to take YouTube advertising seriously, you need to learn about the following changes:
- Brand Safety: YouTube tries to protect users from harmful content, which leads to more rigorous guidelines for brands. Violence, dangerous acts, and sensitive events are not tolerated on the platform and can result in strikes and potential banning.
- User Search History: Google announced a few years ago that advertisers would reach more users on YouTube on mobile devices. With the newest update rolled out, one of the most significant changes was that advertisers could target viewers based on their search history on Google.
- Audio-Only Ads: Whilst we recommend focusing on video ads first, you should consider adding audio once you have the perfect voice for your brand.
- Better Data Attribution: YouTube’s data attribution model has also been upgraded, allowing brands to measure user engagement with their ads. New additions include determining cost per conversion, and ads performance compared to Search and Shopping ads reports.
How much will YouTube advertising cost you? The answer here is “it depends”, as the cost is based on views. For each view, you will have to pay from $0.10 to $0.30. Meanwhile, the average cost-per-click is between $0.30 to $1.50. The amount is usually centred around your industry and chosen keywords.
YouTube ads are safe investments because they allow you to set a daily budget. You will only be charged up to that particular amount, so you never overspend.
Your budget will also rely on the type of YouTube ad you intend to run. You have the following choices:
1. TrueView Discovery (In-Feed) Ads
You can see YouTube ads on your YouTube homepage. These ads are in-feed ads that can also appear on search results pages, often as related videos, when you are looking for a specific video or subject. If you click on the ad, you will be taken to the video page with a companion banner display ad on the right-hand column.
2. TrueView (Skippable) In-Stream Ads
This type of YouTube ad is the most recognisable as they play before you watch the video you have selected to view. Sometimes, you have the option to skip the video, which means that advertisers do not have to pay for the ad spot. However, they have to pay for skippable ads when a user watches for at least 30 seconds. If the viewer takes action, such as clicking on the “Contact Us,” “Buy Now,” or any call-to-action button, the advertiser must also pay for the ad.
This type of ad is also playable in any video ad space purchased by Google through the Google Display Network (GDN).
3. Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads
As the name suggests, this type is the opposite of the previous type, where the ad, running from 15 to 20 seconds, cannot be skipped. They generally appear midway through a video at least 10 minutes long. On the desktop, users will see a countdown indicating an ad is coming up.
4. Bumper Ads
The shortest type of all video ads, it’s a six-second ad for every bumper, playing before a selected video. It cannot be skipped, as well, and charged based on impressions, meaning you pay for every 1,000 views.
5. Overlay Ads
An overlay ad is a banner-type of ad that hovers at the bottom of a video. It is unobtrusive but may be ineffective, especially if you do not supplement it with other in-stream ad campaigns.
Familiarising yourself with the types of YouTube ads is just the first step out of many. Let’s now dive into the nuts and bolts of starting a YouTube ad campaign. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, this is the time to create one. It is more beneficial if you set up a channel dedicated solely to your business. Once you have the account, don’t forget to add the following:
- About information
- Header image and profile picture
- Links to your social media accounts and website
The next step is a bit tough as it involves learning about your audience and what they want. Ask yourself these two pertinent questions: Who are your videos for, and what do they frequently watch on YouTube? This is the part where you understand your demographics and use tactics like social listening to figure out your audience.
Aside from your target users, it would be best to do a competitor analysis where you look at their subscriber count, posting frequency, the average number of views per video, video quality, topics, and what people say in the comments.
The goal of YouTube marketing is to grow your subscribers and viewers as quickly as possible. And from there, you can track your progress, as well as your competitors’, to determine what works and what doesn’t. Learn from your mistakes and be patient, especially if your growth is slow.
Now onto creating your advertisement for YouTube. Let us say that it is your first time creating an ad. The best way to begin is to create a short video with a focus on promoting your product. Ensure the message stands out by making the entire video brief, entertaining, and memorable for your target audience.
The good news is that the ad does not have to be overly complicated with tons of effects just to tantalise the viewers. You can record using your smartphone and edit the video using Adobe Premiere Pro or even a free tool. Prepare an ad copy with an attention-grabbing headline and an interesting description. Also, remember to add your call to action or CTA.
To further guide you on advertising on YouTube, here are the steps to follow:
1. Create Your Youtube Campaign
Sign in to your Google Ads account and choose New Campaign. You will have to select your campaign goal, which can be for leads, sales, website traffic, brand awareness, or others. Next is to choose the type of campaign, either a Video or Discovery campaign. If it is a Video campaign, you will have to select the subtype: Skippable, Bumper, Non-skippable, or others. It helps to name your campaign so you can locate and optimise it in the future.
2. Set Your Campaign Parameters
You will have to select your bid strategy, whether your campaign’s goal is to convert, gain clicks, or get impressions. You will also need to enter your budget by day or the total amount and, finally, where your ads will be shown.
From here, YouTube will ask you to specify your audience’s location, language, and sensitivity to your brand’s safety.
3. Find Your Audience
Take the time to create buyer personas, which will help you in this step. Discover your target audience’s age, gender, household income, and interests. You can also choose to remarket your videos where you target people who have interacted with your website, app, or videos before.
4. Provide Ad Assets
Your ad should have a title (up to 25 characters) and a short description (two separate lines, up to 35 characters each). For in-stream ads, you can overlap a display URL. As much as possible, use a vanity URL, which directs to the main URL. This tactic helps make the final URL more memorable. You can also include advanced tracking options for the link, as well as a companion banner of images from your video. These images appear on the right side of the ad, so pick them wisely to make them stand out.
Optimising Your YouTube Ads
Now that your ad is live, ask yourself if you’re adhering to YouTube’s best practices for advertising. This is crucial, particularly if your ads have not been faring well. Whilst YouTube is a great platform to advertise your product or business, at the end of the day, what truly matters is how your ad connects with people. Therefore, your creative choices significantly influence your ad’s success.
Here are our tips to help you make your YouTube ads perform excellently:
1. Hook Your Audience Right Away
In the online world, “hook” can pertain to a familiar or unfamiliar face, a powerful emotion, key products, humour, or a catchy song. Whatever it is, the goal is to have not only an engaging opening but a captivating element to ensure the viewer ends up checking the product/service out.
2. Brand Early and Meaningfully
YouTube stated that the best way to advertise to create awareness is to have the brand appear within the first five seconds of the video. But more importantly, branding should be present throughout the ad. If you’re advertising for those further down the funnel, such as consideration-phase consumers, you may want to brand later. This strategy engages viewers with the brand’s story, effectively driving watch times.
The takeaway here is to focus on branding, which is more than just having the brand name or logo appear in the ad’s first five seconds. It should be about the ad personifying your brand, where every single detail showcases its vision, tone, and character.
3. Story + Emotion = Connection
We can all agree that anyone can tell a story, but not all are made equal. An effective one goes for the throat to evoke emotion, making the brand more relatable and memorable.
4. What Do You Want People to Do Next? Show Them!
You have a goal when you create an ad. This goal will help you keep track of the ad’s performance. For example, let us say your goal is to have more clicks, traffic, sales, or other lower-funnel actions. The best way for this type of campaign is TrueView for action, which lets you add clickable elements. That way, viewers can click on them before the end of the video.
5. Incorporate SEO
This step may be a bit advanced for you, which is why we recommend you turn to pros for help. The success of any holistic digital marketing strategy lies in how two or more different channels work together. YouTube search engine optimisation (SEO) is important in driving clicks, views, and, eventually, sales.
With incredibly tough competition, it is not enough to produce material, blast it online, and hope for the best. Alongside Google ads, YouTube ads can help you reach your goals. Start with adding SEO keywords in the video file. This means you need to conduct keyword research to incorporate keywords in the title, video tags, and description. Make both stand out, but don’t forget the calls to action. Add the following elements, as well:
- Links to drive viewers from YouTube to your website or your preferred page
- Optimised text transcripts or timed subtitles (SRT files)
- Cards, including playlist, channel, or links
Be sure to categorise your ad correctly, too. It helps direct YouTube to put your ad with similar content. Finally, remember to use a custom video thumbnail, which has a massive role in the number of clicks you get. Ensure the image is high-quality. The recommended resolution is 1280 x 729 pixels or a 16:9 aspect ratio. You need a verified account to do this, though; otherwise, you will be forced to rely on YouTube’s auto-generated thumbnails.
YouTube also has a few guides, including best practices to help you make video creation better. If you need help or require video production services, Sandbox Productions specialises in advertising with a strong track record of creating high-quality TV commercials and adverts.
Win at YouTube Advertising and Grow Your Brand
YouTube ads offer the potential to reach large audiences, not just in Australia but across the globe. They can help you drive a high return on investment, connect with your audience, and allow a potential customer to learn more about your brand or product. To reap these benefits, you should first have a good marketing strategy ideal for the platform.
At Origin Digital, digital marketing specialists will help you design, plan, and create a winning YouTube ad strategy. Our results speak for themselves. Get in touch with our pros to start your advertising campaign on YouTube today!