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  • Writer's pictureJoe Karasin

YouTube Ads

YouTube has become much more than a simple video sharing platform. It is the second most popular search engine in the world. Because it is owned by Google, you can run YouTube video ads via the Google Ads platform. Below, we’ll discuss setting up a YouTube campaign and outline some best practices.

Should I Advertise on YouTube?

If you own a business, you should be looking at YouTube as the next major platform to add to your marketing repertoire. Much like Facebook years ago, YouTube offers some very attractive benefits and manageable costs. Being powered by Google Ads, understanding the principles of that platform is key to running effective YouTube ads.

With video content being more and more favored by users and platforms, YouTube provides you with the opportunity to create a channel for consumers to engage with you in a way they normally would not be able to. For the purposes of this article, we will be discussing paid YouTube advertising. You can optimize your YouTube channel for organic views, but that is a topic for another article.

Cost of Advertising on YouTube?

Due to the fact that Google owns YouTube, business owners might assume the costs of running a campaign on YouTube are the same as campaigns run on the Google Search or Display networks. The truth is, YouTube costs are far lower than other options.

Currently, cost per view (CPV) can be as low as fractions of a penny. Conversions follow suit, with average costs per conversion hovering around $1-$2.

Why is the cost so much lower on YouTube? Primarily because of the lower competition. Many businesses do not think they have the resources to create effective content for YouTube, so they do not use it to advertise. Others still have not seen the value in the platform, much as they didn’t with Facebook Ads when those were introduced.

Another factor contributing to low costs would be the types of advertisers that are using YouTube. The majority are not in the traditional business world. Salespersons in real estate, mortgage and insurance have not started to use the platform en masse. This provides those currently working in those spaces to capitalize in a major way.

Most paid YouTube content is being produced by Fortune 500 companies, or upstarts in certain industries, such a Fintech and SaSS. There are not a ton of lawyers or dentists using YouTube. The ones that are are mostly running the same commercials they did on TV, which is not exactly a best practice for YouTube.

How To Set Up A YouTube Campaign?

In order to set up a YouTube campaign, you’ll need to have a couple of assets in place. You will first need to create a YouTube channel. You can organize your channel however you would like. To understand the best way to organize your channel, check out our YouTube optimization article.

Be sure to upload some content to your channel. You will need at least one video to promote to begin. You can add content later as you grow your YouTube advertising acumen.

You will also need a Google Ads account. There are different ways within Google Ads to advertise on YouTube, and we will explore these options a little bit later. Be sure to link both accounts, so you can have your YouTube metrics reported in your Google Ads account.

The different types of campaigns where YouTube videos can be used are Display and Video. You can advertise ON YouTube in Discovery ads, but we will focus on the two options where YouTube video content is used as ad creative.

Video Ads

Running video ads will enable you to run different types of video ads on YouTube and across other channels. There are different targeting options and formats, and we will discuss them in detail below.

The most common type of video ad is the in-stream ad. These are most often seen as ads that display before other YouTube videos. These allow the viewer to skip ahead to the content they were trying to view after 5 seconds. Given this format, it would be highly beneficial to include a dynamic beginning to the video you are using as an ad.

“But wouldn’t most people just skip the ad because it is interrupting what they are really interested in?”

In theory, yes. However, if you understand how to target your YouTube ads, you will not have to worry about this. Targeting YouTube ads is an entirely other topic, explored in detail in this article.

Another video format that is available is the Video Discovery Ad. This is a lot like a paid search ad and a display ad. The ad will display in the search results on YouTube when someone performs a search that comports with your keywords. You will also have the ability to have a display ad appear in the suggested videos tab on the right hand side of the video the searcher is watching.

Are There Examples of Success on YouTube?

As of now, YouTube is an extremely cost-effective marketing tool. Campaigns that are properly set up can see results for pennies, or in some cases, fractions of a penny. Depending on your goals, you can focus on conversions, views, or other metrics. Recently, a campaign we ran for a client netted over 75,000 views in just 2 weeks, with 60% viewing at least 75% of the video. The cost per view was under a penny. It also led to several conversions, with a potential value of $62,500 each.

Another client was hyperfocused on seeing their video receive plenty of views. Conversion wasn’t necessarily a goal. The campaign we were able to build garnered them 8,350 views in a week, with 74% watching the entire video. From this campaign, our client ended up with the added benefit of getting higher quality web traffic which led to direct sales of $13,500. Total cost per view was $.03.

Does YouTube Work Well For Remarketing?

One of the best uses of the Google Display Network is in retargeting your web visitors. E-commerce businesses see much success in remarketing to those that have abandoned their shopping carts. Real estate agents can use the display network to have their listings pop up across the web to those that have expressed interest in buying a home.

YouTube gives you the ability to expand this reach and retarget your web traffic in all new ways. You can use this powerful marketing tool to push high quality video content to apps, websites, other YouTube channels, and more. Even more expansive than the Facebook Partner Network, YouTube ads can help you stay in front of clients and customers when it matters.

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