Learn How To Run YouTube Ads: The Complete 12-Step Guide

November 30, 2022
how to run youtube ads

How To Run YouTube Ads

There are so many brands on YouTube these days, and they’re doing all sorts of gimmicks to get verified and earn clicks and views from potential subscribers. But the real question here is: how do you stand out?

You need to rely on more than just pretty thumbnails and clickbait titles to make your brand stand out. You need to know your goals and reach the right audience with proper targeting. YouTube ads can help you understand your audience and get them interested in your business through video content.

If you’re just starting your journey as a YouTube advertiser, don’t worry! This step-by-step guide will help you to run YouTube ads like a pro.

Why Advertise on YouTube?

YouTube ads are a great tool to help expand brand awareness and reach new and existing audiences. With YouTube being the second largest social media platform with over 2 billion active monthly users, you have the potential to reach a significant number of people with YouTube ads.

Running promotions on YouTube is easy, thanks to the platform’s optimization features. You can set up your videos to target users based on their interests, demographics, keywords, and topics. You can even promote content relevant to specific YouTube channels.

YouTube ads also have an exclusive targeting feature that lets you filter viewers, keywords, content, and categories not related to your brand, allowing you to deliver your content to the correct audience at the right time.

Keep track of how your ads perform using important analytics to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.

How Much Do YouTube Ads Cost?

How much does it cost to advertise on YouTube? Depending on your business goals, YouTube ads cost between $0.10 to $0.30 per view, click, or interaction, with an estimated daily budget of $10 to $50. If you’re looking to get a lot of views, clicks, or interactions, you should expect to spend more.

If you want more impressions for your content, you’ll need to shell out some cash. Most businesses pay $4-$10 for a good number of CPM (cost per thousand) impressions. To reach 100,000 views for your video, you’ll need to spend around $2,000 on YouTube ads (unless it booms organically, which would be great!).

If you want more views on your YouTube videos, you’ll need to be prepared to spend some money on advertising. But don’t worry, you don’t have to break the bank. There’s a happy medium between your average YouTube spend and the actual cost of advertising on the platform. Just set a budget for your YouTube ads, and you’ll see significant numbers in no time.

youtube advertising

Types of YouTube Ads You Should Know

Are you ready to start advertising on YouTube? Your first step is finding out which ad format is suitable for you. There are a variety of YouTube ad formats to choose from, so you can pick the one that best meets your needs.

Here are a few things to think about when choosing the right YouTube ad format:

  • The first 30 seconds of your video are just as important as the rest. For bumper ads, you’re paying for those first six-second views; for non-skippable in-stream ads, you get 15 seconds. Skippable in-stream ads are 30 seconds.
  • You can choose bumper and out-stream ads if you want ads that viewers can’t skip.
  • In-stream ads are played within YouTube’s video player, while out-stream ads are displayed on external sources like partner sites.
  • Out-stream ads and Mastheads start with the sound off by default, so you can enjoy them without disturbing the people around you. 

Need help determining which ad format is suitable for your business? Here are six fun options to choose from: 

Overlay Ads: These fun little banner ads are shown at the bottom of your video. They could be a text or image display ad perfect for your in-stream video campaigns. They’re a great way to promote your product because they’re less invasive than other ads.

In-feed Ads (aka Video Discovery Ads): In-feed ads appear on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and related videos based on what users have recently watched. When users click on the ad, they’re directed to a banner display ad found in the right-hand column.

Skippable In-Stream Ads: This ad shows up before, during, or after other videos, and you can skip it after five seconds.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads: This format allows you to get those sweet ad dollars by placing ads before, during, or after your video. Users can’t skip them, so they watch your ad for 15-20 seconds. You can place ads midway through videos that are 10 minutes or longer. On their desktops, viewers will see a five-second countdown before the ad starts. The app version has yellow markers to show where the ads will be.

Bumper Ads: Want to add a little extra something to your video campaign? Bumper ads are a great way to do it! These short, non-skippable ads play right before a viewer’s chosen video, so you only have six seconds to make an impact.

Masthead Ads: Masthead ads are pretty straightforward and displayed on YouTube’s home feed.

Step-By-Step: How to Run YouTube Ads Successfully

Ready to learn how to run YouTube Ads? Before you get too excited, ensure your campaign has specific goals. Do you want to get more awareness or go straight to converting leads? This way, you can make the most of your campaign and work on the right format based on your bid strategies.

youtube ad strategy

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Choose a Campaign Goal and Type

You’ll need to sign up for an account and create a campaign. You can do this by searching for an option that asks: “Are you a professional marketer?” or “Set up without creating a campaign.” Once you click on the appropriate option, you’ll be directed to your dashboard.

Go to your Google Ads manager and select “New Campaign.” This is where the fun part starts: you’ll be asked to select a goal and choose the type of campaign you want to run your ads. Under the campaign type, select “Video.”

And that’s it! You’re ready to run your ads on YouTube.

  1. Choose Your Campaign Subtype

Your campaign subtype determines how your ad will be displayed. Is it through video reach, out-stream, or ad sequence? If you want to get your ad in front of as many people as possible, select “Video reach campaign.” You can choose either “Efficient reach (Bumper, Skippable in-stream, or a mix)” or “Non-skippable in-stream,” depending on the goal of your ads and preferred format.

If unsure, you can run a Custom video or Drive conversions campaign. You can always change your mind later!

  1. Decide on a Campaign Name and Bid Strategy

Pick a name for your campaign that reflects what you’re advertising. For your bid strategy, you have the option of maximum CPV (cost per view) or target CPM impressions. Choose the bid strategy that makes the most sense for your campaign goals.

You can get started with YouTube ad bidding without being an expert! Each ad format has its requirements, but here are some of the basics to get you started:

  • Target CPM (cost per thousand) is used for non-skippable in-stream ads to set a cost per thousand impressions
  • Viewable CPM lets you garner the same cost per thousand impressions but are used for out-stream ads or external sources
  • Maximum CPV (cost per view) lets you decide on the cost you pay per view, similar to the manual CPC (cost-per-click)
  • Conversions are a key metric Google Ads give unlimited access to set and update
  • Target CPA (cost per action) lets you set the cost per conversion

  1. Set Your Budget

How much do you want to spend on your advertising campaign? Figure out a budget per day or for the whole campaign to ensure you spend your money wisely, as this will help you set your goals and make adjustments if necessary.

By selecting a total campaign budget, you’ll be able to measure your ad’s ROI (return on investment) and see which content generates better results. Choose the duration of your ads to get an idea of how well they’re performing.

  1. Select Your Network, Locations, and Languages

Where would you like your ads to appear? Some of the options include:

  • YouTube search results, homepage, channel pages, and video pages.
  • Displaying ads before or during YouTube videos
  • Placing your ads on your video partners on the Google Display Network
  • Removing or adding specific locations
  • Choosing your target audience’s languages

When creating your YouTube marketing campaign, be sure to separate your search results from your videos. This way, you can track your performance and see how your campaign is doing.

  1. Set Content Exclusions

This feature lets you control the videos you use to promote your brand. So if you want to limit your ad exposure to videos with profanity and graphic content, you can do that.

  • Expanded inventory: excessive profanity and graphic content
  • Standard inventory: strong profanity and explicit content
  • Limited inventory: moderate profanity and graphic content

You can go to “Excluded types and labels” to ensure your ads don’t appear on embedded YouTube videos and live-streaming videos. You can also exclude videos based on their content labels, such as G (General), PG (Parental Guidance), and MA (Mature Audience). 

  1. Add Related Videos

Adding related videos from your channel can help give your viewers a break from all of the product ads. If you have a Google Merchant Center product feed linked to Google Ads, related videos let you show product cards with your video ads.

Similar to testing out the optimal posting times for your videos, scheduling your ads can help you manage your key metrics well. Go to “Additional settings” if you want to set a schedule for ad posting and duration.

  1. Specify Your Target Audience

The next step is to figure out who your audience is. You can do this by setting demographics like age, gender, and parental status. You can also find out user interests based on genres available on YouTube.

Not sure who to target with your marketing campaigns? Try running a few different campaigns to different audience groups. See which ones perform well and which ones could use a little help.

  1. Select Topics, Keywords, and Ad Placement

Choosing your target audience for your video ads can be a smooth process. In-display ads with keyword targeting let you address user concerns in a visual format while optimizing your videos. Do your research and test out different groups to see what works and what can lead to actual conversions.

You can also remarket your ads to people who have previously interacted with your brand so you can re-engage them with your content.

  1. Set Your Max Bid

What’s your budget for views? Figure out the maximum amount you’re willing to pay per view or key metric so you can get an estimate of your views.

  1. Create Your Ad

To create your ad, insert the YouTube link of the video where you would like to run the ad. You can select the ad format you want to run: an in-stream ad or an in-display ad.

In-display ads require a title and short description typed separately and limited to 25 characters for titles, and the description lines to 35 characters each.

In-stream ads let you add a display URL on top of the video. Make sure to use a vanity URL directing users to another final URL and include advanced URL tracking options.

  1. Track Your Results

Once you’ve run your ads, check in on their performance! See if they align with your objectives and overall brand strategy.

youtube ad campaign
Source: YouTube

Key Takeaways 

There’s no doubt that video content is a powerful way to promote your business effectively. Whether you want to produce long-form videos or YouTube shorts, the platform holds the second-largest monthly user base, so you want to ensure you get all the reach you can get by advertising your videos.

Running your ads on YouTube can help your brand: 

  • Expand audience reach and awareness.
  • Identify your target audience and what matters to them. 
  • Set goals and objectives for your brand.
  • Track key performance and metrics.
  • Promote your brand in creative and engaging ways.

Did you find this article helpful? Let us know what you think in the comments! 

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