YouTube Advertising Crash Course

Posted on October 10, 2013 
Filed Under Advertising, Brand Building, Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing Strategy
, General, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Social Networking, Social Networks, Traffic Building, Twitter
, Video Marketing
Video Marketing
, Viral Marketing

YouTube videos get more than 1 billion views per day. Undeniably, more and more people are turning to YouTube everyday; whether it’s for entertainment, news or even makeup tips. Smart Internet marketers identified this opportunity some time back and now even Fortune 500 companies, who earlier would have stuck to conventional modes of advertising, have started taking YouTube ads seriously.


People aren’t going to stop watching YouTube videos anytime soon and any marketer that ignores this medium of advertising is doing himself and his clients a huge disfavor in the long run. Starting to panic that you’re still not in that game? Worry not, we’ll smooth out your initiation and discuss virtually everything you need to know about starting a YouTube advertising campaign.

To start with there are 2 kind of ad campaigns that you can run on YouTube. Regular ads and Video ads.

Regular ads are simply banner and rich media ads, something like AdWords. These are the ads that you see towards the right of a video or in the form of an overlay banner on top of the video. This form of advertising is very prevalent but not so effective. No one likes banners on top of their video and YouTube gives the viewer an option to close the overlay ad whenever they want. As for the sidebar ad, unless your rich-media content is really interesting, the ad is very likely to go un-noticed. Let’s not forget that the viewer’s prime intention is to watch their video and they are less likely to focus on any other elements of the page.


In-video ad and banner ad to the right

The second kind of ads and by far the more popular ones are the video ads. As a YouTube advertiser you have the option of four kinds of video ads.

– TrueView In-stream

These are very much like TV ads that play before a show starts. YouTube shows the visitor 5 seconds of your ad after which they have an option to skip it. You only pay for it if the viewer watches your whole ad or at least 30 seconds of it, whichever is less. If they skip the video after 5 seconds then you don’t pay a dime.


– TrueView In-Slate

In Slate ads appear only on videos that are 10 minutes or longer. YouTube gives the visitors 2 options- Either watch one of three ads in the beginning or go through regular commercial breaks during their video. You only pay for this when the viewer chooses to watch your video ad.


– TrueView In-Search

They are exactly like AdWords ads that we see on Google search result pages and appear above or towards the right of YouTube search results. Much like AdWords, you only pay for this if the viewer clicks on your ad.


TrueView In-Display

In-Display ads are the ones that appear at the top of the related videos column on the right. What do people do once they finish watching a YouTube video? They look to the related videos column on the right and select another video to watch. In-Display ads exploit that human weakness and put your ad on top of the related videos pile. Smart move eh!


Enough about the ad options that YouTube provides! If you are like me, then you are raring to go and delve into the exciting world that is YouTube advertising. Let’s talk practical, what steps do you need to take to get your campaign up and running?

First and foremost, you must have an Adwords account. If you don’t have one then no sweat, you can create one for free.

Secondly, you have the option of linking your Adwords account to your YouTube account. This is not a compulsion but it helps save some valuable time in creating new campaigns. Think 6 months down the line when you are creating multiple campaigns for various clients. Time is money, remember?

The third step involves specifying the general settings for your ad campaign. First off, How much do you want to spend per day on an ad? A common rule of thumb is to start small and gradually scale up as you get the hang of things. After this you will need to enter target viewer location and language settings.

You have the option to go as specific as you want. Heck you can target your ads at only people residing in a certain zip code. This by itself ensures amazing value for money, as your ad will only be run when the set parameter are met. Now comes the time to go ahead and upload your video ad from your YouTube account.

Earlier on we specified some general settings as to who the video should be targeted at but now we can go in-depth as we have the option to set slightly more comprehensive parameters that will get you absolute value for your money.

Using the advance settings you can set the time when your video ad should play. For example, if you are targeting a corporate crowd you’d be better off running your video ad campaign during lunch or during after-office hours. Likewise it’d be a good idea for you turn off the campaign from midnight to early morning as hardly any office going public is likely to be awake around then.

In a similar fashion you can micro-target your campaign towards certain devices too. For example you could rig your campaign to run only on Mobiles or tablet devices. Are you advertising an iOS app? Then restrict it to only iPads and iPhones.

Woah! So that was quite a bit of information for you to digest. Let’s sum it up quickly in 3 points:

  • Loads of ad formats to choose from
  • Target your ads based on demographics or devices
  • You pay, only if they watch 30 seconds or more

YouTube advertising is an inviting playground. If you are the kind of marketer that’s ready to experiment and squeeze the maximum out of a campaign then this is just the thing for you. This guide while still just a primer should be enough to get your wheels rolling. Happy ad-Tubing!

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