How to Use YouTube Video Ads for Your Business

YouTube’s video advertising platform is one of the most exciting around, offering your business cost-effective advertising options that you can customize in depth and target very specific user groups. Whether your business is entirely online or grounded in a brick-and-mortal location, YouTube video ads can help you increase your reach, boost brand awareness, improve conversion rates, and more. This is one marketing strategy that you should seriously consider adding to your arsenal. Here’s how you can use YouTube video ads effectively to market your business.

Getting Started

Before you can start creating effective YouTube video ads for your business, you have to link your YouTube channel to your AdWords account, and then in AdWords create a new Online Video campaign. Once that is done, you’ll be guided through a simple set up process where you select your target audience, budget, and other essential marketing parameters. YouTube offers you multiple advertising formats and ad creation options with which you can experiment. Below we’ll look at a safe approach to getting your campaign running and staying within your budget, which you can then adjust depending on your results.

Choosing the Right Video Ad Format For Your Business

YouTube video ads can come in four formats; display ads, overlay ads, skippable ads and non-skippable in-stream ads. Display ads are those that appear right of the feature video and overlay ads are semi-transparent and appear on the lower portion of your videos. Skippable ads users can skip after 5 seconds of viewing, whereas non-skippable video ads must be watched before your video can be viewed.

Both skippable and non-skippable ads can appear before, during, or after the main video. Of all these ads, non-skippable ads are in theory the most effective, yet they are the most expensive also, that is, they have the highest cost per thousand (CPM) impressions. What’s more, they can suffer from a high video abandonment rate, so they are a bit of a gamble.

High priority skippable video ads are a safer and usually more cost-effective choice for most businesses, so you may want to consider focusing on them, at least at the beginning of your campaign. Depending on your available budget, choose a realistic CPV, or cost per view, the amount you pay whenever a viewer watches a portion of your YouTube video ads. The usual CPV for a locally-targeted skippable ad is between $0.10 and $0.30, which means you can get good exposure even on a small budget. Make an in-stream bid that amounts to half of that cost, but don’t forget later on to tweak this figure depending on the performance of your ads.

Targeting Your Audience

After choosing your ad type, you have to define your target audience. If you already have some video marketing data from past campaigns, you may want to drawn on that to choose the demographics, that is, the gender and the age range for your YouTube video ads. An effective approach is to combine demographics targeting with keyword targeting, to focus on a specific category of users such as men between 25-45 years who like cars and watch videos on car cleaning and maintenance, or women between 23-56 who love birds, and watch videos about canaries. The important thing is to combine targeting options to focus your YouTube video ads on people who are truly interested in what you have to offer.

Finally, placements enable you to target individual YouTube videos or specific YouTube Channels, which can come in handy if you want your ads displayed in a partner’s videos. After you’ve chosen your audience, you can create your ad and add a banner to it to make it stand out.

YouTube Video Ad Tips

Regardless of the type of ads you choose or your target audience, here are some tips that will help you get more out of your YouTube ads.

  • Keep your YouTube in-stream video ads separate from your YouTube Search ads (which display the video ad within the video search results), by targeting them to separate audiences.
  • Set a low maximum daily budget to minimize unprofitable views at the beginning of your campaign and keep unexpected volume in check.
  • If you’re on a small budget, focus on targeting small groups while ensuring that your predicted views don’t exceed 1,000. Smaller campaigns are easier to monitor and to adjust.
  • Lower a predicted audience estimate by adding overlapping keywords.
  • Retarget your ads to your YouTube viewers using the AdWords remarketing tool to increase conversion rates and improve brand awareness and recall.
  • YouTube video ads can be a great marketing tool for your business. Don’t forget, however, that like any type of online marketing, they require constant adjustment and fine tuning to be highly successful.