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If you use a lot of video across your business’ digital media platforms, having YouTube as an additional marketing channel can be extremely beneficial. This is because users spend more time on YouTube in comparison to other social networks – this isn’t surprising when you consider that users decide to visit YouTube specifically to view long form video, whereas social can be more of an “on-the-go” activity. In addition to YouTube being a very visual, inspiring place to advertise your product or service, Google has reported that 90% of people discover new brands or products on this platform – suggesting that there is a sea of untapped consumers that have yet to find you! And these consumers can be reached and engaged with effectively through smart YouTube ads.

What is YouTube Advertising?

YouTube ads, done through Google Ads, is a way of advertising your video content on YouTube or in search results so you can maximize your user reach. This could be your video playing before a user views another’s video or showing up in YouTube search results for people to watch in full. 

YouTube advertising focuses on a different content format, with a very different way of engaging with people. If your audience engages with video content better than others then YouTube advertising is the best platform to discover ad revenue from. Introducing YouTube ads to your digital marketing strategy has a number of benefits. 

Benefits of YouTube Ads

1. Reach

As YouTube has over 1 billion users on the platform, and over 1 billion unique visits each month, YouTube advertising has the potential to reach a large percentage of the population when they are highly engaged.

2. Targeting

YouTube, as part of the Google empire, has a wealth of knowledge that only Facebook can rival. This knowledge of individual preferences and interests can help you target the right people with your YouTube advertising. Be careful not to over optimize your targeting and limit your reach.

3. Data

The reports you receive during your advertising campaigns are in-depth and provide information about not just your ads but also those who interacted with them. Get to know the audience who interacted with your content. What content did they enjoy before they went on to buy something from your store? Linking your Google Ads and Analytics accounts together to get more information.

4. Users

After a person has visited your website and shown interest in your business, don’t wait for them to come back again – build a relationship with them. As part of the Google suite, remarketing can help you target people with ads if they have visited your website, meaning that you can lead them back to your website, build trust with them, and, hopefully, make a sale in the future.

5. Flexibility

YouTube advertising is not static; it is constantly changing, and so can your ads. You can change your targeting, ad schedule, ad copy, etc, in real time to ensure you get the most out of your advertising budget with YouTube. Tailor your ads over time to evolve as your audience does.

Depending on your expectations how you advertise on YouTube will differ. YouTube advertising can be used to build brand awareness, influence the buying decision, grow sales, or increase brand loyalty. Video advertisements on YouTube can be used to drive these objectives in the following ways:

Build Brand Awareness

Introduce your product to people who do not know much, or anything, about it yet. Target people who are interested in similar products and areas to you so you know there are commonalities. 

Influence the Buyer Decision

Videos that justify why your product is the best option for your customer, including hard evidence to back it up, convert the best so capitalize on it.

Grow Sales

Branch out to lookalike audiences that you have never targeted before and test new tactics. Research ways to link your product to others and start growing sales.

Increase Brand Loyalty

Invite your customers to talk about your product in your videos and show prospects that you provide the best products and services in the business.

Various YouTube Ads Formats


These are the super short, unskippable, 5-6 second ads that play before, during or after the video you are watching. They are great for increasing brand awareness and reach and can be used as part of an overall series of short clips that tease, amplify or echo parts of a larger marketing campaign.

TrueView InStream

These ad formats play on videos found within YouTube, embedded YouTube videos or on sites and apps that are within the Google Display Network. They can last longer than 30 seconds and users have the option to skip them after 5. TrueView ads can be useful when testing long format content, such as product demonstrations or more artistic, “story telling” style video advertisements.

Unskippable InStream

There are a few subtle differences between an unskippable InStream and a TrueView InStream. The unskippable ads can only last up to 15 seconds and the user isn’t able to skip them. This ad format can only be used when you are trying to increase your brand awareness.


When you search for a certain phrase on YouTube or visit a watch page, you may see some suggested videos at the top of the screen or list of video results. When these are clicked on, it will take the user to your channel or to the watch page for that video.


Where InStream ads can be used almost exclusively on YouTube, OutStream ads can be found across the web. Designed for mobile use only, users can unmute, scroll past or click as they please – it all depends on how interested they are in viewing the ad. This format is particularly useful when trying to reach an audience away from YouTube. It can also be cost effective as you are charged when more than 2 seconds have been watched.


In addition to the above video ad formats, some YouTube advertisers have the option to use overlay ads. These appear as banner style ads that are placed (or “overlaid”) on top of the video. These ads are displayed directly on the bottom 20% of your video as a banner.

Sponsored Cards

YouTube sponsored cards appear within videos as small call-to-action (CTA) popups. Sponsored cards are a very unobtrusive form of YouTube advertising. A small ‘i’ symbol pops up in the upper right-hand corner of a video and when a viewer clicks on it, the card expands. YouTube sponsored cards can showcase other YouTube videos, and products through Google Shopping.

Promotional Formatting

In addition to the different ad formats available, we also have the ability to format our videos to give them a more polished finish. If a YouTube video on your channel is over 25 seconds long, you can apply end screens to the last 20 seconds. End screens can be used to promote other videos (you can let YouTube choose the video best suited to the viewer), encourage viewers to subscribe, promote a playlist or promote your channel.

How to Create Your First YouTube Advertising Campaign

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create your video or image, and the relevant ad copy. For inspiration on creating a powerful YouTube video ad, check out the YouTube ads leaderboard. Every month, YouTube releases a rundown of the best YouTube ads from around the world.

Step 1: Upload Your Video Advertisement to YouTube

Before you start configuring your ad campaign, it’s best to upload your marketing video to your YouTube account. You can do this by logging into your YouTube account and clicking the small camcorder icon on the top-right of YouTube. Then, simply click ‘Upload Video.’ You’ll be taken to the upload window where you can select the file you want to upload. Be sure to fill out all of the necessary information like the title, description, and tags.

Step 2: Create a New Campaign in Google Ads

Once you’ve uploaded your video, you’re ready to set up your YouTube ad campaign. First, go to your Google Ads account. Once you’re logged into your account, click “All campaigns” in the left-hand sidebar. Then click the large blue “+” icon to create a new campaign.

This will take you to a window where you’ll need to select a campaign type. Currently, Google provides five options:

  • Search
  • Display
  • Shopping
  • Video
  • Universal App

Once you’ve clicked “Video,” you need to select a single goal that corresponds to the main thing you want your campaign to achieve for your business.

For example, if you want to use YouTube ads to increase the number of visitors to your website, you would select the “Website traffic” goal. Then, as you continue to set up your campaign, you’ll see recommended features and settings that can help you to generate visits to your website. To find out more about a goal option, simply hover your mouse over it. And for more context, the chart below shows further details about video campaign goals and subtypes.

You can add or remove a goal at any time. And if you’d prefer, you can create your campaign without seeing a goal’s recommendations.

Step 3: Configure Your Campaign

Now, let’s configure your campaign.

  1. Choose a Name: This is only for your internal use, so choose a name that clearly describes your campaign.
  2. Set Your Budget: Start by setting the average amount you want to spend each day.
  3. Choose Your Start and End Dates: Simply input your start date and choose an end date.
  4. Select Your Networks: This section allows you to select where you want your ads to appear. Because we’re creating a video ad, there are three options available – YouTube search results, YouTube videos, and Video partners on the display network.
  5. Select a Language and Location: Make sure that you select the country and language you want your ad to appear in.
  6. Select Your Bidding Strategy: Now you need to choose how you want to pay for your campaign. Google Ads provides four options – Maximum CPV (cost-per-view), Maximum CPM (cost-per-mille), Viewable CPM (cost-per-mille or vCPM), and Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition). 
  7. Choose an Inventory Type: This section allows you to only show your ads on the content that’s inline with your brand.

Step 4: Select the People You Want to Reach

Before you begin selecting your audience, make sure to give your ad group a descriptive name. That way, you’ll be able to use the same audience selection for future ad campaigns.

Select Your Demographic

This is the first stage of honing in on your target audience. Ads allows you to define who you want to reach by options such as their gender, age, and parental status, etc.

Hone in on Your Target Audience

In this section, Google Ads gives you plenty of options to find your perfect target market. It’s well-worth exploring them and being as specific as possible.

Step 5: Select Where You Want Your Ads to Show

Next, you can choose the specific type of content that you want your ads to appear on.

Input Your Target Keywords

Enter or paste your target keywords into the box using one word or phrase per line. You can also use the “Get keyword ideas” tool to find related keywords to target.

Select Topics

Simply select any relevant topics to show your ads on content about specific subjects.

Choose Your Ad Placements

You can now select specific places where you would like your ads to show. If you leave this section blank, your ad will appear on any YouTube or Display Network placements that match your other targeting selections.

Step 6: Select Your Marketing Video

Next, use the search bar to find your marketing video. Or, if you haven’t yet uploaded your video, click the link to upload it on YouTube. Once your video appears, select it by clicking on it.

Step 7: Configure Your YouTube Ads Video Ad

Lastly, you need to select your video format. Ads will show you which options are available based on the campaign selections you’ve made up to this point. Then, make sure to add your URLs, CTA, and headline.

To finish up, simply click “Save and continue,” and then click “Continue to campaign.”

Congratulations, you just set up your first YouTube advertising campaign!

Key Metrics to Track for Your YouTube Ad Campaigns

As soon as your YouTube ad campaigns are up and running, you might be eager to check in and see how they’re performing. YouTube recommends that advertisers link their YouTube campaigns to Google Ads to see deeper insights. But if you sign into this dashboard to analyze your ad, you might not have a clue what to look for – or if the results you’re getting are good, compared to the industry average. Here are the key metrics you’ll need to track in the Google Ads dashboard:

  • Impressions: How many people were exposed to your video?
  • Views: How many people watched past the 30-second mark?
  • View rate: What percentage of people who were shown the ad viewed it?
  • Cost-per-click (CPC): How much are you spending for every link click from the ad?
  • Cost-per-view (CPV): How much are you spending for each 30-second view?
  • Earned actions: How many people subscribed to your channel, visited your website or liked your video as a result of the ad?

With YouTube ads increasing in popularity, it may be time for you to embrace video. Start with simpler formats before leaping into ads full speed.

Looking for help to create the perfect YouTube ad, or run your campaign for you? Rapid Boost Marketing, one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Edmonton and around is right here for you. We can craft the best and most functional YouTube ads campaign based on your business, budget and objectives. Get in touch today.