YouTube’s popularity continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down. Ads on this platform have excellent performance metrics.
In this guide, I’ll explain everything you need to know about running ads on YouTube.
Step 1: Create A Google Ads Account and A YouTube channel
Let’s start with the basics. Before you can proceed, you need to have accounts on both platforms.
I’m assuming most of you already have these in place. If so, you can skip it. But for those who don’t have one, two or both, this is your first step.
Step 2: upload your ad
Once your profiles are set up, simply upload your video ad to YouTube.
Look for the little camcorder icon in the top right corner of your YouTube dashboard. Clicking on it will open a menu with two options.
Select Upload the video.
From here, you can also decide who can see your video. These are the options:
Listed Unlisted or Not listed It is entirely up to you. If you want to keep your advertising separate from the content you share on your channel, you can keep it private. However, if you want to use the content on your channel as an advertisement, choose Public or Scheduled.
I think private is better because it allows you to run targeted ads without uploading irrelevant content to your channel. This way it’s easier to control things and you can always change the privacy settings after uploading the video.
Step 3: Create a new campaign
Now navigate away from YouTube and head to Google Ads. From there you can create a new campaign.
Once you’re on this page, you can start a new campaign by clicking on the plus sign or the new campaign.
Step 4: Select your target
Technically, this step is optional. Google Ads gives you the option to continue without selecting a target, but it’s definitely in your best interest.
Here are your options:
Traffic to your site
Product and brand awareness
Brand awareness and penetration
Promotion of the application
When you select a target, Google Ads automatically suggests the optimal campaign settings for your ad. Video ads will be available for all of these options, except for in-app advertising.
Step #5: Choose your campaign type
Now you need to select the campaign type you want to run. This selection determines where your ads will appear.
For ours today, you’ll probably choose the video option.
As you can see from the above, this type of campaign will reach YouTube users.
Step #6: Choose ad format
Now you need to choose how your ad will be displayed. Your options will depend on which target you chose in step 4.
Here’s a more detailed description of your choices:
TrueView ads – these ads come in two formats: streaming and discovery. The ads inside the stream play before the video starts and may skip after a certain time.
In-stream ads that can’t be skipped – as the name suggests, these video ads can’t be skipped. They play either before the ad starts or in the middle of longer videos (usually 10 minutes or more). In this case, they are called “mid-roll” non-roll ads.
Bumper ads – Bumper ads are just six seconds long and appear just before the video starts. The time limit limits your options, but this format can be part of your overall advertising strategy on YouTube.
Sponsored Cards – These adverts appear as a pop-up with a CTA. Because the cards are small, they are not very intrusive to the user and do not interfere with the video being watched.
Overlay ads – Overlay ads are extremely simple. They are basically banner ads that appear at the bottom of the screen. It can be text or image ads.
Image effects – Image effects appear on the right-hand side of YouTube pages above a list of recommended videos.
You also have the option to set the order of the ads. This is the display of a series of video ads for one person. Each video in the sequence is assigned a step or number so that they are shown in the correct order for the person over time.
Ad sequencing can be used for TrueView streaming ads, banner ads, or a combination of the two.
Step #7: Define your campaign
You’ll probably run several campaigns on YouTube. So this step is crucial to keep you organized.
Now is your last chance to change your target before you move on. You’ll also give your campaign a name so you can access it to adjust settings and monitor performance.
For example, for ours today, we’ve called it the “YouTube Test”.
You then define your advertising budget and bidding strategy.
There are two ways to set a budget. Either the total amount you will spend over the duration of the campaign (as shown above), or the daily amount you want to spend.
There are six different bidding strategies.
Maximum CPV – price per view.
Maximum CPM – the cost per 1,000 ad impressions.
Target CPM – average cost per 1 000 impressions.
Target CPM – cost per 1 000 impressions (at least 50% of the ad is on screen for at least two seconds).
Target CPA – automatic bids based on activity and paid for by CPM.
Maximise conversions – automatic bids set by Google to maximise conversions according to your budget.
I recommend trying as many bidding options as possible to see which one gives you the best return. When in doubt, you can always set a CPA target or maximize conversions and let Google Ads do things automatically.
You can also adjust things like:
This is the first part of customising your campaign viewers. Next, you can break it down further by selecting the people you want to reach. You have options such as:
Previous contact with your company
You’ll want to be as specific as possible to ensure your ads reach the right target audience. The last thing you want to do is waste money on a campaign that is shown to the wrong person.
If you want some help with this process, check out my guide on targeting.
Step #8: Choose keywords and topics
In addition to choosing who sees your ad, you can also choose which videos your ad is shown in.
So do some keyword research related to your brand and target audience. Google Ads can generate keyword ideas for you if you insert a related website next to the products or services you are marketing.
Each subject area also has subcategories that allow you to further narrow down the results. For example, if you select arts and entertainment, you can select subtopics such as:
Comics and animation
Events and lists
Visual art and design
The whole process is designed to ensure that your ads are linked to related videos and are shown to the relevant audience.
Step #9: Enter your video ad URL
I know this seems like a long time ago, but remember when I told you in step 2 to upload your ad to YouTube? Now it’s time to go back there and copy your ad URL.
You paste it into this part of the Google ad:
That’s the last step in the process.
The last thing you do from here is confirm the details and then your ad will start playing on YouTube.
For those of you who’ve never created an ad on YouTube before, this whole process can seem a little daunting or overwhelming.
But as you can see from the guide I’ve put together, the whole process can be broken down into just nine simple steps. If you already have a YouTube account and a Google Ads account, you’ve already done the first step.
Here’s the truth: YouTube is king when it comes to video content.
The platform’s popularity is still on the rise, with people around the world consuming billions of hours of video content every day. We’re reaching a point where companies can’t afford to compete if they don’t have an active YouTube presence.