YouTube ads for Newbies: How to Launch & Optimize a YouTube Video Advertising Campaign

Posted on 2023-11-03


Google Ads, Instagram ads, and pop ups have become popular means of advertising online. But when you talk about YouTube ads, most business owners go "uh... isn't that meant for big companies? Don't I need a huge budget to advertise with Youtube?"

In fact, YouTube ads are not restricted to the size of a company or business. What's more, YouTube ads offer a lot more benefits than other advertising platforms.

Before we delve deeper into the details, let's go through the basics and somewhere below, we will take a look at the prospects of advertising on YouTube.

We will also look at various types of ads on YouTube, steps to launching a YouTube ad campaign, and benefits of launching a YouTube advertising campaign.

What is YouTube Advertising?

YouTube advertising refers to promoting your goods and services to a larger audience using YouTube as a medium.

More specifically, you can advertise on YouTube by running a Google Ads campaign that pop up on YouTube videos, or by uploading your video ads on YouTube so viewers can locate you through YouTube search results and watch the complete ad.

Why Should Businesses Advertise On YouTube?

YouTube remains the second-largest social media platform in the world. It bears quite a lot of benefits, some of which you will find below.


There are about two billion YouTube users in the world. YouTube also records about a billion hours of video play on a daily basis.

This means that 32.4 % of the world's population and 51.8% of internet users are on YouTube.

The numbers also say that while 90% of shippers all over the world have discovered new products on YouTube, about 70% of people have bought a product after seeing it on YouTube. 96% have also turned to YouTube for explainer videos on using goods and engaging services.

Advertising on this scale means that your video content has a higher chance of being viewed. By implication, your goods and services are visible to more people. This gives you a higher rate of conversion compared to other forms of Google ads campaigns.

Audience Targeting

Excellent fishing goes beyond hooks and lines. It starts with attracting the right fish by using the bait that the target fish cannot resist. Advertising on YouTube is like fishing with the right bait.

YouTube provides individual-specific preferences that can only be rivaled by Facebook. YouTube can identify your target audience by tracing their preferences. This makes audience targeting easier and more reliable.

Detailed Reports

With YouTube analytics, you get a detailed advertisement analysis on every ad you run. The report links your Google ads account with your analytics accounts. The result?

You get a proper breakdown of how many views the ad received, as well as the conversion rates.

On each view, you get to know the viewer's activity before and after they viewed your ad. You can see what content the viewer enjoyed before viewing your ad, and what action they took after viewing the ad.


As it is with every other form of marketing, not every viewer engages with your business the first time they see your advertisement. Regardless of this fact, other online advertisement platforms run your ads without following up on your first viewers.

However, YouTube and every other Google advertisement services can target viewers who have visited your website once, or seen your product on any other Google Display Network.

The ad, therefore, becomes a strategy for remarketing your brand and leading one-time visitors back to your website where you can build trust and relationships with them.


YouTube advertising allows you to work with a level of flexibility that matches the trends. It also allows you to represent your brand identity in unique and creative ways, such that the viewers connect with your brand on a deeper level.

You can always adjust your schedule, ad copy, target audience and video content to reflect your brand, project your products and catch up with the trends.

As beneficial as YouTube can be for business owners, it is important to ensure that it works for your kind of audience compared to other forms of online advertising, YouTube marketing can be capital intensive compared to other online advertisement platforms.

As such, you must ensure that you are choosing the platform because a video ad would work better for reaching your target audience.

New Developments in YouTube Advertising

Brand Safety Compliance Measures

YouTube has been quite keen on protecting both viewers and advertisers from content that may be harmful to them. According to the policy released in November 2022, there are clear guidelines that discourage ads from being attached to content. Sensitive events and adult content were also cordoned off the YouTube advertising list.

Targeted Advertising

For a while now, YouTube had been quite deliberate about helping advertisers reach a wider range of target audiences. This would specifically focus on users that connect through mobile devices since half of all YouTube activities occurred on phones.

The platform takes it a step further by synchronizing the Google searches of viewers with other user behavior metrics through which the YouTube algorithm determines target audiences. This means that targeted advertising has gotten more effective since users can be targeted more deliberately.

For instance, when you advertise with YouTube, it may target your video ad on cryptocurrency at a customer who recently searched for a product similar to yours or who has been making constant research on relevant topics like investments, forex, or blockchain technology.

There is a high chance that your cryptocurrency ad will hold their attention long enough to convert to your website.

In my opinion, these audience-targeting features make it the best form of video marketing available online.

Audio Ads

YouTube now allows you to create and share audio advertisements on podcasts and Clubhouse, which is beginning to gain ground as well. This presents you with a dynamic option to explore. However, audio ads are safer when you have already built a sufficient presence with your audience.

Data Breakdown Models

The new data breakdown model gives you detailed insights into your ad engagements. You can see how many people viewed your ad and how they reacted after viewing the ad.

From these reports, you can already determine your cost-per-conversion in view of your YouTube ad feedback, shopping ads, and reports for shopping ads attribution and search.

How Much Do YouTube Ads Cost?

Advertising on YouTube can cost as much as you are willing to spend on each YouTube Ad. The popular opinion is that running a YouTube ad campaign is quite capital-intensive, compared to other forms of advertisement on the display networks from Google.

However, you can optimize your YouTube advertising cost by positioning your ad in a strategic way. If you are running your first YouTube advertising campaign, then the section on the best way to create YouTube ads would be of much use to you.

  • When businesses advertise on YouTube, they invest between $4 and $10 dollars for their cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
  • This amounts to an average of $0.10 to $0.30 on each cost per impression on your YouTube ads
  • Most businesses allocate $10 - $50 per day for their YouTube advertising campaign.
  • Reaching a hundred thousand views in your YouTube ad costs an average of $200

Types of YouTube Ads

Before you create a new campaign, it is important to know the various forms of YouTube ads in order to pick the format you find more suitable.

YouTube TrueView Ad

This is the most popular form of YouTube ad and the most popular YouTube video ad that users watch. This YouTube video ad also remains the most preferred among other in-stream ads because users have the choice to skip them.

Retaining control over advertising preferences remains important because eight in every ten viewers picked TrueView ads on this basis.

Advertisers also enjoy working with TrueView ads because they save money on unproductive advertisements. By YouTube's standards, a video ad campaign cannot be shorter than twelve seconds or exceed six minutes.

However, advertisers are not required to pay for these YouTube ads except if the viewer watches up to thirty seconds of the video, watches the entire ad, or interacts with it in such a way that leads to clicking the call to action.

TrueView ads come in two major forms; video discovery ads and in-stream ads

In-stream ads

An in-stream ad refers to a video ad that plays before the beginning of other videos. An in-stream ad comes with a timer before the option to skip the video ad. It also attaches the link to the product being advertised. All In-stream ads include a companion banner ad.

This companion banner is also displayed on the top right side of the screen as a suggestion. Should the viewers on YouTube take interest in this marketing video, they can watch the video ad and interact with the brand from there on. Skippable in-stream ads can also play anywhere on the Google Display Network.

TrueView Video Discovery ads

These YouTube ads pop up with YouTube search results. They appear at the top right corner of the YouTube watch tray just above the list of suggested videos. Video discovery ads are usually identified by their thumbnails and three-line body of text.

Benefits of TrueView Ads

  • They involve low risks: you are not charged for TrueView ads except if YouTube is certain that your targeted audience views the ads. This is an effective way to ensure that only interested users are viewing your ads, and that you receive value for every dollar spent on the ad.
  • These YouTube ads also give you a wide range of time limits to experiment and explore your creativity. You can check out various video ad formats, ranging from testimonials to product demos, and tutorial videos. However, experience has proven that viewers tend to be attracted to skippable in-stream ads that tell compelling stories.
  • Grammarly is one advertiser that has gained profit from TrueView YouTube ads. Having run testimonials and product demos effectively, they can now trace about 54.4% of their social media traffic to these ad campaign strategies.
  • Google also says that advertisers who use TrueView can record a 500% increase in views of YouTube videos and other content. TrueView undoubtedly takes the trophy as the most awesome part of the pack.
  • YouTube account managers can also receive data on their YouTube ads through an account on Google ads. Through this data, they can view the number of partial views, completed views, views gained from another user's YouTube channel or content, views on other videos from the advertiser that came from viewing the video ad, and the rates of clickthroughs on each call to action.

Non-Skippable In-Stream ad

Non-skippable in-stream ads are essentially the same as TrueView ads. The most distinct feature of this YouTube ad is that you have to watch the entire short video. It's quite interesting to note that nonskippable ads are not considered as TrueView YouTube ads.

This is because they do not give viewers control over their YouTube ad preferences.
Since viewers frown at this particular feature, non-skippable ads are not as popular as TrueView YouTube ads. In fact, YouTube trims such video ads to range between 15 and 20 seconds.

While these video ads mostly play before a YouTube video, some play in between, or after YouTube videos that are as long as ten minutes.

The payment structure for this video ad also differs. Payment milestones per ad are measured for every one thousand views. This payment method is known as cost per mile.

What is an Outstream Ad

An Outstream Ad does not require you to advertise on YouTube. Rather, they are videos that stream on all of Google's video partners apart from YouTube. The upside to advertising on Google's video partners is that they play supporting roles for every other content you choose to advertise through YouTube or other forms of Google ads.

What is a YouTube Bumper Ad

This is another form of a non-skippable video ad. Bumper ads play before YouTube videos and are only six seconds long. As it is with other non-skippable ads, bumper ads are only charged on a CPM basis.
Because bumper ads are short, they are mostly used to support other ad formats in a video ad campaign. Bumper ads are also not ideal for testimonials, tutorials, or expressive content.

However, this form of YouTube advertising can easily serve as a catalyst whenever other video ads are used to advertise on YouTube. It's a good way to remind the viewers of a product launch or an upcoming event.

Whatever you do with your six seconds, ensure that it reminds the viewer of the most important part of your brand and your product offerings.

YouTube Sponsored Card ad

If for some reason, you are not able to advertise on YouTube using video ads, then a sponsored card ad may do the trick. A sponsored card ad is a call to action that is represented by the letter "i" on the top right corner of the screen.

When your cursor hovers around the symbol, a text pops up to describe the YouTube video. When you click the text, it reveals suggested content for viewers to click on.

These video ads are also good for projecting YouTube videos that convert leads to Google shopping.

What are YouTube Overlay ads?

Overlay ads are one of the simplest ways to advertise on YouTube. Overlay ads are simple banners that lay across a YouTube video as it plays. The idea is that overlay ad can catch the attention of viewers while watching videos.

What are In-feed Video ads?

This is another subtle way to advertise on YouTube. In-feed ads appear on YouTube search results, the YouTube homepage, or in the "related video" column of the YouTube watch page.

When you search for a particular video, and the search results have been displayed, in-feed ads come up in the results. When you click on an Ad, the destination video is displayed with a banner ad. The aim of this ad is to make YouTube suggest your video on the "watch next" or "Search results" section.

Youtube Audio Ads

As the name suggests, this type of ad is primarily focused on audio content. Using it, you can reach audiences that are listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or similar content on Youtube. Compared to video ads, this usually means faster and cheaper production - with little to no visuals to worry about, you only need to be concerned with the sound - while the results can be quite similar.

YouTube Shorts

YouTube shorts are vertical, smartphone-oriented videos up to 60 seconds in length. Their vertical format extends to their thumbnails, which means they claim more visual space in YouTube's feed. These are often viewed by people in a hurry or with low attention spans. For the purposes of your marketing, they can be a great way to expand your reach and improve brand recognition.

Youtube Advertising Formats

YouTube advertising formats present YouTube content creators with the option to make money by allowing Google to attach ads before, during, or after your video. The Advertising formats present you with an assortment of ad format options. The page also gives you information about how each ad runs, giving you the liberty to pick the ad formats you deem fit for your video.

How to Create a New Campaign on YouTube

You have created an awesome marketing video and now you would like to advertise it on YouTube. The settings involve creating a custom video campaign through campaign types, a campaign subtype, a video format, and other important features. Of these processes, the first step is creating your ad campaign. Below are the steps to getting it done

Upload your video to YouTube.

  • Once you have created your YouTube account, sign in, click the camcorder on the top right corner of the screen, and click upload video. Browse your marketing video and complete the upload.

Sign in and set up your Google ads account

  • If you are yet to set up a Google ad account, you can create one using a Google workspace mail. Once the account is done, the system might prompt you to create a new campaign on the spot, but you can ignore the prompt by clicking "Set up without creating a campaign' or "Are you a professional marketer?" Once you go past this page, you are ready to set up your campaign.

Link your YouTube Channel to your Google Ads Account

  • Before you create your campaign, log in to your YouTube channel and click the profile icon on the top right side of the screen
  • Click "Creator Studio," click "Channel" on the left and click "Advanced".
  • Under "link a Google Ads account," click "Google ads account linking." Follow subsequent instructions and click "Finish." Go back to the ad account and approve the operation. Now you're ready to create the campaign.

Set campaign goals

  • Go back to your Google ads dashboard, check the toolbar on the left side, and click on "Campaigns".
  • On the main screen, click on the blue button tagged "New campaign." It is quite possible to have a different interface from the sample picture here.

This is due to the various Google ad versions available. While these guidelines generally apply, some instructions might work specifically for your version. If you have issues at any step in time, simply check out the guidelines for switching old and new dashboards here.


When you click the blue button, you are provided with five options which are search, display, shopping, video, and universal app.

When you click on "Video," you will be required to pick a goal that aligns with what you'd like the campaign to achieve for your business.


If you are creating a campaign for the first time, you need to understand what each goal seeks to achieve, so that whatever you plan to advertise on YouTube is properly positioned. You can refer to the image below to understand what each goal seeks to deliver.


Set your Campaign configurations

After setting the most appropriate goal for your campaign, you will be required to name your campaign. This may seem unnecessary until you begin to run multiple ads and you have to identify each one.



The next step is to set a budget. As you start out, it is advisable to start with a small budget as you set the amount you are willing to spend per day. It is best to test the waters first.

As such, starting small gives you the chance to modify your strategies as you go, without having to spend so much.


Ad Scheduling

When you click "standard," it automatically spreads out your impressions throughout the day. "Accelerated", however, posts your ad at every given opportunity. So, while the accelerated delivery method may be more intense, standard delivery tends to stretch your budget longer.

Ultimately, your campaign type goes a long way in determining what features work best.


You will be required to set your start and end date. For instance, if you plan to advertise a concert, you may choose to start running the ad two months before and end it on the day of the event. The duration and budget determine how often your ad pops up.

Thankfully, you can readjust your preferences after seeing how the initial settings perform.



On the next level, you will be required to set your preferred platforms. Since the campaign type you are running is a video advertisement, you can choose YouTube videos, YouTube search results, or any other video advertising platforms on the display network.

When you go for search results, your ad is only limited to TrueView discovery ads. With YouTube videos, your ads can pop up on any YouTube channel, video pages, or YouTube homepages. Going for other websites means your video will appear as one of the many embedded videos on these websites


At this point, you will begin to narrow your settings down to determine your campaign subtype. The first thing to do in this category is to set your preferred language and country.


Bidding Strategy

Your bid strategy is another important part of your settings, as you get to determine your payment milestones here. You can pay based on:

  • Each view the video receives (cost per view / Maximum CPV)
  • Every one thousand impressions your video receives (cost per mile / CPV)
  • Every one thousand verified impressions. This bid strategy implies that you will not be charged except it has been ascertained that the viewer really landed on your page. In situations like this, merely landing on your page without interacting with the content will not count as an impression. (Cost per mile / Viewable CPM / vCPM)
  • The reaction of your audience to your ad. With this bid strategy, it will cost you when a user merely clicks the ad. (Cost Per Acquisition / Target CPA)

Narrowing targets


While you are still on your campaign subtype, the next step is picking your inventory.

The inventory refers to the niches that best align with your brand. For example, if you plan to advertise a headset model, music reviews, gadget demos, and product tutorials are relevant videos for running your ads.

Before you make a choice, it's important to study each option and ensure that your preferred option is relevant to your entire campaign.

Excluding Content


If you remember, I mentioned earlier in the article that YouTube gives the option to exclude your content from being attached to videos with certain qualities.

As simple as this step seems, it may account for a major flop in your campaign. It is therefore important to look carefully through the options and take out any content that seems like a misfit for your campaign.

Determine the people you want to reach

Creating your ad group is one of the most important parts of your campaign. As you create your specific audience, it is important to give this ad group a specific name so that you can create a campaign for that group subsequently.


To make up your audience demographics, you will select the desired:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Parental status
  • Household income and other metrics

The settings also allow you to narrow your audience targeting even further to their interests, habits, and preferences.


Move on to the target keywords and select where you would like your ad to show. This helps you narrow down the kind of content you want your ad to be featured on.


You can also select your preferred topics and sources for keyword ideas if you are having a hard time narrowing them down.


Based on these preferences, select specific areas where you would like your ad to be displayed and then save.


After selecting your preferences, move on to selecting your marketing video.


In the search toolbar, search for your video and click on it once it appears.

Configuring Your YouTube ad

Having created your campaign and added preferences, the only options that will be available to you are ad formats that support your preferences.

Once you pick a preference, add the appropriate headlines, CTAs, and URLs. Click "Save And Continue."


On the next page click "Continue to Campaign" if you want to review its details one more time. At this point, your ad campaign is already running.


If you want to improve your sales, advertising on YouTube is one of the lowest-hanging fruits you can get. So why not go get it right now?

We hope that the video ads you will create with the help of this article will make both you and your clients happy. However, while we have covered the technical aspects here, there is still the issue of creating engaging videos. If you want to expand your knowledge on that, you might want to take look at our 7 Tips for Creating Effective Youtube Video Ads.

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Article by Tatiana

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