Launching and Optimizing YouTube Video Ads – A Walk Through

You cannot deny the power of video. The play button on your screen is the most compelling thing you can come across while browsing.

There are over a billion YouTube users all over the world. That is a third of all internet users amounting up to billions of views on a YouTube video ad.

According to a MotionCue survey, 76% of marketers say that video has shown positive ROI in their marketing efforts and 78% of marketers believe that video has helped them get new customers.

This is why it is safe to say that video marketing reigns supreme over all the other marketing strategies because it triggers the customer’s emotions to the benefit of the marketers.

It is often believed that the success of a campaign lies with the production value. Writing the best script, the most creative storyboarding, finding the appropriate talent, organized shooting, and editing.

Here are 15 simple tips to increase your video views on YouTube.

However, these are not the only ingredients to a blockbuster YouTube video ad campaign. However, this is true.

Just embedding your video on a homepage and sharing it on social media is not the only thing that can make your campaign a phenomenon. A lot of technicality goes into it.

Even though quality content makes its way through, you have to be proactive to increase the visibility of your brand and to project your message efficiently.

Running a YouTube video ad ensures that more and more people have viewed your video content. There is also a system to track ROI with the new features available on YouTube.

If you are someone who wants to capitalize on the potential of video in marketing, this article can prove to be very useful for you.

You will learn about different types of YouTube video ads in addition to setting up, optimization, and configuration.

You will also find out some tips and tricks that could help you translate your videos into profit, attract the right audience, increase conversions, and get a positive return on investment.

We have a complete guide for creating, launching and optimizing YouTube video ads for you.

You can also check out how to get your first 1k viewers on your Explainer videos on YouTube.


How to set up your YouTube video ads

The new interface of YouTube is very easy and convenient to use. If you have used Google Ads or Facebook Ads before, this is a cakewalk for you.

Here are some of the following steps you need to take to set up your YouTube video ads.


1. Linking your Google AdWords to the YouTube channel

Even though this is pretty self-explanatory, but this is how you do it.

  • Log in to tour Google Ads account
  • Click Tools
  • Select Linked Accounts in the Setup column

After that, you just have to check the prompts and add the YouTube channel.

It will link automatically if you own the account but if someone else owns the account, the request for access needs to be approved by them.

Next up, you need to link to your Google Analytics account for campaign analytics and targeting. Follow the same steps to do that.

YouTube video ad


Now that you have linked everything to everything, you need a video to run your ad campaign. Upload a video that has the power to steal the attention of a viewer and engages them.

Here are some dos and don’ts of video production you may need to keep in mind while creating your video.


2. Setting up a campaign objective

After you have linked your YouTube channel to Google AdWords, it is time to create your campaign. Here is how you do it.

  • Go to Google Ads dashboard
  • You will find a + button in your Campaigns Tab
  • Click it to start a new campaign.

There are several types of campaigns you can create determining the types of ads you run and the available placements.

All of this depends on what your campaign goal is. You can choose one of the following options for your YouTube video campaign.

  • If you want to get the most conversions from your YouTube video ads the most viable option for you, in that case, is the Leads and Website Traffic.
  • If you want to increase your brand’s awareness in the larger audience of your product and include influencers, you should go for the Product and Brand Consideration.
  • If you want to create a buzz around your brand and to encompass a larger type of ads in your campaigns, Brand Awareness and Reach is your option.

YouTube Video Ads


Once you have locked on a campaign objective, you will have to choose a campaign type. Select Video and then go ahead to the next step.

If you want to track the number of conversion for your campaign, establish your conversion tracking on Google Ad support page.


3. Pick a YouTube Ad format

There are several YouTube video ad formats you can choose from. There are several factors including the length of your video and the goal of your campaign that determine the type of your ad.


Types of YouTube Video ads

There are six types of ads.

TrueView Ads create initial brand awareness and visibility for you. They are placed in the beginning, middle, or end of the video.

The viewer can choose to skip the video after the first five seconds. The pay per view is higher on YouTube than on Facebook.

However, it is more economical because you only pay if the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the video and YouTube counts it as a watch even if the viewer skips the video.

Try to include CTAs, cards, and overlay because the text you use is limited to 10 characters. TrueView ads are near the related videos on the YouTube homepage.

Non-skippable Instream Ads are constrained to Reach Campaigns only. They range from 6 to 15 seconds. They also run in the beginning, middle, or end of the video.

The redeeming feature of these ads is that the viewer has no choice but to see all of it. That means a higher ad view metric for you.

However, you end up paying for each view but these kinds of ads have a reduced actual engagement because the audience is being forced to watch.

Bumper Instream Ads are usually six seconds or shorter. Bumper ads are non-skippable by the viewers as well as they don’t add to your view count.

The payment scale for bumper ads is also a lot different. You have to pay the cost per thousand ads. A bumper ad works well to prepare the viewer for TrueView Ad.

Just be sure to keep the video under 6 seconds because YouTube tends to round the time duration off to the seven-second mark even if it is only a millisecond above six.

Other less frequently used ads include:

  • Sponsored card ads
  • Overlay ads
  • Display ads

YouTube Video Ads


4. Setting up a schedule, budget, and bidding strategy

After you have settled on an ad format, it is now time to name your campaign. After you name it, there are two things you need to immediately do.

  • Set a budget for your campaign.
  • Land on dates you want to begin and end the ad on.

A YouTube video ad is much cheaper than you think. Some ads may cost as less as $0.02 in each view. However, a YouTube campaign only works if you target it right.

YouTube Video Ads


The better you target your ad, the better bids you are going to get and bids are what the success of a campaign lies on.

Even though there are multiple different types of strategies and bids to go about, there are two main ones you need to select from:

  • Maximum CPV is popular for its use with TrueView Ads and lets YouTube know about the most you will pay for each view your ad gets. As for discovery ads, this bid type estimates the maximum you can pay for each click on your ad.
  • Target CPV fulfills a completely different role by calculating the average of what you are willing to pay or all your conversions. The payment for each conversion maybe a little less than accurate but it will never exceed the overall average amount.

There is also the option of going for an automatic bidding strategy. This option means a lot less control and hence higher costs but saves you the effort.


5. Be in control of where your ad will appear on YouTube

There three options in total that you can choose from when it comes to deciding where your YouTube video ad will be displayed.



There are the following networks you can pick from:

  • YouTube Search Results that are only viable for running discovery ads.
  • YouTube Videos ads are undoubtedly the best option that hits just the sweet-spot between price and quality.
  • Video partners for on display network is a good option if you are looking to have your ads run on partner sites that are not YouTube. However, you cannot be too sure about maintaining quality even if you figure out the most part.

Other than networks, you also have locations and languages to choose from.

YouTube Video Ad



Naturally, you would want to make sure that your ads run on quality content. Managing your inventory type accomplishes just that. Here are some of your options:

  • Expanded Inventory helps maximize the viewing potential; however, you can risk having your ads with some sensitive content. It may not be a good look if you have a mature target audience.
  • Standard Inventory is a more recommended setting as it usually has appropriate content but you may run into some content with violence and graphic language. Better be safe.
  • Limited Inventory this type stays away from almost all kinds of sensitive content and hence it is the safest option.

YouTube Video Ads


You can further refine your inventory by excluding certain categories by excluding all content that may be socially sensitive or shocking or uncomfortable for the viewers. The option of Excluded Content allows you to sensor some of these categories.

YouTube Video Ads

You can also opt-out of placing your ads on certain types of videos by the Excluded Types and Labels options, for example, you can exclude live stream videos that are taking place in real-time.

You have no way of knowing what will happen next in them hence you cannot predict when that content gets inappropriate to advertise your brand on.

It is very important to be cautious when it comes to excluding content as it can make all the difference while keeping in mind that every time you add a filter, you are driving up your costs.

Hang onto the method of trial and error until you land on a specific combination of filters for the best costs and results.


6. Setting up a frequency cap

This is more of an additional step that you will find under the additional settings tab. They work very efficiently for small audiences.

With a frequency cap, you can limit the number of times your ad is shown. It comes in helpful in targeting a new audience.

You can customize your frequency setting on YouTube, unlike Facebook in which there is a default frequency setting that you cannot alter.

Setting up a frequency setting is how you avoid the risk of burning out your audience.

YouTube Video Ads


7. Defining your target audience

As far as audience targeting goes, YouTube has a very solid system of options. The data that comes from Google search and other partners is used to strengthen the YouTube audience analytics.

The combination of the two data settings makes the YouTube audience very strong and robust.

YouTube Video ad

As discussed before, the more filters you add, the more charges are there of these filters driving up the cost per view of your video. This is true for the audience filters as well.

If you are new to the whole YouTube game, it is rather advisable to resist the urge for the overuse of filters in the same ad group to keep things economical.

Try to understand what are the steps the users take at every level of a buying decision and create ads that are heavily targeted for each section of your audience.

There are several ways in which you can group your audience. These are given below for simple understanding.


Demographic Targeting

The first and foremost is demographic targeting which is very straightforward. In this type of targeting, all you need to do is allocate your audience in the brackets of age, gender, income, and marital status.

There is also an Unknown category for all the users that are not registered because unlike other platforms i.e. Facebook, you don’t have to log in and enter your details to watch a video.

These registered users can amount up to as many as 65% of the inventory so it is wise not to ignore them. Always make sure to check the box of Unknown.

YouTube Video ad


If you want to be even more spot on and detailed, you can narrow down your audience based on if they are homeowners and if they are married.

The difference between Facebook and YouTube video ad targeting is the same as the difference between an AND and an OR operator.

Check all the boxes and you will have a user demographic of 18-44 years of age AND they should be married homeowners to be able to see your ads.


Affinity and Custom Affinity Targeting

You can use Google’s pre-defined categories for affinity targeting. They are inclusive of categories like Banking and Finance, Sports and Fitness, Beauty and Wellness, Travel, News, Technology, etc.


YouTube video ad


You can also go for the option of creating your interest grouping. It is called a custom affinity audience. It greatly resembles interest targeting on Facebook, only much more vigorous because of the support YouTube data has from Google Search data.

This audience is built with the help of tracking Google searches, apps, or URLs that have been visited. You can include visitors to a relevant website in the viewer list of your ad.

The one benefit of using affinity targeting is that you can redirect the audience from the website of your competitors over to your YouTube video ad.

All you need to do is add their URLs to your custom affinity settings. This is how you get that audience to see your product which is pretty much similar to the one they have been looking for.

YouTube Video Ads


Here are some common mistakes to avoid when doing video ads.

YouTube is a plethora of fast-growing opportunities that give you amazing results at a relatively lower cost.

No doubt that the quality of your ad campaign video is instrumental in its success but several factors play out other than production value.

Campaign setup, best practices regarding a campaign set up, and trying out different filters and sequences while choosing your audience.

The secret is to start small, experiment, and then go from there to optimize your ad in the future.

You can reach out to us for consultation regarding your ads performing optimally on YouTube.

Schedule a free consultation call with our video strategist



Posted by Fatima Najeeb

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