Don’t Run Any YouTube Ads Until You Read This

People seem to find making video Ads …. a bit scary…. so at this point –  there is space to spare for very, very little outlay.

But making YouTube Ads does not need to be scary.

All you need is this free guide and a sense of purpose, and YOU could be accessing that market in the space of a few days…

Why advertise on YouTube?

You might be asking yourself that – why take the time and allocate the budget to YouTube?

Simple answers:

  • It is HUGE – More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube and over 6 billion hours of video are watched EVERY MONTH — or – an hour for every person on Earth.
  • Clicks are cheap and convenient – YouTube is part of the Google AdWords system – so you get the convenience of the AdWords interface – without the expensive clicks.
  • Video is easier than ever – It does require some work, but there are now many tools and resources available to make the process flow with ease. There’s a range of resources you can use – these are explained below.

Better still, YouTube has excess capacity in its ad inventory, which is ripe for the plucking!  Because YouTube ads requires advertisers to make a video, it provides an instant barrier that has some advertisers hesitating.

That means cheap clicks for those of us willing to make a simple video.


How To Choose The Types of Ads

So…. let’s learn about the types of ads available to you.

Whether you want leads, sales, YouTube subscribers or exposure for your brand – YouTube ads have you covered.

There are three main types to choose, so let’s begin with:

Type 1 – In-Stream Ads

In-Stream ads need to capture the attention of your prospects in the first five seconds.

After these first five seconds, viewers then have the choice to continue watching your ad or click the “Skip Ad” button and continue on to watch the latest ripped-off Zombie Movie, cat video or viral internet prank.

The biggest advantage of these ads is they give you instant mass-visibility and are charged on a Cost-Per-View (CPV) basis. The amount paid per view depends heavily on how in-depth you target the audience.

The good news is that the ad is free until it reaches 30 seconds or is played in full, after that – you’re charged for the view.

Here’s one from Mothercare. Cute eh?

Using this type of ad disrupts the viewers’ attention, and makes them focus on the advertiser’s message.

The user is then given the choice by YouTube to continue watching the ad or skip it.

When the ad is clicked it takes the user to the advertiser’s landing page…

This ad gets cheap exposure to (targeted) prospects who are demonstrably interested in their content.


Choose the In-Stream YouTube ad type if you want higher ‘instant’ impressions.

A quick tip…

Write your copy so that it grabs your viewer by the throat within the first 5 seconds.

Target your In-Stream Ads at visitors who –

  • Are searching YouTube for specific keywords
  • Are watching / or have viewed similar content
  • Are watching specific YouTube channels (Placements)
  • Visit specific web pages (Retargeting)

Type 2 – In-Display Ads

In-Display ads are the ones appearing to the side of whatever content it is you are watching on YouTube.

Shown at the top of the recommended content, they catch attention as viewers are seeing other content.

With “native advertising” being all the rage, YouTube now blends the ads with the other organic listings, rather than highlighting it in a yellow box (as used to be the case).

That’s a good thing for advertisers.

BlueHost, a web hosting company, uses an In-Display to promote their content – A ‘Beginners Guide’

Note how they target people viewing similar content – about WordPress or SEO.

In-Display ads do not link directly out to Landing Pages – They are designed to keep the viewer inside of the YouTube ‘space’.

Choose the In-Display YouTube ad type if… you want to build your channel subscribers and / or you want more views on your YouTube content.

A quick tip…

In-Display ads don’t take users directly to your website, so you need to build calls to action into your video content to shift viewers to your Landing Page.

You could:

  • Include links in the videos descriptions to a landing page
  • Include clickable annotations to take them back to your site as well.

Type 3 – In-Search Ads

In-Search ads respond to queries typed into the YouTube search box.
These ads are placed above the organic listings and contain a little yellow ad box next to their thumbnail.

So – type in ‘learn spanish’

Rosetta Stone and Babbel are both appearing in the In-Search results.

Notice how they appear above the organic listings – this is in response to the In-search ad function.

The Babbel video is a short Spanish lesson.

When the lesson reaches the end of the video it then appears with two new clickable buttons that allow the user to visit their main site.

Their Landing Page Looks and feels the same as their content on YouTube to preserve the association between the ad to the conversion page. This is often referred to as ad “congruency” or “ad scent” and is a relatively new concept being discussed by digital marketers despite being somewhat of a common sense observation.

Choose the In-Search ad type if… you want to get views on your YouTube content but do not want to have intrusive interruptions to your content (as with In-Stream ads). They can also be used as part of your wider strategy for building up your YouTube channel in the process.

Here’s a tip:

Make sure you have a clear call to action in the video, an enticing thumbnail image and a strong headline for your video to entice clicks.

Now you’ve got an idea of the various types of YouTube Ads.
Let’s see how we can put them into action for you…

Understand the Types of Ad Targeting:

There are many different types of targeting options available when creating your campaigns.

1 – Keyword Campaigns

Usage:  when targeting videos using specific keywords relevant to your niche.

If you have a video about – say – mountain biking, you could use “biking” as a related keyword for targeting.

Remember though – the broader your keyword is, the less relevant your viewer might find the content. You could get a road biker, or a motorbiker, etc… So try to be specific – e.g.

“Biking” is less targeted than “Mountain biking” which is less targeted than “Downhill Mountain biking”….

Another benefit to using keywords it that typically people are diligent about using proper keywords to describe their videos; but generally less so when uploading their videos to particular categories.

2 – Placement Campaigns

Usage:  when first getting started

Placement campaigns give you full control of where you video ads appear and are very helpful in that you can screen in what specific videos or channels your ads will appear.

This is certainly a pro because when using keyword based or interest based targeting you are at the mercy of Google to decide what is considered a relevant fit for your content.

The downside to this method is that it is very difficult to scale for most markets and the search volume isn’t as high.

3 – Interest and Topic Campaigns

Usage: when you want to broaden the viewership of your ad.

‘Interests’ refer to the content someone has watched in the past, indicating their interest in that content.

Google note your content viewing habits and place you in segments of interest based behaviours.

“Topics” are the content a viewer is seeking at that moment. They differ from ‘interests’, because at any moment (for example) a hardcore cyclist might also be looking to buy a car. Thus “cycling” is the interest whereas “cars” are the topic.

The advantage of using ‘Topic’ targeting is that you can get a lot of views. The downside is that the views are unlikely to be as targeted as placements or keyword based targeting.

4- Retargeting Campaigns

Usage: To get your message back in front of people who have visited your website!

Retargeting is a great way to engage with past visitors/viewers and focus on people who have already shown some type of interest in your content.

Another benefit to using this type of marketing form is that it’s another touch point on people who might have seen your message from other channels such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

The downside is that this method does not expand your net in terms of awareness outside of people who have already heard about your product or service.

An ultimate trick…

Put Your Ads on Competitors YouTube Content

Wouldn’t it be great (and incredibly sneaky!) if you could make your content appear BEFORE your competitors’ main video content?

It’s possible! – utilizing YouTube Ad Placements.

If your competitors’ video allows monetization, you’re in a prime position to steal a spot for your video ad.

First, be aware not every channel allows video ads to appear before their content. But If they do, you’ve struck a potential gold mine.

Go to the main page of YouTube, type in a keyword.

Hovering over the resulting YouTube channel names will give you a quick insight as to their subscriber base and a broad idea as to the amount of traffic their videos receive.

Next, click on the “Filters” tab and check out the options. Default settings filter by “Relevance”, but filter by “View Count” and you will see the most popular results for your chosen keyword.

The example below shows an advertiser for Kinetic Sand, a relatively new toy on the market. They’ve done a great job of placing their advertisement on this particular video.

There’s a strong chance that anyone watching video content about Play-Doh will be interested in what is a similar product, thus making for a relevant ad experience.

Important here is the “More” tab under this video. The included “Statistics” option gives a ton of useful information, in particular, the daily stats about the amount of traffic this video receives.
This will be valuable when you’re considering exposure to your ad with placement. If you decide this is a good video to add to your list of placements, simply copy the URL and add that link to a placement document for your list of potential video placements.

Because monetization is enabled, this entire channel could be a potential location to place your ads.

Related Channels on the right side of YouTube channels is another opportunity for stealing your competitors’ audience. Assuming the user hasn’t hidden the section, you can go through and look for similar channels to the one you are evaluating.


YouTube Ads is very powerful. Yes, it may take some work to get started (and getting used to it), but with this traffic source, you won’t be having traffic problem in your business anymore. 🙂

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