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YouTube Advertising

YouTube advertising is a cost effective video distribution platform that allows the advertiser to play video prior to a user's selected content. The advertiser can target based on age, gender, interests, topics, keywords and more. The videos can be skippable or forced.

What is YouTube Advertising?

YouTube advertising is any form of video or display banner ad that appears on Youtube.com. The kind of YouTube advertising that you'll be most familiar with are the video ads that are in the video player itself. Most commonly the ad will appear before the user can view their selected content. Sometimes the ads are skippable and sometime they aren't. Ads can take the form of:

  • image ads that are overlays on the video
  • display ads in the right side bar
  • sponsored cards at the end of the video
  • 6 second bumper video ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads of 15-20 seconds
  • Skippable in-stream ads of any length

Youtube Advertising

In the instance above, this is an ad for vistaprint that is skippable after 5 seconds that plays before the selected video. Advertisers that choose this option are utilizing the TrueView option that doesn't charge advertisers if the ad is skipped prior to completion or skipped before 30 seconds elapses. In instances where the ad cannot be skipped it means that the advertiser chose to force the view. A full description of ad formats and specifications can be found on this google support page.

Why It's Important

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth?

Advertising can communicate at a higher level with video than with mere voice, text and picture. Less than a decade ago if you wanted to advertise with video you had to go through broadcast and pay quite a bit. YouTube advertising has made video advertising accessible to small and medium size businesses.  Not only are YouTube ads affordable and allow you to run as little or as much budget as you see fit (no minimums and no set budgets), YouTube advertising is far more customizable in terms of the format, but most importantly, who is targeted.

In fact, it is the opinion of many of our consultants that YouTube ads are the most under-priced form of media you can buy right now and they are highly versatile. As mentioned above, you can run a variety of different kinds of ads, and you can run a commercial or video for your company at almost any length (of course not every YouTube product allows this). You can run ads on YouTube specifically to only those that have been to your website before. It is that customizable. Here at Consultus Digital we try to include video production and a YouTube TrueView strategy with every client.

How Do You Create A Video Ad?

YouTube is owned by Google and YouTube ads are create through your Google AdWords account. You'll want to login to your AdWords account and hit the campaign drop down tab as pictured below.

Campaign Creation


The next step is to choose the video ad format. In this case we chose 'In-Stream' because we want our video to appear in the video player with it being skippable.

There's a lot going on in the next screenshot. Firstly, we then wanted to make sure we paid based on a cost per completed view basis. This way, Consultus will pay up to a maximum amount for a completed view from the audience I have defined. The daily budget limits my spend to $5 per day,  and we defined the run times, which can be adjusted any time. Lastly, we chose to only be on YouTube opposed to the search bar for or partners pages.

Location Targetting

The fun part; choosing where you want your ad to show up. If you're in Canada you can target by the postal code, city, radius or part of town. Consultus Digital is a business to business kind of company. Therefore, as much as possible we want to target head offices and commercial spaces. In this case we identified Matheson Boulevard in Mississauga as it has a high concentration of what we are after. We also chose parts of Toronto for our YouTube Ads.

Ad Scheduling and Frequency Capping

The next consideration is what time our customers are on their desktops, at work, and may be compelled to learn more about us. Our decisions were made based on their office hours and our own. We also thought it would be a good idea to limit the number of times any one person saw our ad and then also saw it to completion. We know that users will start to resent a brand if they see the ad too often. A limitation of 3 views per week was set strategically based on the fact that many YouTube ads will 'complete' based on videos running unmanaged by the user in the background.

Device Options:

While we think mobile and tablet viewing is great for a lot of brands and businesses,  it is not for us. In this case a bid adjustment decreased of 100% was set for mobile devices and tablets. The rationale for this is that B2B decisions will be made, for the most part, on a desktop or laptop.

Ad Group and Ad Settings

You'll need to upload your video to YouTube. Preferably on your companies official YouTube channel. Once uploaded you can plug in your URL, fill out a few fields, click a few radio buttons and you're almost done.

Bidding & Targetting

Our rule of thumb is to start bidding low. Depending on your goals you may need to adjust your CPV bid upwards. In this case I did not want to adjust the bid upward for popular videos. Quite the opposite, we want views as cheap as we can get them. A negative value is not accepted in this case. It is here in the targeting that you can become very specific with the kind of view you want to acquire. In our case we did not want to target specific keywords, videos, channels or topics because we set out bid so low. As the screenshot below would suggest, linking your YouTube account will provide better reporting and insights.

Strategy should constantly change based on the data. The initial setting and assumptions made are just that, initial. The experts here at Consultus Digital will work with you to put together a winning approach.


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