Everything You Need to Know about YouTube Advertising

Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has become the ultimate source for learning and entertainment. It is evident from its 2 billion+ active users that it is a convenient, easy-to-use platform. In conjunction to its popularity, YouTube advertising has become a great way for marketers to get their information across to their target audience. YouTube ads are extremely common and an easy way to communicate with a wide group of publics. More than half of YouTube users prefer the platform to regular television, so it is the perfect place to promote your business.

All marketers and advertisers should have some background knowledge of YouTube advertising. However, if you are new to YouTube ads and think it might be a good path for your business to try, here are some tips to optimize your campaign.

Types of Ads

To begin, you should choose which ad format you would like. One option is a skippable in-stream video ad. These ads can be pre-roll or mid-roll, meaning that they play before or during the video, and can be skipped by the viewers within the first five seconds of playing (they must be at least 12 seconds long and no longer than three minutes). You do not pay when the person skips the ads, instead, you pay when a person watches the ad in its entirety, watches at least 30 seconds, or clicks/has and some sort of interaction with the ad (whichever comes first).

Another type of YouTube ad is non-skippable in-stream video ads. These eliminate the option to skip to the viewer's video and are usually chosen as a result of many people skipping the ads as soon as they can. The cost of these ads is based on impressions and they must be 15-20 seconds long (depending on your location). These ads are good to use for a brand awareness campaign, but you need to be sure that your ad can keep the viewer interested for 15 seconds. You could also do a bumper ad, which is a 6-second non-skippable ad that’s really good for reach campaigns.


Discovery ads are more comparable to Google ads than traditional commercial ads. They appear in organic search results, therefore, if your video has higher relevancy than what is in the organic results, the viewer can choose to watch your ad instead.

Another Option is non-video ads. These can include display ads, which are located on the right sidebar and consist of an image, text, and a call-to-action button. They also include overlay ads, which are embedded in a video and placed on top of the video.


You should start by deciding which type of ad to use. If you are unsure of what will yield the best results, try a couple of different types and see what works by checking the data. However, if you have never run an ad campaign before, viewing all the data might be a little overwhelming. A good rule of thumb is to focus your attention on a few key metrics. You should be able to see which ads are performing well and which ones aren’t. When one ad is performing much higher than another, it is best to focus more of your budget on the higher-performing ad. Remember, it is all about maximizing results.

youtube search

Another helpful tip is to use descriptive titles to show what your ad is about, as you should with any ad campaign. However, with YouTube, you should avoid business/industry vernacular because you need to think like a customer. What are they going to be searching for? By avoiding branded titles, you are more likely to come up with suggestions for users.

You should also have a great understanding of your target audience. This can be based on many elements, however, at aha! some of the elements we focus on are demographics, interests, search keywords, YouTube topics, and placements based on YouTube Channels. Knowing who you are trying to reach in your campaign is one of the first key steps. Then, you want to figure out the best places on the platform where they will view your ad.

You need to create content that draws the viewer in and makes them want to visit your website. Whether you are focusing on organic activities or paid activities doesn’t matter – good content is good content! Especially on a platform like YouTube, where there is a plethora of content coming at users each day. You need to take the time to make sure your message is clear and that you will stand out among all of the other advertisements being viewed.

YouTube has become such a major player in advertising and digital promotion. There is so much opportunity for any business because, like Google, you have a pretty solid guarantee that your audience will be there. However, the competition will be high. Therefore, you have to do your research. Know your goals, objectives, target audience, and the best ways to reach that audience. Lastly, this campaign is ongoing. Keep checking on the ads and make edits if needed. Maximize your budget by making sure your most successful ads have enough funding to continue their success. If you need assistance, check out our services!