We’ve found that many companies believe YouTube ads aren’t really for them. When they watch YouTube, they see larger brands focused almost entirely at consumers, so they assume it’s not very profitable to invest in YouTube ads of their own.

But wait! We quickly remind them that YouTube is a big place with many different channels for all kinds of industries – currently, it holds the title of second largest search engine behind Google, and a platform that’s incredibly underused by businesses, with 90% of companies not even having a YouTube business account set up. And of course, even fewer really consider putting ads on YouTube, even though the video platform is filled with potential – and cost per clicks ads are much cheaper than buying ads on places like Google Search.

Curious? Let’s take a look at what you should know about YouTube ads, and why they could be a better fit than you might expect.


Types of YouTube Ads

There are several big types of YouTube ads to consider, each working in a different way depending on the YouTube content in question.

TrueView ads: These TrueView ads are the traditional kind that you find at the start of certain YouTube videos. They are skippable after a couple seconds, so they have limited usefulness and depend on the very start of the ad to attract viewers and display a call to action. However, they are very cost effective.

TrueView in-stream ads: In-stream ads, as you can guess, play in the middle of longer YouTube videos (these ads can also show up in other Google apps). They can be a bit longer – although shorter ads are always a good idea – and are usually accompanied by banner in the YouTube window that people can click on as a call to action.

TrueView discovery ads: These are direct videos that are recommended to viewers based on their subscriptions and what they’ve recently watched. These ads can be very effective, especially for businesses that have crafted a great video explaining their products or services, and they aren’t as annoying to viewers than ads that interrupt a video. However, they depend greatly on people actually noticing their recommendations.

Nonskippable ads: YouTube is spending more time on nonskippable ads these days as well. The good news for viewers is that these ads can only be 20 seconds or less, and the good news for companies is that people won’t just be skipping past the ad, which makes them more memorable. Quality is particularly important here.

Bumper ads: Bumper ads are very short, nonskippable ads that only last up to six seconds. They typically showcase a specific product or brand with a call to action – and that’s it.

Non-video ads: These ads don’t always get as much attention, but they too can useful, especially since YouTube more or less guarantees that people are watching their screens. Overlay, display and card ads (the ads that pop up on a video) are all included here.

See? There are more ad options for YouTube that some businesses realize, and they can all be targeted to reach specific audiences.


Getting Started with YouTube Ads

First, plan out and create your ad. Before you start your campaign, you should have your ad video ready to go or nearly finished. There are many options for creating a video ad and many best practices to follow: We at 21Handshake would be glad to help out if you aren’t sure where to start with a video ad.

Fortunately, creating the campaign itself is easy! It’s very useful that Google owns YouTube! That means you can create a YouTube ad campaign right in Google AdWords. Simply create a new campaign and tag it accordingly. You will want to choose a video ad format with “In-stream or video discovery ads” selected for TrueView ads. You can also choose where you want the ads to appear – YouTube Search, YouTube Videos, or both. Search refers to discovery ads that can show up on home pages and as a result of searches. It’s generally a good idea to make separate campaigns for Search and Videos, but you can also combine them.


Target Your Ad with Google’s Great Tools

So, how do you make sure that this campaign will target the right local audience that you have in mind? Once again, AdWords tools come in very handy for selecting the right target audience. Even if you’ve never used AdWords to target an ad before, these features are very easy to set up when you are creating your campaign. You can use tools like:

  • Location: You can easily target your ads for a specific town or city, as well as exclude areas where your ads may be too diluted or not applicable (target a state, for example, while excluding its major cities).
  • Operating System: Do you know for a fact that everyone in your industry uses, say, Windows 10? You can also target people on specific operating systems to help narrow down the targeting further.
  • Device: You can do a lot with targeting specific mobile devices, targeting devices on certain types of networks, and more – although this can get expensive, it’s a great way to grow your mobile outreach! Just make sure your ads are very mobile friendly.
  • Keyword target: Keyword targeting remains one of the most effective ways to get the right people to find your ads.


Final Note: YouTube is Coming to You!

YouTube is doing a lot on its end to encourage small businesses to use its ad services too. One of those projects announced last year was a mobile video studio project that’s going to show up across the country, allowing businesses to immediately record and publish their own unique ads for local marketing. Other efforts to entice small businesses are also on their way. But do your brand a favor, and don’t wait for YouTube to visit you. Start your video ad plans now!