YouTube Advertising: An under-priced attention for marketers

YouTube is the first platform who revolutionised the video content creation, consumption and sharing. Platform has huge regular traffic of video viewers. It is world’s biggest online video streaming platform and it is owned by Google.

In this post I will talk about Youtube advertisement, but some of the ideas are helpful to scale organically also.

As you see in title I called it an under-priced attention, I explain you why ?

Majority of advertisers who are using Youtube ads are B2C players and just doing TVC here. Its OK, to use it as an extension of  TVC distribution medium. BUT Youtube is much deeper than just 30 seconds ad broadcast channel.

Many marketers consider it a social media channel and make strategy in preview of social media behaviours BUT it is second biggest search engine after Google also.


You can call it a hybrid of Search and Social. So targeting only to get brand recall through YouTube ads is a bit myopic strategy.

You can plan a broad short term and long term strategy to get various kind of objective fulfilled, eg: Brand awareness, permanent audience building, traffic generation, lead generation, customer service, online sale etc.

So very few people are using Youtube’s full potential and still there is no clutter of advertisers, as we know online ads work on “Real Time Bidding Model”, hence less advertisers means less competition and less competition means less “cost per view” that is the reason I called it “An under-priced attention”.

Here sharing you some Youtube stats which can give you the rough idea about the potential of this platform.

  • The very first YouTube video was uploaded on 23 April 2005.
  • The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000.
  • 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
  • Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.
  • YouTube gets over 30 million visitors per day
  • In an average month, 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube.
  • By 2025, half of the viewers under 32 will not subscribe to a pay-TV service.
  • 6 out of 10 people prefer online video platforms to live TV
  • The total number of hours of video watched on YouTube each month – 3.25 billion.
  • 10,113 Youtube videos generated over 1 billion views.
  • 80% of YouTube’s views are from outside of the U.S.
  • The average number of mobile YouTube video views per day is 1,000,000,000
  • The average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes. This is up with more than 50% year-over-year.
  • Female users are 38% and male users are 62%.
  • User Percentage by Age 18-24 – 11%, 25-34 – 23%, 35-44 – 26%, 45-54 – 16%, 50-64 – 8%, 65+ – 3%, unknown age – 14%.
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
  • YouTube’s mobile revenue is up to 2x y/y.
  • YouTube overall and even YouTube on mobile alone reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • The number of hours people spend watching videos (aka watch time) on YouTube is up 60% year-over-year, the fastest growth we’ve seen in 2 years.
  • You can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages (covering 95% of the Internet population).
  • YouTube has launched local versions in more than 88 countries.
  • 9% of U.S small businesses use Youtube
  • Approximately 20% of the people who start your video will leave after the first 10 seconds.

Source: Fortunate Lords

Although almost all kind of social web provides video ads feature but dominantly Facebook and YouTube are the major players.

If you compare it with Facebook video ads then Youtube metrics are more realistic. Facebook counts 3 second video streaming as One View while Youtube uses Trueview metrics which counts 30 seconds as One View.

Different Types Of YouTube Video Ads

Youtube offers various type of ad formats, where I am mentioning three most popular variants below.

A) In-Stream Ads:

In-stream ads are the ad which is being played while user watching other video. It could be played before start or in-between.

B) In-Display Ads

In-Display ads are the ads which appear beside running video.

C) In-Search Ads

As I told you that Youtube is world’s second largest search engine, so you can place the keyword targeted ads which appears on search results page of YouTube.

YouTube Video Ads

There are some other YouTube variants are also available but afore-mentioned three types of ads are widely popular.

I am not ignoring other Ads format, just preferring to cover it later in pointers.

How to Prepare Your Youtube Ad Campaign for Best Results?

#1. Define Your Objective:

I always stress that you should have the reason and objective to do any marketing activity. So clearly define your objective at the first place. Your objective could be following

Brand Awareness

Lead Generation

Product Sale


You can define your objective more narrowly also like traffic generation for your website,App Install, Online sale etc.

Generally different objective suit with different ads format, I would not suggest which format suit best for which objective.

I insist you to do testing and find the suitability by yourself.

#2. Do detailing of  Your Targeting

Targeting is most important part of any campaign if your targeting is right then only you can have desired results.

Here I am suggesting you to do detailing of your target because YouTube has in-depth targeting options. You can do laser focused targeting on this platform.

Here I am sharing you the list of Targeting Options which Youtube offers

  • Demographic groups: Choose the age, gender, and parental status of the audience you want to reach.
  • Interests: Pick from available audience categories to reach people interested in certain topics, even when they may be visiting pages about other topics. Learn more about audiences.
  • Affinity audiences: Raise brand awareness and drive consideration with your TrueView video ads by reaching people who already have a strong interest in relevant topics.
  • Custom affinity audiences:With custom affinity audiences, you can create audiences that are more tailored to your brands, compared to our broad, TV-like affinity audiences. For example, rather than reaching Sports Fans, a running shoe company may want to reach Avid Marathon Runners instead.
  • In-market audiences: Select from these audiences to find customers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer.
  • Video remarketing: Reach viewers based on their past interactions with your videos, TrueView ads or YouTube channel. If you’ve linked your YouTube account to your AdWords account already, Youtube will create custom lists for you automatically. Learn more about remarketing lists for YouTube viewers.
  • Placements: Target unique channels, websites, or placements within them. For example, you can target an entire high traffic blog or the homepage of a popular news site. Placements include:
  1. Channels (YouTube Partner Channels)
  2. Videos (YouTube Videos)
  3. Sites (Display Network – includes as a publisher site)
  • Topics: Target your video ads to specific topics on YouTube and the Display Network. Topic targeting lets you reach a broad range of videos, channels, and websites related to the topics you select. For example, you target to the “Automotive” topic, then your ad will show on YouTube to people watching videos about cars.
  • Keywords: Depending on your video ad format, you can show your video ads based on words or phrases–keywords–related to a YouTube video, YouTube channel, or type of website that your audience is interested in.

Whoa ! It is so broad. You can target your customers in multiple ways.

You have to be careful while selecting your target, eg: If you are running Lead Generation Campaign and you kept your placement on a mobile device. It will simply won’t work because the call to action button comes very small on it.

So it is not possible for the user to use click to action button from their mobile device. Hence you should keep lead generation campaign limited to the desktop.

You should do experiment with various choices then start the full-fledged campaign.

#3. Choose Relevant Ad format:

YouTube offers varieties of ad formats. Earlier I have mentioned three types of popular formats. Here you will see the depth of formats.

Selection of ads formats is directly linked with your Objective or targeting. Eg: If your video is related to a tutorial or educational or demonstration of the solution of a particular problem.

Then most suitable format for you will be In-Display (Side Bar) and In-Search.

But if you want to generate lead or sale through a brief shout out, then In-Stream ads will work for you better.

Here is all kind of ad format available on YouTube

YouTube advertising formatsYouTube advertising formats

Some formats like Sponsored cards are new, You can use it for accelerate time spent and engagement.

#4. Make Your Video Ad Engaging:

Your ad content is the real thing which has to perform. Making it engaging is the most important thing. An effective distribution can work only if your content is target oriented.

Strong ad copy is required to compel the users to make certain actions.

You can care following things to make your Ad engaging and performing.

A) Compelling Title Or Headline:

Title/Headline is the first thing which your user will see. So give them a reason to take action.

YouTube Title


B) Brand Animation:

Brand Animation should not be more than 2 seconds.  The users are going to watch your ad because they have an expectation that the ad is interesting and will solve some of their problems.

Users are not here to see your brand animation, Trying to generate bigger brand symbol impression can increase bounce rate.

C) Simple and Clear Message :

Message should be simple and clear. First, 5 seconds should be a hook, so the user can involve completely and watch the complete video.

Higher video completion rate can reduce your cost dramatically but then tricky question comes in what should be ideal length of the video.

My suggestion is You need to focus on solving the user problems rather than thinking about the length.

But if you going to do brand promotion rants then keep it between 1-2 minutes.

D) Clear Visual and Good Audio :

You can not expect a good level of engagement without clear visual and good audio. Interestingly you don’t required very high production quality because videos are being consumed in active manner, so clear audio visuals are enough.

E) Customise Thumbnail :

Thumbnail is the visual which any user see first. So instead of using a thumbnail from a video, get it designed especially for the purpose. Create a thumbnail visual -verbal combination which compels user to click on an ad.

I am not recommending that you should have a high level of editing and effects, even effects are less effective than simple authentic thumbnails.

Keep the video thumbnail simple and understandable. Eg:

Thunbnail for Youtube Video

#5. Put Proper Call To Action

Call to action is the bottom of your funnel. Here you want final action from your users.

Call to action is directly linked to your objective. Eg: If your ad is for awareness then definitely you will want to show the user more verbal-visual information & if your ad is for lead generation then your call  to action would be probably “Ask Quote” or “Sign Up” . You must have to guide your users for action.

Additional Read: 4 Ways to Include Calls to Action on Videos

#6. Optimize Your Ad

Test, Test, and Test.

Before launching the campaign you should do A/B or Multi-Variety testing. Then launch your campaign with best-performing one.

Digital Landscape is dynamic, so keep monitoring your ad performance and be continue with new tests.

Final Words: Youtube Video ads are still under-priced attention. So I suggest you to go and utilise it, before it becomes clutter and high priced.

One Response

  1. GSIM Digital August 8, 2018

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