YouTube is not just one of the forms of modern television, but also a search engine that is slightly less popular than Google. According to statistics, the number of its active users reaches 30 million daily, and 2 billion people visit the network monthly. If you had doubts about whether to use videos for targeting and whether it makes sense to create ads on YouTube, in this article, we will consider the advantages of the platform and the nuances of setting up campaigns on it.

What sets YouTube apart from other platforms, or the main advantages of the platform

So, the most significant advantages can be summarized as follows:

  • Huge Audience Engagement: YouTube boasts a massive audience that interacts with the platform daily, with an average session lasting around 40 minutes. Contextual advertising on YouTube in this case has great potential to demonstrate high effectiveness.
  • Low Cost per Contact: If you’re interested in the cost of advertising on YouTube, a single interaction can cost just a few cents.
  • Placement Flexibility: You have the ability to place your product advertisement in any video, even a specifically chosen one or on a particular channel. This could be a music video of a popular artist, a video blogger, or an online show.
  • Multi-sensory Interaction: The prospect of engaging with the user on both visual and auditory levels ensures more effective attention capture.
  • Targeted Advertising: Configured YouTube advertising can be shown to any audience, even fairly niche ones. Additionally, you can choose the theme of the video or channel for demonstration.
  • Growing Audience: The audience of the video platform is constantly increasing, meaning there is an increasing opportunity to reach more potential clients.

Types of advertising on YouTube

As of today, there are several ways to place advertising on the platform:

1. Banners

These are ads that appear at the bottom of the video and typically show up around the 15-second mark into the video. Clicking on them directs users to a designated landing page. They can also appear at the top of the recommendation column. Call-to-action (CTA) banners contribute to higher click-through rates and encourage more frequent visits to the brand’s channel.

2. Search Results or Discovery Ads

This refers to advertising on YouTube’s search platform. Promotional ads will be displayed above the search results in response to a user’s query, in the list of related videos, and on the homepage in the mobile version of the site.

3. Text and Graphic Ads on YouTube

Viewers will see these ads only on desktop and tablet devices, located to the right of the video they are watching.

4. Embedded Ads

This is promotional video content placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a video. This contextual advertising on YouTube is perfect for promoting your video or other video content.
This format is also known as In-Stream, and depending on the settings, it is divided into several subtypes:

  • TrueView In-Stream ads with skip option: These are pre-, mid-, or post-rolls that viewers can skip after 5 seconds. The advertiser pays for the view if the viewer interacts with the video ad or if it is watched until the end (or at least 30 seconds).
  • Non-skippable In-Stream ads: These ads are up to 15 seconds long, similar to the previous type, and can appear at various points in the video, but viewers cannot skip them. Advertisers pay per impression in this case.
  • Bumper ads: These ads last up to 6 seconds as pre-, mid-, or post-rolls and cannot be skipped. Advertisers are charged per impression.

5. Shopping Ads

These ads appear above the video at the top of the page when a user searches for something like “overeview” or “reviews,” or between videos on the homepage.

6. TrueView for Action Ads

The primary goal of this format is to drive conversions, and its high click-through rates (CTR) are achieved through various interactive elements. A CTA button appears in three places: on the overlay at the bottom of the video, on the banner above the list of recommendations, and on the end card.

7. Masthead Ads (Reservation Campaigns)

This type is available for reservation only through a Google sales representative, and its appearance varies depending on the device used.

  • On computers, masthead ads play at the top of the homepage automatically without sound for 30 seconds. They can be displayed in widescreen or 16:9 format, with an informational panel on the right displaying objects from the advertiser’s channel. Two additional companion videos can be added there. After playback, the mark remains on the page. Clicking on it takes the user to the video viewing page on YouTube.
  • When using mobile devices, contextual YouTube masthead ads are automatically played at the top of the app or feed completely, with the sound off. Clicking on the banner takes the user to the video viewing page on YouTube.

8. Overlay Ads

Overlay Ads sit atop the video content, presenting as either textual snippets or banners. This category also encompasses CTA overlays, featuring persuasive prompts and URLs. With this format, advertisers blend text and visual elements of overlay banners with their video ads.

9. Out-Stream Ads

This format is specifically designed for smartphones. Such ads can appear on websites and in apps of Google’s partner video resources, but not on YouTube. Banner-style ads automatically start playing without sound, with sound appearing only if the ad is clicked. In addition to banners, interstitial ads and native ad units are also available in apps.

How to create an ad on YouTube

To set up advertising on YouTube, you’ll use the Google Ads platform. Begin by linking your accounts, then move on to configuring your campaigns and individual ads.

How to Set Up Advertising Campaign

Within the Google Ads dashboard, create a campaign, select your advertising goal, choose the campaign type as “Video,” and then proceed with the usual settings for launching ads on Google.

Parameter Settings

When configuring the campaign, you can select the display type, placement locations for video ads, language, bidding strategy, audience location, and specify where the ads should or should not be shown. It’s important to carefully choose the type of resource because at this stage, you’re indicating where your ads will appear alongside content. Naturally, it should be relevant to your brand.
For YouTube campaigns, practically all types of Google Ads targeting are available, similar to those for search and Display campaigns. You can create audiences based on interests, focusing on those areas that are relevant to your target audience, special intent audiences that allow you to reach users based on their search queries, and combined audiences that merge multiple different audience segments.
Keywords and negative keywords function similarly to other advertising campaigns. So, to answer the question “How to create a semantic core for YouTube contextual advertising?”, you simply need to recall the principles of gathering semantics for search engines. At this stage, lists of keywords are created that are relevant to the ads in each ad set. Don’t disregard multi-word keywords, as they have already proven their high effectiveness in the context of advertising on video platforms. In addition to negative keywords, remember to exclude placement locations to reduce non-targeted views. This can be done at the campaign or ad set level.
And don’t forget about remarketing because ads can also be shown to visitors of your company’s channel. Additionally, for this purpose, you can engage similar audiences.

Cost of Contextual Advertising on YouTube

The cost of advertising on the video platform is individualized. It depends on the format, frequency of impressions, keyword list, cost-per-click in a specific niche, and a myriad of other factors. The only assertion that can be made is that the more adept the configuration, the more efficiently the budget will be spent, leading to higher brand recognition and more targeted actions in the results.

Specifics of Launching Ad Campaigns on YouTube

Before diving into the settings, it’s important to recognize that the platform is unlikely to directly drive sales but can significantly boost Reach and Awareness. If you plan to use in-stream videos, ensure their high quality; otherwise, viewers may skip the ads if given the chance or develop a negative impression of your brand if you prevent skipping. It’s highly improbable to acquire a customer after their first encounter with your ad on YouTube, so it’s beneficial to work on your strategy and conversion funnel right from the start.

Best Recommendations for Launching Ad Campaigns on YouTube

  1. Remember that the first 5 seconds of video ads are crucial, as viewers decide whether to continue watching your video during this time. Try not only to grab the viewer’s attention but also to engage them, and don’t forget to logically integrate the first mention of your brand within this time frame.
  2. Utilizing remarketing will enhance the effectiveness of your YouTube advertising.
  3. Don’t forget to guide the user and prompt them on what to do next: visit the website, learn more about the product, download the app, try a sample, visit the brand’s channel, etc.
  4. Ensure that everything in your videos feels organic: visual elements match the audio, colors and objects harmonize with each other, and text is used moderately. Incorporate humor and creativity in appropriate proportions, share emotions, intrigue, and tell stories. This can evoke an empathetic response.
  5. Test. Everything. Different creatives and formats for the same audience, different targeting, different placement channels, different settings, etc. Experiment until you find the most effective options that will help you maximize the benefits of advertising.

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