How to Run a YouTube Advertising Campaign

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In addition to driving organic traffic to your content, there are also several paid options for promoting your video on YouTube. In this section, we’ll dive into some of the basics on how to run a YouTube advertising campaign.

The Cost of Advertising on YouTube

YouTube uses a cost-per-view (CPV) model, which means you only pay when someone engages with your video ad. If your ad is skipped, you aren’t charged for that view. The exact cost per click varies on keyword competitiveness but on average it’s around $0.06. Once you set your daily campaign budget, YouTube will display your ad until the daily budget is spent.

The Types of YouTube Ads

Video Discovery Ads

True View video discovery ads appear on the YouTube homepage, within search results, and as related videos on YouTube video watch pages. When a user clicks on one of these ads they will be redirected to the promoted video.

In-Stream Ads

In-stream ads refer to ads that play within a YouTube video itself. True View in-stream ads play before a viewer watches the video they’ve selected on YouTube. These ads can be customized with different overlay text and CTAs and viewers usually have the option to skip the ad after watching the first five seconds. In addition to the pre-roll in-stream ads that play before the video, there are also mid-roll video ads that appear midway through YouTube videos that are 10 minutes or longer.

For a full list of the advertising options on YouTube, visit this page.

Setting up your campaign

You can create a campaign using any video you’ve uploaded to your YouTube channel. First, go to your Google AdWords account to start the campaign setup.

Select your video by copying and pasting the YouTube URL into the Video ad box.

Add headline and description text for when your ad shows up in search results and pick a thumbnail.

Select where you want to send users who click the ad. You can pick between your YouTube channel or a website.

Set the daily budget for your video ad, and determine the maximum price you will bid for each view.

Select the location of users you want to see the ad. You can also exclude certain locations where you don’t want the ad to run.

Add additional targeting to your ad to further define the audience. You can target individuals by gender, age, interests, and numerous other demographic and psychographic differentiators. Link your AdWords account to your YouTube channel and click “finish” to start running your ad.

YouTube Remarketing

The following instructions cover how to create video remarketing lists in your AdWords account. Before you can create these lists, you’ll need to link your AdWords account to your YouTube channel.

Create a video remarketing list

  1. If you haven’t already, link your YouTube and AdWords accounts.
  2. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  3. Click Shared library in the left navigation pane, and then click Audiences.
  4. Click +Remarketing list, and select “YouTube users”.
  5. Select a list type. You can create lists based on several different video viewer actions.
  6. Select one of your linked YouTube channels. To use more channels, you’ll need to link them by adding them in your linked accounts. See how to link more channels.
  7. Set the “Membership duration” of your list. This is how long you’d like to keep people on your remarketing list.
  8. For your list “Status” choose between “Open” or “Closed”. “Open” means your list will continue adding more members.
  9. For “Initial list size”, you can either pull list members from the last 30 days of activity on your channel, or start fresh.
  10. Click Create list.

Once your remarketing list has gained interactions from at least 100 viewers, you can use it for your ads and campaigns. Select the remarketing list you want to use while creating a new campaign or as a target for an existing video campaign.

Add a remarketing list to an existing ad group / or video campaign

  1. On the “All campaigns” drop-down menu, choose an existing video campaign.
  2. Click the Video targeting tab, and then click the Remarketing sub-tab.
  3. Select an ad group from the “Select ad group” drop-down menu.
  4. In the box below, you can choose any remarketing lists you’ve already created, but the default is “Video remarketing lists”. To see your other lists, click the Video remarketing lists drop-down button, and choose the type of list you’d like to target.
  5. To add the remarketing lists you want, click the >>to select them. To remove them, click the <<
  6. When you’re done, click Save.

Add a remarketing list to a new video campaign

  1. Click the Campaigns tab, and then click +Campaign.
  2. Choose the Video campaign type.
  3. Follow the instructions to create a new video campaign.
  4. Under “Targeting,” click the “Narrow your targeting (optional)” drop-down menu, and select Remarketing.
  5. Search for a remarketing list.
  6. Click the double arrows >>to select the remarketing lists you want to target.
  7. Click Done.

You can add this remarketing list to an ad group with image ads or text ads.

  • To do this for Display Network campaigns, use the “Display Network” tab in your campaign view to target the remarketing lists you just created.
  • To do this for Search Network or shopping campaigns, use the “Audiences” tab in your standard AdWords campaign view then click + Targeting.
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