YouTube advertising with Google Ads – multimedia and high-reach

YouTube has become the second largest search engine in the world. Searchers will find information and moving images on almost all topics here. The current media hype about successful YouTubers and influencers already shows the reach and advertising potential of YouTube. Companies should consistently use this platform to introduce themselves to a large audience at low cost. And with a feel for trends and a suitable viral hit, private individuals can also get off to a successful start on YouTube.

But what options are there for running YouTube advertising and reaching your own target group? What formats are there for video ads and what are the critical success factors to consider? The following article will illuminate the most important topics in a practice-oriented manner.

Why there is no way around advertising via YouTube

YouTube advertising via Google Ads campaigns offers enormous potential, because the platform has almost two billion active users per month, which speaks for a consistently high reach beyond national borders. These are already good basic requirements for successfully using video ads as an advertising medium. The influencer marketing trend, which has increased in recent years, shows the market power of YouTube advertising. Of course, this requires a clever strategic orientation, which will be discussed later.

You have certainly often been confronted with video ads on YouTube and thought that there was great potential behind it. This potential will continue to increase, because mobile use of the Internet via smartphones and tablets will mean that YouTube advertising via Google Ads can reach even more people anytime and anywhere. The platform is already achieving a very high value with almost 80% of the online population. Expressed in concrete figures, that is over 40 million potential customers in the DACH region.

Investment in strengthening your own brand

In times of short product life cycles and global competition, companies are well advised to accompany customers throughout the customer journey. It is important to influence the purchasing decision process in every phase in order to make a positive decision by customers more likely. Video ads help companies to strengthen their brand and image and to increase their reach over the long term. Videos about products, services or an image film can be used to strengthen customers’ intention to buy by presenting them with relevant information. Topic relevance is a key criterion for successful video ads on YouTube.

Visible, moving, thrilling: good YouTube advertising must be able to do this

A promotional video will be the visible part of a campaign that should never be viewed in isolation. Rather, it has to be about strategically integrating YouTube into your own brand strategy. And of course, the video ads themselves must be well-made and offer viewers convincing added value after a few seconds. Information should be delivered in an entertaining and engaging manner. Anyone who can arouse emotions lays the foundation for strong customer or follower loyalty. Those who do not take these factors into account will quickly be forgotten. After all, the next video (possibly from the immediate competition) is just a click away.

Practical know-how: How to create video ads with Google Ads?

If you already rely on Google Ads for internet marketing, you can also use it to implement or specifically control YouTube advertising. The video ads must be hosted on YouTube. It is generally recommended to link the Google Ads and YouTube account. In this way, remarketing lists from YouTube can be used. If you want to implement campaigns, the focus is on the ad format as the main component. To ensure efficiency and a high degree of target achievement, a separate ad group should be created for each alignment. The structure will become clearer once you log in and delve into the campaign creation options. Below we take a look at those.

TrueView Video Discovery Ads: Click-to-Cost

This is a small preview image of the video (thumbnail) and a short ad text. This type of ad can appear in the search results, on the YouTube homepage or on partner websites or apps. The great advantage of this advertising on YouTube is that you only have to pay when users click on the ad (ideally to watch the entire video).

The mere view is free of charge, but it can already make an impression in terms of advertising and cause activities at a later point in time (an interested party is looking for this video or the advertising company, for example). This ad type is also very advantageous from the point of view of advertising itself, since users click on it themselves and are obviously receptive to the content. It is not an unwanted form of advertising that searchers cannot avoid.

TrueView in-stream video ads: 5 seconds can be crucial

These are video ads that play before or during a video on YouTube. Users have the option to skip this ad after 5 seconds. In this respect, the video must be very good so that users do not take this step. Nevertheless, 5 seconds can of course be enough to make a lasting impression. In addition, there is the option of displaying a so-called companion banner next to the display in the upper right corner. This is a thumbnail that can be clicked.

Advertisers only have to pay for this form of video ads on YouTube if users watch the video for at least 30 seconds or engage in an interaction. In this context, interactions mean clicks on call-to-action elements or calling up the advertiser’s website. The advantage of this type of YouTube advertising is that users can decide for themselves whether they want to see a video in its entirety or not. Conversely, the challenge for the advertiser is to arouse the viewer’s curiosity in the first 5 seconds. In order to promote the already mentioned branding and increase in awareness, the company name and logo should be placed effectively in the first 5 seconds. An advertising effect that does not cause any direct costs can also be used in the case of users who jump off. Anything that doesn’t cause a direct click can still leave a lasting impression. This is what makes this viral platform so interesting for modern advertising!

Bumper ads: Get attention by bidding for 6 seconds

These video ads have a maximum duration of 6 seconds. They will play before other videos. Users do not have the option to skip the ads by clicking here. So it is the most ‘intrusive’ form of form on the platform. The introduction of these new video ads via Google Ads was introduced because a declining attention span of users could be observed. It needed a new form of video ads that users couldn’t easily evade. It is obvious that in the short time available, only one central, as memorable as possible advertising message needs to become clear. This form of advertising is billed using so-called CPM bids. After every thousandth impression, billing is done, with the amount of the bids determining the probability of success in actually being displayed to users. At this point, the available advertising budget plays an important role.

YouTube Ads: What you need to know about strategic direction

Advertising on YouTube must not be a fun event given the costs and usable reach. Anyone who thinks strategically right from the start should avoid undesirable wastage. In the campaign management, options can be used to target YouTube advertising to a target group. Thus, the chances of success of high-reach advertising can be significantly improved.

Basically, attention should be paid to thematic relevance. A user who sees ads that match the query is much more receptive to their content. Completely inappropriate advertising will have no effect in the vast majority of cases. Video ads should therefore be tailored to the content of the videos. That being said, as an advertiser, you should also keep your target audience in mind when targeting YouTube ads. The more interests and demographic characteristics are known, the more precisely advertising campaigns can be implemented with Google Ads.

You can also use the Display Network campaign planner with Google Ads. Taking into account the respective target page, suggestions for the specific orientation can be determined in this way. If you are looking for targeted success, you should not simply accept it uncritically. With each proposal, it must be checked whether it can really be assumed to be relevant and meaningful.

Overview: possible targeting for video ads (YouTube advertising)

Option 1: Interest targeting
If you want to optimally tailor advertising to customers, you should know their interests and needs. This is the only way to present convincing solutions with added value in video ads. Basically, target groups with common interests are available for YouTube advertising with Google Ads. You can choose from more than 80 different interest groups. Due to the wide frame, a large range can be achieved with this option. This usually requires a large advertising budget.

If you want to target YouTube advertising with Google Ads more precisely overall, you should look into Custom Audiences. The interests of the target group can be narrowed down much more specifically with keywords and URLs. For example, instead of focusing on sports fans in general, the target group can be addressed much more precisely by focusing on a specific sport or a special sporting event. Such user-defined target groups can only be realized indirectly with Google Ads. In a first step, they must be stored in the display campaign so that they can ultimately be selected for the respective YouTube campaign.

This option also includes target groups ready to buy. The title, which is promising from a business point of view, is aimed at users who are apparently close to making a purchase. This assessment is based on Google evaluations of search queries and user behavior. In the configuration for video ads, you can choose from various categories in order to choose a suitable option for your own product or service. It is also possible to narrow down target groups according to specified life events.

Option 2: Target video or channel content
Anyone who has found functional keywords for their advertising can align YouTube advertising accordingly. As soon as a user selects such a keyword, the corresponding advertisement can be displayed in one of the forms mentioned. Topics are a bit broader than keywords, and you can choose from various specifications for the campaign orientation. YouTube advertising can also work via so-called placements. These are other videos or channels that you want your custom video ads to target. In principle, it is also possible to include websites and apps in the display network.

Option 3: demographics for targeting
In the campaign management for YouTube advertising, it is possible to take certain characteristics of the targeted audience into account. Typically, this is age or gender. Although the Household Income option is displayed in German accounts, this setting is currently only available in the US.

Option 4: Use remarketing lists
This way is useful to reach users who already know the brand or have already visited the website. By using remarketing lists, Google Ads makes it possible to target users who have viewed a video or a specific channel. If you want to use this very useful option, you have to link the YouTube account to Google Ads.

How can success be concretely understood?

Anyone who invests in YouTube advertising will want to know in a number-based manner how this budget is paying off. And this is where the great advantage of Google Ads becomes visible in the truest sense of the word, because the advertising effect can be understood transparently. It is therefore possible to realign campaigns or make necessary adjustments at any time. In order to carry out a targeted campaign optimization, the possibilities of the orientations mentioned here should be used. Under ‘Video targeting’, ‘Placements’ and finally ‘Ads were shown here’, you can see on which placements video ads have appeared. If there are many thematically unsuitable placements, these should be excluded. If you are unsuccessful, you should think about changing the entire direction. With this orientation, a meaningful overview can be gained quickly, while with target group orientation it can be far more opaque. Placements in this area can be irrelevant to the topic and still have an effect. Only those who know their target group really well will do well with this orientation.

What is YouTube advertising about? To achieve reach!

And because of this, the usual values for search or shopping campaigns cannot be used. Reach-oriented key figures can be tracked in YouTube Analytics or Google Ads. Metrics relating to the view rate or interactions with video ads are central to measuring the success of YouTube advertising. Google Ads also offers the option of checking additional data for each campaign with a view to reach.

For orientation: What are good values?

In order to be able to better classify their own success, many are looking for good values ​​for YouTube advertising (keyword: benchmarks). General figures are out of place, especially since only the same orientations should be compared. With the Brand Lift study, Google itself opens up the option of measuring the impact on brand awareness. Existing users can be divided into a test and control group. Data is collected with questionnaires and search volume measurements. However, this option requires a certain advertising budget, since a small database would not provide valid results.

Ultimately, the success of YouTube advertising can also be measured indirectly elsewhere: Has the traffic on the homepage increased? How have the sales figures developed? Is the company/product googled more often? Every advertiser should establish relevant business parameters that can be used to understand the positive impact of YouTube advertising in a number-based manner.

Overview: Tips for Optimizing YouTube Ads

  • Clearly define goals (e.g. increasing brand awareness or lead generation) at the beginning: Only then can campaigns be implemented in a targeted manner
  • Choosing the right ad format: In addition to the available budget, the question of whether users should be able to withdraw from the video or not must be clarified
  • If you want to generate leads/sales with YouTube advertising, you should implement true view-for-action campaigns: a clickable call-to-action button can motivate users to interact
  • Communicate compelling content with an effective format: As video ads are increasingly played on smartphones, all elements in the image section must be clearly recognizable
  • The first impression counts! Thumbnails should therefore be chosen with care
  • Video ads need a meaningful title that arouses curiosity
  • Add an interesting video description (up to 5,000 characters): Here users can gain further knowledge or find out what to expect in the video. Relevant keywords should be integrated!
  • Create an interesting playlist: This increases the likelihood that users will stay longer in the channel and get to know more content/possibilities

Summary and Outlooks for Video Ads on YouTube

In this post, it became clear that video ads are a very good, high-reach way to increase brand and business awareness. The low cost of video ads and many millions of daily active users clearly speak for YouTube advertising as a superior alternative to traditional print media. In addition, mobile Internet use will increasingly ensure omnipresent availability. From an economic point of view, the comparatively low advertising costs should be mentioned, whereby no costs are incurred under certain conditions, depending on the type of advertisement. Various alignment options offer the opportunity to specifically address the relevant target group with video ads and to minimize unwanted scatter effects. If you want to run YouTube advertising professionally and holistically, you should check all options in campaign management, including evaluation and measurement of success. The most important ones have been presented in compact form in this article. Thanks to the constant optimization of Google’s search algorithm, YouTube advertising is now more target group-oriented than ever, since the search history can be integrated.

Never lose sight of your own goals

With all the necessary focus on the target group or strategic orientation, the actual content of the video ads must never fade into the background. Since there are often only a few seconds to convince users, they should be used consistently. Many companies still underestimate the enormous potential that can be realized with YouTube advertising. On the other hand, the costs for video production are overestimated, although they remain within calculable limits depending on the type. From the point of view of the psychology of perception, videos are the better trump card to attract the attention of potential customers anyway. Research shows that video previews get significantly more attention than text elements in search engine results pages. Finally, it should be pointed out that advertising on your own behalf can open up attractive added value for customers. Anyone who makes videos with assembly instructions available, for example, improves their image and customer satisfaction and will also be able to win new customers. Advertising can therefore take many forms on YouTube and visibly improve your own image.

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