YouTube video advertising

Published: February 17, 2023

YouTube is a powerful marketing channel

Video content is powerful in marketing and YouTube is the most used platform for video content. Every day, more than two billion people around the world watch one billion hours of video and generate several billion views. YouTube is also the second most used social channel after Facebook.

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and provides great opportunities to reach a global audience. Video content is growing and attracting the most engagement, and forecasts point to over 80% of all content on the Internet being in mobile format by mid 2023.

With YouTube advertising, you can reach potential customers and encourage them to take action when they watch or search for videos on YouTube. Marketing on YouTube, managed through Google Ads, is a way to advertise video content on YouTube or in search results so that you can maximize your visitor’s reach.

If you haven’t started using YouTube yet in your marketing tactics, here is an overview of what you need to know and how to start using YouTube. You can access the full length article on another page on this website by clicking this link.

Get started with YouTube

YouTube – Google Account

You will need a Google account to sign in to YouTube. A Google account works in all Google products and if you have previously logged in to any Google product, you already have a Google account.

With a Google Account, you can use many YouTube features, including Like, Subscribe, Watch Later, and Watch History.

Create your YouTube channel

If you don’t create a channel, you won’t have a public presence on YouTube. Your activity is completely private. If you want to upload your own videos, comment on videos or create playlists, you can create a YouTube channel at any time.

You can watch and like videos and subscribe to channels with a Google account. But without a YouTube channel, you don’t have a public presence on YouTube. Even if you have a Google account, you need to create a YouTube channel to upload videos, comment or create playlists. You can create your channel either on the YouTube website or on the YouTube mobile website.

Youtube channel for business

You can connect your channel to a brand account if you want to use a different name on YouTube than your Google Account. Learn more about brand accounts.

veryfy your youtube channel

To verify your channel, you will be asked to enter a phone number. We’ll send a verification code via SMS or voice call to that phone number.

Once you have verified your account, you can, among other things:

You may also be asked to verify your account when you register.

Configure your video campaign in Google Ads

You create a YouTube campaign through your Google Ads account. If you don’t have one, you can easily set it up before continuing. When you have logged in to Google Ads, select Campaigns in the side menu and then click on New Campaign. You follow the instructions, set up and configure your campaign by filling in various restrictions, etc.

After you have identified your target group and its nature, you can choose to create an ad group, combined ad group or predefined ad groups in Google Ads.

video feed ad specific settings

When configuring your video campaign, you must set the following for your video feed ad:

  • A video title (up to 25 characters long)
  • Two lines of description text (up to 35 characters per line)
  • A video thumbnail – 4x option will be automatically generated

If you prefer to create a custom thumbnail, you can contact your Google Account Manager to set this up.


With YouTube advertising, you can set goals and track how well your campaigns met them. Your collected data can lead to insights that will be valuable for the next campaign.

You should link your YouTube campaigns to Google Ads to see deeper insights into your campaign, how it’s performing and what changes or optimizations need to be made.

Measuring advertising – key figures

The following are the key figures that you need to be aware of in your Google Ads account and that provide you with useful data.


  • Impressions: how many people were exposed to your video (and thumbnail)?
  • Views: how many watched past the 30 second mark?


  • View rate: percentage of views versus the amount of views
  • Cost per click: how many people clicked on your ad
  • Watch time: the total time your video ads were watched, shown in seconds
  • Clicks: people who clicked on your ad
  • Click rate: the percentage that clicked on your ads
  • Acquired actions: a YouTube viewer engages on your YouTube channel after engaging with an ad

Different types of YouTube ads

Instream ads – skippable

This type of YouTube ad plays before a viewer’s selected video. Use skippable ads when you have video content that you want to promote before, during, or after other videos on YouTube.

Instream ads are suitable when you want to reach new potential customers, increase traffic to your website, support brand awareness and reach, and increase sales.

Instream ads – none skippable

These ads cannot be skipped by the visitor. They are a maximum of 15 seconds long and play before, during or after other videos. Use non-skippable Instream ads when you have video content that you want to promote before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and you want viewers to watch the entire video.

This ad type is suitable when you want to support brand awareness and reach.

In-feed video ads

Video feed ads consist of a thumbnail from your video and with less text. The exact size and appearance of the ad may vary depending on where it appears, but always includes a call to action to click to watch the video. The video will then play on the watch page or the channel home page on the YouTube home page.

You should select product and brand as campaign targets for this ad format.

Bumper ads

Bumper ads have a length of six seconds but can also be shorter. They play before, during or after another video. This ad type cannot be skipped by the visitor.

You should advertise on YouTube through bumper ads when you want to support brand awareness and reach.

Masthead ads

A video used in a top ad will automatically play without sound for up to on YouTube. The ad format works a little differently depending on which device you use.

Use this format when you want to raise awareness of a new product or service or reach a large audience in a short period of time.


Before you continue with the ad itself and further configuration of your campaign, there are a few things you need to consider.


Before you start thinking about creating the ad itself, you should think carefully about what you want out of your ad campaign, who you want to reach and what the purpose of the campaign is.

Who is your audience? Analysis of customer profiles is an important part of SEO work.

You can define, for example, demographics, target group types, languages ​​and locations for which you want the campaign to appear. It is also possible to decide for which keywords and topics your ad should be exposed. You can also choose between different types of campaign goals depending on what the purpose of your ad is:

  • Potential customers
  • Sales
  • Traffic to the website
  • Consideration of product and brand
  • Brand awareness and reach 

Starting from your target audience, what are they interested in watching? Tailor the content to the viewers and what they consume and like. With the help of YouTube’s own analysis tool YouTube Analytics, you can observe the behavior and interactions of the viewers yourself.


Successful advertising on YouTube requires content that engages, inspires, persuades or otherwise adds real value to the recipient.

You choose a headline that captures the target group’s interest and then you create a text that describes your service or product. You also need to choose a thumbnail image for your video ad that will be the start image before they click on your ad. You then decide where your visitors will end up when they click on your ad, a so-called “call to action”.

It is also possible to choose keywords where you want your ad to appear, and then campaign goals depending on whether you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website or influence consideration of your product/service.

Walking crowd on sidewalk. Analysis of customer profiles is an important part of SEO work. The creation of content on the website is facilitated by knowledge of the customer profiles.

Bidding strategy

Advertising on YouTube is not free. The price you have to pay to advertise on YouTube depends on the bidding strategy and payment model you choose:

You therefore need to decide on the bidding strategy that fits your budget. There are six different strategies to choose from. Read more about bidding strategies here.

  • Highest Cost per View CPV
  • Highest Cost per Thousand CPM
  • CPM for viewability
  • Target CPM
  • Target CPA Cost per Acquisition
  • Maximize conversions

Your campaign budget is thus controlled by the cost of the different ad formats and their associated bid strategies and payment models.

The good thing is that you don’t need a big budget to get started. You set the limits yourself and can decide on your advertising budget.

Increase the visibility of your video ad

What can you do to make your ad reach your set KPIs even better?

Define a clear purpose and goal with the advertising

You should always have a clear purpose with your YouTube advertising and set clear goals. YouTube ads are usually better for branding and brand promotion than direct sales.

Keyword research

Keyword analysis is the process where you analyze the potential to drive organic traffic through different keywords. Doing keyword analysis means, among other things, that you investigate how many searches your primary keywords have on Google, which related terms and phrases your primary keyword has and which are the questions and phrases that users ask on Google for your keyword.

The word keyword is formed with dice with letters. On top is a pencil. The dice are on tables with data.

Keyword analysis is thus an important part of an SEO analys and is done to plan the website’s keyword marketing to better understand users’ search behavior. Do a keyword analysis for YouTube, that is what your video should be based on.

Produce an attractive video

Create a really good video that people actually want to watch. YouTube detects if your video is popular among viewers. If most people shut down after a couple of seconds, it will be difficult to rank high on Google.

Set up re-marketing ads

YouTube offers re-marketing which is a very powerful tool that allows you to advertise to visitors who visited your site. For example, if you run an e-commerce business, you can set up advertisements that target visitors who have been to your site and looked at your products.

Quality content

Demonstrating your products or services through YouTube ads and supplementing with additional content on your YouTube channel is one of the best ways you can reach potential customers and guide them to a purchase. The majority of customers watch YouTube videos to research products before buying, so a good first impression can go a long way. Make sure the content of your video is informative and useful to the visitor.

Optimize for search

Make sure customers can search and find your YouTube videos. Do keyword research and write simple titles that directly relate to the questions people who are interested in your product are asking. Since product videos and display ads are typically used for product awareness, your goal should be to get found by interested and potential customers on YouTube.

Dog searching the grass. Symbolic search engines work of searching.

Optimize your video by putting your keywords in the title and description. A tip here is also to say your keyword clearly if possible, as YouTube transcribes and picks up what is said in your video.

Create a community with subscribers

Purchases do not always occur the first time a visitor sees an ad. If your ads are good, customers will like your brand. But even good ads may not make your target audience ready to buy. If they’re not yet ready to buy, guide them to subscribe to more of your content on YouTube. The more they see, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Optimize, analyze, repeat

To reap the benefits of YouTube advertising, you must continue to work on improving KPIs and statistics for your ad performance. Analyze the data provided by YouTube Analytics and Google Analytics and make changes as necessary. Success with YouTube advertising requires a commitment to optimizing performance and increasing your skills to stay current with trends and changes.

A black magnifying glass lying on several pieces of paper with different charts with statistical data. Web traffic analysis is important.


Advertising on YouTube is a powerful tool for reaching an audience. But there are almost unlimited opportunities to advertise in social media. You have to constantly experiment and remember that content that works today may not work so well tomorrow.

Remember, if no one sees your video content, it won’t do any good. Do everything you can to optimize the current video content you have.

Video feed ads are an excellent ad format to optimize the visibility of your video material, especially if you want to optimize your campaign for a product or your brand.

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