An Ultimate Guide To YouTube Advertising

Reading Time: 15 minutes

YouTube is one of the popular video advertising channels in Digital Marketing. YouTube has over 1.9 billion users logged in users every month, which is almost one third of the internet population. YouTube is available in 91 countries and 80 languages. Mobile devices contributes to around 70% of YouTube watchtime.

YouTube is a highly effective platform to reach massive audiences helping creating awareness & brand recall. Lot of artists, singers, musicians etc see YouTube as a channel to launch themselves Eg: Justin Bieber was discovered through YouTube.

Content creators also see a huge opportunity to monetize their content through YouTube and have become top influencers in different verticals through YouTube channels. Eg: Ryan Toys Reviews, Logan Paul, PewDiePie, Jeffree Star etc.

It is important to increase engagement of your YouTube Channel or YouTube Video, the content has to be impactful. Content creation activity needs to be thought with a deep dive approach, which then drives engagement.The content should align with the brands thought or the youtube channel content category and should be engaging. I would say, content creation is more a creative exercise than a marketing exercise.

In this article we are going to look at different format of YouTube ads and how to create them.

So let’s get started!

Different Types of YouTube Ads:

All Youtube ads are run through Google Ads platform, Google offers different types of advertising options on YouTube which are as below, basis your objective you can choose which one to go with:

Skippable YouTube Video Ads

Skippable video ads are ads which appear before, during or after the video.Skippable video ads allows users to skip the ad after 5secs. Skippable ads are available for Mobiles, Desktops, TV & Game Consoles

Skippable ads are one of the very popular ads which advertisers use while running ads on YouTube as they allow users to skip if they don’t want to view the video.

Below is an example of a skippable video ad on Youtube

Skippable Ads in YouTube

(Source: YouTube)

Non Skippable YouTube Video Ads

Non skippable youtube video ads are ads which can’t be skipped till they are completed. These ads appear before the video, after the video or during the video. Non skippable ads are available on Desktop & Mobile devices. The length of the video’s could be upto 15 to 20 secs, anything more than that won’t be allowed for running Non Skippable YouTube Video Ads

Below is an example of a non skippable video ad on Youtube

Bumper YouTube Video Ads

Bumper ads are video ads which are non skippable ads with length upto 6secs only. These ads usually appear before the video. They are available for Desktop and Mobile devices.

Do note that they are only allowed with 6secs of lenght.

Below is an example of Bumper Ad

Overlay Ads

Overlay ads are ads which appear on the lower portion of the youtube video in the format of a banner ad. They only appear on the Desktop and are available with only 2 sizes which includes, 468×60 and 728×90.

Below is an example of Overlay Ad

YouTube Overlay Ads

Display Ads

Display ads on YouTube appear on the top right hand side of the video and above the autoplay video. They are only available on Desktop with two sizes available including 300×250 and 300×60

Below is an example of YouTube Display Ad

Display Ads in YouTube

YouTube Discovery Ads

Youtube discovery ads are ads which run on Youtube search. If you are looking to target different searches on youtube, you can use this type of advertising option and reach out to intent based users.

Below is an example of YouTube Discovery Ad

YouTube Discovery Ads

YouTube MastHead Ads

Masthead is one of the most expensive ads on Youtube it may cost upto Rs. 1 Cr per day. You can’t run this format of ads from Google Ads platform, in order to run this ad, you need to contact the Google Advertising team and book the ad, depending upon the availability of the ad space.

Below is an example of YouTube Masthead Ad

YouTube MastHead

Other Terminologies Used in YouTube Advertising:

Different marketers use different terminologies while talking about youtube advertising, so below are other terminologies which are used in Youtube Ads

In-Stream Ads – In Stream Ads are video ads which you can run before and during the video. These ads are part of skippable and non-skippable ads

Pre Roll Ads – Pre roll ads are ads you can run before the video content starts playing. These ads are part of non-skippable ads.

Mid Roll Ads – Mid roll ads are ads which you can run at the mid point of 10 minute video or any video longer than 10 minutes.  

TrueView Ads – Skippable ads are also known as TrueView ads

The key objective of YouTube ads is to reach maximum users on youtube and gain maximum views on YouTube.

So how does Google calculates 1 View on YouTube?

Google will calculate 1 view when a user views at least 30 secs of the content or click on the ad, irrespective of the length of the video. If the user views only 25 secs of the video, then it won’t be considered as a view, but it will account for 1 impression.

If the video is less than 30 secs for eg: if the video is 28 secs, then Google will calculate 1 view only when a user watches the entire video or if he clicks on the ad.

Let’s now move towards creating YouTube ads!

So How To Setup YouTube Video Ads Campaign?

Step 1:

The first thing to startup before creating video campaign is to upload the video on your Youtube campaign. Always remember, if the video is not available on Youtube, you won’t be able to advertise on Youtube

From the Youtube channel, you can upload the video, refer screenshot below

Video Upload on YouTube

Step 2:

Once the video is uploaded, Login to your Google Ads account – Login

Step 3:

Now let’s take an example and create a campaign, which will help you to understand the process better.

Let’s say I want to create campaign for a Resort which is in Hampi and I want to create reach out to users and create awareness about the resort. So let’s move ahead.

Now the next step is to select goal for your campaign.

There are different types of goals to select from Google ads, for your YouTube ads campaign as below:


You can select sales goal, if you are looking for sales through your youtube ads campaign. Sales is not recommended for Youtube ads, as I believe that the objective of the video is to create awareness and make an impact on the audience first, which will then drive sales.


Next goal type is leads. Leads objective you can select when your objective is to generate leads/enquiries for your business. Again same logic of sales goal is applicable here, so won’t recommend selecting leads as the objective.

Website Traffic

Website traffic goal will help you to drive more traffic if users click on your Youtube ad. This traffic, you can drive to specific product pages, landing pages etc. If a brand is new in the market, then the key objective would be first to drive traffic and then convert them on the website

Product and Brand Consideration

Product & Brand consideration goal, you can select if your objective is when you want people to explore your product & services on your website. You can use this, so that people who what all products & services you are offering.

Brand Awareness & Reach

Brand Awareness & Reach goal type is useful when you want to reach a wide range of audience and create awareness about your product. This is quite useful when you have launched a new product/service or you are new in the business. Right now, I am selecting this goal type as my objective is to reach to maximum users and create awareness about the resort which is in kabini

YouTube Goals Settings

Step 4:

The next step is to select the campaign type, so I am selecting video as my campaign is related to video advertising.

YouTube Campaign Type

Step 5:

The next thing is to define campaign subtype. There are different Campaign SubTypes, which are as below

YouTube Campaign Sub Type
Skippable In Stream

If we go with this option, we will be able to run in stream ads which can be skipped after 5secs. These ads will appear in the beginning of the video


Bumper ads, as we discussed above are 6 sec ads which are non skippable. If you want to go with bumper ads for high impact of the campaign, you can go with bumper ads. Always remember, bumper ads run on a CPM model

Non Skippable In-Stream Ads

Non skippable In-stream ads option will allow you to run non-skippable ads which have a length of maximum 15 secs. If you want users to watch the entire ad message, you need to make your ads with a length of 15secs.


With outsteam youtube ads, you will be able to reach out to users mobile phones and tablets effectively with the help of vCPM model

Ad Sequence

This one has been introduced lately, which allows you to advertise with a sequence of your video ad communication campaign. For Eg: If you 3 different videos of your product and you want users to show all the videos, you can sequence it and users can see these videos in sequence whenever they are on youtube. It is also called as sequential messaging in Digital Marketing, which is one of the emerging trends.

So my video is of 30 secs, I am going with skippable in stream ads.

Step 6:

The next step is to define campaign name, so I am defining as below, as I want to reach out users in Mumbai.

YouTube Campaign Names

Step 7:

The next step is to define the budget of your campaign. There are two options to setup the budget, one is daily and second one is campaign total.

YouTube Budget Ads

Daily Budget: Daily budget is the budget which you would define per day for your ads for this campaign

Campaign Total: It’s the total budget of this campaign

I would always suggest to go with daily budget, as it helps you to keep a control of budget on a daily basis.

Step 8:

The next step is to define delivery method. There are two types of delivery methods on youtube ads campaign, one is standard and the second one is accelerated.

YouTube Ads Delivery Method
Standard Delivery Method: Standard delivery method will help your ads run throughout the day evenly.

Accelerated Delivery Method: Accelerated delivery method, which consume your budget as quickly as possible. Not recommend for the campaign.

So I am going with standard delivery method.

Step 9:

The next step is to set up, start date and end date. You can setup the start date and end date as per your requirement of the campaign. I am not setting up the dates, as I want to start as soon as possible my ad is approved

YouTube Ads Creation

Step 10:

The next step is to define bidding strategies. There are different bidding strategies in youtube ads, to know more about different bidding strategies – Refer Article – An Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Bidding Strategies.

Bidding Strategies in YouTube
I am going with target CPM, as that’s the only option available in the selection while running brand awareness and reach campaign

Step 11:

The next step is to define networks. Keep the video partners on the display network option as tick because this will allow you to run ads on display sites who support video ads.

You won’t be allowed to run search ads under brand awareness and reach goal type. So this option will not be available to select. If you want to run youtube search ads, then you will have to go with product and brand consideration goal type.

How To Create YouTube Ads

Step 12:

The next step is to select languages. As I am looking to target english speaking users, I have selected English. If you want to target other language users, you need to select that specific language.

YouTube Ads Languages Option
Step 13:

The next step is to select location. As I am targeting Mumbai as the location, I have setup the location as Mumbai. You can setup the location basis the users location you want to target to.

YouTube Ads Location Selection

Step 14:

The next step is to select content exclusions. The first part in the content exclusions is inventory type, there are three options in inventory type including expanded inventory, standard inventory & limited inventory.

YouTube Content Exclusions

The recommended inventory type is standard inventory type which will disallow your ads to trigger on repeated strong profanity, strong sexual content & discussion of sex, violence etc.

Step 15:

The next option is excluded content. You can opt out from sensitive content categories including tragedy & conflict, sensitive social issues, sexually suggestive content, sensational & shocking content and profanity & rough language content. This will disallow your ads to not shown on these content pieces.

I have excluded all categories as I don’t want to show my ad on these categories.

Excluded Content in YouTube Ads

Step 16:

The next step is to select excluded types and labels. You can opt out from showing ads from the below categories.

I have selected few off them on which I don’t want to show my ads.

Excluded Labels in YouTube Ads

Step 17:

Next is to select devices.

Device Settings in YouTube

You can show on all devices or you can shown on specific devices, operating systems, networks etc

YouTube Ads Devices Selection

I  am selecting, show on all eligible devices as my objective is to reach out to users on desktop, mobile and tablets.

Step 18:

The next step is frequency capping. Frequency capping is limiting your ads to same user per day. There are two options under frequency capping:

Cap Impression Frequency: This frequency type will limit impressions to a particular user for a day

Cap View Frequency: This frequency type will limit views to a particular user for a particular day.

Frequency Capping in Google Ads

I am going with cap impression frequency because, chances of users viewing ad multiple times would be rare, hence impressions will build brand recall!

Impressions Frequency Capping

Step 19:

Next step is ad scheduling. You can schedule a time frame for which you want to show your ads. I am keeping it from 9 am to 11:30pm as I don’t want to show ads post mid night. You can take a call basis your requirement.

Ad Scheduling in Google Ads

Step 20:

The next step is to define the ad group. So I am defining the ad group name as below:

Ad Group Creation in Google Ads

Step 21:

The next step is to define demographics. I have kept demographics as below as I am my product is a premium product, so targeting users who are 35+. For household income, this targeting option is not available in India for now, it is available in selected countries which you can find by clicking on the learn more option at the bottom of the screenshot.

Google Ads Demographics

Step 22:

The next option is to select audiences. There are 4 options in audiences as below

  • Who they are (Detailed Demographics)
  • What Their Interests and Habits are (Affinity and Custom Affinity)
  • What They are Actively Researching or Planning
  • How They Have Interacted With Your Business

YouTube Ads Audiences

Who They Are (Detailed Demographics)

In this audience type you can select users to target as per parental status, marital status, education and homeownership status. Follow the screenshot below   

Googel Ads Audiences

To know more about the rest of the 3 Audiences – Refer Article – How to Create Google Display ads, Step 19

Step 23:

The next step is to define content targeting. The first parameter to define content targeting is keywords. Keywords targeting method includes, targeting content pages which have a specific keywords which you have targeted in your campaign.

For Eg: I have targeted, “Resorts in Kabini” as the keyword in my campaign, so any pages on Youtube or on Google display network which has this keyword in content, in that case my ad is eligible to trigger.

How To Create YouTube Ads

In this campaign I have targeted 3 keywords only, as I want to show you how to create the campaign. You can target multiple keywords which are relevant to your business.

Step 24:

The next step in content targeting is topics. Topics allows you to target different content topics on which you can show your ad. Below are different topics available in Google ads.

Targeting in YouTube Ads
I have selected below topics for my campaign because it’s an eco-friendly resort, it has different vacation offers and you can book for short term stays.

Create YouTube Campaign in Google Ads

You can select topics basis the audience to whom you want to target

Step 25:

The next step is to select placement targeting. Placements are websites, mobile apps, youtube channels etc which you want to target. There are 5 placement targeting options while creating youtube ads, which are as below:

YouTube Channels:

Youtube channels placement targeting includes targeting specific youtube channels on which you would like to show your ads. If you target a specific youtube channel, your ad is eligible to shown on any video of that channel. It’s an effective way of targeting because you select only those channels which are relevant to your business category.

I have selected few channels as below, as kabini has wildlife and lot of users visit kabini for wildlife.

YouTube Videos

YouTube videos are specific videos on which you would like your ad to show. You can select any video from any youtube channel (on which ads are allowed), to target users by directly adding the link of the video.

You can see below, I have selected two videos to target my ads. You can select multiple videos to target users who would watch these videos.

How To Create YouTube Ads Campaign


Website targeting includes different websites on which you would like to show video ad. You can select any website which is part of Google display network.

I have selected two websites for my targeting. You can target as many websites you want to target for your campaign.

YouTube Advertising in Google Ads


You can target different apps on which you would like to show your ad. I have targeted two app as below which are into travel and holiday packages. You can select different apps which are relevant to your users

App Targeting in YouTube Ads

App Categories

The next content targeting option is through app categories, you can select different app categories basis your business.

I have selected two app categories to target which matches my audience.

YouTube Ads Targeting with App Categories

Step 26:

The next step is to define bidding amount. I have defined CPM bid of Rs. 50, as I want to see how my ad performs for this bidding and then increase my bid post analysis.

YouTube Ads Bidding
Step 27:

The next step is to define top content bid adjustment. Top content bid adjustment is basically if there is any content which is getting popular basis engagement signals, and you would like to bid higher, so that the chances to your ad showing on the popular content increases, in that case you can set a higher bid by 20% or 30% or any amount higher you would like to go with. I have kept 30%, as I am okay to go with maximum 30% higher amount of my actual bid.

YouTube Advertising Bid Adjustment

Step 28:

The next step is to define the ad copy. Ad Copy is the ad which you want to show to your users on YouTube and Google display network as per the targeting done above.

Follow the screenshot below, I have selected the video which I want to market. Once you select the video, you need to define the landing page url, display url, call to action and headline as below.

Create YouTube Advertising Campaign

You can also change the thumbnail of your ad (which you can see on the right hand side of the above screen), by uploading from the option as below

YouTube Ad Copy Thumbnail

Now say save and continue. Your ad will now go in review (which is Google’s automated review system), which will take a couple of hours, post that your campaign will go live!


Youtube ads are very effective to build awareness and brand recall. The success of any YouTube advertising campaign will depend on the targeting parameters used. It is also important to note that the video ad created for youtube has to be impactful to gain maximum out of your marketing efforts. Create your youtube campaign today and let me know how it performs!

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