YouTube Paid Advertising – a Beginner’s Guide

Online Video viewing is up in Ireland and continues to increase as people subscribe to YouTube channels and discover engaging content they enjoy. According to YouTube, over six billion hours of video are watched each month on the video search engine (up 50 percent over last year), and 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

This presents enormous opportunity for brands and small business owners to promote their goods and services to a worldwide targeted audience through video advertising on the world’s second largest search engine.

YouTube has a wide variety of advertising opportunities, and to my surprise, most brands are not fully aware of the different programs available.

In this guide we’ll take a general look at the video search engine’s ads platform, which offers a great deal of flexibility for advertisers and viewers, we will look at channel and video SEO and best practices on setting up your first campaign (the easy way), how to create effective ads, driving free traffic from many online sources and how to save and maximize your ads budget.

Getting Started – Youtube Channel Optimization

YouTube Advertisements are a great way to engage users and spread the word about a particular product or service.

Setting up a campaign to promote a YouTube video is easier than ever and by the end of this guide you will know all the ins and outs of Adwords for Video!

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. As you know, Adwords for Video requires a video and in order to get the most out of the advertising spend you are going to want to make sure that your video is placed on a well optimized channel.

If you have a channel setup already feel free to skip to the next section!
That being said, you are going to need a YouTube Channel set up before you can begin to run ads on YouTube.

If you don’t have a YouTube Channel you can go to and create a new one for free.

All you have to do is click the “sign in” button at the top right side of the YouTube homepage.


That sign in button will take you to the Google Account sign in page (YouTube is one of Google services after all) and you can either sign into a Gmail account and create a YouTube account for that email or you can create another one.

Once you have gone through the channel setup process you are going to want to make sure that you channel has been “verified”.

To verify your channel you are just going to need to be logged into your YouTube account and find the spot at the top right hand corner that has your profile picture (if you put one in there), click on it and then click on “YouTube Settings”.

In the “YouTube Settings” you will see a place you can click titled “View Additional Features” and the top option in there will be “Verify Your Channel”.

From there all you have to do is click the verify button and enter a phone number and then you are all verified!

Most of all, verification allows Google to know that you are a real person!

Setting up Your First Youtube Advertising Campaign

Now that your channel is all set up it is time to get to the good stuff!

There are two different ways that you can go about getting your video ads up and running on the Google Display Network. In this section we are going to cover the basic setup where the basic campaign setup can be done through YouTube and logging into adwords is only necessary for finalizing the payments and setting up the final demographics.

In the next section of this article we will cover the more advanced targeting options.

Step 1:

Since you are going to be running a Video Advertisement the best place to start would be creating a video!

Once you have your video ready to go just upload it to YouTube…

Visit to upload your video once your account has been created.


Step 2:

Optimize your video

You are going to want to title your video, add a detailed description, and finally add relevant tags to the video.

Although you only need to title your video in order to promote it you are still going to want to optimize the video.

This is an important step in the process and it will help you get more organic views that you won’t have to pay for.

With a properly optimized video you also have the possibility of your video ranking for relevant search terms.
Once your video has been created and uploaded, you are going to want to go into your video manager to find all your videos…

In your video manager you will see a list of all the videos that you have uploaded.

Step 3:

Choose the video that you want to advertise or promote then click the drop-down arrow next to the “edit” button and click “Promote“. This can be found in your video manager.

If you don’t see the “Promote” option make sure that your video is a public video and not unlisted or private. Google only lets you promote videos that are public.

After you make sure your video is public and click “Promote” you will be taken to the screen you see below and you just have to click “Create a campaign” to be taken to the setup page.


Step 4:

Choose your budget and target audience

During this section you will be asked what you want to spend on promoting your video.

When you enter a euro/dollar amount you will be shown the estimated views that you will receive for that euro/dollar amount. If you have a goal for number of views (which you should!) this feature will help you calculate the euro/dollar amount you will need to spend to achieve the right number of views.


Step 5:

Design your ad

There are two types of ads that you can run on YouTube: They are called In-stream ads and In-display ads.

In-stream ads will show a clip of your video to a viewer before they watch the video that they have chosen to watch. If they click “skip this ad” you won’t be charged which is called a “true view ad”. Basically, you only pay if a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video or the entire video, whichever comes first.

In-display ads are the suggested videos that show up when a viewer is done watching the video they chose to watch. There is a previewer so you can see exactly what your ad will look like as an in-display ad.


Step 6:

Sign into adwords and complete the process. The final step is to sign into your adwords account and link it to your YouTube Channel (if you don’t have an Adwords account you can set one up in just a few minutes here

Advanced Targeting Through Adwords

Targeting your campaign is one of the most important steps in the advertising process. If you don’t target the right audience you are flushing money down the toilet!

There is some basic targeting that can be done right in YouTube, but if you really want to run a successful ad campaign you are going to have to dive into AdWords a little bit.

Before we get into AdWords I want to show you how to target your audience using the built in features that YouTube has.

These basic targeting features are simple and easy to use.

As I explained earlier, once you decide which video to promote you are going to be taken to this screen. You will notice that there is a spot titled “Audience”…

Now, who would have thought place that says “Audience” would be the place where you choose who sees your ad?


So you have the option to choose to let “Everyone” see your ad or you can “choose who sees” your ad…

Obviously if you choose who sees your ad you are going to have better results with your campaign since your audience will be a more targeted one but keep in mind that views are usually cheaper if you choose everyone.

You can target by location and interests. There are a number of different broad categories that you can choose from and they all have subcategories that you can check out also.


Using that method of targeting your audience is nice and simple, but like I said earlier, if you want to run a really successful campaign you are going to have to do some deeper targeting through Adwords for video.

Before you get into advanced targeting you are going to need to do some advanced research.
First and foremost you’ll need to break down the general demographics of the target market. This can easily be done using a site like or by using a simple Firefox Extension called Follow. (Follow gives you more info so I recommend it)

You can find a free version of follow

All you’ll need to do to figure out demographics is find a high traffic website in that same niche, plug it into Alexa or fire up Follow and you’ll have a decent outlook of the market you are after. Then, you need to dig a bit deeper.

You will want to figure out where they hang out, any trends that are popular within their “click” right now. You really want to be able to relate to them and “talk the talk”. Think about all the searches they will be doing and the keywords they are going to use while searching…

Targeting and keyword research are covered more in depth in other articles in this blog.

YouTube is unique in that it allows you to place your advertisements on any videos and channels (if they allow
advertisements to be run on their videos) so be sure to look into what channels are similar to yours!

You can also use the Google Display Planner (covered in the videos) to plan out where you will place your ads.
Once you have done your research and know what your target market is interested in you can move on to targeting them in Adwords.

Like I said:

if you really want to laser in on your target audience you are going to need to utilize Adwords…

First thing you need to do is; login to your Adwords account and click on “All Video Campaigns”.

If you don’t see that option just create a new campaign and choose the video campaign option. Once you have created your first video ad you will see the “All Video Campaigns” option from then on.


This is where all of your YouTube ads and data for those ads will be shown. This is also where you can link your

YouTube account to your Adwords account (under the “Shared Library” tab).

As you can see below, you are allowed to link up all your channels to your adwords account so that you can easily access all of your videos that have been uploaded to YouTube.


Now that you have linked your YouTube accounts to your adwords account you can go back to “All Video Campaigns” and begin to set up your first campaign.

Once you are in your video campaign manager you will see the new campaign button…


After clicking the new campaign button you will be taken to the campaign setup screen where you will see all of your basic options for targeting your ad such as location and language.

There is also the basic campaign info such as start date, end date, billing, what video you will show and on what devices it will show up on.

The video training goes much more in depth as far as campaign setup goes so be sure to check it out!

If you have properly linked up all your YouTube Channels to your Adwords account you will see every public video you have uploaded to YouTube from all of those accounts.


When selecting the video you will be running for the advertisement you will have the option to choose what forms of ads your audience will see (in-stream, in-display, or in-search) and which one of Google’s networks your ads will display on… We go into a bit more detail about this in the video.

Once you get all the basics set up you can move on to the advanced targeting and biding options.

On this page you can set your max cost per view (CPV) which is the maximum cost that you will pay when someone watches your video.

This isn’t always what you will pay for your views though. The more relevant your ad and landing page is to your audience the cheaper your views/clicks will be.
In this section you are also able to target your audience based on the topic of the videos that they watch.

For example by targeting the “Business” topic your ad can show on any Google Display Network site or before a YouTube video about business.

Note: Targeting by topic is an easier way of placing your ads on multiple pages about a specific topic and is an alternative to selecting individual keywords to trigger your ad or specific channels where your ad can appear. (more on ad placement in the video training)

If you want to choose exactly where your ads will appear you can enter specific placements such as websites, YouTube channels, or YouTube videos into the “placements” box.

The Ad Placement box is how you can get your ad to run on a competitors channel


You can also enter specific content keywords or see a list of all the search terms that YouTube or GDN thinks are relevant to your audience’s interests.

Be sure to check out the keywords they suggest before adding all of them to your campaign since some of them are bound to be way way off!

Once you have all your targeting and max cost per view fields filled out you will see a box to the right that breaks down what you can expect out of your campaign.


Once you are satisfied with your campaign just save the targeting group and then wait for your ad to be approved

Note: This was a basic walk-through but these things are much easier to explain with a screen capture so be sure to watch the video training for more in depth explanations.

Creating Effective Youtube Ads

No matter how much you zero in on your target audience your ad is a waste if you aren’t showing them something relevant to their interests….
Good thing you did all that research when you were finding out how to target your ad correctly!
So let’s dive in…

While crafting your ad copy keep in mind that a user can skip your ad after 5 seconds so you are going to want to make sure to catch their attention right away!

Start with a headline

The headline should be a bold statement that addresses your hook and pretty much sells the buyer right there.

A viewer should be able to fully understand what the ad is about by simply reading or hearing the headline.

It doesn’t have to be the first line in your commercial but it should pop up in the first 15-30 seconds of your commercial.

People tend to have short attention spans and you need to capture their interest early in order to keep them watching.

When scripting the commercial you are going to want to follow a simple formula that takes the viewer through the buying process.

First you are going to want to open the commercial in a way that will Qualify the buyer.

This is the part where you are going to ask a loaded question that is designed to point out a problem that the target market already has. You know they have this problem because it is the problem that your product or service solves and you have already done your research!

It is important to remember that this is about them and not the advertiser or product. You really need to make sure that the viewer understands that they do face this problem and it’s vital they listen to your solution.

It would be good to think back to some of the pharmaceutical company’s commercials we’ve all seen hundreds of time over the years.

They start by asking something like “Do you, like millions of other people, suffer from (whatever problem they have the solution for)”.

If you suffer from this problem then they have your attention and if you don’t have the problem then you probably won’t
listen anymore and will most likely skip the video and you won’t pay for an untargeted view.

Then you further address the problem. Let them know how bad it can get and really drill in the pain their problem causes.

Throughout this whole process you need to remember that it is about the audience and not about the product/service.

If you have done your research like you were supposed to you will know how the target market talks and what words they use. Try to speak to them in their own words. You want them to relate and trust you.

Now that you have fully addressed their problem it’s time to educate them on the solutions (AKA your product or service).

This is your chance to tell them that you have what they need and can provide relief from the problems that you just told them that they had.

If you have done the first part correctly then the audience will know if this is for them (Qualify), relate to the problems that result from not having this (Address the Problem), and now know that there is help (Educate).

Now that they know that there is help for the problems that they face you will want to show some proof if you can. This can be testimonials from people that you spoke to earlier. This part isn’t necessary but it sure does help.
If people see that there are other people that have the same problem as them and were able to solve it using your solution…it really helps close them.

Finally, you will let them know that you have the solution to the problem that they face and how then can get it right now.
Note: find a way to insert urgency when possible

Now, I know that seems like a lot to put into a commercial but it really isn’t. Depending on the desired length of the commercial you may need to add to or take away from your script.

As a rule of thumb, 1 page of writing is about 30 seconds of a commercial.

It is important to keep in mind that you are going to want to build the video around the “Click” and try to make the viewer click on your ad.

Driving Traffic Anywhere

There are a few differences between Annotations and “Calls to Action”.
Most people are familiar with Annotations, but aren’t familiar with a “Call to Action” video overlay.

A call to action is the black annotation box that you can place over a video when you are promoting it. These calls to action are not opaque like an annotation.

Adding a call to action only requires one extra step and doesn’t cost anything extra so be sure to utilize them!

The way to set up these calls to action is by selecting one of your campaigns and clicking on the “videos” tab, scrolling to the bottom and expanding the “Call-to-action overlay” and clicking edit.


By setting up the calls to action this way you are able to preview your call to action and make sure it looks the way you want it to.

A Bit About Quality Score and Getting Cheaper Clicks

Google wants to make sure that all their users have a good experience when using their search engine.

One thing that would upset most users is seeing ads that are not relevant to what they are looking for…

That is why Google has something called a Quality Score.

Your quality Score is basically a grade that tells you how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to the user seeing your ad.

Having a high Quality Score means that Google thinks your ad, keyword, and landing page are all relevant and useful to the person viewing your ad…

The better your quality score, the cheaper the cost of your ad will be!
If you are curious what your Quality Score is for any of your keywords you can find it by simply enabling the “Quality Score” column in Adwords or by hovering over a little white speech bubble.

First, go to your “Keywords” tab by following these simple steps:
1. Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
2. Select the Keywords tab.
3. Click the white speech bubble next to any keyword’s status to see details about that keyword’s Quality Score.

Another way to see your Quality Score is to enable the Qual. score column which you can do by following these steps:
1. Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
2. Select the Keywords tab.
3. Look for the Qual. score column in the statistics table.

If you don’t see this column in your table, you can add this column by doing the following:

  • Click the Columns dropdown in the toolbar above the statistics table.
  • Select Customize columns.
  • Select Attributes.
  • Click Add next to Qual. score.
  • Click Save.


After you enable the “Qual Score” column you will be able to see your score…

Keep in mind that a score of 5/10 is standard and you won’t receive any discounts if your score is 5 or below. If you want cheaper clicks and views you will need to get your Quality Score to a 6 or above.

For every point you go up or down from 5 your cost will increase or decrease. You can see how much in the chart below…


If you have a lower Quality Score than you would like just step back and analyze your campaign (or call Google and they will help you) and think about what you can do to make your ad more relevant.

You can do things like tweak your landing page, change up your keywords and targeting, or changing your ad copy up.

Play around with your ad to make sure that you will get the best discount and get your ad at a fraction of the cost.
By following the simple steps in this guide you will have your video advertisements up and running on YouTube in no time.


Contact Us now for Youtube video ads optimization advice.

Here is a quick youtube video with step-by-step real time instructions on all the instructions above…


digital marketing blog ireland



We actively help you grow your business with hassle-free affordable marketing packages that increase sales, clients and generate exposure; your business & brand will look amazing, it will drive more sales and more profit.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle Plus