How To Run Winning YouTube Ads [Complete YouTube Ads Tutorial]

Over 2 billion people use YouTube daily, generating billions of views and watch hours.

This explains why video marketing is so popular (and effective).

Using YouTube ads can help your business enhance brand recognition and generate revenue. Just look at Gatorade; the company earned $13.50 for every $1 spent on YouTube advertising.

You may have already tried YouTube ads and found some success. Or maybe you’re new to YouTuve paid promotions and want to learn how to do it well.

If you have tried YouTube ad campaigns, but they’ve plateaued, you’re in the right place.

We’ve created the YouTube ads tutorial to help you optimize your YouTube advertising to reach your target audience, boost search ranking, and improve your conversion rate.

What’s New With YouTube Advertising

YouTube advertisements differ greatly from PPC or paid social media campaigns. You need basic knowledge before scoping out your next video project to make the most of this platform’s paid features.

With Google’s recent changes, YouTube advertising has become extremely valuable. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect for YouTube ads in 2023.

  • Increased Brand Safety Efforts

As of November 2022, the platform continues to make significant efforts to protect viewers and advertisers from harmful content. The latest updates include “clearer language” and “specific guidelines” regarding appropriate videos.

  • Audio ads

It’s no secret that audio has grown in popularity – just look at podcasts or the new social media app Clubhouse. With YouTube’s recent changes, Google allows advertisers to create audio-only ads. We recommend starting with video ads, but you can also use audio once you’ve perfected your brand voice and found out what your audience enjoys.

  • Data Attribution Models Upgraded

YouTube’s data attribution model has also been upgraded to better measure how users engage with your ads. Plus, you can see YouTube ad performance alongside search and shopping ad attribution reports and cost per conversion.

Types of YouTube Ads

There are many different ways to engage customers with YouTube video ads. You’re probably familiar with these formats if you’ve spent time tweaking your YouTube marketing strategy. For those who want to review them, or learn about YouTube ad types, read on.

TrueView Ads

TrueView ads give viewers the most control over what they see. Google reports that eight out of ten viewers prefer TrueView over other in-stream video advertising.

Plus, this ad format is great for businesses as well. 

Users are only charged when viewers watch an ad for at least 30 seconds, see an entire short video, or interact with it somehow.

By allowing viewers to skip ads they don’t want to watch, advertisers save money while reaching a more engaged audience.

Depending on the video length, TrueView ads on YouTube can last anywhere from 12 seconds up to 6 minutes.

Non-skippable Instream Ads

Unlike TrueView ads, non-skippable in-stream ads cannot be skipped. ads may appear pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll while watching partner content.

As of January 2018, the ads on computers and mobile devices can last up to 15-20 seconds (depending on where the viewer is based). Before watching the selected video, viewers must watch the YouTube video advertisement. Plus, YouTube videos with non-skippable ads may display a 300 x 60-pixel ad next to them.

Non-skippable YouTube ads are paid on a CPM basis. ‘CPM’ stands for cost-per-mille, i.e., advertisers are charged per thousand views.

Bumper Instream Ads

An instream bumper ad runs for six seconds (or less) and plays before, during, or after another video. Similar to non-skippable YouTube ads, the pricing model for this ad format is CPM. 

Advertisers often use these ads as part of a larger YouTube paid advertising campaign.

Instream bumper ads are ideal for reaching a broad audience with a short, memorable message. They are most effective at driving brand awareness.

Sponsored Card Ads

YouTube sponsored cards appear as small call-to-action pop-ups within videos.

A sponsored card is a discreet way to advertise on YouTube. When a viewer clicks on the ‘i’ symbol in the upper right-hand corner of a video.

With YouTube-sponsored cards, you can showcase other YouTube videos and products through Google Shopping.

You can use Google’s YouTube ads guide for creating card-based shopping campaigns to advertise YouTube videos.

Overlay Ads

One of the simplest forms of YouTube advertising is overlay ads. A banner ad appears at the bottom of a video. You can use this type of ad as a supplement to your other in-stream video campaigns. By using banner ads, you can reach your target audience without being intrusive.

For more information about overlay ads, check out the complete YouTube ads guide by Google. 

Now that you know the different YouTube advertising formats, let’s set up your first YouTube advertising campaign. 

How to Advertise on YouTube

To start with YouTube ads marketing, you’ll need to create your video or image and the relevant ad copy.

You can get inspiration from the YouTube ads leaderboard to create a powerful YouTube video ad. Every month, YouTube compiles a list of the top YouTube ads worldwide.

Here’s where we get to the nitty-gritty. Upload the video file to your YouTube channel, as your ad will live on YouTube. Make the video unlisted if you don’t want it to appear on your channel.

  1. Create A New Campaign

Log into your Google ads account. (For help signing up for a Google ads account, check out this guide).

Once logged in, click “All campaigns” on the left-hand side. 

Create a new campaign by clicking the large blue “+” icon.

youtube ads add campaign

You’ll be taken to a window to select a campaign type. 

Google currently offers five options:

  • Search
  • Display
  • Shopping
  • Video
  • Universal App

After clicking “Video,” you should select a single goal that reflects your main goal for your campaign.

youtube ads select caampaign goals

By hovering over a goal option, you can learn more about it.

  1. Choose your Campaign Subtype

A campaign subtype specifies how to reach people, where the campaign runs, and which ad formats are allowed.

Choose a campaign subtype under the “Select a campaign subtype” section. Analyze how each subtype can help you achieve your specific YouTube paid advertising goals.

Below is a chart that illustrates the goals and subtypes of video campaigns:

youtube ads campaign goals subtypes

At any time, you can add or remove a goal. If you prefer, you can create your campaign without seeing recommendations from goals.

  1. Set Your Bid Strategy

Next, you must decide how to pay for your campaign. With Google ads, you have four options:

  • Maximum CPV (cost-per-view): The price depends on the video’s number of views and interactions received.
  • Maximum CPM (cost-per-mille): Your ad will be charged per thousand impressions.
  • Viewable CPM (cost-per-mille): You only pay for impressions when your ad is seen. Suppose a user lands on your page and immediately bounces off. You won’t be charged.
  • Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition): You pay based on the actions taken by viewers, such as clicking on your ads.
youtube ads selecting bidding type
  1. Choose Your Network

You can choose where your ads will appear in this section. As we are creating a video ad, there are three options:

  • YouTube search results: ads can appear alongside YouTube search results. (This option restricts you to only TrueView discovery ads).
  • YouTube video ads: YouTube video ads will appear on channel pages, channel videos, and the YouTube homepage.
  • Video partners on the display network: Your ads will appear on other Google advertising channels.

In the example below, we’ll leave the selection as it is:

youtube ads  select networks
  1. Set Your Targeting

Set your demographics

With YouTube ads marketing, you can target specific groups based on gender, age, and parental status.

youtube ads select demographics

Decide who you want to reach

Google ads offer a variety of options here to find your perfect target market. Be as specific as possible when exploring them.

youtube ads audience reach
  1. Create Your Ad

Next, search for your marketing video using the search bar. If you haven’t uploaded your video yet, click the link to do so.

youtube ads create video ad

When your video appears, click on it to select it.

youtube ads select placement
youtube ads select video

The last step is to choose the video format.

Your campaign selections will determine which options are available. Add your URLs, CTA, and headline.

Then click “Save and continue” and then “Continue to campaign.”

youtube ads add content

You just created your first YouTube paid advertising campaign! 

Optimizing YouTube Ads

1. Define Your Metrics And Goals

You can track each video’s performance based on four main metrics.

Views and Impressions

With the “views” category, you can see how many people viewed the ad and how the ad drove earned views. Plus, you can see how other videos from your brand have increased in views.


Engagement metrics can be tracked by age, gender, household income, and parental status in this category.

View Rate

View rates can indicate whether an ad’s creative and the message is engaging enough to attract viewers. You will lower your cost per view by increasing your view-through rate (VTR).


You can analyze conversions to determine whether your ad is driving leads and generating a high ROI.

2. Identify Low-Performing Placements

Your Google ads Campaigns dashboard allows you to view where in-display ads have appeared across the Google Display Network. 

Navigate to Video Targeting > Placements > Where ads were shown > Display network. Look at this list to determine if any particular sites negatively affect your desired metrics. To increase your average CPV, exclude these sites from future campaigns.

3. Create Custom Thumbnails

To entice a viewer to click on your video, design or use a high-quality still image. The image must be legible on mobile devices as well as other devices. If your image contains a person, ensure they look at the camera. You should avoid distracting backgrounds when showcasing a product.

4. Make People Use Cards To Buy

YouTube cards display a small “i” symbol, which the viewer can click to expand. The notification can be timed so only users engaged with the video and content will see it.

With cards, you can drive product sales by featuring a product related to or featured in the video. You can customize each format with text, images, and other features.

5. Make A YouTube End Slate

Build an end screen to drive subscribers to your channel, promote your social networks, or increase brand awareness. Viewers who watch a video to the end might be interested in subscribing to your channel for future updates if they enjoy your content.

Using YouTube’s video editor, you can annotate the end screen after you build the image.

6. Utilize Negative Remarketing

For campaigns lasting a longer time and aiming only to attract new users to a brand, consider creating a list of people you won’t show your ad to.

By excluding users who have previously seen the video, visit your YouTube channel, or shared, liked, or commented, you can stretch your campaign budget and target only unique users.

7. Identify Qualified Viewers

Your ad may be seen by people who are not interested in your product. By encouraging them to skip the ad if the content isn’t relevant, you don’t have to pay for the view, and you don’t waste their time.

8. Focus On Longer ads

With skippable in-stream ads under 30 seconds, you’ll only be charged if the viewer watches the entire ad. You pay if the viewer watches the ad for at least 30 seconds if it is longer than 30 seconds. 

In both cases, you are charged if the viewer interacts with your ad. Consider this when creating the ad’s content. If you want to provide special offers towards the end of the video, you might add messaging at a certain point, so uninterested viewers can skip the ad.

Benefits of YouTube Advertising

1. Cost-Effective

You already know that PPC advertising is a very cost-effective method. You only pay when a viewer clicks on your ad. Plus, you decide exactly how much to pay when someone clicks.

Due to these two characteristics, you’ll never waste money on advertising space or overspend on PPC ads. YouTube advertising follows the same model as PPC – making it very cost-effective.

2. Targeted YouTube Ads

The ability to target the exact audience you are looking to reach with YouTube ads is crucial to a successful campaign.

You can target your audience by:

  • Demographics 
  • Topics of interests
  • Customer Match
  • Similar Audiences
  • Video remarketing
  • In-market audience
  • Life events.

YouTube’s targeting options allow you to target a specific group of users or more general groups, depending on your product.

3. Connect With Your Audience

When you watch a commercial or see an insert in the newspaper, do you feel more connected with a brand?

The majority of people say they feel more connected to a brand after watching a commercial. Seeing how a product/service works and hearing from people representing the brand create an engaging experience for an audience. 

You can also connect with your audience by turning the camera on yourself in YouTube video ads. If you do it right, each YouTube ad format can successfully connect with your audience.

4. Faster Results

With over 2 billion monthly users on YouTube, it’s no surprise that results are so fast.

Due to its huge user base, YouTube offers small and enterprise businesses the opportunity to reach more interested users than ever before.

By putting your ads in front of more people, you will get more ad clicks, website traffic, and sales. Considering YouTube’s incredible user base, it makes for a great advertising platform that’s easy to use.

YouTube Paid Promotion: FAQs

How to set up your first campaign with the YouTube ads tutorial?

  1. Sign in to your Google ads account.
  2. On the left-side menu, click Campaigns.
  3. Click the plus button, then select New campaign.
  4. Select your advertising objective for the campaign.
  5. Scroll down, then choose your conversion goals and click Continue.
  6. Choose your campaign type and click Continue.

What is the minimum budget for YouTube ads?

You can set the budget anywhere from $10 and upwards, depending on your initial experimentation and what you’re prepared to spend. You only pay when somebody engages with your ad (watching a skippable ad for 30 seconds or clicking on a CTA on a display ad).

How many subscribers do you need to run ads?

Have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours. When YouTube assesses channels for the YouTube Partner Program, they need to know that your videos will get views and engagement. When you reach this threshold, it usually means that you have more content. Current updates on the Partner Program for YouTube are listed here.

Wrapping Up: YouTube Ads Tutorial

Running ads on YouTube isn’t the easiest advertising method out there. Even after the steep learning curve, video marketing campaigns often require optimization to succeed.

This social media giant has tremendous potential for your business. 

Video content is essential to your content strategy. It’s even more relevant now that YouTube lets marketers target users based on their search history. 

The world of YouTube advertising is less competitive than that of Google Search and more targeted than ever. Make your own YouTube ad campaign and see the results for yourself.

We’ve helped thousands of companies start and scale their business using tools, software, and intelligent strategies just like this. If you want to develop a profitable client acquisition strategy that works every time, book a free consultation call, and one of our advisors will get back to you.

Want To Scale (For Free)?

Join 120,000+ learning how to systemize and scale their business by subscribing to the “Scaling Scoop.”

Trusted By 1,290+ Business Owners & Entrepreneurs
Join Scaling School: Everything We've Learned Growing From $0 To $25M+
How We Can Book You 5-10 Qualified Sales Calls/Day Using A Self-Sustaining Funnel™