It might shock you to learn that of all the social media channels, YouTube is the second most popular (second only to Facebook, of course). There are over five billion videos uploaded daily, and 1.9 billion monthly active users on the site.

All of that means that, for a local business, there is a great opportunity to capture the attention of a new, broader, more relevant audience with your advertising. Let’s walk through everything a local business owner needs to know about YouTube advertising, from what it is to the types of ads you can run, and how to get the most out of each campaign.

What Is YouTube Advertising?

YouTube advertising allows you to run ads to consumers who are watching videos on the social platform. There are a number of YouTube ad types, from banners that run across the bottom of video content to free-standing video ads played before or after the content itself.

Types of Ads

Some of the ad types YouTube offers are text and image-based ads that either run alongside or are embedded within the video content, others are videos themselves, which run before, after, or in the middle of a viewer’s selected video content. Some of the ads are only capable of running on desktops, while others are mobile-friendly.

Text-Based Ads

There are three main types of text-based ads that you can run on YouTube. Display ads can only be run on desktop. These are the ads that run alongside the right-hand side of your monitor.

Similarly, overlay ads can only be run on desktops. They are the semi-opaque ads that display on the bottom fifth of video content.

Finally, there are sponsored cards. These can run on either desktop or mobile. They’re the ads that pop up within videos, and they are often used to promote a product or service that’s being discussed in the video itself.

Video Ads

Of course, on a video site, it makes sense to have video advertising options. All video ads can run on either desktop or mobile devices, providing you with a greater reach than some of the text-based options above.

YouTube offers advertisers the ability to create either skippable or non-skippable ads. The non-skippable ads are limited to 15 to 20 seconds, but viewers are obligated to watch the entire ad before their content begins. Skippable ads, on the other hand, can be longer, but after five seconds, viewers are given the option to opt out of watching the rest of the ad and can move right ahead to their content.

Finally, there are bumper ads, which are very short, non-skippable ads. This content is limited to six seconds and may be run back-to-back with skippable ads.

How Do I Know What Kind of Ad to Run?

The different types of ads available to you on YouTube can help you achieve different marketing goals. For example, the super-short bumper ads are great for reinforcing brand awareness.

Because they’re only a few seconds long, they’re likely not going to make a strong impression with someone who’s encountering your business for the first time. It would be difficult to get your value proposition across to a stranger in such a short period of time. However, for those who are already familiar with your brand, they can be a nice, short touchpoint to keep you top of mind.

There’s also a way to be strategic about your use of the desktop-only ads. More and more consumers are using mobile devices regularly, but desktop devices are still where most purchase decisions are made.

According to a recent study, while only 37% of all online traffic comes from desktop computers, desktop traffic accounts for 56% of revenue. The inverse is true for mobile devices.

Desktop-only display ads might be useful for retargeting. Directing those display ads at consumers who have already browsed your site and might just need one more little push to make a purchase is a smart use of the desktop-only advertising option.

How to Create a YouTube Ad

If you’re already running paid search ads on Google, you’re in luck! Because YouTube is a part of the Google family, you can manage all YouTube advertising through your existing Google Ads account.

If you don’t have a Google Ads account yet, it’s easy to create one. You’ll also need a YouTube account, where you can upload your video content.

Once you’ve put together the video you’d like to use for your ad, upload it to your YouTube account in order to create a URL for your video content. Then, you’ll switch over to your Google Ads manager to complete the ad creation process.

From there, the process for setting up a YouTube ad is much the same as it would be for setting up paid search ads through Google. You create a title for your video, set a bid strategy, choose a start and end date for your campaign, and identify your target audience.

Related: Elements of a Successful YouTube Ad

Your target audience can be defined by a variety of factors. You can rely on demographics and target people of a certain age range, location, or gender.

You can also target your advertising at specific audiences with affinity audiences. This allows you to direct your ads at people with shared interests; you can either use Google’s pre-created affinity audiences or design your own custom audiences for your content.

From there, you finalize your campaign and get things up and running! Your video ads will incorporate a call-to-action button that allows you to direct viewers back to your website.

It’s best to create a unique landing page for each ad that you run. When viewers are taken to content designed to speak to the ad they just saw, they are more likely to take the desired next step towards conversion.

The final step with YouTube advertising (as with any great online campaign) is to track your results. The Google Ads platform provides you with just about all the information you could ever want on your ads’ performance. Once you understand your ad’s strong suits and weak links, you can make changes to future campaigns to capitalize on what works and eliminate what doesn’t.

YouTube ads allow you to tap into a broad network of consumers who are already using the popular video platform. If you want some help creating and sharing highly effective YouTube ads, check out our solutions.

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