YouTube For Advertising: Everything You Should Know In 2023

What if we told you that there’s a platform that opens up the opportunity to reach billions of users from around the world? Wouldn’t you be eager to leverage the platform and advertise on it? Well, we are talking about YouTube. And this blog is going to focus on using YouTube for advertising.

Because advertising on YouTube makes it possible to reach about 2.476 billion users! So, all the time you spend creating YouTube ads will bring the best returns. 

Does an old TV ad jingle make you feel nostalgic, getting you to instantly recall a brand? Brands can achieve a similar effect with a well-designed YouTube ad. Because YouTube is slowly becoming a close alternative to traditional TV. 

So, if we have to put it in simple words, yes – YouTube for advertising is a great idea. If you haven’t already given serious thought about it until now, don’t worry. We’ll cover all the basic details required for beginning your YouTube ad journey in 2023. Let’s begin by establishing the benefits of advertising on YouTube. 

Reasons why should be using YouTube for advertising 

YouTube can be used in many ways for uplifting a brand’s marketing strategies. Of course, having a dedicated YouTube channel for your brand and regularly sharing content to educate and entertain your audience is the best way to skyrocket brand engagement. Besides the regular content, you should also take advertising on YouTube seriously. We’ll tell you why: 

  • YouTube has over 2.6 billion monthly active users. What brand would say no to such a huge reach?! 
  • With options like skippable ads, you only pay for ads that receive clicks. Many such aspects make YouTube advertising one of the most cost-effective moves for a business. 
  • The varied targeting options available make it possible to boost brand awareness and guide your audience through their purchase journey. For example, Adidas used bumper ads, video ad sequencing, and TrueView video ads to promote its Nemeziz football shoes. This resulted in a 33% boost in brand awareness. 

If none of these factors seem to convince you enough, here’s a quick fact. Would you agree that Apple is a brand that most brands look up to for marketing inspiration? Well, in the period between March 2020 and February 2021, Apple spent 237.15 million U.S. dollars on YouTube advertising alone. 

There are many big brands that similarly spend millions of dollars on YouTube ads and reap their benefits. Even if you cannot set aside such massive budgets, you can still enjoy the benefits. Want to know how? Here’s a quick refresher to help you start using YouTube for advertising your brand. 

7 tips for leveraging YouTube for advertising in 2023 

Did you know that YouTube started supporting ads in 2009? A decade later, so much has changed. A lot of it has to do with the way people look at ads in general. 

Since people use social media to discover brands, products, ideas, and solutions to their problems, well-placed ads can actually benefit your brand. About 70% of consumers click on an ad that is personalized. This includes a concept that aligns with their interests and an idea that feels relevant to the answer they are looking for. 

In other words, with the right ad format, the right ad placement and targeting, and the right framework you can make your ads more effective. And these are also the essential elements in meeting your marketing goals by using YouTube for advertising. Let’s look at the steps that get you there. 

1. Getting the preliminary steps right 

Before you venture into the task of designing ads for YouTube, you should lay a strong foundation. Here are the steps:

  • Set up your YouTube channel if you haven’t already. 
  • Create your Google Ads account 
  • Link your Google Ads to your YouTube channel. You can do this directly on your dashboard by adding your YouTube channel to your Linked Accounts. 
  • Link your Google Analytics account to your channel to be able to track the performance of your campaigns later. 

With the above steps in place, you can start creating your campaigns on YouTube. Then comes the step of identifying the right type of ad for your campaign. 

2. Experiment with different ad types on YouTube 

YouTube supports a variety of ad formats for different budgets and different targeting options (more on targeting options a little later in this blog). The ad format that works for one brand might not always work for another. The key is to experiment with different formats for the same campaign. You can also have the same concept presented in different formats to identify what works best for your brand. 

The below YouTube ad formats are good to incorporate into your plan:

  • Bumper ads – these are 6-second video ads that cannot be skipped. They are perfect for presenting bite-sized announcements and intros to your brand. 
  • Skippable ads – users can choose to skip them after 5 seconds 
  • Non-skippable ads – these cannot be skipped and can be placed anywhere in the video. These run less than 15 seconds. 
  • In-Feed video ads – they are placed in between the videos appearing on a search page. They are placed in relevant search pages and therefore there is a good chance of these ads getting clicked. They are great for discoverability. 
  • Masthead ads – they are hard to miss since they occupy the topmost section of the YouTube Home Feed. These are great to drive brand awareness. 
  • Overlay ads – these are static ads that appear as a pop-up overlaid on the video being played. Remember that these are only displayed on desktops. 

As you can see, each ad format helps attain a different set of objectives. So, based on the prioritized campaign goals choose a suitable format for your ad. Once you have the format in place, come up with a framework for the ad. 

3. Add all the right ingredients 

While talking about video marketing, there is a generic idea discussed with respect to the framework of the ad. However, there’s a big difference between videos created for your social media Feeds and those used on YouTube for advertising. The former focuses on people who are already aware of your brand and those who are already on your brand page. Whereas the latter focuses on making people aware of your brand and bringing people to your brand page. 

So, yes, the way you plan your video matters. Begin with a hook in the form of visuals and text to grab attention. In the case of skippable ads, these first few frames determine whether the user skips the ad or watches it. Communicate the message once you have their attention. In the case of long video ads, you can have additional points to emphasize the presented idea and thus build trust. Finally, there should be a clear CTA. 

There should be a smooth flow from the first frame to the CTA in order to get the intended reaction from your audience. Don’t cram up too much information and overwhelm your audience. Want to know how to convey your message briefly and effectively? Here’s an example. 

The below video starts with a question and empathizes with the audience. That’s a great idea to try in your YouTube video ads. 

4. Experiment with long ads 

With the rise of the TikTok era, long videos are frowned upon and neglected by some marketers. While short-form videos do have their advantages, long-form videos are not to be ignored either. When it comes to deciding the length of videos on YouTube for advertising, your approach should be different. 

To find out the relationship between the length of a YouTube ad and its performance, Google partnered with Mondelez International and ran a campaign with 3 different ad lengths, 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 2.17 minutes. Based on the performance of these ads, it was found that the view-through rates were the highest for 30-second ads. 

On the other hand, the short ad worked well in driving ad recall. Summing up, the choice of video length depends entirely on the purpose of your ad. 

If it is about building brand awareness, about building trust, and conveying a meaningful message, a long video ad might work better. But for a quick brand recall, a short YouTube ad is a better choice. 

Kimp Tip: To make long ads work, you need to have addons like text overlays that make it easier to understand the message. Transitions help keep the video lively. There are several such tweaks you can make to keep even a long video ad interesting throughout. 

Need help editing your videos to perfection? Sign up for a Kimp video subscription.  

5. The focus should be on the people rather than the algorithm 

Brands spend days figuring out the YouTube algorithm and then optimize their ads based on their findings only to see that the algorithm has changed already. Well, we have all been there! There’s just one little problem with this approach. We’ll explain. 

How does the YouTube algorithm work? It aims at personalizing content recommendations based on the viewer’s preferences, watch history, and also based on the market. In short, the algorithm aims at personalizing the experience for the users. So, the best way to beat the algorithm is to create content that focuses on the people rather than optimizing it for the algorithm. 

From the concept to the design and the copy everything about the ad should be about striking up a conversation with your customer. They should be about evoking the curiosity of customers and encouraging them to take the next step rather than just about “getting clicks”.

The below ad on Child Car Safety feels perfectly human and strikes all the right chords by capturing a very relatable scene most families witness. 

Incorporating humor and other strong emotions while subtly plugging in your message is one way to optimize your ad for the people watching it. This way, more people will pay attention to your ad. And when they do, the algorithm will love your ad too. 

6. Clearly define the intended message 

To make an ad work, you need a clear concept. You might have a lot of different things to convey but a short YouTube ad is not the place to convey them all. To make YouTube ads work, ensure that your ad has only one clear message and that every frame leads to this message. 

Advertising a product is one way to do it. Advertising its features is another! Google followed the second approach for its promotion of Pixel 7 & Pixel 7 Pro. There were a series of short ads each highlighting a particular feature. For example, the video below focuses on the stunning image editing capabilities that these phones come with. 

Similarly, identify one key feature of the product to be promoted or an aspect of your service that you wish to highlight. This way you will have a single idea to convey. Moreover, identifying what problem that particular feature solves is easier too. So, your video can begin by presenting the problem and then proposing the solution. This makes an impactful and memorable short-form video ad when using YouTube for advertising. 

What’s an easy way to create short-form video ads for YouTube? A Kimp Video subscription. 

7. Make the most of targeting options 

One of the biggest strengths of using YouTube for advertising is the ability to use a fully personalized targeting approach. You can tweak the targeting for your campaign based on the audience and based on content. 

In the audience targeting method, you get to choose the type of audience to present your ads. And this can be based on various demographic factors, interests, and more. In the content targeting approach, you can choose the placement of your ads based on topics, keywords, and other factors. 

Both these aspects are still very valid in 2023. However, YouTube announced a couple of changes that are likely to go live in 2023. One is that the similar audience segment option will not be available from May. The second is that when your video is optimized to drive more conversions, you will not be able to add content targeting options. 

These changes are additional proof that the algorithm is becoming more and more human-focused. So, prioritize creating content that piques the interest of your target audience and you are sure to make an impact. 

Create click-worthy YouTube ads for your brand with Kimp 

In a survey conducted by Hubspot, it was found that 63% of the respondents find a majority of the online ads played today to be less professional. In other words, people are constantly judging your ads, and your brand. 

Therefore, the key is to create professional ads that look and feel like your brand and also deliver the intended message clearly and in a memorable fashion. To achieve this, a professional design team is a valuable addition to your marketing strategy. Get Kimp! 

Sign up today for our 7-day free trial.