Paid social: Guide to advertising on YouTube

James Mortimer

Paid Social Director

Youtube lets you grab your audience from the first moment and give them a unique message straight from your business.

Do it right, and you can drive good value, targeted traffic to your site. Of course, you need to invest in creating the video first…

Find out if advertising on Youtube is for you with our expert guide.

Demographic factfile

More than a billion users

76% of users aged 18 - 54 

Fastest growth in 18 - 24 year old group – up 40% between 2012 and 2014

The iCrossing view:

“Youtube is a great way of engaging right from the first impression. And if you can tell your story and get the message over in the first five seconds, it doesn’t even cost you anything.”

Why choose us?

“We can run Youtube campaigns in parallel with paid search – so we can use our expertise to remarket to people who have expressed an interest in video content, and vice versa.”

Pros – what’s good

No wasted money: YouTube ads are charged on a ‘cost-per-view’ (CPV) basis – which means you only pay for users who show interest in your content. You can target users who have already performed a certain action like viewing or commenting, those who have watched a video but not subscribed, or people with relevant interests. Plus, you can start on a small budget and change targeting options at any time.

Cons – watch out

Short attention span: With 300 hours of video uploaded each minute, YouTube is an incredibly competitive place. You need to spark the users’ attention straight away, so make those first 5 seconds really count and keep it short (30-60 seconds).

Ad types

Use Adwords for video to pay to promote your videos and channel on YouTube – the set-up is similar to a PPC campaign. Ads are called ‘TrueView’, and these are the three types you need to know:

TrueView InStream ads look like TV ads, playing before the start of a monetised video. Users must watch 5 seconds – after which they can skip the rest of your ad. You only pay if they choose to watch at least 30 seconds.

InDisplay and InSearch ads appear on the right hand side with the suggested and recommended videos (InDisplay ads may also appear on other sites via the Google Display Network [GDN], whereas InSearch only appear on YouTube and targeting is by keywords like with a PPC campaign).  They feature a combination of text and a thumbnail image like this one for Farrow and Ball:

They’re a great way to promote existing videos and/or your channel. These are also charged on a CPV basis. Just make sure you use a good thumbnail image that will entice users to click through and include a CTA like ‘subscribe’ or ‘watch more content’.

Continue reading


Are you ready to make a digital step-change?

We believe that moving too slowly in digital is the biggest risk your business faces. If you are ready to move faster in digital, we are here to help.

Get In touch