How to advertise on YouTube: a complete walkthrough


How to advertise on YouTube: a complete walkthrough

We’ve prepared a complete guide of formats and steps for anyone who wants to know how to advertise on YouTube, putting a campaign on the air quickly

The numbers are impressive and no wonder: 5.5 billion dollars are invested annually in advertising on YouTube in the US market alone! These values ​​catch the attention of those interested in Digital Marketing and attract many who want to learn how to advertise on YouTube.

Therefore, in this article we talk about the advantages of investing in ads on this platform, what formats are available to promote your brand and we created a detailed guide on how to advertise on YouTube. Check out!

Why advertise on YouTube?

Before understanding how to advertise on YouTube, you must be wondering if it is worth spending your budget on that social network. Therefore, I have separated some very relevant numbers about the platform, so that you can make your decision.

All audiences are on YouTube

The first thing you need to know is that YouTube is not just a social network for heavy internet users, that is, those people who are adept at various social networks and spend hours and hours online throughout the day. On the contrary: it receives more than 2 billion monthly users with varied interests, who consume more than 1 billion hours of video daily.

And if you want to know if this behavior is repeated in Brazil, the answer is yes! After all, 80% of Brazilian internet users use YouTube daily, according to the platform itself.

And, unlike Facebook, YouTube is still popular with young people. In the US, the Hootsuite platform showed that 81% of people between 15 and 25 years old are YouTube users. 

This number is explained by the influencer channels creating content focused on this audience and, also, why young people consider this social network as the second-best platform to watch videos on TV.

In addition to age, various interests are also represented on the platform, which is another point in favor of learning how to advertise on YouTube. There are channels on all subjects, in various niches, offering relevant content from the amateur cook who wants to learn how to make pudding to the executive of a company who watches a political analysis.

With that, the expansion within the platform is almost unlimited: channels with more than 1 million subscribers’ present growth rates of more than 65% per year, according to YouTube itself. Even the platform’s celebrities are still expanding their audience.

In other words, finding your audience there won’t be a problem. On the contrary, it will be easy to niche your advertising to reach exactly those who are most likely to convert.

YouTube is a giant in hits and traffic

Perhaps it is precisely because it attracts people of all profiles that YouTube has become such a success. Today, it is the second-largest search engine on the Internet and also the second most accessed site in the world, second only to Google itself (the company that bought it)!

This means that if people want to find out or learn something, YouTube is one of the first destinations they think of…

Google itself also displays YouTube videos in a privileged position among its search page results. That is, the largest search engine in the world also drives traffic to the videos on this social network, increasing the chance of your ads being seen.

The trend has become a fact: the video is here to stay

In a study carried out by the company, Cisco projected that video content will be 82% of all internet traffic by 2021. This means that it is worth learning how to advertise on YouTube because the trend is for this network to continue in full growth.

The consumption of videos happens in various circumstances and devices

While in the beginning of YouTube the platform kept most of its access through the desktop, this scenario has been changing. Today, the social network claims that 70% of video plays are on mobile devices. In other words, YouTube reaches users who are on the go and on smaller screens.

How to advertise on YouTube is becoming the new TV ad

It seems that it’s not just young people who have come to the conclusion that YouTube videos go great with their Smart TVs! Throughout 2019, there was a 39% growth in access to the social network through these devices.

With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, this trend was confirmed, as people spent much more time at home. By June 2020, YouTube reported that the time Brazilians spent watching their videos on television had grown by 120%.

Altogether, there are more than 40 million people watching YouTube on their Smart TVs in Brazil alone, which means that advertising on this social network has become a contemporary version of advertising insertions in the programming schedule of television channels.

YouTube converts

The internet user develops a trusting relationship in the indications of influencers he likes and follows, which is reflected in the sales results from YouTube.

How do we know this? Suffice it to say that between 2017 and 2018 the display time of videos that make the user consider a product purchase (reviews, comparatives or received, for example) increased by 100%.

The conclusion is simple: it’s worth learning how to advertise on YouTube because this social network does have an influence on your users’ buying behavior.

What are YouTube ad formats?

To learn how to advertise on YouTube, it is also necessary to understand the possibilities available for advertising on the platform. In all, there are 6 formats, each with its own characteristics.

Let’s go to the description of each one of them!

1. Skippable in-stream ads

One of the YouTube ad formats you need to be aware of is skippable videos, which can be shown before, during, or after a video. They are called that because after 5 seconds the viewer can skip the rest of your playback if they are not interested in the content.

Ads of this type work well for many different purposes, such as lead generation, site traffic, sales, brand recognition, or product consideration

In this format, you can choose the way you want to pay for the results. When choosing the CPV, the advertiser pays whenever the viewer watches 30 seconds of the video or the entire ad, if its duration is shorter than that.

Now, if the advertiser opts for the strategy of maximizing conversions, he will have to choose which CPM and CPA he would like to pay and will be billed according to impressions. Not familiar with these terms? Check out our article on CPM, CPC and CPA.

2. Non-skippable in-stream ads

Non-skipable videos can also be viewed on computers or mobile devices and, like skippable videos, can be shown before, during, or after the video the viewer has chosen to watch. Therefore, they are aesthetically very similar to skippable videos.

The big difference between them is that, as its name says, it cannot be ignored by the viewer: there is a requirement to watch it until the end to continue the YouTube content that the user saw.

This format was designed for the purpose of reach and brand recognition, having a duration of up to 15 seconds and payment made on impressions, according to the desired CPM.

3. Bumper ads

The bumper ads appear before a video starts, on your computer or mobile device, and cannot be skipped by the viewer. That is, there is a guarantee that the audience interested in the video will watch your ad.

On the other hand, they are only up to 6 seconds long and, because of that, an important point about advertising on YouTube with bumper ads is that your message needs to be even more clear, objective and charming.

4. Masthead

Another format that offers an excellent opportunity to advertise on YouTube is masthead, a video that appears at the top of the YouTube home (take a test run to see how your masthead would look).

As many social network users start searching the videos they intend to watch through this homepage, the masthead is really a prominent position for advertisers.

This format works for TV, computer and mobile devices and is recommended by Google itself to generate awareness for a new product or reach a wide audience in a short period of time.

The masthead, however, has some specifics. The first is that it is only possible to advertise in this format through a space reservation and, for that, you will need to contact a Google sales representative.

The second point is that the video is normally shown automatically to users with the sound turned off. This means that your message needs to be passed on without relying on audio.

5. Video discovery ads

YouTube video discovery ads are a format designed for the goal of product and brand consideration that works by promoting your content to more people.

So they’re placed in traditional discovery locations on this social network, such as the YouTube home page, search results list, and related videos, that column to the right of the page with suggestions for other content to watch.

6. Out-stream ads

The last possibility of how to advertise on YouTube is a format focused on expanding the reach of your ads and, not by chance, it is tied to the goal of reach and brand recognition.

Out-stream ads are only displayed for mobile devices and outside of YouTube. That is, the videos will appear on Google’s partner sites or apps. For websites, ads are displayed as banners. As for the apps, they have different formats, such as native ones, interstitials, and banners, in portrait format or full screen.

This format plays automatically, also with the audio turned off. Therefore, pay attention to these advertisements as well, on how to make your message understood without the sound. Of course, the audience can choose to hear the ad, but it’s not a good idea to rely on that to get what they need.

Finally, it’s worth talking about charging for out-stream ads: the cost is calculated per thousand viewable impressions (vCPM), so the advertiser pays whenever the video is viewed for 2 seconds or more.

Step by step how to advertise on YouTube

Ready to create your first ad campaign on this ideal traffic generation platform? So, follow the 8 steps of how to advertise on YouTube!

1. Go to the Google Ads website and login

The first thing to do is log into your Google Ads account. In case you didn’t already know, YouTube belongs to Google, so the ad platform is integrated.

2. Add a new campaign

To add a new YouTube ad campaign, click the blue “+” button on the left and then click “New Campaign”. Another possibility is to click on the “+new campaign” in the center of the page.

3. Choose your ad objective

By resting the cursor over each objective, it is possible to visualize in which channels they are developed. The goals for which you cannot advertise on YouTube are “App promotions” and “Visits to stores and production locations”.

If you’re going to run display ads, the campaign goal must give access to the Google Display Network. Whether it’s ignoble, non-ignorant, overlay, short, or sponsored cards, the goals need to provide access to videos.

Not sure which goal is right for your campaign? Take a few minutes to read Google’s summary of video campaign goals.

4. Select where you want to display your YouTube ad

To further exemplify this step of how to advertise on YouTube, we selected the objective of “Brand Reach and Recognition”. Then we opted for “Video”.

5. Select the type of ad you want to make

Below is a menu to choose which type of video ad you want. Here, we also selected as an example an ignorable ad and clicked “continue”.

6. Configure your campaign settings

In this step, you should name your campaign so that you know what it’s about when tracking performance.

Then select your bidding strategy, i.e. how you want to pay for the ad.

Then set the start and end dates for the ad to appear, the budget to be spent, which networks it should appear on, and for which countries and languages.

Finally, also determine where you would not want your video to appear.

7. Define your ad group characteristics

The next step in understanding how to advertise on YouTube concerns audience settings. Here, you select demographic information about the audience you want to reach, such as age, gender, and income bracket.

Then continue targeting with the interests of the target audience, the themes associated with your ad, and on which placements the content should appear.

Finally, set the desired CPM/CPV bid for the ad group.

8. Upload your ad

At this point, you’ll need to upload your creative to YouTube if it’s not already there. Finally, before publishing the campaign, remember to add the links, CTA buttons and other necessary information.

Now that you know how to advertise on YouTube, dig deeper into Google Ads

So, did you understand how to advertise on YouTube? Blue World City hope this walkthrough is helpful and that you start seeing your first results with campaigns quickly.


We’ve prepared a complete guide of formats and steps for anyone who wants to know how to advertise on YouTube, putting a campaign on the air quickly The numbers are impressive and no wonder: 5.5 billion dollars are invested annually in advertising on YouTube in the US market alone! These values ​​catch the attention of those interested in Digital…