Mastering Video Ads: How to Advertise on YouTube

Mastering Video ads

Since 2005, YouTube has captivated millions worldwide, with viewers spending countless hours engaging with its content. For eCommerce advertisers, this makes incorporating video ads into your strategy a smart choice. 

As shopping habits continue to shift toward eCommerce across all generations, consumer-focused companies must ensure their online presence mirrors their in-store experience by providing comprehensive information about their products, brand, and mission. Luckily, learning to master YouTube ads allows your brand to convey these narratives effectively so you can foster meaningful relationships with your customers.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to advertise on YouTube, some tips for marketing on the platform, and how to create video ads that maximize exposure for your brand. 

Expanding Your Reach: Let’s Create Video Ads for Every Placement

Before we discuss how to advertise on YouTube, let’s first explore the various ad formats you have at your disposal when you create video ads for this platform.

Skippable in-stream ads play throughout a YouTube video and can appear before, during, or after it. Viewers can choose to skip these ads after 5 seconds. Advertisers only pay when viewers engage by either clicking on the ad or watching it for at least 30 seconds. When you’re looking for leads, or a way to increase website traffic, this video ad format is ideal.

Non-skippable in-stream ads cannot be skipped by viewers (as the name suggests). Similar to skippable in-stream ads, they can appear before, during, or after a YouTube video. These ads are typically up to 30 seconds in length and use target CPM (cost per thousand impressions) bidding—meaning advertisers pay based on impressions, or any time the ad shows up in front of a viewer. These video ads are a good choice when you’re trying to raise brand, product, or service awareness.

Bumper ads are unskippable, 6-second ads that appear before a video begins; they are designed to capture attention while a viewer waits for the video to start. Due to their short length, they’re ideal for increasing awareness and sparking interest in your brand. Bids for these ads are based on target CPM, meaning that advertisers pay based on impressions and not engagement.

In-feed video ads appear within the YouTube feed alongside related videos, in search results, and on the mobile homepage. These ads target viewers during their “discovery” phase, enticing them to click-through, watch, and learn about the brand or product. Advertisers are charged either when viewers click-through to watch the ad or when it auto-plays for at least 10 seconds.

Masthead ads appear when users browse the YouTube home screen. They appear consistent on all devices (desktop, mobile, TV) and autoplay silently for 30 seconds on desktop, and throughout on mobile and TV. However, this coveted ad placement is only available through reservation with Google. Masthead video ads are ideal for promoting new products or services to a large audience for a finite period.

Outstream ads and Accompanying Content are mobile-only ads that appear on various placements across Google video partners, including mobile web browsing and apps. They appear as banners on mobile websites, while they display in apps as fullscreen, portrait, in-feed, or native. Advertisers are charged based on cost-per-thousand-impressions (vCPM) when viewers watch at least 2 seconds of the video ad.

If you’re also curious about how to run ads on other platforms like Meta, check out our blog post “Great Ads, Bad Performance? Learn How to Run Facebook Ads that Work.”

How to Advertise on YouTube: Tips for Effective Advertising

YouTube offers unparalleled opportunities for brands to both reach and connect with their ideal customer profile. Because YouTube sits somewhere in the middle of search and social, brands can effectively showcase their products or services, engage with potential customers, and drive sales on the platform—all with one single ad when done correctly. But how? Here are some tips to help you learn how to advertise on YouTube.

  • Incorporate short-form content (15-30 seconds) that gets straight to the point and draws attention immediately. Because many video ads are skippable after a few seconds, this approach usually has the best chance of performing well if done correctly.

  • Repurpose your successful paid social ads on YouTube. Adapt your highest-performing social media ad for YouTube. For those paid social ads exceeding 60 seconds, chop them up and repopulate your channel with organic YouTube Shorts.

  • Showcase product demos and testimonials in your ads to pique the viewer’s interest further. Product demonstrations help prove their effectiveness and give you a platform to tell a story that resonates with your audience.

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with various video ad formats to optimize your campaigns. Explore options such as skippable in-stream, non-skippable, and others to identify the most effective format for engaging with your audience and driving desired actions.

  • Take the time to understand the audience. Remember that people come to YouTube to watch content they enjoy or to learn something new. Tailor your strategy accordingly and ensure you create an ideal customer profile (ICP) to improve your approach.

  • Utilize TrueView for Action ads that are tailored to prompt viewers to take action, like making a purchase or visiting your website. By guiding viewers to click-through specific calls-to-action (learn more, click here, visit our site), these ads can boost website traffic and help improve conversion goals. 
Digital Marketing Tip:

Don't invest in YouTube expecting it to be a top-converting channel for purchases. The objective of YouTube campaigns should be focused on expanding your reach to new audiences and building brand awareness, not driving efficient sales like you would from paid social, search, or shopping.

When You Create Video Ads, Make Sure They’re Memorable 

While viewers are already watching longer-form content (1 minute or more), YouTube ads seamlessly become overarching storytelling vehicles. These four key principles help ensure you’re making a positive statement when you create video ads: Attention, branding, connection, and direction.

  • Capturing attention is key. Elevate your YouTube Ads campaigns by including engaging audio and text elements to keep viewers interested. For instance, you can add sounds like a door opening or the click of a keyboard if they complement the visuals in your ad. If the audio includes spoken words, be sure to include closed captioning for viewers who are either hearing impaired or have the video muted.

  • Use branding to reinforce your messaging. Introduce your brand quickly and maintain consistent branding throughout the ad to ensure it sticks in the viewer’s mind. For example, you can include your logo prominently in the corner of the screen throughout the duration of the ad, or incorporate brand colors and design elements in the background.

  • Create an emotional connection. Take viewers on a journey with your ad; evoke emotions you want them to feel when they think of your brand. For example, you can share a heartwarming customer story or inject humor to make the ad more relatable.

  • Use direction to drive action. Guide viewers toward your desired action by incorporating a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your ad. For instance, invite them to “Shop Now” or “Discover More.” You can also reinforce your on-screen message with accompanying audio to infuse your brand’s personality into the ad.


To learn more about how to capture the attention of your audience, read our post on AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) and how to apply this design-focused framework to meet various advertising or marketing campaign objectives.

How YouTube Intersects with Creative Strategy

Google and YouTube are intertwined within Google’s advertising network, meaning marketers can seamlessly extend their video ads to the YouTube platform and vice versa. This connection allows your brand to reach a broader audience with one single campaign; but, the effectiveness of it hinges on the quality of the video ads being served.

Serving low-quality video ads to your target audience, which lack production quality, creative strategy, and consistent branding, not only wastes marketing dollars, but also risks damaging your brand image. Investing in creative strategy and great design execution can help you stand out in a saturated market, as well as allow you to engage with your audience more effectively. When you create video ads that stop viewers in their tracks, your brand will:

  • Achieve brand recognition that differentiates you from competitors and quickly captures the attention of potential customers 
  • Improve brand perception by creating ads that reflect your company’s image, mission, and values
  • Keep potential customers engaged with your products or services, pushing them along the buyer’s journey toward conversion 
  • Foster trust and loyalty, which are crucial for long-term success (and repeat business) in eCommerce

You can stand out from the crowded market with top-tier video ads executed by our experienced creative services company—and we’ll always lead with creative strategy. We know your brand is what sets you apart, and that’s what we do best. We infuse your brand into every published ad, regardless of channel or ad platform, to ensure you quickly grab your audience’s attention.

The Omnitail Difference

It’s easy to pour money into advertisements without fully understanding the impact their performance has on your business. That’s where The Omnitail Difference comes in: A transparent, full-service digital marketing agency that focuses on boosting your paid performance on YouTube, Meta, Amazon, Google, and more with our innovative approach to campaign strategy, development, and management. Not only will we create thumb-stopping video ads for your brand, we’ll also teach you how to advertise on YouTube.

We are committed to making your eCommerce marketing work for you and your bottom line through data-driven and creative strategies, continuous testing and optimization, and transparent reporting that measures success through overall profitability instead of vanity metrics like ROAS. Reach out to our experienced creative services company today to discover how we effectively apply these principles to your YouTube Ads.

Design Success with Our Experienced Creative Services Company

Mastering how to create video ads for YouTube can significantly boost brand awareness. Potential customers are already used to engaging with consuming longer-form content on the platform, making it a channel where you can seamlessly integrate your storytelling efforts. Reach out to a member of our team to discover how our digital marketing agency and creative services company can harness the power of creative strategy to maximize your success and profitability on YouTube. 

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