Youtube Advertising 101: What Are Video Campaigns?

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At Dynamic Creative we believe in a reverse funnel approach to digital advertising. We want to get sales “in the door” or “through your shopping cart” via Shopping then Search Ads. From there, it’s about prospecting for out of market customers through display and video ads. Therefore, we believe Youtube Advertising should be about extended reach, engagement, awareness and brand building for people in the market and prospects. This blog is a 101 on Youtube Advertising. Specifically, what video campaigns are and how they work.

Youtube Advertising

I’m sure while watching a Youtube video, you’ve come across Youtube Ads before you watch or during your watch time. This is exactly what Youtube Advertising lets you do; you can create a video campaign to show video ads on your own or within other streaming video content on Youtube and cross the Google Display Network.

What are the types of Youtube Advertising?

There are 5 different types of Youtube Advertising forms specific to video advertising. These include in-stream ads, video discovery ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, outstream ads and bumper ads.

Skippable In-stream Ads

These ads have the option of playing before, during or after other videos on Youtube or across the Google Display Network. With this ad format, video watchers have the choice of skipping the ad after 5 seconds.

When running  this ad type, you have the choice of paying two ways:

  • With CPV bidding – you pay when someone watches 30 seconds of your video (or the full duration of the video) or interacts with your ad/video
  • With Target CPM, Target CPA and Maximise Conversions bidding, you pay based on impressions.

Non-skippable in-stream ads

As the name suggests, this ad format is non-skippable. The idea is to allow advertisers to reach audiences with their entire message (video). The videos for these ads must be 15 seconds or less.

With this ad type, you pay each time your ad is shown. This is called target CPM bidding.

Bumper Ads

These ads are 6 seconds or less videos and watchers are unable to skip the ad. The purpose is to increase your brand awareness by showing short but memorable messages.

With this ad type, you pay each time your ad is shown. This is called target CPM bidding.

Video Discovery Ads

These ads only appear on Youtube. However, it has the ability to show in places where watchers are discovering content. When a viewer clicks the thumbnail of your ad, your video will play on its original uploaded channel.

With this ad type, you will only be charged when watches choose to watch your video by clicking on the thumbnail of the video

Outstream Ads

These ads only show on partner sites and only on mobile and tablet devices. The idea is to help advertisers increase their brand awareness by extending the audience reach beyond Youtube.

With this ad type, you pay when someone sees your video play for two seconds or more. This is called viewable cost-per-thousand impressions (vCPM).

Reaching potential customers through Youtube Advertising

Now that we understand the different Youtube Advertising formats, how do you reach the right audience. Lucky for advertisers, Google offers a variety of ways to reach your desired audiences.

  • Keyword Contextual Targeting: add in keywords to help you match your video ads to the video content
  • Demographic targeting: target users based on age, gender and parental status
  • Topic Targeting: target users based on certain topics such as fashion or sports
  • Remarketing: target users who have been onto your website previously
  • Customer Match Targeting: upload your first part online and offline data to re-engage with this customer list
  • Similar Audience Targeting: target users who have similar behaviours or characteristics to your remarketing and customer march lists.
  • Video Remarketing Targeting: target those who have interacted previously with your videos
    Interest Targeting: target audiences based on their interests in certain topics. Choose from a Google provide list.
  • Affinity Audience Targeting: target users who have shown a strong interest in relevant topics. Choose from a Google provide list.
  • Custom Affinity Audiences: instead of choosing from a Google list, create your own audience more relevant to your brands. For example, instead of targeting just “sport fans” a trainer company can target “Avid Marathon Runners” instead.
  • Life Events Targeting: target users based on purchase behaviour shifts during life milestones such as getting married or moving in
  • In-market audiences targeting: target users who are actively searching for products or services or are considering buying something similar to what you sell
  • Custom intent: target users based on the keywords they’ve recently searched on

Highlighted in bold, are some of the targeting methods we recommend beginners in Youtube Advertising start off with. Read more in our blog about how to effectively utilise Google audiences. 

Key performance metrics to report on

Compared to Google Shopping and Search ads, when looking at metrics for Youtube Advertising, you should focus more on metrics which help you understand your reach and engagement. Dynamic Creative finds the list of metrics found within Google Ads helpful for analysing and understanding the results of your video campaigns.

  • Views – the number of times that your video has been watched or engaged with
  • View rate – the number of views or engagement that your video received divided by the number of times that your ad is shown
  • Average CPV – the average amount that you pay when a user watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration of your video) or engaged with your video
  • Average Watch Time – average number of seconds someone watched your video ad per impression of the ad.
  • Engagement – number of clicks on interactive elements (does not take people to your website or an external destination)
  • Engagement Rate – number of engagements divided by the number of times your ad is shown
    Video viewership: the percentage your video is played to. E.g. shows how often a video is played to 25% of its length.
  • Earned Subscribers – when a viewer subscribes to your channel
  • Likes happen when a viewer likes the video.
  • Shares happen when a viewer shares the video.


In summary, we want to use Youtube Advertising as a way to build brand awareness, reach more users and engage with our audiences. Although you may not see revenue and sales directly from video campaigns, you may also find that these campaigns may help you boost performance in other channels or campaigns. For example, since starting video campaigns, you’ve seen an increase in users searching for your brand in Google. Therefore, to capture any increased ensure you have other campaigns in place to capture this increase in traffic. Use and test a variety of different ad formats and audiences to find the best to help you achieve your goal.

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