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The Benefit of YouTube Advertising: Is It Worth a Businesses Time & Effort?

Online video content isn’t just the future of advertising- it’s already here. As the second largest search engine in existence after Google, YouTube receives 3 billion search queries a month. This presents a huge opportunity for small and medium sized businesses who have yet to take advantage of video content for their product or service. A small or medium-sized business considering expanding their web presence may be wondering if YouTube is worth the time and effort. Many businesses are a bit skeptical and just unaware of the advantages YouTube has even after being named the second largest social media platform with 1.9 billion users in 2019.

Businesses big and small may still be under the impression that YouTube is just a site for people to post and watch silly videos, but YouTube has evolved greatly since launch in 2005. What was once a site for just free entertainment has become a hub for online video content of all kinds. In fact, 73% of viewers say that they search for a product on YouTube before buying it. There is an untapped marketing opportunity here that many businesses have yet to take advantage of.

            YouTube uses online browsing data to determine which ads should be shown to which customers. Where YouTube really stands out is how this data can be used for businesses to advertise. Digital marketers have gained the ability pinpoint the goods and services someone is looking for and display ads that are relevant to a viewer’s recent search history. When you see an ad on YouTube it was chosen specifically for you based on what else you’ve looked at and searched for on the web.

For example, if a prospective customer in your market searches for a how-to video on plumbing, a plumbing company has the opportunity to communicate with that consumer in a direct way by advertising their services. YouTube is able to gather viewing data and browsing habits on anyone over the age of 13. Recently, regulations instituted by COPPA (children’s online privacy protection act prohibits YouTube to gather data from users under the age of 13.

Types of Ads YouTube Offers

There are a few ways you can display your videos on YouTube. Let’s go over the different YouTube ad layouts you are able to run with:

Non-Skippable Video Ads 

YouTube Non skipable ads

Non-skippable video ads must be watched before a YouTube video can be viewed. Long non-skippable video ads may be up to 30 seconds. These types of YouTube ads can appear before, during, or after the main video.

When a viewer watches the full ad, the advertisers have to pay and the creator gets paid. If your landing page is set up correctly and your videos are engaging, you will be able to capture relevant leads.

The catch here is every time your ad comes up, you will pay for it. These will typically be used by businesses with bigger budgets.

YouTube TrueView Instream Skippable Video Ads 

Youtube skipable ads

TrueView skippable video ads allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds if they choose. The ads can be inserted before, during, or after the main video.

Instream give the viewer the option to watch your ad or skip it. Once the viewer watches 30 seconds of your video, the creator is paid and the advertisers are charged.

YouTube Display Ads

YouTube Display Ads

Display ads appear to the right of the featured video and above the video suggestion list. Display ads may run across all areas of YouTube, except on the homepage.

If a view is interested in your product or service and they see your Display, you should get a click.

YouTube Overlay Ads 

YouTube Overlay Ads

Overlay ads are a transparent advertisement that appears on the lower 20% portion of your video. This ad type only appears on desktop and laptop computers. Viewers can also exit the ad at any time. These tend to cause problems as there are false clicks and many YouTubers do not enjoy seeing them.

 YouTube Midroll Ads

YouTube Midroll Ads

Midroll ads are currently available for videos over 15 minutes.

These ads are spaced within the video—similar to the way TV commercials roll out during a program. Viewers must watch the ads before they can continue to view the rest of the YouTube video.

Advertisers can insert ad breaks at natural pauses throughout the YouTube video for the better, more streamlined viewing experience. These ads only appear on desktop, laptops and mobile devices.

YouTube Sponsored Cards 

YouTube Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Cards display content that is relevant to the YouTube video, such as products featured in the video.

Viewers see a teaser for the card for a few seconds, then they can also click the icon in the top right corner of the video to browse the cards. This is available on desktop and mobile devices.

How Much Does YouTube Advertising Cost?

As a digital marketer, you are probably assuming that video advertising is expensive, but YouTube makes video advertising pretty affordable. Remember, with YouTube advertising, you pay per video view whether it’s for a full video or 30 seconds.

A typical video ad view costs between $.106 and $.30 per view, depending on your video quality, targeting, and marketing goals.

In the traditional advertising world, there has always been a gap between advertiser and consumer being that the advertiser has never been able to directly connect with the consumer based on real time need. YouTube is bridging that gap that has existed for so long. Not only is this far more efficient for advertisers as they don’t invest marketing dollars on ads for people who aren’t interested, but it’s more relevant for the consumer as well. 

Few people enjoy watching television and being bombarded with lengthy ads and it’s worse when the products being advertised aren’t even something of need or interest. With YouTube ads the prospecting is essentially done for you, and the potential customer’s business is only a click away.

This feeds into the next great benefit of YouTube advertising and that’s customer interactivity. Think about informercials. The end of the commercial is cluttered by a phone number at the bottom of the screen and the narrator repeating it over and over again. Not only is that a waste of expensive airtime but consider how much easier it would be if viewers could simply click and be on your company’s website within seconds. YouTube ads offer exactly that. Customers can even have the opportunity to click while enjoying their video. On YouTube you have the full attention of the audience. Not only is it faster at getting the attention of customers, but it’s more efficient and engaging for them as well. People want things faster than ever, and through YouTube ads, customers are getting information, products, and services in the most convenient way possible.

In an unprecedented way, YouTube brings customer touchpoints to everyone efficiently. It’s faster than ever before to communicate with customers and again, the gap between marketers and their audience is being closed.

            For these reasons, companies big and small should realize the incentive to create YouTube content and create channels of their own. If you’re not convinced, Google claims that people who watch YouTube ads to completion are 23 times more likely to visit or subscribe to a brand channel, share a brand video, or watch more by the brand. Even those who don’t watch to the end are 10 times more likely to do one of those things.  Creating a YouTube channel for your brand or your business is not just great step in an integrated marketing strategy, but a crucial one. YouTube offers many different forms of advertising as well as cost strategies to get your campaign rolling and get your business ahead of the curve.