7 YouTube Advertising Strategy Tips for Driving Success

Macy is a Content Writer at WebFX. With a Content Marketing Certification, she's an expert in crafting pieces filled with the facts about all things digital marketing. You'll find many of her pieces featured on UpCity's Top Digital Marketing Articles of the Week. When she isn't clacking her keys, she's wondering why her dog is so cute. Follow her on Twitter @iinfinitestorm.

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world?

YouTube boasts over two billion users, which creates dozens of opportunities for you to reach interested leads by advertising on YouTube.

With a dedicated YouTube advertising strategy, you can start reaching more qualified leads and turn them into sales for your business.

On this page, we’ll briefly cover the types of YouTube ads you can run and provide you with seven tips for creating a successful YouTube ad strategy.

P.S. Want to learn how you can make your advertisements perform even better? Subscribe to Revenue Weekly to get the latest tips and tricks on how to drive revenue with your ads!

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4 YouTube ad formats to know

Before you dive into creating your YouTube advertising strategy, it’s essential to know what ads you can create first.

Here’s a quick overview of the types of YouTube ads you can run:

Skippable in-stream ads

Skippable in-stream ads are ads that play before or during a video.

These ads must be at least 12 seconds long.

If you run a skippable in-stream ad, viewers can choose to skip them after the first 5 seconds — a “skip” button will appear on the video. So, if someone skips your ad, you won’t pay. You only pay for these ads if someone watches the first 30 seconds, the whole ad, or if they click on the ad at any point.

Non-skippable in-stream ads

Non-skippable in-stream ads can appear at any point during a video. Users can’t skip these videos and must watch them in their entirety — these videos last 15 seconds (or less).

When you create non-skippable in-stream ads, you only pay per impression. So, you pay for every 1000 views on your ad.

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are a type of non-skippable in-stream ad. These are ads that appear before a video. They only last for six seconds.

With these ads, you pay for impressions. Just like non-skippable in-stream ads, you pay for every 1000 views on your ad.

Video discovery ads

Video discovery ads appear in places where users search for content. These areas include the YouTube homepage, search results, or the sidebar that shows other videos to watch.

Your ad enables you to have 25 characters max for your headline text and two lines of 35 characters per line for your description. Video discovery ads also include a thumbnail photo. With these ads, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

7 tips for creating a successful YouTube ad strategy

Ready to build your YouTube ad strategy?

Check out these seven tips for launching a successful advertising strategy on YouTube!

1. Define what type of campaign you want to run

To launch a successful YouTube advertising campaign, you need to define what kind of campaign you want to run for your business. You can’t have a successful YouTube ad campaign if you don’t know what you want to achieve.

Define goals for your ad campaigns.

Whether you want to increase leads, sign-ups, or sales, you need to know the purpose of your campaign. When you know what you want to achieve, you can choose an ad format that helps you accomplish that goal.

2. Use a variety of ad types

If you want to succeed with YouTube advertising, use a variety of ad types. Try different ad formats to figure out what works for your business. Experimenting with varying ad types enables you to see what garners the most engagement for your business.

You may find that a short bumper ad produces great results for your business compared to a longer, skippable ad or vice versa.

The important part is that you choose the right ad type for your campaign. For example, if you want to increase traffic on your site, you may run a skippable ad to allow people to visit your website, rather than a bumper ad that only lasts six seconds.

By trying different ad types, you’ll help keep your YouTube ad strategy fresh and ensure that you drive the best results with your campaign.

3. Know who you’re targeting

If you want your YouTube advertising strategy to succeed, you need to know who you’re targeting. You must establish your target audience, so you get your ads in front of the right people.

So, how do you determine your target audience?

Look at your typical customer and define common characteristics like:

  1. Age
  2. Gender
  3. Occupation
  4. Interests
  5. Hobbies
  6. Buying habits
  7. And more

When you know this information, you can create ads that appeal to your audience better. You can also use YouTube’s ad targeting options to reach users most like your target market. This step will help you improve engagement and earn more leads for your business.

4. Grab your audience’s interest immediately

A common mistake companies make with their YouTube ads is waiting to get to the “good part” of their ad. So instead of it being within the first few seconds, the “hook” may not show up until 10 seconds into the ad.

If you’re running a skippable ad, you’re not going to keep your audience engaged with that approach. They will skip after five seconds because you haven’t given them a reason to keep watching. If you’re running a non-skippable ad, people probably won’t pay attention to your ad.

To avoid these behaviors, work on creating ads that catch your audience’s attention immediately. Have an exciting hook or ask a question right out of the gate. By grabbing their attention early, you can get them to stay and engage with your ad for the duration of it.

Here’s a great example of catching your audience’s attention immediately.


In this ad from Dollar Shave Club, you can see within 5 seconds, the spokesperson in the video asks their audience the question, “What is Dollar Shave Club?” He answers this question immediately with an appealing pitch.

This ad is an excellent example of catching your audience’s attention and maintaining it.

5. Try appealing with a story or emotion

When you create a YouTube ad, you must create ads that appeal to your audience. Not only do you need a hook to get the audience’s interest immediately, but you need to create an ad that elicits emotion or tells a story.

You can appeal to numerous emotions.

For example, you can make people feel happy and excited, sad and compassionate, or countless other emotions. When you make people feel something during your ad, you compel them to engage with your content.

This ad from Dove is an excellent example of appealing to emotion.

In this ad, a forensic artist draws women as they describe themselves. He also draws them as a stranger sees them. The two sketches enable the women to see that their perception is much more critical than how someone else sees them.

The ad is emotional throughout and keeps viewers engaged. Viewers want to know how the sketches will look and how the person in the sketch will react to the comparison. It’s an engaging ad that keeps viewers watching until the end so they can see what happens.

By creating an ad that focuses on a story or appeals to emotion, you’ll keep your audience engaged with your ad longer.

6. Use a call to action (CTA) that gets people to click

Regardless of the types of ads you run, you need to have a call to action (CTA) that compels your audience to engage. Your CTA is critical because it drives your audience to take the next step.

When you run an ad, you want your audience to take the next step. If your CTA isn’t clear, your audience probably won’t click.

So, for example, if you run a campaign where the goal is to get people to sign-up for an email list, using a CTA like “Sign Up” will compel more people to click than a CTA like “Click Here.”

When you choose the right CTA, you’ll generate more clicks on your YouTube ads.

7. Define the metrics you’ll track

If you want to have a successful YouTube advertising strategy, you need to know what metrics you’re tracking for your campaign. You won’t know if your campaign is successful without monitoring its performance.

When it comes to YouTube ads, you can track numerous metrics, including:

  1. Watch time
  2. View duration
  3. Number of views
  4. Audience retention
  5. Conversions

You can track these metrics to see how your audience engages with your ads. It helps you determine if your ads are effective, so you can keep running them or make changes to improve ad performance.

Start creating your YouTube ad strategy today

If you want to create compelling YouTube ads, you need a YouTube ad strategy. When you develop an effective YouTube advertising strategy, you can earn more leads and conversions for your business.

At WebFX, we know how to create YouTube ads that drive results. In the past five years, we’ve driven over $2.4 billion in sales and over 6.3 million leads for our clients. We can help you create ads that drive more leads and revenue for your company.

Ready to start creating your YouTube advertising strategy?

Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our YouTube advertising services!