How YouTube Ads Work?

YouTube Ads

YouTube Ads – An exciting but somewhat obscure topic. How do YouTube Ads work, what are the differences between the various ads and how does it all relate to Google Ads? Considering the YouTube Ads marketing tool can be crucial, especially for startups. You can find answers to these and other questions in this article.

How Do YouTube Ads Work?

Youtube Marketing: Why? 

When you read an article about YouTube Ads, you first want to hear why YouTube marketing is the right choice. How else is one to decide whether the purpose covers the costs and fits in with the strategy of my company? Let’s start here: Why should you incorporate YouTube Ads into your corporate design? That is a good question. 

According to a recently published study by Cisco, by 2022, videos will account for around 82 per cent of all Internet traffic. The media format video accordingly plays a crucial role in day-to-day business. In addition, approximately 20 per cent of marketing experts use different video content to benefit their advertising purposes. The answer to the question of why videos occupy such a high position in Internet traffic is an easy one. In contrast to text, graphics and even images, the entertainment factor of videos is exceptionally high. Brutal is an understatement to describe the algorithms used in social media these days. To generate the desired traffic, dynamic, emotional and memorable content must be generalized in the shortest possible time. A walk in the park, right?! 

Unfortunately, no. It is for sure that almost every company hires workers for video marketing and not infrequently to do YouTube marketing. YouTube has an impressive 30 million users a week, was developed in the USA and is considered the world’s second-largest search engine. The predominant age range of YouTube users is between 18 and 34 years. Enough reasons to consider YouTube Marketing, right?!

More Views Through SEO

SEO is one of the most common terms in internet marketing. Derived from English, the term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Translated: search engine optimization. SEO is, therefore, essential for videos to be found on the Internet in the first place. In this context, the keyword metadata should be remembered. This data provides the recipient with further information about the respective video. Based on this, videos are classified in the search engine’s index. Here is a brief explanation of the most important terms:

  • Title: In the title, it is essential to name the most relevant of the researched search terms in a maximum of 60 characters. 
  • Description: The description should also include the most important search terms in a maximum of 5000 characters. It should be kept in mind that the recipient only sees 120 characters at first glance. Accordingly, an essential thing should be right at the beginning.
  • Keywords/Tags: The keywords or (meta) tags not only increase the chances that the videos will be displayed in the sidebar under specific topics, but they also enable the algorithm to classify the media thematically in the first place. 
  • Category: The category shows which column the videos fit best in terms of content/topic. 
  • Thumbnail: The thumbnail represents the preview image of a video – It is the first image that recipients see when they search for videos in the search engine. The thumbnail should ideally draw the user’s attention. 
  • Subtitles: Important keywords can also be included in the subtitles to expand search engine optimization further.
  • Info Cards: When you remember the last YouTube video you watched accurately, a small, rectangular message flashes in the top-right corner of the reminder or the YouTube video. Up to 5 info cards can be placed in a video clip. These can generate further attention to channels, videos and links. 
  • Playlist: Playlists can be good for organizing multiple videos of the track, from a similar subject area, together in a watchlist. This also increases the usability of the channel since it is easier for users to find their way around the medium. 

YouTube Marketing and Ads 

Once the most critical terms in the SEO column have been clarified, it can be explained what type of ads are available in YouTube marketing. But first, some more information: An essential part of YouTube marketing planning is the clearly defined target group. Knowing your challenges and being able to offer solutions should be the corresponding “trademark” of the video. Packaged as subtly as possible so that the customer is not pressured into making a purchase. To do this there are several ways of YouTube Ads: 

  • Actual view ads: True view ads are skippable video ads. These videos can be up to 30 seconds long and can be shown before, during or after. However, the user does not have to watch them to the end, as they can be skipped after 5 seconds. The exciting thing about actual view ads is that the company only has to pay for the ad if the recipient entirely views it or interacts with it with a call to action. 
  • Non-skippable videos: Non-skippable videos are just that: non-skippable. They usually last 15 seconds and can be shown before, during or after the video. 
  • Bumper ads: Bumper ads are videos that are as short and memorable as possible and must be at most 6 seconds. They are billed per impression and cannot be switched off by the user. 
  • Discovery ads: Discovery ads appear on the YouTube homepage, watch pages, and under search results as suggestions for similar videos. For this purpose, they are placed as thumbnails on YouTube and can be played by clicking on them. 
  • Out-stream ads: Out-stream ads are displayed in Google video partner apps or websites. They are only visible on mobile devices and initially silent but can be played with sound by clicking once. 
  • Masthead Ads: These ads run on desktops, TV screens and mobile devices. The prices of the masthead ads are based on a fixed billing model and can currently only be created by Google employees. 
  • Campaigns: At this point, it should be mentioned that YouTube ads are generally placed via Google ads. For this purpose, campaigns can be run for any video. The campaign’s goal and the video format have to be selected, the campaign has to be given a name, and the budget has to be determined. You can also choose whether or not the campaign should be distributed evenly over the entire period.


YouTube also provides an analytics program, with the help of which an overview of the data and facts of the videos and ads is created. Analytics helps to see, among other things, how the videos were found, how high the interaction rate is and how long it was watched. It is essential to keep the objective in mind and to consider and analyze the data and facts accordingly. The following key points can be observed: 

  • View Rate and Viewer Retention: Video view rate is calculated by dividing watch time by video views. Videos with a higher video playback rate are rated better by the algorithm and are therefore ranked higher in the Trends category. Regarding viewer retention, a distinction can be made between absolute and relative viewer retention. Whole viewer retention shows which sections were most viewed within a click. The relative audience retention, on the other hand, represents an area’s (failure) success compared to other YouTube videos and indicates the corresponding competition. 
  • Traffic sources: Traffic sources record how recipients found the videos and evaluate which sources generated the highest click-through rates and watch times. 
  • Demographics: The demographics illustrate the most active viewers so that the target audience can be adjusted and optimization measures can take place. 
  • Interaction reports: From exchange reports, it can be read which emotions were triggered in the recipient by the video. A simple like/don’t like can already contain valuable information. 
  • Impressions: Here, specific traffic sources, such as the YouTube homepage or particular categories for trends and recommendations, are considered. Videos that have a compelling title, deal with a relevant topic and appeal to a wide range of audiences are primarily posted here. 
  • Growth: Here, the development of subscribers is short and sweet. It is analyzed which videos were particularly well received in specific regions at which times. Attention is also paid to how high both the growth and bounce rates are. In this way, it can be determined which topics are of most interest to the target group and in which regions it might be worthwhile to acquire subscribers specifically. 


YouTube Ads are a valuable investment in certain areas. Primarily if the target group uses the corresponding medium a lot, to what extent it is suitable for a company can be analyzed individually based on the options provided and the goals set. It is imperative to pay attention to the points mentioned above. What is the company looking for? Does our target group fall into the appropriate niche? What is the individual cost-benefit factor?

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