Strategy

YouTube Advertising Myths (and Tips to Bust Them)

Targeted advertising on YouTube is simply too effective and accessible to ignore.


If you’re not advertising on YouTube, you’re not alone — but you’re probably missing out.

Recently, on our recommendation — and after a bit of trepidation — a financial services client launched their inaugural targeted-ad campaign on YouTube. We’re about two months in (as of this post’s publication) and have earned:

  • More than 2 million impressions, at an average cost of $0.008 per impression
  • More than 820,000 views, at an average cost of $0.02 per view.

The awareness campaign has been such a success that we felt compelled to dispel a few misconceptions, some of which arose during the proposal and implementation of this very campaign.

Simply put, YouTube is too powerful to ignore. Advertising on the platform may sound overwhelming or out of reach but that’s only because you haven’t freed yourself from one or more of the following myths:

1. I don’t have enough money.

Wrong. Sure, pricey television spots are still a thing but, believe it or not, YouTube offers an exponentially cheaper and more targeted option. Not only are you reaching your desired audience with their attention captive, YouTube requires no minimum amount of ad spend to do so. This low barrier to entry allows you to tailor a paid campaign to your exact budget and test if YouTube helps you reach your goals. Moreover, you have the ability to control exactly how much you want to pay per day and per audience.

With the right targeting and strategy, your campaign can be very affordable. In the case of our client’s recent campaign, we found a way to get an average cost per view to just two cents!

2. My target audience isn’t on YouTube.

Wrong again. There is a good chance your target audience is on YouTube — no matter what the demographics. For example, YouTube isn’t just for the young. According to Google, a third of baby boomers use YouTube to learn about a product or service, and 68% of boomers say they watch YouTube for entertainment. There’s no difference between men and women: According to a Q3 2020 survey, in the U.S. 72% of men watch YouTube compared with 72% of women. And YouTube reaches more 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. than any TV network. So no matter your target audience, with the right techniques, there is a way to get your message in front of them on YouTube.

3. I don’t have an active YouTube channel.

Doesn’t matter. You don’t need an “active” YouTube channel to which you’re constantly posting new videos. The call to action in your ad can link to anywhere you like, so no need to let that hold you back. Although you technically need a channel to upload your video ad, you can mark your videos and channel as “unlisted” so they aren’t public. Think of your channel as just a folder where you store your video ads.

4. I can’t risk my business being associated with just any random video.

Not to worry; you’re in the driver’s seat. Brand safety is always a paramount concern, and YouTube offers an extensive set of tools to control when and where your ad is played. They range from high level (exclude by video content rating) to mid (allow moderate, repeated or excessive profanity use) to hyper-specific (exclude specific channels, topics or websites). Leveraging these options, you can ensure your brand won’t be tarnished by video association.

5. I just don’t know where to start.

It’s actually quite simple.

  1. Create an account if your company doesn’t already have one.
  2. Upload a video you would like to use as your ad.
  3. Use Google Ads to create a campaign. Google Ads will prompt you to choose your target audience(s).
  4. Set the dollar amount you want to spend per day.

Then watch the views roll in, and you can adjust spend and targeting along the way. (And a quick shameless plug: Imprint can help.)

While there are endless and intricate — and rewarding — ways to customize journeys and campaigns, this is essentially all there is to running your ad on YouTube. With these myths busted, you can fire up this new promotional channel!

If you have additional questions, we are happy to talk you through them. Just reach out to us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

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