Are you ready to run your very first ad on YouTube but wondering how to get started? Today we’ll delve into that and help you get started!
Step 1: Create a YouTube Channel
YouTube Ads are actually run through your Google Ads account. But before we get there, you will need to set up a YouTube channel if you haven’t already.
Once you log in to your Google account and navigate to YouTube, you’re simply going to click on the profile picture on the top right-hand side, and the first option will be Create a Channel.
Once you click there, add a name, click Next, your YouTube channel will be created! You will also need to upload the video you plan on running as a YouTube ad to this channel, but we’ll get there as we move through this process.
Step 2: Create a Google Ads Account
Next, you’ll need to create your Google Ads account – visit ads.google.com to get started. Simply click on Sign in. We do recommend that you use that same Gmail login for your YouTube channel, as well as your Google Ads account.
You’ll then click on the button that says New Google Ads Account, and it will start to create your account for you.
On the next screen, your Google Ads account will give you a few options. You do have the option to connect your Google My Business account.
If you already have the YouTube video that you wanna run as a YouTube ad uploaded to your new YouTube account, you can select Your video and it will ask you for the video URL.
If you do not yet have the video you’d like to run, select Your website and go through the prompts one by one about your business information. The prompts may ask you about budgets and different ad copy for your new Google Ads account. You do not have to use these options for the YouTube ad you plan to run, but select whatever you want on these prompts to simply move through the setup process and then we’ll be able to create the ad that you intentionally wanna run on YouTube.
Step 3: Link Your YouTube Channel and Google Ad Account
Now that you’ve set up your Google Ads account, you need to link the YouTube channel that you created to the account. You’ll do this by simply navigating to the Tools and Settings button at the top-right and clicking on the Linked Accounts option.
You’ll then see YouTube channel and simply click on Manage and Link.
Click on the blue plus button and either find your channel name or paste your YouTube channel URL. If you’re signed in with the same Gmail account used to create your YouTube channel, it should auto-populate.
Step 4: Chose a Video to Run as an Ad
Now, you’re going to navigate to your YouTube channel. At the top-right, you’re going to click on YouTube Studio.
We are then gonna click on Content. You’ll either upload your video there or you’ll navigate to the video that you’d like to run as your YouTube ad.
It’s important to note that you are able to have this video as public, but you can have your ads unlisted so they don’t show up on your channel.
We’ll now need the URL of that specific YouTube video to paste into our Google Ads account. You can simply click here to get the shareable link.
Step 5: Create a Google Ad Campaign
Now, we’re navigating back to our Google Ads account and we are gonna select the Create New Campaign option.
Next, you’ll see a screen asking you to select the goal you’d like to use for this campaign. We’re simply gonna click on Create a Campaign Without Guidance.
The next option is the type of ad that you’d like to run. Video is the type of ad we’ll be running for a YouTube ad.
The next option is to create a campaign sub-type. On this screen, we will get to decide where these video ads are actually shown. Select Custom Video Campaign and then click Continue.
Step 6: Select Ad Budget, Inventory, and Network
Now, we’re going to be selecting our ad settings. So walk through the prompts one by one, and select the options that work for you. The campaign name should be related to the goal of the campaign or the specific YouTube ad you’re trying to run. The name of your ad will only be visible to you.
Under these campaign settings, there are two options for bid strategy: cost per view or CPM, which is cost per thousand. We’ll be selecting Maximum Cost Per View.
Under Budget and Dates, we’ll have the option to select either a daily budget or an overall campaign budget. If you select an overall campaign budget, you will need to add the start date and the end date. If you select a daily budget, you will not need to select dates for that.
The next option is the networks. You’ll have three different options to select from. YouTube search results will allow your ad to be shown in the YouTube search results. For YouTube videos, your ad will be shown inside of YouTube videos. And for the Display Network, your video will be shown on platforms other than YouTube. I am only going to select YouTube videos for this specific ad.
Next, select the country and location that you would like to show your ads in. And also select the language that you would like your ads to be shown to.
The next option is the inventory type. We recommend leaving this as the Standard inventory option. These options relate to the type of content and mainly sensitive content that your ads may be shown inside or next to.
The next option is about excluding your ads from certain types of contents, such as games, live streaming videos, or embedded YouTube videos. If you do not care to exclude your ads from any of these content types, you can simply skip to the next prompt.
You also have the option to add a related video. This video will be shown below your video ad and this is designed to give your ad a little bit more context.
Step 7: Select Conversions
Under the Conversions tab, we have two different options. If you already have conversions set up, you can select the option to Choose conversion action for this campaign or you can just leave it as the default. We suggest leaving several of these additional options to default if this is your first ad. And if you want to run your ads on specific days of the week or times of the day either to reach your audience at the best time for them or to save your budget, you can play around with these options. But for now, we’re just going to leave them as is and move forward.
The next step is to create a name for your ad group. Now, we’re gonna move on to the audiences and placements for our video ad.
Step 8: Select Audience Targeting
The first option that we’ll see is the demographic option. You can check off any specific ages, genders, or household income levels that you would like to target or you can leave them all selected and we can continue to segment those audiences at the next tab.
Next, under the Audience segments tab. Under this tab, we’re able to select the type of people that we would like to see this specific video ad. Affinity audiences are gonna be related to things that people are interested in. So, keep in mind that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world next to Google. That means that they have a high level of data on what people are interested in. These affinity audiences are often very accurate.
However, if you click on the Browse tab, you’ll be able to see some of those additional audience segments you can choose from, some of which are going to be based on your own personal business data. We’re not gonna be going through that today, but we highly encourage you to check that out. For this article, we’re not selecting any of these audiences as we’re gonna be targeting based on placements – we’ll get into that in just a second.
The next tab is listed as Content. This still relates to the audiences that your ad will be targeting. You’ll have options to target based on keyword, topic, or placements.
Placements can be a little bit misleading. This relates to who is going to see your video ad, not just where the ad shows up on the screen. You can select specific YouTube videos, specific YouTube channels, or even websites that these people may have visited.
Step 9: Select Bidding Amount
Now we’ve come to the bidding section. Earlier on, we selected maximum CPV. This is where you’ll input what the most amount of money you’re willing to pay for a view of this video ad. For us, we’re gonna put it at $1. That is a good starting point for most businesses. You typically are not going to pay a dollar per view, but that is giving the algorithm enough wiggle room to be able to show your video ad to a larger number of people without limiting your reach.
Step 10: Select Video Ad Options
Finally, we’ve come to this step where we’re actually going to create the video ad itself.
For our video ad, we’re gonna do a skippable in-stream video.
It’ll give us the ability to paste that URL from the specific video ad that we wanna run. There are only two or three additional options here such as entering the destination where you want someone to be directed to when they click on your video ad. You also have about 10 characters for a call to action. We only have 15 characters for our headline, so we really need to be concise. And then you also have URL or UTM parameters that you can add to this specific ad. Finally, I’m going to give my ad a name and then click Done.
Now that we’ve gone through all the options, lick on the Create Campaign button, and your first YouTube video ad has been created!
Step 11: Analyse Video Ad Performance
Now, I’m simply going to click Continue to Campaign.
On this screen, we’ll now see that ad group that we created. As long as you see the green dot to the left, it means that ad group is active and to the right, it should say Eligible. If this ad is not approved, you will see that on the ad level and it will say something like Rejected. This is going to be pending and under review. So, we will have to wait for YouTube to approve this video ad before it starts running. But luckily, that doesn’t take very long.
On this screen, you’ll be able to see the number of users you’ve received, your cost per view, your link clicks, and your conversions. If you are tracking conversions from YouTube Ads, there are several ways to do this. First and foremost, you can set up conversions within Google Tag Manager. You also can create a standalone landing page for your YouTube Ads so that you know that any conversions coming from that page are a result of your specific YouTube Ads. You also can use a call tracking number if you’re encouraging people to call your business from the video ad itself. Once your ad is live, you will start to see those analytics rolling in!