How to Launch a YouTube Ads Campaign

YouTube is now one of the most used online platforms, and users can see that digital advertisers are taking advantage of it, from the number of ads that are served before, during and, beside the videos. Several of my clients that were originally only running Google search and display ads, have recently asked me to start YouTube ads campaigns too.


Google has offers 5 different types of YouTube ads.

  • Skippable In-Stream Video Ads: Ads that play before or during a video for a minimum of 5 seconds, then the user has the choice to skip them. You can add a CTA overlay and landing page to these ads.

  • Non-Skippable In-Stream Video Ads: Ads that play before or during a video, but the user cannot skip them. 76% of users skip ads on YouTube, so if your goal is to raise awareness, you might choose this ad type. Non-skippable in-stream video ads are charged by CPM.

  • Bumper Ads: 6-second, non-skippable video ads that play before a video.

  • Discovery Ads: Similar to Google Search ads, promoted YouTube videos that appear in the YouTube homepage, search results page, and video watch page. The video is not played until users decide to watch, and click on it. So there is no CTA overlay, but advertisers can instead include a headline and description for this ad type, and include the landing page as the video description from their YouTube account.

  • Non-Video Ads: You can also run static display ads to be targeted in the YouTube network. These ads will be shown as an image, such as a banner ad overlay that pops up during a monetized video.

Similar to Google search and display ads, YouTube ads also get assigned a quality score, based on the following criteria.

  • Quality of your creative - is your video high-quality and engaging?

  • CTR

  • Ad format

  • Landing page experience

  • Bid amount and strategy

If it’s the first time starting YouTube ads, I’d recommend starting with discovery ads so that you can experiment with different placements, and see which one gets the most clicks and conversions. After enough data is accumulated (usually 1-2 months), you can switch to in-stream placement, and target the placements that already worked well.