How to create a marketing campaign using YouTube

YouTube continues to grow at an astonishing pace, with 24 hours of video uploaded every single minute. As an acquisition and branding channel, placing ads on YouTube has become a simple, yet sophisticated way of reaching potential customers. With a global audience now exceeding 400 million people and a massive diversity of available content, it’s important for marketers to know how to place ads on videos which are relevant to your brand.

Google recently released a Beta version of their Video Targeting Tool which makes integration with Google Adwords easier for analysis and reporting – much like how keyword campaigns are managed.

Let’s go through how it works step by step.

Start by selecting the region and ad format

The first step in creating a YouTube media plan is to select the target region you are marketing to, and the ad format you want to use. At present 26 countries can be targeted, and you can choose from three different formats.


InVideo overlay ads are the text or image ads which have become part and parcel of the YouTube experience. You can target almost any videos on YouTube using this format.

In-Stream ads are short videos which pop up during the playing of a YouTube video (recommended 15 seconds max)

Banner ads are either static or click-to-play ads.

Once you have decided on your region and format, then you go on to:

Selecting Placements

The term “Placements” refers to the videos on which your ads will be placed. Selecting these videos can be done either on a keyword basis or by searching via audience segmentation. Here you’ll be able to build the media plan based on the interests of your target audience.

The selection process is seamless using the Video Targeting Tool, and you can build a large inventory of videos that you are interested in.

Exporting to Adwords

Once your media plan is created, it can be downloaded to CSV so you can weed out any dodgy content. Exporting to Adwords is quick and easy and enables you to customise ad groups and distribute placements as you wish. You can also run Google conversion tracking and plug in your Pay Per Click (PPC) Technology and tracking solutions. What this does is enable you to treat each placement as you would any other keyword level tracking, in order to apply similar optimisation techniques once you start generating results.

Creating new ads

Creating an image ad for display can be done using the Adwords online interface from any ad group by simply uploading an image. Alternatively, use the Adwords Display Ad Builder and use templates provided in the Video and Audio category.

Reporting and Analysis

From the Adwords online interface you can track the perfomance of each individual video placement by using the Networks tab. You can You can start optimising bids based on performance in the same way you would with keywords. The added metric, View-through Conversions, gives credits to the placement providing a measure of the number of online conversions that happened within 30 days after a user saw, but did not click the ad.


Costs are still relatively low and the opportunity is large. Whether or not it’s branding or direct response you’re after, there is a vast, available audience to target. Optimisation is pretty seamless, as you are able to focus on videos that deliver whilst discounting those that do not, and applying very similar techniques to paid search campaigns.



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