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Understanding YouTube Advertising

YouTube established itself as the leading video content website in 2005. Combined with the soaring popularity of video content due to other social media platforms and consumer expectations from brands & influencers to produce video content, it is now the second-largest search engine behind Google (which happens to be its parent company). It is cheap, highly targeted media that should not be ignored when social media advertising is on the agenda.

Why is Youtube advertising important?

In the time it took for you to read the headline of this page approximately 5 hours’ worth of videos has been uploaded to YouTube. That’s right—every five seconds 25 hours of video is uploaded, and 400 hours of video is uploaded every minute. It is an important channel because the volume of content being uploaded allows for very specific targeting at a highly competitive price. The platform is also owned by Google which enables even higher levels of targeting, allowing you to serve a video based on an individual google search.

Skippable in-stream ads


A skippable online video ad that appears before, during and after you watch chosen content. CPV (Cost-Per-View) payment. 5 seconds of pre-roll before a user can cancel.

In-stream campaign goals:

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Website traffic
  • Brand awareness and reach
  • Product and brand consideration

Non-skippable in-stream ads


A non-skippable online video ad that appears before, during and after you watch chosen content on either Youtube or websites and apps that use Google video partners. These ads use a CPM (Cost-Per-Impression) bidding formate.

Non-skippable in-steam campaign goals:

  • Brand awareness and reach

Bumper ads


A short 6-second advert that works particularly well on mobile. Users do not have an option to skip. CPM (Cost-per-mille > cost-per-thousand-impressions shown) payment structure.

Bumper ad campaign goals:
  • Brand awareness and reach

Video discovery ads


This format allows your video to show up as a paid advert on YouTube search results or on the YouTube homepage and alongside related videos.

Video discovery campaign goals:
  • Product and brand consideration

Outstream ads


Outstream ads are best suited for expanding reach via mobile. Videos start with the sound offer but users have the ability to unmute. vCPM (Cost-per-mille > cost-per-thousand-impressions shown) payment structure.

Outstream campaign goals:
  • Brand awareness and reach

Masthead ads


This format is only available on a reservation basis, lending itself to larger brand activity. The payment model is either on a fixed cost-per-day (CPD) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis. This format is best suited for driving awareness for a new product or service or reach a massive audience in a short period of time.

Masthead campaign goals:
  • Product awareness and reach

YouTube advertising is part of the Google Ads platform so you will need an AdWords account (don’t worry, we can set this up for you) and you need a strategy for who you want to target and what you want to tell them. You also need a range of quality videos rather than just one high-production piece. Ideally, a few different types of videos to reflect each stage of the consumer journey or your product/service range is best. The most important thing is that your video makes the most of those first few seconds, the average person can say 125-150 words per minute or 2-3 words per second.

What would you prioritise in those first 5 seconds?

How much does YouTube advertising cost?

YouTube is a unique media channel because it only serves video and therefore the ad formats are generally based on CPV – Cost Per View. CPV is a biddable system much like PPC. We set the CPV bids to tell Google the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for each view, ensuring that you always operate at the best value for your business.

Video advertising on YouTube is different from other platforms like Facebook Ads because of the way a view is counted. A view can be defined to when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video ad (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with the ad, whichever comes first. Video interactions include clicks on the call-to-action overlays, cards and companion banners.

The exception to this is the bumper ad format which uses CPM. CPM or ‘Cost Per Thousand’ (Mille = Thousand in Latin, hence the ‘M’). This is because the video is only 6 seconds long and CPM is how most display advertising (e.g. banners etc) are bought.

Is YouTube advertising suitable for my business?

YouTube advertising is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It is also suitable for e-commerce or service businesses. The key to effective YouTube advertising is ensuring that your video content and targeting are relevant to your target audience. A lack of understanding of these and how the platform works means you won’t get the best value from your media investment.

The reach of YouTube

With over 3 billion searches per month, YouTube’s search volume is larger than that of Bing, Yahoo, AOL and combined.


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