How to Create a YouTube Video Ad Campaign and Why It Matters

YouTube is definitely a great place for anyone who creates a video and wants to show it to the world, but it isn’t so great when it comes to clicking links. If you advertise on YouTube and you want people to come to your website, you’re not going to have as easy of a time as you would if you were trying to make this happen on a Google SERP. In short, YouTube isn’t concerned with you and your links when they post videos.

Nonetheless, because YouTube is caters to such a large audience (and an engaged one at that), it’s still a great place to try and advertise. The trick is understanding the different types of YouTube ad campaigns and then how to slice and dice those campaigns so that users will click.

Different Ad Campaign Types Available for YouTube

There are several different types of YouTube video ad campaigns, all of which have different goals for advertisers. Some are more challenging than others, but every option is available to every marketer. Consider some of the most popular types of campaigns below:


  • In-Search. The goal of this type of ad is to offer video content that is sponsored and relevant to the YouTube search.

These campaigns work similarly to Google because they are based on the keywords that a user will type into the YouTube search bar, and then advertisers have to bid on keyword terms. This is said to be one of the easiest advertisements to get involved with (particularly if you’re already comfortable with general PPC practices) because there isn’t as much competition; you have a better chance of earning a spot for a competitive term you may not have been able to earn on Google. The ads have a still frame from the video advertised. In other words, it looks like a video and shows up in a YouTube SERP—it works just like the traditional AdWords ads you’re used to using.

Where the Traffic Goes: Since the ads have a still frame, they don’t send users to your website or another destination URL. All these ads can do is send traffic to your company YouTube channel or a link to watch the video. In the screenshot below, you can see that the first two entries are ads, while the third entry starts the user videos:


  • In-Stream. This is the most popular type of ad because it is the most successful because you can control whom you want to target by filtering by demographics, categories, interests, or a mixture of all three.

In-stream ads are the videos that users see before they can watch the video they actually want to watch (essentially the commercials of YouTube). In most cases users can skip your ad after 5 seconds, but you’re still getting a huge amount of visibility (make your first 5 seconds really count!). If a user does decide to skip, you don’t have to pay a thing. You only pay if the user watches the entire video ad or up to 30 seconds of the ad.

Where the Traffic Goes: If a user clicks on the video, they will go to you/your companies landing page (whatever you, the advertiser, desires). Below is a screenshot of an in-stream video advertisement. As you can see, this advertisement isn’t overly relevant to my exact search, but if Starburst wanted to target a young person, this actually was a good choice:


  • In-Display. You can use the same filters for targeting as you can with in-stream, so your audience is up to you.

In-display is an ad that will appear as a suggestion next to other related videos that are recommended on YouTube. These ads might not get as much visibility as the last two discussed, but any YouTube user will tell you that glancing over to the right hand side of the page is impossible to avoid.

Where the Traffic Goes: Just as with the in-search option, you can only send traffic to a page to watch a video or to your company YouTube channel. Below is a screenshot example:

Getting started creating these campaigns is, of course, a different story. It usually doesn’t take too long to setup, but there are steps you have to follow to get started. You can learn more about the setup here.

Is your traffic declining? Are you not generating enough leads or sales? We’ve been growing businesses since 2009, let us do it for you!

Schedule a Consultation

Let's Talk

We’ve been growing businesses since 2009, let us do it for you!