YouTube has become the second largest search engine with more than 1.8 billion monthly users.  Every generation is using YouTube to learn new things, create new videos, and be entertained. With that said, below are five reasons your business should be advertising on this platform.

1. Reach

As mentioned above, there are billions of people searching for things on YouTube every day: Currently, YouTube is more popular than any broadcast or cable network among users ages 18-49. That’s a pretty big chunk of the population. And YouTube offers advertisers the opportunity to learn all about these audiences and discover what they are most interested in. 

2. Influence

Many people use YouTube to research products or services they might be interested in subscribing to, signing up for, or even buying. Well over half of YouTube users—68%—have watched a video to help them make a purchase decision. 

But it’s not just Gen X and millennials using YouTube: One in three baby boomers uses YouTube to learn about a product or service. Google quoted Barbara, 58, saying, “I use YouTube to get information in a usable format — especially when it comes to techy things that I don’t want to ask my daughter to help with.”

3. Targeting

YouTube offers a vast majority of targeting options to reach your customers.

Some of these can be broad, like topic, demo, keyword, category, and placement.

They also offer three more in-depth audiences to help advertisers meet certain goals.

You can use affinity audiences if your goal is to raise brand awareness. YouTube built affinity audiences for businesses that currently run TV ads and that want to expand their reach and online presence. Use this Google-curated audience to reach potential customers at a scale. 

With that said, you can create custom affinity audiences that are more tailored to a brand. To build these custom audiences, you need to use a combination of interests, commonly visited URLs, types of places that people are interested in, or apps that the ideal customer may be using.

The second in-depth audience is an in-market audience; use this if the goal is to drive engagements. The people in this audience are actively considering buying a service or product like yours. Use this audience to help drive remarketing and to reach consumers close to completing a purchase.

Additionally, you can create a custom intent audience to help you reach new customers based on the terms they use to search for your product or service. 

The third specialized audience is a life event audience. Use this option if you want to reach potential customers when their purchasing behavior shifts due to a life milestone. You can target someone who just graduated from college, someone who is moving into a new home, a newlywed couple, and more. By understanding people’s behavior at moments like these, you’ll be able to tailor each piece of advertising to the right person. 

4. Multiple Ad Options

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to advertising and the same goes for YouTube.  Currently, there are five different types of YouTube ads you can run, all with a different purpose.

  • TrueView In-Stream Ads is the most popular type of advertising; they appear before or after the video and are skippable after five seconds.
  • TrueView Video Discovery Ads appear in the search results or Related Content section when someone is already watching a video. This format allows the user to navigate to watch the ad instead of them being forced to watch it.
  • Pre-roll Ads are non-skippable ads and can be placed before, during, or after the video. Their ads are restricted to 15-20 seconds in length. This format may be annoying to the consumer, but are extremely valuable to the marketer—just make sure your message is clear and concise and captures the viewer’s attention.
  • Bumper Ads are non-skippable six-second ads. Google encourages advertisers to use this format as a complement to a larger video campaign. Create a bumper ad when you want to tease a brand announcement, amplify your current longer-form videos, or echo your message to users with a message or product update.
  • Outstream Ads are disguised as a native ad that usually appear on partner sites or within apps outside of the YouTube platform. Use this when you want to increase brand awareness.

5. Cost

Unlike paid search, where an advertiser pays for each click of an ad, YouTube uses a variety of cost options based on the formats described above.

  • TrueView In-Stream Ads operate with a cost-per-view model. This means you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or for the duration of the ad if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with your video, whichever comes first.
  • TrueView Video Discovery Ads operate similarly to a cost-per-click model. You only pay when viewers choose to watch your ad by clicking on your thumbnail.
  • Pre-roll Ads—the non-skippable ads—operate with a cost-per-thousand-impressions model. You pay based on impressions. This type of ad uses target CPM bidding, so you pay each time your ad is shown 1,000 times.
  • Bumper Ads also use the CPM bidding model described above.
  • Outstream Ads operate with a similar bidding model of the bumper and pre-roll ads, but with a slight variation. You’re charged for these ads based on viewable cost-per-thousand impressions (vCPM), so you’ll only be charged when someone sees your video for two seconds or more.

Now, that you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering what kind of budget to start out with.  We recommend starting out with at least $1,000 per month when entering the YouTube advertising space.  

Beyond that, we’ll monitor the campaign(s), make adjustments as needed based on your company’s goals, and determine if the budget needs to be increased further. 


If you are curious about learning more, give us a call or check out our more in-depth article on YouTube Audience Targeting.


Rachel Sipes

Learn more about Rachel Sipes