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Set Up YouTube Ads in AdWords for Video: A Basic Tutorial

Published: April 25, 2014

Author: Ryan Larkin

A few months back, I wrote a blog regarding YouTube text overlays. It’s been a while, and I’ve had time to realize that I may have jumped ahead of a few basics regarding ads for YouTube (e.g. promoting video ads within the YouTube channel). 
So, the first thing you’ll need to know before attempting to drive traffic to your YouTube video, is that there are 3 different type of ads that you can create within the AdWords for Video UI. They are as follows:



The video that plays before the video you’ve selected to watch. As I’m sure the majority of you have noticed, you can skip the ad after a few seconds. The cool thing about these ads is that you only get charged if the user watches more than 30 seconds of the video, or to the end of the ad (depending on the length of the video).



The in-display ad is the ad that appears as a thumbnail in the “similar” column to the right of the video being watched. You will only pay when someone clicks on the thumbnail ad. Sort of acts like the GDN, only it’s YouTube specific and will only appear in the similar column.



This acts exactly like it does in Google search. Whenever you type something in the YouTube search bar, results will populate. The first few ads are paid while the other results are organic. Again, it’s a PPC model, so you will only pay when someone clicks your ad.
Based on what video you’re promoting (not to mention vertical, audience, geography, etc.) different YouTube networks may work better for you. In-display typically will garner more impressions, whereas In-search will generally produce more clicks, and In-stream seems to consistently produce the most views (although we should take that with a grain of salt because it plays automatically).
So now that we have the basic ad structures down, to create an ad we’re first going to have to log into the Google UI. Assuming your YouTube and Adwords accounts are linked, there will be a button on the bottom left of the UI called “All Video Campaigns”. It should be right under “Labels”:
all video campaigns
Once you click on this, you’ll be taken to “AdWords for Video”. The campaigns structure acts just like AdWords for search does; however, you’ll notice a very distinct lack of Ad Groups. Instead you’ll be setting up video ads in targeting specific campaigns. So, click on the Ads tab, select the campaign you want to add an ad to, and select “+Video Ad”:
+video ad
Once you’ve clicked on the button, you’ll be asked to insert the URL of the YouTube video you want to promote. Once you’ve done this, select “let me choose…” for the Ad format (otherwise it will serve your Ad across all YouTube Networks). Now choose your ad type and set up the attributes to accompany the ad (headline, descriptions, display & destination URLs). Do note that you will only have to set up these attributes for In-display and In-search ads; In-stream ads will be promoted within YouTube videos, so there are no headlines or descriptions necessary.
Typically, you’ll just use the campaigns’ prescribed targeting, but if you do need to adjust the targeting based on the video ad, you can easily do this at the bottom of the ad set-up screen by clicking on “edit” under “Targeting”. After you have everything set up to your liking, just hit save and your ad will start serving as soon as Google approves your ad(s), which usually happens within a day if not sooner.
Well, that’s a pretty basic crash course in setting up YouTube Ads. If you are looking to increase traffic to your YouTube videos, this can act as an extremely valuable tool as we’ve seen for multiple clients. Any questions, let me know below!

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