How to Create YouTube Ads: Beginner’s Guide

If you’ve seen YouTube ads in action, you might be asking yourself, “are they worth the investment?” The short answer is yes! YouTube Advertising is actually relatively inexpensive for small businesses, and the cost might surprise you. We’re going to break down the basics in advertising costs, the different types of YouTube ads available, and how to create an Oscar-worthy video that will entice viewers to take action.

To learn more about our marketing services, visit:


Read the Full Discussion Below

Glyna: We have a great show today, don’t we?

Sarah: Yes, this is a really, really good one. We’re talking about YouTube. As you can see, we’re going to talk about how to create a YouTube ad. This is sort of your beginner’s guide but very easy to follow. So if you’ve seen YouTube ads in action, you’re probably thinking yourself, “Well would that be something that would be worth my investment?” And for us, the short answer is, “Yes, yes, yes, absolutely.” The reason why is because it is a relatively inexpensive investment and the cost of it would actually surprise you. So, today we’re going to break down the cost of YouTube ads, the content, and how just a killer video ad for YouTube that’s going to get viewers to take action because that’s what it’s all about. So without further ado, let’s go.

Glyna: All right, welcome back and welcome everybody to Marketing Mix. We are here every Friday to talk about different types of digital marketing. And we will go ahead and review where you guys can find us every week before we get started.

Sarah: Yes. We go live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And you can catch the replay on Instagram and this also streams on our Marketing and a Mic podcast. So if you are listening, you are in the right place, Marketing and a Mic. And we are so excited about that and don’t forget about our YouTube channel, Fusion One Marketing. All this also gets streamed on YouTube and those are content videos for you to enjoy and learn about digital marketing. There’s always something to learn.

Glyna: All kinds of great stuff out there for you.

Sarah: Yes. It’s always changing, Glyna and that’s one thing we can guarantee, right?

Glyna: This is true.

Sarah: Okay. So let’s get right to it. Today we’re talking about YouTube ads and because there is a lot to it, we’re really going to break this up into probably two shows, two parts. Because it’s something we really are excited to talk about, but we really want to make sure we don’t throw too much at you. So recently Google rolled out a series of changes and it’s actually making YouTube ads a very worthwhile investment. So the first thing out the gate it’s important to note that YouTube ads do run differently than other social platforms. So if you’ve got an ad running on Facebook and it’s doing well, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that exact ad is going to carry over to YouTube. So they do have very different formats, audiences, all that good stuff so yeah.

Glyna: Yeah. That’s exactly right, and it can be confusing. I know we’re talking, Google, talking YouTube, all that kind of stuff. When you go to Google and you try to create your ads and all of that, one of the options of a place to offer that ad is on video. And of course, YouTube is one of those options. So it’s all kind of tied together. So I didn’t want to get that confused but we are talking specifically about YouTube ads today. So the most exciting part I think is how much it costs compared to social media Pay Per Click and even Google. I mean they have their place, but YouTube advertising costs on average just to 10 to 30 cents per view, which is so cool. And it really has a reputation of fair cost because get this, you only pay if people watch the video for 30 seconds or more. Now of course, if your video is less than 30 seconds then you don’t have to pay that I guess, or do you?

Sarah: Well, it’s basically that if they watch 30 seconds or more of the video, but if the entire video is less than 30 seconds and they get all the way through it, that still counts as a view.

Glyna: Cool. Okay. Or if it’s clicked on of course. And we’ll talk about calls to action. So you always want to have that in there. If they click on it, then of course you’re going to get charged. But anyway, it’s very, very cost-effective.

Sarah: Very cost-effective. That’s right. So, and this is a good thing too. If you set a daily budget, Google is only going to charge you that amount. So you don’t have to worry about any of that fluctuating so it’s really good to scale. And as a general rule, the average business usually does about a $10 daily budget for YouTube advertising. So if you think about that $10 a day, I mean, holy cow, it’s like I said, we keep saying it’s a good investment it really truly is. Now that cost can depend on a couple of factors. Sorry, which-

Glyna: No that’s okay. Yeah, of course, you start with that, and then you use your analytics to kind of judge, “okay, is that enough? Do I need more or can I get away with less?” So it’s going to depend on all your advertising goals, like website, traffic, the leads that you want, how much brand awareness and brand consideration are you wanting to put out there? And you also have upfront costs associated with making these ads. I mean you have to have production. Somebody has to create it. And you have the editing, you have all that, that comes into play but overall Pay Per Click on YouTube is really, really an awesome way to go.

Sarah: Yes. And there is also the type of ad that you’re running is another factor to consider. And we’re going to go through the types of ads here in just a minute. Also, your YouTube advertising targeting options. They have a lot of those different things that can factor in. And obviously, your budget, how much you really want to spend a day is going to be that fluctuation of that kind of $10 daily mark that we talked about so.

Glyna: Yeah. And what’s really exciting is that you have so many different options. Believe it or not, there are six types of YouTube ads. We have three non-video types. So We’ll get discuss the difference between non-video and video and three video types of ads. So we’re going to run through them briefly and talk about the creative components of really making an engaging ad. So let’s go ahead and look at those.

Sarah: Yes. Okay. So we said they’re six. So the first one is a display ad. So if you see right here, these are kind of clickable animation or text that appears in the upper right of the featured video of the video that you’re watching. So this little red box right here, this over here, this is what’s called a display ad. And it’s important to note that those can only be seen on a desktop. So you wouldn’t see those if you are on a mobile device.


create youtube ads


Glyna: Yeah.

Sarah: But those, they sort of have a prime location. And the reason why is because it doesn’t interfere with the viewer’s enjoyment of the actual featured video that they’re watching, it’s just sort of a popup on the right.

Glyna: Yeah. That’s a great point. All right. Number two, it’s called an overlay ad. All right. Now, this is a clickable text or image banner that appears below the featured video. Now the advantage of these ads is that they demand attention without really imposing it on the viewer. They’re more subtle and the viewers may leave them on while the video plays. And if they do close it, that means they’ve already seen it and they’ve already become aware of your brand.


youtube ad types


Sarah: Yeah. So that’s what’s kind of nice about those as they’re not intrusive. But if you do decide to click it off, that means that you actually did see the ad and that’s the point. So, sponsor cards are interesting. So this would be a display of content that is relevant to the main video such as products or services. So let me explain this, these are similar to overlay ads but they only appear on the screen for a few seconds. And what’s great about these, is that these are clickable images that are actually in addition to your featured ads. So if I’m watching an ad that’s on your particular product or service, you the advertiser can put these additional content displayed up on the right. It’s really a great way to advertise your products or services within one of your videos. So it’s kind of a great lead-generating tool because it can be… if you’ve got something you’re explaining in the video, you can have it pop up that says, “Hey, do you want to get more information on this? Click right here.” So those would be really good lead-generating features.



Glyna: Yes. I love that feature. Anyway, these are just all exciting things. I think it’s really, really cool. Now we move into the next one which is what we call non-skippable video ads. All right. A non-skippable video. Wait a minute. I lost my point. Okay. It must be watched in order for a viewer to continue to the main video. So I know sometimes people are like, “Oh shoot, why do I have to watch this?” But for an advertiser, you are getting your message out there in front of them and that’s the whole point. And they can appear before, during, or after the feature video. And generally, they’re really no longer than 15 seconds in length so that’s not so intrusive. And again, you’re getting your brand across.



Sarah: Yeah. And I know we’ve all seen these. Sometimes we get so used to that whole thing of skip ads, skip ad but these you have to watch the entire length. So the best thing about these non-skippable ads is that, as you said, Glyna, you’re guaranteed the viewer’s attention. And plus, YouTube has impressive targeting capabilities. You’re pretty much guaranteeing that the viewer that is watching is fitting the profile of your target audience. So that’s what’s cool is that it’s kind of no mistake. That it’s not random that these videos are in front of you. These are really because they’ve built up a targeting profile and you fit that profile and that’s why you’re seeing it.

Glyna: Yes, exactly. It’s very, very effective.

Sarah: Yes.

Glyna: All right. So we’ve talked about all of those. Let’s move to number five, which is what we call bumper ads. Now, I wasn’t really used to this term, but I know you’ve all seen them even though you may not know the term bumper ads. A bumper ad is a non-skippable video with a maximum length of six seconds. So it’s real quick. And it can be viewed on desktop or mobile, which is awesome. And despite their short length, they’re really, really effective if done right. You just have to make sure that you get your point across really fast because obviously, six seconds is not very long.



Sarah: Yes. I’ll tell you. I was watching some YouTube videos on our TV last night with my kids and a bumper ad came across. So I said, “Kids, this is called a bumper ad!” And they were like, “Mom, what?” I was like, “Look, look it’s six seconds, it going to count down though!” They’re like, “Okay, let’s get back to Family Feud.” Oh goodness, it was funny. Okay. So now skippable video ads. These are really the kind of… they have a meat and potatoes situation with them and I’ll explain why. So these play within the featured video either before, during, or after. They’re anywhere from 12 seconds, long to six minutes long. These get used quite a bit. And the viewer has the option to skip the ad after five seconds. So we’ve seen those a lot, where after five seconds that little skip ad pop up will come up and these can appear all over. They could be on desktops, mobile TV, and even game consoles.


create youtube ads


Glyna: Yeah, exactly. And of course, the main disadvantage of skippable video ads is in their name, it can be skipped. However, you still have to watch the first six to seven seconds and make it extremely compelling so that it can be effective. So we’re going to dive right in on how to make these ads very compelling, whether it’s six seconds, six minutes, whatever you choose to do!

Sarah: And that’s why I say six to seven or why we say six to seven seconds, even though you can skip it after five, if you want them to keep watching, obviously you don’t want to have it cut. You really want to keep it going so that they keep watching past that five seconds.

Glyna: Yes, exactly.

Sarah: So, let’s talk of, this is the kind of, I will say the main event, which how to build a killer YouTube ad. So the first thing is first is that you need to have a compelling ad, that goes without saying. I mean, you can target all the right keywords, you can have the highest budget in the world, but if your ad stinks, nobody’s going to click on it. So you really, really the first starting point of this is to know your audience, and that kind of goes beyond their age and their gender and their income. It’s so important because of the targeting capabilities of YouTube that you really know your audience.

Glyna: Yeah. You have to think about, who’s buying your product. Who’s excited about your product or service because we talk about it all the time and probably people get tired of it, but it’s important. I mean, do you even know what your target audience is likely to be watching? If you don’t, you need to figure that out. I mean, if you’re going to YouTube to be entertained, then you need to make your video entertaining enough so that they want to watch it. And we’ll dive into more targeting capabilities next time or on our next show because that’s even a whole other topic that definitely needs to be covered. But let’s move on to building the creative process of the video.

Sarah: Yeah. So this is going to be… and we’re going to go into even a sample video script too so that you know exactly the components of it. But these creative concepts that I want to talk about, we actually got some of these from a YouTube class or course that we took from a company called Founder. So we really highly recommend that if you want to dive real deep into YouTube ads and get more in-depth knowledge on it, we recommend using Founder because it was terrific for us and those courses were great. So yeah, let’s start right from the beginning of what you need for a script.



Glyna: Okay. A hook. You need a hook, advertising’s all about the hook. I mean, how are you going to captivate your audience? Right? So the first five to 10 seconds of your at ideally six to seven seconds needs to be the hook. You really have to have a hook to make them want to keep watching. So come up with as many different angles as possible. Like how to in the keywords. A lot of people are looking up, how do I do this? How do I do that on YouTube? Like have you tried a bunch of different diet plans or how to diet or how do you follow the best diet for you? It’s all about captivating and capturing their attention right off the bat with the hook.

Sarah: Yes. That’s exactly right. So you could lead in with a compelling question. You could also lead in with an outcome statement. Which would be, “What if I told you that there was an all-natural supplement that would eliminate bloating in less than 10 seconds?” That’s an outcome statement where I’m leading in with like, “Here’s the result that you’re going to get.” And then also you want to speak specifically to your target audience. It’s no mistake that the people that are watching it should be exactly your target audience. So you could speak specifically to them. Let’s say, I have just found a bunch of people that are using the keto diet. I can say something to them that says, “I’ve created a keto fast guide to show you exactly how to get into ketosis and burn fat.” So because of my targeting capabilities that person’s going to stop. Because they’re like, “Well I’m on keto and I’m struggling and well, let me keep watching this.”

Glyna: Yes, that’s exactly right, because you’re getting their attention. So again, you need to know the pain points of your target audience.

Sarah: Yes.

Glyna: Not just your audience, but what is their pain because you need to hammer down on that pain. So number two, the message and story portion of your ad are what we want to talk about. So you want to relate to your audience a conversation that is relevant to your offer. I mean the conversation that is relevant to your offer puts emphasis again on their needs and their pains. What is their problem? What can you solve for them? So you need to go creative relatable scene that they’re more likely to identify with.

Sarah: Yes, that’s exactly right. So another way. These are what we’re calling is creative lead-ins, they’re hooks as we said too, also are the results. Results are something that someone achieved, by having whatever you’re promoting. A real-life situation or a product demo. You also want to have maybe a turning point, a before and after, or a transformation. Social proof. This is another huge one. Social proof is a video testimonial, an actual customer. Somebody who actually saw results with your product and in this message portion of it, if you lead in with this video testimonial, then this would be the part of when you do an extended version of that. And the length of this portion, because again, these videos, these are the extended ones, they can be anywhere from, as we said, 12 seconds to six minutes. So what you’re asking for and how long it takes to get there is going to be really dependent upon the length of your entire ad. So you got to kind of think about that.

Glyna: Yes. And you want to be bossy. Okay?

Sarah: Yeah.

Glyna: You want to tell the users what to do. So in this message portion, I know it’s a lot to fit-in in the message, but you always want to have a call-to-action. Because if you’re not telling them what to do, then you’re kind of wasting your time. You play the ad for them and you need to say, “Go do this.” So, tell them what to do by telling them how to take action on what you’re offering and where to go to click on it or find the information. So be very literal and very direct. But you also have to be careful. You don’t want to be like “Buy now, buy now, buy now,” in their face. You don’t want to look spammy or non-authentic. So how can you do that at the same time get your point across? Well, you can share benefits just like you talked about. What’s helpful for them? What’s going to make them say, “Yes, I need this.” So, strengthen your offer with a guarantee maybe or a big promise. So all of these things are a way to get them to act. You want that call to action. You want them to do something so you can move them onto the next phase of the sales process.

Sarah: Exactly. So those are the pieces that you want to think about when you’re put in together. So let’s just give you a sample video ad script. You could know a little bit about the flow of it. So you’ve got what we talked about. They say the first five seconds we say the first six or seven because you want to keep, them watching past the five-second mark. You want to introduce your hook to the problem you can help solve so that, as we talked about, you want to lead right into it. Whether it be a how or an outcome statement or whatever it is lead-in with that. The next 10 to 20 seconds, is when you’re going to introduce the benefits to the solution that you can offer them. And again, the benefit is when you start rolling into talking about a relatable scene or talking about a conversation that’s relevant or a real story that people, what can identify with. The next 10 to 20 seconds, is when you’re providing more context around your solution and you want to show them what their outcome will be with your solution. So this is when you really want to start extending that portion of it, where that person is going to be able to relate to, “Oh my gosh, look at these results that they have achieved.” And it’s really hooking them in and then you start leading into introducing your offer.

Glyna: That’s exactly right. So those are all very, very important things. But you also, again, as I mentioned a moment ago, the last 10 to 20 seconds is where you’re really going to get them. You want that call to action. So provide them with a call to action that convinces them to click through to your website or wherever you want to take them. So you have to be very direct and intentional. Remind them again of the benefits and outcome, what are they going to get if they click on it. And then restate the call to action one more time, kind of like, “Hey, don’t miss out on this,” so that they do follow your direction and go where you want them to go.



Sarah: Yes. So those are the good pieces to making that great video ad. So let’s just kind of end with this. These are the fundamentals of a great YouTube ad. Four components to think about. One is to attract, hook the customer’s attention that is out the gate. This is got to be so strong. You want your intent to be that they going to keep watching. Brand, help customers hear or visualize your brand. This is when you want to make that sort of, okay, now I know what the product is. I’m getting a little bit of an introduction. The next part of that is to connect. This is extremely important as well. You want to make the consumers feel something about your brand. That’s where the relatability comes. If you’ve targeted your audience well, they’re going to watch this and they’re going to be able to identify with this ad that you’re are showing. And then direct, as Glyna said, this is super important there. It’s a waste of your time if you’re not telling them where to go, to get what they needed to get their answers. So, encourage customers to take action. And like Glyna said, you want to be really literal and specific. There’s a portion in that course that we watched from Founder. And they talked about, if you’re going to take them to your website or your landing page, you have to make it so easy for them to get to where the offer is. So if they get on that landing page and then all of a sudden you’ve got all these product details and all this text and they don’t know where to go. Well, you’re going to lose them. You want to make it to where they get exactly to what your solution is out the gate.


Glyna: Yes. So it may be a good idea to just have a landing page, not take them to your website. So that’s another whole show. We could talk about landing pages and how to make sure that you’re wrapping them up once they get to where you want them to go. But gosh, that was just such an overview of YouTube ads. There’s so much more meat, but we haven’t shared this before. So I’m excited about getting to next week. Next week we’re going to share what part of YouTube ads, Sarah.

Sarah: Well, we’re going to get down to building the campaign. So that’s the real part of how exactly you can go on there and piece it together bit by bit and the retargeting capabilities. And again, we’re really excited about it because it’s a good and relatively inexpensive investment and it’s easier than we’ve seen to put together so.

Glyna: Yeah. And right now we’re looking not necessarily for alternatives, but for our customers, we’re looking for alternatives because social media Pay Per Click right now is a little weird. And until they get their stuff together a little bit better and Google has become a little bit too expensive. So it’s exciting to have another option here. So that’s basically it for us this week. We’ll call that a wrap and we will be here like Sarah said next week to talk a little bit more in detail about YouTube ads and putting together that campaign. So message us if you want more info. We’re glad to talk with you and share any ideas that we have. And until then, I guess we’ll see you next Friday.

Sarah: That’s right. Thanks for watching.