Advertising your channel
To maximize your success on YouTube, you need to think about connecting with new audiences and turning existing viewers into long-term fans. One way to build your audience is to run a paid ad campaign with AdWords for video. This is an ad-serving tool which allows you to run advertising campaigns for your videos on YouTube.
Before you advertise your channel’s videos with AdWords for video, make sure it offers a unique and easy-to-see value for every viewer. Channels that have a clear creative mission, branding, and programming strategy tend to attract subscribers at a higher rate than channels that don't.
Create engaging ads with AdWords to promote your channel and attract audiences who might not have found you otherwise.
Promote your channel with AdWords for video
To help drive more views and subscribers to your channel, you can pay to run an ad campaign for your videos on YouTube through AdWords for video. You can create an ad that could appear before a video starts, or alongside a video on its watch page on YouTube. All you have to do is create your ad, set your budget, and use the promotional tools below to reach the right audience. There's no minimum price to run an ad -- you can pay as little or as much as you like, and you can change your ads, targeting, and budgets at any time. You can also end your campaign whenever you want.
- Create video ads with AdWords for video
- Remarketing with AdWords
- Linking YouTube Channels to an AdWords account
- Mastering AdWords for Video YT playlist
Create engaging ads with a clear call to action
When promoting your videos on YouTube with an ad, it's important to create unique ads that inspire your viewer and help them get to know you. Here are some useful strategies:
- Keep it short. Aim for a length of 30 to 60 seconds.
- Show viewers what you’re all about. Consider including clips from your most popular videos and make sure your ad has the same look and feel as the rest of the content on your channel.
- Make the most of the first 5 seconds. Viewers can skip your ad in the first 5 seconds, so it's important to use this time creatively to convince them to stay!
- Use calls to action (CTA). A call to action is a marketing term for a clear message that tells your viewer exactly what to do next. If this isn't clear, they may enjoy your video ad, but not click or subscribe. Have you ever seen an infomercial on TV where the host doesn't announce their customer phone number repeatedly? Of course not! Make sure you include clear call to actions like "Click to subscribe" or "Get more /channelname." Try using these tips for effective placement of calls to action in your video.
- Give users time to take that action. If your video is tons of fun, your viewer may be too busy watching and processing your video to realize they're missing out on some important clickable spots on your video. Once your ad has played, they'll move on to watching something else, so make sure the last 10 seconds or more of your video gives viewers time to absorb your message and click. For example, you could create a static call to action, like an end-card for your ad.
- Give your ad a viewer-friendly title. The ad title you create isn't just on your dashboard -- it's also visible to viewers, so name it thoughtfully. For example, you probably don’t want to call it "My Channel Ad." You can also use this space as an additional opportunity to include a CTA by naming it something like “subscribe to my channel."
- Upload to the channel you’re promoting. Upload the ad as unlisted or public to the channel you’re trying to promote.
Make the most of TrueView formats
When you use paid promotion with AdWords for video, there are a couple of YouTube-specific ad formats you can use, known as TrueView video ads. First, think about how you'd like to pay for your ads, what type of ad formats you have, and how you'd like to drive viewers to your channel. Then, build your ad campaign using the right ad format for your promotion goals.
TrueView InStream ads are like TV commercials – they play before the start of a monetized YouTube video. Custom promotional videos are ideal for TrueView InStream ads. Viewers see five seconds of your ad and then have the option to keep watching or skip it. This format lets you pay a “cost-per-view.” You’re only charged if a viewer watches the ad for at least 30 seconds.
- Consider creating a video that tells the user why they should watch your channel and use this as a TrueView InStream ad.
- If you'd like to get more mileage out of your new TrueView InStream ad, you can also try uploading it as your channel’s official trailer (welcome video).
TrueView In-display ads appear as a thumbnail and text on YouTube watch pages in the right-hand side of a viewer's suggested and recommended videos. This format lets you pay a “cost-per-view.” You’re only charged when a user clicks through from your ad and begins watching your video on a watch page. In-display ads are a great place to promote your existing videos, but before you do, make sure they're well-optimized:
- Lead viewers to more content: Drive your audience to more of your videos with cards that link to playlists and other videos.
- Upload a compelling thumbnail: Use clear, interesting, and creative thumbnails to entice users to click your video ad.
- Use CTAs: Make sure the video you’re promoting includes calls to subscribe, engage, or watch more content.
See it in action
Examples of In-display adsThreadbanger and Vsauce3 offer great examples of In-display ads for their popular channel videos. Note how their high view counts are likely to attract more clicks from potential viewers.
Example of a Channel Trailer as an InStream adBarelyPolitical uses a creative mashup of funny and engaging content for their Channel Trailer and promote it as an InStream ad. The ad gives a great overview of their brand and channel content and offers plenty of calls-to-action for viewers to subscribe. (Video in English)
Reach new audiences
If you're having trouble building your audience on YouTube, paid promotion with AdWords for video can help you attract new viewers to your videos and your channel through a process called "ad targeting.” Ad targeting gives you several ways to zero in on potential fans:
- Placement targeting helps you attract new viewers you think will appreciate your own channel by running your ad on other channels they watch. First, identify channels that have an audience you’d like to attract, then add these channels as “placement targets” in your campaign.
- Interest category targeting helps you reach new viewers based on their interests. For example, you can target your channel of cooking tutorials to viewers interested in food. First, identify subjects your new audience would be interested in, then add these as targeting categories to your campaign.
Get existing viewers to subscribe
Do you have a lot of views on your videos, but few subscribers? You can use video remarketing through AdWords for video to show tailored ads to viewers who are familiar with your content but who have not yet subscribed. This will target your ad to viewers that have already shown interest in your channel with an action like viewing, liking, or commenting.
Cross-promote with another channel to reach a new audience
Do you currently collaborate or cross-promote with another channel? If so, you can target each other's existing audiences easily with remarketing via Adwords for video. To do this, the partner channel will need to link their YouTube account to your AdWords account. To cross-promote:
- Set up targeting in your AdWords for video campaign:
- Create a remarketing list of all the viewers or subscribers of your collaborating channel.
- Create a list of your current subscribers.
- Then, create a custom combination of all viewers/subscribers to the collaborating channel that aren't subscribed to your channel.
- Create cross-promotional ads for your ad campaign:
- Create an InStream ad or channel trailer that features both of your channels.
- Clearly explain why their audience would be interested in your content.
- Make sure your ad calls the viewer to subscribe.
- Set up targeting in your AdWords for video campaign:
Use subscription and playlist URL tags to drive action
When you create your ads in your AdWords for video campaign, you can choose where the viewer's browser goes after they click on your video. The web address you enter is called a "Destination URL." Make sure this URL helps you meet the goal of your promotion:
- To drive subscriptions: You can send viewers to your subscription page with your InStream ad to encourage new subscriptions. Use this page as your Destination URL: www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=[insert your channel here]
- To drive views to specific videos: If you'd like to help drive views to a specific video (to help you earn more revenue on that video, for example), you can send viewers to specific videos within a playlist rather than a stand-alone watch page. Use this page as your Destination URL: www.youtube.com/watch?v=[the video ID]&list=[the playlist ID]
Through paid ad campaigns with AdWords for video, you'll be able to introduce your channel to a broader audience on YouTube and help convert more viewers to subscribers. Set your ad campaign up for success by creating ads that clearly convey your channel's creative mission. You can then use AdWords targeting tools to promote your channel to specific groups of viewers on YouTube.
Are your ads working?Try it now
You can use YouTube Analytics to find out how effective your ads are. Use the Traffic sources report to identify how much of your viewership is coming from “YouTube Advertising.” The Audience retention report shows you how well your videos are holding viewers' attention.
Have you unlocked more detailed performance reports?Try it now
If you link your YouTube and AdWords accounts, you can unlock more detailed metrics for your YouTube promotions in your AdWords account. The "audience" columns will show you the number of views, subscribers, shares, and likes that your ads have earned.