How to Use Video to Advertise on YouTube (Google) Ads
by Lior Krolewicz
May 5, 2021
How to Use Video to Advertise on YouTube (Google) Ads

When thinking of Google Ads, many marketers think strictly of text ads, keywords, and search terms. This could not be further from the truth.

Google Ads encompasses a variety of different ad types and formats. This includes YouTube ads, Discover Ads, and the Display network.

Many business owners or marketers believe that YouTube is managed separately from Google search ads.

But in fact, this can be done under one account, using the same dashboard.

Now that you know Google Ads is much more than search, I want to go over how to best use videos in the ads and the best practices for the different ad types.

With over a decade of experience running Google ads, I have seen what works and what does not with video assets.

First, I will lay out where you can use video ads and then a couple of tips and tricks to help you start.

How to Create Video Ads on Google 

  1. Link to Your YouTube Channel

To advertise on YouTube, you will need to link your YouTube channel to your Google Ads account. This is a very quick process if you own or have access to the accounts:

  • In the link accounts section of Google Ads, you will see the option to link to your existing YouTube channel
  • Or you can request to link to an existing channel if you are using a client’s assets

Once you have linked or your client accepted the request, you can use any of your existing YouTube videos to create the ads.

You can find more information on how to link the accounts in Google’s support documents.

  1. Create a Video Campaign

Once you have a video from your channel to use, you can create your first video ad.  To start a new campaign, simply hit “+ New Campaign” and then:

  • Select a video
  • Choose your audiences
  • Target location, demographics, and devices
  • Choose placements and delivery method

There are multiple strategies and techniques you can use to set up all these settings. As this is an introductory article, I will not be going over every strategy.

If you already have traffic going to your website, we prefer to start with remarketing audiences.

  • Remarketing audiences are the users that have already been to your website.
  • You can use the audience manager in Google Ads or Google Analytics to create these and select them when creating your campaign.

Selecting a bidding strategy can be a bit tricky with Video campaigns.

But we recommend starting with Max Conversions or Target CPA. This way, Google will optimize the campaigns based on the goals you input.

Google Ads bidding is an often debated subject, but you can optimize your campaigns by monitoring the data carefully.

Google Ad Type
  1. Select an Ad Type

YouTube has the option to create multiple ad types. These include:

  • Skippable in-stream ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads
  • Bumper ads
  • Video discovery ads

Skippable and Non-skippable Instream are the ads you see while watching YouTube videos, and most people are familiar with them.  

Bumper ads are the short 6 second ads commonly seen before videos.

Video Discover ads show in the search results or the recommended videos on YouTube.

Each ad type requires a different video length and format. Review this before creating your campaigns and pick the best for you.

YouTube Ad Best Practices

  1. Use the Best Creative Possible

With any online advertisement, you need to catch the user’s attention fast.

This is particularly true of YouTube ads where you may only have 5 seconds before the user skips your entire ad.

This means you need to grab their attention within these first 5 seconds.

Creating a video that captures this and sells your business can be a challenge.

But the better the video is itself, the less work will be involved in managing the data.

  1. Monitor Your Placements

Within Google Ads, you will see the specific channels your ads showed on. Be careful that these channels’ viewers are within your target audience.

If the user is not in your target audience, consider excluding these channels.

The more targeted your placements, the more likely your ads are to reach your real potential customers.

Monitoring your target audience is especially important for audience-based ad campaigns.

In the beginning, you can choose preset placements. But this method is much more work-intensive and requires sifting through YouTube channel results.

Instead, many marketers choose preset audiences provided by Google.

To make sure this is the right audience for you, it is necessary to adjust the placements as the campaign goes on.

  1. Watch the Performance on Each Device

Google ads will start by showing your ads on all devices. This might be fine for your business, but you will want to watch this closely if you have a tight budget.

Users are less likely to take direct action on a mobile phone or watching TV.

Depending on whether you are going for maximum reach or brand awareness, you may want to consider directing more traffic to desktop users.

Also, YouTube will show your ads on mobile apps. This is another category you will want to watch closely as the user behavior can be quite different.

  1. Watch Frequency Metrics

The more glorified metrics like impressions and views are always closely monitored.

But you should also keep an eye out for frequency or unique users.

These metrics will give you a more accurate sense of how much reach your ad is having.

If these numbers get too high, consider reducing the aggressiveness of your campaigns.

YouTube Ad Best Practices


YouTube ads can be tricky, and many marketers are unaware of where to start.

Now, this article is by no means a master class on YouTube ads, but it should be enough to get you started.

The most crucial factor is to treat YouTube like any other digital marketing campaign.

Monitor your results closely and make sure the budget allocated helps increase your real-world results.

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