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YouTube Advertising 101

Find out how you can leverage advertising and content marketing on YouTube.

YouTube is a video sharing service that allows users to watch, like, share, and comment on videos posted by other users and upload their videos. It is widely accessible on PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

The service started as an independent website in 2005 founded by three PayPal employees namely Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. A year after, Google acquired YouTube — and the rest is history.

In today’s media landscape, YouTube is the world’s second most popular website that draws a whopping 2 billion monthly logged-in visitors! If you’re deciding how to allocate your video ad budget for your brand, then YouTube should be your go-to place. The platform has a vast reach and powerful targeting capabilities that make it valuable across the customer journey.

  • YouTube User Demographics
  • Why advertise on YouTube?
  • Advertising on YouTube Effectively
  • 5 YouTube marketing tools

YouTube User Demographics

Age demographics

Here's a breakdown of users in the United States:

  • 77% of 15–25 year-olds
  • 77% of 26-35 year-olds 
  • 73% of 36-45 year-olds
  • 70% of 46-55 year-olds
  • 67% of 56+ year-olds

Gender demographics

  • 78% of male adults in the United States use YouTube.
  • 68% of female adults in the United States use YouTube.

Location demographics

YouTube has 265 million active users in India.

Why advertise on YouTube?

First things first — YouTube Advertising (done through Google Ads) is a way of advertising your video content on YouTube or in search results so you can maximize your reach. 

Gone are the days that YouTube is the sole option for video marketing. There are now a variety of channels that brand owners and marketers alike can utilize like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat to post videos to build awareness.

The different channels we mentioned are undeniably great for generating immediate awareness for brands. However, they all differ from YouTube. Users come to YouTube with the sole intention of watching videos. 

If your audience engages with video content better than others, YouTube advertising is the best platform to discover ad revenue from. Not convinced yet? Here are more reasons why you need to advertise on YouTube.

1. Reach

YouTube Advertising has the potential to reach a large percentage of the world’s population with the platform’s 2 billion monthly users from all over the world. In the United States alone, YouTube ranks as the most widely-used online platform among American adults (a.k.a. people who have more buying capabilities).

2. Targeting

As we already know, YouTube is part of the entire Google empire. With that being said, YouTube has a wealth of knowledge that only Facebook can compete with. Knowing people’s individual preferences and interests can help you greatly in targeting the right audience for your ad campaigns.

3. Data

You can get in-depth reports about your ad campaigns, including (but not limited to) those people who interacted with them — giving you a great advantage of knowing the kind of audience who are interested in your content. 

4. Flexibility

The best part about YouTube Advertising? It’s not static. It constantly changes, and so will your ads. In simpler terms, you can change your targeting, ad schedule, ad copy, and a lot more in real-time to ensure that you get the most out of your budget with YouTube.

Advertising on YouTube Effectively

Step 1: Create a YouTube business account

You can create a YouTube channel with your regular Google account. Although if you do, you must note that other people in your team will not be able to access it and that your viewers may be able to connect to your email address.

We highly suggest that you start by opening a Brand Account on Google. By doing so, multiple authorized users can log in simultaneously and you can also manage multiple YouTube channels for your brand/s in one place.

Step 2: Get to know your audience

With a YouTube channel for business, you have access to an Analytics tab. YouTube Analytics allows you to measure the success of your marketing efforts. You can use them to monitor your progress toward achieving specific goals like growing subscribers or increasing video views, and identify what works and what flops.

Step 3: Know your competitors

Like any platform, YouTube is a competitive space. By conducting an audit of competitors, you can see how your channel measures up and identify opportunities.

Pro Tip: Make sure your competitors aren’t serving ads on your videos. If they are, block them in Google’s ad manager!

Step 4: Learn from other channels

One way to learn about other channels is by taking a look at YouTube’s trending videos. Try to observe what keeps other people from coming back to the following videos you see and how else these creators are driving views, subscriptions, and engagement through their content.

Step 5: Optimize your video

Optimizing your videos means that they stand the best chance to show up in search results. Frequently showing up in search results also means getting more chances of gaining viewers. Since YouTube is a video search engine, video results are ranked by titles, keywords, and descriptions among other factors, including YouTube’s recommendation algorithm.

Step 6: Upload and schedule your videos

Access your channel analytics and check if there’s a particular day or hour that tends to have a high amount of viewership and engagement. Once you’ve pinpointed the best timeframe, make it your business goal to publish regularly within that period.

Step 7: Optimize your channel

Optimizing your channel means making it easier for viewers to find and follow your account. To effectively do so, make sure to add these finishing touches to your profile:

  • Channel description,
  • Channel icon,
  • Channel banner, and
  • Featured channels (if applicable).

Step 8: Set up your YouTube ads

If you want to promote your brand, your event, or your new product, YouTube ads are the way to go. In case you didn’t know yet, people are generally three times more likely to pay attention to online video ads compared to TV ads.

Types of YouTube Ads

YouTube ads are available in the following categories:

    • TrueView ads generally give viewers the most control over the ads they see. You will only pay for TrueView ads when users watch for at least 30 seconds, watch an entire short video, or interact with an ad (such as clicking on a call-to-action).
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads are similar to TrueView ads — except viewers will not be able to skip them. Non-skippable ads must be between 15 and 20 seconds, and they aren’t just played before videos. They also play partway through videos that are 10 minutes long (or more). Unlike TrueView ads, you will pay for non-skippable YouTube ads on a CPM (cost-per-mille) basis, which means that you will pay a fee per thousand views.
  • Bumper instream ads are non-skippable video ads that are played before a viewer’s chosen video and must be less than 6 seconds long. You will have to pay for bumper ads on a CPM basis.
  • Sponsored card ads appear within videos as small call-to-action (CTA) pop-ups. A small “i” symbol will pop up in the upper right-hand corner of a video and when your viewer clicks on it, the card will expand.
  • Overlay ads are the simplest form of YouTube advertising. These are banner ads that appear along the bottom of videos and they may also be text-based.
  • Display ads are also simple YouTube advertising formats. These ads have been around for a while and appear in the right-hand sidebar above the suggested videos list. 

Step 9: Work with an influencer

To showcase your brand and to reach a wider audience on YouTube, work with an influencer. YouTube subscribers are more likely to follow shopping advice from their favorite creator over their favorite TV movie personality simply because they find it a lot easier to relate with creators.

Step 10: Analyze your results

Getting YouTube marketing right involves testing and experimenting which is why you need to start measuring your success and failures alike. When you publish your videos, keep an eye out on:

  • Changes in subscriber count,
  • Audience demographics,
  • Video playback locations and traffic sources, and
  • Device reports.

5 YouTube marketing tools

There’s undeniably a lot of YouTube ad marketing tools that you can use for your business and your campaigns. The right set of tools can help you not just create videos easily but also put your content right in front of your target audience.

YouTube Studio App

YouTube Studio app is the fastest and easiest way to manage different channels from your phone. Great for checking your stats, changing thumbnails and tags, or replying to comments in real-time, it’s free for you to utilize, and authorized users from your team can access it simultaneously!

YouTube Audio Library

Find royalty-free production music and sound effects to use in your videos while avoiding infringing on the copyright by sourcing directly from YouTube’s free audio library.


Canva is also well-used in YouTube Advertising as it allows you to create beautiful professional-quality images and videos for your content. Their interface is pretty simple and intuitive that allows you to create good-looking banners in various layouts and fonts. 


TubeBuddy is a free browser extension and mobile app that integrates directly into YouTube to help you run your channel with ease. 

Pro Tip: You may use this tool to automate repetitive tasks that take up all your time while creating content.


Minimize your effort in running your channel with this all-in-one solution — manage your productivity, video SEO, data and research, social media, and content. You can also use the analytics tool to have an overview of your overall website performance!

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