In the majority of digital businesses, marketing videos are enjoying ever-increasing popularity. This is due largely to the level of interaction they generate between brands and their consumers. It should come as no surprise, then, that this format has become an indispensable communication strategy for any business, since it allows them to connect with potential clients while also boosting brand image.


But is video as a format just a passing fad? Not according to the data below, which suggest that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon:

  • 78% of marketing professionals say that video brings excellent ROI
  • 99% of companies using video say they will continue to do so in 2019
  • YouTube is used for 4 billion searches every month
  • Almost a third of all Internet users (and there are a billion of us!) visit YouTube every day
  • YouTube is the most popular social network platform among teens

Taking into account that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, your brand (or your clients) simply cannot afford not to be harnessing the power of the ubiquitous video platform to promote products or services.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about advertising on YouTube, from first steps right through to advanced segmentation techniques, so you can get the very best out of the platform.

Your first steps in YouTube

Let us save you the trouble of Googling like a maniac; read on for a high-speed YouTube 101:

Advertising on YouTube has been available since  2007. In spite of being around all this time, however, some are still unclear on how it works, the formats available and the different buying options.

It’s true that correctly creating a campaign on YouTube can be complex if you haven’t got much grounding in how Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords) works, but it’s not impossible by any means.

Take your time and don’t get frustrated. Remember that Monkeyflux can help you launch and optimise your campaigns.

This can be done through Google Ads, but that isn’t the only Google platform you can find inventory on. You can also access via DBM (Doubleclick Bid Manager).

So, what’s the difference between Google Ads and DBM? You could say that DBM is Google’s DSP. It’s an excellent product that brings together not only YouTube inventory, but also Display (GDN) and programmatic buying. You can also gain access to the data from every DMP (Data Management Platform) connected to Google.

The downside? Creating an account requires previous negotiation with a partner. This also carries a fee of anything from 4-10%. Obviously, this fee will affect your buying costs, meaning that if you aren’t going to use all the aforementioned features, it may be wiser to choose Google Ads.

What formats can I buy on YouTube?

Skippable In-stream

This format launches the ad before or after the video you’re watching.

An important characteristic to bear in mind with this format is that the person you want to watch your ad can skip it after 5 seconds, as in the below example:

Although this format gives you more coverage, you’ll have a harder time getting your target to watch the whole video, especially if those precious first five seconds aren’t as attention-grabbing as they might be.

This is why this kind of ad is often best-suited to the generation of brand-awareness.

The available buying formats are CPV or CPM. The first means you only pay when someone has watched your ad for more than 30 seconds (or the whole video if it’s less than 30 seconds long) or if that person interacts with the video, whichever happens first. If you decide to opt for CPM, you’ll be charged every time the video is shown 1,000 times.

Unskippable In-stream

Valid for any ad between 6 and 15 seconds long, with this format you can have your video launch before, during or after the video the user is watching with no option but to watch the whole ad.

Use this type of ad if you are aiming to increase brand awareness or reach. The buying format is CPM.


This format could be considered a sub-type of unskippable in-stream ads, whose distinguishing feature is that they last only six seconds.

You might be thinking “but, surely I can’t get my audience’s attention in just six seconds?” Well, it turns out you can. Google just carried out an analysis that showed that out of 300 bumper-style campaigns analyzed, 9 out of 10 drove a significant lift in ad recall.

Our recommendation is that you use this type of YouTube ad in conjunction with an in-stream format, with the bumper-style ads coming towards the end of your campaign, so that your ad and brand stay fresh in your target audience’s mind.


If you prefer not to advertise within a video, you might explore the option of running Discovery campaigns.

This type of ad is shown on the right-hand side of the user’s screen, as shown in the example below:

This type of ad isn’t widely opted for; the user can ignore the ad and is likely only to be interested in the video he or she is watching at the time. However, it can be a good option if you’re looking to improve conversion rates. Anyone clicking on the ad does so by choice, meaning they’ve already had their interest piqued and may be easier to convert as a result

How do I know what audience my ad is being shown to?

If you don’t know your product or service’s target audience, we recommend you start doing some testing. Google Ads lets you segment your audience with practically any parameter you can imagine: keywords, audiences, demographics, topics, placements, devices, locations…

Our tip: start with simple segmentation, for example “women aged between 25 and 34 who are interested in: fashion, art and entertainment, news and health”. Once the campaign is underway, you can add or remove parameters with a view to improving results.

Our buying algorithm can automatically manage your campaign so you get better results without having to worry about the details. Leave it all to our bot, which makes automatic adjustments every ten minutes

How do I create campaign reports?

Google Ads has the capacity to create personalised reports. The problem: if you’re a new user, the sheer quantity of available options can be overwhelming.

Go to the menu at the top and choose the “reports” from which you can access all the campaigns and create personalised reports about them.

Monkeyflux has a custom reporting module in which you can create reports in Excel and PowerPoint. Both can be customised with your logo, company colours and your own KPIs. Our system will also analyse your campaigns and provide you with recommendations and insights.

Bonus: Creative advice for making videos on YouTube

While we by no means claim to be creative experts, we do handle dozens of ads in our day-to-day, so we feel we have some claim to knowing a thing or two about what works on YouTube.


  • Make those first 5-8 seconds truly attention-grabbing. Remember, that’s all the time you have to convince your target not to skip past your lovingly-crafted ad.
  • Replicate the language, content and tone of the industry you want to advertise in. A quick search among your competitors will give you clues as to which content and messages work best.
  • Design a banner to accompany your ad and reinforce its message. This is optional but highly recommendable.
  • Focus on explaining just one aspect of your product. Don’t overwhelm the user with excessive information.
  • Is there a story behind your video? The videos with the best engagement tend to be the ones that tell some kind of story and trigger emotional reactions in viewers.