On December 21, 2012, Gangnam Style became the first video to surpass one billion views on YouTube. Today, the most viewed video on YouTube is Baby Shark, with nearly 12 billion views 🤯 Clearly, it is increasingly important to gain visibility on YouTube for all artists who want their music to be discovered. However, given the astronomical number of videos that now come out every day on YouTube, this is difficult to do without YouTube Ads to reach your target audience.
Also consider contacting YouTube channels to promote your clips and videos ⬇️
Why use YouTube Ads to promote a video?
SEO on YouTube is the practice of promoting your video in order to gain visibility and appear in suggestions or in advertising after a search, for example. SEO allows you to maximize your reach on the platform to get in front of as many eyes as possible.
There are two types of SEO on YouTube:
- Free/organic SEO consists of all the optimization techniques you use to set up your video and make yourself look good in the eyes of YouTube. In the small world of marketing, this practice is under the umbrella of SEO. The advantage is that it costs nothing, while the disadvantage is that it’s not always enough. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our recap of all the techniques to optimize the SEO settings of your YouTube videos.
- Paid SEO (what we’ll be covering in this article) goes through Google’s advertising platform, Google Ads, which will allow you to reach wider audiences that you get to choose. This way, you can increase the impact of your video and introduce your project to new people on YouTube and its partner networks using cold, hard cash.
So, if your computer is charged and your wallet is burning a hole in your pocket, let’s get started launching an effective YouTube Ads campaign!
1. Objectives & Types of Youtube Ads
How can you determine your goal and choose the right type of YouTube Ads campaign?
- Create a Google Ads account
If you don’t have one, start by creating a Google Ads account. Go to https://ads.google.com/ and fill in your details.
Once the account is created, you have a choice between creating simplified campaigns or switching directly to Google Ads expert mode. Simplified campaigns allow you to launch campaigns easily with a guided process. Expert mode lets you test more possibilities in your campaign, get a better picture of the results, and access many additional features.
Though the tool can be a little scary at first, it is strongly advised to switch to expert mode to be able to take advantage of all the power of Google’s algorithm and all the features of the platform.
- Link Your YouTube Account
Once the account is created, start by linking your YouTube account to get more visibility on the performance of your campaigns, including: the number of times you’re added to playlists, the number of comments, the number of likes, the number of repeat views, and the new subscribers you have obtained via your campaigns.
To do this, go to Tools > Linked Accounts and add your YouTube channel. Log into YouTube or the inbox associated with your account to validate the link with your Google Ads account.
We will now move on to the settings for your first campaign. Click on the campaign tab of your account, then on the +, then “New campaign.”
First, you need to determine your goal. On YouTube, there are two main goals: awareness and enjoyment.
- Awareness means disseminating your content to wider audiences, and therefore optimize the promotion of your campaign.
- Enjoyment means promoting your content to more targeted audiences who are more likely to like, comment on, and add your content to a playlist. These audiences are therefore more beneficial for building your community, but the overall dissemination numbers will be smaller than in a campaign focused on awareness.
- Type of Campaign
There are two main types of campaigns on YouTube, which are directly related to the objectives mentioned above, as well as to the formats and locations of your ads on YouTube.
For awareness, In-Stream campaigns (also called pre-rolls) are ads that will appear at the beginning, during, or at the end of the video content you watch on YouTube. These placements generally allow you to get the maximum distribution for your budget, and thus increase the volume of views on your video. Keep in mind though that these campaigns usually generate relatively little engagement (comments, likes, etc.).
For enjoyment, In-feed (or Discovery) campaigns, meanwhile, are campaigns that will seek engagement and enjoyment from users. Content appears in several places on the platform: The YouTube homepage, video suggestions, or at the top of search results pages. These campaigns cost more (you will reach fewer people for the same budget), but tend to lead to more interactions from targeted audiences (comments, likes, playlist additions, etc.).
Choose your campaign type based on your goals and budget. You can also choose to divide your budget and invest one part In-Stream and another In-Feed. These two types of campaigns are not incompatible; they can even be quite complementary.
- Campaign settings (country, budget, duration, etc.)
Choose the budget you want to spend on your campaign. You have the choice to determine a total budget for the duration of your campaign by choosing a start date and end date, or to choose a daily budget by allowing Google Ads to spend continuously until the end date (or until you stop the campaign). You’ll have the option to stop the campaign early if you want to change your strategy or if you’re not happy with the results, but adding a total budget cap will prevent your money from just flying away.
Choose a broadcast period of at least 10 days—YouTube tends to optimize a campaign better and better in the first few days of the campaign period—while trying to keep an average of about $10 per day minimum (you can also launch on a shorter duration if your budget is less than about $100).
Then choose the places where your campaign will be broadcast: in which geographical area(s) do you want to show your content? It is important to note that advertising prices vary greatly between countries. The most expensive countries are going to be the countries where the market is more mature on Google Ads: France, the United States, Great Britain, etc. Conversely, countries in South America, for example, will have much cheaper advertising costs. Depending on your strategy, mass distribution or targeted distribution, choose the countries to cover accordingly.
On the question of language: if you broadcast music content, you have the option to not choose a language, which will allow you to disseminate your ads to the entire geographical area you have selected.
- Price & Billing
Keep in mind that there is no “optimal” budget to launch a campaign. Any budget, no matter how small, will allow you to move towards your goal. The larger your budget, the greater the impact on the distribution of your content. It’s up to you to decide what budget you’re ready to invest, and to observe the performance of your campaign in the first few days to determine if the results are up to your expectations.
When it comes to billing on YouTube, Google Ads charges its customers in Cost per Thousand (following marketing conventions, YouTube abbreviates this as CPM, which stands for the French acronym for Coût par Mille). CPM is the cost of delivery per 1,000 impressions of your content, one impression being one time your content is delivered to a screen. CPMs vary greatly depending on the country you’re targeting, the size of the audience you’re targeting, and the settings of your campaign (In-stream/In-feed). This also means that even if the user chooses to ignore the video, you’ll have to pay for the impression to be delivered to that user. This is why it is essential to target your audiences to make sure to address the right people and optimize the delivery of your ads.
2. Different Types of Audiences
How can you choose your target audience at the adgroup level?
Audience targeting is the key on YouTube. There are many targeting possibilities on the platform to help direct your content to the most relevant people, and thus ensure the best returns on the invested budget.
- Audience Segments
After setting up your campaign, you will be able to choose the audience you want to push it to.
A campaign on Google Ads takes place on three levels:
- The campaign level, where you define the budget, location, and duration of your campaign
- The Adgroup level (or ad set) where you can define which audience(s) you want to target. The best strategy is to create one adgroup per audience, so create as many adgroups as you want to target, and segment your adgroups well when your audiences are far apart (example: you can conflate fans of electropop and synthpop, but it is better to distinguish fans of pop and rap). This will allow you to quickly identify which audiences your content is working with and which are irrelevant.
The ad level, where you can choose the content you want to broadcast and other elements related to the content.
- Creating an Audience Segment
The idea is to have an audience segment that avoids being:
- too broad, so as not to target people who are not relevant and waste your money
- too restrictive, so you can benefit from better distribution costs and therefore reach the maximum number of people proportional to your budget
There are two main types of audience:
- People-based audiences: Who are the people you want to reach? What are their interests? What are their habits?
- In this type of audience, you can choose either demographic criteria (age, gender, parental status, etc.) or interest criteria, called audience segments.
- Audience segments allow you to target individuals based on categories predefined by Google, historical data from your Google Ads account, or interests related to a number of keywords you can define (custom segments). If you choose to create a custom segment, feel free to be broad in your choice of keywords (around a minimum of 50) and choose the purchase intention option. To choose the keywords, put yourself in the place of people who follow you and who could enjoy your project and think about what they might search for on Google (concerts of similar artists, festivals, events, etc.). Don’t hesitate to think carefully about how to define this segment and try creative methods.
- Be careful if you choose demographic criteria as well as audience segments; the algorithm will target the intersection of these two criteria. However, if you select multiple audience segments, the algorithm will target them all.
- Content-based audiences: where do you want to distribute your content? On which sites? On which channels? On content related to which keywords?
- Here, you can choose either keywords related to the content you want your video to be promoted on, or topics related to your content, or direct placements.
- Placements can include other YouTube channels, or even videos in particular. Make sure to cast a wide net if you select this type of targeting. Add a large number of channels (at least 50) so that the algorithm has enough volume to broadcast.
In general, choose one type of audience per adgroup (having both types of audience within the same adgroup could lead to having too small an audience and limit your distribution).
💡 One good practice can be to create two adgroups: one focused on criteria related to people, and a second focused on criteria related to content. This will allow you to compare the performance of these two types of targeting as they are carried out.
🚨 Of course, you can create as many adgroups as you want depending on the number of audiences you want to target, however if you create too many, you risk spreading your budget too thin and having little to no promotion to certain audiences.
💡 Roughly speaking, for budgets ranging from $100–300, 2 or 3 audiences are largely sufficient.
3. Formats & Content of YouTube Ads
How can you choose your ad format and properly configure the content?
After setting up your audience, you can add your content.
Choose the link for the video you want to promote. Depending on the format you have chosen, you will then be able to choose the thumbnail, the title of your ad, and the description of your content. You can then add the name of the ad (which will not be visible to viewers while the ad plays; it will just help you find it in your campaign page).
You can promote multiple videos per adgroup if you want to promote multiple pieces of content at the same time to evaluate which has the best performance.
🚨 Be careful—to be promoted, your video must be uploaded to your YouTube account in Public or Unlisted mode. YouTube will not allow privated videos to be promoted.
4. Analyzing Your YouTube Ads Campaign Performance
How can you analyze the results of a campaign?
- KPIs to Keep in Mind
Once your YouTube campaign is launched, Google Ads will provide you with a number of results on the performance of your campaign. Some of these criteria are particularly important for evaluating the effectiveness of your campaign.
- Impressions: Impressions are the number of times your ad has been shown on a screen.
- Views: Views are the total number of times users have seen more than 30 seconds of your content. These views are counted in the views counter of your video on YouTube.
- View rate: The view rate is the percentage of people who have viewed your video for 30 seconds compared to the number of impressions. Compare this rate with different content to identify which video worked best between your different campaigns. Be careful—depending on your goal, the view rate can be very variable, so compare only campaigns that have the same goal.
- CPV: The average CPV is the average cost to get a view of your content.
- CPM: CPM is the cost to get 1,000 impressions. It depends directly on the price of the audience you have chosen for your broadcast and is set by Google.
- If you’ve linked your YouTube channel to Google Ads, you’ll also be able to edit the columns of your report to add YouTube-related actions: number of playlist additions, likes, repeat views, and new subscribers, which are valuable pieces of information for analyzing your performance.
- Compare with other campaigns using historical data
To evaluate the performance of your campaign, it may be a good idea to compare it to other campaigns you have launched previously. Compare performance, look at what worked and what didn’t in the past in terms of audiences, locations, and campaign goals, and adjust your settings accordingly.
Compare your performance at different levels: between multiple campaigns, between different audiences, etc. This will help you better identify your target audience and the strategy that best meets your objectives.
Keep testing, try new things, and use your imagination. There is no perfect formula and there is always room for improvement. Keeping an eye on performance during the campaign and drawing conclusions from past campaigns are therefore the two best ways to ensure that you allocate your budget in the best way possible and get the most out of your investment.
– Translated by Kole Wright –
> How to Make Your Music Known on Youtube?
> How to Attract and Create a Community on Youtube?
To dive deeper into the subject: Top 4 Social Ads Platforms for Music Promotion