Setting up a YouTube account is a fairly simple process. Click on the +Campaign button in your AdWords account UI and click on “online video”. This should create an “All Video Campaigns” tab at the very bottom-left of the UI, right under “Labels”.

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Once you click on this, you’ll be taken to “AdWords For Video”. The campaigns structure acts just like AdWords for search does; however, you’ll notice a very distinct lack of ad groups. Instead you’ll be setting up video ads in targeting specific campaigns. In place of ad groups, you’ll find targeting groups. These targeting groups will be guiding our ads to the correct audience.  You can find and create targeting groups in the “Targets” tab of the AdWords for Video.

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Targeting groups settings can vary widely. You can apply keywords here to In-Search campaigns, apply affinity & In-market segments to In-Display and In-stream campaigns, apply video placements, and even apply remarketing lists. It’s also important to note that you can (and very much should) apply negative audiences in these targeting groups.

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Once we have a few targeting groups set up, we can begin building an ad. Click on the + Video Ad and you’ll be asked to insert the URL of the YouTube video you want to promote. Once you’ve done this, select “let me choose…” for the Ad format (otherwise it will serve your Ad across all YouTube Networks). Now choose your ad type and set up the attributes to accompany the ad: headline, descriptions, display & destination URLs. Do note that you will only have to set up these attributes only for In-display ads; In-stream ads will be promoted within YouTube videos, so there are no descriptions necessary.

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We’ll set up a few settings here, but the important ones are the targeting groups associated with the ad. You can set these at the bottom of the ad setup screen by clicking on “edit” under “Targeting”. After you have everything set up to your liking, just hit save and your ad will start serving as soon as Google approves your ad(s), which usually happens within a few hours.

Setting up YouTube ads in the UI can be done in one of two ways. The first is the by manually creating an ad just as you would for search. The second is via bulk upload, but we’ll get to that later.

So with creating an ad, the first thing you’ll need to know is that there are 3 different types of ads that you can create within the AdWords for Video. They are as follows:

In-stream: The video that plays before the video you’ve selected to watch. As I’m sure the majority of you have noticed, you can skip the ad after 5 seconds. The cool thing about these ads is that you only get charged if the user watches more than 30 seconds of the video, or to the end of the ad (depending on the length of the video).

In-display: The in-display ad is the ad that appears as a thumbnail in the “similar” column to the right of the video being watched. You will only pay when someone clicks on the thumbnail ad. Sort of acts like the GDN only it’s YouTube-specific and will only appear in the similar column.

In-search: This acts exactly like it does in Google search. Whenever you type something in YouTube’s search bar, results will populate. The first few ads are paid while the other results are organic. Again, it’s a PPC model so you will only pay when someone clicks your ad.

Based on what video you’re promoting (not to mention vertical, audience, geography, etc.) different YouTube networks may work better for you. In-search and in-display ads are generally more direct-response focused while in-stream is typically leveraged to push brand awareness.

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Ryan Larkin
joined 3Q Digital in June 2013. He graduated from Sonoma State University in 2010 with a degree in Sociology. Ryan was also a member of the men’s lacrosse team at SSU, captaining the team his senior year. Additionally, Ryan graduated from the Search Marketing Master’s Certification program at the University of San Francisco in March 2013. His interests include coaching lacrosse, surfing, and meeting new people.