Google Ads YouTube Video Ads Complete Guide 2021 & Best Practices. How To Create...

YouTube Video Ads Complete Guide 2021 & Best Practices. How To Create Google Video Campaign

Google Video Ads Complete Guide

The demand for video has exploded, and Google has reaped the benefits: YouTube is the second-most visited website worldwide. Its user base is massive, including 75% of US teens and more 18- to 34-year olds than any cable network.

YouTube Advertising Guide 2021 And Best Practices

YouTube is a must-have when planning for your digital video advertising campaigns. This Complete Guide to Google Video Ads explores how to use YouTube advertising to achieve your brand’s marketing goals.

Google Video Ads Guide Quick Navigation:

google ads linking with youtube

Firstly, link your YouTube channel to the Ads account.

Basically, this is not obligatory and you can run YouTube advertising without this step. It is needed in order to create remarketing audiences based on people who interacted with your video ad.

Linking a YouTube channel to a Google Ads account allows the linked Google Ads account to run ads based on interactions with your channel’s videos. The linked Google Ads account can be granted permissions to access video ads’ organic view metrics, show ads to people who visit and interact with your channel, and get insights about how people interact with your channel after viewing your ads.

When you link a YouTube channel to a Google Ads account, the YouTube channel owner can choose to make the following features available to your linked Google Ads account:

  • View counts: View organic (non-paid) metrics for your videos.
  • Remarketing: Create remarketing lists based on viewers’ past interactions on linked channels.
  • Engagement: View earned actions metrics from video ads from linked channels.

How to link your YouTube channel to the Google Ads account

1.0. Navigate to TOOLS & SETTING menu Linked accounts NEW CAMPAIGN

tools and settings google video ads link youtube account

2.0. Click DETAILS on YouTube section ADD CHANNELpaste the URL from YouTube or search for a channel by entering its name

google video ads link youtube account details

google video ads link youtube add channel

google video ads link youtube channel


google video ads video types

2. Google Video Ads: Types of Video Ads

When it comes to YouTube video ads, there are three main types of YouTube ad categories. Each of these categories has their own advantages and serve a special niche. The primary types of YouTube ads include:

Skippable In-Stream Ads

This format is shown to viewers before, during, or after a video starts. Viewers have the option to skip after 5 seconds are viewed.

TrueView In-Stream ads can also be shown anywhere within the GDN and Google video partners.

Skippable In-Stream ads also allow advertisers to customize the ad with overlay text call-to-action.

Recommended Campaign Goal:

  • Sales,
  • Leads,
  • Website Traffic,
  • Brand Awareness and Reach,
  • Product and Brand Consideration
Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

Non skippable in-stream ads

These In-Stream Ads are similar to the Skippable version, however, users do not have the option to skip. They are 15 seconds in duration.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads are shown before, during, or after a video.

Recommended Campaign Goal:

  • Brand Awareness and Reach
Outstream Ads

Outstream ads

As a mobile-only ad, Outstream Ads will appear on websites and apps within the Google video partners network but not on YouTube. The benefit of Outstream Ads is that they can help cost-effectively improve reach.

Recommended Campaign Goal:

  • Brand Awareness and Reach
Video Discovery Ads

Video discovery ads

This ad format appears as a video thumbnail with some text. It is displayed within YouTube search results, alongside related YouTube videos, and the YouTube mobile homepage. Use Video Discovery Ads to promote your video content on YouTube.

Recommended Campaign Goal:

  • Product and Brand Consideration
Bumper Ads

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are very short, unskippable 6-second ads that play before a YouTube video.

Although short duration, bumper ads can be leveraged to catch the attention of viewers in only a few seconds.

Because time is limited, your value proposition and call-to-action can be distilled to its most basic form.

Creative marketers can say a lot in 6 seconds, making bumper ads a potentially cost-effective way of reaching your target audience.

When should I use this ad format?

Use bumper ads when you want to reach viewers broadly with a short, memorable message.

Recommended Campaign Goal:

  • Brand Awareness and Reach
Masthead ads

Bumper ads

Masthead ads are only available on a reservation basis through a Google sales representative.

As an advertiser or ad agency, you can buy placements on a reservation basis, instead of through the Google Ads auction, when you want to pay based on the number of impressions (also known as cost-per-thousand impressions). Reservation campaigns also let you buy impressions at a fixed rate.

Advertising on a reservation basis is best for promoting brand awareness, offering a new product or service, or re-branding a product or service.

display ads campaign set up

3. Create Video Campaign: Choose the most appropriate to your goals

Create New Campaign

2.0. Navigate to Campaigns section create NEW CAMPAIGN
create new campaign

2.1. Select the goal that would make this campaign successful to you

google video ads campaign type
In order to run Google Video Ads choose one of the following campaign goals:

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Website traffic
  • Product and brand consideration
  • Brand awareness and reach

2.2. Select a campaign type and sybtype

google video ads select type

google video ads select subtype

Video campaigns subtypes include:

  • Skippable in-stream
  • Bumper
  • Non-skippable in-stream
  • Outstream
  • Ad sequence

2.3. General settings Select your bid strategy

google video ads general settings
With the Brand awareness and reach goal you can only use the Target CPM bidding strategy

google video ads general settings

Below you can find what bidding strategies you can use with different goals:

  • Sales:
    • Maximize conversions
    • Target CPA
  • Leads:
    • Maximize conversions
    • Target CPA
  • Website traffic:
    • Maximize conversions
    • Target CPA
  • Product and brand consideration:
    • Maximum CPV
  • Brand awareness and reach:
    • Target CPM

2.4. Budgets and dates Enter budget type and amount

google video ads budget amount

Budget requirements

Your budget settings affect how quickly we can optimize your campaign for conversions.

For campaigns using Target CPA bidding, it’s recommended to set a budget that’s at least 15 times your target CPA. Use the chart below to understand how long it takes to optimize your campaign depending on the current budget.

Budget setting Optimization time
More than 15 times your target CPA 7 to 8 days
10 to 15 times your target CPA 2 weeks
5 to 10 times your target CPA 3 weeks

2.5. Networks Select where you want your ads to appear

google video ads network

2.6. LocationsSelect locations to target

google video ads locations

2.7. LanguagesSelect the languages based on the user’s language settings and the language of the site

google video ads language

2.8. Inventory typeSelect an inventory type to show your ads on the content that’s right for your brand

google video ads inventory type

Inventory types provide an extra layer of control over the content your Video ads show on by letting you opt out of groups of sensitive content that don’t align with your brand or the message of your campaign.

2.9. Excluded types and labelsOpt out from showing your ads on content that doesn’t fit your brand

google video ads excluded types

3.0. Ad extensions Select and create campaign-level sitelink extensions

google video ads sitelink extensions

Get up to 24% more conversions by adding sitelink extensions

To add more links to your ads, you can create sitelink extensions. Sitelink extensions take people to specific pages on your site (for example, a specific product or store hours). When someone clicks or taps on your links, they go directly to what they want to know or buy.

3.1. Conversions Choose conversion for your campaign

google video ads conversions

Learn more about Google Ads Conversion Tracking Set Up Complete Guide

3.2. Devices Set specific targeting for devices

3.3. Frequency capping Limit how many times that ads in this campaign can show to the same user

google video ads frequency capping

3.4. Ad schedule To limit when your ads can run, set an ad schedule

google video ads schedule

display ads audience targeting

4. Create your ad group: Select ad group type and Target Audience

To run your campaign, you must create an ad group with targeting selections and at least one ad.

Also, in this section you’ll need to select ad group type:

  • Standard – Create skippable in-stream ads
  • Responsive – Create video ads that can show as multiple formats. Responsive ad groups let you create one ad that can show as multiple formats, such as skippable in-stream and video discovery. Use this ad group type to create a video action campaign.

4.0. Ad group type Select an ad group type Give your Ad group a name

google video ads ad group type

4.1. Targeting Define your Audiences, Demographic, or Narrow your reach with Keywords, Topics, or Placements

google video ads targeting

NOTE: Adding too many targeting options or restrictions may limit your campaign’s reach.

4.2. Demographics Select your demographic targeting

google video ads targeting demographics

With demographic targeting, you can reach people who are likely to be in demographic groups that you choose, including age, gender, parental status, or household income.

4.3. Audiences Select audiences to define who should see your ads.You can create new audiences in Audience Manager

google video ads targeting audiences

Select one of the audience types to define who should see your ads: 

Who they are (Detailed demographics)
  • Parental Status
    • Parents
  • Marital Status
    • Single
    • In a Relationship
    • Married
  • Education
    • Current College Students
    • High School Graduate
    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • Advanced Degree
  • Homeownership Status
    • Homeowners
    • Rentals
  • Employment
    • Company Size
    • Industry
What their interests and habits are (Affinity)
  • Beauty & Wellness
  • Banking & Finance
  • Food & Dining
  • Home & Garden
  • Lifestyles & Hobbies
  • Media & Entertainment
  • News & Politics
  • Shoppers
  • Sports & Fitness
  • Technology
  • Travel
  • Vehicles & Transportation
What they are actively researching or planning (In-market and life events)
  • In-market audiences
  • Life events
How they have interacted with your business (Remarketing)
  • Website visitors (People who visited your website or landing pages):
    • Visitors of a page
    • Visitors of a page who also visited another page
    • Visitors of a page who did not visit another page
    • Visitors of a page during specific dates
    • Visitors of a page with specific tags
  • App users (People who’ve downloaded your mobile app)
  • YouTube users (People who interacted with your YouTube channel or videos):
    • Viewed any video from a channel
    • Viewed certain videos
    • Viewed any video (as an ad) from a channel
    • Viewed certain videos as ads
    • Subscribed to a channel
    • Visited a channel page
    • Liked any video from a channel
    • Added any video from a channel to a playlist
    • Shared any video from a channel
  • Customer list (List of customer data that you’ve collected):
    • Emails, Phones, and/or Mailing Addresses
    • User IDs
    • Mobile Device IDs
  • Combined lists/Custom combination (A list created from multiple existing remarketing lists)
Your combined audiences (Combined audiences)
With combined audiences, you can define your ideal audience more accurately by combining existing audiences.
Your custom audiences (Custom audiences)
  • Custom Audiences:
    • People with any of these interests or purchase intentions
    • People who searched for any of these terms on Google
    • People who browse types of websites
    • People who use types of apps
    • People who visited certain places

The image below may help you choose the best audience type for your campaign goal.

detailed targeting

❗ I would suggest picking one audience type per ad group for accuracy and an easier optimization process. You may also skip the audience targeting and proceed to the next steps if you wish to target just specific placements (i.e. websites/apps/app categories/youtube channels/youtube videos)

Data from your audience sources may be used to improve the bidding and targeting of your audience campaigns.

If you’re looking to target Audience similar to that which has installed specific apps, check our article about Installed App Category Targeting

4.4. Content Narrow your reach with Keywords, Topics, or Placements

google video ads targeting content

Narrow your reach with:

  • Keywords (Keyword targeting lets you choose words or phrases related to your products or services. The keywords you choose help show your ads on relevant websites, apps, and videos);
  • Topics (Topics are based on broad industries or interests, such as agriculture or music.);
  • or Placements.

4.4.1. Keywords Choose terms related to your products or services to target relevant content

google video ads targeting keywords

Keyword targeting lets you choose words or phrases related to your products or services to help show your video ads on relevant YouTube videos, YouTube channels, or websites that your audience is interested in.

Pro Tip: For Google Display Network Ads, keep your keyword list small, around 5-20 very related keywords and phrases that are highly relevant to your ad content.

4.4.2. Topics Select topics to show ads on content about specific subjects

google video ads targeting topics

Topic targeting is a simple way to place your ads on many webpages, apps, and videos about a certain subject.

Topics are based on broad industries or interests, such as agriculture or music. For example, by targeting the “Autos & Vehicles” topic, your ad may appear on websites, apps, or YouTube videos with content about cars or other automotive themes.

4.4.3. Placements Select your placement targeting

google video ads targeting placements

For Video campaigns: When you add Display Network placements, your ad may still run in eligible locations on YouTube. And when you add YouTube placements, your ad may still run in eligible locations on the Display Network.

Target channels, videos, apps, websites, or placements within websites. For example, you can target an entire high traffic blog or just the homepage of a popular news site. Placements can include:

  • YouTube channels
  • YouTube videos
  • Websites on the Google Display Network
  • Apps on the Google Display Network


When you add Google Display Network placements, your ad may still run in all eligible locations on YouTube. And when you add YouTube placements, your ad may still run in all eligible locations across the Google Display Network.

Keep in mind: If you have “Video partners on the Display Network” selected under “Networks” and you add Google Display Network placements only, your ads may still show on YouTube.

google video ads create video ad

5. Create your video ads

If your video isn’t hosted on YouTube, go to YouTube to upload your video. Then paste the URL from YouTube to create your video ad.

google video ads ad creation

Complete the fields all necessary information:

  • Paste the URL to the offer page you want to promote
  • Add Call-to-action
  • Add Headline
  • Add Long headline
  • Add Description
  • Choose the auto-generated channel banner or upload an image for your ad thumbnail
  • Ad name

google video ads survey tools

youtube video ads specifications


6. General YouTube Video Ad Specs

Every YouTube ad needs to follow the same basic specs:

  • File Size: Max. 1 GB
  • Frame Rate: 30 FPS
  • Resolution: 640×360 (19:9 aspect ratio) or 480×360 (4:3 aspect ratio)
  • Video Codec: H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4
  • Audio Codec: AAC, MP3

P.S. I hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any questions, suggestions, or you’d like to share something related to the topic, please drop a line in the comment section below.

Cheers 👋

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