Build a YouTube advertising strategy

1. Define your advertising goals. Start with a max allowable cost per lead or sale to set a budget threshold.

How much are you willing to pay to acquire a customer or lead? If you aren’t sure of either one, set a cost per lead first. This will work in conjunction with the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). However, it’s much more important to know the velocity of return. A best practice is to measure what a customer is worth at Day 0, 30, and 90. For example, it could take years for a customer to mature into their full LTV.

2. Choose the type of YouTube campaigns you want to run like skippable ads, non-skippable ads, bumper ads, and overlay ads.

Try more than one, with accompanying videos for each campaign type, to understand which is most effective using data from Google Ads Manager and Google Analytics.

3. Create multiple types of videos with different emotional triggers to see what resonates with your audience.

Use audience research and customer interviews to figure out which pain points and talking points to use in your ads. Try three different video styles to touch on each emotional trigger.

4. Look at your advertising data to see which format and pain point is performing the best.

Based on your campaign goals, such as brand awareness, video views, clicks, conversions, continue the most effective videos and stop the others. Look in your Google Ads and Google Analytics to see which campaigns are performing the best with tracking links (UTMs).

5. Experiment with different targeting techniques that YouTube has to offer.

Figure out the brands you’re competing with. Show your video ads on their videos, or people who’ve visited their website. Use affinity audiences if it makes sense with your customer personas. For example, you can show ads for homebuyers to apartment renters who just got married.

6. Measure what YouTube's role in your marketing funnel is.

Look at the assisted conversions report in Google Analytics, and not just the direct session report, to know if YouTube ads are serving their purpose. YouTube will likely not convert as well as other channels, like email, since it depends on where your customer is in the funnel. However, it has traditionally been one of the cheapest places to expose someone to your brand for the first time.