The 4 step checklist for getting started with advertising on YouTube

What you need to know before launching your first YouTube ad.

Advertising on YouTube is a really great way to put at least part of your paid social advertising budget to use.

YouTube is the second most trafficked site in the world. So it’s good that you’re here to get started with YouTube ads!

Let’s get you set up with a quick checklist to run through before you start putting your YouTube ads out there for everyone to see. This checklist assumes that you already have a YouTube advertising account, or a Google Adwords account that you can use to create ads.

Once you’re ready to create ads, here’s what you need to know before you upload.

1. Establish YouTube advertising goals

This step is two-fold:

  • You need broad goals for all of your YouTube advertising that fit into your overall marketing strategy. That way you can create YouTube ads that complement and support your other social media advertising and maximize your paid social budget.
  • You need very specific goals for each advertisement. These are what you’ll use to determine the specifics of your ads like where clicking on the ad takes viewers and which type of YouTube ad will work best.

This first step is by far the most important. All your decisions, later on, will be much easier if you have clearly defined goals.

2. Select your audience

This is almost as important as setting goals.

It’s essential that you know who you want to see your ads. YouTube allows you to specify things like the region, country and city where your ads will be shown. You can also define audiences by interest, life events or keywords. You’ll be able to make the most of YouTube ad targeting and get the most bang for your buck if you have a specific audience in mind.

If you have a single ideal customer, this will be easy for you. If you have multiple customer segments to address, don’t worry! You can create multiple campaigns with separate targeting parameters.

3. Identify your metrics for success

Once you start running YouTube ads, it’s a great idea to optimize them. However, you’ll have a lot of metrics available to you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

To help cut through the noise, just remember a couple things:

  • Your most relevant metrics will depend on your marketing objectives.
  • The metrics you use are not set in stone.

Before you put your ads up, choose one or two metrics that will indicate whether or not your ads have achieved the objectives you set for them.

For example, if your objective is to double your YouTube channel subscribers in the next six months, your best metrics for success would be the conversion rate and the number of subscribers on your YouTube channel.

With these two metrics, you can track whether or not you’re getting more subscribers and if your videos are responsible for additional subscribers.

4. Establish a methodical approach for improving your YouTube ads

One of the most confusing things about social media marketing metrics is that most of them actually aren’t good for measuring overall success.

Most social media marketing metrics are best for improving the individual aspects of your ads. With a complete array of metrics, you can measure how effective each part of your YouTube ads are.

You can use metrics to find out how well your call to action or the opening of your video is working.

So, what’s the best way to go about using these metrics to improve your YouTube ads?

Focus on improving one thing at a time. Before you put your ads up, make a plan for improving them. For example, decide in advance that you’re going to focus on optimizing your call to action first since you can change that without reshooting the video.

Before you publish your ads, set up your analytics tools to track and show data about clicks and conversions. That way you’ll be able to cut through all the data on your dashboard and start optimizing your ad campaigns right out of the gate.

So that’s it.

At the beginning of this article, you were promised a checklist. Here it is, as agreed:

  • Establish your YouTube advertising goals.
  • Select your audience.
  • Identify your metrics for success.
  • Create a plan for improvement.

If you do these four things before you start advertising on YouTube, you’ll get the most from your YouTube advertising budget.

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