YouTube Shorts Best Practices for Video Ads

YouTube Shorts Best Practices for Video Ads


YouTube has been a boon for advertisers— one specific format has recently caught the attention of most media buyers: short-form vertical video ads. YouTube Shorts has reached the milestone of attracting more than 1.5 billion logged-in users monthly, and brands can quickly get in front of a large audience. With the subscriber button in full view, Shorts viewers can easily follow channels after watching bite-size entertaining content. 

Now that YouTube Shorts is in full swing, advertisers can create short-form video ads- 15 to 60 seconds long- with Sounds ON that play in a vertical orientation. Viewers can discover a broader range of formats like the one on TikTok and Instagram Reels.

A New Way to Reach Consumers: YouTube Shorts

As Gen Z viewers become more accustomed to short-form content, advertisers can leverage vertical snack-bite video promotions through YouTube shorts and deliver 10-20% more conversions per dollar.

As of writing, media buyers’ only access to YouTube shorts inventory is through YouTube Video Action Campaign. Here are marketers’ best practices when working with short-form content to increase the possibility for ads to be shown on YouTube Shorts.

  1. Always remember that vertical ads go with vertical viewing. Adjust your ad creative to fit the space perfectly.
  2. Use Google Ads templates in its video creation tool. If pressed for time, utilize available resources and finish your video in minutes. 
  3. Quality over quantity approach works. Consider each content as an investment. The more effort you put into each video can eventually bring higher returns for your channel.
  4. Keep your videos short and to the point. 15 to 60 seconds is all the time you have to tell your story. Successful #shorts capture the audience’s attention with a clear and compelling message in a short amount of time. Start your video with an attention-grabbing opening, build your story and then wrap it up with a conclusion or an action.
  5. Some content niches perform better with Shorts than others. YouTubers are well-received by their audiences because they can break down comedy, travel, science, and information content into bite-sized individual videos.
  6. Emotion sells. Use emotions to your advantage- include them in your pitch.
  7. Hashtags matter. Based on our observation, the community is using #shorts, similar to how TikTok users put #FYP on their content.

Setting up YouTube Shorts Ads on Video Action Campaigns 

It’s no secret that YouTube Shorts is a powerful platform. Thirty billion views in a single day is a testament to the potential opportunity for advertisers. To maximize the capability of this video format, brands must consider exploring paid media to reach audiences outside their network. 

By tapping highly-qualified audiences, businesses can achieve up to 70% more conversions with YouTube Video action campaigns that include a product feed.

How to Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns

Setting up a campaign to advertise your content on the YouTube Shorts feed is easy. It helps promote your videos and drive views, likes, and shares. Here’s how to do it:

1. Log in to your Google Ads account

Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Login to Google Ads

2. Create a New Campaign by clicking the blue “+ Create a campaign” button or “+ New campaign option.”

Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Create a Campaign

3. Under the Campaign Objective window, you may choose an objective that drives conversions. You can select from Sales, Leads, and Website traffic objectives. 

Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Choose Campaign Objective

3.a. Alternatively, you can create a campaign without a goal’s guidance as your campaign objective. Select “Video” as your campaign type and “Drive Conversion” as a subtype.

Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Create a campaign without a goal's guidance
Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Create Video Ads
Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Campaign subtype

4. Select conversion goals or leave default account conversion goals. Take Note: You need to set up your conversion tracking to use VAC campaigns.

Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - conversions tracking

5. As you select “Video” as your campaign type, Google ads will display a quick help link on how YouTube Video Action Campaign can help drive conversions. Click Continue. 

Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Campaign Type

6. Choose your preferred bidding strategy: maximize conversions or target CPA bidding strategies.

Here’s how they differ:

  1. Target CPA can help you focus on the cost per conversion. This strategy enables you to get the most out of your advertising dollars.
  2. Maximizing conversion is an excellent strategy for businesses that want to get as many target conversions as possible without worrying about the prices. This strategy works for pulse campaigns to leverage promotion even with short flight days.
Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Bidding

7. Set up your remaining settings and targeting for the campaign, including budget, locations, demographics, and languages.

8. To increase the chance to show your VAC in YouTube shorts, select only the “Mobile” option under Devices.

Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns: Setup Devices

9. You can create an ad using an existing video. To do so, open YouTube Studio on another tab and find the video you want to use. You can copy-paste the URL of the YouTube Short uploaded on your YouTube account that you want to use in your Video Action campaign.

Set up YouTube Shorts Ads on VAC campaigns - Creatives

10. Insert your landing page’s URL into the YouTube video’s description, and include a call to action (CTA). When writing your ad’s headline, keep it short and sweet, at 15 characters or fewer. Check out this Video Action Campaigns Targeting Guide.

Scale YouTube Shorts to increase brand awareness and streamline the path to purchase

The YouTube Shorts ad format is still in beta as of this writing. To increase your chances of showing your ads in this new placement, create a vertical and short-form ad targeting Mobile or tablets.

With YouTube Shorts proving its reliability and effectiveness as an advertising tool for growth strategy, brands and advertisers should consider investing in vertical videos to reach more engaged audience groups. Google will continue to provide various advertising solutions to help marketers drive social commerce— combining YouTube Shorts with YouTube VAC.

Interested to know more about YouTube ads?

YouTube will continue to dominate digital screens regardless of size, length, or orientation. Consumers demand to find the most relevant video content, and the supply of extensive YouTube inventory will continue to grow and develop into new shopping behavior.

We will have eyes on your campaign 24/7. Our team will optimize your campaign and help you achieve the advertising goals at the lowest cost possible. 

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