You have a business and you’re looking to expand your reach, grow your audience, increase your sales—bottom line is, you want to increase your bottom line. Right? Then you should keep reading.

YouTube advertising is one of the most underutilized channels of marketing because there just aren’t that many small businesses taking advantage of it yet. Most of the ads you see on YouTube are paid by the big players. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who can play the game.

YouTube advertising is still in its infancy, which means you can get very cheap clicks. But are you doing anything to take advantage of that?

Take a look at the stats YouTube provides:

  • 1 billion monthly users
  • The number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50% year over year
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices
  • Mobile revenue on YouTube is up over 100% y/y

Those are some big numbers. Imagine just getting a fraction of that attention.

Better yet, let’s just think of those numbers in terms of today’s 24 hours. Back in 2012, ComScore reported that over 89 million people in the United States alone are going to watch 1.2 billion online videos today — a number that continues to grow.

1 in 2 consumers claimed that at least one of their purchases were influenced by a YouTube video.

With all of that being said, it makes complete sense to begin running YouTube ads as soon as possible.

We previously discussed the reasons why YouTube advertising can be lucrative for your business, now it’s time to walk through how to create your advertising campaign and cash in on YouTube.

Here are the 9 steps you can take to create a successful YouTube advertisement.

1. Have a goal for your YouTube advertisement.

The first step to creating any successful pay-per-click campaign is to make sure you have a clearly defined goal for your campaign. Without a goal, you won’t know what metrics to measure or how to improve the campaign. In the end, without a goal, you won’t be able to confidently state whether or not the campaign was successful.

So what are you trying to do for your business? Brand exposure? Lead generation? Making a sale? Promoting a free webinar or event?

For example, if your goal is brand exposure, your key performance indicator (KPI) may be impressions or number of times viewers watched your entire advertisement. If it’s lead generation or sales, you’ll want to set up a landing page and track conversions (we’ll talk more about that later).

Because of the nature of YouTube ads (it’s display-based), it’s best used as a top of the funnel marketing tool. So more appropriate goals are awareness or lead generation campaigns rather than sales.

Whatever your goal is, it’s going to determine the type of campaign you will create and the audience you will target.

2. Create your video.

This is arguably the most challenging step of creating a YouTube advertising campaign.

With consumer attention spans decreasing every year, you have 8 seconds to capture and hold someone’s attention. If you video isn’t entertaining or relevant, viewers will skip your YouTube ad every chance they get. Your goal is to make your YouTube ad unskippable.

Succeeding on YouTube doesn’t require reinventing the wheel with each video. In fact, quite the opposite. Many brands are finding success building on existing, successful storylines. – Lisa Gevelber, VP of Ads Marketing at Google

If you have a relatively large budget and you’re looking to outsource the video production, REP Interactive is a great company that we recommend to our clients at Single Grain.

However, if you’re on a tight budget (most of us are!), there are various tools you can use to create the video in-house.

If you’d like to try your hand at creating an animated video in-house, you can use a free DIY tool like PowToon. Another more advanced tool you can use is Go Animate. It isn’t free, but it’ll be cheaper than hiring a production team.

To help you with the creation process, YouTube provides tips and examples of how to create different types of effective video ads.

If you need inspiration, take a look at how these YouTube ads maintain the viewer’s attention. Here’s another example, an advertisement for the movie Madagascar 3.

While it may not be a movie you’d watch, ReelSEO explains why it’s a perfectly executed pre-roll ad.

Madagascar 3 has 5 seconds before people click “skip” and in that short amount of time they:

  1. Addressed the audience
  2. Asked a question
  3. Showed 7 fast-paced cuts

Ask yourself how you can integrate some of those elements into your advertisement.

3. Create a landing page that aligns with your video and goal.

One of the biggest mistakes advertisers make is pushing an ad click to a crappy landing page. Or worse, they direct the viewer to their homepage.

Have you ever clicked on an advertisement, excited to see what the advertiser had to offer, but ended up on a page that had nothing to do with the ad you clicked on?

It’s because the advertiser didn’t match the message of the landing page with the message of the ad.

Perhaps you’ve made that mistake before, but now you won’t. Make sure that the copy of your landing page matches the message presented in your video advertisement, otherwise you’ll confuse the viewer.

Here’s why.

Assuming that your video provides the viewer with a specific unique proposition, the homepage probably won’t reflect that proposition. While your homepage communicates your business’s unique value proposition (UVP), your landing page should communicate your unique campaign proposition (UCP) that matches your video advertisement.

As you work on your landing page, make sure to follow best practices to ensure that it’s well-designed and optimized for conversions.

We use LeadPages to build our landing pages in minutes.

4. Create your YouTube channel.

If you don’t have a Google Adwords or YouTube account yet, it’s time to create and link them. It’s simple and quick to do. The next steps will explain how to do it.

Once you create a YouTube account, access your account settings by clicking on your profile picture at the top right of the YouTube homepage.

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