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A Step-by-Step Guide On How Animators Can Run Effective YouTube Ads

ben marvazi 2020

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YouTube is the second most popular website in the world with billions of users each month and billions of hours of videos being watched on it every single day. According to Oberlo, it reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any tv network. Plus, 81% of people are convinced to buy a product or service just by watching a brand’s video.

All of this adds up to one thing: YouTube is the perfect place for you to show off your skills as an animator and promote your services! 

It’s no wonder that with YouTube’s growth each year, many businesses have started using it for advertising. With YouTube Ads, you can do the same for your freelance animation business and compete with other animators.

You can reach potential customers, encourage them to take action, and eventually increase your sales at a low cost.

Now that you know why advertising yourself on YouTube is a great way to reach more people and eventually get more clients, keep scrolling to read our step-by-step guide on how to run effective YouTube ads for animators.

Types of YouTube Ads

There are six types of YouTube ads:

  • TrueView ads
  • Non-skippable ads
  • Bumper ads
  • Sponsored card ads
  • Overlay ads
  • Display ads
Types of YouTube Ads

Image via Google Ads Help

Before creating your first campaign, you should understand each ad type to have a better idea of how to create it.

1) TrueView Ads

TrueView in-stream ads

Image via Oberlo

TrueView Ads are the main ad format on YouTube. These are great for storytelling, how-tos, and product demos. According to Oberlo, TrueView Ads give ad viewers control of the ads they see by giving viewers the  choice to skip the ads they don’t want to see and watch the ads that catch their interest.

These ads aren’t just good for viewers, but businesses as well. When businesses run a True View ad, they will only pay for the ad if a viewer watches it for at least 30 seconds or clicks a call-to-action.

That means that businesses are able to save money and get a higher return on investment (ROI) while reaching an audience that’s genuinely interested in their offer. It’s a win-win!

There are two types of TrueView ads: in-stream ads and discovery ads.

TrueView In-stream Ads

TrueView in-stream ads play before a viewer watches a video. At the bottom left of the ad, it has a countdown timer and link to the business website. At the right-hand sidebar of the ad, it shows a companion ad for the video ad.

TrueView Discovery Ads

TrueView Discovery Ads

Image via Google Ads Help

TrueView Discovery ads appear as you scroll through the YouTube search results and in the suggested videos’ right-hand sidebar. It consists of a thumbnail and three lines of text. When a user clicks on a Discovery ad, he will be brought to a relevant channel to watch the video ad.

2) Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

Image via Google Ads Help

Another popular type of YouTube ad are non-skippable in-stream ads. These ads, as the name implies, are non-skippable, which gives viewers less control over the ads they see, and businesses less control over their ROI. 

Because non-skippable ads are unpopular, YouTube shortened non-skippable ads to only 15-20 seconds. Non-skippable ads play not just before videos but also within a video that’s 10 minutes or longer. These kinds of ads are called mid-roll non-skippable ads.

Advertisers pay on a cost-per-mile (CPM) basis with non-skippable in-stream ads. They pay a fee per thousand views which makes ad targeting very important. This kind of CPM advertising is for businesses that want to reach a big audience.

3) Bumper Ads

Bumper Ads

Image via Google Ads Help

Bumper ads are non-skippable, 6-second ads that play before a viewer’s chosen video. Just like non-skippable ads, advertisers also pay on a CPM basis for bumper ads.

Bumper ads aren’t for you if you plan to tell long stories and testimonials. However, if you want to  show some creativity and highlight your animation services’ most important features in a short amount of time, then bumper ads might be for you.

4) YouTube Sponsored Card Ads

YouTube Sponsored Card Ads

Image via Oberlo

YouTube sponsored card ads are seen as small call-to-action pop-ups within videos that you watch. They are almost unnoticeable as they appear in the upper right-hand corner of a video. When a viewer clicks on it, the card expands and shows a thumbnail of an ad with its title.

5) YouTube Overlay Ads

YouTube overlay ads

An overlay ad is the simplest kind of YouTube ad. Overlay ads are seen as banner ads that appear at the bottom of videos. Some overlay ads have only text while some have visuals. These are great for businesses who don’t want to craft complex ads but still want to grab attention.

6) YouTube Display Ads

YouTube Display Ads

Image via Oberlo

Display ads are also simple YouTube ad formats. They appear in the right-hand sidebar above the list of suggested videos.

And that’s it! These are all the types of YouTube ads that are currently offered. Now that you know the ins and outs of YouTube ads, it’s time to learn how to set-up a campaign.

How to Set Up and Launch a YouTube Video Ad Campaign

Step 1: Create a YouTube Channel and Google Ads Account

First thing’s first: you need to set up your YouTube and Google Ads account.

Step 2: Upload Your Ad

After setting up your Google Ads and YouTube account, upload your video ad to your YouTube account. Log into your YouTube account and look for the video camera icon in the screen’s top right corner. Then, select Upload Video.

Once selected, you’ll be taken to the page where you can select or drag and drop the video you want to upload. Make sure to fill out the necessary video information such as the title, description, and tags.

Then, decide whether you want to upload the video as public, unlisted, private, or scheduled. If you want to keep your ads separate from your channel content, it would be good to keep your ads private. If you’re going to use the videos on your channel as your ad, select public or scheduled.

Step 3: Create a New Campaign

Create a New Campaign

Image via Oberlo

Now, let’s move away from YouTube and go to your Google Ads account. Select Campaigns from the menu on the left-hand sidebar of the screen. Then, click New Campaign or the blue + icon to create a new campaign.

Step 4: Choose Your Campaign Type

Choose Your Campaign Type

Image via Sprout Social

In this part of the campaign set up, you have to choose the type of campaign you want for your ad. The campaign type you choose will determine where on the YouTube website screen your ads will be displayed.

You can select among the five options: Search, Display, Shopping, Video, and Universal App.

  • Search - reach customers who are interested in your product or service using text ads
  • Display - run different kinds of ads across the web
  • Shopping - promote your products with shopping ads
  • Video - reach and engage viewers on YouTube and across the web
  • Universal App - Drive app installs across Google’s networks

Step 5: Define Your Goal

After clicking a campaign type, Google Ads will show you the recommended settings and features customized for the success of your campaign. You can proceed without choosing a goal, but it’s best if you choose one.

You can select among sales, leads, website traffic, product and brand consideration, brand awareness and reach, app promotion, or create your own goal.

  • Sales - helps increase your revenue
  • Leads - helps you receive leads and converts users to take actions
  • Website traffic - helps you get the right audience to visit your website
  • Product and brand consideration - helps reach a bigger audience
  • App promotion - helps users download your app

Once you select a goal, Google Ads will recommend campaign settings that will go best with your ads.

Step 6: Select Your Ad Format

In this step, you will choose how your ad will be run. You can select your ad format depending on the goal you choose. This table from Quicksprout  can help you easily select your ad format.

Step 7: Select Your Ad Budget and Bidding Strategy

Next, you’ll need to name your campaign, then set your budget, the start and end of the campaign, and your bidding strategy.


Select Your Ads Budget and Bidding Strategy

Image via Sprout Social

You can set your budget by entering the total amount you are willing to spend on the campaign. It can be for the whole campaign or just a daily amount.

You can choose the standard or accelerated delivery method. The standard method will spread your budget evenly each day while the accelerated delivery method will show your ads at almost every available opportunity, making you quickly use up all of your budgets.

Oberlo recommends that you start small first by setting the average amount you want to spend per day and then testing and refining your ad campaign.

Bidding Strategies

Bidding Strategies

Image via Sprout Social

For the bidding strategies, you can choose from six options:

  • Maximum Cost Per View (CPV) - cost per view and interaction of a video
  • Maximum Cost Per Mile (CPM) - cost per 1,000 ad impressions
  • Target Cost Per Mile (CPM) - average cost per 1,000 times the ad is viewed
  • Viewable Cost Per Mile (CPM) - average cost per 1,000 times your ad was viewed
  • Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) - costs are based on actions taken by viewers such as clicking on your ad.
  • Maximize conversions - automatic bids set by Google to give you the highest number of conversions.

Quicksprout suggests that you experiment with several bidding options so that you can determine which bidding option will deliver maximum results.

Step 8: Configure Your Campaign

In this step, you will customize the network, languages, locations, inventory type, and exclude content


choices of networks for video ads for youtube ad campaignsImage via Sprout Social

This is where you want your ads to appear. If you’re creating a video ad, you can choose to make your ads appear in YouTube search results, in YouTube videos, or on video partners on the display method.

After this, you need to select your language and location.


This is a section where you can show your ads on videos with similar content to your freelance animation business. For example, if you are selling your animation services, you won’t want your ads to be displayed on videos that are selling cars.

You can select from the Expanded Inventory, Standard Inventory, and Limited Inventory.

Exclude Content

In this section, you can opt not to take part in sensitive content categories such as tragedy and conflict, sensitive social issues, live streaming videos, gaming videos, and more. In the next customization step, you can select what kind of people you want to reach through your ad.

You can choose their gender, age, parental status, household income, interests, habits, life events, and previous interactions with you.

Step 9: Choose Your Target Audience

target audience and demographic options for youtube video ads

Image via Sprout Social

In this step, you can select the demographics of your target audience. Enter the age, gender, parental status, and household income you want your audience to have. You can also create a custom audience and test it to see if it will deliver outstanding results. 

Step 10: Select Keywords and Topics

Select Keywords and Topics

Image via Disruptive Advertising

Here you will select any relevant keyword or topics to show your ads on content about specific subjects. You’ll want to narrow down your reach by selecting keywords and topics related to your ad.

Step 11: Choose Your Ideal Ad Placement

Choose Your Ideal Ad Placement

Image via Disruptive Advertising

Choosing your ad placement will allow you to select where you want your ad to appear. Placement targeting is not random. It’s specific as possible. It’s a great way to show your video ads to a hyper-focused audience.

Step 12: Choose Your Advertising Video

Choose Your Advertising Video

Image via Sprout Social

In this step, you will choose which video you want to use as an ad. After choosing your video, customize it as you would like. Select your ad format and it will give you a preview of how your ad will appear on mobile and desktop view.

You can choose to have your ad appear on YouTube channels, YouTube videos, video lineups, websites, apps, and app categories. Don’t forget to add a URL (preferably your landing page) headline, call to action, and a companion banner (optional) for your ad.

youtube video ad customization options

Sprout Social says if you selected a discovery ad, make sure you select a thumbnail that will stand out from other video thumbnails and immediately grab your target audience’s attention.

On the other hand, if you choose to run a skippable in-stream ad, make sure you don’t forget to add the URL to your ad so that viewers can click on it. And don’t forget to include a call-to-action.

Once done, click Save and Continue and Continue to Campaign. This will finish the campaign settings and your ad will start running according to how you set it up. According to Yum Yum Videos, a good way to widen your reach is to do cross-promotion,  which is when promoting your video ad on other social media platforms too. 

Step 13: Measure Your Campaign Success

After setting up and launching your campaign, don’t forget to measure its success and see if your campaign is helping you reach your goals. These goals could be everything from brand awareness to leads to web traffic to increased sales.

Simply Ads says that the best way to measure the success of your YouTube campaign is to examine your website traffic, search engine data, and engagement metrics on YouTube.

For example, if you want to measure how your campaign is helping you with brand awareness, check Google Analytics and see if there is an increase in brand search volume, direct traffic, conversion rates, average visitor value, organic search traffic landing on your homepage, etc.


Creating YouTube ads may look difficult and overwhelming to you, especially if you’re just starting out in promoting yourself on YouTube. Fortunately, YouTube has a massive audience that spends lots of  time there and great targeting options to help you gain success in running your ads.

YouTube is a powerful marketing platform that will help you attract your target market and eventually get animation clients at a low cost when used with the correct strategies and compelling content.

The steps we mentioned above are basic steps to help you create your own YouTube ad campaign as an animator that will deliver outstanding results.

If you are interested in learning more about animation and how to run a freelance animation business, sign up for our free masterclass and download a copy of our free marketing handbook.

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