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How YouTube ads work – improve video advertising for business

Media Consulting

Tips to improve the YouTube ads of your business

YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for video content, with millions of users around the world. As a result, YouTube ads have become an increasingly popular way for businesses to promote their products or services. However, with so many ads competing for viewers’ attention, creating an ad that stands out from the rest can be challenging. On top of that, people have started to find YouTube ads annoying. Why are YouTube ads annoying? How do you avoid this? Do YouTube ads really work? Here are some tips on how to improve your YouTube ads and get the most out of your advertising budget.

1. Know your audience

The first step to creating an effective YouTube ad is to understand your target audience. Who are they, what are their interests, and what problems do they have that your product or service can solve? Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your ad to their interests and needs, making it more relevant and appealing.

So what do people find interesting in YouTube? Below are the top search queries in 2022.

Leading global YouTube search queries 2022 for YouTube ads

Source: We Are Social, & YouTube, & DataReportal, & Meltwater. (January 26, 2023). Top YouTube search queries worldwide in 2022 (index value). In Statista.


With so many ads competing for attention, it’s essential to keep your ad short and to the point. A 15-30 second ad is often more effective than a longer one, as it’s less likely to lose the viewer’s attention. Focus on the most important aspects of your product or service and communicate them clearly and concisely.

So how else can you improve attention to your ads? Below are the top factors that can help.

Factors that make viewers pay more attention to ads during a streamed show

Source: Hub Entertainment Research. (June 1, 2021). Factors that would make streaming video viewers pay more attention to ads during shows in the United States as of June 2021 [Graph]. In Statista.


Your ad should have a clear call-to-action (CTA) that tells viewers what you want them to do next. Whether it’s to visit your website or purchase your product, make it easy for viewers to take action. Consider using a clickable CTA button to make it even easier for viewers to engage with your brand.


Your ad should have visually appealing elements that capture viewers’ attention. Use high-quality images or video and try to include animation or other eye-catching effects. Use colors and visuals that are consistent with your brand identity, making your ad more recognizable to viewers. 


The only way to know if your ad is working is to test it. Run different versions of your ad to see what works best. Use A/B testing to compare different ad versions and optimize your ad based on the results. Consider testing different visuals, CTAs, and ad lengths to find the most effective combination.


Consider using different ad formats, such as skippable or non-skippable ads, to better fit the context of the viewer’s experience.

What is the most effective ad format on YouTube? Let’s hear it from the marketing professionals themselves.

Most effective ad formats on YouTube worldwide YouTube ads

Source: Hanapin. (March 6, 2020). Most effective advertising formats on YouTube according to marketing professionals worldwide as of May 2019 [Graph]. In Statista.

However, another video form is on the rise thanks to none other than TikTok. Short-form video format is now the most preferred media post.

Influencer ad formats preferred by U.S. social media users YouTube ads

Source: GRIN. (April 21, 2021). Ad formats used by influencers preferred by social media users in the United States as of April 2021 [Graph]. In Statista.


Consider using humor or emotion to make your ad more memorable. If you can make viewers laugh or feel something, they’re more likely to remember your brand. However, it’s important to be authentic and not force humor or emotion if it doesn’t fit your brand or message.


Make sure your ad provides value to the viewer, whether it’s through an entertaining story, useful information, or a special offer. Viewers are more likely to engage with ads that provide something of value. Consider offering a limited-time discount or other incentive to encourage viewers to take action.

Tips for YouTube ads viewed on mobile devices

Apart from these 8 tips, the rise of mobile devices as the main channel for internet access should be considered as well. As mobile devices continue to dominate the digital landscape, it’s essential to design your YouTube Ads with mobile phones in mind. Here are more tips on how to create effective YouTube Ads that are optimized for mobile phones.

Monthly global visitor traffic to YouTube

Source: Semrush. (January 4, 2023). Worldwide visits to YouTube.com from June to November 2022, by device (in billions) [Graph]. In Statista.


Mobile devices have smaller screens than desktop computers, so it’s essential to use clear and legible fonts that are easy to read on a small screen. Use sans-serif fonts and keep the font size large enough to be easily read on a mobile device. Avoid using too many different fonts or font styles, as it can be distracting and difficult to read.


Visuals are a crucial aspect of any YouTube ad, but they can be challenging to optimize for mobile devices. Use high-quality images or videos that are optimized for mobile devices, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Consider using captions or subtitles to make your ad accessible to viewers who may not have the sound turned on.

Creating an effective YouTube ad requires understanding your audience, keeping it short and sweet, having a clear call-to-action, using eye-catching visuals, testing and optimizing, considering the placement, using humor or emotion, and providing value. By following these tips, you can improve your YouTube ads and maximize the return on your advertising budget.

Lead the way with YouTube advertising on Connected TV

Share of homes with a smart TV connected to the internet in Spain

Source: AIMC (Spain). (February 1, 2022). Share of households with a smart television connected to the Internet in Spain from 2013 to 2021 [Graph]. In Statista.

Connected TV (CTV) is increasingly becoming a preferred way for people to enjoy video streaming, with 83% of US households using it every month. Top brands are now using YouTube CTV Ads to go beyond linear TV and improve the impact of their video campaigns. Brands can use CTV to drive results by efficiently reaching new audiences, driving full-funnel campaign goals, and measure the impact of cross-device campaigns.

For instance, Kellogg used YouTube CTV Ads to reach new customers for its brand Special K and drive incremental audience reach. Coty leveraged CTV for its Gucci Guilty Pour Homme fragrance by repurposing existing video creative and leveraging YouTube Masthead on TV screens, which made up 63% of its total campaign reach. Brands can also use tools like Nielsen to measure their YouTube CTV campaigns and Brand Lift to measure the effectiveness of YouTube CTV Ads across brand metrics.

Activities on smart TVs in Europe 2021

Source: engage.it. (November 18, 2021). Activities on smart TVs in selected European countries in 2021 [Graph]. In Statista.

How Indaru can help you with YouTube ads

In today’s world, YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for video content, and YouTube ads have become an increasingly popular way for businesses to promote their products or services. However, with so many ads competing for viewers’ attention, creating an ad that stands out from the rest can be challenging.

Indaru’s Media Auditing services help businesses understand how to extract the maximum value of their YouTube and media investment, by downloading all the data and providing precise insights of how each audience or format is performing. We also can help you to measure the impact in the business from your YouTube campaigns with Media Mix Modelling or geo experiments.

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