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Did you know there are over two billion active monthly YouTube users? That means you could get millions of eyes on your ads when you choose to market on YouTube. But how do you come up with the best YouTube advertising ideas?

Since lots of brands and companies advertise on YouTube, you have to make sure that your marketing campaign stands out. You only have a few seconds to grab the viewer’s attention; make them count!

In this article, we’ll guide you through the basics of advertising on YouTube. Then, we’ve got eight great ideas for your next ad campaign! We guarantee that these concepts will boost your engagement.

How to Make Great YouTube Ads

First, make sure that you’ve set up a brand account on Google. This will make it easier to set up a business YouTube page, access Google Analytics, and use all the other tools at your disposal. Using a business account will also protect your privacy and allow more than one person to use the account at a time.

When designing an ad campaign on YouTube, the most important thing to remember is that it’s a video-based platform. So while quippy captions work best for Twitter and good photos are best for Instagram, YouTube requires a bit more production value.

So how do you make them great? Though production quality and clever writing are important, they’re wasted if you’re advertising to the wrong people. Let’s talk about how to figure out your key demographics.

Know Your Audience

When advertising, your biggest tool is going to be the Analytics tab. This is where you can view a real-time breakdown of who is watching your videos and your ad campaigns. Through this tab, you can see the age range, watch time, and other interests of your audience.

Spending time poring through your analytics is one of the easiest ways to optimize your YouTube ads. This way, you can craft your campaign to be most effective on your key watchers. Don’t overlook your analytics!

YouTube Advertising Ideas that Actually Work!

If you’re tired of seeing the same ads over and over, keep reading. These fresh ideas will help jump-start your next endeavor. Take it from digital marketing experts: these ideas are bound to get you more clicks.

1. Play with Formatting

How can you make a commercial different? How can you upend the typical “intro-joke-quick ad line” format? Since YouTube advertisements are typically only 15 to 20 seconds long, you only have but so much time to get your message across.

Break out of the formula. For inspiration on how to maximize your short amount of time, look to other short-form videos like TikToks or old Vines. Your audience will pay more attention when they realize your ad stands out from the norm.

2. Surprise the Audience

If your advertisement has another tired trope in it (oh, a snowy proposal video for a jewelry company? Where have I seen that before?), your viewers will tune out before the “skip ad” button even pops up. Begin your ad with an attention-grabber.

Maybe your actor speaks directly to the camera and says “Hey! Listen to me!”. Or maybe you choose a subtler way to get their attention. Either way, begin your commercial with something noticeable to make sure they don’t tune out.

3. Make it Emotional

Remember that SPCA commercial that made us all cry in 2007? Of course, you do, because it gave you an emotional response. When you respond emotionally to an advertisement, you’re more likely to remember it.

Tug on your audience’s heartstrings a bit with your ad campaigns. You don’t have to pile it on as the SPCA did – but adding an emotional component will make your audience more likely to remember your brand.

4. Utilize Nostalgia

This one goes well with tugging on people’s heartstrings. People are nostalgic for their past, now more than ever. Capitalize on that by looking backward.

Recreate ads from the eighties and nineties, but with modern twists. If your audience trends younger, look into trends from the nineties and early aughts. Even Zoomers have started to get nostalgic!

5. Go Meta

Some of the most effective commercials play with the fact that they are a commercial. Break the fourth wall and talk directly to your audience.

For example, you can start your ad with “we know you hate ads. So this is just a commentary on ads” before going on to describe your product. Give your viewers some credit: they know they’re being sold to. So make a joke of it!

6. Think Outside the Box

Commercials don’t always have to be perfectly formatted little ads. Don’t think of YouTube ads as a direct parallel to television commercials. Think of them as a format all their own.

Therefore, instead of making it an obvious ad, get creative with it. Hire graphic designers to put in groovy graphics. Play a song while your brand’s name flashes onscreen.

You want to get as much information across in as little time as possible. Find new ways to do so!

7. Include a Call to Action

Don’t just talk at your audience: ask them to do something. Whether that something is visiting your website or giving you a call, make sure your ad wraps up with a call to action.

This can be as simple as “visit our website to find out more!”. You can also promise a benefit if they follow the call: “sign up for our email list and get a coupon for half off your first order!”. Don’t hesitate to sweeten the deal!

8. Play to Demographics

Remember the analytics tab? Let it guide your next ad campaign. Design your campaign to best affect your key demographics.

If most of your viewers are 17-22 years old, use a TikTok style ad to get their attention. The analytics tab will also tell you their other interests: if most of your audience is also into video games and anime, include elements of those in your campaign.

You’ll Get Real Clicks with These Ideas

We hope these YouTube advertising ideas have inspired you to create the next great online marketing campaign. With these basic ideas to work from, you can craft a funny, attention-getting series of ads that will benefit your business.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a camera and get working!

If you need expert advice on your digital marketing strategy, check out Media Shark. We’re a go-getting marketing agency that knows everything about online advertising. Shoot us a message to see what we can do for your brand!