Over the past couple months I’ve been testing YouTube video ads and I want to share my findings. At first, I have to admit I was extremely skeptical about YouTube video ads.  But based on my tests, there is one format in particular that I now recommend every business go try.  There is a lot of ad inventory on YouTube and since it’s a relatively new ad platform the costs are really low right now.

Here are the 3 formats you can use and my recommendations:

 

1. YouTube Search Ads

If you search in YouTube, then you’ll see advertisers promoting their videos.  When you click on the ad, then you’ll go to the YouTube video.

This never looked like a great opportunity to me.  The sales funnel is just too long since your prospect has to click an ad, watch a video, and then go to your website. And based on my results so far, this is not a good tool for direct response advertising.

Let’s look at the next format…

 

2. YouTube Display Ads

If you surf around YouTube, then you’ll see advertisers promoting their videos along the right column along with the related videos.  Again, these ads send prospects to your video on YouTube.  So if you want a lot of video views, then this is great.  If you want to drive sales, then I haven’t seen good results.

OK, before you give up and declare YouTube ads a complete waste of your time, let’s look at the third and final format…

 

3. YouTube In-Stream Ads

If you’re watching a video on YouTube, then you may get hit with a video ad right before the video you want to watch starts.  These look just like a commercial on TV.  Google gives the viewer the ability to skip the ads if you want or you can watch the ad.  That’s an important point because you’re paying per view with this format.  If your prospect clicks the Skip button, then you don’t pay a penny.  You only pay if the prospect makes the decision to watch your ad.

Now here’s the cool part and why this is actually working for me and my clients.  When your prospect clicks on the video during the ad, then she gets redirected to the your landing page. Bingo! Now you have the ability to drive traffic directly to your website using an online commercial.  Pretty cool right?

Well, it’s not just cool.  It’s actually extremely profitable for one of my clients and I’m in the process right now of scaling the campaign to see how far we can ramp it up.

If you have a campaign working in Google AdWords, then I recommend you test out YouTube In-Stream ads.  You can get a professional looking video created like this one, for just $200.  So this is not an expensive tactic only for big advertisers.