We challenged industry standards with our YouTube ads campaign.
Here is how you can do it.

Doing good video is hard.

It is also one of the best investments you can make to reach your audience in creative ways and build recall.

Investing in good video content can help you engage massive number of potential prospects at the fraction of a cost compared to search or banner advertising.

Through YouTube Instream ads, you only spend when a user has viewed your video for atleast 30 seconds. If they skip your ad (which they can after 5 seconds) that interaction is not counted as a valid view and as an advertiser, you are not charged for it.

Compare this 30 second engagement with your brand with any other form of display advertising you are aware of (Facebook/ banner ads) which only last as long as the flick of the eye before the user scrolls down. Instream ads are clearly more powerful and give you a chance to deliver a meaningful message.

To do a objective cost analysis, here is a snapshot of how well YouTube ads worked for us.

youtube ads

This chart shows the average performance of our campaign over a period of 2 weeks. CPV refers to cost-per-view. In other words, we paid Rs. 0.75 ($0.011) when a 30 second view for our video was completed. 44% (view rate) of people who were shown the ad continued to watch it for 30 seconds. If you want to benchmark the performance of this campaign against industry standards, below is a chart of industry averages quoted from Marketing Profs.


Average CPV across industries is 27.7%.

This chart shows the retention rate in our best ad group. In other words, 59% of people who started the video watched it till the end.

This chart shows the retention rate in our worst ad group. In other words, 29% of people who started the video watched it till the end.


This chart shows view rates in some of our target geographies.

As you can see, we have mostly targeted high cost centers of the world.  For a small business looking to build awareness and reach massive number of people while keeping costs in control, YouTube can prove to be an incredibly useful platform, if used right.

If you are looking to build a presence while keeping costs in control, here are 5 tips which can set you on your way.

1. Nail the first 10 seconds

Don’t waste your first few seconds with an intro screen, history lessons or things about things. Cut the chase, get to the point, make sure you mention one or two primary keywords during the first 5 seconds. The viewer should know that your content is relevant to them.

2. Use ad groups to split targeting experiments

Adwords gives you a number of options to reach your audience including keywords searched, data on browsing similar sited, placing content on specific topics your audience might be watching. Split you targeting ideas into separate groups so you can measure each one separately and weed the bad ones out.

3. Use local language

If you truly want to appeal to a global audience, you have got to speak their language. Make sure you dub your content in the local language. We observed our ads were not performing well in locations where English was not the first language. We will be re-launching our campaign in these areas after tailoring our content to local language. It should visibly improve view rates and CPV.

4. Experiment with formats

The video promoted in this campaign was a musical explainer. You can find it in our home page. You will come up with great content only if you have an appetite for experimenting. The more ready you are to deviate and shed your biases, better are your chances at crafting innovative YouTube ads.

5. Set a goal and then optimise

We ran this experiment to check how our audience receives our content. They have responded positively. Next, we are going to structure our campaign around goals, define conversion checkpoints, build funnels and truly use our content to drive more business.

So best of luck to us and best of luck to you!

Need help managing your YouTube ads account?

Get in touch and we can help you define a content strategy and execute it

We challenged industry standards with our YouTube ads campaign. Here is how you can do it. was last modified on October 7th, 2018 by Vineet