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YouTube Shorts Advertising: A Guide to Getting Started

YouTube Shorts Advertising: A Guide to Getting Started

YouTube Shorts are rapidly growing in popularity, now hitting 70 billion views per day, making the format just as popular as TikTok and Instagram Reels for short-form video content.

The good news is that there are also exciting advertising opportunities available, enabling you to reach viewers from all age groups and interests with this highly engaging video format, helping to spread the message about your brand, build relationships with your audience, and grow conversions.

In this blog, we'll cover:

  • What YouTube Shorts are, and why you should consider the format for advertising
  • How to get started with YouTube Shorts advertising with a step-by-step guide
  • How much YouTube Shorts ads tend to cost
  • Tips for running a successful ad campaign
  • And more!

Let’s get started…

What Are YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts competes with TikTok and Instagram Reels by offering short-form videos up to 60 seconds long.

They’re available on YouTube along with other videos, but are shown within a separate section that works like a feed on other social platforms.

The YouTube Shorts are usually available within a separate section on the platform

Ads appear as you scroll through the feed, and are in a similar short-form video format.

Why Consider YouTube Shorts Ads?

With the number of views for YouTube Shorts rapidly growing, there’s a lot of opportunity for advertisers to reach their target audience effectively, and in a highly engaging way.

They enable you to:

  • Expand your audience—YouTube Shorts gets billions of views every day, helping you reach more people and boost brand awareness.

  • Get quick results—launching a YouTube Shorts ad campaign means reaching billions of viewers fast. This leads to more traffic and conversions.

  • Target directly—use YouTube Shorts' audience targeting tools (which we’ll look at shortly) to target your ads at specific groups of people, including the ability to retarget previous visitors to your website.

How Should You Format Your YouTube Shorts Ad?

In brief, your YouTube Shorts ad should comply with the following:

  • Maximum duration: 60 seconds.
  • Aspect ratios: for vertical videos use 9:16, with square ads (1:1) also available.
  • Recommended resolution: 1920x1080 for vertical and 1080x1080 for square videos.
  • Aim for a frame rate of 60fps for optimal quality.

When you upload a video with these specs, it will automatically classify it as a Shorts video, and will be selectable when you create your video ad (see below).

So how do you actually create a YouTube Shorts ad campaign?

Let’s take a look…

12 Key Steps To Start A YouTube Shorts Advertising Campaign

If you want to start advertising on YouTube with Shorts, where do you start?

Follow these 12 key steps to get your first campaign up and running…

1. Click to Create a New Campaign

Google ads account sign-in homepage

Sign in to your Google Ads account if you’re not already.

From the dashboard, click to create a New campaign.

Click to create a new campaign for YouTube Shorts advertising

2. Select Your Campaign Objective

Objectives for a campaign include things like getting more sales on your website, more sign-ups, or just more visitors browsing your site.

However, to create YouTUbe Shorts ads specifically, choose the Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance option.

Choose the option to create a campaign without a goal’s guidance as your objective for your YouTube Shorts advertising

This allows you to then more easily just pick the required campaign type, as follows.

3. Choose the Video Campaign Type

Choose the Video campaign type for your Shorts campaign

Of course, to run a YouTube Shorts advertising campaign, you’ll need to pick the Video option.

You’ll then be asked to Select a campaign subtype. Select the Video views option, which as you can see includes the ability to run Shorts ads.

Video views as your subtype option for the campaign

Click Continue.

4. Enter Your Campaign Name And Set Your Budget

Enter a campaign name for YouTube advertising using Shorts

Enter a name for your campaign, and set the budget you require.

Set the bid strategy for your YouTube Shorts advertising

5. Target Relevant Geo-Location(s)

Target geo-locations where you want your video ads to show

Even if you sell internationally, it’s likely that your customers predominantly come from certain countries or regions.

And if you’re a local business, you’ll likely want to restrict your ads to the localities your customers come from.

So use the geo-location targeting to target your ads appropriately. Note that you can set the language as well, and exclude areas as well as target them.

6. Check the Additional Settings

There are a number of additional settings to check, including the devices your ads will be shown on, frequency capping settings, and ad scheduling.

Additional settings for setting up a campaign for your YouTube advertising

Let’s drill down into these some more.

Using additional settings with devices

  • Under Devices, choose which devices your ads will show on or set specific targeting for devices.

Frequency capping for your Youtube short ads

  • Frequency capping lets you limit how often the same person will see your ad in a given timeframe.

Setting up your ad schedule for your campaign

  • Set your Ad schedule to run your ads all day or specify certain times.

Using a third party for your YouTube Shorts advertising

  • Third-party measurement relates to tracking ad performance via an external service.

Video enhancement option via the additional settings on your YouTube ads campaign

  • Video enhancements can be turned on to automatically generate variations of your video and potentially give you higher performance.

7. Create Your Ad Group

Next, you’ll move on to creating and setting up the details for your ad group.

(Once your campaign has been created, you’ll be able to add additional ad groups if you wish.)

Give your ad an appropriate name for your own reference. For example, Video Conversions followed by the date.

Enter an ad group name for your campaign

8. Create Your Ad Group’s Audience

This is where you determine exactly who you want to see your ad (other than geo-location details, outlined separately above).

People you want to reach for the campaign on YouTube ads

Demographic settings include the ability to set:

  • Gender—female, male or unknown
  • Age—select one or more age ranges
  • Parental status—whether to target parents, non-parents and/or those with an unknown parental status
  • Household income—select one or more percentage ranges, from those in the top 10% of income to those in the lower 50% (or unknown)

In the Audience segments section, you can search existing audience segments, or browse demographic, interest and other areas in a lot more detail.

Target audience segments when setting up your ad group

Explore the different options available so your ads are shown to people most likely to be interested in your products or services.

You can also create new segments via the Audience manager within Google Ads.

Create new segments via Audience manager

9. Decide Where to Show Your Ads

Managing content ads for your YouTube Shorts campaign

In addition to defining your audience, you can then define the type of content you want your ads to show on.

For example, you might add keywords or topics you know your best customers are interested in, so that your ad will start showing to them.

10. Create Your Video Ad

This is where you actually define the video ad or ads you want to show for your campaign, which you do by searching for a video on YouTube or pasting in the URL.

Create video ads campaign for your YouTube shorts

Your campaign needs at least one ad to run, but you can skip this step and add it later if you need more time to prepare your video content.

11. Set a Bid for the Ad Group

Enter a target CPV (cost per view) — for example, 0.10.

Once your campaign is running, you can always tweak the CPV at a later time based on the data you start to collect, and Google’s recommendations for optimizing your campaign.

Set a bid for the ad group

12. Create the Campaign

Create campaign button for your Shorts advertising

Finally, click the Create campaign button, and you’re good to go!

Are YouTube Shorts Ads Worth It?

In short (excuse the pun), yes!

Remember, short videos are popular with audiences, which has led to the huge growth of platforms like TikTok, formats like Instagram Reels, and of course YouTube Shorts themselves.

But does it actually work for marketing?

According to recent research from Hubspot:

  • Short-form video “has the highest ROI compared to other marketing trends”
  • Marketers are “planning to invest more in it than any other format”
  • More than half are planning to increase how much they invest in it.

While that doesn’t necessarily relate to short-form video ads, but short-form videos in general, the data suggests that short-form videos are one of the most effective forms of media available for marketing purposes.

And YouTube Shorts ads simply mean you’re paying to distribute the videos in a more controlled way.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A YouTube Shorts Ad?

You pay each time someone ‘views’ your ad. A view is counted if someone does one of the following:

  • Watches at least 30 seconds of the ad where it’s a longer ad…
  • Watches the whole ad for shorter ads…
  • Clicks a link in the ad, regardless of watch time.

You can generally expect your Shorts ads to cost somewhere between 3 and 30 cents per view.

Tips for Running Successful YouTube Shorts Ads

1. Keep Your Ads Short and Engaging

Aim for videos to be 15 seconds or less. For best results, you want quick and engaging content that grabs viewers' attention instantly.

But test lots of iterations of your ads (including length) to discover what works best for your audience.

2. Use Catchy Music and Sound

Using trendy or viral music can make your Shorts ad more appealing, especially to younger audiences. Make sure the soundtrack fits your message and brand.

3. Use Eye-Catching Thumbnails

Design thumbnails that stand out. Use vibrant colors, clear fonts, and relevant visuals to make viewers stop scrolling and click on your ad.

What's Next for YouTube Shorts Ads?

Shorts creators who are in YouTube’s Partner Program can earn a percentage of the ad revenue from YouTube Shorts ads, based on how popular their own Shorts are.

So what does this mean for you as the advertiser?

Essentially, the monetization opportunities encourage creators to continue making Shorts, helping to grow their popularity on the platform by attracting more viewers.

Stats showing YouTube Shorts daily views worldwide as of October 2023, via Statista

As you can see from the chart above, daily views more than doubled between 2021 and 2023, and that trend looks likely to only continue.

It all means you have access to an increasing audience for your ads, and potentially more effective advertising because you’ll be able to reach your target market more easily.

With views of Shorts continuing to rise, YouTube has a growing ad inventory to sell, which helps suppress advertising costs, in turn helping you achieve an effective ROI.

To Conclude

So now you know exactly how to get started with YouTube Shorts advertising, and take advantage of this highly engaging video format to reach your audience and spread your message.

If you’re hesitant about getting started, don’t over-complicate it. Keep it simple—know who you want to reach, make great short videos, and keep improving by watching your stats to see what’s working and what isn’t.

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@bySteveShaw

Steve Shaw is the founder of EverywhereMarketer, and has ran online businesses for over 20 years, serving over 13,000 customers in 137 countries. EverywhereMarketer helps you grow online visibility, attract more customers and grow your business across multiple channels.

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