Are People Even Seeing My YouTube Ads? (& Other Common Questions Answered)

Each month, more than 1.5 billion logged in users visit To put that in perspective, according to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated population of the US is 325.7 million. That means that nearly five times the number of people that live in the US have an account and are actively watching content on YouTube.

What does that mean for you?

In a nutshell, as a local business looking to get in front of prospects, it means that the opportunity is huge. It means that there is a very, very good chance that prospects are right now watching YouTube videos. It means that if you aren’t on YouTube, you are missing a powerful opportunity to build your brand. And if you are on YouTube, it means that if you leverage this medium correctly your ads could be influencing prospects while you sit reading this.

So, what?

If the sheer number of YouTube viewers is not convincing enough. Take a minute to consider that the second most visited search engine after Google is YouTube. That’s right, more searches are conducted on YouTube than Yahoo, Bing, and other search directories. If you have already bought into the power of search advertising then this should be a no-brainer. YouTube is much more than a platform for funny cat videos and makeup tutorials. Users are logging in to look for product reviews, to get their daily news fix, to learn how to do simple home repairs, and more. In fact 86% of respondents in a recent survey admitted that video has influenced their purchase decisions. Your YouTube video ad could be the tipping point for someone to choose your product or service.

We know that the modern consumer journey is multifaceted. We also know that it’s important to be in front of your customers everywhere they are online. They’re on YouTube. It’s time to get hip to video.

But wait…with so many viewers on YouTube, how do I make sure I’m buying ad space in front of the right prospects?

Well given that YouTube is also a Google property, a lot of the same targeting tactics that are available to you through Google’s Display Network are also available to you on YouTube. From demographic targeting like age, gender, and household income to retargeting, geography, topics, keywords, and more, you have a lot of options on YouTube. Picture your ideal prospect, and build your targeting around them. Who are they? Where are they? What are there interests? By taking into account all of this information, you can maximize your ad dollars by ensuring you have the right ad placements.

How do we know if they are even seeing my ads? Can’t viewers skip them?

Yes, there is a skippable ad format. But YouTube measures views differently depending on the ad format.

  • Skippable ads: The ad is only skippable after the first five seconds, but you only pay for the placement when the video is watched through the end or the first 30 seconds (whichever comes first).
  • Non-skippable ads: These videos are exactly what they sound like. In order to view the content they have selected, the user must watch the ad in its entirety.
  • Bumper ads: Short six-second ads played between videos that must be viewed in their entirety. This format is ideal for mobile.
  • And if video isn’t your thing, there are also options for display ads on YouTube from overlay ads, to side-rail ads. For these ads, you can also track clicks in addition to views.

Okay, so people are seeing my ads. How do I know when they are getting the job done?

Beyond ad formats, you can also set up campaign goals that help focus your ads. Are leads or website traffic more important to you?  Do you want to measure brand awareness and reach? What about product or brand consideration? Once you’ve established your campaign goal, you can determine which metrics are going to be most important for you to measure. If it is awareness you are looking for, you will want to watch views and unique users to take stock of how broad your reach is. If you are looking for consideration, view-through-rate and watch time will be most important. And if you’re not sure, you can always consult with one of our experts here at ReachLocal.

Jump on Board with YouTube Ads

With all of the options you have on YouTube to customize and target your campaign, there are limitless applications that video ads (and display) could have for your business. Don’t miss an opportunity to influence prospects and grow your brand. With YouTube viewership increasing steadily, now is a perfect time to get on board.

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Sara Monzingo

As an Account Manager at ReachLocal, Sara grows customer relationships and manages digital advertising campaigns for strategic national accounts, specializing in multifamily marketing. Her experience includes an internet startup, copywriting, branding, traditional print-media advertising, and digital marketing. A proud fifth-generation Texan, she graduated from Texas Christian University and lives in central Texas with her husband and their two dogs, Grizzly and Bear.

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