All You Need to Know About YouTube’s Promoted Videos by Merle

Way back in 2006, Google purchased for an alleged reported figure of 1.65 billion dollars. And, like with everything Google does, they’ve added their own special “Google Touches” over the last several years, turning it into one of the most popular video destination websites online today.

Need proof? According to’s December 2009 “Videos Viewed Report”, YouTube was ranked as the top U.S. video site serving up 13.2 billion of the total 33.2 billion videos that were viewed online in the U.S. for that month alone. That’s a lot of people watching mega videos.

For more stats see

Furthermore, according to Google, YouTube has twenty hours of new video uploaded every minute and 420 million unique visitors per month. Watching online videos and sharing them with others has become an Internet obsession. People really love watching videos. Remember the old song “Video Killed the Radio Star”? In today’s marketplace, it should be called “Video Killed the Television Set”.

What if I told you there’s a way to harness that huge audience in your online marketing campaign? Now you can with YouTube’s new advertising program called “Promoted Videos”. YouTube and its other site, Google Adwords, have partnered together in this latest ad serving project. When promoting your videos on YouTube, they’ll also be shown across Google’s Content Network, aka sites running Google Adsense on them.

The purpose of “Promoted Videos” is to help your videos stand out from the millions of others on the site. At the time of this writing, they’re available in the U.S., Australia ,Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

The first step is to sign up at, or if you’re already a user of Google Adwords you can access “Promoted Videos” from your control panel. . You must have a YouTube and an Adwords account which will be linked together as the video ads are served up by Adwords. To find them in Adwords, log into your account, select the “Ads Tab”, then the “Display Ad Builder” and finally select “Video” from the category menu and you’ll see “promoted videos”. Once your accounts are linked, you can manage your Promoted Videos campaign from the Adwords Console, or YouTube directly.

So where do Promoted Videos appear? By default, they run on YouTube’s site and those sites that run Google Adsense ads. On YouTube, the video ads are shown below and to the right of search results pages and on some of YouTube’s Watch pages in the “related video section”, if related to the content of the page. Watch pages are like the home page of a video that displays all of its public information.

Advertisers can opt in or out of the “Content Network”, which gives some control over where the video ads may be shown. The videos are clearly marked as “promoted videos”, but it seems Youtube has moved back and forth between labelling them “promoted or sponsored videos”.

Like other forms of pay-per-click advertising, it’s an auction like setting where advertisers bid on selected keywords, set a maximum cost per click and a daily budget to spend. The Promoted Videos program uses the “Adwords Discounter” to help keep costs down. No matter your maximum cost per click, advertisers only pay one cent more than the other video ads shown on the same page.

When selecting keywords make sure to choose the ones you would want to appear when a search is done on a particular subject. YouTube’s Insight is helpful when choosing keywords. For more on this, see

The videos created can include a clickable link to any site you choose. On sites running Adsense ads who haven’t elected to block YouTube’s Promoted Videos from within their competitive ad filter, the videos appear as a thumbnail with three lines of text. Adsense content partners must also be running ad formats in one of these sizes for video ads to appear. They are: 300X230, 336X280, 728X90, 250X250, 200X200. They must also be opted in to show text and image ads on their sites.

The Promoted Videos are different from Adsense video ads.

Promoted Videos will always take the viewer to YouTube’s site to be played, where as Adsense video ads are played right on the website it’s being viewed on.

When creating videos make sure they’re fun and entertaining.

Something people really enjoy to watch and will want to pass on to their friends and family. The sharing of popular videos on social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, will help it to go viral. Generally speaking, funny always translates well. The less it looks like a commercial, the better the odds of people liking and sharing it.

If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at video marketing and reach millions of potential customers, Google’s Promoted Videos may be for you. For further information see:

Promoted Videos Help Center

Promoted Videos Optimization Guide

YouTube Ad Keyword Tool

Show & Tell with YouTube-Showcases the best examples of marketing on YouTube

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