YouTube Ads

Paid Media Platform

Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube is video-first, and thus is a natural fit for ad campaigns with quality video content. Campaigns run through Google Ads, the ad platform that also houses Google Search and Google Display, and benefits from Google’s wealth of data on users.

Users

~160 million

Meant For

Communications & Digital Staff, Ad Agencies

Resources

Who Is It For

Organizations who want to expand their video content presence online on the largest streaming video platform.

Common Use Case

Great for promoting high quality video content that introduces a candidate, raises name ID, or educates and persuades voters about particular issues.

Strengths

  • Since YouTube is the largest video streaming platform, you can target nearly any audience at scale.
  • Unskippable ad options allow you to ensure that voters who typically tune out political messaging are still exposed to your message.
  • Left-wing and right-wing registered voter reserve audiences available through Youtube Partner program.
  • Self serve platform allows for small budget testing and learning.

Drawbacks

  • Limited targeting capabilities
  • Often skippable – content must front load asks as viewers do not stick around for the entire ad
  • Unintuitive ad interface – Google Ads Manager

US Political Ad Policies

Google requires verification for advertisers who want to run election ads (defined as “ads that feature a current officeholder or candidate for an elected federal office, such as that of the President or Vice President of the United States, or members of the United States House of Representatives or the United States Senate”) or use political affiliation in personalized advertising in the United States.

Google’s political ad policy does not extend to ads on state or local offices, news content, or ads for products or services, including promotional political merchandise like t-shirts. The process typically takes 3-5 days.

CPM by Creative Type

  • CPM: $17.18
  • CPV: $0.08

Avg CPM by Objective

  • CTR: 0.24%
  • 100% View: 30%*Based on internal data

Notable Targeting Capablities

  • Geo-targeting (Country, state, city, DMA, congressional district, and ZIP code)
  • Detailed demographic information
  • Contextual targeting

Hot Takes

Youtube is an incredibly important advertising platform. For starters, there are a ton of inventory options and impressions available. You can run cheap bumper ads to drive Name ID. You can deliver forced 15 second spots or pay per 30 second view of a longer form video. All of this becomes invaluable, particularly around GOTV when CPMs are rising across platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The biggest advice for campaigns with big budgets is to prioritize producing multiple quality videos so that when the time comes to spend big, your not stuck serving the same mediocre ad at a really high frequency in the final few weeks of an election cycle.

– Emmy Barcelo, ACRONYM

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