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Google has gone and done it again. On December 4th the search engine empire offered free workshops and one-on-one coaching at the Long Branch Free Public Library.

The full day of learning was part of the Grow With Google New Jersey initiative that focuses on helping business owners and individuals navigate the latest Google platforms and increase their digital footprint. Rizco made a point to attend the “Use YouTube to Grow Your Business” session which not only confirmed what I knew, but also provided some new insight. As we enter a new decade, users want to see content, not read it. We all know that video is imperative for digital marketing strategies, but most don’t know that YouTube ads are the new platform to be found on by a captive audience.

Grow with Google

Below are some basics to get you started.

  • Ensure connectivity. It seems silly, but first be sure to connect your YouTube account to your Google Ads account. This is where you will build out the campaigns.
  • Brand your channel. Look at it as an extension of your website and another place to generate brand awareness. YouTube business channels can be customized and branded with icons, playlists that highlight services, and descriptions and keywords that provide SEO value. Use this to your advantage! More on this below.
  • Reach the right audience. Just like Google Ads, businesses have the ability to target audiences via YouTube ads. Before setting up your campaigns, dig into your Google Analytics to see who your audience is. You’d be surprised at who you THINK is coming to your website and who is ACTUALLY coming to your website. Use this data to your advantage when setting up your target locations, ages, behaviors, and interests.
  • Decide which ad format you want to use. Are you looking to make a memorable and quick statement? Consider using bumper ads. They are six seconds long, appear before a video, and can’t be skipped. Looking to send a longer message while having a captive audience? Try trueview ads. They appear within videos and can be up to a minute. Users do have the option to skip the ad after five seconds but you will only be charged for views that are thirty seconds or longer and if a user skips the ad, your companion banner stays within the video.
  • Measure and track your ads to ensure you are seeing ROI. There’s a reason your Google Analytics and Ads are connected to your YouTube account. Be sure to dig into the data and track views, clicks, purchases, or lack thereof. This allows you to adjust your creative or audience targeting if necessary.

The key to all of this is, of course, the video. Keep in mind creating a video ad doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you don’t have a big budget, using your phone works just fine, but leave the bigger projects to an agency. Either way, follow the four ABCs to ensure you are maximizing your ad spend and reach.

  • Attract – people are visual, and more importantly want to be shown relevant content. When creating video, keep in mind the aesthetic and if it will appeal to your audience. This can include color choices, music selections, and even choice of “actors.” Don’t believe me? According to Google, 50-70% of campaign ROI is due to creative. So make it a point to make it not only stand out, but set you apart.
  • Brand – just like with a display ad, you want your brand front and center. Be sure to include your logo, website, or brand colors, but be sure to integrate it naturally. Even though it is an ad, you don’t want the user to feel like they are watching a commercial. So be subtle. Maybe the logo fades in and out quickly in the beginning as an introduction. Pro tip: The first five seconds are critical. Use this time to show your branding and most important messaging. These are the five seconds that are going to determine if someone watches the ad or skips it, so make the most of it!
  • Connect – unlike text and display ads, video ads allow you to connect with a viewer using emotion and storytelling. Take advantage of this when curating your content. This is your chance to create an emotional response to your service or product which is more likely to result in a conversion.
  • Direct – Google Ads have clear CTAs. Maybe it’s a button that says “Learn More” or “Start Your Free Trial.” YouTube ads are not as cut and dry, so instead you need to direct viewers to complete an action with your message. For instance, if you are offering a free trial guide them to your website in your storytelling.


Gone are the days of cat videos and skateboarding clips cluttering YouTube. Users are now using the channel to learn how to cook, watch their favorite content creators, and most importantly share content. As attention spans decrease, short form video ad content is the solution to engaging with captive users that are already watching a video. Keep in mind, engaging ads have the potential for 93% viewability and 95% audibility.

Remember, whether you are a business just starting out with a YouTube channel, or are active and looking to reach a broader audience, YouTube is not as daunting as you think. It is a low cost way for your business to see a big ROI. So have fun, make a video, test the platform, and increase brand awareness, and most importantly, conversions.