YouTube Ads for Local Businesses: Read Before You Start

07 Mar, 2024

Explore YouTube Ads for local businesses and learn how to create campaigns that resonate with your audience.

YouTube Ads for Local Businesses: Read Before You Start

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As you're brewing that morning cup of joe and scrolling through the latest buzz (how bout them Bitcoin prices, am I right?), let's chat about a platform that's more crowded than a downtown express train at rush hour: YouTube. It's where cat videos have nine lives and where your local business could hit the jackpot. 🐱🎰

But hold your horsesβ€”or, should we say, your video cameras. πŸŽ₯ Before you start dreaming of becoming the next viral sensation, there's a bit of groundwork to cover. Diving into YouTube Ads without a strategy is like trying to cut a ribbon with a spoon – it's just not the right tool. πŸ₯„βœ‚οΈ

In this guide, we're going to give you the map to the YouTube Ads treasure chest, tailored for the local business scene. Whether you're serving up grandma's secret recipe or selling the snazziest gadgets in town, we've got the lowdown on how to get those ads golden, like perfectly toasted bread at brunch. 🍞✨So, let's get down to business (literally) and turn those views into revenue, one play button at a time.

The Benefits of YouTube Advertising for Local Businesses

Let's talk about why YouTube can be such a valuable advertising channel for local businesses. In a world where everyone's eyes are glued to screens more than a thrilling season finale, YouTube stands out as the prime-time spot for getting your local business on the digital map. πŸŒπŸ“Ί

Reach That's Wider Than a Small-Town Gossip Chain

First up, let's marvel at the sheer reach of YouTube. With billions of users tuning in from every corner of the globe, including the cozy nooks of your own neighborhood, YouTube ads offer a stage that's got more foot traffic than the city square on market day. Imagine broadcasting your special offers, not with a megaphone, but through the world's biggest digital loudspeaker. πŸ“£πŸŒŽ

Targeting That's Sharper Than Your Grandma's Kitchen Knife

But it's not just about shouting into the void. YouTube's targeting is so sharp, it can slice through the digital noise and deliver your message straight to the folks who matter mostβ€”your local clientele. Whether it's the young parents, the tech-savvy teens, or the retirees with a penchant for gardening, YouTube ads ensure your content finds its way to the right screens at the right time. πŸŽ―πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦

Engagement That Sticks Like Your Favorite Comfort Food

And when it comes to engagement, YouTube ads are the sticky, gooey, delicious mac 'n' cheese of the advertising world. Not only do viewers get to see your ad, but they also interact, share, and even follow a trail back to your doorstep (or website). It's the kind of engagement that builds communities, not just customer bases. πŸ§€πŸ’ž

Cost-Effectiveness That'll Make Your Accountant Smile

YouTube advertising offers options for every budget, big or small, making it more accessible than the VIP section at a rock concert. With cost-effective strategies and measurable ROI, you can dazzle your audience without draining your coffers. It's like finding a designer dress at thrift store pricesβ€”score! πŸ’°πŸ‘—

Brand Building That Turns Heads and Opens Wallets

Lastly, YouTube ads do more than just sell; they tell your story. In a marketplace crowded with "buy now" buttons, your ad can be a breath of fresh air that offers value, entertainment, and a reason to believe in your brand. It's about creating a legacy that lasts longer than a viral dance craze. πŸ•ΊπŸ’«


How YouTube Ads Work: The Mechanics Behind the Screen

Let's break down how these ads work, from the moment you set your budget to the sweet sound of a viewer clicking 'play.' πŸŽ₯πŸ’Ό

The Auction

Advertisers place bids to show their ads to viewers, and like any good auction, the highest bidder wins the ad space. But it's not just about throwing chips on the table; relevance and quality play a huge role in who comes out on top.

Cost Models

When it comes to paying for your ad's grand performance, YouTube offers a few different cost models, each with its own rhythm and beat:

  • Cost-Per-View (CPV): You pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it's shorter) or interacts with your ad, like clicking on a call-to-action.

  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): If your ad is more about driving clicks to your website or YouTube channel, you'll pay each time someone takes that leap.

  • Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM): Sometimes, it's all about the eyes. With CPM, you pay per thousand views of your ad, making it ideal for building brand awareness.


YouTube's targeting options are the darts that help you hit the bullseye on your ideal audience. You can target by demographics, interests, or even specific channels.

Ad Formats

From skippable in-stream ads that let viewers choose their adventure to non-skippable ads that ensure your whole message is heard, each ad format offers a different way to captivate your audience.

About YouTube Ad Formats

Like every advertising channel, YouTube offers a kaleidoscope of different ad formats. With this channel, the creative is what will make or break the success of the campaign.

Skippable In-Stream Ads

First up, we have the skippable in-stream ads, the chameleons of the YouTube ad world. These ads blend into the viewer's experience, popping up before or during videos with the option for viewers to skip after 5 seconds. These ads are perfect for longer narratives that build your brand or showcase your product in action. Ideal for:

  • Launching a new product with a bang πŸš€

  • Telling a compelling story about your brand's mission 🌍


Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

Then there are the non-skippable in-stream ads, the bold and the brave. These ads demand attention, running up to 15 or 20 seconds without a skip button in sight. With no skip option, ensure your content is engaging and straight to the point. Best for:

  • Highlighting limited-time offers that can't be missed ⏳

  • Making bold announcements, like grand openings or major sales πŸ“£

Note, as you may expect, these ads are considerably more expensive than other ad formats so use only on your highest converting creative. We suggest running in a different ad format first to test user responses.

Bumper Ads

Enter bumper ads, the quick and quirky. At just 6 seconds long, these non-skippable snippets are the digital equivalent of a firework – short, bright, and impossible to ignore. Use them for:

  • Reinforcing your brand's key message or slogan πŸ—£οΈ

  • Teasing a new product or event with a snippet that leaves viewers wanting more 🎁

Check out some examples of YouTube's best-performing bumper ads by checking out their leaderboard.

Discovery Ads

And let's not forget about discovery ads, the explorers of the YouTube ad formats. These ads appear in search results, next to related videos, or on the YouTube homepage, inviting viewers to click and discover more. These ads are less intrusive, appearing where viewers are already looking for something new. They're ideal for:

  • Promoting content that's informative or entertaining, like how-to videos or tutorials πŸ“š

  • Drawing attention to your YouTube channel to build a subscriber base 🌟


Outstream Ads

Lastly, we have out-stream ads, the wanderers. Designed for mobile and appearing on partner sites outside of YouTube, these ads gently nudge viewers as they scroll through content. Use these when you want to gently remind users of your brand as they browse on their mobile devices. Perfect for:

  • Keeping your brand top-of-mind during a broader marketing campaign 🧠

  • Targeting users who have previously interacted with your brand but haven't converted yet πŸ”

Targeting Options for Maximizing Ad Performance

Imagine having a magical map that shows you exactly where your future customers are hiding; YouTube's targeting options are just that. πŸ—ΊοΈβœ¨ Let's discuss them in a bit more detail:

Geographic Targeting: A "Must" For Local Businesses

You don't want to serve your ads to people who you can't service, so Geographic targeting is crucial to the success of your campaign. This feature allows you to pinpoint your ads to specific cities, regions, or even neighborhoods. It's like sending out a fleet of digital carrier pigeons to deliver your message directly to the locals.

Demographic Targeting: Know Your Neighbors

Next, demographic targeting lets you get up close and personal, reaching potential customers based on age, gender, parental status, and more. It's like hosting a neighborhood block party and inviting just the right mix of people. Perfect for:

  • Targeting products or services specifically designed for men, women, families, or seniors πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦

  • Adjusting your ad strategy based on the demographic composition of your local area πŸ“Š

Interest & Affinity Targeting

With interest and affinity targeting, you can connect with users based on their hobbies, passions, and what they care about. It's like setting up shop right in the middle of your ideal customers' favorite hangout spots. Ideal for:

  • Reaching fitness enthusiasts for your local gym or yoga studio πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ

  • Connecting with foodies for your farm-to-table restaurant 🍽️

Custom Intent & In-Market Targeting

Custom intent and in-market targeting are your crystal balls, revealing users who are actively searching for products or services like yours. It's like having a secret agent who whispers in your ear whenever someone nearby is ready to buy. Use this to:

  • Capture the attention of customers looking to make a purchase soon πŸ›οΈ

  • Tailor your ads to those showing interest in related categories πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

Keyword Targeting

This powerful tool allows you to show your ads based on the words and phrases users type into the YouTube search bar. Use keyword targeting to:

  • Capture High-Intent Searches: Align your ads with the search terms that signal strong purchase intent. For example, if you're a local bakery, target "best birthday cakes near me" to attract celebratory shoppers πŸŽ‚πŸ”.

  • Compete with Local Rivals: Bid on keywords that are associated with your local competitors to appear in searches related to their businesses. It's a friendly game of digital tug-of-war for customer attention πŸ€Όβ€β™‚οΈ.

  • Leverage Local Events and Trends: Monitor local news, events, or seasonal trends and incorporate relevant keywords. If a local festival or holiday is approaching, use it to your advantage in your keyword strategy πŸŽ‰πŸ—οΈ.


Lastly, remarketing lets your ads follow users who've interacted with your business online but haven't made a purchase. It's the digital equivalent of a friendly follow-up call, reminding them what they're missing out on. Great for:

  • Re-engaging visitors to your website who didn't convert πŸ”„

  • Offering special deals to users who've shown interest in your products or services 🎁

Setting Up Your First YouTube Ad Campaign

Now that you have a better understanding of YouTube ads' interworkings let's walk through how to start your first campaign.

  1. Create Your Ads: YouTube campaigns should start and revolve around an effective piece of creative. We suggest starting with this and creating some ads that align with your goals for the campaign. Ideally, you have a couple of different concepts that can be tested against each other. Remember, the first few seconds are crucial to capturing attention, so make them count. If your ad isn't already on YouTube, you'll need to upload it. Ensure the video is set to "Public" or "Unlisted," depending on your visibility preferences.

  2. Link Your Google Ads Account to YouTube: First things first, ensure your Google Ads account is linked to your YouTube channel. This connection is crucial for running ads on your videos and accessing detailed analytics.


  3. Define Your Campaign Goals: Before diving into the ad creation process, take a moment to consider what you want to achieve with your campaign. YouTube and Google Ads offer various goals, such as increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting sales. Selecting a clear goal will guide the rest of your campaign setup.

  4. Choose Your Campaign Type: With your goal in mind, select "Video" as your campaign type. This choice unlocks a range of ad formats and targeting options tailored for video content.


  5. Select Your Campaign Subtype and Strategy: YouTube offers different campaign subtypes, such as "Video views campaign" or "Non-skippable reach." Choose the one that aligns with your objectives. Here, you'll also decide on your bidding strategy, whether it's maximizing conversions or targeting a specific cost-per-action (CPA). Note that some subtypes will auto-select this for you.


  6. Set Your Budget and Schedule: Decide how much you're willing to spend daily or across the entire campaign. A well-planned budget ensures your ad keeps running without burning through your funds too quickly. Also, set a start and end date for your campaign to align with your marketing calendar.

  7. Step 6: Fine-tune Your Targeting: From demographic details to specific interests and even geographic locations, use targeting settings to ensure your ad finds the viewers most likely to engage with your local business.


  8. Launch and Monitor Your Campaign: With everything set, it's time to launch your campaign into the digital world. But the work doesn't stop there. Keep a close eye on your campaign's performance through YouTube's analytics tools. Monitor key metrics like views, clicks, and conversions to understand what's working and what needs tweaking.

  9. Optimize for Success: Based on the data you gather, make adjustments to your campaign. This could mean refining your targeting, tweaking your ad creative, or adjusting your budget. Continuous optimization is the key to maximizing your ad's impact and ROI

Measuring and Optimizing Campaign Performance

Once your YouTube ad campaign is live, it's like setting sail on the open sea. But rather than just letting the wind take you wherever you need to navigate carefully to ensure you reach your desired destination. Here's how to stay on course:

  1. Dive into YouTube Analytics: Start by looking at your YouTube Analytics. This tool is your sonar, pinging back information on how your ads are performing. Look for metrics such as view count, watch time, and engagement rates. These numbers will tell you not just who's seeing your ads but how they're interacting with them.

  2. Monitor Conversions: If your goal is to drive actions beyond views, such as website visits or product purchases, you'll need to track conversions. Set up conversion tracking in Google Ads to see how many viewers are taking the plunge after watching your ad. This data is like the treasure map leading you to the most valuable parts of your campaign.

  3. Test and Learn: Test different versions of your ad with slight variations in messaging, imagery, or targeting to see what resonates best with your audience. This process of A/B testing is like trying different fishing lures to see what catches the biggest fish.

  4. Refine Your Targeting: Use the insights you've gained to refine your targeting. Perhaps you'll find that your ads perform better with a certain demographic or at a particular time of day. Adjust your targeting settings in Google Ads to better align with these findings.

  5. Optimize Your Bidding Strategy: As you gather more performance data, you may find opportunities to optimize your bidding strategy. Maybe you can afford to bid higher for more competitive keywords or adjust bids for different times of day to maximize ad performance.

  6. Keep an Eye on the Competition: Finally, keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. If they're running ads similar to yours, you might need to differentiate your messaging or targeting to stand out. Use tools like Google's Auction Insights to see how you stack up against the competition.

Best Practices for Successful YouTube Ads

When it comes to crafting YouTube ads that resonate with viewers and drive results, there's an art and science to it. For local businesses looking to make a mark, following best practices is like following a tried-and-true recipe for success. Here are the key ingredients to ensure your YouTube ads rise to the occasion:

  • Narrative: Weave a story that connects with viewers on an emotional level. Your ad should tell a tale that reflects your brand's values and resonates with the local community.

  • Authenticity: Be genuine in your messaging. Authenticity builds trust, and trust leads to loyalty.

Focus on High-Quality Production

  • Visuals: Invest in high-quality visuals. Clear, professional-looking video content can capture attention and reflect positively on your brand.

  • Sound: Don't skimp on sound quality. Poor audio can be a turn-off, so ensure your voiceovers and music are crisp and clear.

Keep It Short and Sweet

  • Brevity: Attention spans are short. Aim to get your message across quickly, especially in the first few seconds, to prevent viewers from skipping your ad.

  • Clarity: Make sure your ad's objective is clear. Whether it's to drive sales, increase brand awareness, or promote a new product, your call-to-action (CTA) should be unmistakable.

Optimize for Mobile Viewing

  • Mobile-First: With the majority of YouTube views coming from mobile devices, design your ads with a mobile-first approach. Ensure they're visually appealing and easily digestible on smaller screens.

  • Loading Speed: Keep file sizes manageable to ensure quick loading times, even on slower mobile connections.

Test Different Ad Formats

  • Experimentation: Don't be afraid to experiment with different ad formats to see what works best for your audience and goals.

  • Adaptability: Be ready to adapt your strategy based on the performance of different ad formats.

Utilize Targeting to Your Advantage

  • Precision: Use YouTube's targeting options to reach your specific local audience. Tailor your ads based on demographics, interests, and even specific times of day.

  • Retargeting: Implement retargeting strategies to re-engage viewers who have shown interest in your brand but haven't converted.

Analyze and Adjust

  • Data-Driven Decisions: Use YouTube Analytics to make informed decisions about your ad campaigns. Look at what the data tells you about viewer behavior and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  • Continuous Improvement: The digital landscape is always changing. Stay flexible and be willing to continuously improve your ads based on performance data and viewer feedback.


In wrapping up, it's clear that mastering YouTube ads can be a powerful tool for local businesses looking to expand their reach and engage with customers in a meaningful way. By leveraging the power of storytelling, high-quality production, and strategic targeting, you can create effective campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive results.

If you're feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start, DriftLead is here to assist. We specialize in crafting customized marketing plans that align with your business goals and the unique challenges of YouTube advertising. With our guidance, you can navigate the complexities of digital marketing and ensure your campaigns are set up for success.

the next step in growing your local business with YouTube ads. Reach out to DriftLead for a free marketing plan that will help you harness the full potential of your advertising efforts. Visit DriftLead's marketing plan page to get started on enhancing your online presence and achieving your marketing objectives.

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