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The Advantages and Disadvantages of YouTube Advertising

by Joanne Dolezal on 7th October 2019

In the previous blog we covered whether LinkedIn paid features and advertising tools are worth the investment. Now this blog takes you through the ad types, pros and cons of YouTube advertising.

As a business, it’s very easy to set up your channel. You can add your branding and information about your company, as well as getting a personalised URL.

You can subscribe to videos for people who do similar things to you and create an interesting place for people to visit – the videos you subscribe to will be shown on your channel. It’s a great way to share quality video content.

Paid YouTube Advertising Tools

On YouTube, you can promote your business channel with Adwords campaigns, as you can on Google channels. You can also:

  • Promote your videos
  • ‘Sell’ ad space on your channel – monetisation
  • Tap in to Google Advertising Platform – Search Console

You can monetise your account, so if people are promoting something that fits well with what you do and want to advertise it, they can do this on your channel or page.

Using the same search console as Google, you can set your keywords, types of people you’re targeting and the promise that your video will appear in appropriate places.

Obviously, you hope that appropriate content will appear next to your videos.

There are three places for your YouTube adverts to appear:

your video (or someone else’s – i.e. a competitor) can appear in the search results, with those at the top being in premium slots.


You can have preview videos that sit before your video, which you can sell to others or buy yourself on other channels.



You can also advertise beside the videos.



Consider how YouTube has changed over the years.

It’s gone from being the place where we put homemade videos, to a place for big brands to host their adverts, to the film and music industries sharing videos, to today – an archive for anything you’ve ever watched. 

There’s also a whole other side to YouTube, which is educational. It’s where the how-to videos are and where we go to learn, but also where training and educational videos are.

So now let’s look at the pros and cons of YouTube advertising in more detail.

Advantages of YouTube Advertising

  • One of the main advantages is that Google owns YouTube and loves it, so everyone else does too.
  • People love videos, so there’s a lot going for you if you’ve got good-quality content on YouTube.
  • It’s the second-largest search engine (after Google) and a lot of people spend all their time in YouTube.
  • There’s a daisy-chain effect that if someone watches one thing they’ll be suggested something else, which is how they end up staying on the platform.

Disadvantages of YouTube Advertising

  •  YouTube offers sophisticated targeting for cost per click and display ads, and it’s a great place for viral content, because people love to share videos. However, the targeting is sometimes poor, and the follow-on content can be a bit random.
  • Cost-per-click is an auction, and you’re bidding against others for the highest spots. If they bid more than you, you go down of the line, so some keywords can be expensive (several hundred pounds).
  • While Google Search Console is fun to play with, it’s not for the amateur, so I don’t recommend trying to master it on your own.
  • As with search engine optimisation, it pays you to get good advice and do it properly, as otherwise you’re putting money straight into Google’s pockets.
  • One of the cons with YouTube advertising, unfortunately, is that the follow-on content (suggested videos) can sometimes be off-topic.

Now for the fun bit

You now need to decide which platform is best for you and what type of advert to do. Over the series, we’ll focus on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, because they’re likely to be where you’re already most active and they are a good place to start.

Next time, we’ll look at how to maximise your paid social media and get the most out of social media advertising.

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thought leaders.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.


Photo by Nordwood Themes on Unsplash

Joanne DolezalThe Advantages and Disadvantages of YouTube Advertising