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So you’ve invested the time, money, and creative energy into creating a top-notch marketing video for your business. Now, you need to make sure that people see it.

Sharing with your existing network of contacts, leads, and customers is great first step. But if you really want to go out and acquire new customers through video you’ll likely have to spend some money.

YouTube / Google AdWords for Video

YouTube is probably the place to start putting dollars behind your videos.

If you’ve spent any time watching videos on YouTube, you’ve probably seen what YouTube calls TrueView video ads. There are two main types of TrueView ads.

  • TrueView in-stream video ads play before another video loads, and give the viewer the option to skip over the ad after a few seconds. You, the advertiser, only pay if the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the ad (or the full ad if it’s less than 30 seconds).

  • TrueView in-display ads enable your video thumbnail to show up next to YouTube videos, as a search result in a YouTube search (labeled “ad”), or even on one of the two million websites within the Google Display Network. You only pay when the viewer clicks on your ad.

For all TrueView ads, you have the freedom to budget how much you want to spend across any given day or week. You can also specify what types of content you want your video to appear alongside, to help reach your target audience. As Entrepreneur points out, one often-overlooked advantage of YouTube’s relationship with Google is the Google Display Network: your video “might show up on a niche website that is closely related to your topic and increase your conversion rate by much more than by being placed on YouTube with the risk to be skipped or overlooked.” Google AdWords for Video also enables you to see helpful stats on your ad’s performance, including views, view rates, sharing, completion rates, and more.

Costs for Google AdWords for video vary widely depending on your target audience. According to Kissmetrics, the average is around 6 cents per view or click.

Facebook Promoted Posts

Facebook has been in the news recently for its efforts to challenge YouTube’s dominance of the video landscape. They’ve invested hefty resources in figuring out how to make video fit seamlessly into Facebook’s user experience.

Today, Facebook Promoted Posts allow you to put video ads directly into users’ news feeds, or choose to have the videos appear to the right of the news feed. You choose your budget (cost-per-click is the default pricing option). You can also decide which users to target by location, age, gender, interests, relationship status, and a variety of other factors; this is crucial to making sure that your video reaches your desired viewers.

For video ads in Facebook, you can either post a link to a YouTube video or upload the video directly to Facebook (in the latter case, a big pop-up window appears for those who click with an area for comments alongside it). The pop-up provides a pleasant viewing experience than the smaller in-feed window. An increasing number of users are now uploading videos directly. According to the International Business Times, November 2014 was the first time that “more videos were uploaded to the social network than the number of posts containing YouTube links.” Uploading directly may be the way to go for advertisers as well. In one experiment, iProspect found that the average click-through rate increased from 1.6% percent when linking to YouTube to 6.13% when watching directly in Facebook.

In the past year, Facebook has introduced a variety of options to better serve video advertisers. For example, you can optimize your campaigns based on video views, in addition to options like page engagement, page likes, and website clicks. You can also add a call-to-action to encourage viewers to click through to your website after viewing your video. Facebook is also working to introduce an autoplay video option for advertisers, though this is still in testing.

Twitter Promoted Video

Facebook isn’t the only player recognizing the growing importance of video marketing. Twitter has recently been testing Promoted Video, a “new way for brands to post videos that users can play in their timelines with a single tap.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that the new format is performing well in trial implementations, in large part due to the ease of the “one-click-to-view” format.As the Journal notes, relative cost may also come out in Twitter’s favor. One experiment by a social media agency found that Twitter Promoted Video was significantly cheaper than YouTube TrueView ads, with cost per view averaging out at $0.01 for Twitter versus $0.10 for YouTube. This may be partially due to the fact that Promoted Video is still in the testing stages right now, and there isn’t much competition for adspace.

Stay tuned for more from Twitter on Promoted Video’s widespread release, or reach out to your company’s account representative at Twitter for more info.

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

If you’re targeting a buttoned-up professional audience, LinkedIn advertising might be your best bet. You’ll need to create a business account on LinkedIn to create a new campaign; this detailed guide walks you through the process.

You can promote your videos on LinkedIn through their Sponsored Updates, which appear in users’ feeds across desktop, tablet, and smartphone. Like ads on other social networks, these Updates can target your desired audience: LinkedIn lets you filter by factors like location, company size, job function, and more. Based on your campaign goals, you can also choose whether to pay by clicks (CPC) or impressions (CPM). (Not sure which one you want? Inc. has this advice: “Think of CPM Updates as a brand awareness tool; if you want people to know you or a certain product exists, CPM Updates are a good way to get lots of exposure. CPC Updates are direct response tools; your goal is to compel users to click and consume your content.”)

To add video to a LinkedIn Sponsored Update, you’ll need to include a link to a hosted video, which will play in-line in the user’s feed. Like Promoted Posts in Facebook, this native advertising often feels more organic for audiences, and can result in more views and clicks.

StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

As a content discovery site, StumbleUpon helps users find and bookmark content from around the web. Only great content will succeed on StumbleUpon. As Kissmetrics notes, “users can hit the dislike button just as easily as they hit the like button and ultimately bury your content.”

If you’ve produced a great video, you may just be in luck. They’re consistently among the most popular content on StumbleUpon. You can use StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery to market your video to an even wider audience. You can choose from a few different plans, which offer increasing levels of reporting and support. To target your video, you can choose up to 10 different relevant topics, and/or filter your audience by age, gender, location, and device. For more info on creating a campaign, check out StumbleUpon Ads.

One thing to consider: Many users say that while StumbleUpon consistently increases traffic to a website, it isn’t always great at conversion. If brand exposure is what you’re looking for, StumbleUpon may be the way to go. If not, consider looking elsewhere.

Other Options

These aren’t the only options for paid video marketing campaigns. For example, the Yahoo Bing Network allows you to market your videos for Yahoo and Bing Searches using Bing Rich Ads in Search (RAIS), which allow rich media content like videos to appear alongside search results.

It’s also worth looking into networks like Outbrain and Taboola, which can help you build your reach and monetize your video content by recommending it on other sites. This can expose your video to viewers who may not be spending time on sites like YouTube and Facebook.

Remarketing can also help you target viewers on other sites, increasing their exposure to your brand and maximizing the opportunity for conversion. For example, on Google Display Network, you can turn snippets from a video into a .gif and use it as a display ad when retargeting audiences.


While CPC and CPM will vary widely based on your industry and designated audience, there are some general guidelines to follow. According to Monetize Pro, the average CPM for video ads is $3.00 (more information is available with a subscription). If you’re using CPC, check out these tips on setting up profitable campaigns.


What’s the point of creating videos—and paying for ad campaigns—if they aren’t resulting in conversions? If you’re having this problem, go back to basics first. Customers will judge your brand by your video quality. Make sure your videos are short and focused, and feature high-quality audio, visuals, and scripts. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action to guide your audience to the next step in the sales funnel — and of course a CTA needs to live somewhere and the best place is a video-optimized landing page. Remarketing can also help you target viewers on other sites, increasing their exposure to your brand and maximizing the opportunity for conversion. For example, on Google Display Network, you can turn snippets from a video into a .gif and use it as a display ad when retargeting audiences.

Some video ad campaigns prioritize brand awareness and views over conversions, and that’s just fine. But if you’re looking for clicks and ultimately sales, be sure to optimize your paid campaigns and their videos accordingly.