Video Marketing: What Is The Cost To Advertise On YouTube?

Similar to checking their social media feeds, most people’s days aren’t complete if they aren’t able to visit YouTube and check recent uploads. The video-sharing platform has integrated itself into the lives of billions of World Wide Web users, which is why brands flock to advertise on it.

If you’re a small business owner, you should take advantage of YouTube because it’s a cost-effective way to reach your target audience. Aside from creating an official brand account and uploading videos, such as tutorials and other informational content, you can also post ads that pop up on videos in your niche.

Here are some things you should know about the cost of advertising on YouTube:

  1. It’s a Pay-Per-View or Click Setup

The best thing about the platform is that businesses only pay when a user views their video or clicks on their ad. You can choose from different ad formats, which affect the total cost (more on that later).

The payment is dependent on the type of ad you create. You can get charged when someone watches until the end of your video or if they click on the banner that pops up on something that they’re viewing on the platform. Other times, businesses have to pay if a user watches 30 seconds of their ad.

You may think that you may end up spending more money and getting little return on investment (ROI). However, as you may have already witnessed, YouTube advertising has proven to be an effective strategy for both small and large businesses with a continuous stream of ads being published on the platform.

  1. The Typical Rate is 0.10 USD Per Click

The cost to advertise on YouTube is relatively affordable. Most businesses pay as little as 0.10 USD per click. You can start with a minimum of 10 USD budget per day for the campaign and end up paying about 300 USD per month, which is still cheaper compared to other advertising tools you may be using.

  1. Full Control of the Budget

You can set a minimum and maximum amount per day to ensure that you don’t go over your budget for your YouTube campaign. This autonomy makes the platform small business-friendly.

Take note that many brands advertise on YouTube and so it conducts auctions where you can bid on ad placements against your competitors. Nonetheless, you can still get full control of your budget because you only pay a little bit higher than the other company.

Let’s say you set a maximum of one dollar for a particular keyword, and your competitor bids 0.70 USD for each click. You only need to pay 0.71 USD per click, which gets you the ad placement and still stay within your budget limit.

Moreover, you can reduce ad costs with better targeting. Look for specific keywords, topics, and placements or a combination of all three to create personalized ads for your prospects.

  1. Choose from Different YouTube Ad Formats

The ad format or type plays a significant role in the cost of your YouTube ads. As with traditional print or TV advertising, you pay more for longer screen time and bigger ad space.

These are the different ad formats that you can choose from:

  • Display – These ads are shown on the right side of the video that your target audience is watching. Its primary benefit is that it gives users a choice to watch your ad and know more about your brand.
  • Overlay – You may have seen semi-transparent links at the bottom part of the video. These are overlay ads, and users also have the option to leave it on while they’re watching or click on the “X” button to remove it.
  • Skippable – This type of ad can pop up before, during, or after the featured video. It disrupts the viewing of the user, similar to a traditional TV commercial, but allows viewers to skip or close it without finishing.
  • Non-Skippable – This one lets the user view the entire ad. It’s typically short and lasts for only a few seconds, but you also have the option to go for 30-second ads or longer. Use this with caution, though, because it may annoy most consumers, mainly if they haven’t expressed interest in your product or service.
  • Bumper – Bumper ads have a maximum duration of six seconds. They are shown before a user can watch the video that they want to see and cannot be skipped.
  • Sponsored Cards – With this format, you can post additional relevant information to your videos. Think of it as a teaser for promoting a product that will be shown in your video content.
  1. Enjoy Flexible Ad Targeting

Aside from having several ad formats, YouTube also provides flexibility to business owners regarding the reach of their ads. Most businesses use demographics as their basis for determining their potential customers. They categorize them by age, gender, or income.

However, with YouTube, you can also widen your reach by considering these factors:

  • Interests – You can have your ads shown to consumers who subscribed to topics within or in related niches. With this, you can introduce your brand to unlikely but possible customers.
  • Keywords – You can also show your ads to people who typed in a particular search query or YouTube video title. This option’s availability depends on your ad format, though.
  • Placements – Your ads can be shown on channels, videos, and apps related to your niche as well.
  • Remarketing Remarketing allows you to reach users who’ve viewed or interacted with your past ads. This strategy is useful for keeping your brand at the top of a prospect’s mind.


Video marketing on YouTube is valuable for small businesses because it’s cost-effective and allows you full autonomy of the campaign. The payment setup and minimum cost to start lets you control your budget to get a substantial ROI.

Determining the actual cost of YouTube advertising is heavily dependent on the ad format that you’ll be using. The bigger ad space and longer screen time you request, the higher the price you’ll have to pay. Start small first as you get the hang of promoting your brand on the platform.

Buddy Karimi

Buddy is a business journalist with a focus on technology and innovation. With over 10 years of experience reporting on the latest business trends, Buddy has a reputation for being a well-informed, in-depth and analytical journalist. He has a keen understanding of the intersection between technology and business, and is able to explain the impact of emerging technologies on various industries. Buddy has interviewed some of the most influential leaders in the tech industry and has covered major tech events such as CES and SXSW. He is also a regular contributor to business publications and has won several awards for his work.