You are here:

YouTube ad sales on the rise – should brands be on board?


Google’s parent company Alphabet released YouTube advertising revenue figures this week for the first time ever. Bringing in over $15 billion, YouTube’s ad sales rose 31% year-on-year in the last three months of 2019 and accounted for almost 10% of their overall revenue. (Source: BBC News)

They also counted more than two million paid-for subscribers, having reworked and rebranded their ‘YouTube Red’ service into ‘YouTube Premium’ in 2018.

We’ve always said that YouTube is a great resource for brands and yet it’s often overlooked! For small businesses especially, YouTube can be a really cost-effective way to show your product or service to new audiences worldwide. It’s a medium for showcasing transformation stories, ‘how-to’ tutorials, product reviews and much more – you can be really creative with your content. You can add different calls-to-action (CTAs) in your vids too – whether it’s to follow you on social media, subscribe to your channel, click a link in the description box or watch another video. Why not show people what goes on behind the scenes with your brand? Whether you’re at an event or just behind-the-scenes doing daily tasks, giving your content personality is a guaranteed way to gain loyal, engaged followers who are more likely to convert into customers.

Happy woman vlogging; filming herself

To put ads on your videos, you’ll need to apply for the YouTube Partner Program. You can only apply when you have over 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours (over the last 12 months). Then you’ll need to sign the Partner Programme terms and connect your Google AdSense account. The amount you can earn varies depending on the advertiser and how many views your video gets.

It’s worth noting however, whilst YouTube ad spend and revenue is rapidly growing, Alphabet also reported a shortfall in search-engine advertising revenue. Analysts predicted they would receive $46.94 billion but in reality, the company only received $46.08 billion.

If you’ve ever wondered why your page or business doesn’t appear on the first page of Google’s search results – chances are that you’ve thought about putting some budget into AdWords and Pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These can be an effective way to get traffic and conversions, when you choose the right keywords and budget, but it’s not always cheap – especially when you’re in a highly-competitive industry. This leaves lots of brands and small businesses wondering – is it worth allocating some of my budget to paid search campaigns?

Google search on mobile phone

We asked the guys at Fireworx – who specialise in PPC Marketing – for their thoughts on this news. They said:

“Paid search campaigns continue to offer highly targeted traffic to advertisers, based on their search phrases. As a wise man once said: ‘The best time to sell someone double-glazing is when they want double-glazing’. That’s essentially what Google Ads is – a potential customer making a search, stating their desire, allowing a smart marketer to advertise to that qualified traffic. That’s why it will remain a staple aspect of digital marketing campaigns, despite the rise of other marketing channels.”

Despite revenue not growing as forecasted, we still believe that brands shouldn’t forget about paid-for search campaigns. This is because they work very well with social media to increase brand awareness and traffic across the board. You can also use social media to find out more about your audience demographics – this will be key for any PPC activity! It’s about brand consistency and the user journey too – you want your followers to become users of your website and then to convert them to consumers. To do this – you need to make sure you’re present and visible across the board, making it easy for users to find and engage with you!

If you’ve already got the PPC side of things sorted but you’re struggling with YouTube (or any other aspect of your social media), contact our team or email and we’ll be happy to talk you through it!