If you’re interested in YouTube ads, you need video. The little YouTube banner ads that pop up over videos are negligible; the real value comes from the pre-roll, mid-roll, and unskippable video ads. Videos are what people come to engage with, and videos are what they’re prepared to see.
What happens if you want to advertise on YouTube but you don’t have videos on hand? You have to come up with some solution to the problem, and “not using YouTube ads” isn’t a valid solution. Thankfully, there are a few options you can pursue.
The first option is to make your own video for your YouTube ads. I know, I know, if you don’t know how to make nicely edited videos, you’re going to have a bit of a hard time with this. It’s completely understandable. In order to pull it off, you need to dedicate yourself to learning the craft, at least on a superficial level.
First of all, I recommend that you do some reading. Check these out:
Additionally, you might want to look up a video editor and some tutorials for it. There are dozens of video editors out there, ranging from simple camera apps to full-on movie studio suites, so there’s something for everyone. A lot of it comes down to preference which you choose.
The video ad DIY option is serviceable if you have some video equipment, only want to make very simple ads, or otherwise don’t want to invest much into your videos. It’s unfortunately not a great option if you’re looking to invest heavily into YouTube ads, because your videos will hold you back until you’re much more experienced. As such, I’d recommend moving on to the next option unless you have an absolutely shoestring budget.
The second option you have is to hire a cheap freelancer to make something for you. In this case, a “cheap” freelancer could be anywhere from a $5 Fiverr hire to someone asking for $30 an hour to make a simple project.
Obviously, skilled freelancers can charge much more.
Additionally, you can use freelancers to perform different aspects of video production. You don’t need one do-it-all freelancer. You can hire one to do the script writing, another to do the voice-over and sound effects, and another to do the actual video. This allows you to hire cheaper, faster products from more experienced freelancers and essentially have the individual parts “assembled” by another. Whether or not that’s better or a savings depends on all of the different people involved.
Obviously, freelancers can scale as high as your budget allows. Enterprise-level professional freelancers basically run as agencies and charge incredible prices for incredible work. It’s up to you to find the right balance.
The third option you can pursue is using a relatively cheap template-based video creation service. There are a lot of these services, and the variety of templates and amount of customization they allow differs between them.
If you’re not sure what I mean, consider something like Canva. Canva is a template-based web graphics editor that allows you to create anything from a flyer to a social media post to an infographic with ease. You can use their free assets, upload your own assets, or pay for stock assets, in any combination. You build what you want, racking up charges for assets you use along the way, and pay when you’ve finalized a design to export.
These video editors work in much the same way, except instead of static images, they provide a combination of graphics, video clips, and audio in both sound effects and music that won’t earn you a copyright violation.
Here are some options you can look at.
There are all sorts of other video editing apps out there as well. You can almost certainly find something to interest you.
YouTube, of course, knows full well that in order to run advertising on their platform, you need to be able to upload videos, and not everyone has a video production skill in-house. That’s why they have kept a list of partner companies for a wide variety of different budgets and skill levels. You can see whatever their most up to date list is here. A couple of the entries on the list are partners listed above, and a few are not.
For the most part, these partner agencies are video production companies that offer a variety of different services, from DIY apps to full-service video production. You can go to them with an idea and hire them to produce a video, and that’s that. The pricing depends on the length of video, the depth of work required for the idea, and whatever other assets may be required.
Since you’re looking at a somewhat higher budget here if you hire a company to do the work for you, it’s tricky to necessarily recommend this option. If you have the budget for it, you’re pretty well guaranteed to get a great video out of it. On the other hand, many small businesses are operating on thin advertising budgets, so you might not be able to contract some of the higher end companies.
Speaking of high end companies, the sky really is the limit when it comes to video production. You don’t think a company like Coke or McDonalds is going to hire some $20 a month company to handle their video ads, are they? Of course not. At the high end, you have companies charging tens of thousands of dollars an hour, or millions of dollars per project.
There are a lot of such agencies out there. This directory lists over 8,500 firms with some element of video production in their specialty list. Prices for services with these companies range from $1,000 to over $250,000.
If you’re interested in hiring one of these companies, go right ahead. However, since the budgets are so high, the stakes are incredible. You want to do your best to vet these companies before you sign a contract. Here are some questions you might consider asking them before you hire them.
Once you’ve properly vetted a company, only then should you consider signing a contract. Make sure to shop around!
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