Winning with YouTube (chapter 1)

Jane Brinkman is a strategic video campaign lead at CutTheWeb. Here she explains how advertising on YouTube helps you reach for awareness, influence the consumer’s decisions and drive sales for your business.


When I moved to the Netherlands, I needed to buy a vacuum cleaner.

Rather than make appointments to go to the stores (April 2021), I decided to go online. I started with a simple YouTube search “best vacuum cleaner for wooden floors”. Then, an interesting thing happened on my journey across the internet. I found new and related products and retail stores I didn’t even know existed. After a good long research and comparisons, instead of just buying a simple vacuum cleaner, I purchased the whole suite of products…online!

These days, the consumer decision-making process is messy with a complicated web of touchpoints that differ from person to person. Along the customer journey, these touchpoints have the ability to influence brand perception, customer experience and intent to purchase. What we can say for sure is that a lot of pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase touchpoints nowadays are moving online.

The digital media landscape is a crowded place. In recent years, digital ad spend and video advertising in the Netherlands continue to grow (source). Unlike buying TV ads, you can also become a player in YouTube no matter what size your business or your media budget is. What’s more interesting is that YouTube targeting options give you the ability to selectively engage with the audience that matters to your business. Also, measurable results of campaign performance can guide you through optimization (=make the campaigns perform better on various metrics) and pick up your return on investment better than non-digital ads. 


In this series of articles, I will guide you through how YouTube video advertising can help you reach for awareness, influence and drive sales. In this first chapter, you will find out more about:

  • Digital Population and YouTube population in the Netherlands
  • YouTube Video Ad Formats and Buying Options

(which brings you potential “Unique Reach”)

Digital Population and YouTube Population in the Netherlands

Across the Netherlands, people are heavily connected online. At the start of 2022, 96.0 percent of the total population are internet users (source) with an average internet time spent per person of 5 hours 11 minutes a day (source). YouTube, as the No.1 video platform in the country, has the ad reach equivalent to 90.7 percent of the Dutch total population. (source)

What does that mean for businesses and marketers like me and you? This statistics indicates a considerable opportunity to connect with the right people for your business in meaningful ways through digital marketing and YouTube advertising. You want (and need) to be present where your potential customers are and catch their attention (awareness), influence their decision making, and move people to take their actions that are meaningful to your business (= conversions).

YouTube Video Ad Formats and Buying Options

There are four key formats you can choose from to run your video campaigns, presented with different buying options (=bidding strategy).

For Bumper, Non-Skippable and Skippable ad formats, your video content can appear before, during, or after other videos on YouTube and across websites and apps running on Google video partners.

1. Bumper Ads are quick bites – short and sweet. They are 6 seconds long (or shorter) and viewers don’t have an option to skip.

How will I be charged?

With CPM (Cost-per-mille which means per thousand impressions) bidding, your budget will be charged based on impressions (each time your ad shows). 

2. Non-Skippable ads (in-stream) are 15 seconds (or shorter): cannot be skipped.

How will I be charged?

With CPM bidding, your budget will be charged on impressions (same as the above format).

3. Skippable ads (in-stream) are long-form videos. After 5 seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad. Some people refer to this format as “TrueView in-stream”. For conversion focused, you can have “TrueView for Action”.

How will I be charged?

You can choose to pay between three different bidding:

  1. Pay for impressions (CPM or Cost-per-Mille (per a thousand impressions));
  2. Pay for Views (CPV or Cost-per-View) and; 
  3. Pay for Conversions (CPA or Cost-per-Action).


When does it count as “a View”?

  • When a viewer watches at least 30 seconds of your video
  • When a viewer watches your entire video if it is shorter than 30 seconds
  • When a viewer interacts with your video ad (such as clicking on a link)


This means with the CPV bidding, for example if your video ad is 45-second long and when a viewer watches it for 20 seconds and skips it, you don’t pay for that. You can think of it as  a “free impression” where your target audience is exposed to your ad, and you still get some of your brand message delivered at no cost. 


Note: Paid ad views have different criteria for what counts as a view compared to “video views” on your YouTube channel


4. In-Feed Video Ads (previously known as YouTube Discovery) consist of a thumbnail image from your video with a header and description – just like a normal suggested video before you click to play. The only difference is you can see an “ad” symbol. Some people refer to this format as “TrueView Discovery”.


Placements (=where does this ad format appear?)

  • On top of YouTube search results
  • On YouTube watch page (if you watch a video, they are alongside your related YouTube videos)
  • On the YouTube mobile homepage

How will I be charged?

With CPC bidding, you pay based on clicks when viewers choose to watch your ad by clicking the thumbnail.

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Here’s a wrap!

YouTube is a powerful video advertising platform that presents an abundance of opportunities to connect with the right people for your business. You can strategically run different YouTube ad formats to maximize your campaign performance. Contact us and we can help you find the right mix!

Stay tuned for Winning with YouTube: The Beginner’s Guide (Chapter 2) to learn more about the role of YouTube in full-funnel marketing and key measures for your YouTube campaigns.

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