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How to Create YouTube Video Ads for Your Business: A Beginner-Friendly Guide

13 min read

Video is a remarkably effective marketing tool, especially for ecommerce stores. It allows you to showcase your products and tell the story of your business.

Running video ads on YouTube is a great way to reach your target audience and promote your ecommerce store. With over two billion users, YouTube is one of the biggest online video platforms worldwide.

In this post, we’ll show how you can create YouTube ads without any prior experience. Plus, no need for expensive tools! We’ll share some of the best practices for video marketing that will make viewers ignore the “Skip the Ad” button.

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Why Make Video Ads?

A video ad is essentially a video that talks about your business, what it adds to the market, the products it creates or services offered, and the people behind it. Think of it like a 2-minute segment about your company on the local news channel. You get to show off your brand, your products, and your team.

Making a video ad helps humanize your brand. It shows potential shoppers that you’re more than just another faceless corporation; your business is made up of real people running a real company. Brand humanizing can help give your small business a competitive edge.

If you want video to be a part of your marketing strategy, creating content will give you the raw material for running a video ad campaign. Once you get some video clips together, you can start advertising on YouTube in no time!

Some additional benefits to running video ads are:

  • Video is a versatile format that can be used for multiple purposes, such as product demonstrations, customer testimonials, brand awareness, and more.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, so you can use it to reach people who are actively searching for businesses like yours.
  • You can use video ads for remarketing to people who have visited your website or watched one of your videos.

Now that you know why you should use video advertising let’s look at the types of video ads you can create for your small business.

Video Ad Types to Make for Your Business

There are plenty of types of video ads you can make, but we’ll focus on the ones that work best for small businesses.

Business Introduction Video

This kind of video showcases what your business does and who runs it. Most of these videos have some sort of human interest element, such as a founder’s or customer’s testimony. Voiceovers and interviews are effective formats for this kind of advertisement.

A business introduction video can be both short and long-form. You can start with a 30-second multi-shot video. Or, if you have a story to tell, you can make slightly longer introductory videos. Typically, these run at 2, 5, or 10 minutes long.

Longer videos usually expand the topic of the video. Instead of covering just the founder and product(s), you might cover the company mission and employee stories. You can even add some humor.

For example, AT&T adds a humorous element to their video and quickly explains how their company differs from others in just 30 seconds:

Promotional Video

Promotional videos are usually 5 to 30-second videos created for a specific promotion, such as a seasonal sale.

You should make it different from other promotional videos. Usually, these types of videos emphasize the offer, not the person or business making the offer. More clever videos are better for small businesses, especially on YouTube.

Check out this Colorbar promotional video that looks like an invitation to a housewarming party:

Product Videos

You’ll sometimes want to create videos showcasing your products and their features. The product video format works well here.

It can be a straightforward video with the founder talking about the product as a voiceover, with shots of the product strung together into a video. Such videos are faster and easier to create than stylized, over-produced product showcases. The low-cost, fast turnaround of this simple product video works really well when you have a large product line.

This short video from Skullcandy explains the benefits of their product and shows it in action. You can do that too, even without creating an animated video. Just make sure to show how your product benefits customers.

Tutorials and Tips Videos

Tutorials, how-to’s, and guides are a core part of any video-focused content marketing strategy.

There is no standard length for such video types. You can go as long as the tutorial needs to be. Since such videos are more about educating customers than marketing your brand, make sure that you don’t push your own products too hard — unless, of course, you’re explaining how to use your own products.

For example, Dollar Shave Club has a whole playlist of YouTube videos where they share tips for a perfect shave:

Best Practices for Creating YouTube Video Ads

Luckily, there are tons of affordable and even free resources that can help you make videos on a budget and with zero experience. Now that you know what kinds of video ads you can make, it’s time to learn some best practices.

To get more out of your videos, follow these proven tips:

Start Strong with Business Introduction Videos

If you’re going to promote your business via video ads, you must start strong. Most viewers will decide to watch or skip the ad based on the first 5-seconds alone.

Some ways to do this are:

  • Show viewers the gist of the video in a single shot. For example, if you run a shoe store, create a 3-4 second long slogan (“XYZ is the best place to get running shoes”) and place it at the very start.
  • Add human interest or dramatic action. A friendly “Hi!” from a founder looking confidently at the camera is often enough to get people to stop and pay attention.
  • Use unexpected music. An unexpected sound effect or musical choice at the start can grab a viewer’s attention.

For example, Everlane uses a catchy song and states their unique selling point right away:

Follow the Who, What, and How Format

For short business introduction videos, follow a simple three-part format:

  • Who: Tell viewers who you are and the name of your business.
  • What: Tell viewers what you do and what makes you special.
  • How: Finally, end by showing viewers how they can get in touch with your business, find your site, or call you.

Show, don’t tell. If you sell shoes for ballerinas, don’t just tell people about them; include shots of the shoes. Even better, show the shoes being used. Similarly, include a video of yourself when you’re talking about the “who” of your business.

For example, Dove does a great job of showing its product while also highlighting its company values:

Get Lots of Footage

Having an abundance of footage will help you create lots of advertising videos, while also getting raw video of your company. Keep the phone camera on even after you’ve filmed the script. This will help you capture any real moments or shots. These moments make your brand much more human and work perfectly with YouTube’s amateur focus.

Also, try taking multiple angles of the same shot. For instance, when you’re talking about yourself, get a close-up as well as a wide-angle shot. Combine the two to give your video a sense of movement.

Do you lack footage? Use customer testimonials in your videos, just like Boll and Branch does:

Be Visually Interesting

More than anything else, video is a visual medium. Try to find the most visually arresting areas in your office. If you don’t have any, try filming outdoors in good weather. That way, your background will be visually stimulating.

If you’re filming products, use a mix of close-up and mid-range shots. You want to show viewers what your product looks like up close and in the context of its surroundings.

Some good places to film your videos are:

  • The inside of your store
  • A beautiful, well-lit room in your house
  • Your garden!

Check out how Forever 21 uses different locations and angles in their videos:

Tools for Creating YouTube Video Ads

As a small business owner, you’re likely to be limited in resources for an expensive, high-production video. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a hard-to-resist ad. There are dozens of affordable do-it-yourself video creation platforms.

Let’s have a look at some of them!


Canva is a popular platform for creating all kinds of visual content, including YouTube ads. They have tons of templates you can use, so creating your content is straightforward.

And good news for small business owners! Canva has a free plan. Check out their templates for YouTube video ads.


Animoto lets you turn content you already have into high-performing videos. Create from scratch or use pre-built templates designed with a YouTube audience in mind. Just choose a template, add your videos, and customize music and visual effects. And the best part — they have a free plan with unlimited videos.


Tyle is a simple video maker, but they have templates focused specifically on different types of YouTube ads. You can create something unique from scratch or try a Tyle-recommended template. On a free plan, you can create 20 slides, videos, and/or images.


This is an AI-powered video editor that helps you create eye-catching videos for YouTube. Choose a template, add your video, and AI will analyze and edit your YouTube video. A free trial is available for certain paid plans.


This video maker for businesses offers thousands of tools and templates (over 5K!) for creating promotional and social media videos. All plans give you access to high-quality media from photo stocks. This is a very feature-rich video maker, but the prices might be a bit high for an aspiring business owner. Luckily, there is a free trial, so you can check it out and see if it’s right for you.

To Sum Up

As you can see, there are many great options for creating DIY YouTube video ads. You don’t need a big budget or professional equipment to make high-quality videos that will reach and engage your audience.

Now you know why you need to create YouTube videos and have some ideas for what it should look like. You also have some tools to help you get started.

So, what are you waiting for? Create your first YouTube video ad and see how it goes!

Do you want to learn more about selling on YouTube?

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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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