A YouTube advert costs as little or as much as you want it to – there is no minimum spend when advertising on YouTube, unlike traditional marketing channels. Having said that, we do want this blog post to be useful so we have given you some cost breakdowns and examples further down this post.

At its’ most basic, YouTube advertising only requires a video and an advertising budget.

Television, where companies traditonally advertise using video, requires advertisers to book time slots for shows that they think their most valuable audience will be watching. This can cost upwards of £30,000, just to get a video advert on television, before you factor in the fees of the media buying company retainer and legal fees.

For most companies this is cost prohibitive, does not offer the level of audience targeting that online channels do and gives no accurate measurement of who or how many people watched the advert.

As opposed to YouTube where there is no minimum spend, you can target exactly who you want to show your advert to and gives completely accurate measurement of every aspect of the advertising campaign. If somebody skips your advert it doesn’t cost you a thing, only when somebody watches or clicks your advert do you pay, so already this is clearly a much more efficient ad spend than television.

In terms of cost, video production still is somewhat in the “How long is a piece of string” territory, and again, varies significantly from one video production agency to the other.

Most agencies have no choice but to try to lock their clients into costly monthly retainers, just to pay for the overheads of owning a 4-story building in central London and employing 50+ people in a variety of digital marketing roles. We do things differently at Simply Ads, with minimal overheads, we are a lean and between us possess all the skills and knowledge needed to run successful YouTube advertising campaigns for clients of any size.

How much does video production cost?

As a guide, the sliding scale of video production costs starts with animation at the lowest end of the price scale and live-action video with overlays, graphics, actors and voice-overs at the highest end of the price scale. Generally speaking, the fewer elements involved in a video, the cheaper it will be to produce.

A simple 2-D animation with a single voice-over artist will be substantially cheaper than a 3 day video shoot on-location with lights, cameras, actors and post-production editing to list just some of the expenses.

Let’s go through some examples and let our Director of video production give some indicative cost breakdowns of the following YouTube adverts.

Below I have broken down costs to the minimum requirement. These are only indicative prices of the cost of production with ZERO margin. Obviously there is a lot of work and cost associated with the planning, sourcing, actors, agency fees and everything else that comes with commercial advertising, but the cost of the shoot itself is what the following price estimates refer to. 

“The unboxer”

While this looks low budget, that is deliberate and achieved by the cameras used and the minimal of dressing it has been filmed at presenters home.
This unboxer is the modern equivalent of the product demo video.

Total cost: £1500

An advert like this would typically have the following costs:

Cameras, Lenses, Sound recording and editing, Lights and crew, with editing taking between 1-3 days.

“The abstract”

This is the first example where variable costs become harder to pin down. You have to factor in set design and actors, even down to the dog. Actors much like operators come in variable price bands, you can source people to do it for free but it’s very much a you get what you pay for. Makeup and costume also should be considered here. Whilst the actual advert itself is pretty simple and could be achieved in a few takes with one set up, the quality of the actor, lighting and set will contribute greatly to the overall finished project.

Total Cost: £2250

An advert like this would typically have the following costs:

Camera, Lights, Lens, Crew, Audio, Actors, Make-up, Edit 1 day

“The short film”

This is the classic example of a “Big Brand” advert in my opinion. It combines live action & digital assets. Shot in multiple locations with some 3D work. Large crew, celebrity actors, locations and so on.

As a ballpark figure £250,000 but it could be much more. Many advertisers will film several ads for one campaign so the actual figure could be closer to £1,000,000-£1,500,000

As a producer these are the times where you can get very epic and grandiose in the vision and as a client can be very exciting.
As you can see from all of examples above, adverts come in a variety of flavours, and as YouTube continues to develop the near-infinite advertising potential of their platform, video adverts are going to get very exciting.
With the popularity of YouTube for example, the unboxing video has become another way to advertise using video, using product placement and other social platforms. This is a very successful and cheap way to get eyes on your product, and seems more genuine to the average consumer.

A thematic approach to video advertising is another popular approach like the Geico advert, it’s using a simple style and set up which can be replicated simply and quickly. A series of simple, recognisable campaigns like this will be more likely go “viral” too.

Cost of advertising on YouTube

There will be a more in-depth post in the future about this topic, but generally expect to pay 0.05 per pre-roll view – remember if the viewer skips the ad it costs the advertiser nothing!

So roughly speaking, obviously every YouTube Advertising campaign varies, £5,000 of YouTube pre-roll ad spend would get you around 100,000 views of your target audience with around 1,000,000 impressions of at least 5 seconds of your advert.

This is absolutely unheard of in the world of marketing until YouTube came along. Video advertising with exceptional targeting and tracking, reaching potentially millions of people for less than you would pay fora a local magazine advert.

I can’t stress enough, how important YouTube advertising is going to be moving into 2020 and beyond. For example, if your business is very reliant on Christmas trade, I would have absolutely no hesitation advertising on YouTube in 2020, because come December 2021 I strongly believe the marketplace will be a lot more crowded, with a lot more companies seeing the potential of YouTube advertising.

I hope you found that helpful and insightful, if YouTube advertising interests you get in touch today and get ahead of your competition.