How Much Do Youtube Ads Cost for Nonprofits?

by Isabelle Ashraf  |   |  Youtube Ads  |  0 comments

4 min to read ✭ Nonprofits may be hesitant about the idea to spend on youtube ads. But, have you ever asked how much do youtube ads cost? Find out now

How Much Do Youtube Ads Cost for Nonprofits?

How Does Pricing Work? 


Pricing for Youtube ads is dependent on the number of views that a video gets and is determined by if users watch 30 seconds or more of a video. This is important because if a user watched between 0-29 seconds of the video (which sometimes is 50% of the total video time) you do NOT pay anything. This allows us to gather free brand awareness advertising if the brand’s logo and general description of the organization are communicated. 

Depending on the goal of the ad’s views can cost a client between  $0.02-$0.15. This allows you to be able to invest in brand awareness channels for pennies. 


Get Support With My Youtube Ads


Some of the key benefits of YouTube include the following: 

  1. Targeting large brand awareness groups and gathering a better understanding of who is engaging the most with the content. 
  2. If your brand name or logo is in the first 5-29 seconds of the video you get FREE advertising 
  3. YouTube ads build top of funnel traffic 
  4. You can show up on channels or videos on youtube that align with or target personas you hope to attract to your nonprofit 
  5. You capture the attention of the user unlike any social media platform because they have to wait in order to skip the ad 
  6. Youtube has a predominantly younger demographic. The most popular demographic on Youtube are males between the ages of 25-34 years old (source: Hootsuite).


What determines the cost? 


There are a lot of factors that go into determining the cost of your Youtube ads and just how much you will need to spend.

1. Your ad quality

2. The audience you want to target

3. What channels or types of videos do you want to target


The most important goal that impacts the cost of your YouTube ads is determining the goal of your ads. Are you trying to gain brand awareness or find traffic that might be more likely to convert? 

If you want to gather loads of brand awareness on a wide range of channels, target the entire US, and a broad range of interests then you can pay just pennies. Brand awareness campaigns can help build a top of funnel audience and encourage them to the site after seeing the ads repeated times. Brand awareness audiences can also help build massive remarketing audiences of users who are watching 30 seconds or more of the video and narrow down the targeting from there.

Finally, brand awareness views are cheap but they will not result in conversions as quickly as other campaign objectives could. It will not find uses as willing to convert right now but this audience could be a great first step at helping smaller organizations grow and build awareness for the support you need at a moment’s notice. 


If you want to find traffic that is more likely to convert, be interested in clicking on the ad, and be more targeted to a specific persona you should use a maximize conversion bidding strategy with a purchase or lead marketing objective campaign. In order for Google to deliver to this audience you will have a higher cost per view but a better number of clicks, conversions, and potentially better view rate.


These campaigns tend to have better click-through rates but lower view rates because users tend to click on the ad before they get to the 30-second mark. On average, a cost per view here would cost between $0.09 – 0.18 per view depending on other factors as well. 


How Do Different Ads Impact YouTube Costs? 


When asking how much do youtube ads cost, you need to think about the different kinds of ads. The more specific your targeting and goals are on Youtube the more you will pay for views. These views (if done right) can lead to more clicks, better placements, and ultimately better conversions. Being specific with who your ideal target users is helps Google deliver your video in front of your ideal user and make your campaigns more cost-effective. 

Skippable Instream Ads

The cheapest ad formats to use are skippable in-stream ads or bumper ads. Skippable in-stream ads allow users to skip after 5 seconds and allow you to use videos of any length. Usually, we recommend these ads to be between 1 minute and 1 minute and 30 seconds.

skippable instream ads
Credit: Youtube

Bumper Ads

Bumper ads are 15 seconds or less and do not allow users to skip. Therefore you gain the full attention of your viewer. These are affordable ads because you get a lot of bang for your buck capturing their attention and holding their attention for up to 15 seconds. However, bumper ads are only beneficial for brand awareness goals.


There are so many more ad formats but if you are just starting out with using Youtube these two ad formats are your best options. The more you test your YouTube ads and gain information about your ideal audience the better in order to test out other ad formats and make better-informed decisions. 

youtube bumper ads


Optimize Your Youtube Ad Spend

So… how much total should you spend on YouTube? 


Your budget depends on a lot of factors but here are some questions to help you determine what budget is right for you. 


  1. What is your geo-targeting? Are you targeting the entire US or a specific area? 
  2. How specific is your audience targeting? How much do you already know about them on YouTube? (audiences can react differently on different platforms)
  3. What is your goal? Brand awareness or conversions? 
  4. What content do you have to utilize? What kind of content and how long are your videos? 


Starting off, we usually recommend our clients that have 1 to 2 videos to use broad targeting (with informed hypotheses based on previous digital marketing data), and brand awareness objectives to spend at least $500 per month. 


Clients with 2-5 videos have videos of different lengths and call to action, a variety of audiences to test, and conversion goals to spend at a minimum of $800 to $1,000 to start off with. Budgets for campaigns should continue to increase as your test, refine and understand what works and what doesn’t work. Rotating creative, testing new ad formats, and testing new audiences should be accounted into your budgets as your continue to learn from your campaigns.

Isabelle Ashraf

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