YouTube Channel, YouTube Ads or both? What is the best for your brand?

YouTube Channel vs YouTube Ads – pros and cons when deciding about marketing strategy. What to consider before making the first steps? How much time and budget each take and what are the returns? Before finding this out, let’s start with listing the differences between YouTube Channel and YouTube Ads.

YouTube Channel YouTube Ads
Requires building an audience of subscribers. Allow to reach target audience immediately.
Cost-free, with option to monetize. Pay per view / click.
Not preferred to send viewers to your shop because YouTube algorithm promotes high metrics of viewability and channels that encourage people to watch more. Acceptable to send traffic from videos to your web shop.
Algorithm suggest videos automatically or user makes an individual selection. You decide what to show, to whom and when.
You adhere to YouTube policy. A change of terms or new algorithm might raise your channel up to popularity or pull down to oblivion. YouTube does not influence the coverage of the ads once it has been approved.
Channel is focused more on building community and content monetization. Focused on building brand awareness and drive sales on other platforms.

The strength of your YouTube Channel depends on its statistics

YouTube Channel can be treated as a traffic source to your website but this no happens immediately, but usually after 2-5 years, so normally when the channel reached 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watching time. Typical strategy for young channels is to produce first high number of very specific videos, working on increasing the number of subscribers and the watch-time. It is later, after the growth phase, when experimenting with more sophisticated content strategies begins.

Segmenting your Audience

Being dominant in a micro-niche can in longer terms help to minimize the costs of YouTube Ads, because it will work as your “own” channel – a field where you can connect directly with your followers. It will make your brand establish more profound relation with your audience and help distinguish it from competitors. Do not forget that while you converse with your loyal customer-base, Google Ads can do the work of audience growth.

Is Your Brand a Content Publisher?

One can take an opposite perspective and – considering the scope of work and effort that is required to reach that final point – ask a question is it worth to “climb that mountain”? Especially when thinking about the characteristics of a typical YouTube “consumer” (how much time on average spends your target audience on YouTube?) or direction to which it evolves (podcasts, reaction videos, lives).