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YouTube vs CTV advertising for B2B: Which is better?

At Umault, we have declared 2023 the unofficial year of B2B CTV advertising. It’s a great time for B2B marketers to explore CTV advertising. That said, a shiny newish technology like CTV advertising shouldn’t take away from tried and true platforms like YouTube. 

How to decide between YouTube and CTV advertising

Both CTV and YouTube advertising have their place in a B2B video marketing mix. Here are things to consider when deciding between YouTube and CTV advertising.

Advertising Goals 

Before choosing a medium, B2B marketers should define their advertising goals, whether it's brand awareness or lead generation. CTV’s targeting is getting better, but it’s still best suited for awareness campaigns. YouTube can be used for both demand gen and lead gen campaigns.


As of this writing, YouTube advertising is typically more cost-effective than CTV. B2B marketers should expect to spend more on a CTV campaign. That said, CTV may have a higher reach. 

Ad Format

Before you choose a platform, consider what types of video ads you have or plan to create. YouTube advertising offers a wide variety of video ad formats and length options, including pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads. CTV advertising typically offers only in-stream ads, often 30 seconds.

Pros and Cons of YouTube Advertising for B2B

YouTube, owned by Google, is the largest video platform in the world and the second most popular social media platform. 62% of internet users in the US report using YouTube daily, and 98% monthly. The chance that your target audience is on YouTube is almost guaranteed. 

Pros of YouTube Advertising for B2B Companies

  1. Wide Reach

With over 2 billion monthly active users globally, YouTube has a wide audience reach. Marketers won’t have to limit themselves to US-based audiences either. 

  1. Cost-Effective

YouTube advertising can be a cost-effective option for B2B companies, as it offers a variety of ad formats, including skippable ads, non-skippable ads, and bumper ads. Advertisers can choose the ad format that best suits their budget and goals.

  1. Targeting Capabilities

YouTube offers advanced targeting capabilities that allow advertisers to reach their ideal audience. For example, advertisers can target viewers based on demographics, interests, search history, and specific video topics. While no targeting is perfect, it does help avoid ad waste.

  1. Detailed metrics

YouTube provides advertisers with detailed performance metrics, including view-through rates, click-through rates, and engagement rates. This allows B2B companies to track the success of their campaigns and adjust their strategies accordingly. 

Cons of YouTube Advertising for B2B Companies

  1. Ad Blockers

Some YouTube users use ad blockers, which can prevent them from seeing your ads. This can decrease the reach of the ad campaign and potentially limit the return on investment.

  1. Short Attention Span

YouTube viewers love that “skip ad” button. B2B companies only have a few seconds to capture attention.

Pros and Cons of CTV Advertising for B2B 

Connected TV (CTV) advertising has been gaining traction in recent years, with the increasing popularity of streaming services and connected devices. Unlike traditional broadcast TV, CTV allows for audience targeting — a must for B2B buyers. 

Pros of CTV Advertising for B2B Companies

  1. Large audience

CTV is becoming increasingly popular, with more and more people subscribing to at least one ad-based streaming service. This means the potential reach of CTV advertising is growing, making it an attractive option for B2B companies.

  1. Targeting Capabilities

While we’ve expressed some reservations about the accuracy of CTV targeting, it’s only going to get better and better. CTV platforms like MNTN allow advertisers to target viewers based on demographics, interests, and location, among other factors. 

  1. High Engagement

CTV advertising often results in higher engagement rates than traditional TV advertising. Viewers are typically more engaged when watching streaming content, which means B2B companies have a better chance of capturing their attention. It’s also not skippable, like YouTube advertising.

Cons of CTV Advertising for B2B Companies

  1. Difficulty Targeting B2B Audience

CTV advertising may not be as effective at targeting B2B audiences as other forms of advertising. B2B companies may struggle to find a relevant audience for their ads. 

  1. Ad quality

When advertising on CTV, your video ads need to be broadcast quality. That means entertaining ads, not corporate video. Most B2B companies do not currently have video assets that would fit the CTV medium. (I hear you can make them though.)

Both YouTube advertising and CTV advertising offer unique advantages and disadvantages for B2B companies. YouTube advertising provides a wide reach, cost-effective options, advanced targeting capabilities, and measurable results. However, B2B companies should be aware of ad blockers and short attention spans.

On the other hand, CTV advertising allows for targeted advertising, high engagement rates, and increasing popularity. But it can also have limited reach, difficulty targeting B2B audiences, and a lack of standardization. It’s worth a try, and there are lots of platforms to experiment with.

Ultimately, B2B companies should evaluate their advertising goals, budget, and target audience before deciding between YouTube advertising and CTV advertising. By understanding the pros and cons of each platform, B2B companies can create an effective advertising strategy that reaches their ideal audience and delivers results.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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