YouTube Ads Targeting Made Easy | How to Target Youtube Ads | The Complete Guide

YouTube Ads Targeting the right way can be a bit of a tricky job to accomplish. So how to target youtube Ads? Today, the platform is more varied than ever, but it still feels somewhat limited.

You can’t just hop in, choose an audience, let the algorithm do its work, and release your video. Instead, most marketers have to dig through countless topics and keywords before giving the green light.

In a perfect world, YouTube could (and would) give you all of these options out of the box. However, Google acts in its own interest by keeping a lot of the data scattered throughout the website without aggregating it into the marketing platform. It’s a way for them to keep the competition on the platform fair, and not make it too easy to plug your own product.

Surely, there must be an efficient way to approach this problem.
In this article, we’re going to unearth some of the basic concepts that lie behind YouTube ads targeting, and how it can affect your organization’s bottom line.

Step by step, we’ll see what works and what doesn’t.

Targeting People with YouTube Ads Is Becoming Harder

Let’s be real for a second. With well over 1 billion people using the platform regularly, and a staggering number of countries available, YouTube ads targeting is not easy. You’re essentially comparing a sea of content with your singular video. And you probably don’t even have an audience to start with. Surely, the odds seem to stack up against you.

But don’t worry. Every marketer needs to go through the burden of realizing that preparing each YouTube ad campaign requires precise, in-depth preparation and targeting. Without one of the two, your ads are not likely to succeed. Sure, you might get a few clicks, but it’s the conversions that truly matter. Your bottom line is what defines you at the end of the day.
Slowly but surely, you’ll get the hang of how YouTube ads work, and you’ll achieve great targeting practices. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to test ads on YouTube without getting down to spending some money for it. Most companies learn their way by shooting quick ad bursts that allow them to see the results that YouTube can offer. You should do the same!

The Basics of YouTube Ads Targeting

How to Target Youtube Ads the right way

Based on Google’s own “targeting for video campaigns” document, there are plenty of ways to start targeting people and serve them ads that are relevant to your product or service. But, as we will see, these aren’t always the most valuable targeting methods. It’s worth taking a quick look at each ad format before we discuss how to efficiently target people though.

1. TrueView (In-Stream)

In-stream ads play before, during, or after videos. The viewer can skip your ad after just five seconds, so you have to capture their attention very quickly. You only pay for these if the viewer watches more than 30 seconds, or if he clicks the ad. These ads are the most common on YouTube, and they’re valuable assets for any marketer.

2. TrueView (Video Discovery)

These are featured snippets that show your video next to related topics. For these, you only pay once the user clicks on the thumbnail. In-stream ads are generally more valuable than video discovery ads because the latter add a layer of complexity to the funnel. Clicking on ads doesn’t mean that people will watch the video after all.

3. Bumper Ads

These are special ads that only last a maximum of six seconds. They are usually played before a video, but also during and after. Viewers cannot skip these ads, but their short nature makes it hard to prepare a fully-fledged message. Marketers pay based on cost-per-thousand impressions so you have to be really creative with these!

See how they works:

How YouTube Ads Targeting Works

YouTube now works in a way that’s very similar to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other social media apps. Thanks to engagement features such as community posts and stories, it has in fact become a social media platform of its own. Here, ads targeting is done by filtering your audience through various options defined below:

  • Demographic Groups
  • Geo-Targeting
  • Operating Systems
  • Carriers & WiFi
  • Languages
  • Placements

and a few more. These are broad audience metrics that you should analyze before you proceed onto anything else. If you’re selling tech, you probably don’t want to target female demographics for example… For makeup, you’d want to do the opposite. The same goes for languages if you’re planning to localize your YouTube ads campaign for other countries.

On top of these categories, we also have what are called affinity or in-market audience reports. These tools allow you to dive deep into the interests of the broad audience that you selected, and make sure that you’re targeting exactly who you believe is best suited for your specific ad. This can be hit-or-miss depending on the topic or area that you’re working with.

Lastly, the keywords report shows you a series of keywords that could be relevant to your ad campaign. It’s worth noting that most of the keyword work is still done by hand though. You look around YouTube for videos that you like, and you gather the keywords that it ranks for; you then match those keywords and compare them with other channels for maximum ROI.

What About Placements?

Oh… placements are a lot of work!
These are videos offered on specific channels or topics that can return a lot of interest in your company. Placements aren’t easy to get done right;

Marketers can’t work properly with the limited assets that Google provides with their YouTube platform. Sure, it does work, but there’s too much effort involved in creating just one campaign compared to how much work marketers would have to put in if they had a nicely formatted, data-driven report showing everything they had to know at a glance.

There’s no doubt that marketers are now looking for a more efficient, more streamlined way to gather the data necessary to run their ads targeting on YouTube, and we’re here for that specific reason.

At Biteplay, we’ve built a platform that finds and targets your YouTube audience with just a few queries. Context is everything.

You’ll get to enjoy the benefits of our innovative platform before anybody else, and you’ll even get the chance to post your first data-driven ad campaign, all thanks to our easy-to-understand reports.

Are you new with Youtube advertising?
Watch this free Youtube Ads Training webinar.
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!

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