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3 YouTube Targeting Options You Need to Try

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3 YouTube Targeting Options You Need to Try

Joe Martinez
3 YouTube Targeting Options You Need to Try

Keywords and topics. These are the easiest forms of display and video campaign targeting for brand awareness campaigns but also the most broad. If you want to reach a more relevant audience on YouTube, try layering on the targeting options we’re about to discuss to your current video campaigns. Updating your video marketing targets will allow you to hone in on the audience you’ve always wanted. Here are some targeting options you need to try for your YouTube campaigns.

Competitor Channel Targeting

We’re already going to start with some role play here. Let’s say I work for a guitar magazine, and I’m a little bit jealous of how well Guitar World is doing. I may already be running competitor campaigns in Search, Display and Social Media, but I want to expand my competitor targeting. And YouTube is the next, best choice.

ads target youtube channels

When selecting Placement targeting, search for the YouTube channel or video of the desired competitor. You’ll also get a nice list of other channels that could be worth targeting in other ad groups. What’s important to note is your desired channel target must be set up as a Partner Channel. This means they’ve gone through the proper steps to monetize their channel and videos through Google. It doesn’t take a lot of work to see if certain channels or videos have ads on them. A little bit of research can lead to great new outlets to expand your brand and get in front of your competitors’ audiences.

Custom Affinity Audiences

Affinity audiences in Google allow advertisers to target users who have shown interest to similar products and services that you sell. You can use these audiences for both the Google Display Network and TrueView YouTube ads. Affinity audiences are a default target in YouTube, but advertisers have the ability to create custom affinity audiences if they feel the default targets aren’t good enough. First head to a Display Campaign and follow these four steps.

  1. Click on the Display Network tab.

  2. When you add targeting, select “Interests & remarketing.”

  3. Make sure “Affinity audiences” is the menu option chosen.

  4. Click on the “Create custom affinity” button.

how to create custom affinity audience

Time to role play again! Let’s say you run a sporting good store and want to create a custom affinity audience to reach a relevant group of potential customers. First, add a name and optional description for your custom audience. Next, add URLs or keywords (interests) that you feel would relate to your target audience. After you feel you’ve got all the proper targeting, you can preview what that audience would look like.

sporting good custom affinity audience

If your audience looks good, save it and head back to your YouTube campaign. To add your custom affinity audience to the desired ad group, follow these four steps:

  1. Select the “Video targeting” tab.

  2. Choose the “Interests” option.

  3. Make sure the “Custom affinity audiences” menu option is selected.

  4. Add your custom audience to the ad group.

add custom affinity audience in youtube

After your targeting is saved, you’re all set! Layering your custom audience with other targeting options can help you create a hyper-focused video targeting campaign. You have the options to create new audiences that aren’t defaulted in YouTube. Take advantage of it!

Customer Match

In September of 2015, AdWords introduced Customer Match as a new form of ad targeting. This new feature allowed advertisers to upload CSV files of categorized email addresses. AdWords users are now able to target our customers directly on Google Search, Gmail, and of course YouTube.

After you have your customer lists created, and have populated within the AdWords interface, you can attach them to your ad group targeting on YouTube.

customer match youtube targeting

Customer match allows YouTube advertisers a couple of benefits. If you don’t have much success with video advertising because you feel even the most layered of targeting is too broad, customer match will allow you to show your videos to only the people who matter. If you have a specific video that will connect with a certain portion of your users, you can upload a list of those users and feel more confident paying to have that video put in front of them.

Another benefit of customer match is that you can be more specific in your video ad copy if you’re running in-display campaigns. The users in your customer match lists performed a specific action to give you their email addresses. If you can segment those lists out (purchase, newsletter signup, etc.) you can change your ad copy to connect with each audience and guide them along your desired next step.

Final Point

Be smart with your brand awareness video campaigns. It is very easy to spend a lot of money on YouTube ads. While basic keyword and topic targeting might work for your video campaigns in AdWords, there are other options out there. Test out the three targeting options I just talked about to see better results from your YouTube campaigns.

While I will always back up the idea of increasing your brand awareness, I’d rather reach a smaller audience who has a better chance of taking action then opening the floodgates to a lot of people who might not care. Research your target audience and use these targeting options to keep your YouTube campaigns as focused as possible.

Joe Martinez

A veteran community member.

Joe Martinez is the Director of Client Strategy for Clix Marketing. His focus on marketing psychology and user experience helps his clients achieve record growths and lifetime customers. While he is hands-on in all aspects of PPC, his true passions lie in Display, Remarketing, and YouTube.

He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and WordStream. He has also written for PPC Hero, SEMrush, Unbounce, Leadpages, Optmyzr, and AdStage. He has hosted webinars for SEMrush, Unbounce, Quora and Bing Ads. He regularly speaks at conferences such as SMX Advanced, SMX West, SMX East, HeroConf, Confluence Conference, Digital Olympus and more. Finally, he was named a Top 25 Influential PPC Expert by PPC Hero in 2017 and 2018.
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Adam Collingwood

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Great article thanks Joe. I wanted to run a campaign to a focused audience who I have connected with before and did not realise I could upload my email list and send them video ads. Perfect! Thanks, Adam
Joe Martinez

A veteran community member.

Adam Collingwood
Glad I could help Adam!

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