6 YouTube Ad Targeting Options Every Company Should Use

Do you market your business on the most popular video-sharing website in the world? With YouTube, your company can reach its target audience with ease, using a variety of ad formats and targeting options. It’s essential to use the right YouTube ad targeting option, though.

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Keep reading to learn all about the targeting options available to companies on YouTube. If you need help marketing your business on YouTube, contact WebFX. We’ve managed more than 650 ad campaigns, plus driven more than $1.5 billion in revenue for our clients in the past five years.

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1. Search based targeting

You don’t want to display your ads at random on any user’s screen.

If your business operates in a niche industry, you may find it even more challenging to capture the attention of your intended audience when producing mass advertisements.

Fortunately, search-based video ad targeting lets you strategically place your ads on videos by getting a glimpse into a user’s YouTube search history.

youtube ad targeting in search

This audience-based marketing tactic works in several ways.

If your business sells hair products, for example, search-based video ad targeting focuses on people researching hair products on YouTube or Google. This targeting option can also reach users viewing videos from a channel that produces content relevant to your industry.

YouTube ad campaigns that use this option can help you:

  • Deliver helpful or useful ads to YouTube viewers
  • Provide a personalized ad experience to users
  • Use Google searches to create more targeted ads on YouTube

When you know what your audience looks for on YouTube, your business can develop a whole new perspective when it comes to your target audience. That can give you a competitive edge.

2. Competitor channels

Imagine if your YouTube targeting options gave you the chance to display your ads on your competitor's videos. Sounds like an excellent strategy for keeping your company top-of-mind when it comes to current and prospective audiences.

youtube ad targeting competitor channels

Fortunately, competitor channel targeting turns this seemingly far-fetched goal into a reality.

If your business sells makeup, for instance, you may want to target a direct competitor’s video. Having your ads appear on your competition’s videos gives you a competitive edge that can help you reach new clients.

Do you have a specific YouTube channel that you'd like to target? If not, search for channels that offer content relevant to your industry. Once you compile a list, decide which ones provide your business with the best possible return.

With competitor channel targeting, you can only target Partner Channels. This means that they must have performed the steps necessary for monetizing their video. If a YouTube channel is eligible for ads, you’re free to place your ads on their videos.

If a company has not monetized their channel, you cannot advertise on their videos.

3. TrueView in-stream ads

YouTube’s ad targeting options have experienced a tremendous amount of development since YouTube’s launch back in 2005. Today, companies aren't limited to the sidelines of a video. Now, you can display your ads in the center of a viewer's screen.

youtube ad targeting trueview

TrueView in-stream ads, also commonly referred to as skippable ads, are advertisements that display before, during, or after the video a viewer wants to watch. From one perspective, they’re like a trailer that plays before a movie.

When it comes to where your TrueView ads appear, your options include:

  • Watch page
  • Homepage
  • Search results page

Since non-skippable ads last 20 to 30 seconds, you can provide a visual promo or advertisement that informs your audience about any topic, sale, or new product launch that you want to share.

What makes this YouTube tactic so successful is its ability to use affinity audiences.

An affinity audience revolves around the interests or habits of a group of people. A few examples can include users interested in dining out, do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, or healthy living.

YouTube offers more than 130 affinity audiences.

youtube ad affinity audience

Use this YouTube ad targeting option by researching your target audience. Discover the features that make your audience unique to find the best affinity audience for your business.

There's a reason why affinity audiences are one of the most popular choices for businesses. It provides viewers with a personalized ad experience. Plus, affinity audiences are a cost-effective advertising method.

Since you only pay every time your users engage with your advertisement, it’s often affordable for companies to promote their business while enjoying a substantial return on investment (ROI).

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4. Customer match

Nearly 70 percent of customers state that the relevance and time of a company’s messages influence their perception of that brand.

Do you think it's impossible to reach the right audience at the right time?

With YouTube's customer match targeting option, you can use Google Ads to develop a more targeted approach that helps you achieve your marketing goals.

How does it work?

Google Ads allows businesses to upload CSV or Excel files that contain emails, like from an email subscriber list. You can use these emails to target prospective customers on YouTube directly.

youtube ad targeting for customer match

With customer match targeting, you promote your ads to users with the most value, as well as an interest in your business. This approach helps your business get more from your ad campaigns, like new leads and customers.

5. Demographics

When it comes to your YouTube targeting options, you have access to an array of options. Not only can you choose how or where you get to display your ads, but you can also decide who receives your advertisements.

targeting demographics with youtube ads

While you can apply this tactic to various other strategies, including your TrueView in-stream videos or non-skippable ads, it's crucial for marketers to use this strategy as the first step in their YouTube marketing campaign.

Common demographics available for YouTube ads include:

  • Gender: Do your products and services sell more frequently to men, women, or an even combination of the two? You may also want to consider building YouTube ads that target men and women from different angles to reap the most success.

  • Age: Is your audience in their 20s? Or, does your brand appeal to an older group of consumers? Use different cultural references, language, and general marketing tactics to suit the age-range of your YouTube audience.

  • Parental status: For companies that focus on parents, this targeting option can help. If your products seem best suited for children, placing your ads on videos viewed by parents can play a pivotal role in your advertising success.

  • Household income: Whether you sell luxury or bargain goods, household income can refine your audience targeting. Use the average household income of your target audience to direct your ads to the right group of people.

  • Location: An ad for a restaurant chain in New York isn’t ideal for viewers located in California. Find out where your target market lives to place your ads on YouTube strategically.

If you’re not sure what demographic your audience members represent, look at your current client base. Research their area, interests, age, and more to build an accurate model of your target audience’s demographics.

6. Interests

Now that you’ve evaluated the demographics that define your target market, it’s time to outline their characteristics even further. Also referred to as psychographics, audience interests and behaviors can provide you with tremendous insight into the mindset of your shoppers.

ad targeting by interests

This information can give you the upper hand when it comes to ad placement on YouTube.

Interests worth examining when building a YouTube ad campaign include:

  • Attitudes: No matter what product or service your business sells, your audience has a set of opinions. Investigate your customers’ attitudes further to develop a better understanding of what influences their shopping habits.

  • Lifestyle: Does your audience live a simple life or a lavish lifestyle? Or, perhaps they balance between lavish and laidback when it comes to their lifestyle. Whether they're more likely to splurge or save, finding out your clients' lifestyle gives valuable insight into how your ad targeting.

  • Values: Clients are driven to purchase products or services for a variety of reasons. Conduct in-depth research into what your target market values and what motivates them to make a purchase.

  • Interests and hobbies: What do your clients do outside of work? A business that sells swimming attire, for example, may find that their target market likes not only swimming but also outdoor adventures in general, which can help when it comes to affinity audiences.

Once you launch your ads on YouTube, you can use campaign data to refine your audience’s interests even more. This data can help your team build a better, stronger ad strategy, which can lead to more leads, purchases, and revenue.

Need to improve your ad targeting on YouTube?

Planning your YouTube ad campaign and forming a personalized approach can make a substantial difference in the success of your YouTube marketing plan. When you know how you to target your ads, you can reach the right viewers at the right time on this platform.

Are you ready to get started? At WebFX, we’re here to help. Contact our team online or to call us at 888-601-5359 for more information about how you can begin your YouTube advertising campaign with success today!