Improving brand awareness and direct response with YouTube Video Targeting

You Tube Has Pride

YouTube is the largest video community online and I have been working on ways to engage users on the platform in the campaigns I run for our existing clients. The ad formats are non-intrusive and Google recently released a new tool to effectively target the audience on a wide range of interest levels related to the video content.

How does it work?

Select a region and ad format. There are currently 26 countries that can be targeted specifically and three different formats.

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like:

You Tube Screen Shot

How does it work?

InVideo overlay ads are probably the most common form. These are either text or image ads overlaid onto the video itself. Users can scroll through these ads or minimise them if they are not interested in them. The targeting for these ads is very granular and specific videos and YouTube channels which relate to the target audience can be focussed on. The other two formats: InStream ads, short video ads at recommended length of 15 seconds and Banner ads, either images or Click-to-Play videos, are also supported but have less granular targeting.

Selecting videos made easy

The Video Targeting tool has made this process very seamless as I am now able to select thousands of videos based on either keywords or audience interest. This is a step up from the current format on the Adwords online interface where you can only select one video at a time. I can create different media plans for different products which can be downloaded to Excel.You Tube Video Targeting Tool

Here I can segment the videos by age, ratings, number of views and daily impressions, sanity check them too and break the media plan down to different ad groups to manage my inventory effectively.

For much broader general coverage, channels and categories can also be targeted but you are likely to miss out on the cool granular level of analysis you’ll be able to do once you start generating traffic and results.

Tracking and iteration

Our Mercury technology platform enables us to track performance of our ads for every video placement. Each video is tracked individually and I apply keyword optimisation techniques from PPC based on their return. I am also able to optimise the frequency at which are ads shown based on this analysis and improve performance. I am also able track the click path journey from each video should it result in any search activity.

YouTube content is dynamic and media plans have to be periodically refreshed to keep up to date with the latest videos.

You Tube Video Demonstration


Costs are still relatively low and I have been able to deliver results which are comparable to the paid search keyword campaigns. Exposure to the target audience on YouTube is no longer a shot in dark but almost an exact science where I can launch campaigns related to product launches or a set promotional calendar. I can also take advantage of events creating a buzz in other social media which are likely to translate to increase viewership on related YouTube videos. At present, our team here is using this form of video targeting not only for direct response and also in brand awareness exercises.

Image credit: Informatique