The amount of available impressions on YouTube is staggering. The sky’s the limit and with such a large audience available it seems as though there is an unlimited amount of money that can be invested into a YouTube advertising campaign. This overabundance of opportunity can seem daunting, and to some extent it should be, as it can provide plenty of pitfalls for wasted spend. Fortunately, Google provides plenty of tools that when utilized correctly can help navigate potential pitfalls and mitigate wasted spend.
Unlike traditional television purchasing– where there are limited levers and methods to drive spend to the most qualified of potential consumers– YouTube has the tools and the data to help shape the buy to get in front of customers that are of high value to your business.
The easiest method to limit spend is through geo-targeting. Google allows you to specify your YouTube ad location down to a one-mile radius around a specific address. A geo-target that small drastically limits the amount of spend and can be very effective for showing your message specifically to those who are highly likely to convert. For example, if you sell medical billing services, then targeting one-mile around specific hospitals or doctor’s offices will put your limited budget in front of highly relevant individuals.
Another, more advanced strategy is to target a larger swath of land with smaller radial targets within it. An example of this would be broadly targeting the city of Atlanta (there are tons of hospitals within that DMA) while also targeting one-mile radii around big hospitals in the city with an increased bid. With this strategy, you can target a larger area while also being able to bid more competitively in areas where consumers are more likely to convert. Even by limiting your targeting with geography it is still easy to eat into a budget quickly, so it’s best to layer on Google audience segments to only target qualified leads within a geographic segment.
One of the biggest assets that Google has at their disposal is the sheer amount of data that they have collected on people around the world. Although Google won’t share anything considered personally identifying, there are a myriad of ways to utilize what they do share in order to only advertise to the most qualified consumers. The following are the three main types of audience targeting that are available to a YouTube advertiser.
By utilizing either Google Ads or Analytics pixels, Google allows you to create custom audiences based on a users interactions with your website. A common technique is to target customers who have been to your website within the previous thirty days in order to show them videos that dive deeper into products available, services rendered, or the benefits of using your business. Another use of pixels are the key insights Google provides into the nature of the users on your website. Google provides data into how users on your website index within Google’s pre-made audience segments. Using the information from these insights informs choosing audiences within both affinity and in-market buckets.
Google has built out a wide range of affinity audiences which cover the interests and trends of specific individuals. These audience lists are massive, so they need to be narrowed down via geographic limitations. Additionally, keep in mind that these lists are high-level buckets of consumers, so it’s important to use high-level messaging when talking to the members of this audience. In other words, this could be the first-time a consumer is hearing about your brand, so plan the messaging accordingly. It’s also possible to target consumers on an even more granular level by creating custom affinity lists based on interests or URLs.
Google has built out pre-defined audiences of consumers that are in the market to purchase. Since these individuals are more likely to buy, they are likely to have done research and be familiar with your brand. For these audiences, videos that describe some of the more unique selling points of your business, or how your business fits within the industry, perform exceptionally well. If none of the pre-built audiences work for your business, it is possible to build a custom audience based on search terms or keywords that are relevant to your business.
These three forms of audience targeting work to direct your investment and messaging to the most relevant consumers who are most likely to convert. By using a combination of audience and geographic targeting, it is possible to implement an advanced YouTube strategy that will yield a highly efficient campaign.
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