If you want to attract new customers through digital marketing, YouTube targeted-ads are a must-have tool for your brand. However, as YouTube’s popularity soars, you may wonder how your ad will find your target audience amidst the flood of content. 

Picture this: you’ve meticulously crafted an ad that perfectly captures your brand’s message, but without precise targeting, it’s like a message in a bottle lost at sea. 

But don’t stress! This guide is your roadmap to YouTube audience targeting. Whether you’re an experienced marketer aiming to refine your tactics or a newcomer looking to make a splash, these 19 best practices will make your YouTube targeting strategy easy. 

It’s possible to move from uncertainty into precision, ensuring your message lands with exactly the right viewers in the vast YouTube landscape. Keep reading to discover how we help our clients run YouTube ads profitably.

What Is YouTube Targeting?

YouTube targeting refers to the process of specifying certain characteristics or criteria for your video content or advertisements to reach a specific audience. 

YouTube offers a range of targeting options to help content creators and advertisers tailor their content to the right viewers, maximizing engagement and relevance. The goal is to make sure your content is shown to the people who are most likely to buy your product.

Here are some common types of YouTube targeting:

Demographic Targeting: This involves targeting based on characteristics such as age, gender, location, language, and other demographic factors.

Interest-based Targeting: YouTube analyzes user behavior and interests to categorize viewers into specific interest groups. Advertisers can target their content based on these interests, which could range from travel and technology to fitness and fashion.

Behavioral Targeting: This involves targeting users based on their past behaviors, such as the types of videos they have watched, liked, or shared. This helps advertisers reach users who have shown a history of interest in certain topics.

Custom Audience Targeting: Advertisers can upload their own lists of customer email addresses or other identifiers. YouTube then tries to match those identifiers to YouTube users, allowing for more personalized targeting.

Remarketing: This involves targeting users who have already interacted with your videos or channel. For instance, you can show ads to users who have previously watched your videos or visited your channel.

Device Targeting: Advertisers can choose to target specific devices (e.g., mobile, desktop).

Effective YouTube targeting helps content creators and advertisers connect with the right audience, which can lead to higher engagement rates, better conversion rates, and ultimately more successful campaigns. Keep in mind that the available targeting options might evolve over time as YouTube continues to refine its advertising platform.

How to Navigate YouTube Ad Settings In 8 Simple Steps

Step #1

Click Create ‘New Campaign’

Step #2

Choose Your Campaign Goal

Do you have a good amount of sales data in the platform (100+ conversions or more) and want to drive even more? – Choose the sales objective

Do you not have enough sales data but have a good amount of lead data (100 conversions or more) and want to drive more sales? – Choose the leads objective

Have a custom goal set up that you want to use (booked calls, applications, etc) which doesn’t necessarily fit under the Sales or Leads objective? – Choose create a campaign without a goal’s guidance

Step #3

Choose Video in order to setup a YouTube-specific campaign.

Step #4

Setup Your General Settings – Name your campaign and choose the location where your audience is.

Step #5

Choose the language(s) your audience speaks and set your bid strategy.

New account? Run ‘maximize conversions’.

Seasoned account? Run ‘target CPA’.

Step #6

Set the daily budget you want to run your campaign at.

Daily Budget

Step #7

Name your ad group and now it’s time to add your audience which we will talk about later.

Name ad group

Step #8

Paste the link to the YouTube video you want to broadcast out in this campaign.

Select video

7 YouTube Targeting Methods and Their Advantages to Optimize Your Ads

Method #1: Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting on YouTube offers several advantages for content creators and advertisers looking to connect with a specific audience. Here are some of the key benefits:

Relevance: Demographic targeting allows you to show your content or ads to a specific group of people who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. This increases the relevance of your content, making it more likely to resonate with viewers and generate higher engagement.

Personalization: By targeting based on demographic factors such as age, gender, location, and language, you can tailor your content or ads to the preferences and characteristics of the intended audience. This personalization can lead to a more positive viewer experience.

Efficiency: Instead of showing your content or ads to a broad audience that might not be interested, demographic targeting ensures that your content is seen by individuals who are more likely to convert into customers or engage with your content. This can improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts and lead to better results.

Cost Savings: Targeting a specific demographic can help you avoid wasting resources on viewers who are unlikely to be interested in your content or products. This can lead to a better return on investment (ROI) as you’re spending your advertising budget more effectively.

Audience Segmentation: Demographic targeting enables you to segment your audience into different groups based on relevant characteristics. This allows you to create specialized campaigns for each group, tailoring your messaging to their specific needs and preferences.

Testing and Optimization: Demographic targeting allows you to conduct A/B testing and optimize your campaigns more effectively. By targeting different demographics with different variations of your content, you can learn which strategies work best for each group.

Message Tailoring: Different demographic groups might respond better to specific messaging and creative approaches. With demographic targeting, you can craft content that speaks directly to the concerns, values, and interests of each group.

Localization: If your business or content is relevant to specific geographic regions, demographic targeting based on location can help you reach audiences in those areas more effectively.

Niche Marketing: If your content or products cater to a niche market, demographic targeting helps you find and engage with that specific audience, even if they represent a smaller portion of the overall user base.

Brand Reputation: By showing your content to a relevant demographic, you can enhance your brand’s reputation and credibility. When viewers see content that aligns with their interests and values, they are more likely to perceive your brand positively.

Overall, demographic targeting on YouTube empowers you to make informed decisions about who sees your content or ads, optimizing your efforts to connect with the right audience and achieve your marketing goals.

Method #2: Interest-based Targeting

This targeting strategy involves tailoring advertisements to reach individuals who have demonstrated an interest in or engagement with certain topics, behaviors, or preferences, often based on their online activities, behaviors, and interactions. Here are some of the reasons why you’d choose this method:

Relevance: Interest targeting allows you to show your content or ads to users who have demonstrated an interest in specific topics, activities, or industries. This ensures that your content is more relevant to the viewer, increasing the likelihood of engagement and interaction.

Engagement: When you target users based on their interests, you’re more likely to capture their attention and keep them engaged. This can lead to higher watch times, more likes, comments, shares, and ultimately clicks to your landing pages.

Audience Expansion: Interest targeting enables you to discover new potential viewers who might not be part of your current audience but share interests related to your content or products. This can help you expand your reach and grow your audience base to find more customers.

Niche Appeal: If your content or products cater to specific niche markets or specialized interests, interest targeting can help you find and engage with those niche audiences more effectively.

Personalization: By targeting users based on their interests, you can tailor your messaging and content to align with their preferences and passions. This personalization can lead to a more positive viewer experience and stronger product affinity.

Exploring Multiple Segments: Interest targeting allows you to experiment with different interest segments. This can help you refine your understanding of your target audience and identify which interests generate the most engagement.

Behavioral Insights: Interest targeting is often based on user behavior, such as the types of videos users watch, like, or engage with. This data can provide valuable insights into what your target audience is interested in and inform your ad creation strategy.

Enhanced ROI: When you target users who are more likely to be interested in your content or products, you’re likely to see a better return on investment (ROI) for your advertising efforts, as you’re reaching a more receptive audience.

Ad Format Customization: YouTube offers different ad formats, and interest targeting allows you to choose formats that are more likely to resonate with the interests of your target audience, enhancing the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Interest targeting on YouTube connects you with viewers who are already predisposed to engage with content related to your niche, making it a powerful tool for building an engaged and enthusiastic audience.

Method #3: Life Event Targeting

Life event targeting tailors ads to users based on significant life events or milestones they are experiencing, such as getting married, moving to a new city, graduating from college, having a baby, or starting a new job. This targeting allows us to connect with users during times when their needs and behaviors are likely to change, making them more receptive to certain products or services. Here’s what it can look like:

Precise Audience Reach: Live event targeting allows you to reach users who have shown a demonstrated interest in specific events in their lives. This precision helps ensure that your ads are shown to individuals who are more likely to engage with your content or take the desired action.

Higher Relevance: By targeting users based on their past events, you’re presenting them with content that aligns closely with their interests. This relevance increases the likelihood of capturing their attention and driving engagement.

Increased Conversion Rates: Life event targeting can lead to higher conversion rates, as you’re reaching users who have already shown they have done something which your audience has done. These users are more likely to take action, such as making a purchase.

Behavioral Insights: Analyzing user behaviors can provide valuable insights into the preferences and interests of your target audience. This information can inform your ad creation and marketing strategies, helping you tailor your messaging to better resonate with your audience.

Customization: Life event targeting allows you to customize your ads based on specific user behaviors. For example, if you find that your audience primarily includes graduated college students, you can select ‘Graduated College’ as one of your targeted behaviors.

Overall, ‘life event targeting’ on YouTube can be a powerful tool to enhance the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns by reaching users who have already shown they are in a certain phase of their life which your audience often falls into.

Method #4: Custom Audience Targeting

Custom audience targeting allows you to deliver highly targeted ads to a specific group of individuals based on their existing data. The goal is to show ads to people who are already familiar with the business, which can lead to better engagement, higher conversion rates, and improved return on investment (ROI). There are two primary reasons why this works so well:

Intent: You can leverage high-intent keywords related to your product to build audiences who are highly likely to purchase from you. 

For example, someone who searches for the key term ‘How To Make Money Online’ is definitely interested in a business opportunity which would show him how to make money online. Custom intent audiences have produced millions of dollars in revenue for our clients and are definitely part of our favorite targeting options on YouTube.

Affinity: You can also go much broader by creating audiences who have an affinity towards a key term but they are less likely to purchase a high-ticket product from you.

For example, you can create an audience using the same exact key term ‘How To Make Money Online’ but instead of having purchase intent, Google will find anyone who is remotely interested in making money online. There are only a few custom affinity targeting audiences we’ve been able to make work for our clients in the high-ticket space.

Method #5: In-Market

In-market targeting focuses on reaching individuals who are actively researching, considering, or showing strong signals of intending to make a purchase related to a specific product or service. If they are currently in the market for certain products or services, that makes them more likely to convert into customers. Here’s why it’s so effective:

Reaching Ready-to-Buy Audiences: In-market targeting helps you reach users who are in the consideration phase of their purchase journey. For high-ticket products, where the decision-making process is more involved, targeting users who are already actively looking to make a purchase can be highly effective.

Higher Conversion Rates: Since in-market audiences are composed of users who have demonstrated strong intent to purchase, the likelihood of conversion is higher. This can lead to a better return on investment, especially for high-ticket products where each conversion has significant value. We have poured millions of dollars in ad spend into in-market audiences on YouTube for this exact reason.

Cost Efficiency: In-market targeting focuses your ad spend on users who are more likely to convert. This can lead to more efficient use of your advertising budget, as you’re avoiding wasted impressions on users who are less likely to be interested in your high-ticket products. These are great audiences to start building your account with because they have a high chance of converting well for you.

Shortened Sales Cycle: For high-ticket products, the sales cycle can be longer due to the consideration and research involved. In-market targeting allows you to engage users who are closer to making a decision, potentially shortening the sales cycle by reaching them at a critical moment in their purchasing process.

Reduced Competition: High-ticket products often have a narrower target audience compared to lower-priced items. In-market targeting allows you to compete more effectively for the attention of users who are actively considering similar products.

Custom Messaging: In-market targeting enables you to tailor your messaging to address the specific needs, concerns, and questions that users in the consideration phase might have. This customization can resonate better with the audience and drive engagement.

By using in-market targeting for high-ticket products on YouTube ads, you can effectively connect with users who are actively considering purchases in your product category. This targeted approach can lead to increased conversions, higher value per conversion, and highly profitable audiences you can use throughout the lifetime of your account.

How to Create a Great YouTube Ad

Follow these five steps to create a high-converting YouTube ad:

Step #1: Hook Your Target Market

Call Out Your Perfect Customer: When you call out your perfect customer, you will instantly repel anyone who doesn’t fit in which means fewer leads going through your funnel who aren’t likely to close.

Step #2: Craft A Compelling Story

Hell To Heaven Story: Tell an emotionally compelling story about how you solved a problem in your own life including the struggles you went through, the mentors you had along the way, and what your life looks like now. You can also tell a compelling story about one of your customers.

Step #3: Strong Call To Action

Inspire To Take Action: Don’t just give your viewer a weak call to action telling them to click, tell them why clicking is going to change their life and how it’s changed the lives of so many others.

Step #4: Showcase Client Success

A Story To Remember: Give your viewers a story to remember, tell them about someone who crushed it in your program, bring up unique details about their journey with you, and tell them about where they are at now in their life.

Step #5: Call To Action With End Screen

Don’t Miss The Best Clicks: After your ad is up on YouTube, it goes directly to the next video. You don’t want to miss the people who watched all the way to the end so make sure to include a strong call to action and an end screen which lasts about 10 seconds.

Scale Your YouTube Ads With Client Accelerators

You’re now armed with insights and strategies to elevate your YouTube audience targeting. Don’t waste any more time or resources on ads that will never reach the right audience. Our team of seasoned digital marketers is ready to partner with you on your journey to YouTube advertising success.

Book a call now and let’s dive into the specifics of your brand, your goals, and how we can tailor our expertise to boost your YouTube-targeted ads to the next level. Whether it’s pinpointing your audience, crafting compelling content, or scaling your campaigns, at Client Accelerators, we have a proven track record of delivering big results.

Don’t let your YouTube ads stay hidden. Now is your opportunity to build a targeted approach that will expand your reach, engagement, and conversions. Schedule a call today and bring a new level of precision to your YouTube targeting options with paid advertising.