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Youtube TrueView Audience Engagement: Paid strategies to find fans and reduce waste.

Youtube TrueView Audience Engagement: Paid strategies to find fans and reduce waste.

YouTube TrueView: Setting the right KPIs, such as earned paid media metrics instead of video completion rates, is critical to maximizing your ability to learn from YouTube and build an audience.

YouTube TruView is the talk of the town: all advertisers claim to do A/B testing and segmentation on their audiences, but few do it right. YouTube and its TrueView video ad formats are designed to give advertisers a unique insight into their audience that most video-focused content marketing efforts can't. The problem is, most advertisers don't take advantage of it. Instead, they end up wasting thousands of dollars on unengaged viewers.

A key differentiator of Youtube TrueView is its ability to qualify an audience based on how users continuously interact with a brand or channel. Instead of focusing on video completion rates, which don't provide real insight into engagement, advertisers can see how users engage with their Youtube TrueView ads and learn what interests them.

We've all seen the plethora of RFPs on the coveted millennial audience. Overall, millennials are the top audience segment most advertisers want to reach. However, within this broad age demographic is a plethora of unique audience segments that most TrueView campaigns fail to capitalize on. Not all millennials are the same, and they don't all respond the same way to your advertising.

Granted, the targeting options available for Youtube TrueView are constantly evolving, but they provide advertisers with several precise audience segments to focus on. When using Google's audience targeting, advertisers can tailor their ad serving to users based on who they are, what their interests are, what they're looking for, and how they've interacted with your business.

As an example, with custom affinity audiences, advertisers can focus on users who have visited a specific website, downloaded a specific app, or even visited types of places they might be interested in. Imagine you're a new sports television network trying to reach potential viewers. With custom affinity audiences, you can build targeting that includes competitor websites, mobile apps from streaming services, and fantasy sports or even the places where your audience's favorite teams play.

Media buyers understand that the granularity of your targeting has a direct impact on your ability to optimize and segment audiences, and is often more critical than the targeting tactic sourcing itself. The Youtube TrueView Platform offers many targeting tactics to reach precise audience segments, such as tailored affinity audiences, but not all are equal.

When focusing on user-initiated actions, keyword-based targeting often drastically outperforms tactics like placement and topic-based targeting. It allows us to be more precise and deliver media more efficiently and effectively. To confirm this, my team reviewed all the campaigns we've run since 2018 and organized targeting types based on whether they were placement-based targeting or keyword-based targeting.

What we found was that for discovery ads (user-initiated view), keywords were about 30% more efficient at optimizing towards clicks and earned views than placements, and 70% more efficient at optimizing towards earned subscribers. The positive impact of keywords on in-stream (forced view) ads is even more compelling. Keywords were at least 50% more effective than placements when optimizing for clicks, and about 80% more efficient when optimizing for earned views and earned subscribers.

At a high level, advertisers know how to test and segment audiences, but they often don't ask how granular they can get. The granularity of targeting has a direct impact on your ability to learn from users and build a loyal audience. Proactive use of keyword targeting gives advertisers useful insights into the performance of their campaigns and adapts their strategies to current performance trends.

Earned media metrics attributed to paid media activity, such as earned views, subscribers, and playlist adds, help advertisers learn what engages their audience in a way that video completion rates never can. By optimizing for these user-initiated actions rather than passive metrics like video completion rates, advertisers can identify which users are actively interested in seeing more content similar to what's in the ad (think fans, not just viewers). While advertisers can also use brand lift studies to better understand audience quality and response, there are many limitations to relying solely on a study to detail what works and what doesn't (e.g., creating statistically significant data across multiple targets).

We can all deliver targeted impressions or views, but few campaigns learn from and build an engaged audience. Using all the TrueView features at our disposal and setting the right KPIs, such as earned paid media metrics instead of video completion rates, are critical to maximizing your ability to learn from YouTube and build an audience.

Our most powerful tool is being able to iterate our messaging and targeting to make an impact, build an engaged and interested audience, and reduce media waste. The tools are already there, advertisers just need to use them.

Source: Marketing Land