YouTube advertising: how to effectively promote your brand on the platform

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Here's today's riddle: I belong to one of the GAFAs, I'm the world's second-largest search engine, and I'm a fabulous platform for launching advertising campaigns. Who am I?

If you answered "YouTube", you're right - and you may already be convinced of the platform's advertising power. 

Whether you are or not, you've come to the right place to find out everything you need to know about advertising on YouTube, aiming for maximum performance.

YouTube advertising: how to effectively promote your brand?

Why invest in YouTube advertising?

It's impossible to surf the web without coming across YouTube in one way or another. And with good reason: it's the second most-used social platform in the world, with 2.5 billion monthly active users, just behind Facebook. That said, YouTube is by far the world's leading social network in terms of time spent each month, with 23 hours and 9 minutes (compared with 19 hours and 43 minutes for Facebook, and 17 hours and 20 minutes for WhatsApp).

Given these figures, one thing is clear: YouTube is the ideal platform for reaching a broad cross-section of the population, with diverse socio-professional categories and interests. But above all, it's the perfect channel to reach a captive audience that spends a lot of time on the platform.

What's more, it's important to note that the video format itself is ideal for advertising. In particular, it enables you to:

  • Grab users' attention, with or without sound
  • Develop a well-crafted storytelling, allowing you to play on emotions - a great sales vector
  • Aim for a higher memorization rate than purely visual formats, since it combines several senses (sight and hearing)

All the more reason for you, as an advertiser, to get started on this advertising platform if you haven't already - or to fine-tune your strategy with the tips you'll discover here.

How to target your YouTube audience

You can target your advertising campaign on YouTube using a variety of criteria.

Among them, you can use :

  • The socio-demographic criteria of your target audience: age, gender, social class, income, household composition...
  • Its interests: music, sports, entertainment, beauty, fashion, video games...
  • Intentional criteria, such as channels or videos that meet a need you're marketing to, on which your ads will be displayed 
  • Keywords, which you select and can include or exclude from your campaign

But the key to further improving your targeting is to take advantage of the various sources of data from the Google ecosystem. The idea? Target customers and prospects who have an appetite for your products and services, and understand their behaviors/uses so you can deliver your message to the right place.

For instance, you can use: 

  • Data from Android, which indicates which applications your target may have downloaded. For example, an advertiser promoting a mobile game could target audiences who have already installed this type of app on their smartphone.
  • Data from Google Search, which indicates which queries they have made. For example, you can target audiences who have typed keywords into Google that are close to your brand's semantic universe.
  • Data from your target's YouTube history, indicating the type of video they've watched. For example, an advertiser targeting audiences with an appetite for technology will be able to target users who subscribe to channels based on this theme.
  • Data from Google Maps, indicating the places they frequently visit. An interesting piece of data if you want to reach targets in the area of one of your stores.

To make sure you get the best possible exposure, use a brandsafety tool such as YouTube BrandSafety by Gamned! This type of tool enables you to visualize the potential reach of your campaigns in advance, and to select the channels and videos most closely aligned with your products and services. You can then target certain channels, themes or topics, or even certain keywords, to further refine your targeting and avoid associating your brand with accounts that are too far removed from your identity.

How to you choose your YouTube ads formats

On YouTube, you can launch different kinds of advertising campaigns, in a wide variety of formats. There are ten of them, and they enable you to achieve different business goals.

François Madelin, Head of Customer Success at Gamned!
“One of the keys to success in YouTube advertising, often overlooked by advertisers, is to leverage the data available in the Google ecosystem. This vast amount of data enables precise, affinity-based targeting, helping advertisers to reach their core target. But don't overlook the choice of format either, which should be based on your primary advertising goal.” François Madelin, Head of Customer Success at Gamned!.

To generate awareness

Do you have a branding or online reputation goal in mind for your YouTube ads? Turn to one of the following advertising formats:

  • Audio Ads. This is an audio format, non-skippable, that reaches targets who listen to YouTube through smart speakers, and has a high recall rate.
  • Masthead format. These are video ads in the Mobile, Desktop or TV stream, displayed on YouTube's homepage.
  • Trueview for reach. A format that can be skipped in-stream, purchased on-target.
  • :06 sec bumper ads. Broadcast a non-skippable 6-second video pre, mid and post-roll.
  • Non skip. This is an up to 15-second, non-skippable, in-stream video ad.
  • In-feed video for reach. Your ad is displayed when a user searches and browses YouTube, on search and watch pages.

For these formats, you pay by CPM (Cost Per Thousand).

To generate engagement

Want to engage your target audience with your own YouTube videos? You'll need to turn to one of the following three formats for optimum ROI.

  • Trueview for engagement, which is an in-stream skippable format, purchased on target at CPV (Cost Per Visit).
  • In-feed for considerat, which is displayed when a user searches and browses YouTube, on search and watch pages.
  • Discovery campaigns, displayed on the YouTube home feed and in the "Next video" insert.

To stimulate conversion

Would you like to attract prospects and customers to a dedicated Landing Page, and above all, generate actions on your website? One YouTube advertising format is ideal for this: the Video action campaigns format. It contains a call-to)action dedicated to conversion, such as "Book now", "Get a free quote" or "Find out more".

Armed with these few best practices in terms of targeting and formats, you're ready to launch a well-crafted YouTube advertising campaign.

How to measure the effectiveness of your YouTube ads

Creating campaigns and ads on YouTube is all very well. Measuring their effectiveness, to ensure the ROI they bring you, and to be able to optimize them on an ongoing basis, is even better! 

So how do you measure the performance of your YouTube ads? First of all, be sure to track the following global key performance metrics:

  • Number of views
  • Number of unique viewers
  • View rate
  • Average Cost Per View (CPV) or Cost Per Thousand (CPM)
  • The different view rates for your ads: video viewed at 25, 50, 75 or 100%.

Then track more specific KPIs, depending on your advertising goals:

  • For campaigns focused on brand awareness, track views, impressions or unique users.
  • For purchase decision campaigns, track the display rate or viewing time of your video ads
  • For conversion-oriented campaigns, track click-through rates, calls, registrations, or sales generated by your advertising campaign

Note that YouTube also lets you create segments to analyze your performance according to specific views (format, network, user device...), to further optimize your performance.

Finally, if you want to measure the impact of your YouTube campaign on how your brand is perceived, use the Brand Lift Survey feature. These are surveys you send out to your audience, to find out whether the ads they've seen are relevant to them, or whether they've memorized your advertising messages.

Want an example?

At Gamned! we regularly support advertisers in their YouTube advertising campaigns.

Late 2022, a famous household appliance brand launched a two-month campaign in collaboration with Gamned! Its goal: to build branding through attractive, engaging video ads.

The brand decided to carry out behavioral targeting, to reach an audience over 35, CSP+, interested in household equipment and decoration. It chose the Trueview format, a 25-second bumper.

And the results were not long in coming. At the end of the campaign, a 70% View-Through Rate (VTR) was recorded. All this for -40% of the CPCV (Cost Per Completed View) estimated before the campaign was launched!

Want to get started in YouTube advertising, or optimize your current platform? Contact a Gamned! expert today, and let's talk about your project.


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