youtube advertising targeting options

Youtube Advertising Targeting Options: Marketing Strategy Ideas

With so much video content on the web, it’s important to explore all YouTube advertising targeting options. YouTube advertising reaches potential customers, based on their demographics, interests or both. Discover all the digital marketing options available and how Epic can help optimize your next campaign! So you have a video, and it’s up on YouTube… but now what? The answer is exploring YouTube advertising targeting options! Using the second largest search engine to advertise your video content is a simple and effective way to narrow your audience pool. This is a form of SEM (Search Engine Marketing), is paid for, unlike SEO (Search Engine Optimization). YouTube advertising targeting options specifically target your audience based off of different things such as affinity, in-market, topic/keywords, placement or life events.

But first, before you can decide on your YouTube interest categories, you have to clearly identify who your audience is. Understanding how old they are, where they live, and what they like is a great place to start. Once you have a defined customer profile, you are then able to choose what YouTube targeting methods fit best. Also, keep in mind this might change for each campaign. Now, let’s dive into each of these audiences and how you can apply YouTube advertising targeting options into your digital marketing strategies.

YouTube Advertising Targeting Options:

Affinity (Reach)

Using YouTube affinity targeting reaches a large pool of individuals who already have a strong interest in relevant topics. This is a common technique and is comparable to broadcast TV advertising. With affinity targeting, you are reaching a very vast and diverse pool of people. Many people fit into the affinity category and ads targeting this market can last for a long period of time  since interests don’t change frequently. Choosing an audience will depend on your video content’s overall messaging. If your objective is to target larger audiences over time, affinity audiences are great to extend brand-awareness. Affinity audiences reach larger masses, and are more cost effective from a cost per 1,000 impressions perspective. These audiences uphold the same content throughout a 6-12 month range.

Example: If you want to run a broadcast commercial, test driving various affinity audiences would be a great start.

  • NEWS


YouTube placement targeting allows you to place ads on specific channels, videos, websites and more. With a well thought out customer profile, you know what websites and YouTube channels your target market is most interested in, so why not place your ads there! This strategy can also be invested in for a longer period of time, allowing you to cast a wide net for viewers. Place specifically on any of the millions of Google Search Partners websites. This includes a collection of search engines, web pages, and YouTube channels.

Example: Trying to reach new home owners? Advertise through placement targeting on and the HGTV YouTube channel.

  • APPS

In-Market (ROI)

This audience is already researching and browsing items or services similar to what you offer. In other words, these individuals are ready to pull the trigger and are browsing their best options. YouTube targets users that have been searching for a business just like yours. In-market audiences are a great way to reach potential customers, since you know that your product or service is being considered. Keep in mind that many other companies also use in-market targeting. This is why it’s crucial to have a strong landing page and web design since you’ll be compared against competitors.

Example: Target potential employees by advertising in-market for job searches in your industry.

  • REAL ESTATE: Residential Properties for Sale
  • AIR TRAVEL: First Class, Business Class or Economy
  • MOTOR VEHICLES: New, Used, Brand or Type
  • BUSINESS SERVICES: Financial, Payroll or Office Supplies

Keywords + Topics

Next up, YouTube topic targeting and keyword options. Use this option by choosing specific phrases or topics to reach your customers. Like In-market targeting, topics and keywords narrow the audience pool considerably. Due to this, it’s strategic to target these ads for a shorter amount of time, closer to roughly 1–3 months based on your goals. The main goal is to be there in the final stages of research.

Example: Targeting keywords like “home appliances” or “home furniture” might be the best strategy for reaching new home owners and young couples.

  • BEAUTY + FITNESS: Hair Care, Skin Care, Body Art, Gyms, Spas, Equipment etc.
  • REAL ESTATE: Property Inspection, Brokers, Agents, Rental Management etc.
  • SPORTS: Combat, Winter, Water, Extreme, Motor, Fantasy, Individual etc.
  • ONLINE COMMUNITIES: Bloggers, Dating, Chat Forums, etc.

Life Events

Having fun yet? Well this YouTube targeting category is where it gets really cool. YouTube allows you to target your ads specifically to people going through major life events. Examples of this include weddings, graduation or moving homes. Since these life events don’t last very long, consider using them for a short amount of time depending on what it is.

Example: A truck rental company may use life events to target customers moving to new homes.

  • MOVING: Looking to Move, Recently Moved or Just Moved
  • MARRIAGE: Engaged, Married, or Just Married
  • GRADUATION: Going to Graduate or Recently Graduated

These top YouTube advertising strategies scratch the surface of all the YouTube advertising targeting options available. Of course, audiences vary depending on what’s trending, which might be overwhelming at times. Luckily, Epic offers a number of digital marketing services to help you enhance your online advertising! Compare average advertising costs and decide what will work best for you. Not quite sure where to start? Give us a shout — the Epic experts are here to bring your next project to life!