About advertising on YouTube

On YouTube, people can discover videos in various ways (for example, by searching on the YouTube search page, clicking suggested videos on the watch page, or choosing a video from the homepage feed). You can use YouTube to advertise more effectively to people who are searching for your product or brand.

Benefits of advertising on YouTube

  • Connect with your audience: Video ads can help you connect with potential customers in a unique and memorable way. You can be personal, share your expertise with the world or put the camera on yourself and explain how your product or service can benefit your audience. 
  • Reach just the right audience: Reach your customers on YouTube by topics, keywords or demographics, like 'women under 35'.
  • Create a video campaign in only a few minutes: Create your account, create or upload your video ad, and reach your audience.
  • Measure your success: Find out whether you're reaching the right audience. Check your Google Ads account to track views, costs and budget details. Visit the 'Analytics' tab in your YouTube account to learn more about your viewers. For example, you can tell which videos your customers are watching and for how long.

Country availability

You can only target ads to countries where YouTube allows ads. Availability may differ between countries. See the list of supported countries.

YouTube and audience engagement

YouTube's unique combination of video access, sharing and community creates an unmatched opportunity for audience engagement. Sight, sound and motion can elicit emotional involvement with content that you don't get with other forms of media.

You can facilitate discovery of and engagement (shares, comments and likes) with your video ads by promoting them using YouTube advertising and hosting them on a YouTube curated profile page.

Video creators can learn an enormous amount about their viewers through a sophisticated set of measurement tools, including YouTube Analytics. Audience demographics, levels of engagement and performance compared to similar videos are just some of the data available. Video creators can use this data to drive larger and deeper viewership among a target audience.

Video ad formats for YouTube

Depending on your goal, you can use a variety of ad formats on YouTube. These include:

  • Skippable in-stream ads
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads
  • Bumper ads
  • Video discovery ads
  • Masthead ads

Learn more about video ad formats that you can use on YouTube.

Reaching potential customers

YouTube and the Display Network offer a variety of ways to reach particular audiences:

  • Keyword contextual targeting: You can use keywords that will help match your ads to the video content. This works just like contextual targeting on the Display Network, and applies to both YouTube and the Display Network.
  • Demographic: Reach people by who are more likely to be influenced by your products or services based on quantifiable characteristics, including age, gender and parental status. Learn more about demographic targeting.
  • Topics: Reach people based on certain topics.
  • Customer Match: Customer Match lets you use your first-party online and offline data to reach and re-engage with your customers. Learn more about Customer Match.
  • Similar Audiences: Similar Audiences is a targeting feature based on first-party data lists (usually remarketing lists or Customer Match lists) that helps you expand the reach of your best-performing audiences by targeting new users with similar characteristics to your remarketing or Customer Match lists. Learn more about Similar Audiences.
  • Video remarketing: Reach viewers based on their past interactions with your videos, TrueView ads or YouTube channel. If you've linked your Google account to your Google Ads account already, Google Ads will create custom lists for you automatically. Learn more about remarketing lists for YouTube viewers.
  • Interests: Pick from available audience categories to reach people interested in certain topics, even when they may be visiting pages about other topics. Learn more about audiences.
    • Affinity audiences: Raise brand awareness and drive consideration with your video ads by reaching people who already have a strong interest in relevant topics.
    • Custom affinity audiences: With custom affinity audiences, you can create audiences that are more tailored to your brands, compared to broad, TV-like affinity audiences. For example, rather than reaching 'Sports Fans', a running shoe company may want to reach 'Avid Marathon Runners' instead.
    • Life events: Reach potential customers when purchase behaviour shifts and brand preferences change during life milestones like moving, graduating from college or getting married.
    • In-market audiences: Find customers who are actively researching products or services and considering buying something like what you offer.
    • Custom intent audiences: Reach viewers as they’re making a purchase decision based on the keywords that they’ve recently searched on Google.com.
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