Reach a broad audience and build awareness with Video

Official checklist for driving brand awareness and reach on YouTube.

Best Practices logo

With more than 2 billion logged-in users each month, YouTube is a proven place for reaching a massive audience and driving upper marketing funnel metrics across verticals. Follow these best practices for effective brand awareness and reach campaigns on YouTube.

1. Set yourself up for measurable success

  • Select “Brand Awareness and Reach” as your campaign goal, then “Video” campaign type. 

Why: When you start with a campaign goal in Google Ads, you’ll see suggested settings and bidding strategies to help you obtain that goal.

2. Capture attention with video formats that build awareness

  • Create multiple campaigns using different formats to maximize your campaign's impact and efficiency. 

Why: Using multiple formats gives you more opportunity to serve the best ad to the right user at the right time. 

Format Bumper Skippable In-Stream Non-Skippable In-stream
Description Your bumper video ad is 6 seconds or shorter and plays before, during, or after another video. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad. Your skippable in-stream ad plays before, during, or after other videos. After 5 seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad. Your non-skippable in-stream ad plays before, during or after another video. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad. Non-skips are 15 seconds or shorter, with the exception of most of Europe, Mexico, Singapore, India and Malaysia, which can support up to 20 seconds.
How do you decide if it’s the right fit If you have a short message 6 seconds or less AND want greater unique reach. You have a longer message AND want greater unique reach. As a best practice, keep your video 30 seconds or less. If you want your target audience to watch your entire message. Best at driving awareness lift.
Potential CPM $ $ $$


  1. Read more about how to create effective video ad creatives using the ABCD framework.
  2. Learn how to orchestrate your ads in a sequence with Video ad sequencing
  3. If you don't have a 6-second bumper ad, ask your Google team about Bumper Machine. It will automatically turn your longer video into multiple short, 6-second bumper ads. See how it works here
  4. If you don't have the resources to make a video from scratch, use Video Builder. All you need is a few images and your brand logo to make a short YouTube ad. Learn how it works and sign up for the beta here.

3. Review your settings for maximum brand impact

Why: Google Ads will try to spend your total budget evenly over the duration of your campaign.

Why: Google Ads will optimize your delivery so that they show at the right time to the most valuable viewers. 

  • Take advantage of video partners on the Display Network to reach new audiences.

Why: Video Partners extend the reach of video ads to a collection leading publisher sites and apps. Advertisers can gain up to 20% additional reach by adding video partners to their YouTube buy. 

4. Build awareness with detailed demographics, affinity and custom audiences.

Identify relevant audiences with Google’s Find My Audience tool.

Why: You can learn more about how your customer’s passions and interests translate into in-market and affinity audiences.

  • Avoid adding gender and age on top of your selected audience.

Why: This will restrict your reach and might cause your campaign to miss potential customers. When you go beyond demographics, you can reach more relevant people based on their intent to buy.

  • Only use one audience type per campaign and one audience per ad group (unless you have a predetermined budget per audience or creative).

Why: You can stay organized and build frequency more effectively.


You create a campaign targeting affinity audiences, then add multiple ad groups for each affinity type you select, like Sports Fans and Outdoor Enthusiasts.

  • Exclude audiences used elsewhere if you have multiple campaigns with different audience types.

Why: You can increase unique reach by excluding people who already viewed your ad.


In Campaign #2 you choose to target affinity audiences, exclude those audiences in Campaign #1 targeted to detailed demographics.

5. Complement your audience strategy with YouTube dynamic lineups 

  • Create separate contextual campaigns using dynamic lineups in addition to your audience-based campaigns to maximize reach and awareness on relevant contexts.

Why: Running a contextual-based campaign (dynamic lineups) gives you an opportunity to pair your ads with specific types of content on YouTube that might be a great match for your brand. Check out if dynamic lineups are available in your market here.

6. Set your bidding strategy

Why: CPM bidding optimizes your campaign to put your message in front of as many relevant people as possible.

  • Use bid estimates from the traffic estimator on the right panel of the campaign setup.

Why: If you’ve used CPM bidding before, start by inputting your average CPM from your previous campaign. As a best practice, your tCPM bid should be the average you are willing to pay for that audience within a given ad group.

7. Measure your campaign’s impact

  • Measure the unique reach and frequency of your campaign by from the Campaigns page of your Google Ads account.

Why: Understanding these metrics will help you achieve your short- and long-term brand awareness goals.


If you want to measure de-duplicated reach across multiple campaigns, you’ll need to download the report. For maximum accuracy, wait 72 hours after your campaign ends tally your totals.

Why: You can understand how your video ads influenced viewer perceptions of your brand or product in near real time, at no additional cost. Check the minimum budget requirements to make sure your campaign is eligible to drive statistically significant impact.


Make sure you set up your study before the campaign delivers any impressions so you have an accurate baseline to evaluate your campaign’s performance.

Why: You can compare the ROI of your YouTube campaign to other digital and traditional channels using third party models.

  • Measure across your video buy with a Nielsen Total Ads Rating report (US only).

Why: Third-parties like Nielsen and comScore to compare reach metrics across different publishers and networks.

  • Verify performance with A/B experiments.

Why: Search lift, geo lift, or user lift studies with a Google Measurement Partner can help you dig deeper to understand what’s working. Or tap into Google’s conversion lift solution.

  • Or, see how different strategies perform, quickly and with no additional spend, using Video Experiments.

Why: Experiments can help you understand what to improve, which customers to focus on, and how to bid to get the most from your ads. Learn how it works. 

For more tips and ideas on how to build your brand, visit our awareness collection on the Advertising Solutions Center.



Sign up for the Best Practices newsletter to get advanced Google Ads tips and updates right to your inbox.
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue