Reach a broad audience and build awareness with Video

Official checklist for driving brand awareness and reach on YouTube.

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With more than 2 billion logged-in users each month,1 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.

  • Find the right budget allocation with Google Ads planning tools like Reach Planner.

Why: Plan the reach, frequency, and spend of your ads across YouTube and Google video partners. You can let Reach Planner choose ad format and budget allocations for you, or create a custom media plan.

2. Use multiple video formats to maximize your campaign’s impact

  • Video reach campaigns can mix formats for you, taking the guesswork out of budget allocation and manual optimizations.

Why: The campaign will intelligently serve the best combination of CPM video ad formats to help you reach as many people as possible in your desired audience, at the lowest price. Mixing CPM reach formats with Video reach campaigns for efficient reach results in 16% lower CPMs and 29-44% more unique reach, on average, than using standalone formats.2

CPM Video Ad Formats


Skippable In-Stream

Non-Skippable In-stream

A 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.

A skippable in-stream ad

plays before, during, or after other videos. After 5 seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad.


A 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.

Case Study

Bayer logo

Bayer optimizes costs and increases Unique Users reached using Video Reach Campaigns for its brand Iberogast. By using the format mix of Bumpers and Skippable In-stream ads, Bayer was able to reach 30% more unique customers and lowered costs by 23% per reached user compared to running Skippable In-stream ads alone.


  • Read more about how to find the right format mix for your strategic goals.
  • Read more about how to create effective video ad creatives using the ABCD framework.
  • If you'd like to create 6-second bumper ads, 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
  • If you don't have the tools to make a video from scratch, use Video Creation. All you need is a few images and your brand logo to make a short YouTube ad. Learn how it works 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 your most relevant 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 of leading publisher sites and apps. Advertisers can gain up to 20% additional reach by adding Video Partners to their YouTube buy.3

  • Add a dedicated CTV campaign to your cross-device campaign.

Why: For YouTube, dedicated CTV campaigns together with cross-device campaigns show an average of 16% incremental brand lift and 4% less CPLU vs. just cross-device campaigns alone.4

4. Build awareness with demographics, affinity and custom audiences

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

  • Avoid layering multiple audience types on top of your chosen audience.

Why: This will restrict your reach and might cause your campaign to miss potential customers.

  • 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.

5. 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: As a best practice, your tCPM bid should be the average you are willing to pay for that audience within a given ad group.

6. Measure your campaign’s impact

  • Measure the unique reach and frequency of your campaign from the Campaigns page of your Google Ads account or with third-party solutions like Nielsen Total Ad Ratings.

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

Why: You can understand how your video ads influenced viewer perception 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.

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

  • Verify performance with A/B experiments, or using Video 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. 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.



1. YouTube Internal Data, Global, April, 2019
2. YouTube VRC Campaign Meta Analysis, Global, Oct 2019 - Feb 2021. Data from n=33 video experiment
3. Google internal data, US, Jan - April 2019
4. Google internal data, Dec 2021, Global

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