Defining Your Customer Avatar

Let’s look at how YouTube Ads Targeting relates to your ideal target customer. Google’s targeting is very broad by the nature of how it works. Even when we think the targeting is really specific, YouTube takes that and expands it which makes us reach a lot of the wrong people. This means we need to be really clear on who we are trying to target.

With YouTube Ads, we’re not really targeting keywords, placements, or topics…we are targeting people. You really need to think, “Does this keyword apply to my customer and only my customer? Is this YouTube channel being watched by only my target customer, or does my target customer just make up a small percentage of people watching this channel?”

Always think about the person first and the targeting specifics second.

Let’s look at 10 questions you can ask to help get really clear on who you are trying to target. I’ll also explain how your answers to these questions will tie into the YouTube targeting options available.

1. What videos are they watching?

Pretty straightforward. You want to find YouTube videos that are being watched by your customers. This relates to placements, so once you find these videos, you can target them as placements in your YouTube Ads campaigns. 

2. What channels are they watching?

In addition to specific videos, you can take the channels that people are watching and target them in your placement campaigns. A benefit to targeting an entire channel is when that creator releases a new video, you will automatically be targeting it if you are already targeting the whole channel. You also want to be careful when adding channels to your targeting. Just because someone has a few videos on your topic doesn’t mean their whole channel is about that topic or that their entire audience is a match for what you’re advertising.

3. What types of videos or channels are people watching?

Beyond specific video and channel placements, what are some general categories? We can use these answers to look for topics and video lineups that can help us find more content that our target customers are going to be consuming.

4. What are they searching for on Google and YouTube?

What are they actually typing into Google’s search box? What problems are they trying to solve? What are their search terms? You can use your answers here in a variety of different ways, including keyword campaigns, in-market campaigns, and custom audience campaigns.

5. Who do they follow and buy from?

Who are some competitors or influencers in the space? These answers can apply to keyword campaigns or custom audience campaigns. You can also use these to find placements if there are videos or channels from these specific influencers or competitors you’ve listed.

6. What are their interests and habits?

What do they do? What things are they interested in? List all of these things out and then use the list to build keyword campaigns and custom audience campaigns. You can also use this list to help find topics to target.

7. What websites are they frequenting?

Google has the benefit of knowing most of the websites we go to. If there is a Google code on the website, Google knows who is going there. What you can do is create a list of websites and think about the websites that your target customers are visiting (information websites, forums, competitors). Once you have this list of websites, there are a couple of targeting options you can apply it to. You can create custom audiences where you are giving Google a list of the websites and they are then going to create an audience of people similar to people who are interested in those websites. (It’s not exactly retargeting people who were on those websites; it is just people who have similar characteristics to people who may have been browsing those websites.)

Another thing you can do with website addresses is to add them as keywords. If there is a website domain that is highly relevant to your target customer, you can try adding that domain as a keyword (including the .com) and you can see what those results look like for you.

8. What organizations are they members of?

Think about any organization where the majority of people in that organization would be your target customer. Once you list out these organizations, these can be used as keywords, or to build custom audiences. You may also be able to find some placements related to these organizations.

9. What publications do they consume?

This could be books, newsletters, online newsletters, magazines, etc. Take the name of the book, newsletter, author, or website address to help you create keyword campaigns or custom audience campaigns.

10. What apps do they use?

Google has a pretty cool targeting feature that allows you to create audiences based on specific apps people are using through the Google Play store. If there is an app that is mostly used just by your target customer, it might be helpful to create an audience based around that app or multiple apps if that’s the case. But be careful…just because your target customer is using the app doesn’t mean that it is going to be a good app to use when you’re creating custom audiences. There may be a lot of other people using the same app. You only want to find apps where a majority of people using the app would be your target customer.