YouTube Ads: Placement Targeting

What exactly is Placement Targeting? Well, it’s when you specifically tell YouTube where to run your ads. Basically, if you add YouTube URLs to your placement targeting, then your ads will only run on those specific videos and channels.

People end up watching videos on YouTube either by subscribing to channels that they’re interested in or by specifically searching for something. They will click to watch some of the top videos in the search results, and if your product or service solves the same issue of the video that someone clicked to watch, it’s a perfect fit – prime targeting.

Beyond that, if someone is starting to watch videos on a particular subject, they’ll get more videos recommended to them related to that subject. These are also prime videos to be targeting because if what you’re selling related to what they’re watching, you’re catching people in a very receptive state.

Target Specific Channels 

If there’s a channel on a subject matter that’s related to what you’re selling, you can add that channel to your placement targeting. Your ad will then be eligible to run all of the videos on that channel. While you should definitely be doing this, I recommend taking it even a step further…

Add Individual Video Placements From That Channel To The Targeting

If there is a specific channel you want to target, you should add all of the individual video placements from that channel to the targeting. While this may seem like overkill, there are a couple of good reasons for it:

  1. It gives you more traffic. I figured this out by accidentally doing it but then realized that I was actually getting more traffic compared to simply targeting the channels. 
  2. It gives you better data. If you’re targeting just a channel, you’re only going to see the data for that specific channel. Because certain videos in channels perform better or worse than others, outlier videos may skew the data. To counteract this, if you add all of the individual videos within a channel, you’ll be able to see specific performance results of each video placement.

YouTube Ads placement targeting works amazingly well because of how specific you can get on certain subject matters. Basically, you should add as many relevant placements as you can find and then watch to see what works and what doesn’t. If certain placements aren’t working well, shut them off. If they’re doing great, make sure you’ve done everything you can to target similar videos.

So how do you find all of these placements? There are a few different ways to do so:

1. You Can Find Placements Inside Google Ads Interface 

Inside the Google Ads Interface, if you do a search for someone’s name or for a keyword, you’ll be able to find channels and placements that come as a result of that search. You can then add the placements directly from within the Google Ads interface. 

2. Where Ads Showed

Inside the Google Ads interface, if you’re running other campaigns already (keyword campaigns, audience campaigns, etc.) you can go into those campaigns to the section called ‘Where Ads Showed’. This will show you all the channels where ads appeared. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show you specific video placements, but it does show you the channels and the data connected to those channels. If there are channels your ads have run on that have performed really well, you’ll be able to see that in the ‘Where Ads Showed’ section and then you can consider targeting those channels in your placement campaigns.

3. Search on

Go to YouTube and search for topics your target customer would also be searching for and look at top results. Go through the pages of results and copy the links for ad placements. Now, not all of the videos will allow ads to run on them, but at this stage, I wouldn’t worry about that. 

It would take more time to figure out which videos allow ads instead of just copying all of the links and adding them to your campaign. If you add certain links that don’t allow ads, that’s fine – Google’s system will sort that out.

4. Vid Hoarder

I can’t talk about placement targeting without talking about my software that’s built for utilizing placement links, Vid Hoarder. It utilizes YouTube search, so instead of manually going through each page of search results and copying links, Vid Hoarder allows you to type in a keyword and then spits out a list of up to 500 video links all in one place. 

You can literally copy and paste the entire list into your campaign or you can go through and select the specific placements that you want to add to your campaign (it’s as simple as checking a box next to each placement name). Vid Hoarder can also help with adding all specific video placements from a channel as well. If you add the channel link into Vid Hoarder, it will generate a list of the top 500 video URLs from any channel.

Whatever method you’re using to add placements, make sure you add a lot of them while keeping them relevant. You don’t want to add a lot of placements just for the sake of it – make sure they’re going to be videos watched by your target customer… But add a lot. 

Video Lineups

Video Lineups are one of Google’s relatively new features that compiles lists of different placements for you. If you add a Video Lineup to your targeting, your ad will then be eligible to appear on all of the videos within that lineup. Unfortunately, most of these lineups are entertainment-oriented (beauty, celebrity news, K-pop, etc.), and don’t relate to the ‘How-to’ or informational-type videos that work best with placement targeting. Because of this, I haven’t found them to be useful yet, but since it is a new feature, hopefully, Google will add some new lineups in the future.

So that’s the rundown on placement targeting. If you want your placement targeting to run as well as it possibly can (and it has the potential to work extremely well), remember:

  • Add as many placements as you can.
  • Run the campaigns and cut out what isn’t working.
  • Continually add new placements.