YouTube Remarketing – The Smart Approach To Advertising On YouTube

As we’ve covered earlier, Facebook is making some serious waves in the video marketing world. Indeed, it has emerged to become the one and only true rival to the network that has, up until recently, always proven to be the absolute dominant force in online video – YouTube.

However, we’ve covered the power of the Facebook video ad quite extensively over the past 6 weeks or so – and, as such, if you’re looking for tips on how to make your presence known on that particular network, then please refer to the following blog posts:

With Facebook well and truly covered, over the coming weeks we are now going to be focussing our attentions on the competing platform – YouTube, and in this post in particular, YouTube remarketing.


Why Users Will Always Love YouTube

Ok, so Facebook has mounted some meaningful competition to YouTube in the online video world – but that doesn’t mean that YouTube is now dead in water, nor even hailing for a life preserver. Indeed, the Facebook video revolution is perhaps best thought of as merely incidental – or perhaps additional – to the ongoing phenomenon that is YouTube.

The reason is simple. Facebook is a platform for sharing all types of information – from the mundane “This is what I’m having for lunch today” status update, to office party photos, to news items, quizzes, political and charitable campaigns, many hoaxes, and now, of course, video.

That is to say that a Facebook user’s behaviour is much different to that of a YouTube user. When we log on to Facebook, we simply scroll down our news feeds, clicking on whatever piece of content it is that takes our fancy. Now, increasingly, video content is getting much more engagement on Facebook compared to anything else, but that doesn’t truly translate into Facebook videos usurping YouTube as the dominant force for video sharing – it simply means that the current Facebook trend is showing that video happens to be most popular format for information sharing and engagement right now.

The YouTube user, however, is a much more discerning and particular beast. When we log onto YouTube, we tend to be searching for something specific. Indeed, in the first instance, it is most definitely video content that we are after. We don’t head over to YouTube, for example, hoping to find out what our best friends have been up to over the weekend, or to see what everyone makes of the new Tarantino movie, who’s dumped who, etc., and then passively click on a random piece of video content that has popped up in our news feed.

No, we go to YouTube when we want to watch something in particular, be it the latest offering from one of our subscriptions, some footage from a recent concert, or a ‘how-to’ video for Photoshop or boning a leg of lamb or putting up a shelf or what have you.

YouTube For The Marketer

And the YouTube user’s particular behaviour has direct implications for the marketer. If your brand has made any YouTube videos in the past, then you will know how effective the platform can be for marketing your wares. Most likely, you will have created content surrounding your products and services, which your subscribers will watch and then hopefully share with their online network, thusly endorsing your brand and spreading your reach further throughout the webosphere.

So far, so straight forward. But, if you want to start engendering some real engagement and indeed conversions from your YouTube efforts, then it is in remarketing campaigns that you must turn your focus.


Remarketing With YouTube Videos

Let’s keep things rolling here with a definition of remarketing – just so that we’re all on the same page before we continue. Remarketing – which is sometimes referred to as retargeting – simply describes a form of advertising that targets those users who have specifically engaged with your content before. This means that remarketing targets any new content that you produce towards YouTube visitors who have previously:

  • Visited your website
  • Visited your YouTube channel
  • Subscribed to/unsubscribed from your channel
  • Viewed your videos
  • Liked/disliked your video
  • Commented on your video
  • Shared your video

Indeed, since YouTube is one of Google’s many offspring – adopted or otherwise – you can also remarket by targeting any of these viewers when they visit any other sites or channels on the Google Display Network (such as Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger and of course YouTube).

The Benefits Of YouTube Video Remarketing

If we think about marketing logically, then it’s very easy to understand how and why remarketing is an effective strategy for going after conversions. Trying to convert users who have never even heard of your brand before is a very difficult task – and indeed studies have shown that only a mere 2-5% of website traffic converts on the first visit. It’s far, far easier to make sales to people who already know who you are, recognise and trust your brand, and indeed have engaged with your content previously – and thusly a different strategy must be applied when you are creating your remarketing campaigns.

For the remarketing campaign, you are effectively trying to recapture a viewer’s attention, bearing in mind that the viewer has slipped slightly further down the sales funnel than someone who has never heard of you before.

This means that you should not be creating any sort of ‘introductory’, awareness-raising content for your brand, but rather a slightly more in-depth product demo video or perhaps even an interview of some sort.

However, we will be considering video content in greater detail in upcoming blog posts. For now, I think it’s important that we understand how to identify and indeed (re)target those viewers who have engaged with our content previously.

Linking YouTube To AdWords

Yes – for your YouTube remarketing efforts, you are going to need to link your YouTube channel to a Google AdWords account.

The best way to this is to head over to YouTube (you can link the two in AdWords, but this is by far the more straightforward method).

Simply sign in to YouTube and find the Video Manager in the main menu. Head over to Channel Settings and click Advanced.

Now, in a new tab, open your Google AdWords account and copy and paste your Customer ID into the field where it says Link To Account.

How To Create A Remarketing Campaign on YouTube in Google AdWords

Firstly you need to create the remarketing list that you’ll be using later. You do this by clicking the “Shared Library” in Google AdWords.

Video marketing youtube

Then click “Audiences”. Simple enough so far right?


Next, click “+ Remarketing List” and then select “YouTube users”.

Screenshot 2016-01-28 18.24.25



Once your remarketing list has gained interactions from at least 100 viewers, you can use it for your ads and campaigns. Select the remarketing list you want to use while creating a new campaign or as a target for an existing video campaign. Want to learn how to set up a YouTube video campaign? Check out our blog post about it here.

That’s it – you’re all done. You now know how to create remarketing lists and set up your campaigns so that your video content is put in front of users who have made particular engagements with your previous content, based on the criteria that you select. Simple but effective.

Got your remarketing efforts sorted? Great! Now you need some content. Check out our video ad templates that’s drag-and-drop easy to make and can be ready in minutes, and get your 2016 YouTube remarketing campaign off to a flying start.


Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Shakr

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