TV & Audio

5 Powerful Ways to Promote YouTube Videos With AdWords

By Tinuiti Team

Did you know that there are Google AdWord techniques that you can use to promote your videos to YouTube’s one billion active viewers?

Google AdWords offers many different ways to promote your YouTube videos and drive traffic to support your upper-funnel objectives.

Here’s a quick look at 5 powerful ways to promote your videos using Adwords and how you can start using them today.


“Promoting on YouTube with video content gives advertisers the opportunity to share their product mix, service, or value prop with ads on a platform that was built for engagement. YouTube can be great for both driving new visitors to view and click to site as well as remarketing to users that have visited your site and have shown interest.”

ben whitrock cpc strategy

-Ben Whitrock, Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy


Jump to a section


1. Use Demographic and Location Targeting

2. Target Other Channels With Placements

3. Attract Interested Shoppers With In-Market Audiences

4. Find Similar Audiences With Remarketing Lists

5. Reach New Groups With Custom Affinity Audiences


Why You Need to Promote Your Brand on YouTube

It’s beneficial to promote your brand’s videos on YouTube for a number of reasons. It’s a highly engaging channel with huge upper funnel traffic potential. If you need any convincing, look no further than these stats:




Now that we’ve established why YouTube is a valuable channel, let’s look at why you should use AdWords to promote your own videos and channel.

With AdWords you can promote your YouTube videos to people who are searching and watching on YouTube by surfacing your videos:


youtube ad placements options


1. Promote Your Videos Using Demographic and Location Targeting

Chances are that your ideal audience is already engaging with video content on YouTube on a daily basis. If you want to reach your target audience, you’ll want to refine your audience as much as possible.

How it works:

When people are signed in from their Google Account, we may use demographics derived from their settings or activity on Google properties, depending on their account status. Consumers can edit their demographic information by visiting Ads Settings. In addition, some sites might provide us with demographic information that people share on certain websites, such as social networking sites.

Using AdWords demographic targeting can result in successful ads that bring your target audience to your channel. These demographics include:


To create a campaign with demographic targeting, go to:

Create Campaign > Video > Brand Awareness & Reach > Standard Awareness > People (Demographics)

google adwords youtube demographic targeting


For example, if your ideal customers/viewers are first-time mothers living in California’s Bay Area, you’ll want your audience to reflect that demographic.

Refine your targeting even further using location targeting.

youtube adwords location targeting


Let’s say your videos feature SF Giants themed baby apparel for first-time mothers. Use location-specific targeting to hit those SF Giants-loving parents in San Francisco.



Now your video ads will surface for young mothers living in the San Francisco area.

This is still a large audience, but it’s more effective unless you have custom audiences that have shown good results for your video channel. We’ll get more into custom affinity and similar audiences later.


2. Promote Your Videos on Other Channels With Placement Targeting

There are many popular channels for every possible niche already on YouTube — and you can attract viewers from these channels with AdWords Placement Targeting.

Do your research and find out what channels and content creators your target audience subscribe to. Then hit these channels with your targeted ads to promote your own channel. 

Go to Placements and select YouTube channels.

youtube placements targeting channels


You can now search a channel name or input the specific name of a YouTube channel or video. For my first-time mothers target audience, I searched “motherhood.”

placement targeting channel


You can now surface your videos to the 50.2k subscribers to the Marriage & Motherhood page.

However, you shouldn’t rely upon AdWords’ internal search for channel targeting alone.

Do your own research outside of AdWords to determine which popular YouTube channels are driving engagement within your target market. Then target them with Placements.


3. Promote Your Videos to High-Interest Shoppers Using In-Market Audiences

If you want to narrow your targeting even further, you can promote your YouTube videos to audiences that have signaled to Google their intent to purchase an item.

AdWords makes this easy with In-Market audiences.

How it works:

To qualify someone as being in-market for a specific product or service, Google takes into account clicks on related ads and subsequent conversions, along with the content of the sites and pages they visit and the recency and frequency of the visits. In this way, Google accurately categorizes users so you can target those most interested in your offerings.

When creating or editing a campaign, go to Audiences and select In-Market.

in market audiences google adwords youtube


AdWords will now display categories of audiences that have signaled to Google (based on their history) that they are in-market to purchase a product.


adwords in market audiences


You now can now promote your videos to specific audiences who are in-market to buy a specific category of items.

ben whitrock

“YouTube audience targeting like in-market audiences allows you to focus your marketing dollars on users that have already shown signals of interest with that specific vertical segment. This would allow you to reach users that may be more qualified to perform an action on your site or channel.”


4. Promote Your Videos to Similar Audiences Using Remarketing Lists

If you’ve already created a remarketing list that features a well-performing audience, you can use AdWords to promote your YouTube videos to similar audiences based on first-party data from that audience. 

How it works:

AdWords looks at browsing activity on Display Network sites over the last 30 days, and uses this in addition to the content the user is viewing to understand the shared interests and characteristics of the people in your remarketing list. Based on this information, AdWords automatically finds new potential customers whose interests and characteristics are similar to those of people in your remarketing list.

Rather than trying to create new audience lists from scratch, you can use this feature to take out some of the guesswork and allow Google’s machine learning to work for you.

Go to Audiences and select similar audiences.

adwords similar audiences


You are now shown a list of similar audiences based on your remarketing lists.


similar audiences adwords examples


You’re now able to promote your videos to a number of similar audiences. Remember to do your own research to determine which similar audience will be most receptive to your video ad.

Ben Whitrock says,

“Similar or lookalike audiences are powerful ways to target users that resemble your best-performing audiences. By targeting users that Google deems similar to your lowest funnel retargeting lists, you can be more confident that these users are a better match to your target market.”


 5. Promote Your Videos to Different Interest Groups With Custom Affinity Audiences

Custom affinity audiences in Google AdWords can be used to promote your videos to users that have shown a general interest in your products. This will allow you to serve TrueView YouTube video ads to relevant audiences.

How it works:

With custom affinity audiences, advertisers can create audiences that are more tailored to their brands, compared to more broad, TV-like affinity audiences. Custom affinity audiences are created by using a combination of:


Go to Audiences and select affinity audiences and then select custom affinity audiences.

adwords custom affinity

If you haven’t already created one, AdWords will allow you to create a new custom affinity audience based on interest, URL, place, or app.


custom affinity audience


That’s it — you are now ready to target custom affinity audiences with your TrueView videos.

Remember, there is no single method of promoting your videos. Find out what works best with the data you have available, and scale from there.

Want to know more about video advertising on YouTube? Check out our posts on TrueView for Action: How To Drive Users From YouTube To Your Retail Website and Discovery Ads.


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