To find out if our instincts were correct, we looked at two years of aggregated and anonymized performance data for 75,000 global YouTube campaigns using Google Brand Lift, which measures how much a video ad affected metrics like brand awareness, ad recall, and consideration. We did this for campaigns across 10 industry verticals — including automotive, retail, and travel.1
Some of those YouTube campaigns used only basic demographics to reach potential customers. For example, perhaps a campaign was aimed at reaching women between ages 25 and 34. Others used a feature available on YouTube called Advanced Audiences.
Advanced Audiences allows marketers to reach people based on things like their interests — whether the videos they watch on YouTube suggest they’re a foodie, a travel buff, or a beauty maven, for example. We call these prebuilt groups affinity audiences. Marketers are also able to create their own groups of audiences based on detailed interests tailored to their brands. Rather than just reaching foodies, a nondairy milk brand might want to reach vegan foodies. We call those custom affinity audiences. With Advanced Audiences, brands can also reach people who are actively researching certain products or services. We call those in-market audiences.
First, we worked out what the benchmark lift was for each metric in each of the industry verticals. For example, on average how much of a lift in brand awareness did the technology campaigns in our sample see?
Then, to understand the effectiveness of using more than just basic marketing demographic data to reach people, we isolated those campaigns that used Advanced Audiences to see what sort of a lift in marketing metrics they had compared to their industry average.
Lessons from 75,000 YouTube campaigns
So what did Google find? The marketing data supported our hypothesis. A richer understanding of the audience you’re trying to reach makes for much more effective marketing campaigns.
Across every industry vertical, campaigns that used Advanced Audiences saw a lift in various marketing objectives. Finance campaigns that used in-market audiences saw a 1.5X lift in consideration, while retail campaigns saw a 1.4X lift in purchase intent. Telecommunications campaigns that used affinity audiences saw a 1.3X lift in ad recall, and food and beverage campaigns that used custom affinity audiences saw a 2X lift in awareness.