sequential retargeting youtube google adwords

How to Use Sequential Retargeting in Google Adwords for YouTube

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I rarely encounter marketers who have YouTube retargeting on their digital marketing plan. People try this once and usually ‘aren’t ready’ to waste their money for an existing audience. Why is that? Lack of knowledge or curiosity? In this post I’d like to fight this unwillingness to try new features and explain the this remarketing feature for everyone (a pretty tough task knowing the difference in backgrounds and goals in our professional lives).

Adwords for YouTube: Remarketing Strategy

Let’s begin with the basics. Retargeting can help to re-engage your audience and assist every stage of the conversion funnel. It’s as simple as that. When creating campaigns in Google AdWords for YouTube, you can use the standard audiences (provided by Google) and custom tailored to target on YouTube. What’s an audience? People with similar behaviors, similar watching history or simply the visitors of your webpage. For this post, we’ll concentrate on the audience segments provided by YouTube, which are:

  • Users who shared your videos
  • Users who liked your videos
  • Users who subscribed
  • Users who commented on your videos
  • Users who watched one exact video
  • Users who watched one exact video as an ad
  • and combinations of this lists (can be altered and created manually)

Sequential retargeting, one type of remarketing, allows you to segment your audience into different categories, and also include, and of course exclude, different sections of that audience based on the previous actions they have taken. For instance, a user who clicks on the ad may be shown one version, while another user who not only clicked on the ad but also went on to add a product to the shopping cart may be shown another version.

5 Ways to Use Sequential Retargeting on YouTube

Let’s assume you run a small local company – you and one of your college pals run a car converting business taking old garbage on wheels and making it electro. Simple idea – you start filming the process and publishing these episodes on your channel. People like it. People share it. After some time you are able to buy the garbage, convert it and finally sell as your own inventory. You have a place to store these little VW bugs and they really make your storefront alive. How to sell these cars? That’s where your growing channel can help.

If people like something – they share it. A shared video gets additional views, and, the content is good, subsequent video content from the channel gets a bigger chunk of coverage because of growing amount of subscribers. But the process can take years to bring a substantial support for your business. To make it faster and more creative we have to use retargeting for our YouTube audience. Let’s think how:

1) We can publish a series of episodes about the new project you build gradually revealing the details about it in every next episode. Using the so-called ‘sequential’ retargeting you can show every new episode to the viewers of the previous episode only. This will urge viewers to watch all of them but you won’t be sure that they won’t miss an episode making them frustrated and unmotivated to follow the sequence further.

2) You can announce the secret project and target your preroll video ads to the subscribers only forcing everyone to follow your channel in order to keep up with your updates. This makes people feel themselves special and ‘chosen’. Good tactics. And you can make these videos public and available for everyone after you publish the last episode of the series.

3) You can create an interactive game and spend some money running the first video in the sequence as a preroll ad for your subscribers.

4) You can target likers, video viewers and commenters and mix these lists together (it makes sense for you of course)

5) You can negatively target the existing viewers of your channel in your new YouTube advertising campaign if you try to reach new people (potential customers, subscribers, viewers etc). For example you want to gain more subscribers and you run a campaign targeted to technophiles in Austin (you know from your YouTube Analytics that this city doesn’t really know about your business) and you exclude people from the targeting who already watched your videos. Does it make sense?

Sequential Retargeting Tips 

Sequential retargeting is an enormous video advertising opportunity that many brands aren’t picking up on. If you are part of a marketing team here are some thing to seriously consider if you decide to test this approach:

  • Set up your frequency cap, and limit ad impressions per user. There really is such a thing as overkill.
  • Target your campaigns locally. I don’t think your ecar will be interesting for your friends in Somali. Not this year at least.
  • Think about your audience and try to group videos into groups to create ‘look-alike’ audiences. Consider negative retargeting when your budget is limited and you really don’t have much money to show the ad to everyone
  • Stay relevant. Your VR (View rate) has to be your king (in case that’s your KPI but that’s another story)
  • The value of retargeting is so underestimated so it’s difficult for me to start pitching it to my clients. Customer education is the worst task we have in our professional life but if you get it done properly…dude, everyone is hooked then.



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