How YouTube Advertisers Get It Wrong

Identifying a brand's target audience is one of the most effective ways a marketer can spend their time in order to create campaigns that speak to them and deliver them on channels the audience frequents. Becoming so focused on a small customer segment and forgetting about high-value users outside those demographics, however, can be to their detriment.

Strike Social recently released its "Q2 2017 YouTube Data Report: Gaming in Focus," which examined a year's worth of YouTube campaigns across 25 industries in the U.S. For the gaming industry, the report found that while 49 percent of American adults play video games (10 percent of which classify themselves as "gamers), advertisers are targeting around just a few parameters, appealing to the lowest common denominator, ignoring several groups of people and yielding weaker view rates with a higher cost-per-view as a result. 

So, what's going wrong?

In short, advertisers are failing to test different segments. The report indicates that while cost per view (CPV) and view rate (VR) for YouTube ads in the gaming industry are nearly identical for males ($0.046 and 23.9 percent, respectively) and females ($0.049, 23.9 percent), there are dramatic fluctuations between the two throughout the year - a finding that is begging to be tested. 

The report states, for instance, that men have a slightly higher VR and lower CPV at the beginning of the year. Women, meanwhile, consistently have a higher VR in the second half of the year while having a higher CPV almost all of the year.

The female demographic isn't the only additional demographic that gaming advertisers should test, as older generations are proving to be engaged audiences, particularly on desktop computers.
While this report focuses on gaming audiences, the takeaway is the same for all industries.

"Advertisers can improve their performance by adding additional audiences, getting more granular and optimizing more judiciously," said Jason Nesbitt, VP, Media & Agency Operations at Strike Social. "Breaking up YouTube campaigns into hundreds of micro-campaigns is the best way for brands to get a much better return on ad spend. That way, you can multivariate test and shift your ad dollars to the targeting groups that are performing the best."