5 Video Ad Targeting Strategies That Work

Each day consumers are exposed to more content and advertisements than ever before. As the competition for attention increases, being relevant becomes more important. This is where targeting comes into play.

Some advertisements are developed to engage specific audiences — which makes targeting a no-brainer. Other ads are more general, or they offer new messaging or a new type of content that needs to be tested. In these scenarios, targeting is less clear, and marketers must try a variety of methods to hone in on the right audience for their ads.

There are plenty of mistakes marketers can stumble into for any video advertising campaign, including wasting views on unqualified consumers or including irrelevant publishers in their media buys. To avoid these common pitfalls, it’s important to find targeting strategies that work for you.

In this post, we walk through a few video advertising targeting strategies brands should consider to ensure their ads get shown to the right audiences. Let’s dive in.

1. The Video Ad Journey

Marketers always knew the combination of site, sound, and motion was a powerful way to spark an emotional response with viewers. It’s why the lion’s share of marketing budgets often went to television. But, we always knew television had its limits.

Sure, brands could tailor the audience by demographic or region, but not necessarily by purchase intent or product preference. Because of these restrictions, many saw video as simply an awareness tactic because of what they were limited to with TV ad targeting.

But times have changed. Now, marketers have more targeting options through digital video advertising and they can get more granular with their targeting, including reaching those potential customers who are deeper in the buyer journey. With this new targeting ability, video has evolved from an awareness tactic to a full-funnel customer experience.

To capitalize on this shift, think holistically about your videos:

  • Map your content plan to specific stages in the funnel.
  • Develop emotional, entertaining, or humorous content to capture attention from new customers at the awareness stage.
  • Create lower-funnel videos for viewers who have already displayed purchase intent for the interest, consideration, and purchase stages. This content should focus on product features, building trust, and conversion.

When it comes to the video ad journey, your video creative and video advertising strategies go hand-in-hand. Make sure these two are aligned.

2. Multi-Phased Deployment

Don’t just guess who will like your video. Let the performance of the ad reveal the ideal audience with a multi-phased deployment strategy.

This is how it works:

  • Phase 1: The brand distributes the ad to a control group. Next, brands collect Audience Insights based on the most engaged viewers from Phase 1.
  • Phase 2: The brand exclusively target viewers similar to the most engaged segment from Phase 1.

In our experience, clients who take this approach see much stronger performance for completion rate, click-through rate, purchase intent survey responses in Phase 2 of their multi-phased campaigns.

3.  Sentiment Surveys

Your videos can be used to start a two-way conversation with viewers that helps inform future targeting.

Sentiment Surveys can be placed within Engagement Cards, which are custom end-screens placed at the end of your video ads. Marketers can segment and qualify viewers for video targeting based on survey responses from viewers.

For instance, show viewers who respond positively to a purchase intent survey a product demo video in the next sequence of a video ad journey. As for low purchase intenders, present them with additional awareness content to give them more time to warm up to the brand.


4. Turning Earned Media to Paid Media

A completed video view is a positive signal of engagement. Your goal? Keep that potential customer in the moment and use more video content to further a connection.

With a Video Explorer Engagement Card, marketers can turn earned media into paid media and target qualified viewers with additional brand stories in a video carousel at the end of the first video.


5. Re-Targeting

Re-targeting is a great way to retain viewers and reinforce your message — especially for viewers who have already shown an interest in your product.

At the beginning of your campaign, target viewers based on top-line demographic and psychographic needs for your brand. From there, segment and qualify viewers with a Sentiment Survey that vets brand affinity, purchase intent, or product preference. The follow-up video used for re-targeting can be tailored to the data offered by survey respondents, and ultimately lead qualified viewers to a conversion — such as an eCommerce experience where they can can purchase the product. 

Over to you. How does your team work to make sure your ad gets in front of the right people? Let us know in the comments.

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