YouTube

Determining ad groups for your YouTube campaign

An ad group is a way of organizing your ads around keywords, interests, topics, placement, custom affinity or first-party data. You will need to decide the number of ad groups and the associated keywords before setting up your YouTube ad campaign. Here's how to get started.

Related: Determine your YouTube ad targeting plan

How to determine your ad groups

Example: Let’s say you own a small pet-supplies business in the city. Based on anecdotal evidence (what you see) and available data (your loyalty rewards program), your typical customers are:

  • Young professionals between the ages of 24 and 36
  • Single or newly married, with no children
  • Exercise enthusiasts who enjoy the outdoors
  • People who see pets as an accessory or an extension of themselves
  • Upwardly mobile
  • Have an estimated income between $55,000 (single) to $120,000 (joint)

As winter turns to spring, you know that you will gain new customers, along with their four-legged friends. There is nothing better than walking the dog on a sunny May morning!

With some assistance, two professional videos have been created to showcase your business. You want to run these video ads on YouTube. Here’s what you should do.

Step 1: Write down all the types of products that you sell

These might be:

  • Pet bowls
  • Pet beds
  • Pet collars

Step 2: Parse out each product category, getting more specific

  • Dog bowls
  • Cat bowls
  • Dog beds
  • Cat beds
  • Dog collars
  • Cat collars

Step 3: Break it down even further with subsets for each category

Dog bowls

  • Dog feeders
  • Travel bowls

Cat beds

  • Cat hideaways
  • Cat beds and mats

Dog collars

  • Adjustable dog collar
  • Pronged dog collar
  • Personalized dog collar
  • Designer dog collar

Step 4: Make each product category its own ad group, with distinct keywords

Here is an example, shown in two ways: one poorly structured, one effectively structured.

Poorly structured ad group

Creates just one ad group with multiple keywords

Ad group: Pet supplies

Keywords

  • Automatic dog feeders
  • Cat heated beds
  • Travel bowls
  • Designer dog collar
  • Enclosed bed for cats
  • Cat hideaways
  • Elevated dog feeders
  • Cat mats
  • Adjustable dog collar
  • Pronged dog collar
  • Personalized dog collar
  • Collapsable dog bowls

Tip: You will notice that the poorly structured example above creates one generic ad group with multiple keywords, while the effectively structured example below creates multiple ad groups, each based on a specific product type with descriptive, related keywords.

Effectively structured ad group

Creates multiple ad groups with distinct keywords for each group.

YouTube Ad Groups

Ad group: Dog bowls

Keywords

  • Automatic dog feeders
  • Travel bowls
  • Elevated dog feeders
  • Collapsable dog bowls

Ad group: Cat beds

Keywords

  • Cat heated beds
  • Cat hideaways
  • Cat mats
  • Enclosed bed for cats

Ad group: Dog collars

Keywords

  • Adjustable dog collar
  • Pronged dog collar
  • Personalized dog collar
  • Designer dog collar

Setting up your YouTube ad campaign for success requires you to map out all the possible ad groups and keyword combinations. Keep honing this skill to improve your video ad campaigns. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Related article How to set up YouTube advertising campaigns Get the best results from your YouTube campaign by following these best practices and quick tips. Read more

Lynn Pedotto

Lynn Pedotto is a writer who holds an MS from Medill. In addition to covering all things social, she’s a policy wonk who loves to write about government.