In the wide, wide world of YouTube, you can find videos for every topic under the sun. From video shorts of keyboard-playing cats to the full-length movie “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” YouTube has it all.

Beyond the platform’s massive amount of video content, YouTube is also the second largest search engine behind Google, receiving, on average, 167.4 million unique U.S. visitors per month. Add to that the 41.6 percent of U.S. users who regularly watch their favorite YouTube channels, and the platform presents a big opportunity for social media advertisers.

As such, YouTube provides several targeting options through Google’s AdWords and TrueView (YouTube's ad platform) dashboard. To help you reach your desired audience, here are six in-depth tips to help you find success in YouTube advertising.

Ready to get started? How to advertise on YouTube.

1. Know your audience and how to reach them

One of the foundational components of any great advertising campaign is a firm understanding of the audience you are hoping to reach. The same goes for any noteworthy YouTube advertising campaign; to conduct a YouTube campaign worthy of your ad dollars, you first need to know who it is you are trying to reach.

Without the proper research, you may miss the target group you are trying so hard to reach in the first place; but by understanding the behaviors and attitudes, plus gaining clarity into the demographics of your very best customer, you set your advertising campaign up for success.

Related Content: How effective targeting helps you reach your desired audience

2. Create engaging content

The key to creating successful content is to create an engaging narrative. How does that look? First and foremost, you want to remember that play rates significantly drop off after 45 seconds. With that in mind, you’ll want the most important messages to be conveyed early on in case viewers stop watching. Be clear about what your business is offering and why it is relevant to the consumer. Finally, at the end of your video, provide clear next steps for the customer to take, be that making a purchase, sharing the video or visiting your website.

Related Content: How to create a viral video ad

3. Establish your ground game

Your return on investment flows from a well-constructed campaign. Be sure to incorporate the following actions into your campaign setup:

  • Enhance viewer engagement by directing traffic from your video ad to your brand’s YouTube channel or off-platform website. Both places should have additional video content to allow for audience engagement. By continuing the consumer’s experience with your brand, you have greater control of the communication message, as well as the potential for increased engagement.
  • Create a clear call to action to efficiently direct viewer traffic within your ad, so there is no confusion on the part of the consumer. You will lose engagement if users are confused as they are not likely to spend the time to figure out your directions.

4. Optimize your YouTube ad campaign

Managing a YouTube advertising campaign requires commitment and obsessive attention to metrics like cost-per-view (CPV) and click-through-rate (CTR.) Once a campaign has started, you need to take the time to study the advertising metrics that matter most to you. After you have a firm grasp on the metrics, you need to figure out what is working and not working within your campaign ad groups and then take the necessary steps to remedy the situation.

Related Content: 5 things to consider if your YouTube view rate is low

5. Include YouTube Analytics to get the full picture

Metrics matter. When you’re analyzing the performance of your ad, use the parameters provided to you by YouTube Analytics — and use a lot of them. You want to have the most amount of information possible to help paint the best picture of how your ad is performing on YouTube. Save time and select the automated reporting option to have your reports delivered to you via email.

6. Advertise, optimize, analyze, repeat

As with most things in life, if at first, you don’t succeed, try, and try again. To reap the benefits of YouTube advertising, you’ll need to be persistent. Continuously review and analyze the data provided by YouTube Analytics, and make incremental changes as required. Social media advertising is an investment of not only your time but also your money. Make it count!

Being successful with YouTube advertising requires a continuous commitment to grow your skills and stay up to date with social media advertising trends and changes. Hopefully, these six tips will help you achieve YouTube advertising success, but if you need any further guidance, consider a more hands-on solution through professional campaign management.

Lynn Pedotto

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.