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How to Steal Your Competitor’s Audience Using YouTube Ads

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could play your video ads before your competitors’ main video content?
I’ll let you in on a secret…it’s possible utilizing the YouTube Ad Placements category.
If your competitors’ video allows monetization, you’re in prime position to steal a spot for your video ad.
Want to know how to make that happen? Keep reading because in this article I’m going to show you exactly how to find these channels…
Better yet, I’m sharing tactics you can use to broaden your net of similar influencer opportunities.
Before you begin digging through YouTube videos, be aware not every channel allows for video ads to appear before their content. If they do, you might have struck a gold mine — I’m going to show you how to find these hidden gems.
Let’s get started!
First, go to the main page of YouTube and type in a keyword.
As an example I’ll search for keyword “diy” and see what comes up. This is a very broad based search term with over 19,600,000 results.
Simplify the process by hovering over the YouTube channel name to get quick insight as to their subscriber base. In this example you see the YouTube channel Make has over 700k subscribers.
This information is valuable if you want to get a broad idea as to the amount of traffic their videos receive when they upload a new piece of content.
Next, click on the “Filters” tab and check out the options. Default settings filter by “Relevance”, but when I filter by “View Count” we now see the most popular results for “diy”.
Notice that the top result below the In-Search ads is a YouTube channel for Bethany Mota with a subscriber base of over 7 million. She has over 400 videos and was active 1 week ago. We can assume she is a consistent YouTuber and could be a valuable resource for our ad placement if we want to target this market.
Below her channel page link we see a video “Play doh Scoops ‘n Treats”. It has over 62 million views! By clicking on this video I can see if there is advertising available.
The advertiser for Kinetic Sand has done a great job of placing their advertisement on this particular video. In most cases, the people who are watching video content about Play-Doh are interested in a similar product and thus make for a relevant ad experience.
What’s really important here is the “More” tab under this video — the included “Statistics” option gives a ton of useful information for your search.
In particular you are able to see daily stats about the amount of traffic this video receives. This will be valuable when you’re considering exposure to your ad with placement. If you decide this is a good video to add to your list of placements, simply copy the URL and add that link to a placement document for your list of potential video placements.
What if you want to broaden your net and find other influencers on a mass scale?
Let’s go back to the main results for our search term “diy” and this time filter by “Channel”. Now YouTube filters channels that we can potentially target with our ads. The default results will appear under “Relevance” but we can also filter by “View Count” to see channels that have higher viewership.
Once you find a potential channel simply click on their channel page and perform the same tactic of making sure they have recent and relevant content to determine if they are a match for your video ad placement.
If they appear to have content relevant to your offer then click on some of their videos to see if they have monetization available.
Check out this DIY Backpack tutorial.
Because monetization is enabled, this channel would be a potential location to place our ads.
Ready to take another step in securing your spot ahead of competitors’ content?
Related Channels on the right side of YouTube channels is another gold mine aimed at stealing your competitors’ audience.
Assuming the YouTuber hasn’t hidden this section, you can go through and look for similar channels to the one you are evaluating. In this example I am on the DIYReady YouTube channel and YouTube has determined that Steve Ramsey is a similar channel based on the types of people who watch both content.
His YouTube channel shows us that we could continue the search by looking at other channels similar to his content by performing this same method. For now I’ll click on some of his content to see if he has monetization available.
Since this video does have monetization enabled, we could add it to our placement document as a possible location to advertise.
Once you have a list of different videos you want to use for your placements, it’s time to create a YouTube Ad campaign.
For this you’ll need an AdWords account and have it linked to your YouTube channel. If you haven’t done that yet, you can follow the steps here, and then view your AdWords dashboard.
Now the fun part…
When you sign into your AdWords account click on “All video campaigns” and create a new campaign.
Give your campaign a name and set your budget.
Under “Delivery Method” select “YouTube Videos”.
I left the location open, though you might choose to focus on the United States and Canada.
Next, choose the video you are using for your ad placement.
Make sure you include the destination URL — ideally it has tracking and includes a URL that is visible to the user.
I chose to leave the ad schedule blank as I want it to run all times and days of the week.
The Ad rotation depends on if you are using multiple ads and Google finds a winner or best performing ad. It will then choose to favor this ad variation.
Use the Rotate evenly so it can collect more data between your variations. For the ad frequency you can decide how many times you want a single person to see your ad.
Most users should decrease the “Mobile” views by 100%. Devices such as iPads and iPhones are not capable of clicking on your ad. If your purpose is to simply run a branding campaign, leave it as is. If not, decrease the feature by 100%.
Next, choose your Target. Use “Narrow your targeting (optional)” drop down feature and select “Placements”.
Now copy all the URL links you added to your placement document earlier.
Paste them into the Placements section of your targeting.
Save your targeting and let the ad run.
Once you do this you can go back to the bidding and determine how much you are willing to pay per view.
Keep in mind you will want to bid a few cents over to help ensure you gain visibility over your advertising competitors.
Once you begin to collect enough data you will see trends on what placements channels are best performing and you can choose to either keep them running or turn them off.
Depending on the niche, you will want to check weekly to see if new YouTube channels are being created that are ideal for your video ad placements.
Are you ready to go out and steal your competitors’ audience?

Matt Coleman

Matt Coleman

Matt Coleman is the Video Marketing Manager at You can connect with Matt on LinkedIn or Google+.

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