For the most part, YouTube has been user-friendly from the beginning. Although plenty of tweaks have been made to the user interface and video uploader, users have been generally satisfied with the platform. Advertiser satisfaction is another story.

When YouTube initially rolled out the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), publishers got paid for ad views and clicks just like any normal PPC campaign. Advertisers could narrow down demographics to reach their intended audience, but advertisers routinely found their ads displayed on videos in conflict with their own values. This led to YouTube demonetizing videos and entire channels that YouTube determines to be “not advertiser-friendly.”

For publishers, these changes have reduced or eliminated ad revenue and disrupted business for advertisers who want their ads displayed on those controversial channels.

YouTube’s advertising policies are unpredictable; they can change at any moment. To stay ahead of the curve, here are 3 strategies to maximize YouTube ad spend:

1. Take advantage of remarketing

The concept of remarketing is simple. First, you get your ads in front of people and generate engagement. Then, you launch an ad campaign specifically targeting only those who have interacted with your ads. 

Remarketing success depends on initial accuracy

You need to accurately target viewers the first time to make remarketing work. If your ads reach the wrong people, you won’t get any engagement and your remarketing ads won’t reach anyone. On the other hand, if your ads reach people who click, but find your products/services irrelevant, they’ll ignore your remarketing ads.

The key to making remarketing work is to target your initial audience as accurately and specifically as possible. Thankfully, YouTube allows you to target viewers with the specificity required to maximize your remarketing efforts. 

Video advertising with TrueView ads is the most effective way to run a remarketing campaign on YouTube. If you’re using TrueView ads to target keywords and specific content categories, you can choose ad placement as well. For instance, you can place your ads on individual channels, videos, popular content, specific URLs, and apps (for video partners). This gives you an advantage when you really understand your target audience.

Target specific segments early on 

In your initial campaign, you can target groups of people based on more than traditional segments like age, gender, and interests. For example, the detailed demographics option allows you to target groups like college students, new homeowners, new business owners, people who are moving, and new parents. 

Once you’ve got a basic ad campaign running, you can launch a remarketing campaign to reach people who have interacted with your ads in the past. An accurate first reach will produce better remarketing results.

Targeting tips

While you can deploy multiple audience targeting types simultaneously, stick to one at a time. For example, if you’re targeting specific demographics, don’t also target a life events audience. Choose one or the other. Layering multiple audiences at once will decrease the size of your audience, which makes it hard for YouTube to optimize campaign performance.

2. Consider direct sponsorships/partnerships

Many advertisers don’t care if their ads show up on controversial channels, but YouTube has decided for all advertisers that controversial channels can’t be monetized. To get past this roadblock, many well-known companies partner directly with popular YouTubers and bypass the monetization bans.

Since YouTube rolled out channel-wide demonetization, you’ve probably seen more in-video sponsored content. For example, many popular demonetized YouTube channels begin with a brief message promoting a sponsored product or service. Most of these sponsored messages are for generic products like software or electronics equipment. 

Each partnership will have different terms, but companies generally pay YouTubers a flat fee for each video that promotes their product or service. Some advertisers might pay per view on an ongoing basis, but it depends on the arrangement.

3. Partnerships protect your lead generation efforts

Seeking direct partnerships with YouTubers is a great way to generate leads that won’t be at risk after the next change to YouTube’s partner program policies. It’s a win-win for everyone since it also protects a YouTuber’s income should their channel be demonetized. 

Sponsorship cautions

Before you ask a creator to promote your product or service, carefully read through YouTube’s strict rules regarding sponsorships. YouTube doesn’t like creators monetizing their videos outside of YouTube ads and has implemented strict regulations. For instance, logos aren’t allowed to be displayed and title cards must be text-only. Advertiser-created pre-rolls are also not allowed.

Continually analyze your data

Once you’ve got a good YouTube ad campaign rolling, make sure to monitor results and make changes when necessary. Even effective campaigns can always be fine-tuned to squeeze out a little more success.