What Is YouTube Remarketing and Why Should You Use It?

As the largest online video content platform in the entire world, YouTube has become a golden marketing opportunity that any business can take advantage of. With well over 30 million active users each day, there’s an immense amount of traffic that flows through  Ongoing increases to the internet’s speed have made it easier to consume YouTube content on a variety of devices, that number is only going to continue increasing.

Using YouTube advertising is an effective way to market your brand. By uploading video content related to your business onto YouTube, those videos can be viewed and shared by individuals which will increase the reach and exposure of your company. 

YouTube advertising has existed since the early days of the internet and has continued to grow by offering marketers different ways to promote their brand, but there’s also a different strategy that helps to boost your existing advertising campaigns; YouTube remarketing

YouTube remarketing works by tracking user the behaviour of your YouTube Channel, Videos, website, app, email list and more! 

Youtube Remarekting Advert

YouTube is also a platform that manages to hold users for even longer than even Facebook or Twitter. This is generally because video content takes longer to consume and it’s not uncommon to see average session times stretching past 30 minutes. This means that YouTube viewers will be exposed to more advertising opportunities, making it perfect as a remarketing platform thanks to the increased average exposure. Coupled with the user base that is quickly growing past 1.3 billion users, YouTube presents a fantastic remarketing opportunity to businesses of all sizes.

The vast stream of promotional materials can help hold viewer attention and remind them of your products and services. Video content on YouTube is also easier to digest and often less annoying than regular advertisements, yet more visible than something such as an ad link on a Google search. This makes it a lot more relatable especially if the content itself has been produced to a high standard and conveys an important message. 

Youtube Remarketing

Learning how to Remarket on YouTube

Remarketing is a strategy that involves serving advertisements for products or services to people that have already expressed interest in them. For example, if a user has visited your website in the past they will continue to receive advertisements for your products or services.

As a widely-used platform, YouTube offers a fantastic opportunity for remarketing. In this article, we’re going to explain how YouTube remarketing works and why you should be taking advantage of it in your marketing campaigns.

You show personalised ads to millions of viewers across YouTube and video partner sites based on their past interactions with your videos or YouTube channel. This is known as “video remarketing”. By reinforcing your message with people who have already seen your videos or channel, you’re more likely to succeed in increasing your return on investment.

How Does Remarketing With YouTube Work?

YouTube specific retargeting allows you show ads to users that have previously interacted or engaged with your videos. For example, if your users have visited your channel or even subscribed to it, then you can target these viewers with further advertising campaigns because they’ve expressed an interest in your content, products or services. Other tactics include viewing your videos, liking or disliking them, commenting on your videos or even sharing it. Once one of these flags have been met, you can retarget those viewers in an attempt to further increase their interest and gradually introduce them to your sales funnel.

In that sense, video remarketing with YouTube has minimal differences from display remarketing, or even social remarketing. The key difference is that it involves primarily video content which can be very effective at converting sales and piquing the interest of your viewers due to the extra information and narrative that can be presented through a video format.

Whenever a viewer watches your video content or engages with it in some way, they’ll receive a unique data identifier known as a cookie that stores details about the interaction. This cookie is then later referred to in order to match the viewer and display appropriate advertisements that are relevant to that user’s interests. 

The idea is that video content can greatly help with the remarketing process due to its inherent advantages as a marketing platform over text or image-based advertisements. Much like regular marketing platforms, you can also target specific users based on their interests and use customised formats for different topics, products and so on.

Youtube Ads Close Up Advert

Types of YouTube remarketing Lists

  • Viewed any video from a channel
  • Viewed certain videos
  • Viewed any video (as an ad) from a channel
  • Viewed certain videos (as ads)
  • Subscribed to a channel
  • Visited a channel page
  • Liked any video from a channel
  • Added any video from a channel to a playlist
  • Commented on any video from a channel
  • Shared any video from a channel
*NB You can also use your “other” remarketing audiences from Google Ads to retarget with Video Ads on YouTube. For example you can target past website users as they use YouTube.
Create Youtube Audiences 1

To create a remarketing audience within Google Ads, just select create new audience – and then YouTube Users. You can create from a range of YouTube audiences from all users, to specific audience lists of actions like subscribe, unsubscribe, viewed video or YouTube channel page, and more.

Why Should I Use YouTube Remarketing?

In a nutshell, YouTube remarketing is an effective way to create reengage with prospects that you have interacted with in the past.

  • Increase leads and sales: Using remarketing on YouTube helps improve return on investment showing video ads to both new audiences and existing ones.
  • Grow your Remarketing List: With YouTube’s whole advertising network, your video ad can target potential customers at different stages of their purchase funnel, and grow your remarketing list.
  • Pay Per View Bidding Strategy: With CPV bidding, you’ll pay by video views and other video interactions, such as clicks on the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards and companion banners.
  • Remarketing to YouTube list: Website remarketing (also known as “remessaging” or “retargeting”) is based on visitors’ actions on a website or App. YouTube lets you retarget based on actions specific to your YouTube videos, including when viewers like, dislike, comment on and share your video.
  •  Make use of the medium of Video.  Slowly introduce your company, products and services at the leisure of users browsing YouTube. Help with complex sales cycles by educating  people about your products or services.
  • Layered targeting capabilities. it’s possible to be very specific when targeting a certain type of audience. Select from a range of options relevant to your promotional content with categories of user interest.  topics, demographics, keywords or, placements like specific YouTube pages 
  • Exclude targeting options to block your video ads t from specific videos or interests, or prevent overlap of audience targeting. The settings to exclude are at the bottom of this image.

Best Practices for YouTube remarketing

Make the most of your video remarketing lists by exploring these features:

  • Various ad formats: Use video ads and other creative formats (text, image and rich media ads).
  • Vary specs for mobile: Use square and vertical videos to engage mobile customers on the YouTube app.
  • Create One Audience for All YouTube Audiences: This is useful to see the total number of users on all audiences related to YouTube. Consider Audience Size when creating the number of lists. 
  • Naming Convention: Name your audiences the same as listed by YouTube. 
  • Custom audiences: Customise your targeting by mixing and matching your remarketing lists. For example, you can target audiences who viewed a video ad but have not yet viewed your YouTube Channel.
  • Use reports: Optimise your remarketing campaign based on performance metrics. For example, raise bids on specific topics or channels that perform the best. 
  • Video remarketing with YouTube can also help improve your performance thanks to the statistics it provides through YouTube analytics. You can even also run Google Analytics on your YouTube channel. 


Remarketing is not a new strategy to promote your services and products, but as YouTube evolves as a platform for marketers, so will the remarketing opportunities available. While the concept is fundamentally the same as other remarketing strategies, the unique aspect of remarketing on YouTube is that you have far more control over the advertisement itself. Whether it’s a short clip that showcases your products or an unboxing video, there’s a lot of different content that you can monetize and use as part of your remarketing strategy to convince users to enter your sales funnel.

YouTube is a great platform to showcase your products and services. As long as you have compelling content that draws in users, it’ll be shared, discussed and engaged with to create more remarketing opportunities and better brand exposure. This makes YouTube remarketing and essential component of any online marketing campaign.

Liam Holmes

Liam Holmes

2 thoughts on “What Is YouTube Remarketing and Why Should You Use It?”

    1. Hi Dave,

      Yes, if you are remarketing to your website audience, then you need to have a pixel/tracking script on your website to collect the user.
      However, you can retarget YouTube traffic with standard remarketing- then you do not need the pixel because the lists are generated from YouTube instead.

      Best Regards

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