Creating video ads that are relevant to your audience is the best way to increase engagement and return on your marketing investment.

video ads

Effective advertising has the power to turn browsers into buyers. This is just as true for video advertising as it is for more traditional platforms.

Video advertising has been a significant trend in marketing and is still going strong. Marketers report solid returns on investment, with 92 per cent saying it’s an essential part of their marketing strategy.

YouTube advertising can be very effective in reaching viewers throughout the customer journey – from consideration to purchase intent – but it’s crucial to create ads relevant to what people need and want to buy. Broad advertising campaigns based on demographics aren’t enough to drive results.

Let’s look at why consumer intent is more powerful than demographics in video advertising and what this means for your business.

Demographics versus intent: why does this distinction matter?

To compare the efficacy of ads targeting the intent of consumers rather than their demographic, let’s dig into what these terms mean.

Demographics are statistical data that tell us about people and groups of people, in general terms. We can understand certain characteristics of different demographic groups and broadly, these are helpful insights when business owners first start to form marketing strategies.

For example, it’s wise to clarify if your business will target baby boomers or millennials when choosing where to open a brick-and-mortar shop.

However, once you go beyond these broad similarities, there can be dramatic differences in what individuals within those demographic groups might be interested in or concerned about. In addition, some demographic groups span so many years that their buying decisions and spending power vary widely.

Consumer intent is much more specific and describes the extent to which a customer might be willing to buy from your business within a certain period. Once we start examining the desires and motivations that create an urgency to buy, it’s not enough to look at broad groups.

Intent is more about what customers need and want to purchase next, which adds urgency and a likelihood they will spend money with your company soon. A customer interested in buying a specific product, is further down the sales funnel than a customer who is just gaining awareness of a product or solution.

Targeting your ideal customers with relevant ads can help you refine the messaging in your ads to address what these consumers need.

Metrics that matter: recall and purchase intent

It’s critical to keep your marketing goals in mind when investing in video ads. It’s easy to get caught up in the desire to create a catchy video that could go viral. (Wasn’t this every marketer’s dream at one point?)

However, popularity isn’t a metric that guarantees conversions. This point is key because every investment in your advertising should move you closer to the desired business outcome.

If you want to increase sales, monitoring and tracking two metrics can help ensure your advertising is hitting the mark: ad recall and purchase intent. Both are important in measuring how your ad might engage your audiences and to what degree it can impact your goals.

Ad recall

Ad recall is an advertising campaign metric that helps you monitor, track, and analyze the success of your video ad campaigns based on how people engage with and remember your ads.

When a consumer watches your video ad, you want them to remember it later, as this will help increase the chance that they’ll begin to build a positive impression of your company. You also want to ensure they can associate your brand with the ad after seeing it.

You’ll need to create targeted ads that weave relevant information with solid brand messaging into impactful video ads to succeed at both.

Purchase intent

They say the best time to sell to customers is when they want to buy. So, another important metric is your audience’s willingness to pay for the product or service you offer. This is called their purchase or buying intent. It’s helpful because you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars creating clever video ads, and delivering them to an audience that has no interest in purchasing from your company.

Let’s look at the numbers. According to Google, YouTube ads delivered to customers based on intent had a more significant impact than ads based on demographics, with a 32 per cent increase in ad recall and a 100 per cent increase in purchase intent.

Don’t forget that targeted ads are less likely to be skipped by viewers, increasing how effectively they impact these consumers. Your ads won’t drive sales if nobody is seeing them.

How to target consumers based on intent

Effective advertising must deliver targeted messaging about a product or service your audience needs when they want to buy. You’ll need to address customers’ specific concerns to craft messaging that resonates:

  • Will this product meet their needs?
  • Can they afford it?
  • How will it solve their problem?
  • Do they want to do business with your company?

For example, a young couple expecting their first baby has specific needs and an increased likelihood of purchasing items related to this milestone. As a result, they are likely to be responsive to ads for baby toys, baby care products, nursery furniture, and infant activities.

They may live in the same neighbourhood and be close in age to a second young couple planning a year of travel, and a destination wedding in a tropical locale. The second couple might be interested in flight deals, exciting travel tours, and wedding packages for particular destinations.

They may fall in the same demographic, but would these couples likely respond to the same ads? Not at all. But both could be effectively targeted by ads that align with their upcoming purchase decisions.

To confidently identify the purchasing intent of your customers, you’ll need to understand their motivations and buying behaviour, then reach out at an appropriate time via the right advertising channel.

Relevance matters more than video quality

Marketers have embraced various ad types and platforms, but video can still feel intimidating. You may not have the right talent on your marketing team to craft and produce what you think will be worthwhile and high-end video content, or you may not know where to start.

These are valid concerns. High-quality video content isn’t inexpensive to produce, and there are a lot of elements to get right: targeting, messaging, visuals, production, and distribution.

The good news is that brands don’t need to develop blockbuster-movie quality videos. Consumers don’t need special effects and fancy upgrades for a video ad to make an impact. Instead, they want relevant messaging that helps them see themselves in your ads and enough information to know that your brand could help them solve an immediate problem.

Consumers are more likely to watch video ads relevant to their specific needs than generic ones. To engage your audiences with video ads, pay attention to their motivations and purchasing intent. Then, create ad campaigns that target those needs in a meaningful way to help you drive better results from your advertising budget.

Book a free consultation with one of our experts to learn more about targeting ads based on consumer intent to get the most out of your marketing budget.