Women, Professionals Excluded from Gaming Ad Targeting

While half of Americans play video games regularly, many advertisers fail to reach them where it matters most: on YouTube. In effect, they’re leaving money on the table.

Despite an equivalent view rate (VR) of 24 percent among male and female gamers, most gaming brands only target male gamers on YouTube, according to Strike Social, the world’s largest YouTube ad optimization company and a global leader in social media advertising.

In its “Q2 2017 YouTube Data Report: Gaming in Focus,” Strike Social examined a year’s worth of YouTube campaigns across 25 industries in the U.S., with the goal of helping advertisers prepare for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), one of the biggest gaming events of the year and a prime time to showcase new trailers and demos on YouTube.

“The data proves that the gaming audience is more diverse than most media plans assume — and failing to account for these nuances leads to lower view rates and higher advertising costs overall,” said Jason Nesbitt, VP, Media & Agency Operations at Strike Social. “While half of Americans play video games regularly, many advertisers fail to reach them where it matters most: on YouTube. In effect, they’re leaving money on the table.”

In fact, women often have a higher monthly view rate than men in the second half of the year. According to the report, women’s VR in May was 38 percent, while men’s was lower at 30 percent.

“Advertisers can improve their performance by adding additional audiences, getting more granular and optimizing more judiciously,” Nesbitt said. “Breaking up YouTube campaigns into hundreds of micro-campaigns is the best way for brands to get a much better return on ad spend. That way, you can multivariate test and shift your ad dollars to the targeting groups that are performing the best.”

The report unearths several trends across other industries, 25 in all, setting clear benchmarks for view rate and cost-per-view. Among the highlights of Strike Social’s findings across industries:


  • VR on computers (26.3 percent) is significantly higher than on phones (21.5 percent) or tablets (22.1 percent).
  • The unknown age group has a 33 percent higher VR and 30 percent lower CPV than any determined aged group.
  • Across industries, the average VR is 14.3 percent better than in the gaming industry alone.

Strike Social used its own proprietary artificial intelligence, machine-learning and data science tools to produce the information available in this report. That includes the Similarity Score, which can help gaming advertisers discover new audiences to improve their YouTube campaign performance.

For more information and to access Strike Social’s full YouTube data report, click here.

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