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I’m Not Getting Any Views On My YouTube Ads…What To Do?

This question comes from Brad: 

My question is about a YouTube Ad. I’m targeting “veterinary-type” YouTube channels, about fifteen or so. But I am not getting any views.  My product is veterinary equipment and I would only want it served to veterinarians, animal care, etc.”

Now, there are a few things that I want to talk about in regards to this question. 

First, YouTube Ad targeting can be challenging if you are serving a small, specific market like “veterinarians”.

The questions I’d ask are: 

“Are veterinarians really hanging out on  YouTube? 


“Are they watching things on YouTube that would identify them as being a veterinarian?” 

This type of targeting might be easy on Facebook, where there are probably trade journals related to veterinary care. You can probably target people based on their occupation if they’ve identified themselves as a veterinarian. But we don’t get that kind of information on YouTube.

If we want to stay very specific, it comes down to the videos and the channels they are watching. 

Brad says that he’s targeting about fifteen veterinary-type YouTube channels. That’s not very many. When I’m running a successful YouTube campaign (meaning we’re spending $100 a day or $1000 a day or more on ads), we’re targeting far more than fifteen channels. 

The other thing I can assume about this market is that these fifteen channels probably aren’t extremely popular channels with a lot of subscribers. Now, I could be wrong. But my guess is people aren’t subscribing to a channel about veterinarians, and they are also not getting excited every time that channel posts a new video. Even if the subscriber count has built up over time, they probably aren’t super engaged subscribers, and there probably aren’t a ton of views on most of these videos. 

If that’s the case (and maybe there are a couple of exceptions, maybe a couple of these channels have a substantial number of subscribers, and they get a lot of views),  my guess is these channels aren’t getting a lot of subscribers. 

Let’s talk about what YouTube requires for a channel to actually run ads on it. 

In order to run ads on your channel, there is a minimum requirement of 1000 subscribers.

There are a couple other requirements too, but that’s the main one I look at is “does this channel have at least 1000 subscribers?” If not, there’s no way they’re going to allow ads on that channel. Dig a little deeper, go to those channels, and see if ads are coming up.

Another issue with these niche channels is: their goal is usually not to earn ad revenue. 

It’s not like they are out there being “Dude Perfect” YouTube channel, getting millions of views on their channel, and actually earning enough money for it to be worth it. 

These niche channels are usually tied to a business. They’re probably offering some product or service related to veterinarians. They are not in it to make ad revenue.

They’re in it to promote their own product or service.

For that reason, these types of channels typically do not even allow ads. 

The first step here, Brad, is to look at these channels you’re targeting.

Do they have 1000 subscribers at least? If they do, do they allow ads on their channel? And then if they do, if you’re finding yes, a couple of these channels do have thousands of subscribers and there are ads on these channels. In that case, yeah, you should be able to run your ads. 

Another question would be how many views are these videos actually getting?

So you can dig into that, look at the most recent videos they’re publishing, are they getting many views? 

Look at their most popular videos, take a snapshot, take a look at how many views are on that video today. And then take another look a week from now. And see how many views are on that video. Are these videos still getting many views? 

Let’s get all that out of the way. So let’s assume, there are some videos here that are getting some views that allow ads. If that’s the case, and you’re still not getting any views, there are a couple other things to dig into here.

  1. Do you have other types of targeting set up in your campaign? 
  2. Are you using placement targeting?
  3. Also, are you using some type of audience targeting, or keyword targeting or topic targeting? 

If you are, then what happens is those targeting options get layered on one another. If you’re targeting YouTube channels, and you’re also targeting keywords, your ad is only going to show when the channel AND the keyword get triggered.

It narrows the targeting significantly, when you have multiple options like this. 

If you are going to be targeting placements and keywords, the way to do it is in separate ad groups or separate campaigns because the layering just limits the targeting so significantly, it could be limiting it all the way down to zero. 

And then the last thing I’d really look at is : how much are you bidding?

This varies a lot depending on the market that you’re going after and the types of videos you’re targeting. Especially if it’s a very specific market like this, and other advertisers are also trying to target this market, the cost required (cost per view) could get pretty high. 

Sometimes you can get away with views for one or two cents apiece. In an average market, you’re probably paying between five cents and ten cents per view. And in some more competitive markets, you might be up to fifty cents per view or more. 

If you’re using cost per view bidding, just keep running that up until you see some view. That will tell you how much you’re really going to have to pay for a view in that market. If you’re using CPA bidding, you might need to increase there too in order to weigh more than you actually think it should be, just to kind of get some activity flowing here. 

But if it is going to be the case where you’re not going getting a ton of views, then CPV bidding (cost per view bidding) is probably the way to go. CPA bidding is not going to work very well if you’re just kind of getting a couple views and a couple clicks here and there.

The last thing I’ll say is: it works better to target specific videos of a channel versus just targeting the channel URL.

I discovered this by accident. I was targeting a bunch of channels for a client and decided to add specific videos from those channels (just to see what would happen) because we were trying to get as much activity as possible.

So I got all the individual video links from these channels and added them to the campaign. And lo and behold, the traffic increased significantly. We weren’t targeting any additional channels or any additional videos.  All I was doing is targeting the videos from the channels I was already targeting. 

That is an option in my software.

My Vid Hoarder software allows you to put in a channel and it’ll supply a list of all the different videos in that channel. You can copy and paste them into your campaign. There’s other features also to help with YouTube placement targeting. If you’re interested in that software, go to .

What’s the bottom line?

Your audience really needs to be hanging out on Youtube. The next step, if there really are no placements to target, try targeting some keywords. Just be very cautious with these as you’re going to need to exclude a lot of placements. You’ll find your ads showing up on kids channels and music video channels. You should exclude placements like that as soon as you see them. But you can certainly try keyword targeting there are situations where it will work. You just need to be very careful and keep a close eye on it.