YouTube Advertising: Target Frequency Campaigns

In 2023, YouTube advertising became even more prevalent than ever. We’ve all been exposed to ads appearing before, during and after videos, with advertisers balancing the ad experience delivery and reaching the proper audience. Depending on the stage of your marketing funnel, there are a few campaign types you can choose from (Awareness, Consideration, Action), as well as a couple of ad formats. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the Target frequency campaign type. 

Target frequency is an optimisation solution with which you can reach more people with your brand awareness campaigns. It is used for driving higher ad viewership on YouTube when building your Video reach campaign.

Following the campaign creation steps, you can choose a frequency goal of up to four per week with the YouTube algorithm optimising towards maximum unique reach at that desired frequency.

Target frequency campaigns support the following ad formats:

  • Bumper ads

Bumper ads are 6 seconds or shorter in duration and play before, during and after other videos. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad.

  • Skippable ads

Skippable ads play before, during and after other videos. After 5 seconds, the viewer has the option to skip the ad. 

  • Non-skippable ads

Non-skippable in-stream ads appear before, during and after other videos, usually 15 seconds or shorter. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad.

If you don’t have a video available for your YouTube campaign, you can create one from the templates in the Google Ads interface.

Benefits and Drawbacks of This Optimisation Solution


  • Increases brand awareness: By optimising the frequency of your YouTube ads, you can raise brand awareness among your target audience.
  • Improves ad effectiveness: Frequency optimisation can enhance the effectiveness of your YouTube ads by ensuring that the right audience sees the message, increasing the likelihood of desired actions like website visits or purchases.
  • Reduces ad fatigue: Excessive ad exposure can lead to ad fatigue, making users less responsive to your message. Optimisation can minimise ad fatigue by limiting the number of ad views to the same audience.
  • Saves budget: By optimising ad frequency, you can avoid wasting your budget on ineffective videos, maximising your return on investment and achieving campaign goals with a smaller budget.
  • Increases engagement: Showing ads to the right audience at the right frequency can increase brand engagement, leading to more social shares, likes, and comments, ultimately boosting visibility on YouTube.
  • Improves targeting: Target Frequency can improve your targeting by showing ads to viewers most likely to be interested in your product or service, improving overall campaign effectiveness.


  • You can set up only one ad group per campaign.
  • Media buying is solely on a CPM basis (cost for 1,000 impressions).
  • Lower Reach: If the target frequency is set too low, the target audience may not see the ad often enough, reducing its effectiveness.
  • Missed opportunities: Setting the frequency cap too low may cause you to overlook potential customers who would’ve responded to the message if they had seen it more times.
  • Increased costs: Setting the frequency cap too high, on the other side, could increase costs as you’ll pay for more impressions. It could lead to a lower ROI, especially if only some of your impressions delivered the desired results.
  • Ad fatigue: While Target frequency aims to prevent ad fatigue, when your campaign is not optimised and the frequency cap is set too high, it can lead to “ad fatigue,” causing ad blindness with users not responding to your message.

Best practices to help you achieve results:

  • Add more videos to your ad inventory.
  • Target a broader audience, and avoid setting negative targeting and managed placements.
  • Test and optimise your campaign towards finding the optimal frequency that works best for you.
  • Monitor the performance metrics of your ads to make timely adjustments and improve effectiveness.
  • Run your campaign for at least seven days.

In conclusion, Target frequency can be a powerful tool for achieving your business goals. However, to make it work in your favour, you must consider the benefits and drawbacks of this strategy and whether it aligns with the goals you want to achieve.