What Is Attribution In Ads & How To Set It All Up On YouTube

Written by prodigitalweb

The importance of digital channels in influencing purchases is vast nowadays, given that everyone is using certain online platforms not only to get informed about certain products and services, but also to buy them. Thus, digital marketing is a concept that shouldn’t be ignored or taken for granted, because without it, your business is highly unlikely to succeed, especially if you’re new on the market. Not having a strategic digital marketing plan in place, regardless of the industry you’re in, you’ll encounter numerous issues in your process of selling and establishing yourself as a recognizable brand, and you’ll, of course, lose against your competitors. Read more on the importance of digital marketing.

Various platforms can be used for advertising purposes nowadays, and businesses will often choose the ones that are closest to them, i.e. to their story as a brand, and that have the highest chances of attracting their target customers. YouTube, for example, is one of those platforms that everyone uses today, meaning that it can provide for a huge reach and enormous visibility. It’s visited on a daily basis by people all over the world, i.e. in over 100 countries, and has over 2 billion active users per month. These astounding numbers rank YouTube as the second biggest search engine, right after Google, so I guess you can see why building a digital marketing strategy that involves you placing ads on that platform is important.

If you decide to ignore this platform, you’ll miss out on the highly targeted reach it can provide you with, i.e. on the possibility of targeting the exact people that you want to attract to your brand, people that fit into certain categories you’ve previously decided are important for your brand. You can reach customers based on topics of interest, reengage with those who’ve previously showed interest in your brand and products, target people similar to those that tend to show interest in your ads, as well as people who’ve actively researched products similar to yours. You can even target people based on their life events, such as moves, marriages, childbirth and similar.

Connecting with your audience through YouTube will also build better trust and establish you as recognizable on the market, which is certainly one of your goals. On top of all that, this type of advertising can provide you with very quick results, and the metrics are easy to track and measure with the aim of making improvements in future campaigns. While it’s clear that YouTube ads are important, you may not know how to properly set up your ad attribution with this platform, as that’ll help you figure out which ads are performing well and which ones simply aren’t getting things done.

Here’s more on the importance of YouTube as an ad platform:

What Is Ad Attribution?

What exactly is ad attribution, though? In its most basic sense, this is the analytical method of determining which tactics are contributing to sales and conversions, and which ones aren’t. Consumers encounter different marketing touchpoints on their path towards purchasing something, and the goal of attribution is to evaluate those touchpoints, with the aim of improving the whole strategy. Certain user actions lead to the wanted outcome between the processes of clicking the ad and of converting, and your goal is to pinpoint and determine those specific actions.

Basically, the goal of ad attribution is to determine which messages had the greatest impact on your customers’ decision to convert or take the desired action. Through it, you’ll learn precisely which keywords, ads and campaigns are generating the most leads and the biggest profits for your business. Likewise, you’ll identify the least profitable keywords and campaigns, thus being able to optimize the entire marketing process and your whole strategy, with the goal of increasing its effectiveness.


Why Is It Important?

Next thing you’re wondering is why ad attribution is so important. Well, it brings a lot of benefits to the table, such as optimized marketing spending, increased return on your investments, improved personalization that leads to better targeting, improved product development through better understanding of customer needs, leading to successful product updates that are bound to result in sales. While your marketing team will need to use advanced analytical platforms to practically distil the big data into person-level insights, and while that is certainly a complicated process, all of this is quite important and beneficial, as it leads to great optimization of your campaigns, and to more conversions.

How To Set Up Ad Attribution On YouTube Properly?

In order to set up proper Youtube Ad attribution and the correct model, you’ll first have to know the types of metrics that need to be analyzed, as well as the types of people that spend time on this platform, because proper targeting is not possible without identifying those key factors and thus understanding what kind of a model will work best for you. Tracking and giving credits to the wrong ads will simply be a waste of time, and if you don’t want to waste your time, you’ll have to target the advertising perfectly, which begins with identifying the people that visit this platform the most. There are three groups of those to consider.

First, there are those users who are there to get a clear answer to their search queries and who don’t want to waste their time on anything else. Bombarding them with ads that are just slightly relevant to their queries but that don’t really answer their question is not the best move, as you’ll just make them annoyed and have them associate your brand with negative feelings. Making your ads as specific as possible to their search queries is the best move here, as it will help them solve their problem easily, remember you in a positive light and possibly become your customer if the solution to the query requires them to use your products or services. Being extremely specific will work for these types of people.


The second group consists of a much larger audience, an audience of people who are slightly interested in your video, and who like looking around, without being 100% set on a specific search. You can attract these people through ads providing them with helpful information and possibly taking them down the rabbit hole and maybe towards something you can offer them – they start by looking one video and end up spending hours on this platform. The third group consists of people using YouTube solely for entertainment and having zero interest in your ads. While you still may want to target the third group at some point, the bottom line here is that you have to create specific ads and messages differently for all the three different groups.

The metrics you’ll need to analyze include the view rate, the click-through rate, and the earnings per view. Once you begin tracking your ads, you’ll know if they’re coming from first-touch attribution, multi-touch attribution, or last-touch attribution, which are essentially the models of attribution to be aware of. With the first-touch model, the ad that got your audience to click will actually get the credits, but this model can be faulty because people sometimes go through long funnels without clicking and tracking first-touch only won’t give you much insight into their behavior. Last-touch model is similar, giving credits to the most recent ad before conversion, but the last ad could be the 100th one that the person came across, meaning this is also not the perfect ad attribution (additional info) model to use.

The multi-touch method, on the other hand, tracks all the ads that your target audience will come across, although it does put most emphasis on the first and the last one. Knowing how you want to target and what groups of people, from the above mentioned, your ads are aimed at, is crucial for proper attribution. And, fortunately, you can use one of those great tracking software solutions to help with attribution and ensure your campaigns are properly optimized.

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