Harness the Power of YouTube for Your Insurance Brand (PART 1)

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Is YouTube advertising part of your organization’s marketing strategy? If not, consider these three facts:

  • Video is the king of content: Our brains are designed to absorb and retain audiovisual information.
  • YouTube is the go-to video platform: It reaches more U.S. adults than all cable TV networks combined.
  • 55% of marketers currently use YouTube: That’s a sizeable share, but there’s plenty of room to stand out.

For insurance companies looking for new ways to build relationships and increase business, YouTube ads can be a highly effective vehicle. With an intrinsically engaging medium, a huge reach, and easy-to-use targeting and tracking tools, the possibilities abound. But to optimize your ROI, you need a sound strategy from the start.

In this two-part blog series, we’ll look at how YouTube advertising can benefit insurance brands like yours, the different types of YouTube ads, and tips for creating content that informs, entertains, and converts.


YouTube is the second most visited website after Google, with billions of views every day from every corner of the world. It allows creators a high level of control when it comes to tailoring paid content to defined regions and interests. This combination of breadth and precision gives insurance brands an unmatched opportunity to boost brand awareness, demonstrate topic expertise, and promote specific products and services.

Targeting Your Ideal Audiences

Targeting can be tricky for insurance brands – you’ll need to be very careful to adhere to current regulations, policies, and advertising platform parameters regarding demographic and geographic factors. But the beauty of YouTube is that its targeting tools can go beyond the standard criteria. Leveraging state-of-the-art AI technology, advertisers can zero in on events like buying a house or a new car. Affinity segments like “auto enthusiasts” can be used to build brand awareness. And in-market audiences actively researching claims or coverage topics can be pinpointed to drive engagements. Some use cases include:

  • An insurance brand targets its cyber insurance video to audiences that have actively searched for antivirus and security software.
  • An insurance brand creates custom audiences for BOP policies by layering keywords with data about people who recently visited its website.

Being There for Life’s Moments

On Google, your prospects might be searching for “cost of renters insurance,” but on YouTube, they’re much more likely to be searching for things like “how to decorate a small space.” That calls for a more nuanced approach to keyword research, but it means you also have the opportunity to more naturally reach prospects at significant decision points. Consider these case studies:

  • An insurance company targets recent college grads with information on the value of renters insurance.
  • An insurance brand delivers ads about affordable auto insurance rates to users searching for auto loans.

Retargeting Your Prospects

YouTube’s campaign controls also enable you to remarket to people who have interacted with your brand in some way but haven’t made a commitment. You can customize the content that they see based on what actions they’ve already taken and what your desired outcome is. We’ve implemented many creative retargeting campaigns that draw from a range of data sources, like:

  • An insurance brand delivers a “Need Help?” message to people who have left the contact form partially filled out.
  • An insurance brand targets a new informational video to users who have viewed, liked, saved, or shared the brand’s previous videos.

Celebrating Community Connections

People feel more comfortable doing business with a company that shares their values. With so many dynamic elements to employ – including dialogue, music, animated graphics, still images, and live footage – video is an ideal medium to tell compelling human stories that convey your organization’s relationships and values. For instance:

  • An insurance company uses case studies to highlight the efficiency and compassion of its claims services.
  • An insurance brand showcases its volunteer efforts after a disaster.

Measuring, Learning, Improving

Perhaps YouTube’s most distinctive attribute that sets it apart from traditional channels like TV is the ability to track each element’s performance in real time and nimbly adjust as needed. The site’s robust measurement tools let you see engagement levels, audience demographics, and performance compared to similar ads. Then, you can double down on what’s working and nix what isn’t:

  • An insurance broker regularly runs A/B tests for special promos – one offer-focused, one lifestyle-focused – and reallocates on the fly.
  • An insurance brand runs a series of animated videos and live action videos and measures results over time, focusing its resources on the style that performs best.

Controlling Costs

Last but not least, there’s the question of money. You might know John Wanamaker’s quip: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” With YouTube, that’s less of an issue. Not only can you measure and optimize your individual campaign elements as noted above, but you can also define your own budget and bid preferences:

  • An insurance brand opts for the “cost-per-view” strategy, in which it pays only when a user watches at least 30 seconds of the informational video or engages with the ad.
  • An insurance company prefers to use the “maximize conversions” strategy, which utilizes machine learning to target users most likely to convert with a set daily budget.


In Part 2 of this blog series, we’ll cover the various types of YouTube ads you can choose from and some actionable tips for creating a successful YouTube campaign.

When you work with LIGHTSTREAM, you’ve got a dedicated marketing team with a deep understanding of the insurance industry. We’ve helped insurance companies all across the country to connect meaningfully with their target audiences. Wondering what we could create together? Get in touch today.