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Targeting your video ads

TrueView video ads run on YouTube and across the web through the Google Display Network. With more than 1 billion users, YouTube is available in 70+ countries and 60+ languages, and offers rich content from all over the world. The Display Network reaches over 90% of Internet users worldwide through 2 million sites and apps (source: comScore).

By targeting your TrueView video ads on YouTube and the Display Network, you can advertise to consumers at moments that matter. With a wide variety of targeting methods available to you, such as demographic groups, interests, placements, and remarketing lists, you can reach specific or niche audiences based on who they are, what they're interested in, and what content they're viewing.

Available targeting methods for video ads

  • Demographic groups: Choose the age, gender, and parental status of the audience you want to reach.
  • Interests: Pick from available audience categories to reach people interested in certain topics, even when they may be visiting pages about other topics. Learn more about audiences.
    • Affinity audiences: Raise brand awareness and drive consideration with your TrueView video ads by reaching people who already have a strong interest in relevant topics.
    • Custom affinity audiences: With custom affinity audiences, you can create audiences that are more tailored to your brands, compared to our broad, TV-like affinity audiences. For example, rather than reaching Sports Fans, a running shoe company may want to reach Avid Marathon Runners instead.
    • In-market audiences: Select from these audiences to find customers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer.
  • Video remarketing: Reach viewers based on their past interactions with your videos, TrueView ads or YouTube channel. If you've linked your YouTube account to your AdWords account already, we'll create custom lists for you automatically. Learn more about remarketing lists for YouTube viewers.
  • Placements: Target unique channels, websites, or placements within them. For example, you can target an entire high traffic blog or the homepage of a popular news site. Placements include:
    • Channels (YouTube Partner Channels)
    • Videos (YouTube Videos)
    • Sites (Display Network - includes YouTube.com as a publisher site)
  • Topics: Target your video ads to specific topics on YouTube and the Display Network. Topic targeting lets you reach a broad range of videos, channels, and websites related to the topics you select. For example, you target to the "Automotive" topic, then your ad will show on YouTube to people watching videos about cars.
  • Keywords: Depending on your video ad format, you can show your video ads based on words or phrases--keywords--related to a YouTube video, YouTube channel, or type of website that your audience is interested in.

Adding targeting methods on the "Video targeting" tab

To add targeting to your video ads, click the Video targeting tab in your AdWords account, and select an ad group. Follow the steps below to add targeting methods to an ad group.

Note

You can also add targeting directly to an ad group by selecting that ad group on the "Ad groups" tab or in the left navigation pane.

Add demographic targeting
  1. Click the Demographics sub-tab.
  2. Under "Demographics," click the sub-tab of the specific demographic group you want to target:
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Parental status
  3. Add (or exclude) specific demographic groups by editing each line item within the table.
  4. Add (or exclude) demographic groups by changing the status of the dot. A green dot will appear next to the demographic groups that you have added, and a red dot will appear next to demographic groups that you have excluded.
  5. Click Save.
Add interest targeting
  1. Click the Video targeting tab, and then click the Interests sub-tab.
  2. Select an ad group from the "Select ad group" drop-down menu.
  3. Click +INTERESTS to add in-market audiences and affinity audiences, and then click Save.
Add remarketing list targeting
  1. Click the Video targeting tab, and then click the Remarketing sub-tab.
  2. Select an ad group from the "Select ad group" drop-down menu.
  3. Click +REMARKETING to add the remarketing lists you want, and then click Save.
Add placement targeting
  1. Click the Video targeting tab, and then click the Placements sub-tab.
  2. Select an ad group from the "Select ad group" drop-down menu.
  3. On the "Managed" sub-tab, click +PLACEMENTS.
  4. Add URLs for the YouTube placements and Display Network placements you want, and then click Add.
Add topic targeting
  1. Click the Video targeting tab, and then click the Topics sub-tab.
  2. Select an ad group from the "Select ad group" drop-down menu.
  3. Click +TOPICS to add the topics you want, click add >>, and then click Save.
Add keyword targeting
  1. Click the Video targeting tab, and then click the Keywords sub-tab.
  2. Click +KEYWORDS.
  3. Enter 1 keyword per line and click either Add keywords to add your entered keywords or click Find related keywords to see their synonyms.
  4. To add them one by one, click each related keyword. Otherwise, click Add all to add all related keywords.
  5. Click Save.
Add other types of targeting

If you want to show your video ads to customers in specific countries or regions, who use only certain devices (for example, mobile phones), or who speak a certain language, you'll need to target your ads by geographical location, device, and language. Here's how:

Note

Your TrueView campaigns are located with your other campaign types (if any) from the "All campaigns" drop-down menu. You can also use this drop-down menu to view only your TrueView campaigns by selecting Video campaigns.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab, and then select the video campaign you want to edit.
  3. Select the campaign you want to edit. If you want to add an exclusion to a specific ad group, select the ad group you want to edit on the "Ad groups" tab.
  4. Click the Settings tab, and then click the All settings sub-tab.
  5. Under "Locations," click Edit, choose your customers' location, and then click Save.
  6. Under "Languages," click Edit and choose your customers' language, and then click Save.
  7. Under "Devices," expand Advanced mobile and tablet options, click Edit, and choose the operating systems, device models, and carriers and Wi-Fi options that apply to your customers, and then click Save.

Prevent your ads from showing in certain cases by using exclusions

You can see how each of your targeting methods have performed for your ads on the "Video targeting" tab. There, you might find that your ad isn’t relevant to a particular topic or demographic group. If that's the case, consider adding the topic or demographic group as an exclusion at the campaign level in your account. This can be useful when your video is most relevant to a specific demographic group and you want to target certain topics but exclude some viewers.

Exclude targeting for your campaign or ad group
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab, and then select the video campaign you want to edit.

    Note

    Your TrueView campaigns are located with your other campaign types (if any) from the "All campaigns" drop-down menu. You can also use this drop-down menu to view only your TrueView campaigns by selecting Video campaigns.

  3. Select the campaign you want to edit. If you want to add an exclusion to a specific ad group, select the ad group you want to edit on the "Ad groups" tab.
  4. Click the Video targeting tab.
  5. Select the targeting method where you want to make an exclusion, by clicking the related sub-tab: Demographics, Interests, Remarketing, Topics, Placements, and Keywords.
  6. Follow the steps on that sub-tab, and then click Save.
    • Demographics: Each demographic group — age, gender, and parental status — has its own sub-tab. Click the green dot next to the demographic group you want to exclude, in the table on each sub-tab.

      A red dot will appear next to demographic groups that you have excluded.

      Keep in mind

      You must have at least 1 demographic group selected on each tab.

    • Interests, Topics, Keywords, Placements, or Remarketing: Click +EXCLUSIONS, and then toggle to a campaign or an ad group, depending on how you want to apply the exclusion. For example, excluding the "News" topic in your campaign will automatically exclude that topic from all ad groups within the campaign.
  7. Click Save.

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