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About targeting for video campaigns

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 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

Here are the methods you can use for targeting your video ads. These targeting methods are added at the ad group level. It's important to know that with each targeting method you add you narrow, not widen, your targeting.

Audience targeting methods let you define who you want to reach. These include:

  • Demographic groups: Choose the age, gender, parental status, or household income 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 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.

Content targeting methods let you define where you want your ads to show. These include:

  • Placements: Target unique channels, videos, apps, websites, or placements within websites. For example, you can target an entire high traffic blog or just the homepage of a popular news site. Placements can include:
    • YouTube channels
    • YouTube videos
    • Websites on the Display Network
    • Apps on the Display Network

      Note: When you add Display Network placements, your ad may still run in all eligible locations on YouTube. And when you add YouTube placements, your ad may still run in all eligible locations across the Display Network.

  • 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.

NextLearn how to add targeting to your video campaigns

Starting in January 2017, and gradually becoming available to more and more advertisers through spring 2017, display and video ad groups that don’t have a targeting method will be eligible to show ads on the Google Display Network and YouTube. As a one-time exception, existing ad groups without targeting will be automatically paused to ensure they don't run ads you don't intend to show. Going forward, manually pause ad groups that aren’t ready to show ads. To learn more, go to Pause or resume your ad groups.
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