Use remarketing lists for video campaigns

You can use remarketing for video campaigns similarly to the way you'd use them for Display Network or Search Network campaigns. There are specific remarketing list types that are tailored to help you show your ads to people who have seen your YouTube videos. This article explains how to target these lists in Video campaigns as well as Search Network and Display Network campaigns. 

Before you begin

Before you can use remarketing for video campaigns, you need to link your YouTube account to your AdWords account. You can do this from either the YouTube channel or from within your AdWords account. See how to link YouTube and AdWords accounts

How it works

  • You can create a remarketing list from only one channel or from videos within a single channel. Once you’re done, you can combine remarketing lists to reach a custom audience. For example, let’s say you’re promoting the DVD release for a movie. You can combine separate remarketing lists to reach people who viewed your movie trailer but have not yet seen your video ad promoting the DVD.
  • You can create as many video remarketing lists as you want. You can even create copies of the default lists we created for you.
  • You can also use video remarketing lists to target your standard text ads or image ads across the Search and Display Networks.

Keep in mind

It's important to be careful using multiple types of targeting. If you use more than one targeting method at a time, AdWords will apply them all. For example, if you target a specific keyword, age, and channel, your ads will only be shown when all those methods match your ad at the same time. This can restrict your impressions significantly. Therefore, it's not recommended to pair remarketing lists with multiple types of targeting, like demographics or interests. It's best to target broadly, and opt in to all video ad formats.


The following instructions cover how to create video remarketing lists in your Adwords account. Before you can create these lists, you'll need to link your AdWords account to your YouTube channel. 

Create a video remarketing list

  1. If you haven't already, link your YouTube and AdWords accounts.
  2. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  3. Click Shared library in the left navigation pane, and then click Audiences.
  4. Click +Remarketing list, and select "YouTube users". 
  5. Select a list type. You can create lists based on several different video viewer actions.  
  6. Select one of your linked YouTube channels. To use more channels, you'll need to link them by adding them in your linked accounts. See how to link more channels.
  7. Set the "Membership duration" of your list. This is how long you'd like to keep people on your remarketing list. 
  8. For your list "Status" choose between "Open" or "Closed". "Open" means your list will continue adding more members.
  9. For "Initial list size", you can either pull list members from the last 30 days of activity on your channel, or start fresh.
  10. Click Create list.

Once your remarketing list has gained interactions from at least 100 viewers, you can use it for your ads and campaigns. Select the remarketing list you want to use while creating a new campaign or as a target for an existing video campaign.

Add a remarketing list to an existing ad group / or video campaign

  1. On the "All campaigns" drop-down menu, choose an existing video campaign.
  2. Click the Video targeting tab, and then click the Remarketing sub-tab.
  3. Select an ad group from the "Select ad group" drop-down menu.
  4. In the box below, you can choose any remarketing lists you've already created, but the default is "Video remarketing lists". To see your other lists, click the Video remarketing lists drop-down button, and choose the type of list you'd like to target. 
  5. To add the remarketing lists you want, click the >> to select them. To remove them, click the << arrows. 
  6. When you're done, click Save.

Add a remarketing list to a new video campaign

  1. Click the Campaigns tab, and then click +Campaign.
  2. Choose the Video campaign type.
  3. Follow the instructions to create a new video campaign.
  4. Under “Targeting,” click the "Narrow your targeting (optional)" drop-down menu, and select Remarketing.
  5. Search for a remarketing list.
  6. Click the double arrows >> to select the remarketing lists you want to target.
  7. Click Done.

Add a video remarketing list to a Search or Display Network campaign

You can add this remarketing list to an ad group with image ads or text ads.

  • To do this for Display Network campaigns, use the "Display Network" tab in your campaign view to target the remarketing lists you just created. 
  • To do this for Search Network or shopping campaigns, use the “Audiences” tab in your standard AdWords campaign view then click + Targeting.

Keep in mind

Some lists aren't able to be used for certain campaign types.  

Lists created based on the following YouTube-related actions are not eligible for Search Network and Shopping campaigns:

  1. People who watch any of your videos
  2. People who view your video as a video ad
Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?