About targeting for video campaigns

Video campaigns run on YouTube and across the web through Google Ads. By targeting your video campaigns on YouTube and Google video partners, you can advertise to people 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 campaigns

Audience targeting methods

Audience targeting methods let you define who you want to reach. Audiences are groups of people with specific interests, intents, and demographics, as estimated by Google. These include:

  • Demographic groups: Choose the age, gender, parental status, or household income of the audience you want to reach.
  • Detailed demographics: Reach users based on additional broad, shared traits, such as college students, homeowners, or new parents.
  • 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.
    • Life events: Reach potential customers on YouTube and Gmail when purchase behavior shifts and brand preferences change during life milestones like moving, graduating from college, or getting married.
    • 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.
    • Custom intent audiences: Built with performance advertisers in mind, custom intent audiences allow you to reach viewers as they’re making a purchase decision based on the keywords they’ve recently searched on Google.com.
  • Video remarketing: Reach viewers based on their past interactions with your videos, TrueView ads, or YouTube channel. If you've linked your Google Account to your Google Ads account already,  Google Ads will create custom lists for you automatically. Learn more about remarketing lists for YouTube viewers.
  • Website and app remarketing: Show ads to people who've interacted your website or mobile app and are already interested in your products or services. Learn more about remarketing.
  • Customer Match: Customer Match lets you use your first-party online and offline data to reach and re-engage with your customers across YouTube and Google video partners. Learn more about Customer Match.
  • Similar Audiences: Similar Audiences is a targeting feature based on first-party data lists (usually remarketing lists or Customer Match lists) that helps you expand the reach of your best-performing audiences by targeting new users with similar characteristics to your remarketing or Customer Match lists.

Content targeting methods

If you target or exclude certain YouTube music artist channels, you’ll have to verify which videos will be included. Learn more about YouTube music artist channels.

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

  • Placements: Target 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 Google Display Network
    • Apps on the Google Display Network

      Note

      When you add Google 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 Google Display Network.

      Keep in mind: If you have "Video partners on the Display Network" selected under "Networks" and you add Google Display Network placements only, your ads may still show on YouTube.

  • Topics: Target your video ads to specific topics on YouTube and the Google 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.
  • Devices: Target users using computers, smart phones, mobile devices, and TV screen devices like Chromecast. 

For video ad groups using placement targeting only: If you’re targeting placements solely on YouTube or the Display Network, your ads will now be eligible to run on both.
 
Existing ad groups without targeting will be automatically paused as a one-time exception 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. Learn more at Pause or resume your ad groups.
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