About remarketing to YouTube viewers

You can show personalised ads to millions of viewers across YouTube and video partner sites, based on their past interactions with your videos or YouTube channel. This is known as 'video remarketing'. By reinforcing your message with people who've already seen your videos or channel, you're more likely to succeed in increasing your return on investment. Learn about remarketing


  • Improved ROI: Advertisers who use remarketing on YouTube have improved their return on investment (ROI) by showing video ads to people who are interested in their product or service.
  • Broader scope: With YouTube's vast network, your video ad can reach potential customers on remarketing audience lists.
  • Efficient pricing: The Google Ads auction model offers competitive rates that meet your target ROI. With CPV bidding, you'll pay for video views and other video interactions, such as clicks on the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards and companion banners.
  • Flexibility: Website remarketing (also known as 'remessaging' or 'retargeting') is based on visitors' actions on a website. You can remarket based on actions specific to your YouTube videos, including when viewers like, dislike and share your video.

How it works

Remarketing lists are created by first linking your YouTube channel to your Google Ads account. Once you have linked accounts, you can create remarketing lists that reach people who have performed the following YouTube-related actions:

  • Viewed any video from a channel
  • Viewed certain videos
  • Viewed any video (as an ad) from a channel
  • Viewed certain videos (as ads)
  • Subscribed to a channel
  • Visited a channel homepage
  • Liked any video from a channel
  • Added any video from a channel to a playlist
  • Shared any video from a channel

You can then use these lists in your targeting settings for new or existing campaigns. Manage your lists at any time by selecting 'Shared library' from the 'Tools' menu Google Ads | tools [Icon], then selecting 'Audience manager' and 'Audience lists' in the right menu. Add lists by clicking on the plus button on the audience lists page and selecting 'YouTube users' in the menu. Then answer the different prompts.

Note: Remarketing lists can’t be created from views of bumper ads or non-skippable instream ads

List sizes

For 'Initial list size', you can either pull list members from the last 30 days of activity on your channel, or start fresh.

Bear in mind that Google Ads no longer populates new memberships for YouTube channel and YouTube Masthead remarketing lists for use in ads on non-Google websites. As a result, any reporting for the YouTube channel and YouTube Masthead remarketing lists will show as '0' under 'Size: Display' on the 'Audience insights' page in Google Ads.

Important: If you have multiple YouTube channels, you can link more than one YouTube channel to your Google Ads account. While you can create several lists per channel, you can't use the same list on multiple channels.

Best practices

Make the most of your video remarketing lists by exploring these features:

  • Various ad formats: Build and target your remarketing campaign with video ads and other creative formats (text, image and rich media ads). Learn about video ad formats
  • Engage mobile customers: Use square and vertical videos to engage mobile customers on the YouTube app. Learn more
  • Detailed reports: Optimise your remarketing campaign based on performance metrics. For example, raise bids on specific topics or channels that generate the greatest ad response. Learn tips for optimising your video campaign
  • Ease of use: Easily create, manage and target your remarketing lists. Learn about remarketing audience lists
  • Custom audiences: Customise your targeting by combining your remarketing lists. For example, you can reach audiences who viewed your film trailer but haven't yet viewed your ad promoting the DVD release. Learn how to create a custom combination list
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