About targeting your ads by audience interests

You can add audience targeting to ad groups in your Display Network and TrueView video campaigns to reach people interested in products and services similar to those your business offers — even when these people are browsing websites, using apps, or watching videos not directly related to your products and services. By doing so, you can help boost your campaigns’ performance.

How it works

Adding audiences allows you to reach people based on their specific interests as they browse pages, apps, channels, videos, and content across YouTube and the Google Display Network as well as on YouTube search results. You can select from a wide range of categories — from autos and sports to travel and fashion — and we’ll show ads to people who are likely to be interested. Depending on your advertising goals and the stage of the purchase process your customers are in, you can choose to add different audiences to your ad groups.

Affinity audiences

Select from these audiences to reach potential customers at scale and make them aware of your business.

These audiences were built for businesses currently running a TV ad who would like to extend the reach of a TV campaign to an online context for an efficient price.

Custom affinity audiences

With custom affinity audiences, advertisers can create audiences that are more tailored to their 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. With custom affinity audiences, the shoe company can define this audience by:

  • using free form interests entered as keywords
  • and/or using URLs as a proxy for interest bundles.

Entering URLs establishes a theme that embodies the ideal customer. For example, we could determine that marathonrookie.com is about marathon running, training schedules, marathon nutrition, and other marathon topics, and therefore, reach people who tend to browse content about those themes whether or not they visit the specific marathonrookie.com site.

In-market audiences

Select from these audiences to find customers who are in the market, which means that they are researching products and are actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer. In-market audiences are available to advertisers in all AdWords languages.

These audiences are designed for advertisers focused on getting conversions from customers most likely to make a purchase. In-market audiences can help drive remarketing performance and reach consumers close to completing a purchase.


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