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5 Types of Audiences to Target When Advertising on YouTube

Xavier Mantica

3 years ago



5 Types of Audiences to Target with YouTube Advertising

Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, advertising on YouTube advanced significantly in 2020 and 2021. As people spent more time at home, YouTube viewership reached an all-time high, with an 80% growth year over year.

This means there is a great opportunity to reach a huge market with the right audience strategy. You can use video ad campaigns on YouTube to drive sales and leads.

Our team has a few recommendations to help achieve this:

  • Use high-quality, attention-grabbing videos for optimal results. However, even if you target the right audience, you’ll still need to create compelling video ads or you will likely not achieve the desired results.

For more information on that, read our post on best practices for video ads.

  • Create a unique campaign to target each audience type. This way, you can have better control over how much daily budget you allocate on which audience. If budget allows, an optimal YouTube strategy could have five different campaigns, each targeting a unique audience, capturing users in different buying funnel stages.

This article walks you through 5 types of audiences available to target with your video ad campaigns. You’ll learn how to implement audiences in your strategy, from the top to the bottom of the funnel. Without further ado, let’s begin…

Microsoft Advertising 2020 Partner Awards

Affinity Audiences

Affinity audiences help you “reach users based on what they’re passionate about and their habits and interests.” This taps into the top of the funnel.

To learn more about the different audiences, browse the Google Ads interface (their interests and habits). To determine which will work best for you, we recommend checking data in Google Analytics (found under Audience -> Interests -> Affinity categories) and add the 5-10 best performing affinity audiences in Google Ads to get started.

Google Affinity Audiences

To refine your audience targeting, experiment with location targeting (target cities or states with the best performance) or demographics (target only certain age groups or income levels).

In-Market Audiences

Google In-Market Audiences

You can take a similar approach with In-market audiences as you did with Affinity audiences (find them on Analytics under Audience -> Interests -> In-market segments).

However, in-market audiences serve a different stage in the buying funnel, since these users are much more likely to make a purchase, fill out a form or call your business.

Custom Audiences

Advertisers have the option of creating custom audiences to reach customers near the mid-funnel. This option can be a powerful approach, especially if your products are more niche and don’t fall into any of the categories mentioned above.

Custom audiences allow you to create an audience by adding keywords and targeting people with these interests and purchase intentions, or targeting people who have recently searched for these products on Google.

Google ads Custom Audiences

Custom audiences also let you add similar websites. Try adding competitor sites or businesses similar to yours to refine your audiences.

Google ads Custom Audiences and similar websites


Placements are considered a “content targeting” method. Our strategists leverage Display campaign placements to show ads on specific websites or apps relevant to our business.

However, when it comes to video campaigns, you can use YouTube channels and videos as placements. Ideally, these should be created in separate ad groups.

Google ads audiences - Placements

A YouTube placements strategy requires that you research channels related to your industry. For instance, a cosmetic makeup company might look for the channels of the top makeup influencers in their respective countries and ads displayed. You can also try:

  • Adding specific videos with high view counts
  • Using the YouTube search bar to find videos related to your industry
  • Adding the videos with the most views as placements in your campaign


Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, we reach remarketing campaigns. This is likely where you’ll find most of your sales and qualified leads because you are targeting users that are already familiar with your business.

When it comes to remarketing audiences, you can create all kinds of audiences, but we recommend targeting the following three:

  • All visitors
  • Cart abandoners (if available)
  • Past customers (if applicable)

Google Ads Remarketing

Ideally, you want to show users a different video ad that includes a promotion or a new perspective on your business to get them to finish their order.

The setup of these campaigns can be a little time-consuming. When it comes to video campaigns, it’s imperative to pay close attention to performance to optimize your campaigns accordingly.


As YouTube viewership increases, prepare to increase your ads with it. Learning more about YouTube campaigns and features will get your ads in placements that connect with your ideal audience.

If you haven’t started creating your campaigns on the YouTube platform, we’ve got you covered. Tune into our Shark Clip to learn more about how you can create an advertising campaign on YouTube today!