Tell Me More: Custom Intent Audiences

Our Tell Me More series are designed to break down ad formats and products into bitesize chunks. There’s a growing universe of strategies and tactics and it’s our goal to make that universe a little more comprehensible.

First out the gate, Custom Intent Audiences.

WHAT IS IT?

Custom intent audiences is a feature in Google Ads that allows you to target specific users on YouTube based on their Google searches. Use custom intent audiences to target YouTube users that are actively researching products, services, and keywords related to your brand on Google Search.

Furthermore, you can easily create your custom intent audience by choosing from two different audience types:

  • Custom built: Fully customize your targeted audience with keywords, phrases, and URLs that your specific audience is researching.
  • Auto-created: Rely on Google’s advanced machine learning to curate an audience list based on analysis of your account and industry.

WHO IS IT FOR?

Customers are likely to do their due diligence by researching a product or service before making a final purchase. With 3.5 million searches conducted every day on Google, you better believe a sizeable chunk of those are research related.

Generally speaking, custom intent audiences are for every brand looking to reach consumers on YouTube that are researching their particular industry. More specifically, custom intent audiences are for:

  • Brands looking to extend their reach to YouTube viewers that have shown interest in their product.
  • Brands that want to dynamically target their specific audience on YouTube’s vast platform of 1.9 billion monthly users.
  • Brands that want to convert active researchers into paid customers.
  • Brands that want to find new customers searching for a related brand or product.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

So custom intent audiences lets you target customers on YouTube that are researching your related keywords, right? But how does this help your brand in the long run?

  • Higher Engagement: Consumers retain 95% of a brand’s message from video ads compared to 10% from text ads. Custom intent audiences drive your message home to a group of engaged consumers.
  • Amplify reach: Expand your targeting parameters on YouTube from topics and interests to target consumers actively searching for your products, leading to higher engagement.
  • New customers: Find new prospects with related purchase intents that may not have been exposed to your brand otherwise.
  • Drive conversions: Convert active researchers into consumers by reaching them on YouTube at or near their point of purchase.
  • Advanced machine learning: Want to reach your audience on Google Search, but not sure what specific keywords they are searching for? Leverage Google’s machine learning to infer prospect traits and automatically create your audience.

Creating a custom intent audience is beneficial to your brand because it garners results. According to Google Ads, an online investment company called Betterment used custom intent audiences for financial keywords. The results:

  • 6x increase for return on ad spend compared to previous YouTube campaigns.
  • 245% increase in searches on Google.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Activate custom intent audiences with a few clicks:

  1. Go to the audiences section of your display campaign on Google Ads.
  2. Select “Targeting”
  3. Then choose “Intent”

After you click on “Intent”, you will see two options:

  • Custom intent audiences: auto-created: Let Google use their machine learning to auto-create your custom intent audience list.
  • Custom intent audiences: Use a list of keywords or URLs specific to the audience your brand’s campaign is targeting.

Once your custom intent audience is created, your video ad will start targeting YouTube users that are searching the audience’s keywords and URLs from your list.

ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?

Yes!  Google has indicated intent audiences drive better results with TrueView For Action ads, which were developed specifically to meet direct response objectives.

With TrueView for Action ads, advertisers can customize calls to action that will appear along with their video ads on YouTube. On mobile, the ads appear below the video and persist even after the video ad ends or is skipped while the host video plays. Google tests have pointed to a conversion lift from both Google Search and YouTube as a result of this ad format combination.

Download A One Sheet Takeaway on Custom Intent Audiences