The exact algorithm which Google uses to create audience lists is a heavily guarded secret, much like the recipe of some other famous brands, like Coca-Cola.

Google can take audience lists, like custom match lists, for example, and use those to create “similar to” audience lists, allowing us advertisers to reach potential customers who may have never interacted with our brand before, and that is fascinating.

We’ll provide you with some insights into Google audiences, as well as some actionable takeaways on how to use the audience lists Google provides you.

In order to effectively use audiences, you need to be aware of how to find them. You’ll find all of your audiences in the Audience Manager in your shared library.

In there, even if it’s your first time there, you’ll find your audiences (Google automatically creates some basic remarketing lists for you), as well as the type of audience it is.

What is an audience?

According to Google, “Audiences are groups of people with specific interests, intents, and demographics, as estimated by Google.

You can select from a wide range of categories – such as fans of sport and travel, people shopping for cars, or specific people that have visited your site.”

Types of audiences

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are the most commonly used list types:

  • Affinity Audiences: Audiences to reach potential customers at scale and make them aware of your business.
  • Custom Affinity: Like an affinity audience but can be specifically tailored to better fit your brand.
  • In-Market: Designed for advertisers focused on getting conversions from likely buyers. Reach consumers close to completing a purchase.
  • Life Events: Reach people around important life milestones, such as marriage, graduation, buying a new home, etc. Only compatible with YouTube and Gmail
  • Custom Intent: Define your own audience, using keywords, URLs and/or apps related to products and services your ideal customer may be researching.
  • Remarketing: Reach people who have previously engaged with your products/services.
  • Website Visitors: A list of those who have previously visited your site. Specific criteria can, like visitors of a certain page, can be used.
  • YouTube Users: Users who view your video ads can be added to YouTube lists.
  • App Users: Users that have installed your app on their device.
  • Customer List: These lists are generated based on user contact info (like email and zip codes) that you may have collected over time. You must manually input this info into Google Ads before they can become an eligible list.
  • Custom Combination: Manually combine two or more existing remarketing lists.
  • Similar Audiences: Google looks at your existing lists and provided there are at least 1,000 people in that list, creates a brand-new list of people that are similar to that list. This is a personal favorite list to find potential new customers. For example, you could use a customer list audience of previous purchasers emails in order to re-engage them and then use the similar audience created by Google to reach brand new customers.

What are AdWords Audience Insights?

AdWords Audience Insights are reports that the platform offers to aid advertisers in understanding their customer base while guiding them towards finding new and relevant audiences to target.

The “audiences” the report refers to can be found across the advertiser’s Web, Customer Match, App, and YouTube remarketing lists.

The insights presented are based on data collected by Google to each particular audience’s demographics, interests, locations, and device usage allowing advertisers to make informed adjustments to their digital advertising strategy.

Why should Ads users use audiences?

These insights provide actionable feedback that can be used to make informed adjustments to your advertising strategy.

The more advertisers understand each customer segment and their respective intent (e.g. in-market), affinity (e.g. interests), demographic (e.g. age/language spoken), location (e.g. Canada) and device usage data (e.g. desktop), the better they can tailor their ads and advertising strategy around that particular segment.