Use custom audience targeting for display campaigns

Business Benefits

Reach people researching or interested in specific themes or ideas.


Navigate to Tools & Settings > Shared Library > Audience Manager and select the Custom Audiences tab to review custom audiences that have already been defined.

Here you’ll find all existing audiences, grouped by whether or not they’re in use. If you don’t see any audiences from this view, it means none have been created yet. You can also review your audiences by selecting Audiences from your All Campaigns view.

Create a new audience by clicking the blue + icon, name your audience, and select the default People with any of these interests or purchase intentions.

The option to select People who searched for any of these terms on Google is only available for Google-owned properties such as YouTube, not Display campaigns.

Begin adding interests under Add interests or purchase intentions.

As you do this, the interface will automatically recommend similar terms that you can select. For example, in the image below, adding the interest art supplies will automatically bring up a list of recommended similar items.

Continue adding interests to populate Audience insights.

The interface will populate new suggestions for you. It will also begin to populate a basic overview of the audience size.

Click the blue text links under the header Expand your audience by also including: to add any websites, apps, and physical locations that your target audience has visited.

Note that this step is optional, and you’re just creating a profile here. You aren’t remarketing to those exact site visitors or audiences, and you aren’t targeting these sites as placements for your ads to run.

Click Save audience in the bottom right corner to create the audience.

Because it hasn’t been applied to a campaign or ad group, your audience will appear in your Not in-use audience list.

Navigate to your campaign or ad group, select Audiences, and click Edit audiences to begin browsing custom audiences to add to your campaign.

Audiences can live at the ad group or the campaign level, but not both simultaneously. You’ll be prompted to switch if you’re trying to add audiences to a level that conflicts with what’s already been set up.

Select the Browse tab, then select Your custom audiences to expand the list.

Leave Targeting selected to target this audience.

Tick the box next to the custom audiences you want to add, then click Save.