Advertisers, this one’s for you: Google is making its affinity-based ad targeting even sharper now with its new custom affinity audiences.
A little over a year ago, Google launched Affinity Segments for AdWords and YouTube, which enable advertisers to target an audience based on 80 different interests and demographics.
The new custom affinity audiences let advertisers take control of these segments by creating their own sub-segments they want Google to cross-target. For example, Electronic Arts (EA) is using this to promote its Madden Giferator campaign, and instead of just using Google’s football category, it’s created 32 categories, one per NFL team, to get more precise targeting.
VB Insights marketing technology director Stewart Rogers says:
This is smart. They’re allowing advertisers to cross-match the interests people have with the websites they’ve visited or the themes of chosen websites. The current affinity matching allowed advertisers to retarget based on 80 lifestyle segments and was really designed to allow TV advertisers to extend their reach online, but this takes that and segments it down by specific URLs and keywords. For example, targeting by URL will tell Google that you want the ads to be served to people that have interests that match that site — they don’t have to have visited that actual URL itself.
Google recommends advertisers use the new custom affinity audiences with existing ad formats like Engagement Ads and viewable impressions. Results can be tracked using Google’s Brand Lift reporting.