The Power of Affinity Audiences

Posted on in Blog

Affinity audiences are a great way to scale your campaigns to reach consumers that are interested in your products or services.

What Is an Affinity Audience?

An Affinity audience considers a user’s search history, social activity and content consumption patterns. These distribution options may utilize similar data points, but the way they categorize individual users into wider audiences is very different.

Consumers may not have researched your product or service but they may have a natural liking or attraction to an Affinity category that is exhibited by their online behavior patterns, or they may have a close resemblance or connection to someone who the network anticipates would be interested in your product or service.

auditorium filled with seated people

How It Works

Adding audience segments allows advertisers to reach people based on their specific interests as they browse pages, apps, channels, videos and content across YouTube and the Google Display Network as well as on YouTube search results. You can select from a wide range of predetermined categories – from sports and automotive to fashion and travel. Depending on your marketing objective and the stage of the sales funnel each customer is in, you have the option to layer different audience segments to their respective ad groups within your campaign.

Affinity Audiences

Affinity audiences are the broadest audience segments that you may choose from. These were originally built for businesses running TV ads that wanted to extend the reach of their TV campaign to online audiences at an efficient price.

Custom Affinity Audiences

With custom affinity audiences, advertisers can create audiences that are more tailored to their brand, compared to broad, TV-like affinity audiences. These audiences can be created using free form interests using keyword targeting or by using specific URLs as a proxy. By entering a URL, AdWords can establish a theme that embodies the ultimate prospective consumer.

In-market audiences

Select from these audiences to find customers who are in the market, which means that they are researching products and are actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer.

In-market audiences are available to advertisers in all AdWords languages.

These audiences are designed for advertisers focused on getting conversions from customers most likely to make a purchase. In-market audiences can help drive remarketing performance and reach consumers close to completing a purchase.

Be Successful

To be successful, advertisers need to think about how to engage and communicate your message to these prospective consumers because you should never advertise to interest or remarketing segments the same way. This strategy will offer limited results because users are in different stages of your funnel.

Here’s a quick guide on what your Customer Journey should look like:

  • Grab the user’s attention: Start with an enticing CTA that the consumer can’t resist.
  • Provide useful information: Provide prospective customers with relevant information that will help them move further down the funnel.
  • Move them closer to a buying decision: Make sure what you offer is a logical next step for the potential customer to take.


Deciding whether to utilize an affinity audience, custom audience or in-market audience depends on your marketing goals and objectives.

We recommend looking at your sales funnel to help determine where you could use some additional support. Not all consumers within these audience funnels are going to respond the same way so we recommend testing until you’ve reached a winning combination.

Contact us if you’d like help developing a winning strategy!

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