Testing new audiences – YouTube life events beta and custom intent

Croud’s programmatic team jumped on the opportunity to test the beta version of TrueView life events for Google Display & Video 360, as well as their new custom intent audiences. But what are they, how should they be used, and why should you be using them to drive your campaigns?

So firstly, what’s custom intent?

Custom intent is a tailored version of Google’s custom affinity audiences, reaching users who are displaying a stronger interest, or intent, in a product or service. It aims to reach users as they are making a purchasing decision in relation to your brand and this is all totally customisable.

How is it different from custom affinity?

Whilst both strategies allow advertisers to create their own unique lists by adding a combination of keywords and URLs to create their audience, intent sits one stage further down the conversion funnel, going beyond affinity’s interest-based targeting to find those making particularly refined searches and site visits. Put simply:

  • Custom affinity – targets users who are expressing a basic interest in products or services taking into consideration factors such as types of websites visited, the content of a page, recency of visit, how often the user visits, etc.
  • Intent – defines those users who are in-market and actively researching or comparing products and services online.

How should you use it?

Drill your custom targeting down, keeping in mind that custom affinity is for wider topics of interest, whereas custom intent is created for you to capture users closer to the purchasing decision. For example, you might apply specific models of cars or books titles, instead of literary themes.

How does it perform?

Croud has so far seen a significantly stronger click-through rate and higher conversion rate from those campaigns using custom intent.

Next, life events?

Life events interpret consumers patterns, video watches and search activity, in order to identify users who are coming up to significant life events. This could include identifying audiences who have recently graduated, those who are looking to move soon, or people who have recently got engaged.

How to use them?

Although you are currently restricted to using Google’s version across TrueView only, and the available events are quite limited, the current options are still great for a variety of products and services.

Get into the mind frame of your audience. For instance, are ‘recently graduated’ audiences in the age bracket of your usual prospects? Is your financial product relevant to an event that requires some saving – moving soon, expecting a baby, or getting married soon? Think outside the box!

How does it perform?

Applying this targeting for one of Croud’s financial clients saw a higher volume of video views, an increased view-through rate, and an uplift in traffic to site. It definitely works and we’re hoping to see more options soon!


To find out more about these new audiences and be kept in the loop with ongoing updates, contact us. Or sign up to Croud’s Digital Digest newsletter.

by Hayley Turner
31 July 2018



Related posts