Google Ads Demand Gen campaigns are a great way to leverage AI within your paid media activity.

Its primary objective is to engage with fresh audiences and stimulate their curiosity about a product or service, often before they actively seek out a specific brand. Capturing engagement and action across YouTube (including Shorts), the discovery feed and Gmail, Demand Gen campaign serve visually-appealing, multi-format ads on Google’s most impactful platforms

What we love about Demand Gen campaigns

Expanded Impact

Demand Gen lets you reach up to 3 billion active monthly users across multiple platforms, and Google AI creates the perfect combination of tailored, high-impact visuals to get more potential customers in the purchase mindset. 

Tailored ad experience

Audience first AI-powered creatives drive demand, reaching new, qualified users outside of your existing customer base and showing up where they are online.

Location/language targeting at ad group level   

This is the first time Google has allowed this level of targeting at ad group level, meaning streamlined campaign structures and easy location customisation.

Lookalike audiences 

Previously available as similar segments within search campaigns, Google has revamped this audience targeting feature to allow for detailed audience targeting, meaning you can reach new customers using your own data.

Optimisation capabilities 

With all AI lead campaigns, optimisation opportunities can be slim. However, within demand gen campaigns, you have three main points of optimisation to test: Youtube channel optimisation, audience segmentation and lookalikes. 

Brand lift studies

Subject to spend thresholds, you can leverage Google lift studies to understand your ads’ direct impact on brand search volume. 

How to create Demand Gen campaigns

Now we’ve sold you on the benefits of Demand Gen, let’s take you through all the necessary steps to create and manage your campaigns: 

1. Select campaign objective and type 

The first step is to select the campaign objective that best aligns with your goals. For Demand Gen, you can choose from; sales, website traffic, or product and brand consideration. Don’t forget to select the relevant conversion action you would like to use for the optimisation of this campaign. 

2. Complete campaign level settings

Give your campaign a clear, consistent name. Choose a goal: clicks, conversions, or conversion value. If selecting conversions, specify the key action and target cost per conversion. Add your daily budget and duration to see forecasted results, which update as you add settings and targeting. 

3. Set up your ad group level settings (audiences)

Here, you can select your locations, language, and audience settings for your creatives, so it’s important your creatives align with who you want to target. Google offers various targeting options to find relevant customers, including custom segments based on search or website history, pre-made audiences from website visitors, and lookalike segments using first-party data. You can also target users by specific demographics or interests and add exclusions to avoid duplicate targeting or exclude past converters. These features help ensure your ads reach the most relevant audience across Google’s ecosystem.

4. Create your ad

The final step is to upload and create your ads. You’ll first need to choose between single image, video or carousel ad format, before adding the required visual assets and text, a breakdown of which can be found here.

Best practices to get the most out of your Demand Gen campaigns

1. High quality visual assets are key to campaign success.

The main difference between Demand Gen campaigns and other Google Ads campaigns is the ability to add a wide range of visual assets across Google-owned platforms. Bear in mind that Demand Gen campaigns are mainly focused on showing your ads to users who may have never seen your brand or products before, so make sure that your first impression is long-lasting with high quality visual assets. 

2. Set the correct budget and target CPAs

Demand Gen campaigns lend themselves to upper funnel activity, so key metrics such as CPA may be higher than more conversion-focused campaigns. A full funnel strategy should consider remarketing  campaigns to target these users again, increasing the number of touchpoints within the customer journey. 

3. Data quality is imperative to successful audience targeting 

To get the most out of Demand Gen campaigns, use detailed and up-to-date data to feed your audience targeting. Using features such as lookalike segments and optimised targeting will expand your audience size while maintaining relevance and quality. 


Google’s Demand Generation campaigns are a great innovative tool to reach high volumes of potential customers in an engaging, visual format.

Leveraging Google’s most visually impactful platforms and highly targeted audience segments, it’s a chance for brands to grab the attention of new customers outside of the text-heavy search engine results page.

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