Yugo Media and YouTube Ads are the sharp chisel in the carpenters' toolbox. In this article, I hope to give an insight on how to make YouTube Ads practically work for businesses, irrespective of the size, industry or product.
It’s no secret that videos have become the most popular choice for content consumption today.
But people are still running static ads to people who are consuming a different type of content more than 60% of their day.
If you feel stuck in your current customer acquisition journey and are looking for a new way to acquire clients at a sustainable ROAS, then this article may be the right landing spot for you.
Say hello to the world of YouTube Ads. But here at Yugo Media, we don’t do your regular video ads, we transform brands into global powerhouses that will be around to stand the test of time.
My name is Jason Pittock, and after getting abruptly fired from my previous job in early 2022, I set out on a mission to make YouTube Ads accessible for businesses to accelerate performance and drive sustainable business growth.
In this article, I will work through why YouTube Ads are growing in the demand generation landscape and why you as a marketing professional, entrepreneur or solepreneur, should consider them for at least a few minutes.
Why are YouTube Ads a growing ad platform?
Just like video advertisements on TV took over static radio ads, (although radio advertising stills works, and so does TV) there is a time when marketing moves forward in leaps and bounds.
And I believe we are seeing it happen now, faster than ever.
Video or rich media formats are NOT THE FUTURE, they are the now.
People are consuming video content more than ever. As of 2021, close to 84% of internet users in the US accessed digital video content.
YouTube Ads is the perfect match for marketers to connect brands with their audiences with extraordinarily laser-tight targeting that allows you to show ads to a specific person based on very relevant actions that trigger intent signals.
Search intent signals allow us to follow a specific user on their buyer journey, much like a GPS when it's en route to a destination.
In my opinion, what makes YouTube Ads the fastest growing platform for paid media experts is the following:
- User intent signals to trigger hyper-specific Ads
- Video analytics and data points for enhanced attribution
- Integration with Google Ads for multiple touchpoints
How to get started with YouTube Ads?
Starting out with YouTube Ads can be labour-intensive, depending on where you are on your marketing journey. If you're currently using Google Ads or Facebook Ads and not getting the results you expected, YouTube Ads can be the breakthrough you need. It will, however, take planning, resources and commitment to see the project through.
I have created the following list of how to get started with YouTube Ads:
- Have a product
Make sure you have a product that you can supply sustainably and that has a market fit. Do not consider YouTube Ads if you don't have a clear offering or a sustainable supply. YouTube Ads is an aggressively powerful platform for you to grow with, you want to show up and stay around. Don't let a bad product boycot your opportunity to create a unique impact with your brand.
- Is there a ROAS in YouTube Ads?
Yes, there is, but do not consider YouTube Ads if your market is competitive, you have low margin and your average conversion value or LTV is below $1,000. The average customer acquisition cost across all industries for digital/non-digital products is close to $500 and The average customer acquisition cost across all industries for non-digital products is close to $300. Therefore for YouTube Ads to perform for your business profitably, take a good look at your gross margins and your product valuation, or better said the markets’ value perception.
- Embrace video marketing with transparency and authenticity
This is pretty much a no-brainer, but get comfortable with video, if you are the face of the brand or someone in your company is willing to be, get as comfortable behind the camera as you can. Making one ad is easy, but for a YouTube Ads campaign to be successful we will most likely need multiple ads, that is various different video ad sets. Be yourself behind the camera, show who you are, and what your brand or business culture is all about. Make an effort to be authentic, it will pay off.
- Document the buyer journey and buyer profile
Make a customer profile with Powerpoint or Google Slides, here is a free template I often get people to use, (Link to buyer profile). Doing this will get you into the right mindset to understand who your buyer persona really is. Once you have clarity about your buyer profile, you can build your buyer journey. From the begging to end, map out what you feel is your buyer profile. Even if it's not dead accurate, it's better than not knowing how your Ads will participate in the journey.
Understand where YouTube Ads will kick in, and what stage will be crucial for your lead to see your video Ads.
- Map out a YouTube Ads funnel
Visually map your funnel to show the different touchpoints, ad sets, ad copies and ad strategies you will use. This will help develop the right scripts, landing page copy and Ad copy for your Ads to shine! The more connected the funnel is, the more likely the funnel will provide a unique user experience that turns cold leads into sales-qualified opportunities.
- Create an offer or a hook
If you have informational products, educational material or training assets, use these as hooks to bring in traffic to your funnel, and then work on your retargeting (which is cheaper) to nurture your lead into a revenue opportunity. This will allow initially for you to optimize with Target CPA (Tcpa) also known as target cost per acquisition. Once your funnel is up and running, you drill into these metrics to optimize specifically for your lead acquisition cost.
- Implement an attribution model and tracking platform
Tracking is important to build a customer profile and understand the journey from first touch point to final conversion. Attribution helps to turn data into actionable steps that will help improve your ROAS.
- Create an Ad strategy
This probably is the most important part of starting YouTube Ads and that understanding will save you a lot of time and money! Creating an ad strategy is defining who will see your ad depending on different strategic options you can choose from within the YouTube Ads platform. There three main targeting options are Keywords, Placements, and Interests. I have gone into more depth below - see How to create a YouTube Ads strategy with a reduced budget.
- Write the Ad script
When it comes to writing an Ad script it may seem like a big undertaking, but it's important to break down the ad script into memorable sections. This will help you with recording and also get your creative thoughts flowing. Create a script document and break down the script into 2 columns. On the left-hand side, put the written script of what you are going to say, on the right hand write down the creative direction of each part. Use hand gestures and creative actions to connect the viewers with what you are saying.
Keep the ad length between 30-90 seconds depending on the ad strategy and what you want to communicate.
- Record an Ad
Easier said than done, but recording the Ad should be straightforward enough! It can be done using your mobile phone with a $35 adjustable mount from amazon or using a camera. The most important part of recording the video is to remember to record in landscape, using a good quality ratio - ideally 720 or larger.
If you can, record the ad with the least background noise possible and use a lapel microphone to record the audio separately for better quality.
- Produce the video
Once you have recorded the Ad and have the files downloaded on your computer, you will need to edit them to remove any unnecessary parts. You can add your logo and name of the ad into video frames as a permanent copy and additional CTAs or content. It's important to not overdo the video ad with copy and CTA as text in the frame. The age-old saying goes, less is more.
- List the Ad
If you have a YouTube Ad account set up, first link your YouTube account with your
Google Ads account. Upload the Video ad to YouTube and keep the video unlisted. When you set up the ad in Google Ads you will link the video in the Ad, and it will show you a preview of which ad you are linking before you publish. It's helpful to use the same for your YouTube Ad account as for your Google Ads account.
- Create a landing page or drive the traffic to your website
Create an opt-in page or use your existing website or landing pages. We recommend keeping landing pages as simple and fast as possible. Speed is one of the top-ranking factors for on-page conversion ratios. Bear in mind your traffic can come from different devices; optimize your landing page accordingly.
- Launch your campaign
Set up your campaigns, ad groups and ads, and enable them to go live!
- Set up reporting and start optimizing your ads for the best ROI
Once you have run your Ads for a few days and have collected data on conversions and your ads, you can start optimizing the campaigns accordingly. Prioritize your conversions, cost per acquisition, the performance of keywords, placements and audiences. Start to reduce wasteful clicks on your campaigns and focus on driving quality traffic to the landing page.
What to avoid when starting out with YouTube Ads
When getting started with YouTube Ads, I recommend you take things one step at a time and focus on what you can learn about your buyer persona profile, your funnel and optimization techniques.
I made this list of the top 3 things you want to avoid when starting out with YouTube Ads:
- Loose targeting
Treating targeting lightly will burn into your ROI and reduce your opportunities of getting your ads in front of the right audience. Work on developing targeting strategies that are triggered by specific intent signals such as keywords, placements, retargeting pixels etc.
Don’t use high-level audience targeting, this is likely to be too broad and will dilute your budget into an audience that's likely not to convert.
- No product fit
Don’t use YouTube Ads to test a product or new business out, this isn’t the platform you want to do that on! It will cost you your budget because you either don’t have enough product acceptance or credibility for people to convert.
- Over promising, under-delivering
If Facebook (aka Meta) PPC is the wild west, YouTube Ads are NYC.
Over the last 4 years we have seen lots of get-rich-quick schemes promoted on YouTube and fail, but succeed on Meta (Facebook and Instagram). Why? Well simply put the audiences on YouTube are consuming content with purpose. They see your Ad once they click on the video, therefore there is specific intent. On the contrary Meta, people can be scrolling lazily through their feed and see your Ad. The purpose or intent isn’t the same.
The best way to make YouTube Ads profit for your business when competing with Facebook Ads is to keep your Ads authentic and to overdeliver on the quality of the content and delivery.
The key is that the buyer profile in YouTube is most likely to be more sceptical or reluctant to click on an Ad in comparison to Meta. They don’t just click, there needs to be an exchange of value.
Resources and getting started with YouTube Ads for small businesses
When considering resource management for setting up YouTube Ads as a customer acquisition channel for your small business you need to analyze the 2 main alternatives and consider what works best for your business.
Hands off - Hire a partner for Your YouTube Ads
Hire YouTube Ads specialists (lol - talk to us) and get a full-house solution from Ad strategy, Ad production, optimization and scaling. Businesses often want to avoid the costly learning curve of setting up YouTube Ads for the first time and hire a partner, just like Yugo Media.
Here is a list of the different pros and cons of hiring a YouTube Ads partner:
The bonus of working with us here at Yugo Media is that we pride ourselves in sharing our knowledge and expertise with our partners, we firmly believe in growing together as partners and being an extension of your marketing squad. Inclusive learning and collaboration so we as one team can align with your business goals.
Run it yourself - Go in-house for your YouTube Ads
When running Ads yourself you will get the opportunity to learn YouTube Ads and master the skills needed to successfully grow your customer acquisition with YouTube Ads.
But doing it yourself isn’t always rosy as it looks! Especially if don’t have the time, experience, patience and resources to invest in running the Ads successfully for yourself.
Here is a list of the different pros and cons of running YouTube Ads yourself:
How to start YouTube Ads with a small budget?
One of the common questions I get asked is “How do I start in YouTube Ads with a small budget”. This is not easily answered because it depends on a few important factors which are unique to each business and context:
- What industry is your business in?
- Do you have any direct competition in YouTube Ads?
- How mature is the product/offer?
- How much do you know about your ideal customer profile (ICP)?
Once we have a better understanding of your context we can define what is the smallest budget you can start with.
Let's say, if you have a high-end clothing eCommerce and you want to use YouTube Ads for your business, you can potentially use YouTube Ads with a small budget to drive brand awareness and brand loyalty. You can use your retargeting pixel from your current website and retarget people with a specific ad depending on the actions that they have taken on your website.
In this case, the budget ultimately is going to depend on how much you have to invest into the project, you could start with as little as $3,000.
Establishing a realistic, sustainable and consistent budget when entering YouTube Ads space is going to be crucial for holding the effort accountable to your overall marketing strategy.
The best way to approach your budget setting is to work on your average customer acquisition cost and apply it to how many conversions you want to achieve with YouTube Ads.
FAQS for how to make YouTube Ads work for my business
What's the best bidding strategy for Youtube Ads?
Bidding in YouTube ads is similar to Google Ads. If you have a specific conversion event set up (for example a successful optin or cart checkout) you can start the campaigns with maximum conversions and once you have collected enough conversion data you can switch to cost per acquisition or CPA. Bidding is going to be very dependent on your competitive landscape and ad strategy.
What metrics should I focus on for optimizing my YouTube Ads?
When managing YouTube Ads there are a lot of metrics to manage, so here are the 4 top-ranked key performance metrics I recommend you should focus on:
- Ad engagement rate %
- Cost per conversion/acquisition
- Individual Keyword/Placement performance
- On-page conversion rate %
How many Ads do I need?
The more Ads the better, you can use different creatives, and different pitches and also test different calls to action (CTA).
Getting started, we always recommend creating at least 2-3 ads as a minimum.
How to organize and structure my YouTube Ads account?
Design your ad account and campaigns with a structure that can be easily scaled, optimized and managed. Bear in mind the following:
- Label campaigns so they are easy to remember and locate
- Create unique campaigns for