#78 YouTube In-Stream Video Ads
Have you diversified your paid customer acquisition strategy, or are Facebook ads your only play? While Facebook ads are still king, it's always a good idea not to have your eggs all in one basket. In this episode, I'll discuss how to get started with YouTube In-Stream video ads, including the audiences you should target and the creative must-haves.
Orlando Rios (host): Yes, it is the Ultimate Marketer podcast. How's it going, everybody? Welcome to spring, 2021. Nice, beautiful, sunny weather outside here in Austin, Texas. We are in the thick of it, in the thick of spring here already. So glad to be here and glad to be doing this show today.
Now, today we're going to talk about another platform in terms of advertising, where you can find more customers and do some remarketing there and you can do some prospecting audiences. It's completely different from the things that you may be already doing. Now I'm going to preface this with Facebook ads. If you're a Facebook ads buyer, or you're a business that's running your own Facebook ads, you may have noticed return on ad spend has gone down some. You may have noticed that conversions may have gone down some. Now, it doesn't necessarily mean that your ads are not as effective. What's going on here is the decrease in data of attribution.
If you're on Twitter, you probably saw a lot of this going on. There's a lot of ad buyers on Twitter that are talking about this situation. With the Apple thing going on, and some changes also that Facebook themselves are making within their dashboards, there is a loss of data or a delay of data that's coming to the dashboard. You may get a sale from a Facebook ad, and that may not show up on your dashboard at all, or it will show up many days later. That creates a problem of, if you have a really tight ad budget and you need to really strap it in day to day and don't have the type of budget a lot of companies may or may not have this type of budget where they can just kind of let things play out. So you might stop campaigns early. You might just give up and, "Ah, this isn't working."
It's going to be a little bit more tough now. You're going to have to have a lot more experience and a lot more patience, more than anything, to keep Facebook ads going well for you. I still have some accounts that I work on personally. And one of my accounts was doing a 5X CPA. I mean 5X return on ad spend, sorry, hovering around a 9, $10 cost per acquisition throughout January and throughout February. And then all of a sudden, here comes March and things just started to go down. And their sales, if I look at their Shopify, their sales are still at and above what they were doing the previous two months. So as critical thinking would say, things are still good. While the dashboard is showing a worse return on ad spend, the sales within Shopify itself are up as we've increased spending as well on ads.
It's just a loss of attribution. So you're going to have to be patient. If you have an ad budget that's super, super strict, it's going to be a little bit tough. You're going to have to open the belt buckles a little bit and really just a lot of patience and a lot of just going with it and you're in deep, just go in, right? You might as well go for it. So, but with that brings on a lot of stress. If Facebook is your main driver of new customers, that can bring on a lot of stress.
And what have I always said on this show, if you've listened to past episodes? Never put all your eggs in one basket because things can happen, especially with Facebook ads, you know. I guarantee you, everybody that runs Facebook ads that listen to this show, has at least once had their ad account disabled or their ad ability to even advertise restricted. Guarantee it's happened to every single advertiser at least once. And if it hasn't, it will. There's no doubt about it. So with things like that, and there's all sorts of things going on with Apple versus Facebook and tracking and all that kind of stuff, you need to have some other players, some other players in the game here, not just to think of it as a fallback plan, but you might be missing out on audiences and sales and potential new customers by just only focusing on one platform. Well yes, Facebook ads, which concludes Instagram is still the best, you should always diversify, just like you would a stock portfolio, same thing. You want to diversify your advertising and your customer acquisition.
And today to help you do that, we're going to talk about YouTube ads. So YouTube ads are something that have been gaining some traction, but they're very, very different from your standard Facebook ads because most of the prospecting and the type of ads that you would place are what are called in-stream ads, which are videos that play before a YouTube video that somebody was trying to watch. In some instances, it could be a little bit annoying. But in reality, for some reason, as an avid YouTube watcher, it doesn't bother me that much because it's easy to skip. So if you think in your head as a marketer, well, if it's easy to skip, what's the point? Well, if you have something that they're looking for and that they're in market for, it's actually pretty good.
I've caught myself getting interested from trying to watch a video on something else. And then there's an in-stream ad and it kind of gets my attention, and I accidentally watch it past even the point that I could skip if I wanted to. And then what happens is it depends on what I'm watching it on. Most of the time I watch YouTube on my television, with my Roku. But what I'll do a lot of times is I'll while I'm on my phone, watching TV, using every single device I have, right, I will Google up whatever was the in-stream ad. And I have actually made some purchases that way. If I was on my desktop, I don't know if I would click. Maybe I would, but I just don't watch YouTube enough on my desktop to do so, or my mobile phone to do so. But I imagine I would. It would be easier than Googling. So there's that there.
The other thing which makes YouTube advertising attractive for people that have done a lot of Facebook advertising, is that if you're doing video ads on Facebook, you may already have content to take over to YouTube that works. Typically, you don't want a 30 minute video. A lot of the Facebook ad videos tend to be around 15 seconds, 30 seconds a minute, those kinds of ranges. Any of those would work well for YouTube in-stream video ads. You could literally take it over. The only thing is the aspect ratio, is if you do a lot of square videos or a lot of vertical videos, you might have trouble bringing that over. It's not going to look perfect, but you can still use it or do what I do.
I shoot any way in wide, because I use a Canon M50 to shoot all my videos. So it automatically shoots wide. And then I bring that into my editor and I edit wide. So that way I always have a wide version to use, which I can use on YouTube. And then I edit that four squares or verticals, or 4:5 ratio for Facebook, Instagram, what other social platforms that I need to use it for. But you can take those in. I just wanted to mention that before I go into YouTube marketing and how to get started in it. If you're really new to it, I'm going to try to give a brief rundown of how to get started with it. So first off, if you're already running Google Ads, which you should be, then you're halfway there.
You have the pixel in your site. You're getting data, you're getting conversion data, all that kind of stuff. Boom, you're already there. The other thing you're going to need is a YouTube account. And if you're a business, you're going to want your own business YouTube account. And as some people have said to me, "I don't post videos. I don't do YouTube videos. How's this going to work for me? This doesn't make sense." You don't necessarily need to have organic videos in your YouTube channel to run YouTube ads. In fact, the ads that you're going to run, you don't even want those really showing publicly out on your channel. So every YouTube ad that I make, every YouTube video ad that I make, I'm uploading that video and I'm uploading it as unlisted because it's an ad video. I don't want that on my YouTube channel playlist. My YouTube channel playlist is for my organic videos that give tips and all that stuff for free.
The videos, the ad videos, are just there, unlisted on the channel so nobody can find them unless they have the link. And those are the videos that I use as the YouTube ads. So when you get into your Google ad account you have your integrations or connections, and most people have their Google analytics connected. Well there, you can also connect your YouTube channel. So once you have that enabled, you can do that. You can start uploading your YouTube video ads to your channel unlisted. You don't want to have them public, and then use those for the YouTube video ads.
So you have your YouTube channel, you have your video ads, they're uploaded, unlisted. Where do you go from there? In the Google ad account, you can create a new campaign. And if you select sales or leads, whatever you want, and then select video, you're going to be given an option. When it comes to video related ads on YouTube, you have a couple of options. You can do in stream, which is the ads that I've been talking about, which are the ones that show up just before a video that's skippable, or you can do what's basically equivalent to a boost on Instagram or Facebook.
And what that one does, is it basically, if somebody's searching for other videos to watch, or they're watching, depending on your targeting, videos that are related to that same subject matter, it'll show that video to watch. So you only want to use that one if you're just trying to boost views. And if you're doing organic content, that's when you really want to use that. So a lot of times when I post organic YouTube videos, like tips and stuff like that for the channel to help try to grow the channel and just super top of funnel, free advice just to branding and all that kind of stuff, right, I'll boost that video with more of that discovery type YouTube video ad campaign, just to get more views to the channel, get more views to the video. That is not for sales though. That is super top of funnel.
For YouTube videos, you're going to want to use the in-stream campaigns. Those are the ones that are best for conversion type based campaigns. The next thing you need to think about is audiences. Well Orlando, well what kind of audiences should I target? What do I do? So there's a couple things you can do, and I'm going to share with you two of my favorites. The first one is dependent on what kind of Google tag data you have. Are you tracking sales? Are you tracking leads, whatever is important for your business. If you're a e-commerce store, you're tracking sales. If you're a service-based, you're likely tracking leads. Let's talk about purchases if you're an e-commerce store, for this example. If you have your Google tags set up correctly, you're already tracking your purchases and hopefully you've already built audiences or Google a lot of times will automatically build these audiences for you in Google Ads of all your purchasers.
The first audience you should try is basically what would be a Facebook look like, and that is a similar audience. So you build, and sometimes Google Ads will automatically build these in your audience campaigns, if you have a good enough data. So what you'll want to do is make a similar audience on all past purchasers. It's just like a Facebook look alike. It's pretty much almost the same thing.
So you'll want to run your YouTube ads to that audience, and it'll find more customers like the ones you already have to show those in-stream videos to. A second option that I would recommend to you for YouTube video ads, and honestly, I would do this if you already have the purchase, enough purchases with Google tag in order to make a similar audience, if you already have that, there's no shame in doing this as a second ad set or a second campaign. But if you don't have that data, this is a great way to get started and get going. But I would do both really. If you have the option to do both, I would do both.
And this is creating a custom affinity brand audience. And so what you'll do is you'll go into your Google audiences, you'll create a new custom audience. And within that, you can put in specific URLs to help build a specific prospecting audience. And so what these URLs that you're going to want to put in are your URL. And this doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to target your own people. It's going to use all your traffic data to figure out what kind of people are interested in your products.
So you want to put in your URL, but then you also want to put in your competitors. So let's take, for instance, let's talk sneakers here. So if you sell basketball shoes, you're going to put in your URL for your website in this audience, and then you're going to put in your competitors. So who are your competitors? Nike, Reebok, Under Armour, I don't know, Converse. Does Converse still count in this? But you're going to put all those audiences and make what's called a custom affinity and a brand audience together. And you'll see it populate. And you'll see the interest and the topics that this particular audience likes based on those entrants, those URLs that you put in. And so it's going to build this really good prospecting audience that is based on a lot of really cool factors of the data from those websites and your website altogether. That is a great audience to try for YouTube in-stream advertising.
Now you've got your audience, you've got your tracking, your setup. You got Google ad tags. What are some of the little hidden settings in there. You don't want to just automatically do everything. One of the things, one of the mistakes that's an automatic, whenever you're setting up YouTube in-stream ads, is it'll automatically select responsive. You don't want that. You just want the standard. So make sure you switch that because that's going to do all kinds of funky things with your video. Just the standard. You don't need to go off there.
Now, what type of optimization should you choose? If you're looking, if you're able to take sales or leads, right, you should do conversions. Now, if you're doing e-commerce, you're going to want to do conversions and then also a target CPA. If you've been running Google Ads is automatically going to try and you're tracking purchases already on your website, Google Ads is already going to recommend you a target CPA. And you should just go with the lowest one that they offer. That's what I recommend to try first. And then for daily budget, you're going to have to go a little high here, depending on the target CPA and whatever your product price is. There's a lot of factors that goes into that. But it will give you a general budget that they think that you should use. And I'm going to side with Google on this and say that's what you should probably start with if you're going to get started.
Next, you're going to need to figure out what kind of creative. So the biggest thing, when it comes to creative for YouTube video in-stream ads, it's really the first five seconds because that's about how long you have to get whoever's watching YouTube and sees your in-stream ad to be interested enough to keep watching or to want to learn more. So whenever you make your video ads or if you're thinking about taking from Facebook video ads that you're already running, you need the hook right at the beginning, and you need that hook within the first five seconds that makes people want to keep watching.
So within that first five seconds, you really need to address the problem and give some sense of the solution within that first five seconds. The first five seconds of a YouTube video in-stream ad is the most important part. If you're a visual type product, that's where you really want to showcase how cool your product is. And then after that five second mark is when you can kind of go into more of the detail of things. But the flash, the shock, whatever it is, it needs to be within that first five seconds.
Now, one thing I will say about YouTube video ads is that the attribution windows, just like when it comes to Facebook, it can be a little longer and it can take a little longer for things to get going. Another thing I'll mention, and I personally haven't done this yet, but it's something that I might do. And it's something that I know a lot of other ad buyers do. If you run a lot of search ads and display ads on YouTube, you may want to consider taking your top of funnel YouTube campaigns in making a brand new Google ad account specifically for it.
The reasoning being is that Google won't give credit to the YouTube video prospecting ads if another part of the funnel was touched at all. If any of this search ads or any of the display ads were touched or viewed at all, it likely will not give credit to the YouTube top of funnel ads, which can result in non accurate attribution and you're not seeing conversions happening from that campaign, and then ultimately turning them off. So this is something that should be fixed by Google. I imagine it will be fixed here, not in the non too distant future. But something to think about, if you run heavy search and display ads, and you're going to do some heavy, hard hitting YouTube in-stream video ads, you might want to build out in a separate campaign for all your top of funnel stuff, just to keep your acquisitions nice and crisp and making sure you're getting all the data that you might need.
So you have your audiences, you have your creative, and now you're running YouTube in-stream video ads. It's an interesting platform. It really, really is. It's a different thought process than Facebook. It's likely not going to be as quick as a click through and buy as Facebook is. But it is a valid, valid place to advertise. Think about how many people are on YouTube. YouTube, I think, is technically the second largest search engine to Google. People search on YouTube all the time. And they're watching all sorts of videos. And Google is really, really good about knowing the type of videos that certain profiles like to watch and think about it, that gets you in front of the right people. And it doesn't necessarily depend on a cookie to build those audiences because it's not based on a site that those people visit necessarily, it's based on the videos they watch and in a lot of other aspects of things.
So something to really, really think about. Additionally, if you're not not ready to do video in-stream ads, there's placements that you can use on YouTube, with the discovery ads campaign. You can use a carousel. You can make a carousel of your products and display, when people are watching YouTube videos, your products can show up under those videos, if you target them correctly. So you can do display in YouTube videos as well without videos too. But I really think YouTube in-stream videos are a good play, especially if you have something that's really visually stimulating, something to think about.
All right, well, I hope that brief little intro and little quick, I guess get started guide is the right term there to YouTube in-stream video ads has got you thinking a little bit. Again, there's so much content on this out there. I might make a blog about it to get a little bit more detailed. But honestly, if you search YouTube, you can find a lot of YouTube video ad setup, in-stream video ads setup guides on there. There's a ton of them. So something you might want to look into.
Additionally, Dropkick Ads has a YouTube channel, if you don't know about it. And I'm trying really, really hard to, every week, come out with some new content. So sometimes it might be whatever I talk about on the podcast that week, sometimes it won't. It just depends on what strikes me at that moment. But that is something I'm trying to build up right now is our Dropkick Ads YouTube channel, with weekly videos on just random marketing things to tips to maybe rants, I don't know. But if you love watching YouTube, make sure to subscribe to the Dropkick Ads YouTube channel. You can find it pretty easily. Always going to be trying to make some new content there. All right, everybody. Thanks for listening so much. Again, really try to diversify your advertising portfolio. Facebook, Instagram, still awesome. But think about Google search. Think about YouTube in-stream as a possible new avenue for you and your business. You'll probably love it. All right, everybody. Thanks for listening. As always, we will see you next week.