I’m 100% on the YouTube advertising wagon at the moment. Seriously, I can’t get enough of the second biggest search engine on the planet.
If you’ve read my Introduction To YouTube Advertising post, you’ll know some pretty awesome stats about the platform. If not, here’s a quick recap:
- YouTube is actually classified as a search engine, and its popularity is second only to Google.
- It has 1.5 billion active users
- Users make about 3 billion searches per month (that’s more than Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask.com combined!)
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- YouTube streams 1 billion hours of video to users every day.
If stats like that don’t get you excited, you’re probably in the wrong business.
But I do get it. YouTube advertising can seem daunting, especially since it 100% relies on video.
Here’s my #1 suggestion (not a tip!): just give it a go.
Video is processed by the brain much quicker than written text, and it allows businesses to form a closer human connection with their customer. This elevates trust between customer and brand, leading to more leads and more sales.
Bottom line: take the hint from your competitors. Your Pay Per Lead agency will suffer without a video advertising component.
But don’t panic! This blog post contains my 5 top tips for profitable YouTube ads.
So, first off…
Top Tip For Profitable YouTube Ads #1: Creative Is King
Yep, I’m banging this old drum (again).
With YouTube TrueView ads, you have less than 5 seconds to grab the viewer. Or they’ll just skip your ad.
YouTube has some excellent targeting options (I’ll get to that later). However, viewers will still skip your highly valuable ad if it just melts into the noise of other advertising.
Here are some examples of YouTube ads that grab you straight away.
These ads probably cost a lot of money, but yours don’t have to. Instead of watching the full ad, concentrate on the first five seconds of each.
Why did they grab your attention?
How can you mimic that in your own ad?
The good news: if your visitor bypasses the “skip” option, there is a 72% chance they’ll watch the entire ad.
Now, let’s look at your YouTube advertising script as a whole.
Telling a Story
The best way to engage your audience is to tell a story. Some companies are so keen to get the “facts” out there, they forget to shape their dry definitions and statistics into digestible, engaging content.
Humans learn best through stories – not a list of facts. Think back to your history lessons at school. Do you remember the exact date Henry VIII came to the throne or that he had six whole wives and made two of them decidedly less so?
The best YouTube ads follow a straightforward plot arc.
The arc has five points, and it kinda looks like this:
- Exposition (introduction)
- Rising action
- Falling action
- Denouement (resolution)
Let’s break down the Dollar Shave Ad (mainly because it’s the shortest and I have places to be).
“Hi, I’m Mike, founder of DollarShaveClub.com. What is DollarShaveClub.com? Well, for a dollar a month, we send high-quality razors right to your door.”
PERFECT. This introduction is straight to the point. In three short sentences, Mike has explained who he is, what he sells, and why his offer is different – i.e. his hook. (Razors to your door for just one dollar a month!).
“Yeah! A dollar! Are the blades any good? No. Our blades are f**king great.”
I bet that made you blink, didn’t it? If Mike’s hilariously deadpan delivery didn’t convince you before, this sudden “twist” promises you you’re in for an exciting minute and forty seconds.
“Do you think your razor needs a vibrating handle, a flashlight, a backscratcher and ten blades? Your handsome-ass grandfather had one blade. And polio.
“Stop paying for shave tech you don’t need. And stop forgetting to buy your blades every month. Alejandro and I are gonna ship ‘em right to you.”
Mike points out that you’ve probably been wasting hundreds of dollars on fancy razors. Razors which, truth be told, don’t offer a much better shave than one blade and some shaving cream.
He also points out another feature of the Dollar Shave service: getting the razors shipped right to your door. The benefit? Not forgetting to buy your blades ever again. (Do you do that? I know I do).
“So stop forgetting to buy your blades every month, and start deciding where you’re gonna stack all those dollar bills I’m saving you.”
Again, Mike reiterates that using DollarShaveClub.com is the best way to save you money. It’s a neat little reminder of the service’s key benefit.
“We’re DollarShaveClub.com, and the party is on.”
A quick reminder of the name of the company, and the ad’s closing sequence. The tagline reads, “Shave Time. Shave Money”: a (not so) subtle reminder of the product and service at hand.
Breaking Down The Creative of Your YouTube Ad
The DollarShaveClub.com YouTube ad was obviously a huge hit. Since its release 7 years ago, the ad has racked up 26 million views. 48 hours after the video launched, DollarShaveClub.com received 12,000 orders, causing the website to crash.
Now, this kind of triumph is obviously the exception to the rule.
DollarShaveClub.com undoubtedly deserve their success, but video traffic on YouTube has increased a thousandfold since 2012. As a result, the chance of “hitting lucky” has got much smaller.
So, don’t get too het up about the “art” of your script. Not every ad is destined to be award-winning, but they can be entertaining and functional. Say what you need to say, in the best way you can, and leave the drumming gorillas to Cadbury’s.
To start off, think about how you’re going to reel your audience in.
Section 1 – Your Hook.
You need to call out your audience from the very beginning. This could be something as simple as asking a rhetorical question: “Are you a [man/woman/dad/mum] who’s tired of [being in debt/expensive car insurance/waiting decades to pay off your mortgage]?”
Using “tired of” or “fed up of” feeds directly into the emotional mindset of your audience. If they’re not “fed up” then that ad’s not for them. No biggie!
Section 2 – Build Emotion.
Talk about the audience’s critical problem – and make sure it’s only one. If you try and take on too much in one vid, you risk confusing your audience. Shoot straight to the heart of the matter: “The biggest problem a lot of [men/women/mums/dads/etc.] face is [insert their critical issue]. Expanding on their problem also provides context for the viewer.
Section 3 – Why Am I A Credible Speaker?
What gives you the right to speak on the topic? You have several ways of tackling this. You could be someone who’s gone through the same problem yourself, or you could be an “expert” in something. (If you choose this route, please, please make sure the actor on the screen is an actual expert. Audiences don’t appreciate being lied to, and it only takes one angry voice for your ad campaign to crumble). You can also drop the brand name at this point. I.e. “[YOUR BRAND] has helped thousands of [women/men/dads/mums] out of [KEY PROBLEM].
Section 4 – Solution.
How can [YOUR BRAND] help that person right now? It’s important not to expect too much from your audience at this point. If your product/service costs a lot of money, a two-minute ad isn’t going to persuade them to take the plunge. Start off small with a survey, asking for their details, and promise them a free gift in return. “We created this [FREE TOOL] that will show you how to [INSERT DESIRE]”.
Section 5 – Call To Action.
It’s the end of your story, but it’s not the end of theirs. Ask your audience to “complete their story” by encouraging them to click the link/give their details/arrange a phone call. Make it sound like the solution to their biggest problem is within arm’s reach. Remind them that, if they’re still watching your video, they need your solution. Your viewer needs to feel a strong sense of investment.
Did you know that our Flexxable Pay Per Lead course offers you a full template video script for your YouTube ads?
We’re not just pretty faces, we also give you super useful stuff. All the time. Just sayin’.
Top Tip #1.5: The Creative Isn’t Just Down To Your Script
The creative isn’t just down to a rockin’ good script.
For every video, we hire at least two to three actors that will appeal to our audiences.
We ask every actor to read from the same script, then we edit it into our YouTube ad. It all comes down to split-testing.
The results may surprise you. For one of our YouTube ads, we were sure that a white woman in her mid-forties would be the most popular with our audience. However, the ad that worked best was a black woman in her late-thirties.
Our Flexxable Pay Per Lead training teaches you how to find and hire actors for your YouTube ad. It also provides templates for casting calls, release forms, and call sheets.
You’ll also get the full run-down on how to hire a studio, how much to pay your actors, and whether or not it’s worth hiring a production company for your particular product.
You want it, we give it. It’s what we do.
Top Tip For Profitable YouTube Ads #2: Target CPA Bidding
As Google’s algorithm has got better, so has its bidding options.
A few years ago, I would stick to manual CPC bidding when it came to AdWords. Google’s artificial intelligence was still in its learning stages, and its “smart bidding” options were too much of a risk.
For Cost Per Click or Cost Per View, Google would use bid prices in conjunction with its quality score (some secret formula that works kinda like the Facebook algorithm). This quality score would decide how high to rank you in the AdWords results.
Generally, if you bid more money, your ad would appear higher in the rankings and get more clicks. BUT your cost per click would increase with it.
With CPC, you need an iron-control of your budget. Bid too little, and you won’t rank high enough to get a good number of click-throughs. However, bid too much, and you could end up paying thousands to Google – way more than you can recoup through sales. Many businesses have fallen victim to Google AdWords and its bidding system.
Thankfully, Google AdWords has become a lot more user-friendly, so people aren’t making the same catastrophic mistakes.
As an alternative to CPC or Cost Per View, AdWords offers CPA – aka Cost Per Action. Google automatically calculates your bid prices and attempts not to exceed the CPA you set up.
Targeting CPA used to be dancing with danger. Google had a bit of a “devil may care” attitude with distributing budget, so some people found themselves spending more than they originally planned.
Google also required a lot of historical data to make CPA work. If the ad didn’t have any data, it would be forced to analyse how similar ads had done in the past. Unfortunately, even similar ads can have very different results. Google worked with dodgy data, causing the CPA to skyrocket.
I’ve found that’s changed.
Thanks to constant machine learning, you can go straight into target CPA bidding, and the algorithm sorts itself pretty much overnight. It means you don’t need to mess around with different setups and campaign structures. So you can spend more time doing something less boring (or even have a couple of extra hours in bed).
Top Tip For Profitable YouTube Ads #3: Be BRUTAL With Your Ads
If you’ve spent some time on something, the last thing you want to do is bin it.
But, as we all know, advertising doesn’t work that way. If something doesn’t do well with your audience, it’s time to put it to bed.
It’s the same with your YouTube ads.
Say you have a target CPA of $15 a lead. You’re running the ad and, after 500 views, Google still can’t get leads for that price. Cost Per Lead will vary depending on your niche but, thanks to experience with Facebook and/or other platforms, you’ll know roughly what your target CPA should be.
If you’re nowhere near hitting that target, your creative isn’t good enough.
This happens to the best of us. Go back to your avatars, your hooks and your script, and try again. There’s no point in running an ad if it’s going to lose you money.
Top Tip #4: Send YouTube Ad Traffic To A Quiz or Survey
I’ve spoken before about using quizzes in your lead gen funnels, but the same applies to video ads.
A well-structured quiz can uncover all sorts of information about your prospects in a way you couldn’t get through static marketing.
Audiences are fascinated with quizzes. Questions aggravate the brain, acting like tiny fingers relentlessly prodding you in the grey matter. Humans are hardwired to think questions are owed answers, no matter the topic.
Marketing quizzes are also perfect for lead segmentation. Not all leads are equal: out of every 100 leads from your questionnaire, only 10 of them will be ready to take action right away.
The other 80 leads will need to be nurtured a bit.
Take this quiz question for the car finance niche:
[NAME], Would you be ready to speak to one of our qualified car finance experts tomorrow?
A – Yes, count me in!
B – I’m not sure… maybe in a few weeks?
C – No, I want to explore my options first.
Those who selected B and C need adding into a nurture sequence. You know that they want help with their car finance, or they wouldn’t have taken the quiz or handed over their email address. However, they’re not ready to take action this very moment.
These aren’t “wasted” leads. Segment these people into an email autoresponder sequence to warm them up, providing them with advice, tips and valuable resources on how to get the best offers in car finance. Since the content matches their interests, the consumer is more likely to open the email.
In three to six months, open up the offer again. Ask them if they’re ready to speak to a qualified car finance expert, and guide them towards scheduling an appointment.
It may take a little longer, but the email addresses of the unsure are just as precious as the ones ready to take action right away.
The combination of video and quiz-based advertising will always beat the lead quality you get via other means.
Use your YouTube ad to qualify your leads. Explain the offer to your audience, and entice them to click the link that leads to the quiz.
We’ve found this works brilliantly. For every 100 clicks, we get 10 high-quality people that want to take immediate action. The others are put into a nurture sequence, so 10 more may become leads after a couple of months.
Top Tip #5: One Campaign Per Audience
A lot of people know their way around Facebook ads. They can use interests and lookalike audiences to create great campaigns.
Guess what? YouTube has the same opportunities but to an even higher degree. YouTube uses:
- Affinity audiences
- In-market audiences
- Custom intent
And so on.
What we do is break down each campaign by audience, then have a run at the market, which could be the whole country we’re advertising in.
Then we’ll break the market into different segments. For example, in the debt niche, we’ll target one audience with credit card debt, another with a weakness for shopping, another with council tax debt.
One big audience has been split into three. These three, smaller, viewers will have one dedicated campaign each.
Then, within that campaign structure, we’ll break down the age brackets at the ad group level:
We have our YouTube ads within each ad group. Each group is monitored to see how well they perform within that interest.
These tips have helped our cost per lead go down by 30 – 40%. We teach you how to do all of these actions (and more) in our official training. If you think YouTube ads could work for you, click the link below and book a call with us.