Does YouTube advertising really work for your business?
Let’s find out.
Why YouTube Advertising Is Low-Hanging Fruit for Marketers
Case Study #1: How YouTube Ads Revived Treehouse
So I looked into the advertising account and saw that YouTube ads were the only thing really giving Treehouse any kind of traction with leads. Ultimately, that’s what you’re looking for whenever you’re running any type of display or video advertising. You’re looking for traction.
Nothing else was giving Treehouse that kind of traction, so I did the sensible thing. I stopped all our ads and just doubled down on the YouTube ads. I followed the data trail, and we saw the numbers improve. These were drastic measures for drastic times—we had 54 employees but only five months worth of cash left, so we had to do something quickly.
When I decided to pause all the existing ads, the CEO came to me and said that as a marketer I had to make things happen or I was on my way out the door. Talk about motivational onboarding! Frankly, I don’t think they had much time to hire another marketing lead to take things over even if they did let me go, so really everything was up to my experiments. It was all on the line, so we really had nothing to lose when I went all-in with YouTube advertising.
The first thing I noticed when I looked at the data was that our target audience was searching for what we were teaching people on YouTube, so it really made a lot of sense to me. Our sign-ups skyrocketed as soon as we made the switch and we didn’t look back. We were able to drive clicks for very cheap (we’re talking a couple pennies per click).
Ultimately, YouTube became Treehouse’s #1 customer acquisition channel.
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Case Study #2: How Crazy Egg Capitalizes on YouTube Ads
YouTube advertising also works really well for Crazy Egg. They generate more money in one month from YouTube advertising than from any other paid media channel. For example, if a Crazy Egg customer is worth $10 per month (they’re worth more than that but let’s just keep the numbers really simple), their cost for YouTube advertising per customer is less than what that customer is worth in one month.
With most software and service companies, they’re willing to pay for up to six months of customer value to secure one customer, because they know that customer will stick around for two to three years. Compare that to what Crazy Egg is paying per customer via YouTube (less than one month of customer value).
Case Study #3: How Tai Lopez Generates Millions of YouTube Views
One guy who does a lot of YouTube advertising and who is really successful is a guy named Tai Lopez.
He does a lot of personal wealth and lifestyle-related stuff and a lot of his videos feature him in his house or in his garage next to his Lamborghini. Tai will tell you that he doesn’t care about the Lamborghini and that he values his collection of books far more because the knowledge that he learned from those books is how he got to where he is in life.
On some of his videos, Tai has 50 to 60 million views. Granted, most of it’s generated from paid advertising, but it’s extremely profitable for him. Just look at his lifestyle. I think he lives in like a 17,000-square-foot house and has tons of fancy cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Rolls Royces, etc.
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What Types of YouTube Ads Should You Use?
Here’s the funny thing about YouTube advertising:Despite how profitable YouTube advertising is, most companies don't want to do it. Click To Tweet
It’s a lot of work to create a pre-roll video that you put in front of another YouTube video. But that’s not the only form of YouTube advertising. You can also do text-based ads, but I’ve found the pre-roll ads to work and convert the best.
Most people don’t want to create these pre-roll ads, but if you do put in that time and effort, not only is there a good chance that the ads will work, the cost per click is also a lot lower because you’re competing with fewer people.
You can also bid on search ads. For example, if I’m searching for, “What is HTML?” in YouTube, you can have your ad pop up in the top two results easily. You can actually generate leads that way. For example, you might make a video that’s just one to two minutes long where you’re teaching viewers something useful. At the end, you say, “Hey, if you’re looking for more tips like this, go ahead and download our free e-book right here and we’ll give you more tips down the road.”
Using that type of a strategy, we’re able to get leads from YouTube for about $1 a head and sometimes even lower than that.
Targeting certain keywords also works really well. For example, let’s say you create an ad group for web design as a service and you call it something like “Web design for dummies” or “Web design tutorial.” You might have an ad group of 10-20 keywords. You want to target those ad groups and you’re able to target those specific videos.
You can also target placements. For my podcast Growth Everywhere, I target people who are watching entrepreneurial videos, so I might be targeting Entrepreneur Magazine’s YouTube page. I might be targeting Forbes. I might even be targeting Tai Lopez in some cases. There are a lot of different options.
Some of these channels have so many subscribers that it is definitely worth taking a look at them because YouTube is just getting bigger and bigger. It is the #2 search engine in the world.
The barrier to entry to making a great video with a great script and great editing is getting lower. But other people are still being lazy with video. This is your opportunity to get in there and capitalize on the growth of YouTube.
You should also pay attention to geo-targeting. Crazy Egg offers a free trial where they target people who live in Japan. They found that those people were less likely to cancel their free trial than any other segment. And Japan converted just as well as the US, the UK, Canada, or any other region.
So when you’re targeting your ads, look at the audience, too. Look at the lifetime value of a customer. If you’re selling them a product right away and you don’t have a free trial, look at repeat purchases. You may find that people from specific regions are much more likely to become repeat purchasers versus other people.
Answer Objections 24/7
We also learned that the key to a high-conversion pre-roll ad is to quickly answer objections. With Crazy Egg, Neil Patel answered objections like: “How does Crazy Egg differ from Google Analytics?”
Imagine you’re targeting someone who watches entrepreneurship videos and you’re selling an entrepreneur-related product or a course or whatever it may be. The people who see your ad probably have some objections. Use surveying tools like SurveyMonkey or Qualaroo to figure out what those objections are. If you answer those objections within that pre-roll video, even if your video’s a bit longer, that’s okay.
By answering all these objections, we found that our conversions from YouTube went through the roof. In fact, they more than doubled. But if you don’t answer objections, you just have a video that’s like, “Cool. This is my product, buy it.” If that’s all you’re going to put effort into, then you’ll lose a lot of money on YouTube ads.
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Retarget Easily on YouTube
And even if someone sees the answer to their objection and doesn’t take action—that’s okay, too. You can always retarget those people, because with YouTube you can retarget people who have watched a specific video. You can make retargeting lists. You can make smart lists as well. There are a lot of different options, and you should try all of them.
If they don’t purchase, hit them with another ad talking about other objections. If they still don’t buy, hit them with another ad that talks about a testimonial. Maybe you can hit them with something else, like an educational webinar on what people can do with your product or service.
Keep in mind that while we’ve been talking about YouTube ads in this post, you can do a lot of the same things with Facebook ads, too.
Overall, the key take-away here is that YouTube ads actually work. I’ve given you some case studies and I’ve talked about my own experience with YouTube advertising that we’re running for clients right now. So get in on it while the costs are low, because we guarantee you the prices are only going to go up over time.
This post was adapted from Marketing School, a 10-minute daily podcast in which Neil Patel and Eric Siu teach you real-life marketing strategies and tactics from their own experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity.