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4 Things You Should Know Before You Create Your First YouTube Ad

What are four things you should know before you create your first YouTube Ad? Let’s find out!

The Product & Offer Are Most Important

It’s not just about the ads. You can have the best YouTube Ad media buying team in the world running your ads, but if those ads are going to a product nobody wants or an offer that’s no good, those ads simply will not work.

On the flip side, you could have a great product and offer and ads that are just mediocre, those ads could still work. Granted, you’ll probably get mediocre results, but even with a poorly run campaign, if you have a great product that speaks for itself and everyone wants it, you could see profitable results from YouTube Ads.

Of course, the best results are going to come when you have a great product, a great offer, and great YouTube Ads.

You Don’t Need Professional Production

It is true that some of the most successful YouTube Ads out there were professionally produced. They are extremely well-written, great structure, great camera work, great editing, and overall, just great professional ads. But, there are also countless examples of YouTube Ads that were not professionally done and didn’t have a lot of planning behind them. They still turned out to be great ads, and in some cases, phenomenally great ads!

I want to point this out because I know this is a sticking point for a lot of people. This is what keeps people from getting people into YouTube Ads. They are just afraid of creating the ad, they don’t know how, they don’t know what to say, or they think it needs to be professionally done.

My advice – just get started! Just record something. Pull out your phone, record five different ads, see if one works better than the other ones.

Now, you have a better starting point. Maybe you record some ads and as you progress, the ads can become more professional. You get your messaging ironed out and maybe someday you spend a bunch of money hiring a camera crew to come and record some professional ads with you… or maybe not. Maybe you have enough success doing it on your own and don’t need to go down that road.

The YouTube Ads Interface is Not Beginner-Friendly

I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed the first time you log into Google Ads and try to start setting up a YouTube campaign. It is overwhelming and you should feel overwhelmed because if you don’t take it seriously, you are going to fall victim to lots and lots of traps.

The ads interface will offer to walk you through a step-by-step setup process. But, this is actually where a lot of traps come into play. There are just so many settings that aren’t explained very well and if you don’t have the experience with YouTube Ads, you don’t really understand how those translate to what actually happens with the ad and how that will affect your results.

For example, one of the default settings will allow your ads to run outside of YouTube on websites that are not but that play video ads. This is not a good place to run your ads. The traffic from these sites is generally very low-quality, so you want to make sure that is turned off. But, if you’re the step-by-step process, you wouldn’t know that and would likely leave that setting turned on.

The system will also default to showing your ads on TV screens. If you’re running direct-response YouTube Ads where you need people to click and go to your website, TV screens are not the place to run your ads. This is another default setting that needs to be turned off.

Another relatively new default setting combines in-stream ads with discovery ads, so if you’re setting up an ad, it’ll show both as an in-stream ad (which plays during videos) and a discovery ad (which shows up next to ‘Recommended Videos’ and is an ad people can click on and go watch). Two totally different ads and totally different types of videos that would work for in-stream vs discovery ads. This should almost never be on, but if you’re going through the guided setup, this option is going to be on by default and you actually need to turn it off.

These are just a few examples of how confusing the system is and how many traps there are along the way if you don’t know what you’re doing.

The YouTube Algorithm Cannot Work Miracles

You need to have a campaign that is built well and an offer that converts. Only then can the algorithm work well. If you are running a campaign and you need to get leads for $10, but you’ve started out, it’s been a few days, and you’re getting leads for $25, simply letting that campaign run isn’t going to get you where you need to be. The algorithm will not be able to do enough work to bring the lead cost down from $25 to $10. Instead, you need to adjust the campaign, the targeting, the offer, whatever it is, to get those ads working and bring the lead cost down. Simply giving the algorithm more time is not an option.

Surprisingly, I hear this kind of thing from other agencies. They’ll be running a client’s ad for a month or two and not getting the results they need. They say they need more time so things can optimize. NO. If you’re running a campaign that long, you can’t wait for things to happen. You should have already tested tons of new ads, new targeting, maybe even a new offer. If things aren’t working, you need to be extremely proactive at trying things and figuring out what is going to work. The algorithm is not going to do it for you.