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The Biggest YouTube Ads Mistakes

What are some mistakes people make when running YouTube Ads? Unfortunately, there are a lot of them – too many to list in this blog, so I’m just going to cover the biggest ones I see that have the most devastating consequences.

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Not Tracking Conversions

Google’s artificial intelligence is really smart and it can really help us zero in on the results we are trying to get. But, it will only be able to help us do this if it knows the results that we want. That is accomplished by setting up conversion actions, installing the tracking code in the funnel so Google knows the results we want and it can help us find more of the same. If the AI doesn’t know what we want, then it can’t help us get it. Instead, the system will focus on lower-level metrics like cost-per-view, cost-per-impression, that sort of thing.

Tracking Too Many Conversions

The opposite of not tracking conversions is actually too many. I see this a lot too where people may have accidentally set up multiple conversion actions for the same thing, so people are getting double-counted or they are just tracking too many things. They’re tracking people who have viewed a page for five seconds, then they’re tracking people who have opted in for something, then they’re tracking people who have watched the webinar for a minute, and then they’re tracking people who have watched a webinar for five minutes.

It just gets to be too much. Suddenly, you have one person with 10 conversions counted towards them and it’s going to throw off your ability to optimize the campaigns. You should be telling Google which conversions to help you optimize for and this should really only be a handful of conversions – an opt-in and then maybe one or two higher-level actions.

Not Having Enough Video Ads

It’s possible to get great results from a campaign with just one really good ad. The problem is you don’t always know which ad is going to be really good. You can put a lot of time and effort into making one ad and there’s just something off with the messaging and it flops. If that was the only ad and you put all of your eggs in that basket, you’re going to be out of luck until you can put another ad together and try again.

A better approach is to produce multiple ads at once so you have more creatives to work with. I’ve had clients send me 10 different ads that all looked great, but one or two of them far out-performed the other ones. What would have been the chance of getting that really good ad if it was the only ad I had? Maybe 10%. By getting multiple ads to test from the start, now we can really figure out which ad is going to do the best. A big mistake is to only start with one or two ads. A much better approach is to test multiple ads, at least five, but the more the better.

Not Enough Targeting

When you’re first starting to run YouTube Ads, it’s really hard to know exactly what type of targeting is going to work. Which placements are going to work? Which keywords? Which audiences? If you’re only targeting a couple of keywords and a handful of placements, your ads are probably going to struggle. Even if you do start getting good results, it’s going to be really hard to scale. So, for better results, you want to add a lot of placements, keywords, audiences, topics.

Not all of them are going to work out and that is to be expected. If you only have a small number of targeting options and those don’t work out, then things are going to fall apart. If you have a lot of targeting options selected and some of them don’t work out, you simply turn those off and start sending your budget to what is working. This is how you’ll be seeing the best results and you’ll be able to scale, scale, scale.

Not Enough Campaigns

When you add all of this targeting, you do not want to put it all on the same campaign. Instead, let’s say you have 100 keywords that you found and you think they’re all going to be good keywords. You’ll want to spread those out. Group them into similar themes and put them in five, 10, or even more campaigns. That’s going to allow you to see which groups of keywords are doing the best or worst, so you can start optimizing your budget and put it where it’ll make the biggest impact.

Lack of Congruency

Lack of congruency from the ad to the landing page. I see this happen where a YouTube ad will say one thing and it will bring users to a landing page that says something different, sometimes completely different. This can cause people to leave the landing page because now they don’t really know what they were getting and it’s not the thing that was promised to them in the ad.

The Wrong Type of Offer

There are some types of offers that are going to work better with YouTube Ads than other types of offers. There may be an offer that works great with Facebook and not on YouTube. Let me say that, of course, there are going to be examples to the contrary, these are just typically what works best or not as well.

The best offers are going to be opt-ins that bring people to a webinar or some other type of VSL. That’s because it will be fairly easy to get somebody to opt-in for something from YouTube, especially if you’re bringing them to some piece of content that is a video. You can take advantage of the fact that someone was just watching videos and you can bring them to another that then works to sell your product or service. So, an opt-in to a video sales letter is, in my opinion, the best type of offer to run with YouTube Ads. 

Offers that don’t work as well are offers that require some type of purchase upfront. It could be a $13 book, a $7 tripwire, or even a $1 trial for something. People on YouTube aren’t as likely to spend money from an ad right away. They’re just not in that frame of mind. So, when they realize that you’re trying to get them to spend money, they’re going to skip your ad or leave your website and head back to YouTube to watch more videos. By asking for that money upfront, you’ve lost the viewer.

Now, I will say if you have a book funnel or some other type of paid offer, there is a place for it with YouTube Ads, but the place that I put those types of offers is in retargeting. With a retargeting audience, the numbers on an offer like that can work out well. With a cold audience, it’s much harder to get it to work. 

There you have it… Some of the biggest mistakes that I see people making with their YouTube Ads.