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Top YouTube Ads Tips

Let’s look at four of my top YouTube Ads Tips!

Tip #1 – Target Content As Much As Possible

This means you are targeting video placements, channel placements, and topics as much as possible. To a lesser extent, you’re going to target keywords. (Sometimes keywords are based on content, but sometimes they’re based on audience behavior.) The three main content pieces to target are videos, channels, and topics. 

Content targeting is actually very unique to YouTube. You can’t target Facebook Ads based on the content someone is consuming, but on YouTube, you can. It’s extremely powerful because it tells us a lot about who we are targeting. 

If someone is watching a particular video on YouTube – let’s say it’s a video with a motivational speech – that actually tells us a lot about the person watching the video. They are obviously interested in self-improvement. But not only that, and the reason why content targeting is so powerful, is that they are interested in self-improvement in that exact moment because they are consuming the content right then. It’s not an interest that Google recognized from a year ago or five years ago. They’re actually consuming the content in real-time. 

As an advertiser, if you are offering a product that provides the same outcome that a viewer is hoping to achieve by watching the video about motivation, then putting your ad on that video is a great fit and you should see excellent results by doing so. This goes for all types of products and videos. You want to match your product to the video. If you want to sell a product to rock climbers, you put your ads on videos about rock climbing. If you are selling a product about magic, you put your ad on videos about magic. If you’re selling something to video editors, then you’d put your ad on, you guessed it, videos about video editing. 

Content targeting can be difficult to scale. There will always be a limit because there is a limited amount of content out there on any given topic. But, if your ads are going to work at all, they’re going to work with content targeting because of how well we can target the right customers at the right time. This is where I recommend starting with YouTube Ads. Put in the time and find as many videos, channels, and relevant topics that you can target as possible.

Tip #2 – Start Narrow With Your Ideal Customer

When you’re looking at things like age, gender, and household income, you want to really think about who your target customer is, who your previous customers have been, and get very narrow at the beginning stages of your campaign.

A lot of people approach this the wrong way. They think, “Well I’ve gotten customers from every age group from 18 up to 80 years old.” Now that might be true, but where have the vast majority of your customers come from? If they have mostly been 25-44, then you’ll want to stick to that age range. You can always add in additional age groups later, but your ads will have the best chance of success if you start with a narrowly defined group of people.

The late, great copywriter, Gary Halbert, used to talk about his thought process for mailing sales letters out to people. He would imagine someone had a gun to his head and he had to get his mailing to work. It had to be profitable or he would literally be beheaded. That sounds kind of morbid, but I think it really helps to drive this point home.

In Halbert’s case, he talks about getting people to open the sales letters that he sent to them through the mail. If he had a gun to his head, he wouldn’t send them a mailing that looked like junk mail and would get thrown away. Instead, he would send letters that looked like personal letters that were likely to get opened. Then, once the letters were opened, he thought about what he would have to say on that first line to get someone to continue reading his letter rather than realizing it is an ad and throwing it away. That wouldn’t work – that would get his head blown off. So he had to get people to read the letter and go through the whole process of reading the sales letter and eventually buying the product that he was selling.

Of course, he had to make sure he was mailing these letters to a list of ideal prospects that would actually be interested in the product he was selling as well. So, apply that to your YouTube Ads. You want to make sure you’re targeting the audiences and demographics that are most likely to contain your target customers. 

Content targeting should also be looked at through this lens. You want to make sure that the content you’re targeting is going to be watched mostly by your target customer. If your customer only makes up a small percentage of the people who are watching a particular video or channel, it is probably not the best place to start.

If you can’t get your ads to work with a narrowly defined target, you won’t be able to get them to work by expanding and adding targeting. So if that’s the case, you’ve learned you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how you can deliver a different message or product that will speak to your target customer in a more attractive way.

But if your ads do work with your narrow targeting, that is a great sign! Now you can start to expand your reach, add additional targeting, and scale your campaign. 

Tip #3 – Separate your computer, mobile, & tablet targeting

What I do is create separate ad groups within each campaign. I’ll have one ad group only targeting computers, one ad group for mobile, and one ad group for tablets. The targeting in the ads is going to be the same in every ad group – the only difference is the device targeting.

This enables you to bid differently for leads from different devices. This is important because traffic from different devices can behave very differently. Usually, traffic coming from computers is a lot more valuable, especially if you’re running traffic to a webinar, because someone at a computer is more likely to be in a position where they’re going to sit down, consume your entire webinar, and potentially book a call with you or buy your product. If someone is on their phone, it’s less likely they’ll be able to consume an entire webinar right away.

So if the data tells us that computer traffic is twice as likely to convert, we should not be paying the same cost per lead for computer and mobile traffic. We should be paying more per lead for computer and less per lead for mobile. This will help to get more of that better converting computer traffic. And yes, you will get less mobile traffic if you’re bidding less, but it’s more important to stay profitable than it is to just get a lot of traffic. So, splitting up your devices so you can bid differently per lead on each device is extremely important.

Tip #4 – Identify your target customer early on in the ad

You want your target customer to keep watching the ad and you want everyone else to skip the ad. With YouTube Ads, you are only paying when people watch 30 seconds of your ad or more, so getting the wrong people to skip will help maximize your budget because it is going to go towards the right people.

This also helps to train YouTube to show your ads to more of the right people. Again, YouTube only gets paid if someone watches 30 seconds of an ad or more, so YouTube doesn’t want to keep showing an ad to a group that is highly likely to skip it. They want to show ads to people who are actually interested and who are going to watch the ads. If your ads are doing a good job of identifying the right people, then Google’s ad algorithms are going to do a good job putting your ads in front of those people.

You could have some super interesting ad that people want to keep watching to see what you’re talking about, but then a minute in, you finally identify the people you’re trying to talk to. Now, you have just wasted a bunch of money on people who were interested in your ad but not what you were actually offering. And you’ve also been training Google to show that ad to the wrong people because, hey, they’re still watching 30 seconds of it, so Google is still getting paid.

 Now let me give you a few ways you can identify your target customer at the beginning of your ad (it’s not that hard).

Let’s say my target customers are video editors. I can start by saying the following:

  • “Hey, video editors!”
  • “If you’re a video editor…”
  • “Did you know that video editors …?”

So that’s it! Those are my top YouTube Ads tips!