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YouTube Ads for Brick & Mortar Businesses

Kyle: Hello and welcome to the Google Ads Strategy Show. My name is Kyle Sulerud. And today I’m going to be talking with Nicholas Ayers. Nick runs an agency called Made You Look Video Marketing. So as you can imagine, he deals a lot with video marketing with YouTube ads, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. And I’m excited about it because I love YouTube ads myself, and Nick’s working with different types of clients than I typically work with. So I’m really interested to hear what he has to say.

Nick, welcome.

Nicholas: Hey, Kyle, thanks so much for having me on. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Kyle:  So how did you get into all this? Into marketing and into YouTube ads specifically?

Nicholas:  Yeah, kind of an interesting rabbit trail for sure. So I first got involved with video in general, in the year 1997-1998. I was in high school still. And my very first job, I was working as a camera operator in a public access TV station. And this was before online video was a thing. And I fell in love with the editing side of content with video. And in those days, like you would have to edit video with capture cards and VHS decks, and you would, you know, have all these cables and it was a long ordeal, and we were making videos for small businesses that would show videos in boardrooms or in sales presentations, funerals and weddings and everything else and that’s kind of how you used video back in the day. 

And I used to wear a fanny pack, kind of one of my trademarks is I wear a fanny pack a lot. And that fanny pack, I would have like all those cassette, videotapes, everything. That’s how I started. In 2005 I got into the insurance industry, it was my first “big boy” job. 

And so 2012 is when I launched my very first brick and mortar Insurance Agency. I went from being an employee to now an employer. And I had to learn very quickly how to get customers. And I loved making video content, and I loved marketing and sales. But I was starting a business with zero customers on the books and zero dollars in the bank. And so I had to learn very quickly if I wanted to go from eating popcorn for dinner to how to get customers and put food on the table for me and my family. 

And so I started going down the rabbit hole of marketing and understanding why people make buying decisions. And I started going really head first into paid advertising, organic, and really kind of copywriting and understanding those things. And I justified it in my head like I had to do this to get customers but I found myself doing it because I really liked it. I found that this was something that I enjoyed learning about.

I was not a good student in school. In fact, I just went through the system, they gave me a diploma at the end. I was not a good student, but I loved learning about this stuff. Into that is when I started really getting into things like Facebook ads. And then I started really kind of using my love for video creation and content creation and going to YouTube. And so I was kind of juggling both platforms to a degree. I’d say it was about three years ago, maybe a little bit more than three years ago, that I kind of started seeing the writing on the wall with Facebook ads. 

And I think Facebook ads are great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s harder today than it was in 2012. It’s different today, is a better way of putting it. But I saw YouTube as a platform that really nobody was using, very few people. The only companies that were really using it were your big brand names. Your Southwest Airlines, or T-Mobiles, your Enterprise rental cars, like those companies were doing it for just kind of branding. 

But I saw an opportunity in that platform and I said, you know, I love making video content. I could take what I know about making content and how to make it, and then I could marry my love for marketing in general, on a platform that billions of hours get consumed on every single day and has little to no competition on it. And I can start to get traction there, and that’s how my journey into YouTube ads really began.

And I love other (platforms like) Google ads, like I love your course on Google search ads, we were talking about this before. But I really have more of a passion for video because I think videos are very emotional. I think it’s a great way to connect people and we’re doing this on Zoom live video. And short of me and you sitting down to lunch and shaking hand,s and having a conversation, this is the next best thing. This is how you scale. This is how you make those emotional connections with prospects and buyers. It’s harder to come by in just text, or in just images. I think this is my bias. I think this is a better way of communicating and doing it at scale.

Kyle: Sure, and I don’t think there’s too many people that could argue with that. This is a great way to communicate. Now when you had your “big boy” job, were you still making videos on the side or how did you kind of keep that going?

Nicholas:  Yeah, so first I started with doing that on the side, but also doing it for my business, and trial and error, and scraping the knee and falling down off the bike and having to learn how to get back up, spending thousands of thousands of dollars that I didn’t really have. Couldn’t afford to do, but to test and to say, okay let me see what the results look like with this kind of call to action or taking them to this landing page, or doing this kind of style of ad, whether it was in-stream or discovery or whatever the case might be.

Whether it was using placements, or whether it was using keywords, and learning how to (I’ve taken courses and I still do. I don’t buy books, I buy courses.) but learning probably 90% of what I’ve learned, and what I do just through trial and error. And having to do that on my own business, and then seeing what works, seeing what fell flat on its face, and kind of having to evolve and adapt a little bit. 

So I kind of went from freelancer to now I have to be a practitioner. It’s good in theory when I talk to somebody else about it, but how does it work in my own business? And if I can believe that it works with conviction, because I know that it works, I think that’s that was the best education. So yes, making content, both from an organic standpoint and educational standpoint and the direct response standpoint.

Kyle:  So when you started your own business then, did you have a plan for marketing? Or did you start the business and think “Oh, this is gonna be great customers are gonna come?” And then you said, “Oh, crap, I need to figure out how to get customers.” 

Nicholas: Yeah, I think there was a mixture of both. I think in your mind, you think “I have a plan. I’m gonna do X, Y, and Z, I’m gonna do this.” And then reality sets in you know, that famous line, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit in the face.” I think that there was a degree of that. But I still fall into this trap, thinking, “Okay, I’m gonna if I do this type of ad, I create this type of funnel, if I create this kind of offer, I do this and that…we treat it like a math equation. And we think, okay, one plus one always equals two. 

And so there was also that element, and there’s still always that element. I think we and that’s why you test different things. But, you know, there was a mixture of both and you had to kind of think, “Okay, what I thought was right here was right and what I thought was wrong, was right. And what I thought was right was wrong to some degree,” and you just have to kind of swivel to a degree when you’re in the firing zone.

Because, you know, as you watch your ad accounts, you see money being spent, and it’s easy to look at that and say, okay, looks like I’m not going to be able to take my wife out on Friday night. Okay, great. Um, what’s next? Oh, we’re dipping into the kids’ piggy bank fund. Okay, we see that going and then with wisdom and try to keep a level head, you have to think “okay, how far do I let this go up before I make changes?” There’s always that element. 

And now we’re fortunate, now I’m looking at other people’s ad accounts. I’m seeing what they’re doing. I’m thinking, “Okay, I’m a fiduciary of this, I’m a steward of this, they’re trusting me to give them sound advice to help them.” It’s not anything that I take lightly. I remember when I was in Joe’s position, you know, Joe’s trying to make this work and I need to make sure that what he’s doing is good because I look at myself as a steward of that, like I have to be responsible. My background in the financial service space is, I’m a fiduciary of this stuff and the information that I give them.

Kyle: Do you still have your brick and mortar or are you just doing marketing now?

Nicholas: I do have that business. Luckily, it’s at a place now where I’m removed a lot from it. It’s not really brick and mortar, in that we don’t have a brick and mortar location. But I still have that business. I have good people who run a lot of the day to day and I kind of come in and it’s a testing ground, a sandbox so to speak for me to run new ads. And I’ve run that, and our insurance business still grows. It’s managed pretty well. I pay and trust people to keep it operational. And I kind of, I tell people, I’m kind of Mark Cuban in the sense in that I come to the game, I eat popcorn, I yell at the refs, I high five the people, but I trust things to my coaches and to my players. And so that’s kind of how we operate today.

Kyle: So most of your time is spent on your marketing agency.

Nicholas:  Yes, it ebbs and flows for sure. Because there are other businesses I also operate. But there’s an ebb and flow with it kind of a current tide that comes in and goes out. There are seasons where I’m 90% focused on our agency. There are times where I’m maybe 50% tied to it and my attention is on another company. Fortunately, we have good people and partners so the burden is not all my own.

Kyle:  Okay, tell me about your marketing agency. What kind of clients are you serving? And what are you doing for them?

Nicholas: Yeah, we primarily service people in the financial service sector, mainly brick and mortar financial services. So this ranges from two main niches that have the lion’s share of our attention, that is insurance agents. It’s my background. And then people in mortgage and real estate. And so we serve a lot and we also do a little bit with financial planners and investment advisors. But for the most part, we’re working with insurance agents, auto/home/life/business insurance agents, and then people who are in the mortgage and real estate space.

Kyle: And you’re, you’re running YouTube ads for them?

Nicholas:  Yeah, so we do a couple things. Number one, we offer a training program. It’s not much different than most other training programs. It’s a coaching program for those that want to learn, want to do it themselves, want to have control over it. And so we show them YouTube advertising, we show them our strategies, we have pre-built funnels and things that they can just kind of “paint by the number” to a degree, training wheels for them to use. We show them YouTube ads. It’s a full training coaching program where we offer ongoing support, we offer all their video editing, we do all that stuff. 

We know that they’re gonna get leads. So we’d rather them focus their time on their processes and their sales skills. And so when you get leads, just, you know, learn what to do with a lead. And then we take a very select few people out of there that want a done-for-you service and a management service. And we work with those folks. We keep it capped and keep it limited just because of bandwidth. It’s not my goal or intention to scale done-for-you agency. 

I like to be an educator much like yourself. I mean, you have great educational products. And that’s where I get a lot of fulfillment. And I’d rather show you how to do something, teach how to do something and then work with you, hold your hand as you do it, and continue to do, so that’s basically our model. We work with about 20 different clients on the done-for-you side or management side. And we kind of are very picky and choosy on who we want to work with. We prefer to work with companies of a certain size, have a certain mindset when it comes to ad spend, and scalability.

Kyle: So do all of your  done-for-you clients come out of your training program? 

Nicholas:  No, I would say half do. The other half, they heard about us, and the other half we talked to them about our training program. And then they’ll say “You know what, Nick, this sounds great, but honestly, I just want someone to do it for me.” Great. Let’s have a different conversation and see if it’s a fit. And then that’s how we kind of do that. 

So a lot of people will maybe start there or know me for the coaching program. But then some of them are people who have been referred to us or that see our ads. And we kind of, you know, go through a different level of filtering or qualifications for that.

Kyle: So you said the people in your program, you’re editing the ads for them? Are they recording their ads? Let’s walk through the process: I’m an insurance agent, I’m in your program, and I need to start running some YouTube ads, what do I need to do? And then what do you help me with?

Nicholas:  Yep. So I believe that the targeting aspect of YouTube advertising is important, but it’s not nearly as important as knowing what the offer is and knowing how to script the offer. And so that’s where we focus a lot of our time.

I take a copywriters’ approach to our program. And so what we do is we provide my five favorite scripting frameworks. It really depends on your offer which one fits best with it. You go run all of them. But we have staple ones. That’s just a six-part framework for our YouTube ads. How we structure the script, I provide them with fillable PDFs, they can just essentially plug and play information. We kind of polish it up for them, help them polish it up. And then what they do is they film their ad, according to our instructions. 

So for example, if you’re a mortgage lender, or a real estate agent, part of our simple advice is don’t film this in your office, go into the neighborhood of the houses that your customers buy, and go film it there and do it with the cell phone. 

You don’t need fancy equipment for YouTube ads. Do with the cell phone, give it to my team, my team will edit it for you. All you need to do is be responsible for hitting the little red square on your phone and talking into the camera. Get that into my team. Tell them what you want it to do. And then my team will get you a finished video, edit it, back to you, and usually 24 to 48 hours.

And so that’s what we want them to do. We tell people, we don’t want them to focus on their execution of things…I mean, you probably see this a lot, too. The biggest problem getting people into programs is their implementation. A lot of people buy books that they never read. They join programs that they never do anything with. And so we want them to implement. And so whatever obstacles we could take out of their way to do that, because the end of the day, what I want for them is not just to be part of a program, but I want them to be part of our program and get results. I mean, their results are inevitably my results. That’s what we use to gain more people in our program. And so that’s what we want them focusing on. 

So we focus on the scripting, we focus on the offer. Because most people who join our program have no background in marketing. I have no background in any of this. None of it. Not from the creative side, not from the strategic side. Not from the technical side. 

And they shouldn’t. I mean they’re loan officers, they’re insurance agents, they’re real estate agents. That’s what they spend in life in their day doing. And so I don’t fault them for that. But what happens is, they’ll write a script, or they’ll create an offer, and it’s an insurance agent who’s talking as if he’s talking to another insurance agent, because that’s the language that he speaks, or she speaks. And so we have to really focus on that and make that good because any blind monkey can figure out the technical stuff. 

I mean, there’s plenty of content on YouTube to learn how to set up a YouTube ad. If you want to find that, you’ll find that, but that’s not going to be what gets you the best results. You can get in front of the right audience. You can have your YouTube ad technically set up incredibly well. You’re going to have the right audience, the right keywords, the right customer, whatever angle you’re going for, you can have that all done perfectly. You can have your conversion tags and you can have your automation,  everything perfect. But if you don’t say the right things, none of it matters. 

If I was an insurance agent trying to sell someone insurance, but all they heard me talk about was insurance, or all they heard me talk about was the jargon, and it wasn’t an attractive offer, then who cares how the rest of it set up? You’re going to spend money, but you’re not gonna be profitable with your ads. I think that’s what we try to focus on in our program, is really honing in on that. We’re going to learn the technical stuff. We’re going to do all that. Let’s really hone in and focus on what is most important in a YouTube ad. And that is the script and the offer.

Kyle:  Can you give us an example of an offer for an insurance agent or a mortgage broker?

Nicholas:  Sure. So like on mortgages is a really good example. One of the common mistakes for loan officers who don’t have any background in this, they’ll come in and they’ll shoot a video and they’ll say, “Our interest rates are this, with an an APR of this, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and this and the other and FHA and VA” and they’re talking like they’re reading off a contract. When the buyer, the prospect doesn’t know what that is and doesn’t find that attractive. So what I tell our loan officers is this, let’s make the offer attractive and let’s make it simple. Here’s a simple offer: Own your dream home in 60 days or less.

That’s simple. And that’s attractive. I don’t say “buy”, because “buy” implies debt and mortgage and we know that’s gonna be there anyways. But “buy” implies something, it has a little bit more negative connotation than “own”. “Own” is more attractive. And it’s the same thing. You’re gonna own your dream home in 60 days, and I say 60 days because I know 30 on average of those days is the Escrow phase where it’s 30 days. That’s the waiting period. 

So the person that’s attracted to that offer and responds to that offer is not someone who’s just trying to kick the tires. These are people that want to move. 

Now there’s a qualification process that happens on your landing page. And we use surveys, that’s our style of survey, lead generation. So we take them through a survey that has conditional logic, so they qualify or disqualify. And if they answer all those questions correctly, they’ve said they want to own a home in 60 days. They say they have a down payment, they say they have a good credit score. So the way we do this, our scripting is we take them through a top to bottom process on this. 

This offer to own your dream home in the next 60 days is perfect for anybody who has fair or better credit. That’s just an example, fair or better credit. So what does that automatically do? Well, someone who doesn’t have good credit automatically knows in their mind that they’re disqualified. I don’t say, “Hey, if you’re a loser who’s got three repossessions and a foreclosure on your credit history don’t apply.” Obviously, that’s hyperbole, but by qualifying, I’m already disqualifying. And I’m attracting people who have fair better credit, and who are tired of paying XYZ amount of rent in their market. 

So for me, I’m in the Phoenix market. “So if you’re a Phoenix resident, looking to hold the keys to your dream home in the next 60 days, and you have fare or better credit, then I want you to click on the button below.” So doing those types of things that are more simple, that require a lot less friction in the mind of the buyer, I think it’s important. 

Same thing with insurance. I mean, you look at any insurance commercial, what do they all lead with? Price. They all lead with price. You know, from your big box brands stores, to everybody. And you know, I talked with a lot of insurance agents and they’re like, well, I don’t want to lead with price. Nobody really wants to lead with price. I go I understand that. There’s plenty of opportunity on the back end for the nuances. We need to get them interested in you first, and we need to get them interested in the offer. What’s the easiest thing they’re going to understand? How can you explain this in a way that my six year old out there understands it? 

That’s what you need to do. So when we write scripts, and we write offers we one of the tools that we rely a lot on is the Hemingway app. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this. So we write our scripts a lot of times using the Hemingway app. And I it’s something that we take our people through, and I tell them, you know, if it’s above a fourth grade reading level, you need to look for ways to simplify it because you need to you need to get from point A to point Z fast, and your offer and your script has to be aerodynamic. Meaning there’s not a lot of things that are bogging it down. It needs to be fast. 

And again, on your sales page (and mainly in your sales process or on your survey) plenty of opportunity for the nuances. When you build relationship with people, when you use the ads as an avenue, as a footstep to build relationships with prospects, then there’s plenty of opportunity to explain. Really explaining your true value proposition. 

If you were to use a company like Geico. What’s their number one hook? 15% or more? 15% in 15 minutes or whatever. That’s their hook. But if you talk to a Geico sales agent, they’re gonna explain to you all the reasons why working with Geico is important: ease of use, using a mobile app, 24/7 claims. And that’s how we should treat that. What people do incorrectly is they try to flip it and they try to say, you know, we’ve been in business for 37 years. I’m a third generation, owner of this company, and we’ve been ____ and make it all about them and make it all about information that is useless right now in the buyer’s journey, the awareness journey to their consumer.

Kyle: So, just so everyone knows what you’re talking about, the Hemingway app, you guys can go Google that. But basically, you put in some writing, and it’ll tell you the reading level of that writing. And then it’ll tell you which parts are complicated and you can edit it within the app, and then it’ll get you to a more easy reading. 

Nicholas:  The illustration I use, and I hate that you have to have this disclaimer, but you look at a guy like Donald Trump (this is not about politics, I don’t care. I’m looking at purely a marketing angle.) Donald Trump is really effective, because he speaks very simply, and people understand exactly what he’s trying to do. Whether you agree with me or not, doesn’t matter. He’s speaking directly to who he wants to speak to, in a way that is a third or fourth grade reading level. Maybe a little more will give a little bit more credit, but it’s effective. That’s how you do it. I mean, it’s easy. I mean, you look at publications that do really well with newsletters from back in the day or just how copywriters would talk about stuff, just get straight to the point, don’t use unnecessary words. And, you know, speak directly to your audience. And I think that that’s the key to effective YouTube ads.

Kyle: So I think this being a Google Ads-specific podcast, I might not have a majority of my listeners who are really big on copywriting. You obviously are. I am, and let’s take this opportunity to give some people some things to look at when it comes to copywriting. Like what are your biggest influences? Who have you studied from when it comes to copywriting?

Nicholas:  Yeah, so obviously you have your Titans: your Dan Kennedys, your Jay Abrahams, Eugene Schwartz, these kind of staples in the copy and marketing space. Today, I follow a guy by the name of Mitch Miller. He’s probably not most people’s cup of tea, if you can get past the provocation of certain things, and you understand that he’s just testing and doing this on purpose, that’s someone I follow a lot. 

I think from a general principle, one thing that I had to learn, and I’m constantly having to evaluate things, I think copy is important on all Google ads. I mean, it’s important in your search ads, it’s important on your landing page. It’s really, really important. And I’m not a professional copywriter. But copywriting is the most important element of all marketing. I mean, people buy based on the words that they read, based on the words that they hear, people buy things that way. You have to communicate with them. 

And so for me, the general premise of how I write copy is: I first want to understand the fact that people make buying decisions based on emotion all the time. And then they justify their emotions with logic. If you can understand that basic premise that everything we buy, whether it’s a course, whether it’s a service, whether it’s a big screen TV, whether it’s the tomahawk steak at the restaurant, whether it’s a car or a home, we make buying decisions for emotional reasons to connect emotional impulses. We then will justify those emotional actions with logic. 

Give you an easy example. I go out and buy a brand new truck, brand new, top of the line. It’s got the four wheel drive, it’s got this, it’s got that, it’s got everything. I bought that truck to satisfy an emotional craving. There was something in me emotionally that wanted it, found it attractive. But whether it was because I wanted people to stare at me on the road, whether it’s because I wanted to impress somebody, whether it was a status symbol of sorts, whatever the case might be, there was an emotional reason why I bought that. I then justify it by saying “Well, you know, I only need one more client a month to pay for this. And I can’t be driving around in a beat up Geo Prizm. I need a nice vehicle.” I use logic to justify the emotional reason. 

And so when you’re writing copy, you have to appeal to the emotional reasons your buyers are interested in in the first place. 

Let’s go back to the home situation. And I relate this to a personal experience of when I bought my second home years ago. I bought my first home as a single male person during the 2008-2009 economic recession. It’s the first time I was able to buy a home. I was in my mid 20s and I lived in California, which is a very expensive real estate market in general. And so when the recession happened, I was able to buy a house. I didn’t have a wife. I didn’t have two kids at the time, it was just me. I bought a home in a not very nice neighborhood. There was two homeless shelters, catty corner to me, the courthouse was a quarter mile at the road, and prostitution was not something that they really enforced. It was not the most desirable place for anyone to live. 

But then I had a wife, got married, had two kids, and I had to make a different decision. I did not want to keep my family in that neighborhood. I now had a different option and reason to do so. And so the hook when my real estate agent approached me was, “Hey, we can get you into a safer neighborhood. A better neighborhood for you and your family.” Those emotional reasons appeal to me, the desire to protect and serve my family the best way that I could. I can sleep in a motel, I don’t care. But I have to do better for my family. So when people are running ads for a mortgage, you have to figure out what the emotional reasons that your buyers have.

It could be status, which is a big reason why we make a lot of decisions. We want higher levels of status. Or it could be a FOMO aspect. What am I missing out on? We don’t want to miss out on something. It could be a scarcity issue. It could be a level of urgency, it could be a safety issue, right? A protection issue. You have to determine what your audience is, and then you have to craft your offer around that. Because if I just come at you and I just say, “Hey, you can get the keys of this house and have a low payment. And you know, the interest rate is this and that, and I’ve been doing this for 40 years, so I know what I’m doing”, nobody cares. Not only does it not connect with anybody. You haven’t connected the emotional reasons why people are making decisions to your offer. 

And that’s why video is powerful in general. Whether it’s video ads, or whether it’s video on your sales page, you have to communicate in a way that’s going to allow people to resonate with the emotional reason that they have for buying something. So if you start with that foundation in your copywriting, in your script writing for your Google Search ad, for your display, image ads, for your YouTube ads for your sales page, in your email, copy all the above, you have to appeal to the emotional reasons and pain points that people are already feeling. 

One of my mentors is Donald Miller, the author of StoryBrand. And, you know, he talks about the three things you have to solve for. Solve for the external problem. People have an external problem. And that external problem leads to an internal struggle. So if I let my grass grow, we can all agree, my neighbors would all agree we have an external problem here. Either he doesn’t have a lawnmower, or he’s lazy, or doesn’t care. There’s an external problem. 

But the reason I’m gonna cut that grass is because that external problem creates an internal struggle. I don’t like the way my neighbors think about me. I don’t like the way that it looks. I don’t like the way that I feel about this. And so I solved the problem. And then you have to solve for the philosophical reason, right?  Why am I doing business this way? Because I believe in a certain set of principles or code that guides me by what I’m doing, whatever the situation is, I believe that people deserve better. I believe that this isn’t right, there’s an injustice, or I just know that I can provide help and whatever, doesn’t matter what it is, we have to solve for those three, those three main issues. And I think if you do that, you can start to get on the right path to writing effective copy and words that cause people to make buying decisions, or at least evaluate you.

Kyle: Let’s talk a little bit about your own marketing that you do. You came on my radar, I don’t know when, but somewhere along the line, I just started seeing your videos that you had made and different stuff that you’re posting on social media. How are you approaching marketing yourself? Are you using a ton of video? What else are you using that works well for you?

Nicholas:  Primarily video. I’ve actually scaled back on Facebook ads because I was tired. I was on Facebook, I was running ads for YouTube ads. And people would tell me why are you doing this on Facebook, I would get just nothing but troll comments. I was tired of responding to people and said, “You know, I’m running this on YouTube as well. And the only reason I’m running on Facebook is because you’re here too”. So I have fun with stuff. I’m not afraid to just do fun and weird and quirky things because I’m a weird quirky guy. 

One of the videos I made, you know, I like to use different things to get attention, and so it was me wearing a fanny pack and roller blades. And it looks like a Make America Great Again hat but it’s not. It’s just “Made You Look” which is the name of my company.

Kyle:  Which is brilliant, by the way, you literally make everyone look, they think they’re either gonna love you or they’re about to get in an argument with you.

Nicholas:  Right, which I’m totally fine with. Here’s how I approach marketing for myself. You’re either gonna really love me and want to be on my side, or you’re not. And if you’re not, cool. You were never going to be a customer to begin with. And so if you get triggered by something that I do, or you think what I do is bad or repulsive or dumb or what, I don’t care. You were never a customer to begin with. And so if I make you mad, I lost nothing. But the people that like it, and there’s millions and millions of people in the world who could be my customers. There’s gonna be people that do. I tell people all the time, if I got 1% of my marketplace, I could fake my own death 10 times over and be D.B. Cooper in the woods. 1%, everybody else can have the 99% so I’m okay with just being myself.

And my wife says, “Nick, don’t do that stuff, it’s really ridiculous.” Me and my wife have different opinions. I tell here “Babe, it’s just entertainment.” This is entertainment to me. And so for ads sake, I’m okay with just being entertained. 

Now we have those ads that are just pure, what I call entertainment. Then we have infotainment where maybe I’m doing something just to get your attention visually. But there’s a level of info in there. And then we have straight info ads. I’d say now we’re almost exclusively on YouTube with our ads and so they’re all video ads. But that’s just kind of my approach. And I tell people, I’m a firm believer, there’s no necessarily right way or wrong way. There’s just preferences and some of these things. 

I know other marketers that are very adamant that they want to be the, you know, the tucked in shirt, I don’t care. If that’s you, that’s genuinely you, and that’s genuinely your audience, knock yourself out. And I have people who are on every side of spectrum. You should just be reaching whoever it is that you want to reach. 

Because I think to run ads on YouTube in 2020, you kind of need to be okay with being natural. Because if you’re not, if you don’t think that way, then getting you on camera to do an ad is probably going to be pulling teeth anyways. And I don’t care what your own skin is. You just need to be comfortable in it. And so this is my skin, this is what I’m comfortable in. So if it attracts those types of people that are okay with being themselves and just genuine, whether it’s fun or serious or whatever, those people are gonna do well on video to begin with, and they’re gonna reach their audience.

Kyle:  So at least if your wife doesn’t like your ads, your kids must love them, huh?

Nicholas:  They love them. If I go out there right now, my kids are probably watching my YouTube videos. They just think they’re fun. And so they always remark about how I killed Geico. For me, I just want to appeal to things, but again, making justification for emotional reasons. I just find it entertaining. And I just like it. 

Kyle: Yeah, I agree. I have some videos myself that my kids want to watch. My six year old always wants to see the flame thrower.

Nicholas: One of the first videos I saw of you, it was your vlog and you had Flavor Flav intro-ing you. I thought that was hilarious…I got the same services, and I hired weird Gary Busey with his hair look-alike Albert Einstein, and he did the same thing. I thought this was great. And I thought I can’t do this. I just had to do it for myself. I’m like, this was brilliant. That was the first thing that I saw of you and it caught my attention.

Kyle:  You know, that’s funny. The videos that I used Flavor Flav intro for, I actually tried to get Gary Busey for but he wouldn’t do anything that was somewhat promotional, commercial, anything like that. 

Nicholas: Really? I had him basically take the same kind of framework where he was just talking about how awesome I was. That’s all I wanted to talk about. I wanted Gary Busey to just get on there and rant in Gary Busey style, and he did like an acronym and everything. And I’ve made it, I’ve never put it on my Facebook and I thought this was great, but I can’t use this. That’s that’s Kyle’s thing.

Kyle:  So you’re telling me you have this video from Gary Busey, that you haven’t used for anything?

Nicholas: Right. It’s on my desktop right now. I’ve had it for months. 

Kyle:  If you’re worried about me, take it. I give you permission to take my thing. It’s not my thing. Okay.

Nicholas:  No, I know. I know. I remember the first thing when I saw yours, I was like, “That is awesome!” And that’s what got me into kind of thinking, Kyle’s an alright dude. And that’s what led me more into content and then even enrolling in your program.

Kyle:  Yeah, video is where it’s at. I know, it’s something that I’m planning to do a lot more of this year. I have a production team with an office literally next door to mine, and they’re great to work with. And every time I carve out the time to make more videos it pays off. For me the struggle is carving out that time and, you know, because it doesn’t pay off right away. You saw that video of mine and it’s probably a year before you gave me any money. But of course, with YouTube ads, it can pay off right away. But in those situations, too, I like what you’re doing with your clients where they’re just filming something on their cell phone. Because that is relatable. The big insurance companies aren’t doing that. There’s not a face behind those companies where you’re actually going to like somebody, but for a local company, an insurance broker putting out his own video with him on the video, now you’ve made a friend, now you know who your contact is.

Nicholas:  Yeah, there’s that element too. And one thing I always tell people is think about your prospect, think about you. I want to reach people. And so if it looks like an ad, it gets treated like an ad. And how do we treat ads, we DVR that we skip them, we fast forward through them, we don’t want to see them. So you have to cut through that noise. And the best way right now and this will change, like everything does. Right now the best way to do that is with your cell phone. 

You know, Casey Neistat, famous YouTuber, says that, you know, the best camera is the one that’s closest to you. What’s the camera that’s closest to us most? The cell phone. So doing that, it cuts the noise. There’s a greediness about it. There’s an authenticity about it. And you’re right, they’re not seeing that from everybody else. They’re seeing spokespeople, they’re seeing polished videos, and if you could just cut through that noise with a good offer that’s attractive to your prospect….

I have conversations with other people who do YouTube ads. And so we get in little debates about this. And I don’t necessarily think either one of us are right or wrong. But they’ll say, you know, I want my view rates to be under 15%. And I think no, I want them to be like 25%. Because if one of four people with a broad offer are attracted to it, I know my ad has some traction, has some success. And I want to reach people. If they’re skipping it, then I’m not reaching them. At least I’m not reaching them with a good offer. So you have to get out of that mindset of, well, I might be paying more . Yeah, you might be. But uh, you know, that’s okay, too.

Kyle:  Yeah, I agree. There’s no reason to try to repel everybody. There’s plenty of people, you know, even if you’re Donald Trump propelling half of the people, but he still has a huge following. Yeah, I’m with you on view rates being 20% to 30%. Somewhere in there usually works pretty well. I don’t go out of my way to try to get everybody to skip an ad.

Nicholas:  Right. Yeah, the whole idea like in your script when you’re talking about like, “if this isn’t for you, click this button, click the skip button now.” I don’t I don’t particularly like that. I advise against that. I don’t know where you stand on that. But I tell people I don’t want to give them out. Like, you don’t do this in sales either. I don’t give people those verbal outs. There’s different ways to disqualify and to mitigate your reach on that stuff.

Kyle:   Right. I think that time at the beginning of the video is better spent just speaking to the audience. Defining who you’re actually talking to, so that they will stick around. And if someone says, “Oh, this guy’s not talking to me, I’m gonna skip it.” It’s not like people don’t know how to skip an ad. You don’t have to tell them how.

Nicholas:  Right. Like what we talked about in our basic framework is, you should really be making your offer as attractive as possible. We’re gonna trust that with the targeting, we’re getting in front of the right people, whether you’re using custom intent or whether you’re using keywords or in-market audiences, whatever the case might be, we’re gonna trust that the platform is doing its job. 

Your job in that first 30 seconds is to make your offer and your words attractive, and to disqualify by qualifying, right. And so you want this, this is what you want. This is, you know, what you think this could do for you, this is perfect for the x, you know, and then I think if you do that inside of 30 seconds, which you should be able to do, and if you can’t do it, then you need to analyze whether I’m making it simple or not. 

So one thing that we do is we exclude music videos for our clients. We exclude music videos, we exclude video game walkthroughs, we exclude toys, we exclude all that stuff because, you know, most people treat their iPhone or their tablet like it’s the babysitter, and they just give to their kids even though it’s logged into their Google account. You know, little Johnny there’s playing, you know, Minecraft on it. So we want to exclude that stuff. And so we trust the platform to do its job. We want to do our job in just making the offer attractive.

Kyle: I love it. So everyone’s still listening. They haven’t been turned off too much by you and me. So that’s a win for us. Anything that you want to add that we haven’t talked about?

Nicholas:  No, I’m happy to go in any direction that people have. This is something I love. I could talk about this all day long. I know we’re not going to but you know, this is what I love doing. I can spend hours just going down both the theoretical, the philosophical and the technical aspect of how and why. We take those theoretical and we test them and we see if it works. We put rubber to the road and we think okay, am I going get traction with this? That’s part of the fun and, and you have to I think for any marketer watching this, I think you have to have that mindset.

You I have all this equipment in my office, it’s great. There’s a camera there, and a camera there. I got gear all over the floor. I spend money on this and ads because I don’t go to the bar, and I don’t play golf. So I spend my time on B&H photo and, and this is what I enjoy doing. And so I think you have to get that mindset that this is, you know, you have to always be testing that I think we’ve accomplished a lot.

Kyle: So I think we could easily do a follow-up. If anyone listening has any questions that you’d like to hear Nick discuss, or anything else that you want to hear the two of us talk about, send me an email or leave a comment on this YouTube video. If you’re listening to the podcast, this will also be available on my YouTube channel. I’ve really enjoyed this discussion so I’ll be happy to have another talk to Nick. Nick, where should people go if they want to find you?

Nicholas:  Yeah, they can subscribe to my YouTube channel: We put out a lot of content. Our channel is dedicated to YouTube ads. I always tell people to get my watch hours up so they don’t have to ask people for money to buy my program….

Kyle:   And I would love for you to get your watch hours up too so that I can start advertising on your channel.

Nicholas: Yes! I love it!

Kyle: So everyone, go subscribe to Nick, watch all of the videos all day.

Nicholas:  Help Kyle help me. Help me Help Kyle.

Kyle:  Alright man, well, this has been great. Everyone listening, again my name is Kyle Sulerud. And this has been the Google Ads strategy show and I will talk to you later.