02:03 – A book to look forward to
03:20 – Getting paid for results
05:29 – Some crazy podcast numbers
07:50 – The companion course
09:10 – Going down the search routes
10:20 – Some exciting targeting strategies
12:33 – Places and apps
16:57 – Training up your pixel
19:00 – Google’s getting good
21:17 – Good lead gen, poor sales
24:46 – Efforts in the fitness space
26:09 – A certain type of video?
28:09 – What video ads look like for $50 products
30:37 – The right kind of engagement
32:36 – Demographic and intent
34:24 – This isn’t for you
37:39 – How many videos?
39:51 – A 90-second time limit?
41:58 – Different audience, different intro
44:49 – Shapes and sizes
48:01 – Parting advice
50:09 – How long to break even?
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is Episode 603. I am very excited. I have a repeat guest, someone who I speak to very often. He’s not only handsome but he’s also very, very clever at what he does. Welcome back, Tom Breeze.
Tom: Thank you so much, James. I think the “handsome” is the most important bit to get out first. Thank you.
James: You’re like my James Bond. You know, I’ve got this Rolodex of clients who I speak with very often, and you’re always very polite and capable. First, let’s share this accolade. You mentioned to me something about your results with YouTube. They gave you some kind of recognition. What did they say you were?
Tom: Yeah. So, I recently heard from Google that I am the highest spending YouTube ad agency for performance-based campaigns. So, if you’re looking to get ROI from campaigns, that’s the sort of campaigns I do, and we’re the highest-spending worldwide.A book to look forward to
James: Wow, well, congratulations. And it’s always wonderful talking about YouTube ads with you because you obviously know what you’re doing when you get awards like that. You have a website, viewability.co.uk, and one of the reasons we thought it’d be a great idea to catch up today is you have a book coming out. It’ll be out fairly soon. And you’re calling the book Viewability.
Tom: Yeah, exactly. We went around the houses to try and figure out what the name of the book should be. But I kind of, it always felt right to call it that. So yeah, we have the book called Viewability. It’s all about YouTube ads. It was written in a way where I wanted people to be able to pick up the book, read it and have a really good foundation, but be able to read it on a flight. So, if you’re flying somewhere, it’s kind of great to just open up the book, start reading it and you’ll be done in three hours, maybe. And you’d have a full understanding of the YouTube platform, how to create really good video ads, how to target your customers, how to have the funnel in place to make it work really effectively.
And really, I just distilled everything I know about YouTube ads into a book that’s easy to digest before it gets into the weeds with the campaigns and things. It’s more a case of just giving you that knowledge and foundation of how to think and how to advertise on YouTube as a platform.
Getting paid for results
James: Right. So, it’s going to be really suitable for a great deal of people listening to this podcast. And that’s because at the level you’re operating now, with your agency, you can only take a select few clients because you have to have someone who’s got a great offer that converts, they’ve got a funnel in place, and you help them fine tune it and they get a return on investment, which is why you’re able to do something different to most other agencies where you can actually get paid for results rather than getting a retainer fee. Is that right?
Tom: Yeah, exactly. So yeah, with the agency, we work it in such a way where the financial model is a CPA, so Cost Per Acquisition model. And it means that we’ll front the advertising costs and clients pay us for results. And that means we can have a really good relationship with clients, plus it’s a lot stronger because we’re in it together, I only succeed and make a profit when the client’s doing very, very well. So, it’s a good relationship to have. But as you say, it means that the filters need to be in place so we know we’re working with the right people at the agency level.
“This is the perfect time to be thinking about YouTube ads.”
But it was the perfect time to bring it out, because I feel like a lot of people are starting to shift their attention away from Facebook, which has been the big one for a long time. It was like Google before that. So, all these platforms change. And they go in and out of favor, because it gets expensive to sometimes advertise on some platforms. But yeah, so this is the perfect time for people to be thinking about YouTube ads. But as an agency, we can’t take on everybody. So, when you’re looking to get into YouTube, and you want to understand how to do it, then that was the part where the book and the course that we’re releasing at the same time kind of should be able to support people when they’re first looking to get into YouTube advertising.
James: Right. And for context, we’ve already had discussions on this podcast before, we had a three-part series spanning episodes 483, 484, 485. We got together at 563 talking about how to promote your book on YouTube, which I imagine you’re going to apply for your own book. And now, we’re talking about what’s changed, what’s happening with the structure of video ads. And I’d be most interested in what sort of things have you seen when you’re targeting people with ads, and what changes are recent that might be really interesting to discover?
Some crazy podcast numbers
Tom: Yeah, well, first of all, how many podcasts have you done now? That’s crazy numbers you’re talking about there. That’s, how many have you done, James?
James: Well, this is 603 on SuperFastBusiness. It doesn’t include SalesMarketingProfit, ThinkActGet, Freedom Ocean or KickingBack. And it doesn’t include the guest podcasts I’ve been on. So, I reckon, conservatively, I would have done about a thousand. And I’m still no good at it. Can you believe it? I reckon one day we’ll crack it.
But in all seriousness, the reason I haven’t been too excited about messenger bots and Facebooks and AdWords and YouTube, and affiliates and launches and all that stuff, is because the podcast has just worked for me. And it’s been there for the long haul, I think about nine years now from Episode One with John Carlton. And it suits me, because I like to talk for a living. If I could figure out how to talk for a living, I’m set.
So, I do a podcast here and there. And then I chat to people like you who are at the absolute top of their field, and we talk about business stuff behind the scenes, and I really enjoy that. But I think YouTube is something I’m getting quite interested in. I will definitely buy your book as soon as it’s available on Amazon or wherever you’re going to sell it. Where do you think you’ll distribute it?
Tom: It’ll be on Amazon to begin with. And I think that as part of a funnel we’ll be building out to sell on the website as well. So, we’ll have two options for people to do. We’re not looking to get that bestseller like, point. If we get it, great. But it’s like, I prefer to have it as a brand piece that is there constantly to be sold. But yeah.
James: You’ll definitely get bestseller on Amazon. Especially, I know that SuperFastBusiness listeners alone can cause a book to become a bestseller. I’m a huge fan of books like yours that are prescriptive, because I got a lot of value from Ryan Levesque’s Ask Method, especially the second half of the book. I always joke with him about that – first half is all story, but the second half is actually implementable. And I was able to go through the book and apply that to come up with what we have on our homepage at SuperFastBusiness with our little survey. And I’m looking forward to applying what’s in your book and turning on a few campaigns, because you’ve bridged the gap now between nothing or being in the absolute top of your field and being able to work with your agency. And I believe you’re putting out a companion course for it as well.
The companion course
Tom: Yeah. So, with the book comes a course. And so yeah, I took my whole team, being a video production company as well as an agency, we have a team here that when we create something, we want to go to the craziness levels of shooting it with the best cameras and the best settings and things. So, we went out to London and shot this like, we hide out this industrial kind of looking house. It’s got a weird kind of very typical London house. It was actually used in The Hitman’s Bodyguard film. I’m not sure if you’ve seen that film, with, I think it’s Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Jackson. But yeah, so the same location where they shot some footage for a Hollywood blockbuster, that’s where we shot the course, which is quite cool.
And so, we’ve got this course going out at the same time as the book. And it just goes into a lot more depth and a lot more hand-holding when it comes to building out campaigns in the right way. So that’s going to be released at the same time. But yeah, so that’s all happening. And as with anything with these sorts of programs, as soon as you put pen to paper and you finish your book, things start changing on AdWords the next day, because it always feels like, OK, the next book’s in the works already. But yeah, it’d be good to kind of maybe cover some of that, some of the new stuff that we’ve been finding out, both on the targeting side and also the creative side that could maybe act as an upgrade to the book when you get it.
James: Yeah, let’s talk about that.
Going down the search routes
Tom: Yeah. OK, cool. So, I think that one of the most interesting things for us when it comes to building out campaigns with clients, we still go down the search routes when we start with a client. So, we’d be trying to understand exactly what their customers would be going to YouTube for, if they want to know something or do something or buy something. We’d isolate the different keywords they might be typing in and get really clear with like, I think we talked about in the previous episodes, like, the customer’s moment in time, like what are they looking for, let’s make sure that if they type in those keywords or they’re watching those videos or they’re watching videos from a certain channel, let’s use that as a targeting method. So, when we run our ads, we can be as relevant as possible.
“Relevancy is key.”
So, they’re looking for something in particular, and we have an ad that gives them good advice and good value around that particular topic, but also tells them where they can go and either buy your products or opt in for your webinar or whatever it is you might be promoting. So, relevancy is really key when it comes to first growing out your account. And so, things like keywords and topics are something that’s been around for a while and could perform very, very well. So that’s where we always get started when we have a new client.
Some exciting targeting strategies
But some of the more exciting targeting strategies that have come out recently have started to really open up YouTube. And especially when we start thinking about some of the machine learning and the AI that Google have and how they’re starting to apply it to the AdWords interface – oh, really now it’s called Google Ads instead of AdWords. So, the Google Ads interface is very much gearing up for the ability to start using machine learning with your account. And I’ll touch on that in a second. But some of the targeting strategies they’ve released recently are really interesting.
So, you’ve got things like customer intent, which is where if people are going to Google and typing in keywords, then you can kind of almost make audiences of people are typing in keywords into Google. So, if they do come to YouTube, you can still run your YouTube ads to those people that have recently been searching certain queries on Google, which is really exciting. So, if you just think about all the keywords that would be very relevant to your business, build a whole massive list of those people that have been typing that into Google and run your ads to that audience, which is exciting. So that’s customer intent.
You’ve also, one of the things that has been really exciting for me as well is the new build outs on custom affinity audiences. So, affinity audiences are very much like interests. So, if you’re used to advertising on Facebook, you’ll know that you can build audiences based on their interests. With Google, it works slightly differently. So, you’ll have like, lots of pre-made audiences based on people’s interests, and they’ve always been a bit dodgy with the results. You can have some good results, you can have some terrible results, and it’s not always clear as to why that’s happening. But they started really custom affinity audiences.
Now the first wave they released when it came to custom affinity audiences were where you can say to Google, OK, based on people’s interests, if they type in these keywords or go to these websites, can you build an audience for me that I can run my ads to, which is really exciting. And it kind of had mixed results, and to get it working, you had to kind of test out lots of different keywords, lots of different websites, try and find lots of different combinations to see what’s working and why. And so, it was a long slog to get some of those working. But when it did work, the scale on it was really exciting.
Places and apps
But more recently, they’ve upgraded custom affinity audiences. So now you can build audiences based off two really cool things. OK, so the first thing is places. So, Google are always noticing where you go based on your mobile device. If you go to a golf club, for example, Google knows. They know where you are, they can see it on your maps. And as a result, they know what places you’re going to. If you went to a spa, same thing. If you went to the shopping mall, same thing.
It’s weird to think that all your data is being shared with Google like this. But based on that data, you can collect, you can build audiences based on where people are physically going in the world, and what sort of establishments they’ll go to. And as a result, you can build audiences of those people, which I think is amazing. So yeah, based on people’s movements, physical movements and locations, you can build audiences based off that, which is really, really cool.
And the second thing around customer affinity audiences that’s really exciting as well is that if you have apps on your phone, then you can also build lists, you can build audiences of people with apps on their phones. And you can identify by the apps. So, if you, let’s say for example because you’ve got the SilverCircle app and you’ve also got the SuperFastBusiness app, is that correct, James?
James: That is correct.
Tom: Perfect. So, as I understand it, and I’d need to quickly Google it and see inside the Google Ads platform if this would be possible, I can put those apps, is it in the Android store? Could you get it from the Android store?
James: Correct, both Apple and Android.
Tom: OK, great. So, if I wanted to advertise on Google to anybody that’s got the SilverCircle app or has the SuperFastBusiness app, I would just make a list of those people that would have that on their phones, and I can advertise to them when they come to YouTube, which is amazing, right?
James: That’s crazy. That’s like when you could advertise to someone’s Facebook group.
Tom: Exactly. Yeah. But you can imagine, because I know you’re massively into your surfing, you just come back from the Maldives – or I think you call it the Mal-daives, right?
James: It gets confusing. Mal-divs, Mal-daives. Either way, it’s almost sold out. Hilarious.
Tom: Oh, wow. The next one. That’s great. I’ll be there for that one. Finally, I need to get there. I need to get there for the Maldives trip.
But so, I know that you’re massively into your surfing, and I know you’re doing some promotion around that, and starting to build the whole business up there. And you could take all the people that have certain types of surfing apps on their phones, and you can build lists of those people. Well, not necessarily email list, but like a custom audience list inside of your ad account. And you can start running ads to those people.
So, you can just start to get really, really specific, because if you want to get in front of customers that have certain types of apps, you can now do that. And it’s still really early days, so the performance is not like, you can’t scale it as quickly. But like with all of these targeting options, they release them, and they just get better with time.
James: That is insane. I mean, you’d have to think there are certain apps that only business people would have on their phone, for example, that would get you a business audience versus a general mom and pop audience, right?
Tom: Yeah, like, so we’ve just started using Copper, which is like a CRM that works with Google suites. And it’s quite expensive. And so, you’d only be in a certain level. And I think to myself, well, if you took all those people that had the app of Copper on their phones, then you’d think, right, people know a lot about that type of potential customer. Sure, there might be employees there who are using that CRM app, but I mean, you’re only now getting in front of people at a certain level. And so, you can be really selective about the different apps that you want to be building lists from.
James: Gosh, I’m thinking things like forex trading apps. You know, that’s an investor market.
Tom: Yeah, precisely. We’ve already been starting to play around in that marketplace already, which is working pretty well. But yeah, that’s super exciting.
“AI and machine learning is starting to get better and better.”
So yeah, so that’s a couple of targeting options that are new and that are growing out. But the big exciting thing about all of this is that the AI and the machine learning is starting to get better and better as well. Oh, I need to talk about creative as well. I’ll talk about that in a second, because now YouTube don’t just do the normal 16 by nine videos. They do square and long-shaped videos as well, the rectangle vertical videos.
Training up your pixel
But just hopping back to the targeting again. So, with machine learning, there is a huge amount of assistance you get with your ads as long as you’re getting data through your pixel. So, let’s say for example you’re having, I mean, you want to make sure you train up your pixel, if that makes sense. So, you want to make sure that Google knows everything about your customers like who might be buying a product from you.
So, I always think if you want to try and run the most effective campaigns on Google, I’d probably aim for a sale price around about $50. And the reason being, if you can create a product that sells around that price is that you get a lot of sales, and so that you’re giving the pixel lots and lots of data. But also, it’s not like a really high-priced product where you won’t get as many conversions. It’s conversion points where you can have a lot of traffic going through buying your products. It’s just good, significant milestones, so someone’s paid $50 or $30, around that sort of price points. You’re getting a lot of data through it, and so you’re starting to train up this pixel so Google know exactly who your customers are, or who are most likely to be buying this type of product.
I wouldn’t build a pixel data off of like an opt in, or a lead or something, just because when you do it that way, Google can always find you more free leads or kind of like, people that are likely to take an opt in. But it doesn’t necessarily translate to a quality potential buyer. So, if you do build your pixel and start getting a lot of data through a sales point, like a $50 pixel, then that’s a really good position to be in because you get a lot of quality data through that pixel. And when you start doing this, and you say to Google, OK, I want to find more and more people like this, and you start building AI into your campaigns, so basically, you just run campaigns that Google assist you with, when it comes to YouTube, that would be like a TrueView for action campaign. There’s other forms of it as well, but it means that when you turn on your campaigns, it’s not as manual as it used to be when you kind of like have your manual bidding.
Google’s getting good
Now, Google will take your campaigns and start running them for you. And of course, Google has so many more data points than us humans can pay attention to. And so, when you start getting a lot more data going through, a lot more purchases coming through, Google are seeing exactly who’s buying, and they start getting you more and more of those types of people.
The great thing about this is that those affinity audiences and the customer intent audiences, and the audiences that are in other audiences that have been tougher to crack in the past, now, with Google assistance and the machine learning, you can start to say to Google, OK, you know my customers, I want to make more sales and here’s a targeting option that could be good to explore. And it will dial in over time. You tell it how much you want to make a sale for, and it’s going to try and do that as best as possible. It doesn’t work every single time. But the great thing is, you can start to really scale up but have Google help you along the way. And that’s just making the world of difference to how fast we can scale with clients.
And if you build your accounts in the right way, looking for that $50 product sale point, and you start out with that search and get a lot of traffic through, and then you start to build out more and more, then the whole account can get stronger and stronger very quickly. It’s the point of which now sometimes with our clients, we actually just turn on campaigns with zero targeting. We’ll say, ‘OK, Google, you know enough now about all of our clients, we’re going to just let you find the clients,’ and we won’t even put any targeting in there. We might do some demographic targeting.
But it means that Google is getting that good. If you give it enough data, Google is so good that you won’t need to add targeting and the scale can get crazy then. So, it’s just amazing what’s happening in the Google kind of interface and the platform. It’s finally had all this amazing AI data and knows so much about our customers already, but now it’s being able to work with humans. It’s being able to understand how a human might build out their campaigns and combine the two. So, it’s starting to work incredibly well, and it’s a very exciting time to be advertising with YouTube, but also on Google generally as well.
James: Yeah, I heard Mike Rhodes talking about how the computer is starting to beat his team now, when it comes to running campaigns. We’ve crossed that point. I’m wondering, a question comes to mind, if I’m listening to this, I’m listening to you talk about a great price point of $30 to $50, what sort of thing can you sell for that price point? What’s your popular go-to product or service to offer at that price point?
Good lead gen, poor sales
Tom: Yeah, so we do a lot of work with clients in the education space. So, we got service-based businesses. And the two that immediately come to mind where we’ve almost worked it out, so one of the spaces in the guitar tuition space. And that one, when we first had access to AI, I was so excited and I was like, great, let’s start building out these new types of campaigns. I built all out, not really knowing too much about what I was doing because it was really early days. And the performance, I screwed up everything basically. Within a week or something, all the results looked great in terms of the lead generation, but then I got terrible sales rates. And it was fine, because I spend my money on advertising; the client pays me for success. So, I just didn’t get paid very well that month.
But when it came to understanding why that was, it’s because we had so much activity going on. And we were just trying to optimize everything for a lead for a webinar. And that didn’t work out too well. And so, then we started shifting it across to let’s just optimize for the sale on the webinar. That was around about a $200 price point, and there just wasn’t enough data going through that pixel quickly, for it to really optimize as fast as we wanted it to.
And so, we built out and we are continuing to build out new courses that are around about the $25 to $50 mark, which is, it’s almost an impulse buy, but it’s one of those price points where you don’t need to talk to your other half and think, ‘Right, I’m going to make a significant purchase here. Are we OK with this?’ It’s one of those things where it’s like, it’s OK, it’s $25. It’s easy to quickly just put on a credit card without too much thought. But it’s still proving that this is a potential good customer.
But what we’re doing for the courses for this particular client now, we’ve tested out some stuff and we’ve refined it and now we’re saying, right, well, if someone’s typing in this keyword, let’s say for example, they’re looking for how to be really good at guitar barre playing, barre chords and things. You kind of put a product that is directly relevant to that search term. So, you say, right, if you’ve been typing in, how to play these barre chords, then we put a course about exactly how to do that. So, you just know your barre chords are like, really relevant to the search term. And you’d sell it for like a $25 price point. So, it would be like a course that would last maybe three or four days, but you might add in a load of bonuses there as well.
So other courses like that, that might be like finger picking style, or it might be like, something that’s been crazy popular recently is the warm ups for guitar because you tend to get slightly older age group playing guitar as well, so it’s like how to warm up the hands before you start playing guitar. So, you’d sell this course, but then you’d have your bonus courses that go with it to make it just such a no brainer to say, ‘Oh, for $25 I’m going to get all this great advice.’ We just want to make sure the course can be completed within like two to three days and still be really, really valuable.
So, people are like, ‘That’s great, that’s amazing.’ And now it’s kind of like, I’ve consumed all the videos that are really, really good, but now there’s an upsell to the main course at that point. So, you’re just kind of putting these kinds of almost trailer courses out, still super valuable, but then we’ll upsell to your main course, and that’s working really, really well.
Efforts in the fitness space
In the fitness space, we’ve done products around about the $47 mark, and what we’ve done with that, like the funnel for that is kind of people go from a YouTube ad into like a survey funnel, like Ryan Levesque’s kind of funnel-type thing. I’ll ask them a load of questions about where they’re at right now with their fitness and what they want to achieve. Then they get through to an educational, like on-demand, like VSL, like a video sales letter, but it’s like, very much more education-based, with a sale at the end of it to say here’s the perfect program for them where they’re at right there. And that sells for $47.
So, there’s no opt in there. It just strengthens the sale. And the beauty of that is you’re saying to Google, like, here’s what we want to see happen. Here’s the conversions we want to see. And we’re going to run the campaigns. But as soon as Google starts to see what’s working, it all starts to really dial in, and as a result, the machine learning and the AI start taking over and performing better than, yeah, as you say, like as a human can do. But it also, it has more access to the scale as well, because instead of just waiting for someone to type it in, be there when they’re typing it in, with the AI, they kind of know much more about the audience and who this offer might be right for, and they start putting the ads in front of those people as well. So, it’s just making sure that you have a product that can be consumed pretty quickly if it’s going to be a smaller subset of a product that’s part of your main course.
James: So, when you’re running the VSL, the video sales letter, on the customers’ page, I imagine? Is that where you’re putting it?
A certain type of video?
James: Are you using a particular type of video, and you’re creating a new audience from views?
Tom: So, yeah. So, it will go through, based on how they interact in the survey, they’ll get like one of, I think there’s like, 14 different videos they may see based on how people have interacted with the survey. And then from there, I think the videos are around about 15 minutes in length, typically. So, each one of them is different, because they’re talking to different pain points and different desires. And as a result, those kind of, those VSLs would be around about, yes, say 15 minutes.
And we’ve started to pixel – we did it a long time ago, but we build audiences based on interaction with the ads. So, we do that with timed pixels. So, if someone’s there, if they’re watching the video for like, five minutes, there’ll be a pixel drops at that point to say, OK, cool. someone’s watched this video for five minutes. And they’ll build an audience based on those people. And then there’ll be a 10-minute one and a 15-minute one. We probably could do more, but that’s plenty for the time being, because as you can imagine, once you start getting a lot of audiences, it can get quite complicated in how you want to follow up people and the interactions that people have afterwards. But yeah, it means that you can just do that. You build those audiences based on engagement and the VSL, and then run ads to them if they haven’t bought yet.
James: Yeah, I’ve been experimenting with jumping from platform to platform. So, I’ve put a training page on SuperFastBusiness, which has Facebook embedded videos and I’m building custom audiences based on views so that I can track people over in Facebook.
Tom: Ah, very cool. Yeah, I don’t think you can do that right now with YouTube. I think that if you embed it, you can’t build a remarketing list of those embedded videos. You could do it if they see your videos on YouTube. I think when it’s embedded, you can’t build those lists. But that’s great that you can do it with Facebook. That’s amazing.
James: Yeah. Could be a double combo.
What video ads look like for $50 products
I’m interested in the structure of the video ads. So, what does a video look like that promotes a $30 to $50 product?
Tom: Good question. So, we did a complete analysis of all the videos – and we’ve created a lot of videos with clients – but we did a complete analysis of all the videos and…
James: And all of them had a camera. [Laughs]
Tom: [Laughs] Yeah. So, we took all the analysis, and what we noticed is there was some obvious results that we were seeing with the trends of the data. Let’s say for example that like, an obvious one was the higher the click through rates, the more sales you’re going to make. Those ones were like, you know when you’re kind of doing a scientific test, you’re like, let’s just go back to basics and just make sure what our assumptions are correct. Like, we are seeing, the more clicks, the more sales. That’s correct? Yeah. And we’re like, yeah, cool. That’s a nice-looking trend. And the higher the click-through rate, the lower the cost per sale as well. So, you’re getting better results if you get more click-through rate. So that was good.
But it was really interesting because the timing of the videos on YouTube and the financial structure mean that the best way to create an ad is very different on YouTube to any other platform. So, I mean, I’m talking mainly about pre-roll ads here, the in-stream ads, which is the financial model behind those is that you pay when someone watches past 30 seconds, or they click to go to your website. So, when there’s that Skip Ad button and you have to wait five seconds, if someone watches 29 seconds of your video and then presses Skip Ad, it won’t cost you anything, which is great. But if they watch past 30 seconds and don’t click, then it’s cost you.
And what we notice with all these videos is that the more people watch, the higher the cost per sale. So that made me realize that OK, people are watching past 30 seconds. The more people that engage with the videos, the more expensive it gets to make a sale. There’s like a really solid trend on the data. I was like, that’s interesting, because that means, like, more engagement is a bad thing if you want direct response video ads working. And that just changed how I thought about YouTube ads. But it went further than that as well, because another factor with this as well is that when the engagement rates are higher, the click-through rate drops. So, if people are watching for longer, they’re less likely to click.
The right kind of engagement
So, I mean, you’ve probably seen great videos, as we all have as marketers, and we look at it from two standpoints. One, from an engagement as a human being, but also as a marketer, you start unpacking how those videos work, and thinking through what’s actually happening in the video. And if you pick up any book about videos, and how to create good video, people say it’s really good to get engagement and it’s really good to entertain, or it’s really good to start a story and all this other thing. And that’s true from an engagement standpoint. But what it looks like is, on YouTube, engagement is the killer of results.
“On YouTube, engagement is the killer of results.”
James: Perfect. I love this because people have been banging on about engagement, engagement, engagement. When it comes to, often they’re saying why Facebook is better than a private forum because they get all this engagement. I’m like, OK, but what kind of engagement? Is it mind-numbing stupid questions like, what would be your porn star name if you combine your first street address and your first pet’s name? Which is by the way, that’s just a bit weird anyway, putting your pet name in a porn star name. I think that’s just slightly sick. But I think engagement like someone coming to a local meetup or engagement like someone asking a private coaching question is worth 100 benign Facebook post engagements.
Tom: A hundred percent. It’s the type of engagement – that’s so true.
James: Yeah. So, you want them to engage in like, clicking and buying, right?
Tom: Precisely. Yeah, it takes all the romance out of video creation. And my creative team don’t like it, because they’re used to being really…
James: Artsy and creative?
Tom: Exactly, yeah. So, I have to kind of give them the boundaries. And that is kind of a really interesting conversation separately, because it’s like, here’s your new boundaries where we have to structure the ad differently. But they still come up with amazing stuff. But it’s, it’s just really interesting to see how people interact or how the creative team will use that. And those boundaries actually make them create much better stuff.
Demographic and intent
So, one of the things we know we need to do is make sure that at the start of the video, that first kind of five seconds to 15 seconds, we need to make sure we call out like, who this ad is for and what the video is about. Like, so it’s calling out their intent as well. We might do multiple intros of the videos. So, we just change the intro up to test different ideas, but also to like, if this ad is going out to a female market and also a male market, we’ll make a female version of the video and a male version of the video. So, it might be like, just the imagery we use might be more females in the video versus men, and vice versa.
Or it might be different age demographics, showing a slightly older female instead of a younger male, those sorts of things. So, we kind of call out the demographic as well as the intent. So, we might say, if you’re looking to lose belly fat – and they would have just literally just typed in “belly fat” or “how to lose belly fat” – then we try and be really specific with that start of the video. So, it feels like, ‘that’s exactly what I just typed in,’ and now we’re seeing a video about this. So, in the first 15 seconds, we’re grabbing their attention, not through doing something crazy, that there’s like a mad pattern interrupt or like doing something that’s just like people – you know how people do on Facebook where the first three seconds they just try and stop you from kind of scrolling through your newsfeed?
James: Interruption marketing.
Tom: Yeah, exactly. It’s much more a case of on YouTube they already have the attention, they’re already listening in, they’re already watching videos because they need to know something or do something or want to buy something.
James: So, it’s more of an on-ramp than a barrier.
Tom: Yeah, exactly. It’s kind of just making sure that when someone sees the start of this video, they realize, this is like, for me; this is exactly what we’re looking for, and it feels like it’s right for my demographic as well. So, it just naturally connects with the viewer based on where they’re at.
This isn’t for you
And if we can do that in the first 10 to 15 seconds, and even say those like, words right the first moment we start, the message immediately grabs their attention. But it also disqualifies people that this isn’t for, which is what we want to do. We want to get all those people that aren’t going to click and buy, away from the video as quickly as possible.
Now, I’m not a fan of saying take away if this isn’t right for you, because that actually just piques curiosity and as a result, they start watching more of the video. But it’s good just to kind of make sure people know this is not for them subtly, so they skip the button, or they press the Skip Ad button. We want people to be doing that. Whereas if, let’s say for example, lots of people start off with like, a really engaging story. And people are like, ‘Oh, I want to watch this,’ and they can’t stop watching, they start watching the video, go past 30 seconds, and then as soon as they realize it’s an ad, they then press the Skip Ad button. So that’ll cost you a lot because they’re watching past 30 seconds, that’s when you pay as an advertiser, and then they’re not actually interested – they’re interested in the story, but they’re not interested in buying anything.
So, we kind of filter out those people as best as possible. We might even start using like, certain types of jargon that would be not appealing for the normal viewer. So, let’s say for example, you are selling some sort of software, for example. We’d try and isolate exactly who we want to sell this to, and start using like, jargon, that means that it just wouldn’t make sense to the general population. So that would disqualify people just by the language you’re using.
“Let them know this is an ad before 30 seconds is up.”
But then also what we need to do is before 25 seconds, we need to make sure we have some sort of soft call to action. That’s what we’re aiming for, with all the videos we create now is to say, let them know this is an ad before 30 seconds is up. Because then again, if they don’t want to be sold to, then they’re away, they kind of disappear.
So, you don’t have to do it in a salesy way. You can say, “OK, in this video, I’m going to give you five tips to lose your belly fat”, for example. But you might say, “But look, I’ve actually broken this down in an on-demand training that you can go and watch right now by just clicking this link, and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know in terms of recipes, and the diet plan as well as exercises you’ll need to do. And you can get this PDF that will walk you through it, but let me just go through the top five things I think will be really, really valuable for you in this ad.”
So, you then still provide really good value in the video, but you’re just letting people know there’s a sale point there. Because then the rest of the video becomes more of a convincing argument as to why they should go and get the thing in the first place, rather than pulling out that call to action right at the end of the video. And that kind of enables you to make sure that those people aren’t engaging just for the sake of being entertained or being engaged with a story or anything like that. It’s much more now about, let them know this is an ad, where they need to go to get the next step, and then just kind of making sure that you convince them for the rest of the video and have a really good strong call to action at the end of the video as well.
James: Nice. So that’s a really good structure breakdown and a few awesome tips on how to avoid paying past the 30 seconds. And I like how you’ve told us what’s different to the way that some of the ads are working, you know, the classic pattern interrupt, engaging story, and then you’re dealing with a non-buyer.
How many videos?
I’m wondering, if you had like, a dream customer come along, you wave the magic wand, in front of you is a dream customer, they’re ready to go, they’ve got a product that converts, they want you to take on the account – how many videos are you going to be creating for this customer?
Tom: So, when we first get started, we will tend to try and keep things pretty simple. I mean, if it’s the first time they’ve ever got into YouTube advertising, we try and conquer a moment. So, we’ll say, here’s the search term that we think they can really master. So, it might be like that. Can you give me an example of a business, James, so I can think off the cuff and try to work out how that might work best? What sort of business would you like to explore or such?
James: Oh, I don’t know, let’s say you’re a business coach helping customers who make over $500,000 a year.
Tom: OK, perfect. So that’s the perfect example for this as well because in that scenario, that’s a very general… Business coaches like that can talk about lots of different areas and be general with their advice, but with YouTube, we try and be really, really specific. So, then we’d say, right, what is one thing that this coach could help a business owner with that they’re actually looking for as well? Do you know what they’d like in that scenario? Where do you think this business coach will be able to really help out? Like is there one specific thing?
James: Well, they have the tremendous advantage of being outside the business, so they offer perspective, and they have complete bias to the business owner. Even, you know, despite their free masterminds or their best friends giving them advice, this coach is dedicated to being real with them.
Tom: Awesome. OK. And if… I found out who you’re talking about. [Laughs]
James: [Laughs] It took you that long?
Tom: [Laughs] No, I’m joking.
But if you, say, for example, you’re thinking about your customer, what do you think they’ll be typing into YouTube?
James: I think they’d be tapping into YouTube “business coaching.”
Tom: Business coaching. OK, cool. I mean I think I’d probably try and work out a moment. Let’s say for example, something like, “how to scale my company.”
A 90-second time limit?
Tom: Like, if that was something along those lines where it’s like it’s an intent behind the search. They’ve gone there, they’re looking for something in particular, and it could be one of, I can think of loads of different search terms that your customers might be typing in, but I would say, right, that’s where we get started. Anytime anyone goes to “how to scale my company,” it’s a qualified search term. So, it’s not “how to start my company,” it’s “how to scale my company.” It’s a very specific phrase. And you can say, great, well if there’s enough search traffic there, you now are going to mass that moment. You’re going to like, you’re going to be the only player in that space, and you’re going to do it better than anybody else. And so, you’re going to create a video about how to scale your company, and work out how to give the very best advice in a 90-second ad.
James: So, using your structure, you’d be leading with something like, “If you’re looking to scale your business, then I’m going to share five tips with you on exactly how to do that, blah, blah, blah.”
Tom: Yeah, exactly. And then before 30 seconds is up, you need to say, “And by the way, I’ve got a webinar on this that’s going to run you through everything. I can do a lot more in that than I can do in this one video ad. But let me just show you what I’m going to be covering in that webinar.” And then you can give them really, really good advice. But it just seeds that sale, that soft call to action. And you can even say, “Click the link in this video and you can go and get direct access to the webinar right now.” But I would kind of just then go into giving as much advice as possible within like, 90 seconds. And try and break it down into like, a three-step plan. If you can do so, it feels easy for people to understand and get.
James: And is 90 seconds the limit?
Tom: No, you can create much longer videos or shorter videos. But we normally try and aim for about that.
James: I think I saw one from somebody, it was very long. It actually went on to their show.
Tom: Yeah. Yeah, you can run ads that are like, I’ve seen ads that are 45 minutes in length. So, people just upload their webinars and things straight into YouTube. And they get good results. Like, I’ve seen people like with really, really good numbers on some really long videos. But we tend to try and run ads where we get people to go straight from the video as quickly as possible to a landing page that is designed for the next step.
Different audience, different intro
So, I would say in this scenario, I’d choose that moment that you think, right, I’m going to master and be there and be really useful in that moment when someone says, “how to scale my company.” And then when it comes to how many videos to create, I would take that core message of the video and make sure you’ve got that kind of perfect. And then be like, right, what are the phrases this is suitable for? So yes, you’ve mastered, like how to scale my company. But it might be other things like, how to grow my company, how to go from six to seven figures or from seven to eight figures. It could be, how to increase my sales or how to grow my team. You can start to see all these different other search queries that are slightly different, but your message still applies to those other search queries. So, then you just do multiple intros. You might do that first 15 seconds. You could do like, 40 different intros if you really wanted to.
But you just start working out based on who your audience is. So, let’s say for example, you’re in the fitness space, then you might do different intros based on ages and genders and run those campaigns differently to those different audiences. Whereas you probably wouldn’t have that in that same way. You probably have clients that might be at different levels within their business but also be searching for different things. So, how to scale my company, how to grow my team, how to get higher from a certain position or something. But you know that’s your ideal customer typing those types of things in, and you’re providing value to those people.
James: So, technical question. Let’s say we’re in your studio and we’re recording these videos. Are we saying… Let’s say we have 20 different intros, are we saying 20 different intros and then they get jump cutted into the main body, or are we doing the video 20 times?
Tom: The former. So yes, I would get the middle section perfect, make sure you feel really comfortable with that, and then just go and shoot loads of different intros.
James: So, it’s modular method of making the video.
Tom: Exactly, yeah. So, it’s actually very easy to create those videos. But you might then also be like, well I’m not sure if my intro should say this to start, or it should say this in the start. It’s not just necessarily about the intent, but also like, if you wanted to start it in a way where, just for argument’s sake it could be like, do I want to be in the studio, or do I want to be outside at the start this video? So, you can create them in different settings, in different contexts, things like that.
James: Ah, ha. Like bloggers where they’re chopping like 20 different lines together to make one video. Different T-shirts, different geo-positions and everything.
Tom: Yeah, exactly. If you knew that you could really resonate with an Australian market and kind of not so well with the UK market (that’s not happening, by the way, you resonate very well with the UK market), but if it was like that, then you might say, right, well let’s create one for the Poms, let’s create one for the Aussies. And you might have a different intro for your video as well. So, there’s different things like that that you can look at as well.
Shapes and sizes
James: What are the export settings we would need for these videos? You mentioned different sizes as well.
Tom: Yeah, so good question. I probably would rely on my creative team for this, but so, export settings, I think, whatever, as long as it looks good.
James: Are we talking like, 1080p, 1280 or 4k? Like, is there a standard?
Tom: You could do 4k, but I think 1080 is plenty good enough. Most people are consuming videos on their mobiles now, so you’re probably good.
James: So, you could make it on your mobile.
Tom: Yeah, exactly, yeah. Make it mobile friendly. But YouTube’s player’s very, very sophisticated. So, based on your connection, it will run different forms of the video, so to speak. So, it’s very clever like that. But then yeah, something that’s very new, literally just a couple of days old, is the new dimensions of videos. So, you have the normal 16 by nine videos that you can use, but now they’ve just recently come out with the square videos. So more of like the classic Instagram kind of type look. And they’ve also got the vertical videos now that take up the whole screen. I’m yet to see them run.
We’ve created some videos for clients and I think we’re live with them now, so I’d haven’t got any results to share just yet. But it’s just really interesting that this has already come to YouTube so quickly. So, I’ve got a feeling that if you’ve run a vertical video and it takes up more of the screen, it’s only going to be a good thing. But results will tell. I don’t get romantic about these sorts of things. I wait for the stats to tell me if they work or not.
But we’re starting to shoot videos with that in mind now as well. So yeah, we’ve just been having a creative meeting yesterday where there was a discussion about it just to be like, how do we cater for this and how do we shoot videos like this without asking too much from a client? Because normally, if you ask them to go and create a video with 20 different intros and now you have to do vertical videos as well, it starts getting very complicated. So, we keep it simple to start with, and then based on results we’ll start experimenting with different types of shoots and things. But we normally just do a re-edit as right now, as opposed to thinking about it from shooting videos in the studio. But we will start moving that way as well.
James: I noticed some people with Instagram TV, which wants you to make it in profile, they’re just loading landscape anyway. They’re like, stuff it, I’m just going to make it sideways.
Where do they play these square videos?
Tom: So, I think what happens is, I mean again, I haven’t seen one run yet. But the way it works, I think like, you’ll press Play on a video like you would do on a normal YouTube video, and then as the ad runs, as the pre-roll ad begins, instead of just taking up that small space where the 16 by nine video is, it just takes over the whole screen. And so, it just, it almost feels like it’s loaded up differently. And I believe the Skip Ad button’s still there and so they can skip that and it goes back to the 16 by nine video. But it’s only mobile like these ads will run, but then it kind of takes up 70 percent of the traffic online anyway when it comes to YouTube. So, most people are consuming via video on their mobiles.
But yeah, so as I understand it, I’m sure we’re all going to start seeing this kind of new styles of video ads come to YouTube, so I’m sure we’re going to experience it very soon.
James: Yeah, that’s fantastic. I appreciate you coming and sharing these innovations, especially with the targeting, the structure, the timing, you know, what sort of videos you’re making, where you’re putting them, who this suits, what to sell for how much. Very generous as always. It’s no wonder you keep coming back. That’s the main reason I’ve had so many podcasts. I just keep having Tom Breeze come back. I hope you’ll continue to come and share with us additional insights.
So, is there any advice you’ve got for someone? Obviously, I’m going to suggest, buy the book Viewability as soon as that comes out. That will be a very easy decision. What advice would you have for someone thinking about YouTube right now?
Tom: I think that the way that I look at YouTube is the way in which it’s, your customers are already going there, and they’re searching for things that you can help them with. And if you can create a video and be there when they’re looking for you and actually provide value, then they’re very likely to take action and do the next step, because they’re already interested. When they go to YouTube, they’re already looking, and you’re just turning up and being helpful. That, I feel, is like the easiest way to get a win from advertising anyway.
And so, it’s just such an exciting platform to be advertising on. It doesn’t need to be rocket science. People overcomplicate things. You can go back to basics, run pretty simple campaigns, just turning up when someone’s typing in a keyword or watching a certain video. You turn up, be really helpful, give them an offer that’s what they want, and let that run. And you can start to really scale up campaigns in that way.
But I’ll just take on some of the AI considerations as well, because that’s kind of building for the future. I think that if you can start to look at that kind of $30 to $50 sale price point and start getting customers buying your product, so you can kind of just treat it as a breakeven point. And you can start generating quality customers for breakeven in your ad account so they can all buy your upsells. That’s where the real beauty of YouTube lies. So, it’s such an exciting platform. I feel like your customers are already there, so it’s kind of your duty to be there and help them, and it’s very good for business.
How long to break even?
James: How long does it take you to start breaking even on these campaigns?
Tom: I mean, it can be instant. So, you can start running accounts and immediately just start seeing positive results. If you’ve got an existing funnel that you feel like is a perfect offer for people on YouTube, then there’s no reason why it can’t be profitable from day one, especially if you go down that route of being super relevant for a search term and having a really good video purely for that search term. That can work incredibly well.
So, I’m kind of like, the way I’m talking about it here and kind of recommending it to people is to go that granular and be that relevant, because you can get great results from day one. But I mean, the likelihood is, you’re probably going to take a couple of weeks of spend before you start seeing amazing results, because you want to let the machine learning start dialing it as well. But yeah, there’s no reason it can’t be profitable from day one. And then you scale it.
James: So, you have to be the little Velcro hooks to their fuzzy stuff.
Tom: Yes, we talked about that. It’s great that you remember that. That’s great. So yeah, we talked about the stickiness factor, the Velcro idea. And that’s so true. We see loads of that when we start to advertise for companies as well, if we start doing a lot of brand search and remarketing across the whole of Google, we get really good results as well. Because a lot of people go to YouTube, see your ad and then actually end up going to Google and typing in your brand name. So, the uplift on that brand search is incredible when you’re running YouTube ads.
And you can just have a massive impact on Facebook as well. So, if you’re running your ads on YouTube, the impact it has when people get to see other ads on Facebook, especially if you’ve got your remarketing and retargeting strategies in place, then it’ll have a huge uplift across all the work that you’re doing. So, you might see even better results with your Facebook ads if you start running YouTube ads.
James: I love it. I remember it because you’re a great teacher. I really think you are the modern-day David Ogilvy, and I appreciate you leading the way you do, the top performing agency by performance. You spend your own money to make these campaigns work. You can’t ask for more than that. Tom Breeze, viewability.co.uk, you’re an absolute legend. Thank you for sharing and I really appreciate this on behalf of a person listening to this. You’ve really contributed tremendously in this episode.
Tom: Thank you, buddy.
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