- Beginner level YouTube video ideas
- Maximize the first 5 seconds
- Ad targeting options
- Where to start and how to scale
- Bonus for Ecwid listeners: tested and proven Top YouTube Ad Templates and Examples
Jesse: Richie, how’s it going, man?
Richard: It’s that day. We’re on a Friday. It is Friday. It is probably one the craziest week, though, we’ve had here in a long time. We’re kind of like in them. I don’t know. What are we in right now? Just crazy times.
Jesse: Let’s get your YouTube game in action right now. It is time. Let’s bring on our guest, Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce. How’s it going, Brett?
Brett: What’s up, fellows? How are you?
Jesse: Brett, I know you got a lot of different topics we can talk about, but I was just at your event at the Google office about YouTube. So really wanted to have you share your knowledge with the Ecwid community about YouTube
Brett: Yeah, sure. So I am a
Then started dabbling in online marketing in 2004, and then 2010 started OMG Commerce with my business partner Chris Brewer. And we tried a lot of things. We tried website design and all kinds of marketing things and realized we really liked Google ads. We liked the search. Once it came out, we liked Google shopping. And then, really, I fell in love with YouTube ads because it was marrying both my worlds where I knew Google ads and even search engine optimization really well. But I had this TV background, and everything came together in this magical fashion with YouTube and YouTube ads.
We became a leader in YouTube ads, have been running YouTube campaigns, ad campaigns for about three years, and have very close relationships with our Google reps. In the event you spoke up, I was at the YouTube and Google offices in LA. Super cool space. But our reps invite us. So they said, hey, you know YouTube ads. Let’s do an event. Let’s invite some
That’s the abbreviated background. But ultimately, now we work with
Jesse: Awesome. I know of you because I do listen to your podcast
Brett: Thank you!
Jesse: So yeah, I wish we could pull all the information from the YouTube event to everybody. We’re not gonna be able to do that today. But can we get some listeners here to walk away with a couple of tips to get started? Starting with the people that have never done a YouTube video before. Almost everybody listening to it are merchants. Most people listening have done a little bit more because they’re already listening to a podcast. So assume they got a store up, they may be played around with some ads, getting some traffic. What would you recommend people do for their first YouTube video to start driving awareness?
Brett: Yeah. So there’s a couple of things we recommend, and I think to step back before we look at ads specifically, and Rich mentioned this in the intro, is understanding how people interact with YouTube. Because you need to understand how and why people are using the platform. Then you know how you can enter that conversation, how you can best structure your ad to then hopefully influence the buying process and the buying journey.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine, even though it’s not a search engine, it’s a video sharing site. But more search queries are performed on YouTube than on any other search engine except for Google. So people are going to YouTube to learn, do, and buy moments. I’m trying to fix something around the house, which I try to avoid at all costs. I pay people for help. Or I’m learning how to complete this math equation, or I’m researching products, I’m looking at product reviews. I’m comparing this product versus that product and looking to buy it.
YouTube users are growing up. We talked about this at the event. Now for teens and millennials and gen Z, YouTube is the most widely used platform and then Instagram and Snapchat. So anyway, if you are using it for all of these moments, when it comes to ads and specifically for
So you did mention awareness. But really, we recommend you typically start with remarketing ads first. This is what we recommend in a lot of such cases like you’re building your ad presence, build the bottom of the funnel first, get your remarketing game really on point. So then as you fill people into the top of the funnel, you’re gonna close more of them. The ads that we typically run on YouTube, and what the event was about are the
The first thing we recommend people do is to create some videos that you can run to your cart abandoners. That you can run to your product detail page viewers that have not purchased, or maybe if you sell multiple SKUs, let’s run an ad to people that have bought one of your products, but not another kind of. We call it a bought X, not Y campaign. So we like to start at the bottom of the funnel because that’s easy wins. We can test some video creatives. It’s a little easier to create a video for those audiences. You want to spend as much. And then once you get some success right now, we’re comfortable with the platform now and start going a little higher in the funnel and broadening our reach a little bit.
Jesse: Preaching to the choir here about remarketing first. It’s what we talk about with Facebook and Google. And now it’s not just me saying it. It’s another expert saying remarketing first. So, you know, let’s take a look at maybe cart abandoners, would be the obvious one. Obviously, the better the video, the better the result. But I mean, can people just pick up their phone and say, Hey, saw you on my site, check out the product, here are some features, benefits. What would you recommend to people with essentially no budget and a phone? Could they get going?
Brett: Yeah. There are lots of creative ways you can approach that. I think the first thing they consider is why did someone adds to cart and then not checkout. And obviously, that happens all the time. But some people do that just because they never plan to buy in the first place or just out in the cart to maybe check shipping prices or they were saving it for later. There could be a variety of reasons. Or maybe they added to cart and they were planning to come back later, then they forgot a variety of things. But I think it’s to keep in mind that maybe they didn’t have enough information, maybe they weren’t fully sold. Maybe they added to a cart, and they could do the shopping competitors, things like that.
With that particular market, you can take a couple of different approaches. One, you can just remind people. So it can be a relatively quick message of just reminding people, we know you’re shopping. Add something to the cart. We save that for you. It’s ready. Just click here and come and get it. So you could make a straightforward approach. Or one thing we’ve seen work really well is sharing testimonials. Maybe keep in mind that someone didn’t have quite enough motivation. They weren’t fully convinced to buy. So will often run testimonial mashups or
We’ve also seen, if you’re selling a more complex product and someone added to a cart and then did not buy, maybe an explainer. A lot of people before they buy this product, they have this question of how does this part work? So here’s how it works. And here’s a demonstration. They walk through it. The nice thing about running ads to a remarketing list and specifically a cart abandoners list is that the production quality doesn’t have to be off the charts. It does not have to be special effects and CGI, which we don’t ever do anyway. But it doesn’t have to be crazy. It can be an iPhone. And you’re looking at the iPhone and talking into it, or you can be at a table with your products laid out in your holding it up and talking about it. Or could be a compilation of
Richard: It’s interesting. This reminds me, I can’t remember who said it, if you have an hour to chop down a tree, you spend 40, 50 minutes sharpening the ax and then start chopping the tree. And I say that because it really is about thinking of your customer journey. Where were they? What is back to your psychology comment earlier? The thing that you like is they’re sitting in this spot in most cases. And you said some of this, but it would probably be if they made it all the way to the cart, their boss walked in. A couple of things or they get to leave the office real quick. It was probably trying to find out some sort of shipping, might not quite have enough trust in your company or they probably understood the product. But again, maybe an explainer video. I would imagine not worrying so much about the budget of the production, but almost maybe making videos for each of those type scenarios and testing them out, because as marketers, we think we know, but the data tell us whether we really did or not.
Brett: Yep. Always want to test. We haven’t done a video quite like this, but you could maybe even hold up a shopping bag and say, we save this for you, and you get stuff inside of it. And then go on to say, Hey, we know lots of reasons why you maybe didn’t check out and then go on with the message. And so that’s certainly an option. We have a lot of clients that will run essentially the same message, though, to product detail page viewers that they run cart abandoners. Just because creating video content is not as easy as, say, writing text or creating a display ad. And so it’s certainly possible to like we talked about UGC content or a longer explainer type video. You could run that to both a product detail page viewer and to a cart abandoner. I think it’s better to get more specific and test different things. But if you just want to test this out and say, I’m going to create one video because it takes a long time and a lot of effort and energy, great. Create one of those, and then you can test the different audiences as long as you keep it in that warm kind of remarketing bucket.
Jesse: Yeah, I like that. I mean, obviously, it’s great to have a specific video for every single situation, every single person. But if you don’t have the time. I really like that testimonial because when you create, you tend to focus on features. And if you think from your point of view, this is my product. Everybody should just buy it. But people don’t really think that way. And that’s why they abandon carts. So now giving that testimonial one, that testimonial can say things that that is going to be more believable to the customer. You can say this is the best thing ever. But if a third party says it, even though you’re paying for the ad, it’s just going to naturally be more trust behind that. And yeah, I mean, whether they’re on the product detail page or they abandoned cart on the last step of the checkout, that probably works. It’s worth trying.
Brett: Yeah, absolutely. Testimonials really work it even at the top of the funnel. I mean, it’s just gotten awareness. We like to weave in some testimonials. But at the bottom of the funnel, you can even test with one or two videos. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. So yeah.
Richard: I have a specific question going back. OK, these people are going to be running ads for the first time, let’s say in this previous scenario. Maybe they’ve done some Facebook, done other things. There’s a couple of unique things that I would love for you to let them know about with the whole skip ad. I would say more about the structure and syntax almost back to psychology. Is there something specific they should do before the Skip ad pops up and then after and just basically to say the syntax of the script?
Brett: Yes, it’s a phenomenal question. What a lot of people think about when they decide to have to run some YouTube ads are going to create a video ad for multiple platforms. The frame of reference that most people have is TV ads. We grew up watching TV ads and even mentioned that I even liked ads from the time I was a kid. And so we have this mindset of TV as this slice of life, layout scenario. Here’s a guy getting ready for work or whatever. He’s in front of the mirror and all this
That’s usually not what works for YouTube because people get that magical skip, skip ad opportunity after five seconds. So what you run the risk of, if you just have a slow build ad, is you could get the wrong people to stick around because they’re interested or whatever. And you could cause the right people to skip because they don’t know what your ad is about. So one of the things we talk about a lot is bringing the punchline into the first five seconds, bringing the main benefit into the first five seconds.
We see this now with some videos or even movie trailers and something where you bring a high action scene right to the first few seconds, explosions, stuff happens. And then you get into the story, and then you add another climax, another big event happens. And so that’s huge. We’re trying to say, Hey, we’re gonna hook you in the first five seconds, and we’re gonna try to hook the right person. So who do we want to watch, and who are we OK if they skip? Thinking about what is our primary benefit, what is this all about? And bringing that right to the front.
A couple of ways you can approach that opener. You can go funny if you want to. It’s a hangout with Daniel Harmon from the Harmon Brothers. And we’re talking about some of their famous videos. And one of the great ones is the
Or you can be very direct about the product. I’ve had a client that we helped to get started on YouTube. And actually, they sell these silicone wedding rings. And so the video opens with Peter, the owner, walking up and saying, Hey, have you seen these? These are made of silicone. They’re called groove rings. And kind of flexes it.
So it’s really just like really right to the point where if you’re looking for a ring, you might watch it if you’re not going to skip and get out of there. Bring in the benefit. Bring in the action point. Gets right to the point. Bring the punch line to the first five seconds, and then you can start to lay more of the backdrop or more of the story. And we do like to layer in a couple of calls to action as we go, if we can, for sure. Call to action at the end of the video. But the nice thing about this video ad unit that we run is, there are calls to action around the video. So one kind of in the lower left on desktop, one in the upper right on the desktop, on mobile. It’s right below the video and overlaying the video. You can be enticing and calling someone to click through those calls to action as well.
Jesse: That’s awesome. I love the idea of these first five seconds. That’s the goal. Everybody there, if you remember one thing, make the video for the first five seconds. I assume now that if people skip, then you don’t pay for the ad.
Brett: That’s the beauty of this ad unit. And then one of the first reasons I was so excited about this because, as I mentioned, I’ve done TV ads forever. And, you know, you always get to see the Nielsen ratings or whatever rating service someone is using, and you would hope that people watched. But that was the ratings for the program you’re advertising in. Did people actually watch the video? I don’t know. Did they get up and leave? Who knows? Did they click? Do they visit the site later? It’s all a guess.
What’s beautiful about these TrueView ads on YouTube is that you only pay if someone actually views. So what that means as they have to watch 30 seconds of the video. If the video is 30 seconds or longer or they have to watch the whole video if it’s less than 30 seconds or you don’t pay. So for videos 30 seconds long, someone hits the skip ad button after
I love that because you’re actually only paying for people that are engaged. And so because of that, you’re almost incentivized to say, hey, let’s bring the benefit. Let’s bring the punchline right to the first five seconds, because if someone who’s not interested skips, we’re fine with that. We don’t pay for that. Let’s just pay for people that are engaging and are interested.
Richard: So one of the things I was going to ask you about that I’m super excited to hear your input on is unlike maybe a Facebook where you’re trying to narrow down in your general audiences, you can get very specific and almost even target, if not a general area, a specific video. So you could almost go to your competitors if they’re silly enough to let them run ads on your stuff. When you’re running this
Brett: Yeah. We’ve seen that approach. I’ve seen several advertisers do that. Not many of our clients have taken that approach for whatever reason. But yeah, I mean you could do something like, Hey, if you love paying for retail and you hate getting discounts, just skip this ad because you know what I’m about to share with you. You’ll have no interest in. I think that’s kind of fun. I think that people like whoa, wait a minute. You’re telling me to skip. So I’m not going to skip. And they made a mistake around. I think that’s totally worth testing. And we’ve mainly taken the approach and a lot of the most successful YouTube ads we’ve seen are mainly just taking the approach of how do we speak directly to our target audience and then let those that are not the target audience kind of
Jesse: Yeah, I like that scare away people, you don’t want to pay for them. So if they’re offended by the
Richard: Good point. The goal isn’t to pay for the ad; the goal is to get them to buy something. But if they’re not gonna be the people that are going to buy something, they may as well skip the ad. You don’t want people just watching it because it’s an interesting video, and you’re paying for someone that doesn’t want your product.
Brett: I think the real key and what we need to focus on is how do I speak directly to my ideal buyer? So my ideal buyer, those that are going to get the most satisfaction and they’re gonna be the happiest with my product and the most likely to buy. How do I speak directly to them so that they say yes? Or at least maybe I’ll keep watching. I’m going to stick around and see which you have to say because you’ve got me at least somewhat interested. So how do we speak directly to them? And then we’re completely OK if the person that’s not an ideal buyer says, eh. And so I think that’s really the focus is how do we speak directly to that customer? And you mentioned really interesting a minute ago, Rich, talked about targeting your competitors and how to maybe reach some competitive conquest thing on YouTube. So I’m happy to speak about that if you’d like.
Richard: For sure. That would be great.
Brett: Yeah. So it’s really interesting. What’s beautiful about YouTube is there are massive amounts to scale. I mean, there’s all the inventory in the world on YouTube. I mentioned in the YouTube event that now there are 2 billion active monthly users globally on YouTube. When I first started talking about YouTube three years ago was 1 billion. Such a huge scale. You can get all the skills you want. You spent all the money you want on YouTube ads with several clients spending multiple six figures a month on YouTube ads. But you can be very focused, too. You can be very targeted.
There are a couple of things you can do. You mentioned it, Rich. You could pick your competitors’ YouTube channels. And if they allow advertising, you could target their channels, and you could run ads as a
We talked about this a little bit at the event as well. But for customer intent audiences where you’re building an audience based on what someone is searching for on Google. And I know for a lot of people, and for me, when you search on Google is different than what you search for on YouTube. So you can build an audience of people that have searched for your competitors on Google. And now the next time they’re on YouTube, you can show your ad to them. So all kinds of really creative and interesting ways to build ads there. There is definitely a scale opportunity. You go for really broad audiences, but you get very targeted, very focused, which is often a great thing to do, especially the beginning.
Jesse: More on the targeting. We started with remarketing, and usually, that’s going to be you set up your remarketing tags, the ad gets directed to people who’ve been to your site or different places. So, everybody who’s listening, talk to support, there are ways to do that. And you mentioned that the customer intent audience. For people listening, you can create this list of keywords. Now, what have you seen work better? Obviously remarketing is probably always going to be a winner, custom intense, gonna give you the scale, but then like really targeting specific videos. Do you know whether it’s a competitor you want to be in front of theirs? But maybe they don’t sell this particular product, but they are about this product. Like they are in space. I don’t have a good example, but like, have you seen that work better than custom intent, which is letting Google do the work or targeting specific videos where you have to do the work?
Brett: Yeah, it’s both. And it does depend on the advertiser. And so one point of clarification and I didn’t really mention this before. You mentioned some scale with customer intent. Usually, customer intent has less scale; it’s just more focused. And the beauty is because it’s custom, you can actually pick your keywords so you can come with a list of 50 keywords and put them in this audience, and then Google builds a group of people that have searched for those keywords and then you can target them on YouTube.
To your point, let’s say a client selling minimalist running shoes, right. So we’ve done this. We’ve actually worked in this space before. So then maybe you’re saying, OK, I don’t necessarily need to target other channels that are all about minimalist running shoes. But what about just running channels and barefoot running and different hiking and outdoor and active channels or looking at what are the other channels that people are interested in that are likely to buy my product? Targeting channels, targeting specific videos with your ad that usually works quite well. So as we look at our progression, so you start with remarketing first, and then from there, we’re usually looking at keyword targeting, which would be keywords on YouTube itself, customer intent targeting.
Doing placements is what we’re talking about now, where you’re picking channels or picking specific videos, and then from there, we start to go broader and look at interest targeting and demographics, then you can do really broad things. It really depends on the product. We’ve seen things like medical devices and things in the health space. Sometimes keywords on YouTube. Sometimes that’s the best customer intent. Those are often really focused and really efficient campaigns.
We’ve seen placements work from automotive clients to skincare clients. And so those are really interesting, too. So we do subscribe to that idea of let’s start with remarketing and then let’s start with
Jesse: Got it. Yeah, I was thinking, Rich, of the Kent Rollins podcast we did probably a month or two ago. We probably give the perfect advice because we jumped ahead to the placements. And Kent Rollins is a chef that’s been on all chef cooking shows. His particular thing is like outdoor Dutch oven cooking. We were mentioning that you can place this in front of Bobby Flay, and you can say how you beat Bobby Flay in the
Brett: I think it really depends. And obviously, that’s the easy answer. One of the things we talk about just generally is your product. Is it more about demand capture or more about demand generation? Here are some examples. There are certain types of automotive parts that are more about demand capture. And I’ll use an example. I try to never touch these myself, but let’s say brake pads. You only buy brake pads if you need them. You have a need. You go search for it. So that’s more like demand capture. It’s hard to create demand by wowing people with how amazing your brake pads are. You’re not going to show a video and people be like; you know what, I’m negotiating my perfectly good brake pads for your better brake pads. That’s just not a role. That sets demand capture.
But there’s a demand generation where you’re saying maybe you’re showing a bumper or you’re showing new wheels or whatever, where it’s like, you know what? I wasn’t thinking about that now that I see it. I really like it. Or when a client one time that had this hair contraption for creating great ponytails and something that no one ever would search for because no one knew about it. But if you saw it and you wore a ponytail, you’d be like, oh, that’s amazing, revolutionary. That’s like fully demand generation.
So I think depending on where you fall, there are a lot of our clients somewhere in between. There’s a little bit of demand and some demand generation. So I would think about that. So for this outdoor Dutch oven cooking. It’s a few people searching for it, and that’s just my guess. I’d want to research this category, more demand generation. So who is my audience? Who are these people? Maybe these are preppers. Maybe these are people that are into country music. Maybe these are people that are into their own gardens. I don’t know. And then maybe none of those things are true. But so this is what my buyer looks like now. Let me target those channels and maybe some of the keywords around that. And then if I show them this awesome video of how my recipes or my style of Dutch oven cooking really is amazing that I can win them over. So I think it’s a matter of capturing demand generation and then finding the right audience there in the right offer and that combination of things.
Richard: I feel a little bit better because when I was guessing before you started saying something, I was like maybe people who just like camping or things like that like they would actually utilize this when they were out camping.
Brett: So, yeah, I think that that can absolutely work. I think it just depends on the offer and on the product. But the beautiful part about YouTube is you can test small if you need to. You can test with a smaller budget and see if this video resonates. Is it working? And then once you find a winner, there’s all the scale that you’d ever want there to.
Jesse: Yeah, that’s awesome. I want to kind of bring it back to the inside YouTube world and the ad placements. We can make all sorts of different videos and we should. But assuming people are making one to two videos to try how often or how important are the various things around YouTube, like the call to action there and in the text you can place in the end cap and whatnot, like all these little things that are fairly easy to play with. Much easier to play with than making a whole new video. How much do you play with that? How important is it?
Brett: It is important for sure. And once YouTube started to introduce those, when we first started experimenting with YouTube ads, there was not the call to action buttons like they have now. And so once they introduced those, that was a real
The videos got to convince someone to take the next action. For the most part, something like buy now feels like more of a commitment than shop now or compare or learn more. And so when we’ve tested a head to head. Learn more almost always wins. And so we usually stick with that or some variation of it. We haven’t seen dramatic changes, though, we’ve tested that copy, not nearly the type of change when we test different videos. So sometimes a video that’s OK. You bring in a new video, and it goes 10, 20 x. Change of the call to action isn’t typically doing that. But we found learn more, some variation of that usually does best.
Jesse: All right. I like it. We’ll take the cliff notes. Everybody, learn more. So awesome. I think, Rich, we got a lot of info here. Do you have any last questions you want to ask?
Richard: As I said in the very beginning, I could sit here and talk to you for hours on this. Actually, you said you had a gift or somewhere we can send people.
Brett: Yeah, absolutely. The hardest part with YouTube is creative, and then there are a lot of important things. Campaign structure and how you build an audience target, and all of that definitely matters. But without the right video, without the right ad, if your ad doesn’t resonate, if it’s boring and it falls on deaf ears, then none of the rest of it matters. So over the last couple of years, my team and I, we’ve been collecting good YouTube ads from our clients, from those that we’ve been observing. And so we started giving them names and categorizing them and then breaking down why they work. And so put together this guide. We initially use this guide internally. So we give this guide to our specialists and say, hey, we’re talking to new clients. Let’s use these as an example and share them. I happened to mention this guide from stage one time and had a ton of people say, can I have the guide? Can you share with me? And so we decided to package up, make it look nice.
And so it’s our top YouTube ad templates and examples. It’s six or seven of our top templates and lots of examples for each and links to the actual videos. And so it’s free. You get at our website, OMGCommerce.com, under resources, click on Guides and it’s YouTube ad templates and guides. That’s important. And one less I share about that is we’ve seen this step from Google, and I would tend to agree with it where they say, 70 percent of the success of your video campaigns and specifically YouTube ad campaigns is creative. So getting the creative right is super important and it doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be high budget. But you do need to think it through. It’s just throwing something up there and going for you to think about what’s our approach and what’s the psychology and where someone is in their buying process and stuff like that. That guide’s a great resource, gives lots of examples.