Hey, Patrick Kenney here, I want to share my battled-tested checklist for creating YouTube Ads that grab attention, get the customer, and explode sales with zero tech overwhelm.
I’m holding nothing back, but first a warning. This information is powerful. Please only use it for good.
Each year, business owners face increasingly complex systems and platforms. Automation, pixels, bots, re-marketing, bumpers, heat-maps, dynamic content, artificial intelligence….it’s endless.
And when it comes to YouTube Ads, the untrained user might as well be reading circuit blueprints for the iPhone 11. With all its widgets, gadgets and “tech geeky” options, YouTube ads are complex and intimidating at first glance. Tech overwhelm often turns to inaction and missed opportunities. It’s not surprising when you consider the ad platform releases 400 updates on average per year.
The way to combat this tech overwhelm is by simplifying the process. Focus on the minimum number of actions required to launch a successful ad campaign. That means following a proven system and sequence of steps. Complex does not have to equal difficult.
Like a seasoned chess player, let me break down the minimum number of board moves required for you to win the game that is YouTube ads. This guide is the culmination of years of trial, error, head-banging moments, campaign successes and campaign failures. It’s the EXACT steps I use with every YouTube ad launch, guaranteeing success 99 out of 100 times.
I challenge you to consume and implement.
Less than 10% of business owners are leveraging YouTube Ads effectively.
Consider this opportunity knocking.
In this guide, we’ll cover…
But first, a quick story…
I was equally nervous and excited.
The auditorium was comfortably cool, but stage lights were already triggering beads of sweat.
Students shuffled in and took their seats like prison inmates corralled against their will.
The room was void of energy. God knows what coma-inducing topics are droned on in this room daily.
Several weeks prior, a marketing professor at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business invited me to speak on the topic of digital marketing in the real world.
I was honored…and a little amused.
Upon hearing the news, my wife and I enjoyed a chuckle. It’s not every day a Computer Science major (from the same university) is asked to speak on the topic of marketing to third and fourth-year marketing majors. Gotta love life’s little ironies.
The doors closed as I’m given the green light to begin my presentation. I roll my first slide and asked a simple question.
“Who wants to make $10K per month starting next month?”
Heads snap from laptop screens, phones flip down, and hands fly in the air.
I had their attention.
Every student is engaged and interactive throughout my talk.
The room is electric.
120 slides and 90 minutes later the questions are rolling in. Even the professor is asking me questions about my slides and campaign results.
The audience is hungry…practically starving for this information.
Realizing we are out of time, the professor reluctantly curbs the Q&A.
We exit the auditorium a slow, congested mob. Half a dozen students tag along peppering me with question after question as I shuffle to the parking garage.
With the last question finally answered, I close my car door. Starting the engine, I give myself a mental high five.
I had just perfectly demonstrated how to present a great offer to a hungry audience.
What college kid wouldn’t want to make $10K per month BEFORE graduating?
And that’s what this whole marketing game is about, presenting relevant offers to
hungry starving audiences.
What I’ve compiled in this guide is everything you need to successfully present relevant offers to a starving audience using YouTube Ads.
The rules are simple.
- You MUST have a great offer.
- You MUST have creative that accurately presents the offer.
- You MUST know your audience.
Let’s dig in.
1. Offer Optimization
80% of success with YouTube ads boils down to creative and relevancy.
Offers vs. Products
Presenting a nice watch on video will get you sales. Product-based creative does work. However, presenting creative that conveys what the watch will do for the purchaser plus add-ons to enhance its usage transforms a commoditized watch into an irresistible offer.
Offer-based creative outperforms product-based creative 10 to 1 on average.
Desire-Based Offers vs. Interest-Based Offers
A gym membership is interesting. Looking great naked is desired.
A cheap oil change is interesting. A reliable vehicle that will last for years is desired.
An in-ground pool is interesting. A backyard oasis full of family and friends enjoying every summer weekend together is desired.
Desire-based offers over interest-based offers, always.
Pro Tip – Watch old QVC commercial for examples of products being turned into offers.
2. YouTube Creative
There are endless options for creative when it comes to video.
Overwhelm and analysis paralysis are the enemies of done. Keeping initial video content simple dramatically increases your chances of overall success.
Here are examples you can run with to get traction with your first or next YouTube ads campaign.
The 5 Second Hook – “If you’re a [ideal customer] who would like to [yay] without [boo], this will be the most important message you’ll see all day. Here’s why…..”
5.1 Video Method – Record separate intros for each audience target and splice them with a single “meat” offer/content video. Intros general, channel-specific, topic-specific, keyword specific, situational specific and one “meat” content to pair with each intro.
5 videos in total.
This takes a bit of work, but the results can be incredible.
- Record your first intro – “Hey, it’s Patrick Kenney. If you’re an info marketer who would like to scale sales fast, this will be the most important message you’ll see all day. Here’s why….”
- Record the “meat” content – “the problem is, Facebook Ads and other social ad platforms are problematic. They’re like a Ferrari on a 200-yard long highway. You can get going fast, but you run out of road just as fast. The solution is YouTube ads. It’s like an SR71 Blackbird. It takes a little bit to get off the ground, but then the sky is literally the limit……..”, etc.
- Record channel-specific intro – “Hey it’s Patrick Kenney and before you watch another Gary Vee video, I have something extremely important to share with you…”
- Record topic-specific intro – “Hey, it’s Patrick Kenney and before you watch another Facebook Ads tutorial, you’ll want to see this….”
- Record keyword specific intro – “Hey, it’s Patrick Kenney and if you’re using Twitter ads….”
- Record situation-specific intro – “Hey, it’s Patrick Kenney and if you’re struggling to maintain a healthy return on ad spend, this will be the most important message you’ll see all day…”
Pro Tip – Wear the same outfit and do these in the same sitting. A perfectly executed 5.1 video method can be completed in 60 minutes or less.
First Timer Video Full Script Example:
“A reputation can be a good thing…if you have one for being the life of the party.
It’s not so good when it’s for snoring.
In fact, it can be downright deadly.
That’s why if you snore, you’re going to want to listen up.
While snoring may not seem like a big deal, it’s a symptom of a disease called sleep apnea…and crazily enough, sleep apnea is a very serious and potentially fatal disease. People with sleep apnea stop and start breathing hundreds of times during the night…because this depletes their brains of precious oxygen, they rarely feel like they got a good night’s sleep and they often walk around in a mental fog. It’s a symptom of a disease called sleep apnea…and crazily enough, sleep apnea is a very serious and potentially fatal disease.
While on its own this would be bad enough, the news gets worse.
Sleep apnea can also cause or worsen high blood pressure…heart disease…strokes…diabetes…liver problems…dementia…cancer…and depression.
Fortunately, there’s a solution.
At Safer Sleep, we offer an extremely accurate home diagnostic tool for sleep apnea. This small, painless device measures airflow, heart rate, and oxygen levels, so we can determine whether you stop and start breathing while you’re asleep. Simply wear the device overnight, return it to our office the next day, and our board-certified sleep physicians will evaluate the results. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, they’ll recommend one of our comfortable and effective treatment options, which are usually covered by insurance.
Don’t ignore your snoring any longer—it could be deadly.
Instead, schedule a sleep consultation with Safer Sleep today by visiting SaferSleep.com or by calling 555.555.5555. In no time, we’ll help you get a good night’s rest.”
Pro Tip – Talking head videos convert like crazy. Be natural and talk to the camera like you would another person.
3H – Here’s what I’ve got, here’s what it does, here’s how to get it.
AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
POSER – Promise, Obstacle, Solution, Example, Reach
Bumper – 7 Second video to “bump” an action – “Still interested in diversifying your PPC strategy?
These recommendations are all software I have used or currently use. I’ve vetted them each thoroughly.
- Landing Pages – www.convertri.com
- Email Follow Up – www.drip.com
- Video Creation – www.screenflow.com
- Thumbnail Creation – www.bannersnack.com
- Video Cartoon Creation Software – www.doodly.com
- Click Fraud Prevention – www.clickmagick.com
- Re-marketing – www.perfectaudience.com
- Lead Magnet Covers – www.canva.com
Pro Tip – do not use WordPress pages for campaign landing pages. I recommend using hosted landers on Convertri for load speeds and ease of management.
4. Training the AI
The name of the game with artificial intelligence is data training. Google has made the process straight forward, just not very intuitive.
If you’re using Google Analytics, feeding your account AI relevant data about your past visitors and customers is pretty simple.
These data sources can feed your account version of the AI enough data to shorten the learning curve and yield some pretty amazing results early on.
Google Analytics – If you’ve used Google Analytics to track conversion data (leads, sales, cart events, etc.) you can link that data into your YouTube Ads account to pre-train your account’s AI instance.
Google Ads Conversion Pixels – If you’ve run Search, Display or Video ads on Google Ads (formerly Adwords), you could have enough data to pre-train the AI for YouTube Ads.
Customer Data File – You can also upload CRM data with customer history to match records with Google’s.
Pro Tip – Add CRM data to your account monthly.
5. Campaign Objectives
Using a goal eases your decision-making when you create a campaign in Google Ads by guiding you to the specific features designed to help your campaign succeed. The goal you select should correspond with the business objective of the campaign.
Sales – Use this object to drive sales or lead conversions from customers who are ready to take action. Also, use this objective with customers who have previously interacted with your business.
Leads – Encourages statistically relevant customers to raise their “hand” in interest by opting in for a thing or providing contact info.
Website Traffic – Drives potential customers and leads to your site. Do not use this unless you have money to $$. Always send traffic to a directed response form or page.
Product/Brand Consideration – Think Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Don’t use this unless you’re a major brand with $$ to burn.
Pro Tip – Start with Leads or Sales Objective for your first campaign.
6. Automated Bidding
Automated bidding takes the heavy lifting and guesswork out of setting bids to meet your performance goals. There are 6 types of automated bidding, I’ll tell you the 3 that matter.
Maximize Conversions – Automatically sets bids to help you get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. I start almost every campaign with Maximize Conversions. This bid option tells the AI to go get customers who are most likely to be action takes within my chosen targeting.
Target CPA – automatically sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-action (CPA) you set. Some conversions may cost more or less than your target. Use this when you know what it costs to acquire a customer on average. This bid strategy is a graduated level from Maximize Conversions.
Maximize Clicks – Automatically sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget. Use this when you need eyeballs on a landing page without caring much about what happens after they arrive on the page. Political ads are often a maximize clicks options.
Pro Tip – Never use Manual CPC. ALWAYS have an automated bidding option selected.
Google’s targeting options are incredible….and complex. This leads to overwhelm and inaction.
Affinity – This is who they are.
Affinity is very similar to interest targeting on Facebook.
What do they drive?
What kind of phone do they have?
Do they like comic books?
Do they knit?
Do they go to concerts?
Do they have a Windows machine or a Mac?
In-Market – This audience segment is looking to buy something soon, typically within 14 days.
Google has analyzed the individual’s online behavior and history to determine the likelihood of purchase in the coming days.
For example, if I start searching for “best price on a BMW X5” and visit a bunch of dealer sites, then look at review videos on YouTube….I’m probably looking to buy an X5.
Custom Affinity – Probably my favorite audience segment.
This is for the builders out there.
Know what sites your ideal customer visits? Put them into the custom affinity builder and let Google build a target group for you.
For example, you could put www.mercedes.com, www.audiusa.com, and www.landrover.com into the custom affinity audience builder and have a nice group of people who may also like BMWs.
Similar Audiences – These are called Look-a-like audiences in Facebook Ads.
These are people who are similar (hence the name) to a group of people in your account.
You can have similar audiences for leads, pages visited or buyers…to name a few.
Use this audience after everything else is humming along.
Pro Tip – Just starting out? Start with Affinity Audiences.
8. Device Placement
Be considerate of your creative when considering device placements.
Mobile Phones – Use with every ad type. It’s the dominate device group.
Tablet – Use with every ad type. It takes 2nd place for traffic.
Desktop – Great for produced videos that can be fully experienced on a bigger screen.
TVs – Never use TV placements with Direct Response creative.
TV placements are only recommended for awareness and remarketing bumper videos.
Pro Tip – Run a radio commercial-style video creative and target desktop placement with a location of music.youtube.com. You can get cheap exposure marketing to the music listeners on YouTube.
9. Budget & Timing
Starting Budget – Allocate a minimum of $20 per day. $50 per day, per campaign, is ideal.
The “Don’t Touch” Rule – The success of any YouTube ad starts with patience. Google is incredibly smart, but you need to exercise patience when deploying new creative.
Do not touch a campaign for 5 days after approval. This window of time is critical for Google’s API to test and adjust for maximum campaign yield.
Google is incredibly smart, but you need to exercise patience when deploying new creative.
30.4 and Double Budget Cost Days – Depending on when you start your campaign, the first few days you will likely see the cost spike to as high as double your daily limit. DO NOT FREAK OUT.
Google will spend up to double your daily budget as it works to find the best result for your objective.
The daily budget is actually calculated by multiplying your daily budget by 30.4. This means, at the end of the month you will average out to your daily budget X 30.4.
Pro Tip — Do not touch a campaign for 5 days after approval. This window of time is critical for Google’s API to test and adjust for maximum campaign yield.
10. KPIs (Performance Metrics)
CPC (Cost Per Click) – this is a lead indicator AFTER the learning period. The AI will auto adjust bidding in real-time based on the campaign objective and automated bidding options. Use 7, 14 and 28 days windows to influence decisions when looking at CPC. Do NOT look at today or yesterday for trends. 2 days is not a trend. An increasing CPC over a 28 day period will indicate increased competition or ad/offer fatigue.
Cost Per Conversion – a lag indicator. Cost per conversion should become predictable over 14 and 28 day periods with slight variances + or -. Sharp drops in lead cost indicate AI audience revelations (rare). Sharp increases in lead cost indicate technical issues with the funnel. Downward cost trends indicate increased AI intelligence. Upward cost trends indicate audience saturation.
Watch Time – a lead indicator. The longer the watch time, the more engaged the audience. If watch time is short relative to the video length, consider changing creative.
Cost Per View – a lead indicator. If the cost per view increases quickly in a 7 day period, change creative or audience.
11. Actions Amplifier
Use Audience manager in Google Ads to extract In-Market and Affinity audience opportunities.
Once you have clicks, leads and sales coming in, Google will provide a goldmine of data to help you make smarter moves with your campaigns.
In this example, Google tells us individuals in the Avid Business New Readers Affinity Audience are 2.5X more likely to take action on our offers and products.
In this example, Google tells us individuals in the Payroll Services In-Market Audience are 3.6X more likely to take action on our offers and products.
Pro Tip – review Audience insights at least once per month.
12. What to Expect
Google will take longer than Facebook ads or Twitter ads to get going. The video approval process takes up to 1 week for new accounts.
Pro Tip – call Google support after 1 business day to expedite your ad approval. Works every time.
Remember, do NOT touch your campaign for 5 days after it’s approved. Let the AI dial-in.
In the first week of your campaign, you will see peaks and valleys in cost per action. Do nothing. Make no changes until the learning phase is completed.
After the learning phase, use the lead and lag indicators above to measure results and make decisions about the next moves.
Now it’s your turn. Go create a Google Ads account, record some video and start playing around with the platform using this guide or the PDF companion download.
Regardless of your industry, YouTube ads will help you sell more of everything. E-commerce, coaching, consulting, information….everything.
YouTube is an amazing platform that offers an unfair advantage for growth-minded business owners.
Focus on the messaging and you’ve won 80% of the battle.
The next step is to get in and break some eggs!
If you’d like 1-on-1 help uncovering YouTube opportunities in your business, click here.