If you’ve been waiting for a sign to start running YouTube ads, this is it.
Entrepreneurs and brands from around the world are quickly recognizing the power of YouTube as an advertising platform. With an estimated audience of two billion monthly users, it’s no wonder that an industry titan like Apple spent a whopping $237.15 million on YouTube ads this year alone.
While you may not have a million-dollar budget like Apple, don’t despair, because we have the next best thing.
Rather than making you spend millions of dollars testing and running ads, we’ve enlisted the help of a YouTube ads pro who has done it all. Tommie Powers, one of the world’s leading authorities on YouTube advertising, is here to share what he’s learned from running $30 million in YouTube ads.
Sharpen Your Axe with Market Research
Abraham Lincoln once said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Tommie says the best way to sharpen your YouTube ax, so to speak, is to do proper media planning and market research. You can take swings at YouTube ads all day long, but with zero data and a blunt axe, you aren’t going to make a dent in the market—and your costs will be sky-high.
“What happens if you don’t do planning and research? You’re flying blind with your campaigns and creatives, and your ads probably won’t convert. The winning strategy for YouTube Ads is all about data-driven decision making.”
So how do you plan and research effectively? Start by going back to the basics.
Make sure you map out:
- Your target market
- Your competitors
- Key messaging
- Target keywords
Collecting this market research data will help you to make the right decisions, and these decisions will set you up for success later with your creatives and campaigns.
Monitor Your Success with Metrics
Another tip from Tommie: understand your success metrics.
“I tell everyone that I’ve ever worked with: before you run an ad, you need to have an idea of what you think might happen. That’s where success metrics come in,” says Tommie.
Tommie also notes that the metric marketers most commonly overlook is also the most important one of all: profitability. “For me, the number one way to find out if your campaign is successful or not is to ask yourself: is more money coming in than going out?”
Studying your cost per ad (CPA), lifetime value (LTV), or average order value (AOV) will reveal if your ads are profitable or not. If YouTube ads have you bleeding money, then you’ll know there’s something you need to rework.
Play the Long Game
When it comes to scaling, Tommie recommends changing the way you think about YouTube Ads completely.
“A lot of marketers have trouble wrapping their heads around this but YouTube buyers tend to be more valuable over time,” notes Tommie. “It might be a little bit different from the way you usually think about YouTube…but when you understand that, you can make a different set of decisions based on that.”
As an example, Tommie poses a question: would you prefer to have a buyer that cost you $20 on Facebook and has a $40 LTV, or a buyer that cost you $40 in YouTube ads and has a $100 LTV? “When I ask clients this question, they completely agree in saying they’d rather have the $40 person because they make more money that way,” says Tommie. “You’re paying more upfront but you’re getting more profit down the road later.”
“It’s not always about how little you can pay to get a customer, it’s really about how much that customer is worth to you.” This small change in mindset is key to setting yourself up for long-term success.
Remember that ROAS Isn’t Everything
After years of working with budgets ranging from $10 a day to million-dollar campaigns, Tommie believes that return on ad spend (ROAS) should not be your sole focus.
“There is nothing wrong with [looking at] ROAS, let’s get that straight,” says Tommie. “What I’ve learned from having the fortune to work with 9-figure businesses is that, from a scalability standpoint, ROAS is less important than what you may have heard.”
“If you’re running a small lifestyle business, focusing on your ROAS is perfectly fine…Obviously, when you’re newer, you want to be focused on that. As you scale out, it becomes more about a longer play.”
The Next Step to Mastering YouTube Ads
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse into Tommie’s YouTube ad tactics, why not get his firsthand blueprint for success? Check out Tommie’s course.