YouTube advertising is a simple and effective way to promote your business. In fact, YouTube video ads are more liked, commented on, and shared than any other type of online video ad.
But there’s one key ingredient required to make them work—your YouTube ad must be irresistibly compelling.
Johnson Li, who is the former CMO at Mike Chang Fitness, joined our podcast recently to share his expertise on writing killer YouTube ads. Mike Chang Fitness was one of the top performing YouTube channels for 2 years straight, and we can give some of that credit to Johnson who’s video advertising has produced over 1.5 billion views.
1. Use a Commission-based Team
If you want people to watch your video, then you need to make sure that your ad is interesting enough to pull them away from their current activity. —Yes, there’s the non-skippable ads option on YouTube. We’re not talking about that.
A good way to captivate consumers and bump up the video view rate (and click through rate) is by hiring a team that specializes in creating high-quality video content for businesses like yours.
They will help you craft unique messages and designs for your video campaign that will grab the attention of your target audience and make them want to see more.
Because the team is commission-based, each member is more willing to work together, pushing each other forward and taking responsibility for the success of the ad.
The video sales letter (VSL) writer knows if he doesn’t pull his weight, no one else on the team will make the money they deserve—and neither will they.
Using the traditional 9-5, salary-based approach just doesn’t cut it sometimes. There’s no incentive, no motivation.
2. Trust the Metrics
Leave your ego at the door and trust the statistics.
Johnson expertly told us, “even though you’re good at what you’re doing, don’t base it on ego. Think deep, dive deep, and trust the stats.”
When creating your YouTube ad, it’s easy to get wrapped up in how great your product or service is, and how much it will change people’s lives. Or even just how great your VSL is, your ad script. But you’ve got to leave that behind when the rest of the team says no.
You could be an expert at your craft, whether it’s sales or copywriting or scriptwriting or production. But that doesn’t mean everything you pump out is perfect. You’ve got to learn the take the hit and be a team player.
You may have a great idea for an ad, but don’t assume that just because you believe in it, others will too.
On the contrary, if you truly believe in your content, then push it through. Ignore the team, ignore the heads, ignore everyone and send it straight through production. But you have to be willing to place that bet. If it’s successful, you get all the praise. If it fails and you waste $10k in advertising costs, then that could be the end for you.
The metrics are what tells you where to go and what to do. CPM, CTR, CPV. All those cost-per metrics and YouTube views are right there in your YouTube analytics. Use that to formulate a good campaign. You’ll reach more potential customers and increase your ranking not only on YouTube search but also on search engines, boosting brand awareness (and sales).
This applies for all YouTube ad types. So video ads, overlay ads, companion banners, sidebar ads, display ads, bumper ads, TrueView ads—everything. We are focusing mostly on YouTube video ads, but these tips work on the entire platform.
3. Perform Split Tests
Split testing is when you show different versions of an ad to different groups of people, then measure which one performs better.
If you’re not already doing that, then this is your cue to start.
If you have two versions of an ad copy and one gets significantly more clicks than the other, then it’s likely that copy works better. You can also test different images and videos in your ads to see what works best.
The thing you need to keep in mind is that viewers are ready to click skip. Blindly sending your ad out there without knowing how it’ll perform is not a good approach. You need the stats, you need the numbers, you need to test.
When Johnson was working at Mike Chang Fitness, they set a crazy split test threshold: 20%. Most companies call it a win when they get 10%, just to paint a picture for you.
Why so high? Because they point isn’t to simply convert and maintain. It’s to grow. Anything below 20% didn’t make the cut.
It’s also because there are tons of how-tos and methods for getting a 1% conversion bump. But when your goal is to grow, 1% is nothing. You don’t want small change or slight optimizations. You want to go in hard and win.
4. Reach Your Target on the Emotional Level
There’s a reason ads perform well. On the surface, we can chalk it up to being catchy. We’ve all seen those funny prescription drug ads or Super Bowl commercials that reach out through humor. But that’s not the only way, and it’s definitely not the way to get a loyal customer base.
Dig deep and reach for their emotional motivations.
Johnson gave us a great example. Let’s say your product is a gym membership and in this ad campaign, you’re targeting men who are 65-and-older.
Do you think humor is going to get them? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it. These man is approaching 70 years old. It’s going to take more than a joke to get them on a treadmill.
If you could ask them in person why they might be interested in the gym, you’d likely hear something generic like, “I want to lose weight.” Or, “I want to be healthier.”
But that’s not it. Dig deeper. Find the real emotion behind their desire. In reality, a lot of them are scared. Scared they’re getting older and dying. If they’re live an unhealthy lifestyle, their life expectancy shortens. That’s a scary thought for someone who’s gone past middle-aged.
Tap into that fear and that desire to live longer. That’s what will hook them. Then reel them in with a call to action (CTA) and you’ve just landed a sale.
5. Nail the Hook
You know that feeling, when you’re watching something on YouTube and it’s so catchy, so compelling, that you just have to keep watching? It’s like an itch that needs to be scratched.
That’s what we’re talking about here — ads that get people hooked and keep them engaged until the end.
It can be difficult to come up with an idea that will work for everyone. But there are some things you can do to make sure your ads are skippable and compelling enough for your audience.
A good strategy to help you get started is to scroll through social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and watch a few YouTube videos solely to stream ads. Yeah, they’re different ad formats and reach different demographics, but they can still give you some insight.
See what hooks you in. Is there a common theme? What about from your competitors? What are they doing?
You can split test your hooks as part of the previous tip. But a great way to see if you’ve got a killer hook is testing it on your own team. When you go into a meeting and speak out your hook, whether it’s a VSL idea or ad script. Watch the reaction of your team. If they’re going wild for it, then you know it’s good. These are people who pitch for a living. If they get even just a little excited, then you’ve got something good on your hands.
Check Out Johnson’s Training Program and Get Your Business Set Up to Scale
Johnson Li has a training program called The Mirror Message where he trains and offers 1-on-1 sessions specifically for creating unskippable YouTube ads. Check that out first.
Then, when your business is scaling and you realize more YouTube ad views leads to more sales, you need a better payment ecosystem than Stripe, get in touch with us.
We’ll help you prep your business for that increased cash flow by opening up a merchant account that backs your business and your business model.