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Need Advice YouTube ads to promote videos?

ddhamilt7

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I've seen someone in my niche doing this, their ad popped up to one of their videos, and they definitely have thousands of views on it (vs their usual hundreds).

Does this work to get subscribers, etc? I'm assuming it won't help it rank better necessarily for keywords (or will it?)
 

MattCommand1

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Using ads is not a good long term strategy to grow your channel. If you have to pay people to watch your videos or channel, there is something wrong. It means the videos or channel overall needs improvement.
 
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ddhamilt7

ddhamilt7

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No, it doesn't mean something's wrong, inherently. It means I'm trying to grow faster because I'm not yet favored in the algorithm (and yes I'm getting subs). That could be true that something is "wrong" but it also may not be. You're making some pretty big assumptive leaps here I'd say, unless you have direct experience with trying ads?

Specifically I saw an in-feed ad from someone I follow and his channel already is growing, but he's clearly running an in-feed ad to grow faster.

Have you run ads at all, or what experience are you basing your statement on?
 
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MattCommand1

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No, it doesn't mean something's wrong, inherently. It means I'm trying to grow faster because I'm not yet favored in the algorithm (and yes I'm getting subs). That could be true that something is "wrong" but it also may not be. You're making some pretty big assumptive leaps here I'd say, unless you have direct experience with trying ads?

Specifically I saw an in-feed ad from someone I follow and his channel already is growing, but he's clearly running an in-feed ad to grow faster.

Have you run ads at all, or what experience are you basing your statement on?
I don't have experience running ads to grow my channel and I never intend to. You didn't specify that only Youtubers who run ads should reply to you. If you only want someone that has run ads to reply, I defer to their answer.

All the bigger YouTubers I respect and learn from, not one of them ever discuss or recommend running ads to get more views and subscribers for their channel. There are reasons for that but since I have no experience in running ads as you have aptly pointed out, I disqualify myself from saying anything more. I will let someone more "qualified" respond.
 

MediaMan

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Does this work to get subscribers, etc? I'm assuming it won't help it rank better necessarily for keywords (or will it?)
It's just another way to get your video in front of people. It might get you more views, but your sub count will probably average out the same regardless if it comes from a paid ad or not. So perhaps if one of your videos is getting a decent (views-->sub count) ratio that might be a video worth experimenting with a paid promotion. I haven't done youtube ads yet, but I've done facebook, web, mobile, etc, ads for years. We have so many metrics available now days, you'll know fairly quickly if it's worth your time. The good news is, you shouldn't have to invest that much for an initial experiment and if it pays off....let it ride. ;)
 
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ddhamilt7

ddhamilt7

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It's just another way to get your video in front of people. It might get you more views, but your sub count will probably average out the same regardless if it comes from a paid ad or not. So perhaps if one of your videos is getting a decent (views-->sub count) ratio that might be a video worth experimenting with a paid promotion. I haven't done youtube ads yet, but I've done facebook, web, mobile, etc, ads for years. We have so many metrics available now days, you'll know fairly quickly if it's worth your time. The good news is, you shouldn't have to invest that much for an initial experiment and if it pays off....let it ride. ;)
Yes that's my thought as well on the testing strategy not costing a ton, especially with In-feed ads from what I'm gathering. Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.
 

Damon

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Honesty, the best way to run ads is to point people to your Web site where they can buy your coaching service or get them sign up for one of your masterclasses. If you're going to pay money, you need a direct response mechanism to accurately gauge what that ad is doing. X number of people watch your ads, x number click and sign up for one of your masterclasses, x number of masterclass participants buy your course or coaching service. You can build a business on that. Throwing ads money to your videos with no direct, monetary improvement to the bottom line is mostly chasing waterfalls

On the contrary, now may be a good time to test ads because fewer companies are paying for ads at the moment--creator recession. You might be able to carve a little better niche given the lack of ad inventory fulfillment. It's totally worth trying, but I would use ads to drive traffic directly to your Web site.

Of course the landing page can have other videos relevant to the ads. That could be a nice little feedback loop.
 
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ddhamilt7

ddhamilt7

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Honesty, the best way to run ads is to point people to your Web site where they can buy your coaching service or get them sign up for one of your masterclasses. If you're going to pay money, you need a direct response mechanism to accurately gauge what that ad is doing. X number of people watch your ads, x number click and sign up for one of your masterclasses, x number of masterclass participants buy your course or coaching service. You can build a business on that. Throwing ads money to your videos with no direct, monetary improvement to the bottom line is mostly chasing waterfalls

On the contrary, now may be a good time to test ads because fewer companies are paying for ads at the moment--creator recession. You might be able to carve a little better niche given the lack of ad inventory fulfillment. It's totally worth trying, but I would use ads to drive traffic directly to your Web site.

Of course the landing page can have other videos relevant to the ads. That could be a nice little feedback loop.
Yep, exactly. Poking around a bit more I saw other folks doing the traditional short video that's a pitch for a free class or low-ticket product. In the past I've run a bunch of ads on Facebook leading to a free masterclass or ebook, etc...and to booking a call later in the funnel, sometimes retargeting for the call for those on the email list.

Same, same here on YouTube...or maybe a combo video of 1 quick but powerful tip...with a lead in to the free masterclass at the end. Instead of a pure pitch video. I think that's what some people do with Trueview ads anyways, from what I've heard from others.

Just seems like an opportune time as Thinkmedia has mentioned that these in-feed ads are a newer feature, fairly recent, so they've said. So that combined with the recession vibe, might lead to some cheaper that usual ads/leads.
 

Anthony Miyazaki

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I have a great deal of experience running various types of Google ads, including those that appear on YouTube as in-stream (often the ones you try to click away from after 5 seconds), in-feed (the ones you see in the upper right corner if you're on a desktop/laptop and under your video if you're on mobile), and search (the ones typically at the top of the search results when you search on YouTube). These ads also can appear in the Google network, which means on websites across the world.

How can these ads help you with your YouTube channel? They can help other people see your content that the algorithm wouldn't normally push. They can help people see your first 5 seconds to see if they want to see more (by the way, those first 5 seconds are free to you -- you only pay if they watch 30 seconds, the entire video if it's less than 30 seconds, or they "engage" with your "ad"). They can help you "prime the pump" by giving you an initial set of inexpensive views (which may or may not represent "social proof" -- the evidence that others might like your video that causes people to click and watch).

Will they get you subscribers? Maybe, if the people watching an in-stream continue to watch and really like your video(s). And in the case of in-feed/search, if they click on your ad and enjoy your video.
Will they get you views? Yes, but they're not likely to be views that convert into subscribers and long-term viewers, especially if you go the cheapest route.

I've used these techniques for clients, students, and my own videos. In the long-run, your content/personality/etc. has the largest impact. But in the short-run, ads can be effective and they don't have to cost a lot of money. If you're trying to stop smoking/drinking/Starbucks-ing/etc., you could use that daily money to fund ads and see what you get.:)

Tell you what... I'll make a video on this in the next few weeks and explain how it works, even with some how-to steps.

In the meantime, think about what you'll give up to start putting a few dollars a day into your videos.

Happy YouTube Growing!
Anthony
 

MattCommand1

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I have a great deal of experience running various types of Google ads, including those that appear on YouTube as in-stream (often the ones you try to click away from after 5 seconds), in-feed (the ones you see in the upper right corner if you're on a desktop/laptop and under your video if you're on mobile), and search (the ones typically at the top of the search results when you search on YouTube). These ads also can appear in the Google network, which means on websites across the world.

How can these ads help you with your YouTube channel? They can help other people see your content that the algorithm wouldn't normally push. They can help people see your first 5 seconds to see if they want to see more (by the way, those first 5 seconds are free to you -- you only pay if they watch 30 seconds, the entire video if it's less than 30 seconds, or they "engage" with your "ad"). They can help you "prime the pump" by giving you an initial set of inexpensive views (which may or may not represent "social proof" -- the evidence that others might like your video that causes people to click and watch).

Will they get you subscribers? Maybe, if the people watching an in-stream continue to watch and really like your video(s). And in the case of in-feed/search, if they click on your ad and enjoy your video.
Will they get you views? Yes, but they're not likely to be views that convert into subscribers and long-term viewers, especially if you go the cheapest route.

I've used these techniques for clients, students, and my own videos. In the long-run, your content/personality/etc. has the largest impact. But in the short-run, ads can be effective and they don't have to cost a lot of money. If you're trying to stop smoking/drinking/Starbucks-ing/etc., you could use that daily money to fund ads and see what you get.:)

Tell you what... I'll make a video on this in the next few weeks and explain how it works, even with some how-to steps.

In the meantime, think about what you'll give up to start putting a few dollars a day into your videos.

Happy YouTube Growing!
Anthony
Anthony, I must say that I am impressed with your channel. Clearly you are doing something (or many things) right. I noticed you seem to be targeting a more sophisticated business audience based on the titles I saw. They appear to be resonating with your audience based on the impressive view counts I see.

Unless you tell me otherwise, I believe that many of your impressive view counts came from making relevant videos strategically speaking to your core audience. And that core audience (along with working with YT algorithm) has rewarded you handsomely with viewership and subscribership.

Was advertising incorporated as a strategy to grow your own channel? I read your response twice and I was unclear because you referred to your clients and other people. You appear to be a marketer. I consider myself to be a marketer much more than an advertiser. The two activities are not the same in my view although there are overlapping goals and objectives.

I have no issue with advertising, in general. I did a lot of it back in the newspaper days. But I generally believe good marketing trumps advertising in terms of being a creator. But I recognize there is an entire niche devoted to video advertising.

I know my limitations. I cannot tackle both being a good content creator (marketing) but then try to be a good video advertiser.

Let's assume that advertising does get you views and subscribers. What is the underlying monetization model? Does that mean we have to keep throwing ad money in order to grow our channel? Perhaps it is quietly being done and I am unaware.

With every creator that I have chosen to watch and follow, the focus is making your content as powerful & effective as possible. Is advertising really a serious and sustainable growth strategy for a YT channel that I have not seen or heard?
 

Anthony Miyazaki

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Hi Matt,

Great commentary and questions. Let me see if I can answer some (before I get back to writing a voiceover script).

I've only used advertising minimally for my channel and with mixed results. I occasionally will "prime" a video with a few dollars (as in $2 or$3) to gain a few hundred views for initial "social proof" (I prefer to call it "social evidence" but alas, the industry named it, not me). Those are with in-stream ads using the actual video as the ad. Does it make a difference? Yes, but only in the beginning. Eventually, the videos will start to grow in views, but the priming does get that growth started a bit earlier and at a small price. Does it help increase subscribers? Not from the ads themselves. That's because inexpensive ads for views typically are not targeted to the right people. They get views but no engagement. Targeting the right people significantly increases the cost per view, which isn't worth the cost unless you're planning to sell them something ("click here for our amazing offer" and those types of ads). But those ads do provide the social proof at the beginning, which I've found can (depending on the video content) push early growth faster, which the YouTube algorithm seems to like. Note that YouTube is NOT going to count ad views in their algorithm, but they will count any "earned views" that come from the person clicking on your channel and other videos.

I also experimented with long-term low daily promotions to see if they would keep eyes on the videos and lengthen higher view rates. I found that they didn't.

One positive note in particular about in-stream ads is that if you do target tightly on your audience (with a higher cost per view) and make sure that the first 30 seconds is representative of what the rest of your video will be, hopefully those who stay for the 30 seconds will stay until the end. Your milestones are 5 seconds and 30 seconds. If the first 5 seconds of the skippable in-stream ad aren't engaging enough, they'll skip (just like we all do). If they stay past the first 5 seconds, you want them to stay past 30 ONLY if they want to see your entire video. Why 30? Because you only pay for the skippable in-stream if people watch past 30 seconds (or the full video if it's less than 30 seconds) or otherwise "engage" with your ad (meaning they click on it to "learn more" or visit your website, etc.).

The bad part of in-stream are those people who aren't paying attention to the next video that plays, meaning that while your ad is showing past the 30-second mark (and charging you for a "view"), the person on the other side of the screen is sleeping, talking to their friends, cooking dinner, etc. You think you had a view, but you only had a "play." YouTube doesn't know the difference.

The best promotions though, are the in-feed ads. These require active, rather than passive, action from the viewers. They'll see your thumbnail and title (and 70 characters of description if found in search) and they'll only click if they think you'll provide them with what they want. This is why great thumbnails are important (something I'm still lacking in) and also why clickbait thumbnails, titles, and search descriptions are terrible. Not only does clickbait waste your money (they click and then leave), but it also tells YouTube that your video isn't worth listing highly in the organic search results or recommended videos. Retention is indeed important.

Bottom line thoughts:
  1. In-stream ads can be used to inexpensively "prime" your video prior to (or upon) its release date so it appears to have social proof.
  2. Inexpensive in-stream ads are almost guaranteed to NOT be delivered to the right audience (especially if that audience is in demand by people willing to pay for them).
  3. More costly in-stream ads can result in engagement, but you probably should be selling something (rather than just providing content) to make them cost-effective.
  4. In-feed ads (that also show in search results) require active responses from viewers and can be quite effective as long as your content delivers to what your thumbnail, title, and search description promise.
  5. Solid content is the best way to grow your channel, along with engaging with your audience(s).
  6. Getting direct access to your audiences (via email, phone/WhatsApp, etc.) will allow you to "promote" new videos without having to rely on the algorithm. Build those lists. Make those connections.
I hope this helps anyone reading this. I really will make that video within the next few weeks that explains how to do all this.

Back to the grind!
Anthony
 

lonelytalks

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After reading all the information provided by everyone I'm just thinking to spend a few dollars for in-feed ads. I'll give a try and see how it works out for me