Brands advertise on YouTube all the time, but what options are there for YouTube channels to advertise and grow?
In today’s episode of Tube Talk, Jeremy Vest speaks with Jake Larsen of Videopower.com, where they discuss how he used YouTube advertising to build his family vlog, the lessons he learned along the way, and how you can use the same tactics to grow your YouTube channel, whether you’re a brand or just a YouTuber trying to get noticed.
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It’s time for Vidpow Tube Talk, everyone’s favorite podcast for video marketing tips. Brought to you by Vidpow, your video marketing team.
Jeremy Vest: Hey everybody, this is Jeremy Vest from Vidpow.com. Today, I have the amazing Jake Larson. How’s it going Jake?
Jake Larsen: I’m doing great Jeremy, thanks for asking me. I’m excited about this interview today.
JV: So, for those of you that don’t know, Jake was one of the very first YouTube Ambassadors. What is a YouTube Ambassador Jake?
JL: Basically, what happened was, I worked with a company and we were able to translate some of our YouTube views into customers. They asked us to be YouTube Marketing Ambassadors, and what happened is, they flew us out to the Googleplex and the YouTube headquarters. They presented like this new way of advertising on YouTube, at the time. I mean, this was back in 2012, like right when the YouTube in-stream ads were coming out. They were promoting that program, and wanting to get some case studies under their belt of companies that have used this platform, and what the results were. Then, to help other people and businesses spread the good word of YouTube ads.
We came back, we played around with the in-stream ads, and we were able to sell products. It was really cool. It was like a guaranteed way of getting views, traffic, and if you know what you’re doing, you can get sales out of it too. So, that’s what happened about, back in 2012, and since then I quit my job at that company, and started Video Power Marketing and have been loving the advertising platform ever since.
JV: That’s awesome. Today we’re gonna be talking about using YouTube ads to grow your channel. So, let’s dive right into that. How do you use the ad to grow your channel, Jake?
JL: So, I mean the goal of growing a channel is to generate subscribers. Basically, what you do is, you say, I want to create. I want to produce a specific video, video ad, with a purpose of driving subscribers. Within AdWords, like this whole process is done in Google AdWords, which is the machine that connects advertisers to consumers. Everyone is like, every key word you search on YouTube, Google knows your search history, so they have this huge database of people that they can put your ad in front of. So, you just go inside there, you say I want to show this ad to this audience, and you can track and measure everything. You can track and measure the views, the clicks, and you can see how many subscribers you’re giving them from the ads, and your cost per subscriber. Other people use it for leads or sales, but for this instance, that’s how you grow a YouTube channel.
You basically say, I want to show my video in front of this audience, and you drive people to your YouTube channel. Well, they see your channel trailer, your videos, they subscribe, and they just start consuming and engaging in your content.
JV: So, in this particular ad, I guess, the call to action would be like, subscribe. Is that the goal for the physical video? Like, what are tricks to getting people to subscribe using an ad?
JL: I kind of reference our, the video ad formula. Maybe it’s better to give some context. We had just started our family YouTube channel, right? No subscribers, no audience yet. I’m sitting there thinking like, hey, how, what’s a quick way to get that audience built up? It comes down to three things, right? You need to know what you’re trying to get. In this case, it was subscribers. Two, you need to know who your audience is. In which case, our audience, you know what? It’s a family vlog channel, it’s a family vlog. I’m like, how can I get, like who else watches these family vlogs?
We targeted specific family YouTube channels. I said, I’m gonna target these audiences. I remember, I researched the top 50 most subscribed to family vlogs on YouTube. That was our list, our target audience. Then, from there, then we just, you have to craft that message to that audience. For me, it’s like, I don’t know about you, but when you first see a YouTube ad, it’s like the most hated five seconds on the internet, right? People just can’t wait to skip it. So, you have to get really creative within that first five, ten seconds to make sure that people, like, you know that you’re in the right place.
JV: One of my favorite ads of all time was you fake knocking on the glass, and it just blew your mind. You’re like, whoa, this guy is knocking on my monitor right now.
JL: Yeah. I mean, you want to catch people off guard a little bit, and have fun with it. For this specific ad, like our first 10 seconds, I’m like, my face is right in front of the camera. In my mind, okay, these people are gonna be seeing my ad as a YouTube ad. What would be something that they’re just not expecting to see. So, me and my daughter’s face is right in front of the camera. I’m calling down like, “Hey honey, they’re watching us on the youtubes again.” It just kind of just catches people off guard, and a lot of people thought it was pretty funny too. So then, that first five, ten seconds you catch people off guard, you have fun with it.
Then, from there, we just introduced our family. I have some really funny home videos of me teasing my kids, and messing with them. That kind of builds that entertainment value during thing middle of it. Then, towards the end, it’s like, hey, you know what, we’d love to have you join us on our adventure. Click the subscribe button and follow along. I made the subscribe button, it’s huge on the screen. There’s no doubt that you know that was, the purpose was to subscribe to our channel.
So, I think for the listeners listening right now, when you go to create a video ad, make sure you have something that just grabs their attention in the first five, ten seconds. Call out your audience, share surprising stat, or just do something fun. Then, the second part, make sure you’re providing value. You can build the problem, the solution, and then the last part’s critical, is a clickable call to action. Right? We don’t just want people to watch the video and that’s it. You need to get people to engage and to click on a specific offer.
JV: If you can tell us, what are your average costs per subscriber, if you will, for example, on your family channel?
JL: Yeah, it varies. One of the tests that I set up was, obviously we’re targeting the top 50 YouTube channels, but I wanted to see what the difference in cost would be within the US and outside the US. On average, when we’re running these in-stream ads, within the US, we were down to about a dollar cost per subscriber. In some cases, 75 cents. Some channels just work better than others. I know on ours, Roman Atwood, his YouTube channel was one of the best converting channels for us. Outside the US, I think cause the cost per view goes down outside the US, that cost per subscriber actually got cut in half. So, it was about 50 cents cost per subscriber, advertising outside the US.
JV: That may sound like a lot of money for some. But honestly, for a brand, let’s say you’re a billion dollar company, finding reasons, giving someone a reason to subscribe to your channel and building your audience, for 50 grand getting, let’s say, 50,000 or 100,000 subscribers could be life changing for that company. The reason why subscribers are so important is because, when you upload these constant videos, who is watching those videos? With 600 hours uploaded every minute, how do you stand out? Well, you garner an audience, and that’s who your subscribers are. Without an audience, a built in platform for people to view your videos, you’re just kind of throwing stuff out there, and hoping that they’ll show up on the right hand side under suggested videos or under search. So, it’s really a mission without a plan. Right?
JL: That’s why I think it’s important to focus on the metric that you want to grow. There’s two, if you’re a brand, or a company, or a business, there’s one reason why you should try and shoot for YouTube subscribers, is because it’s just as valuable as someone signing onto your email list. Cause what you can do is, you can link your YouTube channel up to your AdWords account, and say, hey, anyone who has subscribed to my YouTube channel, these are people who say, hey, I like your content. I want to see more of it.
Then, if you do have a product that you want to sell, you target the people who have subscribed to your channel. We have done this with some of our clients, and we’re able to get them customers at like five dollars, ten dollars, when they’re selling like a 97 dollar product. If you market to your subscribers, I mean, these are people who have 100,000 plus YouTube subscribers, you can spend a dollar on ads, and generate five to seven, sometimes ten dollars in sales, when you do it correctly.
JV: This is the part of the family of remarketing. Correct?
JL: Yeah. That goes into remarketing. Yeah.
JV: That’s definitely something we do a lot of. If we make a funny video, for example, someone seeing a funny video one time, they’re not gonna go drop 39.95 to buy the product. You actually need to remarket those people, 20, 30, 50 times before they actually become a purchaser, in a lot of cases. So, the biggest mistake most people make is they think a product video, or a how to video, or a comedy video is gonna gain them purchases. The reality is, the experience of your channel ultimately will gain them, you know, you hopefully convert to a customer. But, if you want to target them from an advertising perspective, like Jay said, the new email is remarketing.
You can get really smart. You can have crazy rules set up. So, if they’ve seen this video, to say, that video, send them this offer. Or, if they bounced from a shopping cart on your landing page, you can remarket them to a new list of, maybe 10% off, because we saw you were about to purchase, but you didn’t.
JL: Yep. I think it’s, if you want an analogy to compare it to, I like the dating analogy. The first time they see a video, that’s like the first time you meet a girl. You’re not gonna go propose on the first interaction. That’s creepy, and that’s weird, and you’re kind of violating those social norms. So, same thing when it comes to that first initial video. You can’t expect someone to drop 97, 4.97 on that first initial touch. Then, what your YouTube channel does, is able to uploading more videos, it’s kind of the dating sequence. You’re building that relationship, you’re teaching, you’re educating, and then when they are ready to buy, you just make that offer, and then it’s good to go.
JV: Well, this has been awesome Jake. How can people find you?
JL: There’s I guess, I’ve got two ways people can contact us. If you’re interested in the YouTube ads, more of that setup, you can check out our website videopower.com. We’ve got a lot of resources there. Two, if you’re interested in our family channel, you can check us out. Go to YouTube, and google Larsen Family Soul and subscribe to our channel.
JV: Well, awesome. You can find us at Vidpowbam everywhere or firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next week, keep talking Tube.
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