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11 Reasons YouTube isn’t Working for You
YouTube offers TREMENDOUS scale opportunities.
Just ask Dr. Squatch, Purple Mattress, Organifi and Masncapped.
But it’s NOT the easiest platform to scale with. We’re one of the top spenders on YouTube ads. We’ve spend more than almost any agency our size on the platform and we’ve leaned what works and what doesn’t.
In this episode I breakdown the 11 factors that determine YouTube success.
Here’s a sneak peak:
- What has to be true about your landing pages before you can fully accelerate on YouTube
- When to launch a YouTube ad campaign
- How to approach YouTube ad performance measurement
- What creative elements need to be in place
- What role do email, search, and shopping play in your YouTube success
- How to think about remarketing and YouTube
Plus, much, much more.
It is time for another spicy curry hot. Take the part of the show when I get just a little bit spicy. If you tried YouTube ads and they have not worked, then I would dare to say that it might not be YouTube's fault. It might not be that YouTube ads just don't work for my brand. It could be your fault. Or more specifically, it could be that you're missing these 11 success factors. Scale on YouTube is possible. It's even probable, but you have to have these 11 things in place. If video ads on Facebook are working for your brand, then YouTube ads should work as well. I'm going to give you the formula. I'm going to break down those 11 things that need to be in place before YouTube works. It's not the easiest to scale on, but it does provide tremendous opportunities to build a brand. So let's dive in to these 11 success factors.
So as we look at YouTube ads, I think we need to first step back and say, is it really true that hey, YouTube just doesn't work for some brands. YouTube doesn't work for my brand. I think that can be true if you sell a commodity item, if you sell a lower ticket item, if you can't absorb CACs or CPAs and the $50 plus range, then YouTube may not be your number one vehicle, but likely if you're a DTC brand and you're driving new customer acquisition on Facebook through Facebook video, then YouTube should work as well. And what we found is for those that are spending 10,000, 20,000, $50,000 a day on Facebook, you should be able to spend about the same or at least half as much on YouTube as you're spending on Facebook. And let's take a look at some of the brands that have really succeeded on YouTube.
Purple Mattress primarily grew initially from YouTube. Dr. Squash grew on other channels, but YouTube was a huge part of their success. Organify, we worked with that brand for a while, and during some of their rapid growth years, they weren't on Facebook, they were advertising on YouTube, and the list goes on and on. And so YouTube is very powerful. Scale is very possible. In fact, there's maybe more scale opportunities available on YouTube than any other platform. It's the second most visited site on the web. It has more scale than even Facebook or any other social platform, but it's not the easiest. And I'll even say, and I'm a YouTube guy, a Google guy, it's not the best place to start to launch a brand unless maybe you're running YouTube organic, then that's a great place to start. YouTube ads, though they're a great accelerator of growth, so you have traction.
YouTube is a great way to accelerate that growth. So let me break down really quickly these 11 success factors, and then we're going to go into detail on each one. This is going to be fast paced, it's going to be inspirational, and at the end you're going to be hopefully motivated to crush it on YouTube. So here we go. What are the 11 success factors? Number one, product market fit. Number two, a site that converts and landing pages designed for cold traffic. Number three, the right creative. You have to be running ads that are designed or optimized for YouTube. Number four, email follow-ups. Do you have email marketing in place? Number five, solid Google search shopping and or performance max campaigns. Number six, remarketing campaigns. Number seven, a full funnel mindset. Number eight, useful reporting. So are we reporting in a way that's accurate enough and is it useful?
Number nine, proper budget. Number 10, adequate patience. And number 11, a marketplace. Read Amazon, but a marketplace strategy that works. Okay, let's dive in. This is not rocket science, it's not incredibly complex, but there's a lot. And you do need to have these in place before you can get really full leverage out of YouTube. So number one, there has to be product market fit. What I mean here is if you're still testing a product, you still dunno exactly who you're trying to reach. You still don't know exactly the best offers, the best angles, the things, the reasons why someone buys. Then YouTube is probably not your first bet, right? YouTube is an accelerant. YouTube is a place to really hit the gas pedal and take something that's good and make it great in terms of scale. So how do we know we've got good product market fit?
Well, I think one of the surest signs is do we have repeat purchases for a specific product? So are we getting repeat purchases? Are people buying again and again? And are they telling their friends? Do we have good reviews on this product? Are people reviewing it and showing that they love it? And then is branded search growing? And this is one of those surefire ways to tell that, Hey, my brand is growing in popularity that more people search for my brand by name month in and month out than that means I'm getting traction. So we do need to know I do have traction. I do know who my ideal customer profile is. I do know why they buy the product. Okay, now we're ready to go. So that's step one. That is the first success factor. Number two, a site that converts and a landing page or landing page is designed for cold traffic.
So we don't have to be perfect here, and there's always improvement. There's always ways we can get our conversion rate up, but we need to at least be adequate. You need to at least not be below average. The average conversion rate for e-commerce sites for cold traffic is one to 3%. If you're way below that, you're going to struggle. If you're over that, you're likely going to do better on YouTube. And so this comes down to do I have good pride detail pages? Is my cart at least not slower than average? And do I have some optimizations on my cart? And then we want to think about, okay, specific landing pages. And a great way to test this is do you have landing pages that are converting cold traffic from Facebook or Instagram or other channels? If you do, likely those same pages will work on YouTube converting cold traffic.
So what are some of the things we need to have on these pages? Well, these pages need to show why your product is unique. So remember, all the video is really doing is it's getting someone to say, maybe it's getting someone to say, this sounds interesting. I want to check it out. They're not fully convinced to buy just yet. So the page has to show why your product is unique, why it's different, why it's better. What is your unique selling proposition? Page has to show that it has to overcome objections. We're all skeptical. We show up on these pages and we're like, yeah, probably not. I'm going to not believe your claims. I'm not going to believe your promises until you prove them. So how do you overcome objections? Are there concerns about will this fit my car or my body if it's closed or will this break after use or will this actually solve my problem?
There are objections people come to the page with. Overcome those, overcome those visually, overcome those with text, overcome those with video images, graphs, anything that will work to overcome those objections. It needs to demonstrate the product, right? And one of the great examples is Purple Mattress where hey, historically we've always bought mattresses by going into the mattress store and laying on mattresses and trying them and seeing what they liked. But purple was like, Hey, we're selling these direct to consumer. You're not going to get to sleep on it until you come in. They overcame the objection by saying, Hey, test this for 50 days or a hundred days, or whatever the case was to provide confidence and hey, here's a guarantee. But they also showed the product, they showed the raw egg test, the big pane of glass dropping on top of raw eggs on the bed, and the purple mattress held those eggs.
They did not break wherever the mattress broke, right? So show the product in action. Flex Seal, right? It's showing, Hey, it'll seal the pots around your house or your gutters or whatever. And it's such a strong sealer. We can spray it on the underneath of our truck and then drive the truck into water and it will hold water. It'll float because of Flex Seal. Show the product in action. We need to give customers confidence. It will work for them in their situation, for their needs. Is this product for you? Your page needs to underscore that. Take away risk, just like we talked about with the guarantee. Try it in your home for X number of days. Money back today, easy returns, no question asked. Exchanges, things like that. How do we take away risks and then make purchase easy? So is it easy to add to cart?
Is it easy to take that next step? All sounds like table stakes. All sounds easy, but we do need to make it easy. Are people having to hunt? Do they have to scroll to be able to find add to cart? You need to make that easy. And then also, are we capturing shopper's info? If they're not ready to say yes yet, because it's not that common that someone sees a YouTube ad for the first time or Facebook ad or anything, and then they click and they buy, right? Then that happens very, very rarely. So if someone does that, do we have a way to capture their information? Do we have abandoned cart flows set up? And I'll talk a bit more about that in a minute. But do we have opt-ins where if they're on the page, they do not buy yet, are we enticing them to leave their email address so we can start following up with them and getting them to purchase?
That is going to add a couple of percentage points potentially in your conversion rate and potentially change the total math of your campaign. So do we have a site that converts and do we have landing pages built for cold traffic? Next, the right creative. So YouTube creative is different. YouTube ads are not TikTok ads. They're not Instagram ads, they're not any other ad, they're not Google Shopping ads. They are unique. The ad, the video ad stands alone, right? There's not really much of anything around it. There's not the block of copy like there is on a Facebook ad. So the video has to stand alone. It has to interrupt the prospect, it has to demonstrate the product, it has to overcome objections, it has to keep attention, and really it works better if YouTube ads are a little bit longer than ads on other platforms.
So what are some of the elements? And we have resources to really dive into this deeply. I'm just going to cover this in a few seconds. One, it has to hook your ideal prospects. And this is important. We're not just trying to hook anybody. If we're selling to middle-aged women, we don't care if teenagers hit the skip button and don't watch, right? We want to hook our ideal prospects. So what are we doing to capture attention? We could do some kind of pattern interrupt or shock and all. We'd have somebody in a gorilla suit, Dr. Squat style or whatever, or we could just be very straightforward and say, Hey, do you have this problem? Are you not sleeping well at night? Is this issue happening in your life? But we have to hook the ideal prospect. If we don't get attention, nothing else matters. If YouTube ads are not working most of the time it's because the hook is not quite right.
We're either not hooking anybody or we're hooking the wrong person, or we're hooking someone in the wrong frame of mind. You want the hook to be relevant to the problem you're solving, right? And so again, going back to Purple Mattress, it would say, what are the signs that your mattress is truly awful? And that's kind of a bit of a, I didn't expect you to say that and now I'm kind of intrigued. Or if you look at it, William Painter, shout out to the guys at Raindrop. It opens with him saying, your face is your moneymaker, and why are you putting cheap pieces of plastic on your face? And it gets right into the message. A bit of a pattern interrupt. Super interesting, my buddy Ryan, at True Earth, there's a witch that opens in one of the scenes, one of the videos about the laundry detergent strips, and it says, Hey, what do you not mix with water?
Well, witches and computers and whatever, and also laundry detergent. And then it gets into the whole pitch. So we got to hook prospect's attention. We need to demonstrate the product. This is video. We need to see the product in action. We need to see kind of daily use demonstrations and maybe a dramatic magic demonstration, kind of like the Flex Seal, where Flex Seal, you can spray it on a pot and it'll hold together, or you can spray it on your truck and make it waterproof. Although not many people do that. We need to overcome objections. Our page is going to do this, but if those objections aren't solved in the video, then someone is not going to click, right? And so they may think it's too expensive or it'll never work, or this isn't really proven or whatever. So overcome those objections in the video show social proof, show people like your ideal prospect, loving, enjoying your product.
This can be reviews, it can be UGC, but show social proof, remove the risk, some kind of guarantee. And then a clear call to action. Click here to learn more. Click here to check it out. It's super easy. You click here, you choose your size, you choose your color, whatever, and check out sounds simple, sounds obvious, sounds like you maybe don't need to do it, but asking someone to take that specific action will increase the percentage of people that actually do it. So way more that could be said. I encourage you to go to omg commerce.com. We got the top YouTube ads, guides, plus lots of examples of ads. Also, this episode has been made into APDF if you want to check that out. And there's also examples of great ads there. Okay, so that's number three, getting them right, creative. So what do we have here?
Number one, product market fit. Two, a site that converts on landing pages that convert cold traffic. Three, the right creative four email, we kind of talked about this, but we need abandoned cart flows at a minimum. That's going to happen a lot where someone comes, they're not really planning on buying, but they'll add to cart and just see what does shipping look like? What are the details, anything hidden here that I need to know about? So have those abandoned cart flows really dialed in? Go back and listen to some of the episodes I did with Nick Flint, OMG email expert on email and SMS campaigns for abandoned cart flows. And then what about new customer offers? So if someone just opts in on the landing page, hey, let's send them that indoctrination sequence telling them why our practice is great, why they should buy it for the first time, and maybe if they delay, delay, delay, you give them some kind of incentive to buy.
So number four is proper email follow up flows. At OMG commerce, we accelerate growth for some of the most loved brands in e-commerce like boom, native, true earth overtone, and dozens more. If your Google and YouTube ad performance isn't where it should be. If you're struggling with Performance Max or if you're not scaling like you'd like on Amazon that we have two ways to help. One, we have amazing resources that are free for the taking like our top YouTube ads guide with lots of examples, our P max checklist or our Amazon DSP roadmap plus many more or hit us up for a free strategy session. So go on over to omg commerce.com and click on Let's talk to request that free strategy session or click on resources and guides and pick the guide that's right for you. And now back to the show. Number five, solid Google search, shopping and or Performance Max.
Now let's talk about search. So what do people do? Someone watches a Facebook video. They don't buy, but they're intrigued. They watch a YouTube video, which is obviously the topic of this show, and then they don't purchase. What do they do next? Well, the next logical thing is they're going to search. They're going to search for you likely on Google. So, hey, I saw that video. Now want to know more? What's interesting is that we saw once we started to ramp up for Boom by Cindy Joseph on YouTube, and this was years ago with YouTube ads, we noticed people kind of searching for stuff they heard in the video, but they couldn't quite remember the name. So it was like pro age makeup or makeup for older women, or boom, by, they would get it all wrong, but because they couldn't quite remember, but they saw the video, they were intrigued, and now they're searching.
And so we need to have good search ads in place. I like to set up branded search where it's separated by branded search for loyalty, branded search for new customers. We want to be set up and we want to even bid on keywords that, Hey, what keywords might be triggered by this ad? If it's purple mattress, say, what if someone types in raw egg mattress because they can't remember the name of it or raw egg test or something like that. So what are some of the searches that someone could be conducting based on watching this video? The other piece is Google Shopping, or most likely you're going to be running Performance Max or maybe all Performance Max. But again, if I'm searching for a product, I'm likely going to do that on Google. And you need to control what that looks like for your own branded keywords, but also related keywords.
We see this a lot. We've helped other cosmetic brands and some that are high priced where someone will see a video and then that leads to a search. But if you're not careful, if you've got lots of other competitors, low competitors, things like that that are showing up, maybe all you're doing is generating awareness for someone just to buy another product. So you need to have good search shopping and for short performance Max in place to feel confident that, Hey, we're going to get full benefit from YouTube because the direct click from YouTube to purchase, that's a small percentage of the impact you'll get, get much more of an impact from branded search lift and people that convert off of search later. That's number five. Number six, remarketing campaigns goes without saying, but we audit hundreds of accounts every year, and we knows a lot of people are not running remarketing campaigns or they're not running remarketing campaigns in a way that's smart.
And so we want remarketing campaigns on Facebook and on YouTube and on discovery and with display. And essentially anywhere you can run remarketing campaigns. And we do want to focus more on recency. So that one to three day audiences, those are the ones we really want to key in on, but you can certainly go longer. So you're not going to get full impact from YouTube if you don't have remarketing in place. That's number six. Number seven, a full funnel mindset. I liked to use the analogy of team sports. I'm a sports guy. I coach basketball, I love football. I like to think about marketing in terms of team sports. Every member of a team has a role. If we look at the bulls of the nineties, everybody had a role. Michael Jordan was obviously the superstar of the goat. He scored a ton of points. Scotty Pipman did everything.
Lockdown defender scored a lot of points. Dennis Rodman, bit of a crazy dude. He was on the glass getting rebounds and just harassing his best players. So we would never look at that team and say, you know what? Dennis Rodman is not doing the work of Michael Jordan. We need to bench Rodman. I love football. I would never look at a football team and say, man, those are offensive linemen. They never get in the end zone. They never score points. You get points by getting in the end zone linemen never get in the end zone, cut the lineman. Anybody that knows the game knows that linemen are the key to an offensive unit success or defensive unit success. So the key there is just knowing what role should a player play and what role should a campaign play knowing that YouTube YouTube's greatest strength is at the very top of the funnel.
It's creating awareness, it's creating interest, it's getting someone into your funnel to convert. And so we got to have that mindset that, hey, we're building a team of campaigns. I don't need every campaign to generate a three row as I need my campaigns to collectively get a three row As. And so we need to look at that from a full funnel mindset, understand the shopping journey and understand how you need to influence that. I like to think about being an offensive coordinator. So how do I dial up the right plays? How do I get the right players on the field to achieve what I want them to achieve? But here's the cool thing. Your competitors don't know how to use YouTube. If you learn how to use YouTube, it's going to give you an edge. It's going to allow you to scale more quickly. But YouTube is a unique player on your team.
Don't measure it the way you measure search or shopping or even Facebook. Number eight, useful reporting. Now, what's so interesting to me, and this is one of those debates, there's attribution debates. Do I use third party tools? Do I just use Google analytics? Do I look at the metrics in my platforms? What numbers do I use? And I think the quick answer is you need to probably use a little bit of all of those things. And I think you need to obsess over being directionally correct and don't obsess over being 100% correct because you'll never be 100% correct. Even shoppers don't know why they buy what they buy. I just got to speak to some high school students and I talked to them about, Hey, what's something you bought online recently? And they would give examples. I'd be, well, why did you buy that? Well, because the most comfortable pair of shoes or whatever, well, yeah, but what triggered it?
Well, and sometimes we can't even remember, right? We don't even remember what we clicked on or what we did. And so attribution is never going to be 100% accurate, but we need reporting that shows impact. And so really all we should care about as a marketer from a top level perspective is am I driving financial outcomes? Am I building my brand, building sales, building profits, building my EBITDA through my marketing campaigns? Because now what can happen is if you're a multichannel, which I hope you are, someone can see a YouTube campaign and then go buy your product in store. Or someone will see a YouTube campaign and just go buy your product on Amazon. We'll talk more about that later. And so really want to be able to see holistically, how are sales growing? We want to see directly attributable conversions to campaigns, but we also want to begin to isolate and see, okay, when I spend more money on YouTube, when I spend more money on Facebook, is that causing Lyft and other channels way more?
We can unpack there, but do we at least have clear reporting where we can start to see Lyft? And then I would recommend running a brand lift study through Google, but more importantly a search Lyft study as we spend more on YouTube, how is that driving more branded search? Because I think branded search is one of the clearest indicators that your marketing efforts are working. Nobody just wakes up with an epiphany of your brand name in their mind. The only way they search for you by name is if they see an ad and if they're compelled by it. Number nine, proper budget. So the good news is you don't need to spend a fortune. And this has shifted some in recent years used to we'd talk about, Hey, you probably need to spend like 15 grand a month to really give campaigns enough volume to begin to see what's going to work.
Now, I would still say that the YouTube takes a lot of experimentation. You're not going to nail it the first go round. You're probably not going to be profitable month one, month two, or maybe even into month three, but you should be gaining learnings as you go and getting a clear picture of, Hey, here's a pocket of an audience and a creative that actually work. And so ideally, we're going to be able to spend at least a hundred dollars a day to begin with on YouTube so that we can at least measure engagement, interaction view rate, click-through rate, things like that, and then begin to see, okay, is this driving a lift in branded search? And are we seeing conversions? And really though, you're probably not depending on what you're spending on other channels. If you're spending 500,000 a month on Facebook and then you do a $10,000 a month test on YouTube, what are you really expecting to see?
Right? That's not going to be enough to create any kind of meaningful lift. But if you need to test small to see what content are people engaging with, what are people clicking on, then you can definitely do that. But then to be able to see lift, I want to see things like, Hey, am I causing a 10 to 15% lift in overall traffic from YouTube? If so, I should be able to see a lift in branded search and a total search and shopping volume. One thing we've seen a lot is once a brand gets to like 50,000 a month in YouTube spend, we start to see a 30% plus lift in branded search. And often a 30 to 80% lift in overall search and shopping performance depends on the brand of course, but getting that meaningful spin level is great. You can start small though to test.
That's number nine, proper budget. Number 10, adequate patience. If I'm turning on branded search where I'm turning on Google shopping, or if I'm running sponsored product ads on Amazon, I should be a little bit impatient, right? This should work almost right away. It won't be optimal right away, but I'll make sales right away. It's going to work right away. YouTube takes some trial and error, right? We're going to potentially find more audiences and more ads that don't work than those that do in the early stages. But once we find stuff that works, we can scale and we can like to scale for a long time. One of the things I love about YouTube is if we find an ad that works, you can probably ride that horse for a year, maybe two years. We've seen that with several large brands on YouTube where once we find a creative that works, we can run that for a year to 18 months to sometimes more.
So 10, we got to have adequate patience. Number 11, a marketplace strategy, AKA and Amazon strategy. Now, I don't believe you have to be on Amazon to be successful, but I believe you've got to be strategic about this decision. Over 50% of all purchases in the US online are done on Amazon. All of your customers are buying on Amazon in some form or fashion. Doesn't mean though, for sure have to buy your product on Amazon, but a lot of people only want to buy on Amazon. One interesting statistic, and I'll go back to an episode I did with Jordan Pine on infomercials. This guy was in the infomercial business, still is helped a lot of the greats, a lot of the recognizable brands that then products that have sold through infomercials. Here's what infomercial producers know right now. If they launch a new infomercial product, they know that 20% of those sales are going to come by phone, especially if they're targeting an older demographic.
Still, people pick up the phone and order these products, not younger people, but people. 50 plus for sure. 30% of sales are going to come from the website. So people looking at the product, googling it, finding the URL, finding the whizzbang potato peeler.com, clicking on that buying, 50% of the sales of an infomercial are going to come on Amazon. That's if they don't even mention Amazon, right? People see a product on an infomercial, they become intrigued. They say, nah, just lemme buy it on Amazon, right? Amazon's got my payment information, my address I can get in a couple days likely. Lemme just go to Amazon. So a full 50% of infomercial purchases take place on Amazon. Why should we expect anything different if we are running ads on YouTube especially, but also Facebook, you're driving searches to Amazon, people are going to Amazon to look for it.
And here's what I believe. If someone sees your ad and they're convinced that that's kind of a cool product and maybe my needs and maybe just for me, but then they go to Amazon and they see other competitors that maybe have more reviews or maybe a different price point, then they're likely to potentially buy someone else. So especially if you're not there. However, if you do a good enough job telling why you're different, why you're better overcoming rejections, maybe making it seem like there's nobody else that does exactly what you do, then even if you have competitors that looks somewhat similar on Amazon, you'll still be able to capture enough of those customers to make it work. So we got to think through our Amazon strategy, and when we look at Amazon, we built a course, smart Amazon e-Commerce with Ezra Firestone, smart Marketer. Our agency helps with basically full channel management on Amazon. But we got to think about this. How are we merchandising our products on Amazon? Are we optimizing all of our listings on Amazon? Do we have search ads built on Amazon sponsored products and sponsored brands and sponsored brand video? Do we have a smart approach to Amazon? Because any top of funnel campaign is going to also drive traffic to Amazon.
So let's do a quick review here. What are the 11 things we need to have in place on YouTube? Well, it's not just a good video. It's a lot of other things. It's one product market fit. It's two a site that converts and a landing page built for cold traffic. It's three the right creative, creative built for and or modified and or optimized for YouTube. It's for email follow-ups. It's five solid Google search shopping and performance max. It's six remarketing campaigns. It's seven full funnel mindset and approach. It's eight useful, directionally accurate reporting. It's nine proper budgets so that we can actually see what's working and what's not. It's 10 adequate patients. We can't give up month one or even month two. We got to be willing to test to find something that works. And then 11, it's a marketplace strategy that works. So my advice to you, if you want to learn YouTube more, again, we built a course with smart marketer, Ezra and the Gang on smart Google Ads, and there is a whole section that talks about YouTube ads success.
If you want to do this on your own, you have an in-house team, get that course, go to omg commerce.com, click on courses. There's links to all of that there. Or you check it out at the Smart Marketer site. Of course, at OMG Commerce, this is what we do. If you are a growing D two C brand, if you've got traction, if you're spending over a hundred thousand a month on paid media, then we should talk and we can talk about potentially how we can help you scale on YouTube. So with that, hey, let's make it a priority in the coming year to make YouTube a viable customer acquisition source for your brand. And to do that, you need these 11 things in place. With that, this has been so much fun. Thank you for tuning in. If you like this show, please share it. Please rate it. Please leave us that review. We really, really appreciate that. Thank you for all the love that I experience when I go to events and hear from loyal listeners. And with that, until next time, thank you for listening.