Why YouTube Ads Work

We aren’t speculators. We don’t place bets on untried fads in digital marketing. That’s why we don’t do TikTok ads or fancy Snapchat stuff (yet).

Our highest priority is to produce consistent, predictable results for our clients — in the form of traffic, leads, and revenue — so they can scale their businesses with confidence.

As such, we have a conservative streak — an affinity for the tried-and-true. You might even say that we have been slavishly devoted to the Golden Oldies of direct-response digital marketing — Google ads, Microsoft (Bing) ads, Facebook ads, etc. 

Before you “Okay, Boomer” me, the reason we do this is that there are well-beaten paths to success with these channels. If someone cracks the code to make TikTok marketing consistently, predictably profitable, we’ll be in like Flynn.

But old dogs can learn new tricks. After a long “wait-and-see” period, we began running YouTube ads for clients last year. And we haven’t regretted it.

Why did we wait so long? Because YouTube ads have certain disadvantages from a KPI standpoint … but we have seen them pay big dividends in overall customer results.

The KPI Problem with YouTube Ads

One of the advantages of digital marketing is the ability to quantify everything. That which you can measure and count, you can improve. Our favorite tried-and-true digital marketing channels keep exacting accounts of every possible metric — clicks, conversions, time on page, cost per lead, etc. 

In fact, you can end up with too much data. That’s why we talk about KPIs (key performance indicators) — the data points that actually matter to the success of the campaign.

Compare that to TV ads. Even TV ads in the internet age. You can splash your web address on the TV screen, and maybe the watcher will pull out their phone and type it into their browser. How can you know that this prospect entered your funnel as a result of your TV ads? You can’t, unless they tell you.

YouTube ads exist in a gray area between these two. Yes, they might click through the link on the ad, but they might not. They might type it into the browser separately. Or screen-shot it, or scribble it down for later. Or forget all about it until they see your retargeting ad.

In other words, you can’t always boil the ads’ performance down to a neat click-through KPI. This caused marketers like us to hesitate on YouTube ads for years.

The “Halo Effect” of YouTube Ads 

So why do we offer YouTube ads now, despite the KPI problem? Because of the most important KPI of all — overall campaign performance.

Whenever we run YouTube ads, we see an appreciable increase in the overall traffic, lead-flow, and deal-flow for our clients. We can’t necessarily see where every one of those leads came from, but the trend is undeniable.

We attribute this impact to the “halo effect.” When someone makes a great first impression, you tend to look at their actions — good, bad, or indifferent — with an extra positive twist … a “halo” as it were. 

Facebook and Google ads are great for hooking prospects with curiosity, but you can’t beat video ads for creating this great first impression. This “halo effect” echoes all the way down the funnel. 

We are obsessed with omnipresence — making sure that once your prospect encounters your brand for the first time, they see it everywhere. 

We do this with a process called retargeting. If you ever looked at a product on Amazon, only to see that product pop up in Facebook, Google, and banner ads everywhere you went on the internet, congratulations! You have been retargeted.

YouTube ads are an effective vector for retargeting in both directions:

  • A prospect sees your YouTube ad and doesn’t click, only to see your brand pop up in Facebook and Google ads … and due to the “halo effect,” they are more likely to react favorably to those later touches.
  • A prospect engages with a Google or Facebook ad, only to see your lovely face pop up on a YouTube ad later … a little “halo” after the fact.

So congratulations, YouTube. Your ads are on the menu now.

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