How to launch a profitable YouTube campaign
Taught by Eric Siu of Single Grain
Master Class: Profitable YouTube Campaign
Master Class Toolbox
Andrew: This session is about how to setup your first profitable YouTube ad campaign. It’s led by Eric Siu. He is the CEO of Single Grain, a leading digital marketing agency based in San Francisco. Their clients include many companies whose names you know, including Intuit, Yahoo and Mint. My name is Andrew Warner. I’ll help facilitate. I’m the founder of Mixergy. Eric, thanks so much for being here.Eric: Thanks for having me, Andrew.Andrew: We agreed that we wouldn’t give the name of one of the first companies that you tested, what you’re about to teach us on. But they were desperate. And that’s what got them to try YouTube. What was this situation that they were in?Eric: Yeah. So, the situation was they only had five months of cash in the bank. This is a technology startup. And then, the CEO pulled me aside and said, “Hey, Eric. There are 54 people’s families riding on your shoulders right now. And, you know, you need to make it happen this month or else,” pretty much.
Andrew: I see. “Or else” pretty much meaning, company’s gone, these people who work at the company are not going to have a salary anymore, and some of them are going to have to go back home to their families and explain why they are going to have some challenging months ahead. And there was someone who was managing their marketing for a while. They tried a bunch of different things. How did you know, “Ah-ha” of all the different things that they tried and all the different things that you, Eric, knew, YouTube was the place to go. How did you know?
Andrew: I just knocked my cup over. It’s all right, though. Yes.
Eric: Yeah. So, this company, there is a lot of… its online education, so there’s a lot of video involved. And naturally you would think that when people are looking to learn things online, whether it’s DIY stuff to fix your home, whether it’s to learn coding or web design, you would go online to learn the stuff. So, I said, “Hey, there has to be something here with YouTube.” So, I opened up a campaign and I took a look. And, what I saw was, I saw traction. And that’s the number one thing you look for when you run any type of paid advertising campaign. You’re not looking for it to get better over a day or a week. You’re looking for traction.
So, I saw a hint of traction where there was a good amount of views coming from it. There was some engagement, people were watching the videos, and there were maybe one or two conversions from it. And the cost per acquisition, for something that was just starting out, the number wasn’t that high. So, I was like, “Hey, there’s something here and I think this is worth betting on”.
Andrew: And once you did, what were the results?
Eric: Yeah. So, I decided to go all in on this. The results were that we increased annual run rate for by about six million dollars. And it took about eight months to do it. And it’s been their number one user acquisition channels since then.
Andrew: And that’s important to point out. It took eight months for you to figure out what you’re about to show us, and to test out the process. It also cost you some money along the way. You say $50,000, big mistake. What, what did you do that cost you 50,000 that you can help us avoid doing as we go through this session.
Eric: Yeah, great question. So, the first three to four weeks we started getting traction, but I burned $50,000 because I tested too many different campaigns, and I set the targeting and the budget way too high. So we were eating up a lot of views. The problem that we were getting before was that the videos weren’t getting an adequate amount of views. So, I set it, I opened up the fire hose, but I opened it too far, and I let it sit there for a little bit. So, the mistake was a $50,000 mistake. And in this video, or in this lesson, we’re going to avoid making those mistakes. We’re going to translate my learnings down to you, so you don’t burn 50,000 bucks.
Andrew: Aces. All right, here are the big ideas that we pulled out before the session started, to help our audience to get some of the results that you’ve gotten. And the first one is you said to use “instream ads.” Instream ads. What are the different ads types that we have?
Eric: Yeah. So, we have instream ads. The instream ads are the ones that you’re able to skip over, these are the pre-roll ads. You can also have them in the middle or at the end. But they’re the skippable ads, you watch five seconds, you can skip. You also have the, they’re called the “action overlay,” that actually sits right under your video in the center. And then you have a companion banner, that’s a 300 by 250 square ad that you can put on the right side.
You can also run an ad similar to the instream, but its unskippable. So, it’s almost as if you’re watching a TV advertisement, where you can’t skip it as well. And then, there’s also another one I believe it’s called, “the right in-display banner.” So, you have the related videos on the right side when you’re watching a YouTube ad. It’s at the top right, and it says, “Sponsored Video.” So, those are the ad types that are available to you.
Andrew: So, you don’t want us to get the sponsored video. It makes sense. Who is going to go out of their way to click? I guess maybe some people might. I can see it working. But you’re saying that’s not what’s effective. But you also don’t want us to play, or to buy the unskippable ads. Why do you want us to favor the skippable ads over the ones that are unskippable?
Eric: Great question. So, the skippable ones, believe it or not, these actually convert the best and drive the most volume. For most people, when they think about videos, video advertising, they’re thinking, “No, this is like TV advertising. This is like, for branding purposes.” But, when you’re trying to drive conversions, the fact that you have something skippable, well, the people that skip are probably unqualified in the first place.
And you also get another side benefit as well. When you’re using instream ads, if people watch 30 seconds, less than 30 seconds, you’re not charged for the view. And also, if they finish the video before 30 seconds, that’s when you’re going to get charged. So, the key takeaway here is that you need to make sure that you’re getting someone to take an action before 30 seconds. Perhaps at the 25 second mark. And you want to create something engaging for the first 25 seconds.
Andrew: I see. So, the fact that you don’t pay when someone skips, means you’re getting a qualified person, someone who’s engaged enough, that they at least continue to watch. Here are the different options, I’ll just bring them up on the screen. But you mentioned them, I just think some people are more visual and I want them to have a look at them. These are the different options, that’s the one that you want us to take. True-view, instream ad. Not true-view in display ad. Not the non-skippable, not the overlay, in-video ads. Not the display ads. Here’s why we pick it. Ba-da-bing. Right, create new ad. And you want us to select, “let me choose,” when it comes to ad formats. And that’s what we get to pick in stream ads.
Eric: That’s correct.
Andrew: Okay. All right. So, that is the first thing that you want us to do. Let’s go back to the big board here, and take a look at the next one. Next one is that you want us to use “Apple-like” videos. What do most people do before we get into the kind of videos that you want us to use? What are you trying to keep us from doing?
Eric: Yeah. So, I want to preface this by saying that you don’t need to limit yourself to just Apple-like videos, it’s just what you’ve seen that tends to work. What I’ve seen, there’s videos like the Airbnb type of videos, where it’s like an explainer video, it’s super high quality. Whenever you start to use a human element, we’ve seen those convert better than people that use animated video. So, we’ve tested animated videos, we’ve tested using humans, and believe it or not, when you have like a simple white background, and you have someone that’s being interviewed, there’s almost like a personal touch to it. And it seems like those, what we’ve seen for the numbers is that these convert better.
Andrew: Like this.
Eric: But again, these really varies across the board. My key takeaway here is I really encourage everyone to test it.
Andrew: But this is what you found that works well. A really polished video, here’s Ryan Carson, CEO and founder of Treehouse, past Mixergy interviewee and course leader. It’s him on a white background, really crisp, very much like Apple, the simplicity of it. That’s what you’re aiming for. Why shouldn’t we, especially for just trying something new, just do a cheapo ad? Get our iPhones out, record a video of ourselves explaining what the thing is and run it?
Eric: Yeah. So, what we’ve seen in the past, we’ve tried the cheapo ads. We tried to go cheap. It’s just the engagement, what we’ve seen in terms of engagement numbers, is way lower than something that’s high quality. And, when you watch TV, I never, personally for me, I don’t remember the cheapo ads, right? You want to come across as having something that’s high quality and you want to make sure your company’s high value.
But, having said that, if you’re trying to run some type of, I don’t know, if you’re trying to run some type of affiliate deal, or it’s like a very simple weight-loss type of thing, maybe you don’t need something super high quality. So, again, it’s the, answer is cliche, but you want to make sure you test. But the numbers that we’ve seen is that quality tends to win all the time.
Andrew: Let’s take a look at that, by the way. This is something that you’re… it’s not disconnected from you. I’ll hit mute. People can watch it, I’ll link to them. This is what it looks like. You used to work for Treehouse, right?
Eric: I used to work for Treehouse. This video is a great example.
Andrew: Is this an ad? It’s a minute twenty-one. It’s…
Andrew: That’s the length of an ad that you guys used to create.
Eric: Yep, this was before we started finding out the goodness of the 30 seconds, skippable videos. And I wish I had a better example for those. But unfortunately I don’t have it off the top of my head right now.
Andrew: So, it would look like this, it would be 30 seconds, and it would allow people to skip, and the key moment where we want them to get to is what? How far in?
Eric: Yeah. So, in this case we’re actually going a minute twenty seconds, right? But in an ideal situation in the newer videos you want them to take an action at 25 seconds, because the video, you’re going to get charged at the 30 second mark. That’s not to say don’t make 60 second to 90 second videos. Those work as well. But one thing you’ll want to test is another type of ad creative is taking action at 25 seconds and just anything before 30 seconds, if that makes sense.
Andrew: Okay. We can put, we can put that link on, and people can click it, and take that action, come to our site, buy, etcetera.
Eric: Yeah. Just, you get this offer now, click on this, and then they’ll just click on the ad, and then, boom.
Andrew: Okay. By the way, what is that over your shoulder? That black thing.
Eric: This black thing is my trusted microphone.
Andrew: Got it.
Eric: You can see it here. Yeah.
Andrew: Oh, I see it. I can kind of make it out a little bit. It’s, that is the Blue Yeti on a boom arm, and you’ve got a pop filter in front of it.
Eric: That’s correct.
Andrew: Wow, great mic. I didn’t know that it can sound that good from a distance. I thought it was one you needed to get really close to.
Eric: That’s what I thought too. But it’s gotten better and better, I think.
Andrew: Yeah. I like that you’ve got it close to you, so that we can really pick up your audio. All right, on to the big board again. The next big one is, include a call to action at 20 seconds. You just talked about it. Is this an example of the kind of call to action that you want us to have? Can we make it look like that?
Eric: Yes. So, this works, this looks quote-unquote, “low quality.” So if you do have a good design team, a good creative team, I’d encourage you to do something a little better. But the structure here is good, because if you look at the left side, you look at the 13, there’s a count-down there. It’s like, “Wow, I need to take some kind of action.” And then there is a button, and it’s crystal clear there that you need to press that button. “Get a quote in under five minutes.” You have some type of action for them there, it’s very straight forward. And you can see, you look at the red line there, the video is almost finishing before the 30 second mark. So, that’s actually perfect.
Andrew: I see. Yeah. Really clear button. For some reason, drawing a circle around the button, I’ve heard people say increases conversions, so they did that. And the countdown I hadn’t seen before. What do you think of the quality of the video. Here’s what it looks like. Let’s bring up my browser there.
Eric: Oh, good, so I did drop a link.
Andrew: Yeah. So, we can include this. Is this something that you guys have done?
Eric: No, this is actually something that a friend that has done for another company. And we worked on it together, we give ourselves some feedback. And they pumped it out.
Andrew: So, what do you think of the quality here? We’re looking at a cartoon that is less expensive, I think, to get made, than what we looked at earlier, for Treehouse.
Eric: Yeah. So, something like this would probably cost around, you know, anywhere from 5 to $20,000. And animated videos, we’ve seen it, we’ve seen them outperform the in-person ones, maybe twice. And in this scenario, this is the only video they came across. So, if it worked for them, if they tested it, it works. But I would still recommend testing like a real life sample.
Andrew: Wow, I wouldn’t have expected that a video like this, just plain animation is, you say 5 to 20,000?
Andrew: So, here’s the thing. When it comes to Google Ads, somebody can experiment for 400 bucks and get a sense of whether it’s right or not. When it comes to Facebook, even less, I think, and get a good response. Maybe that’s one of the barriers to YouTube. That it does cost a few thousand bucks for a creative, and then, if it doesn’t work out, you don’t know, maybe the creative stinks. Do you and spend another 5,000 to get a new creative. Or maybe it’s just that the platform isn’t right for you.
Eric: Yeah. So, the thing I always like to say about YouTube is, it’s something that you want to test after you’ve exhausted perhaps, a Facebook or a Google AdWord. It’s like you mentioned. There’s a barrier to entry. And I think that’s the sexy thing about it. Because, with Facebook and Google AdWords in the past, once people started finding out about it, it became super saturated. This is one thing that has not become saturated yet. So, it’s a good time to get in on it right now.
I like the barrier to entry, because it keeps people on, the price barrier keeps people, it’s much harder of a test. We’ll just leave like that. That makes it easier for people that have, really figured out YouTube to… they have a little longer before it becomes super saturated. And, the $5000 to $20,000 number, that’s probably something that’s made in America. But, one trick that I’ll say is you can go look offshore. There are companies, in perhaps Singapore that you can look at to make great animated videos. And, they might cost like, $2,500. So, you can find discounts around, you’ve just got to shop around and look.
Andrew: Can we use a program like Screenflow or Camtasia, and create a quick test, and see if that works? And assume that… well, actually, can we get a decent response if we try a test like that? Or is it just not worth it?
Eric: Possible. Possible. Have it tested. It’s definitely worth it. I mean, you might… Let’s say you do this. I mean, you might make a screencast video, and you might say, “I want to allocate $500 to 1,000 to it”. That might be worth doing, just to see if you get traction or not. I think so. But, we haven’t tested screen full type videos before. I haven’t seen something like that. So, maybe it is worth a test.
Andrew: Okay. All right. But, in your experience, it’s the more polished videos that work. Something like this. Did you, did you guys try anything when you worked at… no, Treehouse has never tried anything that’s less than fully polished.
Eric: Oh, yeah. Totally. I mean, I used to go to them and the video team, we had an in-house video team. I’d be like, “Hey, guys, well, I’m thinking this, this and this,” and they’d just go crazy. They’d actually do like three or four videos at once. And we tried a quote-unquote “hot girl video”. And it’s all about the niche. My feedback for that one is we tried the hot girl video, making like an iPhone app or something like that. And it really didn’t resonate with the audience. The engagement was a little lower. And I hope Brian doesn’t kill me for sharing this. But, it’s because hot girl and building iPhone apps don’t exactly overlap. There’s just like a disconnect there. So, you’ve got to make sure you’re flowing with your audience.
Andrew: I have seen products, obviously, that don’t overlap with hot girls. They’ll use hot girls and get clicks. Right? So, maybe there is a more universal message there about it not working, on YouTube anyway. Back in the early days of Facebook, I saw people use that a lot. It was just a sure way of getting clicks.
Eric: Oh, yeah. You would get crazy click-through, yeah.
Andrew: Right? I remember it was, I think it was Groupon that used to use them obsessively.
Andrew: Okay. On to the big board here, next big idea is to not let the bidding trick us. You want to customize your bid format. Help me avoid getting tricked. What are you talking about here?
Eric: Yeah. So, basically… I wish I could share my screen here. But, what you can do, when you’re bidding for YouTube videos, you want to make sure that when you’re bidding, there’s a little button that you have to click. So, you click on Targets, there’s a tab there. You click on Targets and then it’ll say, “What’s the maximum you’re willing to bid for this view, per view?” But it only gives you one box to bid on. But Google has actually hidden another box that allows you to customize bids per format. And what that means is you can break everything out, and you can bid on the ad formats that you actually care about. So, if I only care about instream ads, what–
Andrew: Oh, here. I think I’ve got a screenshot of it. Is this what you’re talking about? This right here?
Eric: That is it.
Eric: Okay. So, you see that blue link right there? It says, “Return to one bid for all formats.” When you click that, it actually brings everything into one sentence. So, a lot of people tend to gloss over this. And these two options raise the in-display, and in-stream. They’re actually not available when you get to this screen. You actually have to click that link to break it out. And that’s the key. If you’re only bidding on the max cost per view across the board, you’re not going to maximize the number of views you can get per day.
But, if you care more about instream, you should bid higher for instream and bid lower on in-display. You’re going to have to tweak it a little bit. And once you look at it over like a week or so, you get something, you get like a happy medium. That’s when you can get the most views possible.
Andrew: I see. And that’s the trick that you’re talking about. They try to get you to pay one price for all their different products. You say, “No, if what you really want is instream,” and Eric, you’re telling us that we do want instream, “then pay for just instream and not for the other things”.
Andrew: Not. Okay. What’s this screenshot?
Eric: Let’s see.
Andrew: “Max cost.” Oh, I guess it’s the same thing.
Eric: It’s more or less the same.
Andrew: This is the exact same thing actually without the box around it.
Andrew: There we go. All right. Do you see people make that mistake a lot? Have your clients made that mistake?
Eric: They have, actually. They’d be like, “Hey, we’ve tried YouTube. It just doesn’t work for us.” And this is probably the key takeaway here. If you want to make YouTube work for you, when you’re having trouble getting more views, and you’re like, “This video doesn’t work and people don’t care about our video,” try going into this and make some adjustments and see what happens over the next few days. And, you’ll see.
Andrew: At the top of this session I said that you work with clients like Intuit and, I forget which are the other ones, they were. But they’re big names. Do you work with smaller clients too?
Eric: We do. We do work with probably tech startups that have raised like a series A. They’re more, trying to hit that growth trajectory. In some cases we work with small to medium size businesses. But the main thing for us is that we have to believe in what you’re doing. And also, it has to be a good fit. If we don’t think we can knock it out of the park with you, we’ll be very direct and that’s the thing for us. I think we’ve kind of brought over that startup culture. We operate much like a startup, like a technology startup. So, that’s how we behave. And then, yeah, we’re not here to just take on whoever we can. We’re actually very selective.
Andrew: One of the things that I regret about with Mixergy is I had an opportunity to work with you guys when you were just getting started, back when the founders were there and you hadn’t yet signed up to be CEO. And at the time, they said, “Hey, we can help you increase your sales. We can help you understand what your customers want a little more and a few other things,” and I said, “No, I don’t want to increase my sales, I’d like to understand my customers better, but if the goal is to increase sales, I’m happy where I am.” And I didn’t take that opportunity.
And then, I saw you guys work with other clients and I saw what you guys did, the beautiful sales pages, the clear explanation of what the product is, and all the marketing that then feeds into that. It was spectacular. Give me a sense now of what size companies you work with. Who out there should understand that they have an opportunity to work with you and not make the mistake that I made.
Eric: Yeah. Really the ideal, I mean, we would have been happy to work with you. I think we’ve worked with Ramit Sethi in the past. This is like before I came on, actually. I think…
Andrew: It was around the same time, dude. There, your guys were talking to both me, him, and five other people and it was, Neil Patel, who was an advisor who was really helpful in saying, “Hey, guys, my friend’s just starting this company, you should be a part of it.” I said, “I don’t want new sales.”
Eric: Yeah. I mean, ultimately, I definitely believe in what we’re doing, what Ramit’s doing. We have worked with some quote-unquote “other people,” other experts as well. But mostly who we try to work with would be companies that have more than 50 employees. And 50 to 200 is kind of the sweet spot. We do make exceptions every now and then. It’s like, “Wow, these guys are really doing something cool, and the growth trajectory is good.” We’ll make exceptions if we know we can do a damn good job.
Andrew: I see. Wow. I guess that was always the goal, 50 to 200. It was just, how do we get some people on board who have big names, who are also respected by our potential customers.
Eric: Right. Anyone that has, I think that anyone that’s watching this, that has like an agency or service-based business, I think, you want to set some type of ideal client profile. But at the same time, you’ve got to money to put food on the table. So, it’s okay to make exceptions every now and then, but, you want to go for the goal of having the clients that you want to work with.
Andrew: Okay. All right. I was getting a sense of it, because, even though you didn’t said it at the top when we started. I asked you what your goal was, and you said, “Hey, I just want to help people, I want them to get results.” I know anyone who runs an agency is also saying, “Well, there’s an audience here of entrepreneurs I want to, I want them to understand about what my business is.” And I’ve got a sense of who you’re looking for. Hopefully, there’ll be some connections with the audience. Let’s go back to the big board. And our main goal here is to make sure people can run a profitable YouTube ad campaign. And the next big idea is to define your target groups. What does that mean?
Eric: Okay. So, for example, let’s say I’m an online shoe store, and I’m selling red shoes, I have blue shoes. I might have high heel shoes. If anyone, if you guys have ever run like a Google Display campaign, the way you should set these up is to have these keyword groups broken out. So, if I’m doing a keyword based targeting, which means, I want to target videos that are focused on shoes, I want to make sure that I have a group for blue shoes. So, it might be, “blue shoes, buy blue shoes, blue shoes online.” Whatever it is, I’ll have like a group for that, and I’ll do the same thing for the other groups as well.
But you don’t want to lump everything in into one group of keywords otherwise, Google is not going to be able to figure out how place your video. And they’re actually pretty good at placing it. And then, my one bit of other advice would be, if you’re making a keyword group, you want to have anywhere from 10 to 20 keywords. No more than that. You do some keyword research and then you figure out how to break them out. If you’re teaching people how to do HTML, CSS, whatever you want to break those out to, or if–
Andrew: Let me make sure I’m understanding this. If I’m running a training program that teaches people how to code and I want to target videos that are related to HTML and videos that are related to CSS, you are saying to me, don’t put those in one group, have a different group for HTML where you’re targeting videos that include HTML, and others for CSS. Why? Isn’t it with AdWords that you do that, so that you can create a different message for someone who just searched for the phrase “HTML” and a different message for someone who searched for CSS, and a different one for others? But with video you can’t do that.
Eric: So, I think what you’re referring to is more like, if you’re searching in YouTube, you want something to pop up. What I’m referring to is you’re actually getting it placed. So, let’s go to the HTML example. So, HTML tutorial, HTML guide, and I just have this list of 20 keywords, right? And I’ve done the research, these drive volume, and Google’s like, “Okay, I understand where these videos should be placed.” So, Google’s going to go out there and look for videos that talk about HTML, that talk about web development, whatever’s related to this, and it’s going to place them there. Versus, if I’m doing an HTML video, I don’t want it to show up in like, “Learn Ruby on Rails” type of stuff, because it’s definitely more advanced, right? That’s way down there. I want it to be somewhere relevant.
So, that’s why I’m letting Google do this. And, what you do afterwards is as you continue to optimize, it’s just an optimization game. You will go in, and you will look at the placements that don’t make any sense. Google is good, but they’re not perfect. So, you’ve got to eliminate placements that don’t work. That way, you’re going to save money and drive more conversions.
Andrew: I see. It’s not so that you can create a different message, it’s just so that you can target the right person. And you then can look back at your data and see which group was more profitable and which one was just unprofitable. Is that right?
Eric: That’s correct. Yes.
Andrew: All right. And this is where we would do that? I’ll bring up my screen. Right there. You want us to look for that section that says “Targets.”
Eric: That’s correct.
Andrew: All right. Cool. Back to the big board. Wait. There we go, I’ll select it right now. Make sure to segment. Make sure to segment your campaign settings. Tell me about that.
Eric: Yeah. So, this is kind of the same concept. You want to make sure you’re segmenting things out. I would say, one other thing we’ve learned with YouTube advertising is you don’t need to target U.S. based or English speaking companies. Countries, not companies. You can also, you might have the U.S., you might have the U.K., you might have Australia. But at the same time, don’t rule out International. If you can sell internationally, don’t rule out Singapore, India, might be something that’s worth it. There’s these other countries that might be worth targeting, and I’ll tell you what, the views are actually cheaper in these other countries. And you might get good conversions. We’ve tried doing international for a few clients and it’s actually worked out.
But the key thing is you want to segment U.S. out, you want to segment International out, you want to segment if you’re doing like, red shoes, blue shoes, whatever. You want to segment everything out. So, when you’re actually going in to look at the campaigns, you can more easily break out what’s going wrong with it. If you have everything broken in together, it’s much harder to pinpoint the issues that are going on with that specific campaign.
Andrew: Here’s where you do that. Boy, this is going to be a little hard to show on the screen. I’ll just have it cover the whole screen. There it is. Right?
Eric: This is, yeah, this is when you’re first starting up, when you’re setting up the campaign in terms of countries you want to pick and things like that. This is definitely one of the things you need to do segment correctly.
Andrew: Have you made this mistake, of not doing it?
Andrew: What happened?
Eric: It’s terrible. It’s like you spend all this money, you get very high cost per acquisitions numbers, and you’re looking like a total idiot at the same time. Yet, you have no way of figuring out what is wrong, because everything is so jumbled in together, it’s so disorganized. And I can’t stress this enough, if you’re doing any type of Google AdWords stuff, you have to have it organized. That’s the key thing. Otherwise, you won’t be able to figure anything out.
Andrew: All right. Back to the big board. Let’s see. I’ll bring it up. There it is. Next one is, you don’t want us to half-ass it. This is something I touched on earlier. You say, “Get high quality video.” You really like Sandwich’s videos. He’s really hard to work with, though. Sandwich is the name of the production company, Sandwich Video. He goes by the name Sandwich, right? The creator. He turns a–
Eric: Is he really hard to work with?
Andrew: Hard to get a hold of, because everybody works with him.
Andrew: Within a few months, he sold, he was doing a video for one company that does the electric credit card, what’s it called? Coin. The electric credit card that stores all your other credit cards together, so you only need to carry this thing. And then, a few months after that, he created something that said, “Well, you don’t want to have a single credit card number, you want to have a credit card that gives you tons of disposable credit cards. Here’s a new startup that does that.” Basically, he’s being used by everybody, because he’s so freaking good.
Eric: That’s true. I’ll tell you what, I mean, I think his videos, they start at $100,000.
Andrew: Yeah. Right. And he also wants to vet you to make sure that you’re the right fit. And I get it, right? Someone raises a lot of money, and their whole business is based on whether people pay for a Kickstarter campaign or not, and whether investors buy into it or not. His videos will persuade people to buy, to invest, to care, to tweet. What if you can’t? What if you can’t whole-ass it and get him? What else, what else can you do?
Eric: If you can’t whole-ass it, you’ve got to be, I hate using the word scrappy, but that’s really what it is. You’ve got to be able to look into, I mentioned earlier, looking at other countries to see if they can. Perhaps you start with an animated video first. Maybe, granted, it might not convert well, but maybe it will be a start to getting traction. Maybe you want to go to your boss and say, “Hey, let’s start with a low budget video first, let’s get traction, let’s aim for these goals.” If you can hit those goals, then you can start to get a little more aggressive. Then, you can bring in the heavy artillery later, and then start doing some live videos. Then, you start getting better and better, and then you go all in, once you have buy in from your team.
Andrew: All right, fair enough. Here’s the video that I talked about earlier from him. This is the one where he’s talking about how you want to cut up your credit cards because he’s going to give you a new credit card that has tons of numbers. This is really well done. I like his casual style and at the same time polished feel of the video. Wow, 100,000.
Andrew: All right. Back to the big board, here’s the final point that we’re going to be talking about, which is to look for examples on YouTube. What do you look for when you’re doing that kind of research?
Eric: Yeah. So, I might, for me, I might look for companies that I really like. So, you mentioned, there’s Coin in there. I think he’s done some videos for other popular companies, like Airbnb as well. I’ll just look at what they’re doing.
Andrew: Yeah, here it is, this is listed. I don’t want to obsess on him. Here’s some of his other ones. He’s done Groupon, he’s done 1Password, he’s done eBay, Zero. Tons. Yeah, so.
Eric: What I really like to do, I mean, if let’s say I’m brainstorming for a client, I want to look for people that are in the similar niche. Maybe they’re selling baby carriers. I want to see what other people are doing. Maybe their competitors, their direct competitors aren’t doing anything, but maybe you can look into other baby products to see what people are doing, what’s resonating, right? Because, ultimately, especially if we’re working with a client, we’re not 100% sure what’s going to resonate, so we need to see what’s out there first of all. How are people engaging? Sometimes you can look for a video and you can see how many likes it has, how many dislikes it has, just get an idea of what the overall sentiment is.
Andrew: How can you tell which one is an ad?
Eric: So, sometimes you can just Google, let’s go back to the Treehouse example. You can just Google like “Treehouse ad.” Another example is Neil Patel’s company, Crazy Egg. You can just put it like, “Crazy Egg video ad.” I’m not sure–
Andrew: When you say, within Google you’re saying we should be searching–
Eric: You can search it within Google, or you can search it within YouTube.
Andrew: Let’s try it right now. So, back to the browser. How would I search here? Would I do, “Crazy Egg ad,” if I want to see what their ad is? Oh, is this their ad? Crazy Egg explainer video?
Andrew: Okay, so this is how I get to see if I’m competing with them on heat maps, how they’re advertising their heat maps. Got it.
Eric: And you get good ideas too. And I would also say, so you can actually see who did their video there. That’s the other hack. You’re always–
Andrew: Oh, Demo Duck did for them.
Eric: Yep. Exactly.
Andrew: I see. And so we can contact Demo Duck and say, “I like what you did for Crazy Egg, can I hire you to do it for us too?”
Andrew: And is the only way that I know that it’s really an ad, is it because they include the word “ad” somewhere in their description?
Eric: No, I mean, it doesn’t even include it here. I mean, this is, look at this one. One has 8 million views. Look at how many likes it has. It doesn’t say ad anywhere.
Andrew: Yeah, the word ad is not included anywhere in here.
Andrew: I see, so it’s not something they can control. They can’t stop using the word ad and keeping me from doing a search, research like this.
Andrew: Wow, they’ve got 6.8 million views of this ad. That’s what happens when you hit it big with a YouTube ad?
Eric: That’s correct.
Andrew: Wow. And that’s the other benefit that I’ve heard. That it increases the number of views on your video, which then gets more people to watch it organically. Is that right?
Eric: Yeah, that’s correct. And you also get, I mean, you freaking get subscribes too. That’s the added benefit to your channel.
Andrew: Then more people get end up subscribing and seeing what else you come out with. Let’s see how many subscribers Treehouse has. I’m looking on this computer here. They have 52,000.
Eric: It’s not bad.
Andrew: No. Not at all. All right. So, there it is. Focus on instream ads, have a polished video. You might be able to try, but you haven’t, Eric, tried using just Screenflow or Camtasia, and tried a cheapo, cheaper video. See what other people are doing. Don’t bid stupidly. Break up the bids. I’m looking at the board here. Define your target group so that if that doesn’t work out you know why it didn’t. If it did work out, you know which segment really worked out well and emphasize that. And that’s also make sure to segment. And then, finally, look at your competitors, see what’s working for them, copy their best ideas to the best of your ability. How does that sound?
Eric: Sounds great.
Andrew: All right. Aces. The company is called Single Grain. Can I tell people also that you do a podcast, that you do interviews too?
Andrew: All right, this is the agency. You guys do really good work. And where is it? This is your podcast?
Eric: That is correct.
Andrew: GrowthEverywhere.com. What kind of people do you interview there?
Eric: Well, you’re going to be on the show soon.
Andrew: I am. January.
Eric: We’ve got great people. I mean, we have Neil Patel, from Crazy Egg. Brian Carson from your show’s also on. Jason Lemkin from Adobe EchoSign. So, a lot of different people. A lot of different tech people too. And I also do a, from Tuesdays through Fridays it’s just me on the show. We’re doing like a quick Q&A, that’s like anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. And the response from that has been pretty good too.
Andrew: And what’s the focus?
Eric: The focus is anything from business to personal growth and productivity. So, anything that’s… The one reason I started this was, I didn’t really have a goal behind it in the beginning. I just wanted kind of pay it forward, share my experiences. And eventually it started parleying or snowballing into me, and meeting other cool people, and just learning from them and whatever I learned from this I can translate it over to my personal and business life too. So, it’s been great.
Andrew: All right. Thank you so much for doing this. Thank you all for being a part of it. If you’ve got anything of value, I always say, and frankly, when we started out, Eric told me his goal wasn’t to get new customers, wasn’t to get new viewers of his podcast. It was just to give people at least one thing that they could use. One golden… What did you call it?
Eric: Golden nugget.
Andrew: Golden nugget, like the hotel. One golden nugget for people. And so, if you’re out there, if you heard us and you have anything especially useful, let them know. What’s a good way for them to connect with you and tell you?
Eric: Yeah. My Twitter is @Ericosiu, so there’s a little “O” in the middle. And you can email me via Eric@singlegrain.com
Andrew: Cool. Thank you and thank you all for being a part of it. Bye, everyone.
Eric: Thank you.