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Is YouTube Advertising Worth It? SHOW NOtES
Hello everybody. Anton Kraly here, coming to you on a beautiful Friday morning in Austin, Texas. Welcome to the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast. I wanted to get you an episode today sharing something that I just learned, which I don’t know how it took me this long to learn it, and it is like a little YouTube advertising technique, I guess. It’s definitely important and definitely has a big impact on one thing I’m gonna be doing in terms of YouTube advertising, and something again, that you could all use on your own stores, in your own marketing efforts. But more than that, I wanted to share the concept behind why this is so important.
This episode is kind of gonna relate back to one that I did I think a few days ago, and it’s called Fake News. If you haven’t listened to that one yet, go back. Just search eCommerce Lifestyle on whatever podcast player you use, and look for the one called Fake News. In that one, I talk about how a lot of people say, you know this thing is dead or that thing is dead or this type of marketing doesn’t work, and it’s just because they’re uninformed. Well, there’s a next level to that, and it’s something that I experience myself, and again, something I just did.
My example here on the advertising tip that can apply to everyone directly is in regards to YouTube advertising. So, we use YouTube for a lot of our businesses because I like making videos. I’m comfortable on video, and honestly, people respond well to them, one of our marketing channels. Now, here’s the thing, I do this two ways on YouTube. The first way is to make normal videos that you would see if you go to YouTube and search for any topic that I make videos on. You would see me in the search results. You would also see me in related videos to other people whose videos are similar to mine or whoever’s topics I’m going after and targeting. So, pretty traditional way you would find videos on YouTube.
A Change in YouTube’s Algorithm
I’ve been doing that for a long time now, and one of our channels for my company, Drop Ship Lifestyle, has about 45,000 subscribers, so that’s a lot of people. And that’s cool, but the thing is for a long time it was growing at about 250 to 300 new subscribers a day. Meaning every single day, organically without me spending a dime, between 250 and 300 people would watch my videos on YouTube, because YouTube showed it to them, and they would like it enough to click the subscribe button so that they get notified every time I make a new video. That’s awesome, right, because hey I mean I spend a lot of money per email address and this scenario is paying no money per subscriber for people who now like me, trust me, and will probably do business with me.
Now, what happened is I started to notice that that number of daily subscribers was decreasing, and you have all your analytics, if you have a YouTube channel, it just has something called your creator studio, where it shows you everything. And I noticed it went from the 250 to 200 to 150 to 100 to 60 and I was like, whoa what’s going on here. I’m still … and the reason I’m sharing this is because you might be doing the same thing or you probably will experience this if you don’t listen to the rest of this episode.
But for me, my perspective, I was like, well I’m creating just the same amount of videos, if anything, the quality of the content has went up. The topics are not repetitive at all. I’m tackling new questions that are being asked by the majority of people in the comment section. So if anything, I felt from my perspective as a content creator on that platform, I was doing better, I was doing more and I was being extremely consistent, but my results, again, went from call it a 250 a day average down to about 60.
So, in my head, I kind of, and again after a couple months of this, this downgrade, and then stabilizing, I was just thinking well, I don’t know is YouTube, and this is why you should listen to the Fake News episode, in my head I was like, well is YouTube dead or is this channel just dead now or are people just not interested in this stuff anymore or are there just too many people on YouTube talking about similar things or do people just not like, are they sick of my channel or what. I went through all these reasons in my head that all pointed to the same direction, which was, you know what maybe this isn’t even worth my time because I do spend maybe, I don’t know, an hour a week or maybe 30 minutes to an hour a week making a video, and if I’m only gonna get 50, 60 subscribers a day, is that worth the time, and the answer was no. I don’t wanna just do something to see diminishing returns or no returns at all.
How to Use YouTube Advertising
I almost gave up on in and just left my channel where it was with the idea that I would post every once in a while, just because why not, to get a message out there. But then, I thought, you know what, other people are obviously having success still with YouTube. There’s other people gaining a lot more subscribers than I ever have, so why specifically did this happen to my channel? Why is it going down? What’s the deal? And then, I did something that I recommend you all do every single time you make a change in your business, which is create a log of everything that you change, and then go back and look, because we forget changes we make. Go back and look when things stop working or start working better to see what is different.
Now for me, I realized why this was happening, why YouTube stopped showing my videos in the suggested section to many more people, and why people stopped subscribing, because less people were seeing my videos. It wasn’t that I had the same amount of views, unless people were clicking subscribe. It was that YouTube was showing my videos to less people. What I did, is again, I went back to this document that I have, again in Google Drive, love Google Drive, where every time I do something new, I just add it as kind of like a change log, and I realized that about two months before my views and subscribers started decreasing, I started aggressively advertising on YouTube Ads, and that’s not a problem. You can use YouTube advertising. We’ve used them for a long time for a lot of our businesses.
But what I was doing is advertising aggressively to the audiences for website retargeting, and for YouTube view retargeting ads, but that’s not even the problem. The problem is the ads that I was showing them on YouTube, the pre roll ads, I had as unlisted videos on the YouTube channel, which I have all my organic videos on. Now, let me say that again, because some of you are probably like, oh that makes sense, and some of you are probably like Anton what are you talking about.
When you upload videos to YouTube, and you have your YouTube channel, you basically can upload as much as you want, and what I was doing is uploading my weekly videos, my series Drop Shop Weekly, which by the way if you haven’t seen, go to YouTube.com/DropShipLifestyle, and I was uploading all those videos there, then on that same YouTube channel, I was uploading our ad videos as well, and I had them as unlisted.
Now here’s the thing, one of the main thing that YouTube looks for when determining how many people they’re gonna show your videos to is your average watch time and retention. Meaning how long people watch your videos once they click on them, and what I didn’t realize, because I knew that. I’ve known that for years, but what I didn’t realize is that YouTube factors in your ads as well. And obviously, not everyone is searching for your ads. They don’t have intent, so people are usually watching them for three seconds, five seconds, 10 seconds, whatever. And what that did, after a few months of me running ads, is really pulled down my average watch time in a big way. That triggers in YouTube’s algorithm that, okay people don’t watch Anton’s videos as much as they used to, which is technically true, but it’s because of my YouTube advertising that was on the same channel.
Literally sabotaged, for the past few months now, my organic reach to the tune of 200 subscribers a day, because the videos, my ad videos I had on my same channel, my organic channel. Now, good news is it’s an easy fix. All I have to do is take all of our ad videos, put them on, I guess what you would call a throw away channel or a burner channel that I don’t care about watch time on. And then, I can show my ads to my same lists, my same retargeting lists, but they’re gonna be showing from a different channel, which again, isn’t gonna rank organically anyway, so who cares. It doesn’t matter.
How Effective are YouTube Ads?
Now, here’s the main point that I want you to take away. This is something that literally last week, even a few days ago, I considered just stopping putting my time into YouTube at all, again because, I don’t want to put in an hour a week if I’m only gonna get 50 subscribers a day. But then, I realized, again, that this whole thing isn’t because YouTube’s algorithm changed. It’s not because people stopped liking my videos. It’s not because there’s too many people making videos now in the same space. It’s because I messed up, because I changed something when I was trying to advertise, when what I really did was tell Google no one wants to watch these videos anymore or at least not as much as they want to.
What I did for the long term, almost, if I didn’t have this change log of things I’ve started to do in the past, could have cost me, I don’t know, we’ll see where we’re at next year, but I’m sure with in a couple months of having YouTube Advertising run through a different channel, I’m sure my organic time of views are gonna go back up, because why wouldn’t it. I’m sure my subscribers are gonna go back to 250, 300 a day, and my goal is to get it up to 500, 1,000 new subscribers a day. So, I almost ruined all of that for the future by giving up because of something I did.
Here’s the key message, because maybe you’re like, okay Anton that’s cool and that’s a good tip, if I ever make YouTube videos, now I know to have my YouTube ads associated with a different channel, and all is well there, but this is much bigger than that. The reason, if you go back to that Fake News episode that I shared, why people do say all the time that YouTube advertising is dead and SEO is dead and drop shipping is dead, and email marketing is dead, and blah blah blah blah blah, everything from the beginning of the time. It’s because of little things like that. It doesn’t take … you don’t have to do everything totally wrong to fail at something. You can have one little thing that’s a little bit off like me running ads through the same channel. That literally had my channel become 20% as effective as it used to be.
It’s not because of any major thing. It’s because I ran ads through the same channel. And again, I just want you to realize this, because in your business, especially if you’re listening to this right now, and you’re doing things that are working. Let’s say you’re running Facebook ads profitably. You’re running YouTube advertising profitably. You’re running Google product listing ads profitably, whatever it is you’re doing. If you’re doing it now, and it’s working, and then all of a sudden, you realize, whatever six months from now, that whoa my conversion rate really dropped here or my cost per click really went up here or my impression share really dropped here, whatever it is, whatever those KPIs you track are, go back to what you should create, which again is what I call our change log, where every time I change something, I just make a note, because it’s probably something you did.
It’s not because that Facebook ads suddenly died over night. It’s not because Google PLAs became too competitive with in a months time. It’s because you might have made a small tweak in your account or one of your competitors might have made a small tweak in their account that you have to go, obviously, and try to figure out what they did to outperform them. But more often than not, it’s because you heard something on a podcast or in a blog post or in a course or you wanted to experiment with a new type of ad or you wanted to split test the landing page or you changed something on your website to try to see if it converted better. All these little things we do, we forget about them, and then when things change, and for the positive too. Things could get better, when we do these things, but when things dip, we automatically assume that something’s not working anymore and we should just stop doing it, when in reality, it is more than likely because of something you did.
Does YouTube Advertising Work?
That’s why having this list of all the changes you make is so important, because the amount of changes we make to our stuff, you know, our whole goal is to optimize all the time. I wouldn’t remember random things unless I had a list. So, if you get any take away from this episode, listen if you’re running YouTube ads, again, put them on a different channel, a throw away channel that you’re not gonna ever try to have rank organically. Another take away from this episode should be keep a list of all changes you make to your store, to your ads, to everything, so you can back track when things get better or get worse, and try to identify what caused the change.
Again, don’t give up on anything because listen, every single thing out there, I mentioned this in other episodes, there’s no marketing techniques that just straight up don’t work. There’s no things that are completely dead and that don’t work for anybody. It’s more than likely something you caused, and the reason that it happened and the reason you don’t know what’s causing it is simply because you’re uninformed, and don’t take that the wrong way. I was uninformed about YouTube advertising until I figured this out literally just now.
So, I hope you guys have that as a take away. I hope you can implement that in your businesses. I promise it will be a game changer, and the sky is not falling. You don’t need to freak out when things change. You just need to find out what caused them and go back and fix it. So, that’s it guys. I just got home from the gym, so I’m gonna go get ready to start my day. I hope you found this one valuable. I hope you found it useful, and if you have any comments, you guys wanna let me know your feelings about this, as always go to eCommerceLifestyle.com, spelled just one word, eCommerceLifestyle.com. Click on episodes, that’s there you can find all the previous podcasts I’ve done. That’s where you could find all the different platforms the podcast is on to subscribe, and that’s where you can connect and leave a comment. So, I will speak to you all soon, and have a great productive day. See ya.