By Ezra Firestone | September 20, 2019
(Want to learn more about how to use Google and YouTube to grow your brand? Keep an eye out for your invitation to a free training coming next week!)
Facebook is running out of ad space, and the bidding wars will continue to drive up the cost of your campaigns.
Luckily for us, YouTube ads can help.
But there’s a catch — the video has to be good.
If you put a generic sales video on YouTube and hope for the best, you’re going to get slammed.
That’s why I teamed up with my YouTube & Google expert Brett Curry to teach you exactly how to make a winning YouTube ad for your product.
In this video, Brett walks you through the 7 creative elements you need to produce a high-converting video ad.
And don’t worry — you don’t need to hire the Harmon Brothers to make one for you…
These 7 tips work for any budget.
This presentation was originally given exclusively for my Blue Ribbon Mastermind, but Brett agreed to let me share it here.
Now, I’ll pass this post off to the man himself: Brett Curry.
7 Tips for Killer Video Ads, by Brett Curry
“Join the conversation going on in your customers’ heads.”
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time when it comes to advertising.
Your customers have questions, they have hopes and dreams, they have fears, they have things they think are funny and they have a language that resonates with them.
Your goal is to craft a video ad in such a way that your customers feel like you’re speaking their language.
You want them to say things like:
“This brand really knows me” … “They know where I am in life”… “They know what I’m struggling with”… “They know what makes me laugh”…
If your video ad can get them to say things like that, then you have successfully entered a conversation they’re already having.
The goal of this presentation is to give you a creative formula to help you do this.
Tip #1 – Hook ‘em in the First 5 Seconds
This is the magical number for YouTube ads because at the end of that five seconds the “Skip Ad” button pops up and the viewer can abandon your video.
I guarantee you there are folks watching your video who are cursing you and just waiting for that “Skip Ad” button to appear…
But in that 5 second window you have a shot to hook ‘em.
Poo-pouri did a great job at this:
In the off-chance you haven’t seen this video, it starts with a petite British lady sitting on a toilet who looks at the camera and says, “You would not believe the motherload I just dropped.”
Now, I’m confident that if Poo-Pouri had used a character with, say, a Southern accent, then people would have skipped ahead. Instead, the exotic British accent hooks you and keeps you watching.
But you don’t need to hire the Harmon Brothers to create a good video ad. It can be a lot simpler…
For example, one brand we work with makes silicon rings, and we’re having phenomenal success with this hook:
Get your CEO to walk up to the camera while demonstrating your product and ask, “Hey, have you seen this product yet?”
It’s super simple, but there’s movement, there’s audience engagement and there’s a demonstration of the user benefit.
And it works! Their view rates are off the charts for that ad.
Tip #2 – Lead with the Strongest Benefit
Your product probably offers 10 to 15 benefits… What’s the BIG one?
Got it? Okay, now make your whole video exclusively about that one benefit. Take this Geico ad for example.
The only message they tell us about is saving, and their tagline is, “15 minutes can save you 15% on car insurance.”
They don’t tell you how skilled their agents are or how great the claim process is. They believe people switch because of cost, so they make every video ad about savings.
Tip #3 – Tell the Story in a Fresh, Compelling Way
This step in the process is huge. I think you should spend the bulk of your time either on this or on crafting the right hook.
I love the brand UNTUCKit. They are capitalizing on the trend where dudes feel like it’s cool to wear their dress shirts untucked.
And because they focus on the ways their shirts are tailored to look great untucked, they’re changing the existing story the viewer has about their old shirts.
The new story is: “Hey, you know that thing you’ve been doing with your shirts all these years? Yeah, you look sloppy and like you’re not trying in life.”
Do You Have a “Raw Egg” Test?
Or look at the marketers behind Purple Mattress’s “Raw Egg Test”.
The magic of this ridiculous video is that they just invented a test that they were the only product that could pass:
Before seeing this video, did you ever walk into a mattress store and ask, “Uh, how do these mattresses do in the Raw Egg Test?”
No. Nobody ever did, because there is no Raw Egg Test… They made it up!
But it’s powerful, it’s unique, and it’s compelling.
Watching a 300lb pane of glass fall on some eggs makes you think it just might help your pressure points.
Their marketers went out and invented a way to make a boring mattress more compelling, and you should do the same for your ad.
Tip #4 – Social Proof
I don’t need to demonstrate this one because you probably already know how important it is…
But I’ll still say it: You should include some element of a customer testimonial or celebrity endorsement.
It can be fast, it can be a quick quote, but you need something that shows other people trust and like your brand.
Like this short video ad from Away Luggage:
Tip #5 – Stack the Value
Again, let’s look at our friends at Purple Mattress.
Here, they’re comparing themselves to “big box store” mattresses that sell for $5,000:
It’s almost an apples-to-oranges price comparison, because Purple is not dropping their price by $4,000…
But they’re still showing how their product stacks up to the competition in a way that makes them look great.
Tip #6 – Assume the Risk
Here’s the silicon ring brand again.
With this particular product, people might worry if it will fit and if it will last. it’s made of silicon, afterall — it could break tomorrow, right?
So they assumed the risk for their customers, and they say so in their video ad.
Here’s another example of assuming the risk, this time from Casper Mattress:
Basically, if your customers have any objections that might keep them from buying, you want to remove those right in your ad.
Assume that risk yourself and say so in your video.
#7. Strong Call to Action
“Learn More” or “Buy Now” are the two I recommend the most, and this is what it looks like for Ezra’s brand, BOOM! by Cindy Joseph:
You’ll notice we’ve gone a step further and also included an in-screen ad for his top performing pre-sell article, “5 Makeup Tips for Older Women.”
Feel free to go big here, because if they’ve watched this far you can be fairly certain they’re interested in learning more about your product or brand.
What’s the Ideal Length for a YouTube Ad?
I get asked this a lot, and I think the answer is always changing.
Really, a winning video ad can be anywhere from 15 seconds to 11 minutes, but I believe shorter-form videos will be very successful in the near future.
However, today in my agency, most of the videos that are converting and getting the lowest cost per acquisition are in that 1:00 – 5:00 range.
This silicon ring example is around 1:30 and the Purple Mattress / Harmon Brothers videos are typically around 3:30.
But I wouldn’t get too caught up in the length of the video if I were you.
Instead, ask yourself if you’re telling the story of your product in a fresh, compelling way, and are you doing enough to make someone say, “Maybe.”
“Maybe I’ll buy this, maybe I won’t — but I’ll click to find out more.”
In the end, that’s all a killer YouTube ad can really do.
Want to Learn More?
Hey, Ezra here with you again!
If you enjoyed this blog post, then you’ll be excited to hear this:
Next week, Brett and I are hosting a free, full-length training on how to use Google and YouTube to grow your brand.
I’ll be sending you a personal invitation next week, so keep an eye on your inbox!
(If you aren’t on the Smart Marketer email list and you want an invite to this training, make sure you subscribe now!)