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2021 Martial Arts Marketing Martial Arts YouTube Ads

The Ultimate Guide To Martial Arts YouTube Ads (Updated For 2021!)

Need a kick-starter? The Foundational Guide to Martial Arts Marketing covers the all the basics from our detailed Marketing Playbook, and gets you hitting the ground running.

 

Martial Arts YouTube Ads: Why Advertise On YouTube?

 

Call me a philosopher, but this is the proverbial question we all must ask ourselves before starting any venture. There are plenty gurus out there who will try to sell you on the idea of running a specific type of marketing (which they also conveniently sell a course for), but the real question is whether it is actually relevant to your business or not. 

 

As I’ve talked about before there are an endless list of weapons to add in your Marketing Arsenal, but as always you need the right tool for the right job. So what are YouTube ads good for? 

 

Firstly, they’re good for Brand Awareness. Oberlo reports there are 2.3 Billion users worldwide who watch YouTube, YouTube is the 2nd most popular social media platform behind Facebook, and is the 2nd largest search engine behind Google (who conveniently also owns YouTube). 

 

YouTube is massive, and your audience is on YouTube (we don’t even need to know who your audience is, they’re there). And the whole point of advertising is to be where you audience is. 

 

Okay – now that we have the stats out of the way – why specifically use YouTube over say, other platforms? YouTube has many unique features (all of which we’ll dive into further), but one of the best things it lets you do is get hyper-granular with your targeting. 

 

Meaning, you could choose a single video to advertise on, and your video would only show on that one singular video. That is a high level of control that no other platform let’s you do. 

 

Additionally, unlike a Facebook News Feed where users can just scroll right past your video, YouTube does force users to watch at least the first 5 seconds. This means that even if the user skips, you still get a guaranteed 5 seconds to connect with your audience, and highlight your brand. 

 

The next point, which actually follows on this, is that as an advertiser, you only actually get charged when users watch at least 30 seconds of your video – or – they click your CTA to visit your landing page. 

 

So if they only watch 7 seconds and then skipped, you’re not paying for that view (unless you choose the CPM bidding strategy, but more on that later). 

 

Lastly, as a Martial Arts Gym, much of what you do is very visual – classes, tournaments, demonstrating techniques – all of which can be captured on video. Martial Arts is best expressed through video where users can actually see you and your gym. 

 

So there it is, the essential reasons why YouTube is the ultimate platform to promote and grow your Martial Arts Gym. 

 

Martial Arts YouTube Ad Strategy

 

So what is the goal here with Martial Arts YouTube Ads? Ultimately we’re working to grow your gym – to get students in the door, get new clients signing up and growing your gym. So what’s the strategy to make it happen? 

 

At its simplest the user flow looks like this:

 

Your Future Student is busy watching martial arts videos on YouTube, then your ad promoting your gym and your student’s successes starts playing as an instream ad, they click the button to learn more, it takes them to a landing page where they find out more about your gym and can book a 30-Day Free Trial, then they come walking into your gym. 

 

Now, if that strategy is about getting clients, there is a second strategy specifically designed to grow your YouTube channel.

 

See many business owners and Martial Arts Gym owners get frustrated with their YouTube channels, because they feel like they put all this effort into it, and it never really seems to grow or turn into anything. 

 

As a result, they get frustrated and discouraged, and ultimately stop posting, which kills all their momentum. So what’s the solution? YouTube Discovery Ads. We’ll dive more in-depth with these later, but essentially YouTube Discovery Ads are your ticket to consistently growing your channel. 

 

So the strategy here is:

 

Run discovery ads, get Future Students watching your content, invite them to subscribe to your channel – grow your subscriber base. 

 

You can think of Strategy 1 as the bottom of funnel, where we’re aiming to turn prospects into clients, and we can think of Strategy 2 as the top of funnel, where we’re growing our audience and establishing a new list of future prospects.  

 

What You Need To Get Started With Martial Arts YouTube Ads:

 

YouTube Ads are at the same time both extremely simple and extremely complicated (probably not what you wanted to hear). Essentially, all you need to get started is a video and website and you’re good to go, but if you don’t have those things, it can feel like a challenge to get off the ground. 

 

So let’s cover all the basics first with some videos:

 

This video by the Surfside PPC takes you through step-by-step exactly how to get your first YouTube ad campaign up and running:

 

 

And this video by Darrell Wilson takes you through even further how to get started on YouTube Ads as a complete beginner:

 

 

A YouTube Account

 

Now the first thing you will need to have is a YouTube Ad Account. Now keep in mind that you don’t actually need any content here. All you need is to have the account, and we can start adding videos. Go to YouTube.com to get setup. 

 

A Google Ad Account

 

Next you will need a Google Ads Account, and if you’ve already followed this tutorial on Google Ads, you should already have one setup. But if you don’t, head over to Google Ads to get setup (it’s free!).

 

This video by Google Ads shows you exactly how to get your YouTube Account and your Google Ads Account linked up:

 

 

Video

 

Alright, now that you’ve got your accounts setup, the next thing you’ll need is video. If you already have video, then you’ll need to upload to your YouTube account. Now, important to keep in mind, you can keep your videos as unlisted, meaning that no one can actually see them from your channel.

 

But you do need to have your videos uploaded, as Google Ads will be running the ads from your YouTube Channel (which you linked earlier). 

 

Now if you don’t have video content, don’t sweat it, this requires way less sophistication than you think. Any smartphone these days has video and audio good enough to get started. Yes, in the future we can look at getting more professionally done video made, but today, we’re all about just getting started and getting momentum going. 

 

As an aside, we personally love starting with very, very (very) low quality production values, and then years later looking back and laughing and thinking ‘wow! I can’t believe how far we’ve come!’. 

 

Grab your phone and just start shooting. It could just be yourself, recording a quick 30 second talking-head video, where you just give a quick intro of yourself and the gym. You could get fancier and include some class footage and then edit it all together. 

 

Personally, we recommend keeping it suuuuuper simple. If a 30 second video of your introducing your gym filmed on your iPhone is all you can manage right now, great. At least you’re taking action and getting started. 

 

And if you’re wondering, nobody feels confident on camera the first time. We all feel weird and awkward, but do it enough times and you’ll get right in the groove. It’s like training wheels on a bike, eventually they’re going to be coming off. 

 

This video by Jon Pemberthy breaks down exactly how to setup and produce the perfect YouTube video:

 

 

Copy

 

Now, for everyone out there who hates writing long-form copy, then you’ll love YouTube Ads. YouTube Ads have effectively no copy. You get 15 characters for a description and 10 characters for a headline. 

 

So if anything, the hardest part about copy for YouTube Ads is finding the most concise way to say what you’re trying to say. You don’t get many words. For example, ‘Learn More’ is 10 characters. Yikes, doesn’t give you much to play with. But keep experimenting and playing, and you’ll find the combination that works for you. 

 

YouTube Ads are all about the video – that’s it – and a compelling call to action and offer that we’ll get into down below. 

 

Landing Page

 

Now one drawback of the YouTube Ads as opposed to say Facebook Ads, is the lack of a Lead Gen Form. Actually, if we want to get technical, YouTube does have one, but you must spend at leads $50k in your Google Ads Account which is obnoxiously high. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen an advertiser running with a Lead Gen Form, which tells me most advertisers out there have never spent their $50k. 

 

This means that to run a successful YouTube Ad Campaign, you will need to have a decent website or landing page to send users to. Potentially your website homepage is good enough (at least to start), but you will eventually want to build and develop a dedicated landing page – something that allows users to either sign up for your newsletter, or sign up for their first class, or allows them to make a purchase from your eCommerce store. 

 

The options are open and flexible, but ideally you’ll be sending users to a landing page that has a clear CTA (Call To Action). If the page is cluttered, or it is unclear the next action they’re supposed to take, then they won’t take any action, and that money you just spent running ads got flushed down the toilet. WEeeeeeee!

 

Offer

 

Ah yes, the Irresistible Offer – this is what you offer to incentivise people to actually take the action that you want. You aren’t running YouTube Ads for entertainment (well actually, if your ads are good, they should be damn well entertaining – but you’re going for entertainment AND action), you’re looking to get users signing up and joining your gym. 

 

The Irresistible Offer get’s them off their couch, and gets them pulling out their wallets. A simple offer to begin with would be a 30-Day Free Trial at your gym. Now, before you freak out and scream ‘but Arthur, I’ll go broke!’ – calm yourself here. 

 

Remember if people don’t walk into your gym in the first place, you don’t have a business. The goal here is simply to get butts into your gym, so you can show them how great your gym, your dojo, your classes, your trophies, and most importantly, your students are. 

 

If people show up to your gym for a month, by the end of it, there’s a good chance they’ll fall in love with it and keep coming back. What do they say about 21 days to develop a new habit? Exactly. 

 

Also, when they start meeting the other students and making friends, they’ll begin to feel a certain level of social pressure, or obligation, or feeling like they don’t want to let the others down. 

 

Remember, if they don’t walk into your gym in the first place, you don’t have a gym. So the Irresistible Offer is designed to get them to take action. Short, simple, sweet, and to the point. 

 

People are bombarded by offers all the time, and they have 10 different projects they’re thinking of starting. You’ve already grabbed their attention with your ad, now get them to actually take action and book their first class with you. 

 

This video by Russell Brunson at ClickFunnels breaks down exactly how to setup your Irresistible Offer:

 

 

Subtitles (Optional)

 

Now subtitles are definitely optional, and YouTubes algorithm is getting so smart it pretty much generates subtitles automatically for you. 

 

Now you might be wondering, why even need subtitles? Again it’s optional, but when thinking of the best user experience, it’s best to think subtitles. Many users either don’t speak english very well, or, more commonly, people are scrolling on their phones in public spaces. They want to watch your video, but they don’t want to noise blasting out their phone right that moment. 

 

Without subtitles, many users will just skip right past you, but with subtitles, there’s a better chance that users actually stick around to watch – and at the end of the day, that is the whole point, right? Don’t overcomplicate it, just get it done, YouTube basically does it for you (LinkedIn on the other hand, you do need to actually hire someone – and takes that extra step). 

 

This video by Justin Brown of Primal Media shows you exactly how to get your subtitles up on your YouTube Ads:

 

 

Google Analytics (Optional)

 

This step is optional. We don’t want setting up Google Analytics to be the stumbling point that prevents you from getting started. Not that setting up Google Analytics is overly complicated, but in our mind, anything that adds more complexity than is absolutely necessary needs to be either dumped or put on hold until you get momentum.

 

So if you’re just starting out, we recommend skipping Google Analytics setup, and move on to running your YouTube Ad Campaign. If however, you’re a little more veteran, and you’re looking to take your campaign to that next level, then absolutely we recommend setting up Google Analytics. 

 

In a nutshell, Google Analytics helps you to understand exactly what is happening on your website behind the scenes. Google Analytics helps you to answer questions like: 

 

  • How many users are on my site? 
  • How long do they stay on my site? 
  • What is the bounce rate? (bounce rate is the number of users who left your site without interacting or visiting other pages). 
  • What pages did users visit? 
  • What parts of my site are most popular 
  • What are the demographics visiting my site?
  • What countries am I most popular in?
  • What % of people visit my site on mobile?
  • How many people sign up for my Irresistible Offer?
  • How many users join my email list?
  • How much has traffic grown month over month or year over year?
  • How much traffic comes from each channel? (YouTube, Facebook, Google, Newsletter etc)
  • How much traffic comes from each medium? (Paid Ads, Organic Traffic, Email, Referral etc)
  • What are the ages of my users?
  • What are the genders of my users?
  • What are the interests of my users?
  • And perhaps most lucrative of all…what are my users ready to buy? (once you see a clear trend here, you can tailor your offering to speak directly to what the majority of your users are looking to buy). 

 

Pretty powerful right? Yeah exactly, and the sooner you get it setup, the sooner you can start collecting data. 

 

This video by WebsiteSoSimple lays out exactly how to get your Google Analytics account setup on your website, to track your site visitors behaviour:

 

 

And to get even more specific, this video by CodeRevolution TV lays out the step-by-step method of exactly how to connect your Google Analytics Account to your YouTube Channel:

 

 

Google Tag Manager (Optional)

 

Straight up, this is another advanced and optional feature, that if you’re just starting out, we recommend you skip. But for the daredevils out there, it offers some powerful (and free) tools to help you streamline your site development. 

 

First of all what is GTM (Google Tag Manager)? The best way we could describe it is to think of GTM as the brains of the operation, and GA (Google Analytics) as the archive stacks. GTM gives the directions and instructions, and GA holds the data. 

 

On top of that , GTM allows you to install one single snippet in your backend (the GTM code), and then any future tags you add can be added directly in GTM without needing to go into your sites backend (hence Tag Manager). 

 

This saves you a hell of a lot of time from needing to either get your developer involved or go in and mess around with your HTML anytime you want to add a new tracking tag (and there are lots of them, we’ll have a whole other post on analytics and tracking tags)

 

Essentially, the Google Analytics tag we installed above, would now be housed inside GTM. I know that all sounds confusing, so I’ve added some videos below. 

 

Julian from MeasureSchool is a legend when it comes to analytics and setting up Google Tag Manager – We highly recommend checking out and subscribing to his channel. In this video he shows exactly how to get yourself setup with Google Tag Manager:

 

 

And this video from LovesData takes you even more step-by-step as a beginner on how to get GTM setup on your site:

 

 

Lead Form (Optional)

 

The infamous Lead Form. Firstly what is it? The Lead Form (or Lead Gen Form, or Lead Gen Ads), is a form that loads directly on the ad that auto-populates with the users information, that allows you to collect names, emails and phone numbers. 

 

Why is this important? One of the big stumbling points of many new business owners and Martial Arts Gym owners, is their website isn’t yet set up and optimized to convert. This is why we highly recommended Facebook Lead Ads and LinkedIn Lead Ads as starting points, to get your ad campaigns running. 

 

The beauty of running YouTube lead ads, is it allows you to capture the details of your users, without needing a fancy and perfectly built landing page. They load quickly and auto-populate with the user’s information, making it exceptionally frictionless. And anything that makes the user experience faster and more frictionless, will be pay off for you big time in the long run. 

 

However, there is one big caveat here to using the YouTube Lead Form: you need to have spent over $50k in your ad account. 

 

Yep. 

 

This means that YouTube Lead Forms are not for the faint of heart, and not for the amateur who’s just getting started. Keep these in your back pocket, and we can revisit them later once your account has spent some serious cash. 

 

Lastly, on that point – keep in mind that YouTube Ads, Google Search Ads and Google Display Ads all run from the same account – meaning that running any of those ad types will contribute to your $50k. So if running Google Search is your preference, get started with that, and once you’ve hit your $50k, you could switch over to YouTube Ads. 

 

However we love YouTube Ads so much, we still would recommend getting started with them (even if only running a few pennies per day – it doesn’t have to be much!). 

 

This video by Paid Media Pros breaks down exactly how to get YouTube Lead Gen Ads up and running:

 

 

YouTube Ad Formats

 

You think that a YouTube Ad is a YouTube Ad and they’re all basically the same right? Well, they’re all similar but with minor variations – let’s get into the specifics:

 

Instream Ads

 

Instream what? What exactly. Also known as “TrueView In-Stream Skippable Ads”, these are probably the most common ads that you’re already aware of (even if you didn’t know it). Any time you watch a YouTube video, and an ad pops up at the start – that is an Instream Ad. 

 

They get the name because they are played ‘in the stream’ of your video watching. 

 

These ads are pretty straightforward, they can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as an hour (or more). This is more advanced, but you could run ads that effectively entire movies, and if the quality of your content is any good, users just might actually stick around. 

 

As an aside to that point – it is insane in our internet era, the concept that you could run a 2 hour ad, and it still only cost the same few pennies that it costs to run a 15 second ad – this is the kinda stuff that you couldn’t do with TV, radio, or print – welcome to the new era!

 

The purpose of the Instream Ads is to get a user to take an action and ideally to visit your landing page. The Instream ads give you a CTA (call to action) button, that allow you to direct users where you want to direct them. 

 

The purpose of Instream Ads is effectively to drive sales and get new users signing up for your gym, and your video should speak to users taking that action. 

 

This video by the Surfside PPC breaks down exactly how to setup your Instream (aka TrueView) YouTube Ad Campaigns:

 

 

Discovery Ads

 

Now what makes Discovery Ads confusing as compared to Instream Ads, is they could effectively be the same video (we don’t recommend it but they could). However, the real intent of the Discovery Ads is to get users watching your YouTube Channel and subscribing. 

 

Instead of playing ‘instraem’, discovery ads show up in the ‘recommended’ video panel. When a user clicks on it, the video starts playing just as any regular ‘organic’ YouTube video. Why is this important?

 

Because it has all the features of a regular YouTube Video – allowing users to like, subscribe, leave comments etc. One of the hardest parts of starting a new YouTube Channel, is getting users to actually find you and subscribe to you. 

 

Similar to how Google Search Ads allow you to pay your way to the top of the Search Results, YouTube Discovery Ads allow you to pay your way to being discovered. This could be an essential weapon in your Marketing Arsenal when you’re just getting started and working to build momentum. 

 

Side note: if you’re getting started and really bootstrapping and working to stretch your dollars as far as you can, you can run your ads in lower cost countries like India to gain a massive new series of followers, for a low dollar investment (again, this assumes your content is good). 

 

Now why would you want followers from India if they’re never going to buy from you? Social Proof. This is actually a bigger concept called geo-arbitrate, where you use low cost ads from another country to boost your stats and rankings. 

 

But let’s think about it this way – if a potential client stumbles across your YouTube channel, and they see you have 23 subscribers, how impressive does that look? It looks like you’re an amateur who’s just getting started. 

 

However if you’ve been running Discovery Ads for a few months at just a few dollars per day, now it is likely you’ve got a few hundred or thousand subscribers on your channel. And while you may not be PewDiePie level fame, it just might be enough to convince a new prospect that you’re serious and it’s worth singing up to your gym. 

 

Last point, because we know some of you are thinking it: running Discovery Ads to get new subscribers is not the same as buying fake followers. We never recommend buying fake followers because they’re, well, fake. 

 

Who needs 10 Million subscribers if every video you make only gets 3 views. No, by using Discover Ads, you are actively paying for real people to come and watch your channel. Paying for ads does not equal buying fake followers. 

 

This video by the Surfside PPC breaks down exactly how to get your YouTube Discovery Ads up and running:

 

 

Non-skippable

 

First, a warning about non-skippable ads: people hate them. Have you ever seen one of those car commercials that force you to watch 15 seconds? It’s so aggravating. Mostly because the ads are so badly done. 

 

So if you’re going forward with non-skippable ads, beware, there be dragons there. However with that said – there are obviously some pretty strong benefits to running non-skippable ads, in that your audience is forced to watch your ads. 

 

But similar to how TV ‘forces’ people to watch ads, it’s also possible just to click away to another chrome tab, whip out your phone, or just generally ignore the ad. So just because you’re forcing users to watch your ad, doesn’t mean they actually are. 

 

But regardless, you technically have someones undivided attention for 15 seconds (non-skippables can be 6-15 seconds long), so what do you do with it? 

 

This is your opportunity to show off your gym. Who are you, what do you stand for, why should someone come join with you? 

 

Personally, we don’t recommend non-skippables if you’re just getting started. While they may initially seem appeal to force users to watch your content, you will likely just end up enraging users and will have the opposite of the intended effect. You’re playing with fire here.  

 

This video by Daily Marketing Journal details exactly how to get started with your non-skippable ads, and also some sage words of caution and warning when using them: 

 

 

Bumper Ads

 

Bumper ads are similar to non-skippable ads, but much shorter – these ads are only 6 seconds long, they’re non-skippable, and you pay for them on a CPM basis. Meaning you pay for every impression. 

 

These ads are designed to be short and sweet. At just 6 seconds long, they don’t take up much of the users time, and give you an opportunity to highlight your brand inexpensively. As the videos are only 6 seconds, you could generate a suite of ads – say having 5-10 different unique ads, each one highlighting your Martial Arts Dojo in just a few seconds. 

 

Due to their short nature, you don’t have to put a lot of thought or production values into these, you just need to make them happen. Think simple, think quick – and again – you can get by with just your smartphone – don’t overcomplicate this stuff. 

 

One last thought on Bumper Ads – they’re generally used by big brands as branding marketing campaigns. Meaning, these are generally reserved for the big boys looking to spend big branding bucks, without necessarily generating short term results (ie clients walking into your dojo and buying from you). 

 

This video by the Surfside PPC details exactly step-by-step how beginners can get started running their own bumper ads

 

 

YouTube Ad Placements

 

I won’t lie, this is one of my favourite parts of running YouTube Ads. The level of granularity you can achieve here in terms of determining where exactly your ad shows and who sees it, is, as far as I’m concerned, unparalleled on any other platform. 

 

YouTube is so specific, you could target one specific video, and only show your ad when someone watches that video. That’s how specific you can get. 

 

As an aside, if you had a few extra dollars kicking around and you wanted to ‘sponsor’ a YouTube channel, you could do so by only advertising on their channel. We’re not necessarily recommending that here, but pretty cool to know you have that kind of power, and also knowing that 55% of your ad spend, is going directly to supporting that content creator. We think it’s pretty cool. 

 

Now YouTube Ads, offers you all sorts of options when it comes to targeting your ads and choosing placements, so let’s get into the nitty gritty:

 

This video by Paid Media Pros, is a comprehensive breakdown of exactly how YouTube targeting works, and how you can make the most of its ability to get hyper granular in targeting your ideal client:

 

 

Specific Videos

 

Yes as mentioned above, you can target specific videos. Meaning, if there were specific martial arts videos (famous fights, tutorial classes, competitions, beginner intro tutorials etc), that you knew that your target audience was watching, you could target those videos only. 

 

We love how specific and granular this lets you get. I mean, what other advertising platform lets you choose the exact video your ad shows on? It literally doesn’t exist. So do some research, find those perfect videos, and go for it. 

 

Specific Channels

 

In a similar vein to choosing the specific videos, you can go a bit broader and choose specific channels. Let’s say for example your target audience loves Joe Rogan, or loves watching TED Talks – these are HUGE channels with MILLIONS of views – giving you huge range of flexibility to work with. 

 

We can also further refine our targeting to demographics and audiences (which we’ll get to down below), to get even more specific. For example, let’s say you only want to target fans watching Joe Rogan, in a 5km radius from your Dojo who are 18-34, top 30% household income level, and are in-market for fitness and gyms. Now that is a narrow and targeted audience. 

 

Set your channels that you want to ‘sponsor’ and get it ripping. 

 

Keywords

 

Going a little more broad still, we can target keywords. This means that anyone who searches YouTube for say “beginner muay thai lessons”, would be eligible to see your ad, no matter what video they end up watching. 

 

This is key, because there will be many people who are actively searching (and remember that active searches means active intent), that you could show your ad to, who didn’t end up watching, say, that Joe Rogan video. 

 

Keywords are a great way to topic a large list of keywords and search terms that you know that your ideal audience would be looking for. Some examples could be:

 

  • Karate classes
  • BJJ beginner lessons
  • How to get a blackbelt
  • Karate white belt basics
  • Muay Thai for beginners
  • What to know before starting karate classes

 

See how these work? They should be highly targeted on the kinds of searches that you ideal client would be searching for, right before coming in and signing up at your dojo. 

 

Topics

 

Now with topics we start getting very broad. Here’s our general rule of thumb – when you’re just starting out, and your budget is very limited (say, $5-10/day), you’ll want to start as narrow and as granular as you can – pick specific videos or channels, but stay away from topics. 

 

Topics are generally for larger brands, or users who are spending $100+ per day. This is when you start entering the big leagues. Once you’re spending this much money, it will be difficult to actually spend your full budget as your targeting is too narrow. 

 

Enter targeting by Topics. Topics are by definition, quite broad. Topics allow you to go after large swathes of the market. For example you could choose the topic of ‘sports’ or ‘fitness’ or ‘health’ – and your ad will show up on any videos with these topics. 

 

Now obviously one of the big drawbacks of going after something like topics, is that you lose a huge amount of control – you don’t get to choose anymore where your videos show, and honestly based on experience, your videos will show on a lot of strange channels that you’ll be scratching your head over trying to figure out how it has anything to do with the topic. 

 

One note here: you can add exclusions. So if for example you keep seeing certain channels that keep popping up again and again and again, but that you know have nothing really to do with your business, you can add an exclusion to stop your ads from showing there. 

 

But do keep in mind, YouTube is a massive network of videos, and if you exclude one bad channel, YouTube will likely just find another bad channel to replace it with. 

 

One benefit however of targeting by Topics is getting cheaper views. By targeting broadly you’ll be working with a much larger set of ad inventory, and YouTube will be able to find you more channels that are desperate for ads. How do you know they’re desperate for ads? Because you can get those views dirt cheap. 

 

Certain channels and videos are highly popular for advertisers and as a result are highly competitive to bid on, but by targeting broadly with Topics, you can reduce your Max CPV, and YouTube will find you those cheaper channels that other advertisers aren’t bidding as aggressively on. 

 

Win-Win – get those cheaper views. But just be aware that your videos might be going to broad, and reaching an audience that aren’t really your target demographic. 

 

Targeting:

 

Alright – we covered placements in great detail above, but now let’s go another level deeper. Because on top of those placements, we can further refine and layer on more detailed targeting. Let’s get into the specifics:

 

This video by Shash Sing breaks down step-by-step in a comprehensive guide, all of the targeting options available to you through YouTube:

 

 

Demographics

 

Starting with the basics – demographics breaks down the physical characteristics of your users – their age, gender, and income. So if your goal is to only target high net-worth young males who watch Joe Rogan – the world is your oyster. 

 

Age

 

These are all pretty self explanatory but let’s get into the specifics. With age, Google gives you age brackets to target (Facebook by contrast lets you target the specific age you want, down to the year), so you can target 18-24 yr olds, 25-34 yr olds, etc all the way to 65+ (and no, if you’re wondering, you can’t specifically target kids). 

 

Now there is a category for ‘unknown’ ages, which is likely filled up predominantly with children. So if your goal is to advertise to people 18-45, then we recommend you remove ‘unknown’ age from your targeting. 

 

You can also set bid adjustments, so let’s say you’d prefer 18-35 year olds, but you’re okay if people 55+ see your ads. Then you could drop the bid adjustment on people 55+ by say 30%, meaning that they’ll still be included to see your ads, but that if your max CPV is 10 cents per view, you’re only willing to spend 7 cents per view on those 55+. 

 

We love this option as it allows you to include priorities, without completely excluding certain user groups (this option of bid adjustments is available for all the different targeting options we’re about to discuss). 

 

Gender

 

You’ve got men, women and unknown. We generally leave all gender options open, unless there is a specific brand or client that only exclusively works with one gender. 

 

Household Income

 

This is pretty cool – but you can target your ads towards people with specific household income levels. Now, it is somewhat ambiguous what household income actually represents or how it’s calculated. Does Google know your actual income? (they probably do), or is this purely looking at your post code, and deciding ‘ah yes, John Smith here lives in the ritzy part of town’. 

 

The math behind the scenes is unclear, but for the intents of this video, is more or less irrelevant. What we care about is does household income matter for your business? And likely, it does. 

 

From our experience, we have seen that targeting high net-worth households, tends to deliver better results. There seems to be a correlation with users in top household income levels, and those who actually get their wallets out and make purchases, which from your point of view as the dojo owner, is what is actually important to you: how do you get bums in the gym, and credit cards in your system. 

 

We recommend targeting top 30% household income as a starting point. However, you may find that depending on the size of your geographic area and your other targeting options, that you may inadvertently restrict the size of your audience too much. 

 

Therefore we recommend experimenting. Start with restrictive targeting, and open things up if you’re not getting enough views or clicks or spending your daily budget. 

 

This video by Click Geeks further breaks down exactly how you can target by household income for ultra granular targeting:

 

 

Audiences

 

Like an onion, let’s keep peeling it back. The next layer deep is to target by audiences. Now, audiences are specific and bucketed groups that YouTube (or more precisely Google) have created. They break down into Affinity and In-Market, and depending on how you want to run it, can do as Observation or Targeted (more on that to come). 

 

Audience targeting is an excellent, excellent (excellent) way of further refining your targeting to get even more specific and granular. 

 

This video by RED Digital Marketing, outlines exactly how beginners can get started with narrowing their audience selection for further refinement of their targeting:

 

 

Affinity

 

Let’s start with Affinity Audiences. These are the people who are generally into a thing. These could be ‘foodies’ or ‘comic book enthusiasts’ or ‘car lovers’ or ‘gym sharks’. These are the people, who, generally are really into that thing, and have been into it for a long time, and will likely be into it for a long time in the future. 

 

The best way we use to think of audiences, is timescales. Affinity Audiences are those people who are into a thing for a long period of time, HOWEVER, may not be looking to buy that thing, right this moment. That is where we get into In-Market Audiences. 

 

In-Market

 

In-Market Audiences are those people who are looking to buy that thing right this moment. If they’re in-market for home appliances, they’ve been shopping around on Home Depot this week. If they’re in-market for travel, they’ve been checking out expedia and maybe booked a hostel or two. If they’re in market for gyms and fitness, they’ve actively been searching gym websites to find the best deals. 

 

A well targeted In-Market Audience should be your bread and butter. These are the people Google has identified as ready to buy (remember, Google knows all), and these are the people that you want to be getting your ads in front of. 

 

Google is a massive platform, with massive amounts of data and machine learning capabilities in its algorithm. That is a fancy way of saying Google knows what we want better than we know ourselves. Google can predict when we’re about to buy something, and what that special something might be. 

 

It’s either extremely creepy or extremely exciting, depending on how you look at it. In our view as marketers, it is extremely exciting, and should be embraced and taken advantage of (remember, it is all anonymized and aggregate data, meaning that the advertisers don’t actually know you specifically and who you are and what your interests are – each user is protected in a veil of anonymity – so chill people). 

 

Target your ads to users who are In-Market for a gym membership and watching a Joe Rogan video and you’re more than halfway there. 

 

Observation

 

Now this is a cool feature (YouTube is filled with cool features if you hadn’t noticed yet…). Let’s say you’re just starting out and you have absolutely now idea who your target audience actually is. Maybe you have a hunch, but you want to test it out. 

 

By setting your audiences to “observation mode”, it allows you to add every single audience to your list (a manual process, you do need to go through and select each one….yes suck it up princess), and then run your campaigns for a few weeks or months, and start to put the pieces together – who is clicking on your ads? Who is visiting your website? Who is signing up to your newsletters? Who is signing up to your classes. 

 

Once you’ve collected a few months of conversion data, you can start to see who your top performing audiences are, and then narrow down further with “Targeted”. 

 

Targeted 

 

With Targeted Audiences, your ads will ONLY show to those users who are specifically in the audiences you target (hence the name). Meaning if you choose to target only dog enthusiasts, your ads will show only to dog enthusiasts. Similarly, if you target only users in-market for ‘gym and fitness memberships’, then your ads will show exclusively to them. 

 

We see the ‘Targeted’ option as a more advanced option, and should only be used once you are 100% clear on exactly who your best converting audience is. Until then, stick with observation mode, and let Google open your eyes to the massive treasure troves of data out there. 

 

Additionally, when using Observational Audiences, you may discover new audiences that love you, that you otherwise would have had no idea were into you. Who knows, maybe ‘scary movie enthusiasts’ are highly likely to sign up for Karate classes, or ‘outdoor adventurists’ love a good BJJ class. 

 

Whoever it is, your audience is out there waiting. And as you learn and experiment and try new things, you will gradually uncover new hints and clues as to who exactly your audience is. Never stop learning and experimenting, and you’ll constantly be amazed at the people out there who are hungry for your services. 

 

Devices

 

Although, quite simple, we find the option to adjust your targeting by device to be shockingly powerful. Think about it for a second, the behaviour of a user on a computer vs a mobile phone vs a table (vs a TV screen…) is completely different. 

 

The user on the computer is likely sitting at a desk, likely has time and is able to focus on the task at hand. By contrast, a user on a mobile phone is on a bus, they’re walking down the street, they’re looking at a tiny screen and fill in their details into even tinier boxes. 

 

Mobile traffic is great for mass awareness – in generally it is significantly cheaper to advertise to mobile users (in our experience 30-50% cheaper, so if it costs 10 cents to show an ad to a user on a computer, that same ad might cost 7 cents, 5 cents, or in extreme cases even 3 cents to mobile users. 

 

There is a HUGE amount of available ad inventory on mobile phones. Mobile makes up a huge percentage of overall traffic, and there are huge number of users playing apps and watching videos on their mobile phones. 

 

Volume is high, inventory is high, prices are cheap – so what’s the problem? Well as that annoying saying goes – you get what you pay for. And while mobile phone traffic may be cheaper, it is cheaper for a reason (side rant: if you could master making profitable sales to mobile users, you could slaughter your competition, as your ad costs would be dramatically lower. Rant over). 

 

Mobile Phone users are busy, they’re distracted, they’re doing 10 things at once, they don’t scroll as far down your pages, they don’t spend as much time on your pages, they bounce more, they don’t convert as much, they’re confused more easily, and then their kid starts screaming because it’s supper time and it’s game over folks. 

 

Mobile traffic is great for showing video ads and building awareness, however don’t expect too much in terms of conversions, or deep engagement with your content. Also as a general rule Mobile Phone traffic will generally skew younger, with computer traffic skewing older, however, you can also add demographic age constraints to show your ads only to users in specific age ranges. 

 

Run ads on mobile to get cheap awareness, run ads on computer if you want conversions (as a general rule, but every rule is meant to be broken). 

 

You might be wondering – okay, so what about tablets then? And the truth is – good question. Tablets are one of those anomalies – they tend to perform similar and at similar rates to mobile phones, however their traffic volumes are way lower. We’ve seen mixed results, some campaigns perform exceptionally on tablet, but often times they tank. 

 

We recommend keeping your tablet traffic on, but reducing your bid adjustment. As a general rule we’d recommend the following:

 

  • Computer: 0% bid adjustment
  • Mobile: 50% decrease bid adjustment
  • Tablet: 30% decrease bid adjustment

 

Play around with your numbers once you’ve got conversion tracking setup and running, and adjust according to what you’re seeing. If Mobile Phone traffic happens to be more profitable to you than Computer Traffic, then crank that shit up and reduce your computer traffic. There are no hard and fast rules here, work with what works for you. 

 

Locations

 

This is a big one, and it all depends on your business and the scale you work at. In general, if you run a physical Martial Arts Dojo, you’ll probably be advertising in the 5-10km locally area. 

 

As people will need to physically travel to your location, local residents would be your primary targets. Once you’ve established your gym and built up a reputation for yourself, you might find people start travelling 20-30km to come train with you – and if so, congratulations, that’s a huge accomplishment. 

 

Now if you run a chain of gyms, then maybe you’ll be looking at advertising regionally or nationally. Or, more likely, you run an eCommerce store selling merch and gear directly from your store. 

 

If you’re selling through eCommerce, then the world is your oyster. Assuming people are willing to pay shipping rates, you can start advertising nationally or even internationally. 

 

Adjust your targeted location as necessary. 

 

But let’s zoom in on local targeting for a second. You have a few targeting options at your disposal. The first and easiest, is just to type in your gyms location, and put a 5-10km radius. The other option you can use if you want to get more specific, is add in your targeted post codes or zip codes. This allows you to be more granular and target specific neighbourhood locations. 

 

One quick side rant: One of the great things about platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, is that they operate on a free-market system. Meaning, Google and Facebook do not set the prices of their advertising, but rather the markets determine it based on the levels of competition.

 

This means that as a general rule, advertising in places like Canada, US, UK, Australia and NZ, are generally going to be more expensive. By contrast, advertising in places like India, Venezuela or the Philippines, is quite inexpensive (as a general rule, one tenth of the cost of advertising in The Big 5). So as a general rule, if a click in Canada costs $3, it’s likely going to cost about 20 to 30 cents in India. 

 

But if we’re not advertising in India, why even bring this up? The reason we bring it up is to keep things in perspective. Sometimes we advertise to make sales and get butts into our gyms, but other times we advertise because we want more views on our YouTube Channel, or more followers on our Instagram Page. 

 

Be strategic here, by running a little geo-arbitrage, you’re able to make the most of a global economy, and turn advertiser snobbery to your advantage (so many advertisers turn up their nose at places like India, but we relish in it – we believe in going where the opportunities are). 

 

This video by the Surfside PPC lays out some advanced strategies to make the most of your YouTube advertising:

 

 

Scheduling

 

This one is quick and simple – you can set the schedule of when you run your ads. Now for a YouTube Channel that converts to a landing page that does not require any human interaction on your part, then we recommend running your ads 24/7. 

 

This allows the YouTube Algorithm the most flexibility, in terms of schedule your ads throughout the day, and finding you the least expensive ad inventory spots possible. 

 

If however, your business requires you to pick up the phone and interact with your leads the moment they submit their information (this is most service based businesses), then likely you’ll want to stick your ads to just Monday-Friday, 9-5 – standard business hours. Or if you work strange hours, adjust accordingly. 

 

YouTube Ads Specifications

 

Let’s be real, YouTube Ad Specifications are always changing – so do your research and find the latest information, however as of this writing (May 2021), here is what you need to know:

 

This post by StrikeSocial, lays out the YouTube Ad specs for all video formats. 

 

Additionally, this video by Tubics breaks down further each individual ad format the specific specs you need to know:

 

 

Important Metrics To Measure:

 

So now that you’ve got your ads up and running, and you’ve got several weeks or months (or years) of data behind you, you can start analysing your account and start to uncover some deep insights which help you understand what is actually going on. 

 

As with every industry, they all have their own unique words, acronyms and jargon. Marketing is no different, and in fact, is probably worse (marketing after all gave birth to the buzzword…). 

 

As a small aside (just a minor rant), I love marketing, but I hate marketers. Marketers are some of the scuzziest people on the planet. They love to use big and fancy words to sound like they’re so much better than they are. 

 

I’ll let you in on a little secret: most marketers actually have no idea what they’re talking about, and love to throw in all sorts of buzzwords to make them sound so much smarter than they are. 

 

And don’t take anything I say at face value either, test it for yourself, see what actually works for you and ditch the rest. 

 

Okay – back to business – lets break down some of this marketing garbage jargon and give you some real info that you can actually use to apply to better understand your business. 

 

Impression

 

This is kindof the most indivisible unit in Marketing. Which probably doesn’t really explain anything, so let’s try again: your ad receives an impression every time it gets served. Whenever someone sees your ad – you get an impression. The basic building block of marketing. 

 

CPM

 

CPM – Cost Per Mille aka Cost Per Thousand Impressions. This is how much you pay for every one thousand impressions. Every platform and every ad and every situation is going to be unique, but as a general rule, paying $10-50 CPM is roughly standard. 

 

CTR

 

CTR – Click Through Rate – this is the rate that people are clicking on your ad. If you had 100 impressions and got 5 clicks, you’ve got a 5% CTR. Again, every situation is going to be unique, but in general seeing between a 0.5% to 10% CTR would be roughly standard. 

 

View Rate

 

Just like CTR – the View Rate is how often users watch your video relative to the number of impressions served. Typical view rates would be 1%-15%. 

 

CVR

 

CVR – this is your Conversion Rate – possibly the most important metric you can measure. If you’ve got conversion tracking setup properly, you’ll have direct insight into how many people are actually converting and making the purchase. 

 

As an aside – many marketers love to wax poetic about how they helped you to get more impressions or more views or helped you to get more of that proverbial ‘awareness’. However, most of that is just blowing smoke right up your ass. 

 

The number that truly matters to you and your business is CVR, and also the Cost Per Conversion (more on that below). These metrics give you hard numbers in terms of how your advertising is generating hard cash for you, and actually putting money back in your pockets. 

 

Let’s face it, no business owner invests in advertising to get ‘impressions’, no, business owners invest in their marketing to get more sales (both short term and long term), anything other than sales and cash in your pocket that a marketer tries to tell you is straight up bullshit and they’re gladly blowing smoke up your ass. 

 

Get the hard numbers when you talk to them – what is your CVR and how does that improve your bottom line. 

 

Cost Per Conversion

 

In my mind, Cost Per Conversion is ‘la piece de resistance’. This is basically the number that tells you whether it’s all worth it. This could also be expressed in terms for ROI or ROAS (more on those below), but here’s the straight facts:

 

If a sale for you is worth $1000, and lets say with your margins you’ve got $500 of expenses, so on a $1000 sale you’re getting $500 of profit (these are rough and general numbers). Well that means that if your cost/conv is $600/conv – well you’ve got a problem, because you’re actively losing money on each sale (side note: running a loss-leader, or intentionally losing money in the short term to make money in the long term, or in the ‘backend’ as they say, is definitely a viable strategy, but is more advanced). 

 

However, if your cost/cov was $200/conv, you’re likely laughing all the way to the bank. 

 

This would mean you spend $200 on advertising, you’ve got $500 of other expenses (cost of goods, rent, insurance, general overheads), and you’ve got a $1000 sale, pocketing $300. Now, if you’ve designed your business well, you should be able to scale that, to spending from $200, to $400 to $1,000 to $10,000 in ads, all the while cranking up your sales and making that profit. 

 

ROI

 

ROI – Return On Investment – this likely isn’t new for you – but this is calculating your overall returns on your initial investment. In our example above, we’d say there was ($1000 sale – $700 expenses) / ($1000 sale) = 30%. 

 

When most businesses are happy with a 10% ROI, seeing a 30% ROI would be a licence to print money. 

 

ROAS

 

ROAS – or Return On Ad Spend – this calculation is useful when making quick, shorthand calculations, as sometimes your total expenses/overheads/cost of goods are difficult to calculate. 

 

In our example above, we’d say that we had ($1000 sale) / ($200 Ad Spend), giving a 500% ROAS. This means the ads generated 5x more revenue than they cost in ads. This is helpful when you need to do quick calculations, however keep in mind that if your margins are tight, and you have high expenses, that even something that sounds impressive like a 500% ROAS, might actually be losing you money in the long run. 

 

Watch Time

 

This is pretty much exactly how it sounds – this is how long users have been watching your video. This can be an interesting stat to track as it gives you a sense of how engaging your content actually is. If you want to get more refined you can also look at Watch Time Per Impression, and also the break down of watch duration. YouTube gives stats in terms of 25%, 50%, 75% and 95% watch duration, helping you to understand how much of your videos that users watch. 

 

If you find that you’re getting a high number of users watching 25%, but nobody seems to cross the 50% threshold, this might be a secret indication that your content gets boring or confusing at the 25% mark, and many users start dropping off. This could be an opportunity to improve your video, and make sure that you’re actually getting your message across. 

 

If users watch your video through to 95%, congratulations, you are a god amongst video publishers. Congratulations. 

 

CPV

 

CPV – Cost Per View – this is a measure of how much you’re paying for each view (more on bidding strategies below). As default, YouTube will charge you for each view, and you get set the maximum prices you’re willing to pay for each view. 

 

Again, every ad campaign is unique and every location is unique, but typically you could expect to pay between 10 and 30 cents for each view, meaning that a $20/day budget could get you around 70 to 200 views per day. 

 

Remember tho – those are actual views where people stayed and watched for a full 30 seconds (YouTube doesn’t charge you a cent unless they watch 30 seconds or click your CTA), meaning that a ‘view’ on YouTube is completely different from a ‘view’ on Facebook. Facebook counts a view when some scroll through their feed and the video plays for a measly 3 seconds. 

 

So if you’re advertising on Facebook, don’t be surprised if you get hundreds of views for pennies each, and then feel ripped off when you switch over to YouTube and suddenly they’re ‘so expensive’. 

 

A view is not a view, and each platform treats what they consider to be a view extremely different. Don’t let marketers fool you or pull the wool over your eyes. 

 

CPC

 

CPC – Cost Per Click – this is a basic unit of measure in the advertising world. In fact, it’s so significant that in Google Analytics, when you’re looking at your ad traffic, analytics will label your paid ad traffic as ‘CPC’. 

 

CPC refers to the cost you pay for each click, but it has also become a catchphrase for the entire industry. Anyone who works with digital paid advertising is considered to work in the ‘CPC’ industry, also called PPC (more on that below). 

 

PPC

 

PPC – Pay Per Click – this isn’t so much a metric for your campaigns, but more of a general reference to the entire digital marketing industry. If you’re looking for someone to run your digital advertising, you’re looking for someone who specializes in PPC.

 

However as always, if you hire a specialist in PPC, be aware that while they are likely very good and an expert on their platform, they may not have a comprehensive understanding of the entire marketing ecosystem

 

Meaning, they might be great at setting up a Google Ad Campaign, but might have zero understanding of how to optimize your landing page, or how to make it actually convert. 

 

CPA

 

CPA – Cost Per Action – or – Cost Per Acquisition (marketing is so confusing). This is one of the most important metrics for you to measure, and if you’ve been paying close attention, this is effectively the same as our Cost Per Conversion metric we listed above. Effectively an action or an acquisition can all be considered ‘conversions’, and they all effectively mean the same thing. 

 

Keeping in mind, that any website may have multiple levels of conversion events, here are some examples:

 

  • Sign up for newsletter
  • Buy a $3 ebook
  • Buy some merch from your store
  • Register for their first class
  • Pay their membership fees (if you handle that online)

 

All of these would be considered conversions. So having a blanket ‘CPA’ likely doesn’t make much sense, as you’d be willing to pay much more to have someone pay their $1200 membership dues, than you would to get a newsletter subscriber.

 

One fix to this is to assign each conversion a value – which could be their retail value, or in the case of the newsletter, your believed value of what that could bring in terms of future value (say on average, for every newsletter subscriber, you’ll see at least $10 of revenue over the next 3 years). 

 

Then this changes from a CPA to a ‘Conversion Value Per Cost’, which allows you to normalize the numbers and compare apples to apples. 

 

Depending on your margins, at the very least you’ll want to see a Conversion Value Per Cost of 1, meaning you earned $1 of revenue for $1 of advertising spent. In time, you’ll work to raise that up to $2, $3 or even $5, meaning you’re earning $5 of revenue for each $1 of advertising spent. And the fatter you can make your margins, the better. 

 

Bidding Strategies

 

Now we get into the fun stuff. YouTube Ads give you several options in terms of how to setup your campaigns to modify your bidding strategies to best serve your aims. 

 

But I will say, if you’re just getting started, keep it simple and user the CPV model (more on that below). The fancy stuff is for those of you who are more advanced, and have accounts that have been warmed up for a least a few months and are tracking conversion events. 

 

This video by the Surfside PPC runs you through exactly how to get your YouTube Ad bidding strategies setup to maximize your campaign performance:

 

 

Maximum CPV

 

Maximum CPV is your bread and butter bidding strategy, that we recommend everyone get started with. It is the simplest, and easy to get running with. 

 

Essentially, you set your Max CPV – which is the maximum you’re willing to pay for each view – say 15 cents per view. YouTube will then take your ads and find for you all the people and all the placements in can to get you views for under 15 cents (and by the way, YouTube is very good at this). 

 

Now keep in mind, if you have a distinct target audience (which you should), then it is likely that other advertisers are also bidding on their attention, and you may need to pay more money to reach your ideal clients. 

 

Don’t be alarmed if you need to raise your Max CPV to 20 cents or 25 cents, as you narrow down. Also remember – this is just the max you’re willing to pay, and YouTube will find you cheaper views where it can. 

 

Also remember, that under this model, you only pay YouTube when a user has actually watched 30 seconds or more of your video. If they don’t watch, you don’t pay, which is pretty cool.

 

The minimum CPV you can set is 1 penny per view.  

 

Target CPM

 

Target CPM is similar to Max CPV, with one slight twist, instead of paying for each view, you’re paying for each impression (or every one thousand impressions really). 

 

Technically the lowest CPM you can set is 1 penny per thousand impressions, but likely at that price you won’t see many impressions and your ads won’t run. 

 

So the question is, why choose Target CPM over Maximum CPV? A couple reasons, firstly branding – under the Target CPM, you’ll get more of those ‘5 second views’ for cheaper, it will be much cheaper to get your ads in front of people, however the trade off is few people will actually watch all the way through. 

 

With the CPV model, YouTube is intentionally trying to find those individuals who will actually watch your video (they are trying to make money after all, remember), which could mean (and this is just speculation), that YouTube starts targeting your ads towards users who aren’t actually at their computers. 

 

Think about it for a second, when you start playing a YouTube video, then step away from your computer, the videos and the ads keep auto-playing, and not only that, but as there is no user there to stop the ads, the ads will always run the full 30 seconds through. 

 

The above is just pure speculation, but our belief is that if you use Target CPM, you will likely get in front of more users who are actually at their computers and see the first 5 seconds of your ads, even if few people actually watch all the way through. 

 

But the true test of whether Maximum CPV or Target CPM is right for you, is to link this back to conversion events. If your conversion goal is to get Newsletter Signups – run two campaigns that are exactly identical but with the different bidding strategies, and then see which one actually performs best in terms of newsletter signups, or new students walking into your dojo – because at the end of the day, those are the metrics that truly matter for you. 

 

Maximize Conversions

 

This bidding strategy is best when you’re running a sales campaign. The intention here is that the YouTube Algorithm will optimize itself to drive for you the most possible conversions. This is leveraging the extreme levels of AI and Machine Learning that are going on behind the scenes to your advantage. 

 

A word of warning: for Google’s Algorithm to actually understand your conversion events and how best to optimize for them, you do need to have a) conversion events setup, and b) have at least 100 conversions in your account in the last 30 days. 

 

Without that many conversions for Google’s Algorithm to train itself on, it is literally guessing, trying to figure out how best to deliver you new leads. Take the guesswork out, and feed the machine some conversions before running this campaign. 

 

Target CPA

 

This is a cool bidding strategy, and is very similar to Maximize Conversions but with a slight twist: Target CPA puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to specify how much you’re willing to pay for each conversion. 

 

If you know that a gym membership signup is worth $1200 to you, then maybe you’re willing to pay $600 for that conversion (remember – students will keep paying for years and years, so be okay with not making much upfront, or even losing a bit of money to get them in the door). 

 

Again, you need at least 100 conversions in your account in the last 30 days before attempting this Bidding Strategy – but once you do, buckle your seatbelts, it’s going to be a wild ride. 

 

YouTube Ads Conversion Tracking

 

Now to those who are just getting started with their YouTube Ads Campaigns – we’ll say that conversion tracking is optional. We understand that all of these elements can feel overwhelming and confusing if you’re just getting started – and we’re big believes is just getting moving, and then fixing the pieces later. 

 

YouTube Ads Conversion Tracking is not essential to getting started with your ads – so if you’re new, we recommend you skip this – but for the seasoned pros out there, YouTube Ads Conversion Tracking is essential. 

 

Why is it essential? Because this is what tells you whether your campaigns are successful or not. Period. End of story. Without conversion tracking setup, you are literally just guessing. You could potentially be flushing your money down the proverbial toilet, and you’d have literally no idea what was working, what wasn’t, and how you could optimize. 

 

So we recommend setting up at the very least conversion tracking for your newsletter signups, but ideally also conversion tracking for your online store eCommerce purchases. Now if you’re using a tool like Shopify or WooCommerce, this is relatively simple, you just add your analytics tracking code to their platform, and they’ll handle the heavy lifting. 

 

If you have a system to accept bookings on your site, then we also recommend tracking conversions for all users who complete a booking. Effectively any action that is important for a user to take, or moves them closer to the sale, is something you need to be tracking. 

 

The great thing about digital marketing is how easily it scales – and if you know that you’re earning a profit when you spend $20 per day, then you could put more fuel on the fire and raise that to $50 or $100 per day, depending on the size of your city and your capacity to accept new students. But if you sell online courses (ie beginner lessons to Karate 101) – there is no limit to how many of those courses you can sell. 

 

This video by Ivan Mana takes you through a comprehensive step-by-step guide of exactly how to get your YouTube and Google Ads Conversion Tracking setup:

 

 

Advanced YouTube Ads: Remarketing

 

Now we are definitely getting into the big leagues here, and this isn’t for the novices. Again, no disrespect to you and your skills, this is definitely something you can figure out, but if you’re just starting out we recommend you stick with the basics to get some strong momentum and lift under your wings, and once you’re soaring we can start adding in this fancy stuff. 

 

But effectively, remarketing is a tool to get back in front of your target audience. It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been marketing for a while, but few people sign up and marke a purchase the very first time they see an ad. In fact, most people have a very healthy level of skepticism. And this is a good thing. 

 

People are naturally skeptical of new things (especially when marketers use sleazy or hype-y marketing techniques – which of course we know you’re better than that and won’t be sinking to that level…), and this is where remarketing comes in. 

 

Remarketing allows you to get your message and your video back in front of the people who’ve already seen it. We seen some stats that suggest it takes about 6-8 ‘impressions’ before users start converting

 

Remarketing on YouTube is actually easier to setup than Google Remarketing, as everything is already handled within the YouTube Ecosystem. Simply head to the Conversions section of your Google Ads Account, and create remarketing audiences for users who have watched your videos. 

 

You can even make more narrow audiences for users who’ve watched your video as an ad, users who have subscribe, and users that have liked your video or added to a playlist – you can get pretty exclusive here. Have fun, get them setup and get your ads running. 

 

However a follow up question is – should you run the same ad or switch it up? If you genuinely don’t have any other video assets, then keep running the same video, however as making videos on your smart phone is so incredibly easy, we feel there is no excuse to not have 5-10 videos in your Marketing Arsenal, ready to be unleashed when the moment is right. 

 

This video by the Surfside PPC details exactly how you can get your YouTube Ads Remarketing campaigns setup and running:

 

 

Super Advanced YouTube Ads: Cross-Platform Remarketing

 

Now we’re getting super advanced here, but for those of you who really want to accelerate their game to the next level, and built up that ‘omnipresence’ across the web, this is what you’re looking for. 

 

Cross-Platform remarketing is your weapon to target users all across the web, no matter what platform they’re on, or what they’re doing. Say someone does a Google Search, then they end up on your website, then later they’re scrolling Facebook and they see your ad, later they’re on LinkedIn and your face pops up again, and then again on YouTube you pop up one more time, and suddenly this potential client is thinking ‘wow! This gym is everywhere – they must really know their stuff!’. 

 

This really is the ultimate in terms of internet marketing, when you’ve taken over the entire internet, you are at the pinnacle of your game. Welcome to the top. 

 

Obviously cross-platform remarketing is an extremely complicated topic, with a lot of nuance, and we will be developing an entire article dedicated specifically to this top.

 

But to get you started, this video by IgniteVisibility details exactly how to get started with Cross-Platform (or Cross-Channel) Remarketing.

 

 

Martial Arts YouTube Ads Conclusion

 

Yikes, 12,000 words and 32 pages later, this has been quite the journey. As much as we’ve worked hard to make this an all encompassing comprehensive guide, it is near impossible to actually cover every nuance and ever detail (not to mention these platforms evolve so quickly, that even as of this publishing in May 2021, the internet has already made much of this out-dated). 

 

We’ve worked hard to find you all the best and latest video tutorials. If you have find any that are out of date or no longer make any sense please let us know. We are striving to keep all of this information as fresh and up to date as possible. We love your feedback – and your eyes help us to stay alert. 

 

Ultimately the more you can let us know, the more we can keep this up to date, and the best possibly guide on YouTube Ads out there. 

 

Also – if there was anything this article did not address – that you are looking to add to your Marketing Arsenal, or that you feel could be explained better, OR, maybe you tried and didn’t work for you – again please let us know in the comments and share screenshots. These techniques are complicated, and sometimes it takes a few attempts to get them right. 

 

We are aiming to update this guide at least yearly – so send us your questions in the comments below for anything that could be further clarified or that didn’t make sense to you. Wishing you all the best on your Martial Arts YouTube Ad journey – here’s to you and growing your dojo. Thank you. 

 

To your journey and success.

Os,

-Arthur

 

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