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Youtube Ads by Tom Breeze Review

This review is only for 1 course in CXL's growth marketing minidegree. For all the others please head over to the index here

Before I took the course​

Although I was familiar with the Google Ads interface, I had never ran any YouTube ads before taking this course. You'll find that this course is very detailed but also to the point. It's skimmable and easy to navigate to the sections that best suit you. Some terms such as the Aducate model would be new and I'll go slower on those but it'll still be brief.

My Review

  • One of the hidden gems on CXL. What a wonderful course.

  • The amount of stuff that I learnt was a LOT but the videos were so visually aesthetic that it was easy to follow along. I can see how difficult it was to keep the course light and breezy yet deliver value.

  • What I didn't like: There were 5 videos and some of them were an hour long. I would prefer they cut it short simply because I got overwhelmed by the length. Shorter lessons mean you accomplish something quicker = more dopamine release.

​ ​ Stats about Youtube as a platform​

  • 1.3B users generating over 5 Billion views each day. Each Day.

  • Each session on YouTube lasts for 40 minutes.

Intent on Youtube: People use Youtube in 2 ways:

1. To be Inspired - 53% of the audience 2. As a search engine - to know (what is..), to do (how-to), and to buy (reviews, unboxing..)

Create an offer after thoroughly understanding which category your audience falls under.

  • You can google ads to target audiences as well.

  • How YouTube differs from Facebook: Facebook advertises to interests whereas YT advertises on intent.

  • How YouTube differs from Google: Firstly, people use the Youtube search bar less frequently than on Google. They hop on from one video to another. Secondly, how people land on YouTube is different. Unlike Google, for which visitors type in the bar, relatively fewer people visit Youtube by typing in in the search box. Rather they find another video on Google or Whatsapp and are redirected to YouTube.

  • To summarise, ad intent is greatest on Google followed by YouTube and then Facebook.

​ ​ How to track money spend on Youtube?

❌Your Youtube analysis shouldn't use the popular accounting mindset of Revenue - Cost = Profit ​ Advertising becomes too emotional when you put profit as a lag measure. ✅Instead, put cost as the lag measure, ​Revenue - Profit = Cost Choose a profit margin that as a business owner would make you happy. Eg, you say I want to get 50% of the revenue as profit. Calculate the amount of advertising budget you have after taking into account the profit per lead you want to generate. ​ Revenue per Lead = Average Order Value * Funnel Conversion Rate. Average Order Value = Revenue per Sale - Variable costs associated with that order (support costs etc). Funnel conversion rate: if 1000 people start from step 1 and 20 people buy from you. Your funnel conversion rate is 2%. A complex version looks like this Landing page: 1000 people: 100% Attend webinar: 100 people: 10% Enter pricing page: 80 people: 80% Checkout successfully: 50: 62.5% Order a refund: 30 people: 60% Buy from you post webinar: 20 people: 66.66% Conversion rate in this scenario = 0.1 * 0.8 * 0.625 * 0.6 * 0.667 = 2% ​ Revenue per lead - Profit margin = Cost per lead $100 per lead - $30 profit from that lead is what you want = $70 cost to acquire every lead Finally, your allowable cost per click is $70 per lead. ​ ​ ​ ​ Conducting research for Youtube Ads

This is the quickest way to conduct keyword research for youtube ads.

  • Understanding who your customers are (by preparing customer personas etc) is very time consuming.

  • Youtube is a different channel than the other channels and research for youtube slightly differs (as mentioned above).

Step 1: Brainstorm for 5 minutes about the 3 types of searches on Youtube.

  • Want to know keywords: eg Parenting advice

  • Want to do keywords: eg How to put your baby to sleep

  • Want to buy keywords: eg Reviews for Whispers Diaper.

You want to find 5 keywords in total for this step.

Step 2: Generate & Edit YouTube Titles

  • 5 for each phrases from the brainstorm process.

  • You should have 5*5 = 25 keyphrases by now

In the example, I created keyphrases for the brainstormed keyword "parenting advice". I selected these keyphrases:

  • "Parenting tips"

  • "Wrong parenting advice"

  • "Tips to calm down child"

You want to come up with 2 more for this keyword before moving on to the next keyword.

Step 3: Gather Auto-Suggest Keywords

8 for each of the 25 keyphrases generated in the previous step ​ ​ Option 1:

Go to the Youtube Search bar and type one of your keyphrases. Select a bunch of relevant keywords that show up. Use wildcards * in front of your keyphrase to return more ideas. Example: "*parenting advice" would return > best parenting advice > will smith parenting advice Will Smith talking about anything is WILdly interesting. See you in the comment section *after* we finish reading theis article.

​​ Option 2:

To speed up the process in Option 1, go to to and type your keyphrase. The free option would return a lot of data.


Step 4: Make Sure You Have 200 Perfect Keywords, Ready To Go. Will my keywords scale? ​

Yes, if the search volume is high enough. You can use a free chrome extension called vidiq or tubebuddy to get the data. I like both but they basically do the same thing so take a call, and you won't go wrong. I'm not sponsored by either of them.

Understanding how the Youtube Ads algorithm works

1. Tags Tags follow users around and you can bid on these tags. When a user watches a video with your target keyword, you can show them an ad within their 40 minute session. What this means that you don't have to show an ad to them on that specific video where the keyword is. Example, Emily watched a video that had "parenting tips" in the tags. She then decided to watch cat videos. As an advertiser, you can show your book - "Parenting guide for dummies" to her even on the cat videos or any other video Emily watches during her session (max = 40 minutes). ​ 2. Building ad campaigns: More on this below. ​ 3. Pay when users - engage with your video by clicking on the CTA. - watch longer 30 seconds of the ad - reach the end of the ad (if less than 30 seconds). ​

How to make the most of your Youtube Ad Spend

First, understand the basic terminology when it comes to Youtube Advertising. Then we'll discuss a few formulas that you need to keep a track of and should optimise for. ​ 2 types of Metrics

Inbuilt Metrics

  1. Impressions


  3. View Rate: % of total impressions watching after the 30 second mark. More on this below.

  4. CPV - Cost per view that you choose to bid for.

  5. Conversions

  6. Total conversion value

  7. Cost

  8. CTR - Click through rate.

Custom metrics that we should/could measure

  1. VR/CTR - Reduce view rate (good view rate is at 20%), increase CTR (good CTR is 2%). Goal = Get VR/CTR to be at around 10ish.

  2. View-through conversion: View-through conversion rate is the percentage of users who view an ad and neglect to click on it, but within a certain period of time go to the ad's associated conversion page and undertake the desired action.

  3. Total cost / conv.

  4. Total conv. rate

  5. Average watch time / impressions

Analysing and optimising for your Youtube Ad Spend

Cost per lead = Total cost ÷ No. of conversions ​ Number of conversions = Impressions * Click through rate (CTR) * Website Conversion Rate (WCR) Total Cost = Impressions * View Rate * Cost Per View ​ Cost per lead = (Impressions * View Rate * Cost Per View) ÷ (Impressions * CTR * (WCR)) Cost per lead = (VR * CPV) ÷ (CTR * WCR)Goal = Optimise for Cost per lead by increasing CTR and WCR, and reducing VR and CPV.

How do I optimise for low CPV?

In the first 5 second of the video - do these 3 things:

  • Call out the demographics not explicitly but maybe by using the imagery and the script.

  • Call out their intent.

  • Mention who it is not for. How? --> use jargon that only your target audience understands.

How do I structure the video? You need to use the ADUCATE model described by Tom Breeze. It's basically a checklist of things you need to include in your video. For eg, A stands for Aim. You must address the aim of the user right in the beginning.

​ ADUCATE continues for the next 30ish seconds. Keep your videos at around 40-50 seconds. 90 seconds is too long for audiences to stick around.

​ Make sure you know which ads are working before Google's AI (Artificial Intelligence) takes in.

Tracking Youtube ads

Generate pixels from Google Ads account:

  • Opt-in pixel snippet goes on all the pages.

  • The purchase pixel snippet should go on your confirmation page only.

Setting up the account

  • ​Create a separate (fresh) Google Ads account for each offer you run. Different promotion, different offer, different product? All should have their separate ad accounts so that they are setup to do just one thing.

  • Start without any goal.

  • Campaign type is video ads.

  • Video subtype = custom video ad.

  • Ad budget can even be as low as $10/day. Google stays within your monthly limit but can go over the daily budget.

  • Networks: Uncheck 'Youtube search results' for instream or pre-roll ads. Pre-roll ads are ads on blogs, I understand. Turn off display ads as well.

  • Uncheck the 'create your website conversion' > Include in "conversions" box for all but your primary conversion action. This is super important. Your account needs to be trained to optimise only one conversion. (confused? - here's the picture)

  • Languages: The language your audience speaks.

  • Location: International campaigns can be structured company by company. Time zones, creatives and keywords vary by country so it's best to bifurcate. For local campaigns, don't go less than 10 miles because the reach wouldn't be good enough.

  • Bidding strategy: Maximise CPV as we begin. More on this below.

  • Frequency capping: Cap impressions (views before 30 seconds) - 3 impressions/per week at a campaign level. Tom Breeze agency Viewability that works exclusively on YouTube ads considers moving down the frequency capping to 2 views per day if the campaign is doing well.

Ad groups

  • Ad group name - the brainstormed keyword. You'll end up ~5 ad groups if you follow the strategy mentioned above.

  • Bidding section: $0.03 (mass marketing) - $0.06 (competitive industry). 5 cents is a good place to begin with.

  • Demographics: Don't be too specific here because Google's demographic data isn't as accurate. But if you absolutely have to do something about demographics, duplicate the ad group each targeting just each individual dimension (male, female, unknown). Test it before you kill it. This isn't recommended when you first get started though. In the beginning, you can start with the audience that's most likely to convert but make keep in mind that Google's demographic data may not be as accurate.

  • Add those 20-50 keywords that we chose earlier on.

Video Ads

  • Add the video ad that we created using the aducate model

  • Video ad format: for this example, we select the in-stream ads.

  • Display URL: Ensure that you have your company/brand name here.

  • Companion barrier: If you wish to, you can generate a image that will go alongside your videos. As your video is playing on YouTube, you can have what's called a companion banner. On a mobile it shows underneath the video and on a desktop, it shows on the right-hand side at the top. Even if people skip the ad, your companion banner will stay there. Now the dimensions of the image will be 300px by 60px. So you can pretty much add whatever you want in there as long as it's within the guidelines. Just make sure you remind people that there is a link that they can go back to.

  • Very few characters so use behavioural psychology to maximise returns per character.

  • Ad name: Best practices of good naming conventions answer what is the ad and who is it for. Should you have to change the ad name later on, it resets all the data associated with the ad :(

  • Your animations pointing towards the call to action may vary on mobile and desktop. The CTA button is on the left on desktop and below the ad on mobile. Ensure that your animations aren't point towards the skip ad button. (major oof) Sometimes it's nice to like annotate the CTA into the actual video during the editing process to say hey, you see that blue button? Click that. It might be worth splitting the mobile and desktop traffic.

Optimise and scaling Ad groups

  • Pause or decrease the CPV for keywords with a very high cost per conversion. Decreasing CPV would reduce your scale.

  • Don't try test too many things all at once.

  • Use this formula to scale

Cost per lead = (VR * CPV) ÷ (CTR * WCR) Goal = Optimise for Cost per lead by increasing CTR and WCR, and reducing VR and CPV. Note down the best keywords that you have. Generally 4-5 of your 200 keywords are bringing in the most of your conversions. Run them through the rapid research process above. Consider adding these keywords in a new ad group or a whole new campaign to get a closer eye. Get the most out of your keywords. Once you get 1000 conversions, Google's Machine learning software really picks up. If you have set only one main conversion pixel per account then the ROI increases exponentially from this point.

  1. Add new campaign

  2. Goal guidance: Leads

  3. Campaign type: Video

  4. Choose drive conversions (only option here).

  5. Bidding strategy: Target CPA (recommended) Go for the highest CPA you are comfortable with.

  6. Budget = 20 * Target CPA

  7. The first 72 hours will be all over the place with Google's ML. If it doesn't get better after 72 hours, pause it, copy paste the campaign to create a brand new campaign with the same settings.

  8. Very slowly get a better target cpa should you wish to.

  9. Understand your audiences and try new ones:

  10. Affinity audiences - based on interest (predefined or custom).

  • Custom based on

  • Interests

  • URLs: what urls your target customers are hanging out at

  • Place: where people went.

  • App: apps that your target customer may use.

  1. Similar audiences - finds lookalike audiences based on your interactions. Upload a email list of people to build similar audience (available for only those with a high spend ~50k dollars annually)

  2. In-market audience - Are searching for something recently. I would recommend you do one in-market audience per ad group. Some people add more to one ad group,and I would say just do one and see how it performs.

  3. Life events: eg Started a new business.

  4. Custom intent - people who have recently searched a keyword (Target CPA). Create a new custom intent audience. Add your top 50 keywords and put them into this custom intent audience. Get data from your search and display campaigns. You can add branded keywords, personal name campaigns etc. You might want to create multiple versions of a custom intent audience with different types of keywords,different numbers of keywords,the best performing keywords,and build out lots of different targeting options with different custom intent audiences.And what you want to then do is split it out,one custom intent audience per ad group,and keep an eye on the top cost per acquisition and see how it's performing in each different ad group.That'll really help you scale the custom intent audiences

  5. Topics - lots of predefined topics eg Business Education. Focus on choosing just one topic per ad group. Alternatively, you could create a topic campaign with multiple ad groups under it.

  6. Keywords

  7. Video and channel placements: place your ad in front of a particular video/channel. Not recommended for scaling or wanting to control your CPV. Lots of tools out there to grab the most performing videos for each keyword.

  8. Website and video remarketing: Audiences > How the interacted with your business.

  9. Website visitors from your Google analytics account + Tag Manager + Google Ads and

  10. Youtube users (difficult to get great results but worth testing out).

  11. Detailed demographics: Under Audiences > Browse. Examples: Parental Status (Parents of infants, Parents of toddlers etc).

If you don't know where to start, check your audience insights. This is based on your existing audience data by Google. This is under Tools > Shared Library > Audience Manager. On the left, choose Audience insights which is below the Audience lists. Ensure that your data is based on "all converters" (check this on the top). Not only can you get the basic data like device, demographics etc but also find information about your in-market audience and affinity audiences. Remember to build one account per offer or per audience.

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