Google (Google Ads) is the most used search engine in the world so it makes sense to put Ads on it’s platform if you want to promote your business or brand. And that’s exactly what I did to promote my business. I spent $150 dollars on Google Ads (aka Google AdWords) to help promote my YouTube channel for 1 month. But did it really help grow my YouTube channel? That’s what we’re here to find out.
This is going to be in a “Don’t do what I did” or a “what not to do” type of format. Understanding what not to do can help you understand what you need to do to make a better Ad campaign. I made the mistakes for you so you don’t have to and by learning from my mistakes, it can help you to avoid making the same mistakes and create a better ad campaign to promote your Brand or business.
If you enjoy this type of format, I also tested out Facebook Ads to promote my Facebook Business Page so feel free to check that post as well if you’re interested.
Promoting YouTube with Google Ads
Before we even start, just like my post on Boosting my Facebook Business Page, YOUR RESULTS WILL DEFINITELY VARY!
This is NOT going to be a tutorial on how to create Google Ads, which we will be doing in a later article but what we will be doing is to see what the Ad is advertising , what the Ad is doing and how the Ad promotion affects the Business or brand.
The Ad will be promoting my YouTube channel that has been active for about a month and a half prior to running the Ad, so a fairly new channel. I used the Home page of my YouTube as the target for my audience. And it looks like this now:
So I didn’t get a good screenshot of my Home page at the time but it hasn’t changed much since I started running the Google Ads campaign. But you can at least see how it looks and you are more than welcome to head on over there to check all the details of the channel.
The only difference from what you see on the screen shot is the amount of subscribers I had which was only 4 subscribers and I had 10 videos uploaded to the channel before I ran Google Ads.
Google Ads Goals & Settings
The Main goal of running Google Ads is to bring awareness to my YouTube Channel. Specifically, to gain more Subscribers and likes to inadvertently get more watch time to be able to monetize my channel, pretty much like everyone else.
Most of the options that I used to make my Ad campaign came directly from my YouTube channel including all the descriptions and images used to make the Ad.
I keep most of the settings to default or recommended except I changed the locations that I wanted to advertise to Primarily English speaking countries since my videos are in English but you may want to adjust your location accordingly.
I also changed the daily amount to $5 dollars a day, although Google did recommend that I spend at least $10 a day or more for the best results but over a 30 day span, that was a little too much money to spend for a channel that has not been established yet. I also let the Ad scheduling up to Google to decide what time of day to show my Ad.
Watch Video on other Platforms
But DON’T do what I did…
You’ll notice that I didn’t really put in any vital information to optimize my Ad for a targeted audience. I basically just used my YouTube channel as the source.
“Knowledge is power and without it you put yourself at RISK”
That’s what I always say. But here is a couple things that I did, that is NOT recommended when starting a campaign with Google Ads:
- My business has not matured enough. It’s not recommended to run Ads when your business has not established a decent footprint in its respective niche
- This ties in with the first reason. Since my business is so new, I don’t have enough real-world analytics to do proper market research on my niche
- I use almost all default settings for everything aspect of my Ad. You should have enough analytics to make a proper Ad to target the right audience
With all these things that are not recommended but then Why? did I do it…
Method to the Madness
Here’s why I did it.
- Google gave me up to $150 worth of ad credit when I spent at least that much, which was expiring soon. I understand that it’s a marketing strategy but I still wanted to take advantage of it
- Testing | By leaving the default settings on Google ads will show me what Google’s algorithm is capable of at promoting their own platform or product
- Setting the baseline for my content and gathering real-time analytics
- As a content creator, this gave me the opportunity to create a series of content
Google Ads Analytics
Google Ads works on a bidding system where your Ad is competing for Ad space with other people’s content so that’s why you are going to see drastic variations on daily spending. There will be days where Google won’t show my Ads at all and then all of a sudden I’ll get a huge spike in Ad spending. And that’s what you’ll see below.
Google Ads: Total Amount Spent
You can see that Google puts my Ads on as many resources as they can including partner websites.
Google Ads Impressions
And you can see that the number of impressions is very impressive.
Google Ads Total Clicks
And my ads are also getting a ton of clicks.
Here are my YouTube analytics during that time Google ads were trying to promote my channel.
YouTube Watch Time
With all the analytics from Google Ads, I would expect to see the same behavior on my YouTube channel analytics but it doesn’t seem to be the case.
I mean that’s 140,000 people who saw the ad and over 2,000 clicks on the ad which is directed to my YouTube Channel homepage. I would expect to see similar results, right?
That doesn’t seem to be the case in my experience.
Let’s Compare Google Ads stats to YouTube Analytics
Let’s think about this for a second. If I directly compare the stats from the Google Ad to the stats from my YouTube channel, it would look like this:
|Google Ad stats||YouTube stats|
|Watch Time (hr)||N/A||14.4|
Those are the stats that matter to me and stats that I need to monetize my YouTube channel. But let’s combine them together to see the big picture. And we’ll also add individual cost to each part as if I were to spend my entire money on that specific stat.
|Combine Stats||Individual Cost|
|Impressions||143,981 (3,600)||0.001 per impression|
|Clicks||2,316||0.06 per click|
|Views||199||0.75 per view|
|Watch Time (hr)||14.4||$10.41 per hour|
|Subscribers||8||$18.75 per subscriber|
Alright so based on the numbers, it’s like If I walked up to you told you that I’ll give you $20 to subscribe to my channel and watch 2 x 10 minute videos.
So to get your channel monetized you need to fulfil two main stats, Watch Time and Subscribers. Obviously the other stats are important to help you get monetized but ultimately Watch Time and Subscribers are specifically required.
You need 4,000 watch time hours and 1,000 subscribers. Based on the numbers on that table, what does that mean?
If it cost me $20 bucks to get 1 subscriber that watches 20 mins of my videos. That means I would need to spend $20,000 to get 1,000 Subscribers and 333.3 hours of watch time which means I would still need another 3666.7 hours to get before I can monetize!
This could end up costing me over $100,000 dollars just to monetize my channel? Ridiculous!
Now obviously this is unrealistic because organic growth is the main driver for Channel growth. Not to mention compounded watch time hours from the same subscriber watching your videos every time you release a video, YouTube algorithms and all sorts of other factors.
But at the very least, this demonstrates how bad my Google Ad campaign was and it gives you guys the worst case scenario.
Could the Ad Campaign hurt my YouTube growth?
However there is one negative side effect aside from wasting money on making a bad Ad campaign. During that time the Ad was running I noticed that my Impressions click-through rate was unusually low, it was very consistent but it was really low.
You can see that before and after the Ad Campaign I was averaging 3.5% CTR which is already bad but then during the time the Ad ran it dropped down to 1.5% which is horrible.
I believe what’s happening here is that the Ad is sending visitors to my YouTube Channel but then no one is actually clicking on anything. Remember 143,000 impressions but only 2,300 of those actually clicked on the ad but only 199 of those actually clicked on a video.
The YouTube algorithm looks at this like, “Alot of people are coming to the Channel but they are not interested in the content, so we’ll stop recommending the channel.”
Just a coincidence? Maybe.
That’s just speculation but the stats kind of validated it. This is all assuming that all 199 views are actually from the Ad campaign and not organically gained. I have no way to verify that so I’m just going to assume that for now.
In retrospect it would be much better if I use google Ads to promote individual videos so at the very least I’ll get the watch time needed to monetize my channel and hope people like my videos enough to subscribe.
All I basically did with the Ad was send them to my YouTube channel and hope they watch something and hope they like it enough to subscribe. That is bad practice.
This was not meant to discourage you from using Google Ads. Google Ads did exactly what I told it to do and that was to promote whatever it is that I assigned to the Ad. The Ad did get me in front of over 143,000 looks and it was up to ME to seal the deal.
And at a fraction of a penny ratio per impression, in all honesty, that’s a really good deal.
At the end of the day I want you guys to learn from my mistakes and not do what I did. As a matter of fact I will redo this test but I’ll put my BEST PRACTICES into making the Ad that will increase conversions so be sure to check back to see the results.
In the meantime, do check out my Articles and Videos on social media that has some other related content that might tickle your fancy.
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