Youtube Ads, The PPC Show

YouTube Ads: Where Branding & Direct Response Collide

Welcome to episode #90 of The PPC Show where we interview the best and brightest in paid marketing. This week we're joined by Cory Henke, the Founder and CEO of Variable Media, to discuss the benefits of YouTube advertising for branding and direct response marketers. 

You’ll learn:

  • How Cory got into video marketing
  • What's the best way to start with video ads 
  • Focus areas for creating video and what to test
  • What does day trading audiences mean

As always you can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, StitcherSpreaker, PlayerFMOvercastSoundcloud, & Tunein Radio.

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Show Notes and Transcript

JD Prater:         Cory, welcome to The PPC Show.

Cory Henke:     What's up? JD, how are you?

JD Prater:         I'm doing well, man. How about yourself?

Cory Henke:     Oh man, doing well. It's Friday, we're getting ready for the weekend, but super excited to jump on the podcast with you.

JD Prater:         Yeah man. Well, believe me, I am more excited than you are to have you on here. I saw Cory present at Hero Conf and he absolutely blew it away. This guy comes in out of nowhere and he just like wins Best Overall Presentation and left everyone kind of speechless, stunned, awe-inspired. But before we jump into how he did that, Cory, man, introduce yourself. Who are you? Where you working? What you got going on?

Cory Henke Intro

Cory Henke:     Sure, man. JD, thank you so much for that really kind introduction. For me, really got the roots specifically in DR out of that Los Angeles market, man, that Los Angeles advertising agency market. Worked under IPG. Ended up working at Big Horse and Yahoo during the time. We were still selling million dollar homepage takeovers. From there, bounced around, but I think the most pertinent experience for this conversation is the agency, the experience that I got out here in Utah. Working at an agency called Molio where we built the creative, specifically for YouTube, and then also ran the media buying and analytics.

Cory Henke:     And from that point, we got to work on a lot of really cool brands and do a really great job from a video standpoint. And one of the biggest brands we got to work with was Purple. They opened my eyes to the fact that the door was opening for video, and decided to do my own thing. We've been live for a year and four months. We've doubled in size from one kid in the basement to two kids in the basement, so we're on the way, man. We're on our way.

JD Prater:         Yeah, this guy is so humble and so modest. He didn't even tell you where he worked. Cory, what's the name of your agency, man? You got plug that so people know where they can reach out to you, man.

Cory Henke:     I'm sorry, the agency is Variable Media. We have a specialization in video, and we really work within the Facebook and YouTube platforms, but that also depends on advertiser. We do buy in other areas such as Quora, Pinterest, Snapchat, and a few others, but we really try to make the duopoly really our core concept. And we've really been blessed to have the advertisers that we currently have, as well as a lot of upcoming projects. Yeah, if anybody out there is ever interested in talking video, definitely give us a call.

JD Prater:         After you hear this podcast, you're going to want to call Cory. So we'll definitely make sure at the end to make sure we leave a place where people can get in touch with you because Cory is the man when it comes to video marketing. Thinking through Facebook ads, thinking through YouTube, this guy's got a ton of experience. And seeing him now present twice, I also got to see him at SMX Advanced, so let's get into it, man. How did you get into video marketing? What was that like?

How did you get into video marketing? What was that like?

Cory Henke:     Well JD, as you know, our industry is always shifting. So it's just a microcosm of just the bandwidth that we have now today. I wouldn't be able to do this if we were all still on 56K modems, right? The fact that we've got a TB in our pocket, and the really good experience of YouTube and TrueView. Having a five second skip button and a 30 second pay button for advertisers creates such a symbiotic relationship. I think we were just over the 60, the 120, the long form in between our TV spots that when YouTube gave a skippable video, it opened us up to be able to brand differently.

Cory Henke:     And I think we caught onto something very early where if you're going to go to YouTube, you're going for entertainment, engagement, inspiration, education. So when you're able to build an ad around that, and do the right things in the first 30 seconds, which I still think is the most valuable impression on the web; you have a huge opportunity to not only convert users with video, but also brand for the future. So the reason why the agency is called Variable Media is because we have all these different variables now.

Cory Henke:     When I started, we had the three standard banners, few different ad networks, and we had search. Now, I've got a ton of video metrics to work out. I have earned views, I have completion rates, I have 50 percent, I have view right now, I have all these different variables I have to look at from the metric side, but also now from the targeting side as well. Dealing with the duopoly and all the data that they have.

Cory Henke:     So I think it's just a microcosm of how I got into video, but it's really about the variables that we have to analyze the video, because I think one of the most secret things about video is that there's market research wrapped in it. And what I mean by that is that, if me and you both did an ad, and you gave the message and I gave the message, we're going to be able to look at those results and which one drove the higher click-through rate.

I think one of the most secret things about video is that there's market research wrapped in it.

JD Prater:         Yours, man.

Cory Henke:     Which one drove the better CPA? We're going to be able to find that out. So we're going to know who to put on the next Instagram ad. There's market research built into what we're doing from a video standpoint because we get to see the reaction from it. And that's what I don't think we necessarily get with something like search or something like Display. But that's, I think, really the power of video and why I kind of just stepped into. And it's the background, man. When you come from a data/DR background and you apply it to video, I think you can get something special.

JD Prater:         Yeah, and it's definitely explosive there. You shared a lot of great data around that too in your sessions, but one thing I really took away too is, you have a very unique perspective on YouTube vs Facebook and how the users are different, you go there for different things. Can you go into that for us?

YouTube vs Facebook Audience Behavior

Cory Henke:     Yeah, I think that's a really good question. So I work with a lot of different advertisers and I wish I could tell you this advertiser, but I just can't. Just understand that they spend millions of dollars a month on both the YouTube and Facebook platform, and they said something to me the other day that kind of aligns with your question. They said, "You know Cory, we see all of our conversions on Facebook and we spend all our money there. We spend the majority of our dollars there, but when we give people the personal survey after the purchase, they always site the YouTube video."

Cory Henke:     So it makes you really start to think, "Wow, have we got too caught up in the attribution? Have we got too caught up as to where that conversion is coming from; and moved away from branding more at the top of the funnel, knowing that we might now get them today, but get them four or five days down the road?"

So when I think about YouTube, I think of something in a lean back format. I'm not going to convert like this. I don't do anything like this. I rest like this, I stretch like this, I relax like this. I watch content like this. And that's why I don't think you see the conversion volume as when someone's leaned forward inside of a device and inside of a mindset that is more like a slot machine.

So when I think about YouTube, I think of something in a lean back format.

Cory Henke:     When I think about Facebook, it's really a competition. You're competing against the content before, the content after, and anything that could interrupt that experience. But the reason why you go to Facebook is, it's just like the key to boredom. It's like, "I need to get away for a second, something better distract me." And that's why I think it's so great from a product discovery standpoint, but as well as from a conversion standpoint. You just get so much more because our mindset is different.

When I think about Facebook, it's really a competition. You're competing against the content before, the content after, and anything that could interrupt that experience.

Cory Henke:     And I'm really into the user behaviors of these platforms because I can see it in the data. You can't get completion rates, you can't get cost per 30 second use on Facebook that you can on YouTube. It's just impossible no matter what you do with the creative. And that tends to show you the manifestation of the user behavior on each platform.

JD Prater:         I love that one, man. It was one of my favorite things. Facebook is a lean in, YouTube is a lean back. It comes into posture, and posture comes into how you convert, how you consume. And I love that you talk about, you're competing what's above you and what's below you on Facebook. And with YouTube, you're really, it's not quite that. You really are going there to watch, to consume, be entertained, be inspired for a long period of time. So I really love that one.

JD Prater:         Someone said this to me the other day. It was like, "Facebook has become like me when I was younger." You probably remember this too. Remember being young, and you get bored, and you're walking to the kitchen to look into the refrigerator and you're like, "Oh nah, I'm good." And then you walk away. You come back five minutes later and you're like, "Anything in there." Nothing has changed in that five minutes, but that's what I do to Facebook now. I just get on it, I'm like, "No, okay cool." You come back later, it's almost like this boredom. So, behavior's different. The reason why I'm going to it's different. The competing and the competition we know is only getting more expensive.

JD Prater:         So let's talk a little bit about YouTube. So you've got some really cool stuff here. And what I'm wanting to understand is, I think a lot of people are more familiar with Facebook and how Facebook video works. But what's the best way to get into video on YouTube with this leaned back type of persona that we're going after?

What's the best way to get into video advertising on YouTube?

Cory Henke:     I think the proof is really in the metrics. And there has to be a belief system when it comes to YouTube. It's not an easy thing. You're not just going to put some ads up there and watch it convert. If you're going to put something on YouTube and you're going to make the commitment, you got to be able to take different metrics into account. And those metrics are view rate, completion rate, earned views, subscribers, likes, a lot of these different vanity metrics that might not have to do with the conversion.

Cory Henke:     Now the reason you want to look at these is because we live in an intention-stacked society now. It's not about scale anymore. I can reach as many people as I want. I've got the two most powerful advertising platforms known to mankind. So reach isn't my problem, it's how do I keep that person there with my brand? And as you know, and as many marketers are going to know, we're always hit with the same old saying, "Well it depends by advertiser."

Cory Henke:     So when you think about something where you're going to introduce a product, do you really want to introduce your product into a competitive environment like Facebook? Or in an environment where you're the opportunity for somebody to skip at five seconds, and you only have to pay after 30 seconds. So you're going to take different tactics for different types of advertisers, but the key to understand about YouTube is that you have them for a longer period of time, so therefore, you're going to want to look at those type of metrics. I think you can still look at those same type of conversion metrics on Facebook, but those type of view metrics I think are important.

But the key to understand about YouTube is that you have them for a longer period of time, so therefore, you're going to want to look at those type of metrics.

Cory Henke:     And I think just getting started, to answer your question, is just taking either the content that you have today, and just getting started. Create that baseline is the easiest thing that you can do, but most people have explainer videos, or most people have voiceovers over stock images. That's fine, throw it up there, 50 bucks, 100 bucks, create your baseline. That's all you have to do first, and then you can only go up from there. You can go down, but most likely you'll go up.

Cory Henke:     After that Hero Conference, I had somebody come up to me and say, "Hey, I've got this video, it's not doing well from a view rate standpoint, what do you think that we do?" And I'm like, "Well, is there any face to camera?" "No." They're like, "Okay." I'm like, "Okay, is it more of like an explainer video?" "Yeah, but it doesn't have the graphics, it's more like stock photos." I'm like, "Do you think you'd be more engaged if somebody was talking face to camera to you?" And they're like, "Yeah," and I'm like, "There you go, you might increase the view rate that way." And as you know, once you increase the view rate, YouTube lowers your cost because it is more engaging.

Cory Henke:     So if you already have creative, test it, create your baseline. If you don't have Creative, check out It's a great place to try to find somebody in your area that can come shoot your video for very cheap. They're under the YouTube network, so they have that type of intel to be able to provide you with a really good video. The only problem is that it's only in certain states. So you run into a problem if you're not in one of those huge major ones, but at the same time, I'm sure they're not that far away if you wanted to travel.

Cory Henke:     And then, if you already have good content, you already have a YouTube channel, start to dive in deeper into the analytics. Start to dive into where people are dropping off. Start to dive into a little bit of those You metrics that I talked about, and also start to see, "Okay, if I can't get somebody to convert on my $1,000 dollar product, maybe I can create a conversion like a lead form, or I can look at something like time on site." At some other comparison point, to be able to validate that media channel in comparison to other media channels.

Cory Henke:     And I know we'll probably get into this, but measuring YouTube. I talked about looking at those view metrics, but also, you can look at things like Google Trends, which has an immense amount of impact into. Everybody wants more branded search because it converts so well, but how do you convert branded search? Is it better push those impressions out on Facebook, or those impressions out on YouTube? Those are things that we don't know, it's going to depend by brand, it's going to depend where you've put your dollars in terms of building your audiences on these platforms.

Cory Henke:     There's a lot of different variables, but the big thing is just to start, and to start now because it's getting competitive and you want to be ahead of the curve. Because another thing that I tell advertisers is that, "Well, I'm trying to convince my boss to do video." Try to convince your boss what the risk is to not doing video, to letting your competition getting there first. What's that risk look like? It's probably a bigger one. We have to take chances in marketing. When people bought their first Facebook ad, that was taking a chance. It's the same thing with YouTube here. It's a struggle because you don't see the conversion volume, but hopefully that gives you a little bit more intel.

Try to convince your boss what the risk is to not doing video, to letting your competition getting there first. What's that risk look like?

JD Prater:         Yeah man, so a couple things I liked and what I'm going to hit on was, you talked about view rates. You're saying the view rate does impact your cost per click, or your cost per view right? So whenever you kind of see that, do you have a benchmark, or is there a number that you like to hit or show to say, "Hey, this is working. This is going to bring it down. If it's not at this level, we need to scrap something and kind of figure it out." So how do you figure out that view rate, and the cost, and maybe even some tests that you've seen or work well to help bring it down?

How do you figure out what to test?

Cory Henke:     Yeah, I was just on a webinar last week with Google and Hanapin, and we talked about the average view rate with Google, and they said it was in between 20 to 25 percent, was an average view rate on YouTube. In about 2016, we were shooting out view rates, making the video for about 30/35 percent. Last year, we were hitting maybe 40/50 percent. This year, I've seen view rates as high as 60 to 70 percent. And it's just creative guys getting better. It's just creative and media guys getting closer, working on different variations, and seeing how we can really move users past 30 seconds.

Cory Henke:     So I can see our industry improving, I really can. I can see creatives really starting to understand this 30 second timeline and going, "Okay, how can I really gravitate the audience in the beginning, but qualify them right before 30 seconds?" So really saying, "Okay, who's my target audience? How do I target them within the creative right before 30 seconds? Because that's the only people that I really want to stay past 30. The only people I want to pay for are those that are ready to convert."

Cory Henke:     So I don't know, but I'll tell you JD, the view rates are so high nowadays, that we've been able to create, that the CPM's drop under eight bucks. And when you have a CPM on a three minutes and 43 second video of about seven dollars, and you have a 10 percent completion rate, why would you ever run a six second non-skippable for about a six dollar CPM? I used to tell people two years ago that, "Yeah, bumpers are great ads to run. That's the five or six second non-skippable ad, because they come in at one fourth the cost of long form. If you get the view rate right, they can easily be the same cost."

Cory Henke:     So I don't think YouTube intended that, and YouTube has also gone through changes. I remember when you could only buy bumpers on a cost per view, and it was at a one cent cost per view, 10 dollar CPM, all day every day at a 90 percent, 98 percent completion rate. And they had to move it to CPM because they have a lot of inventory, they want people to continue to buy these new ad units. Yeah, the view rate is one of the metrics that we look at because we think it has the most impact on cost per view. Again, we're never going to know Google's real algorithm in terms of what they look at, but view rate has a tremendous impact on what we look at in terms of cost.

JD Prater:         Nice, yeah and to kind of clarify there, so you're talking bumper ads, bumper is a five second non-skippable. Those are the ones you kind of see, and then what you're really going in after is that long form content. You said three or four minutes, and that would be a TrueView ad correct?

Cory Henke:     Yeah.

JD Prater:         Okay cool.

Cory Henke:     True view ads are unlimited in length. You can run ads as long as 20 minutes long.

JD Prater:         Really? 20 minutes?

How long should my videos be?

Cory Henke:     Yeah, I'll definitely have to show you that case study. It's a really good one by Dentech. They were able to create this yoga video where this funny segment in the beginning where she's trying to figure out how to pick something out of her teeth. And after she picks it out of her teeth, she even goes into this whole chair vinyasa, like yoga, for 15 minutes. And you had seven percent of people staying to the end of it. They would call in and say, "Hey, wow, you really changed my day. I cannot believe you ran an ad like that." But that's the power of YouTube, that if you add value, if you give something back to a user, you have a huge chance to build brand affinity.

Cory Henke:     You have a huge chance to build even a brand, but long form, there's no other place to find it at scale. Where's the long form at scale? CNN doesn't have it, not going to give it to you. Facebook, they don't stick there for long enough. I don't know where you find long form at scale. And there's a lot of products out there that need introductions. There's a lot of products out there that want to build a humorous video, add value up front, and then go ahead and re-target them now that they've watched the video, because then they become a view.

Cory Henke:     And then it's like, "Okay, not I have a chance to re-target in a lot of different areas that's in the Google Ad network. And then unique stuff that gets brought to the table at some of these conferences too, like what Michelle and Susan always talk about is being able to cross-target some of these different platforms. Being able to take a URL equals from a YouTube video, and being able to re-target them on Facebook, and vice versa. It's also a very unique strategy when you're dealing with a very narrow audience and you really need to follow them around and offer them different touchpoints before you get them to convert. So when you combine those tactics with long form, I think it's ... I mean we've seen it to be super profitable.

JD Prater:         Cool man. Well let's get into some of these AB tests. So you were talking about some of the ways to test video. Where do you spend most of your time? Obviously I know you're very data driven, and you're really focusing on that and getting these completion rates, but how much time do you spend on the thumbnail, versus the first six seconds? Where do you kind of start out and where do you see the most impact?

How much time do you spend on the thumbnail, versus the first six seconds?

Cory Henke:     The thumbnail, vastly important on Facebook, not as much on YouTube, unless you're going to run discovery ads, and those are the search ads that come up in the search results on YouTube. So I'd say the thumbnail is probably more impactful on something like Facebook for people that decide to play the video. So I would do more thumbnail testing on Facebook. In terms of creating variation, I think the biggest thing that I could tell anybody is, please do not create three CTA's at the end of these videos and hope to see a difference.

Cory Henke:     Because the amount of people that start your video, versus end it, are drastically different. If I could tell people anything, build three different variations. Okay? And when you talk to that creative team or that editor that's going to build the variations, tell them to make the variations wildly different, like completely different. And the reason for that is because you want to see the difference. Bad, ugly, good, great, excellent, whatever the results are. You want to be able to see the difference.

Cory Henke:     The last thing that you want to do is pay for variation in the beginning of that video, and end up with a 23 percent view rate and a 24 percent view rate. Then you realize, "What did I really pay for?" But if you make the variation a little bit wild, little bit different, give somebody a different experience, you'll most likely end up with different results. And we did this recently, and we ended up with about a 20 percent difference, but again like I mentioned earlier, what else is wrapped into that? A little bit of market research, right? Why do they gravitate towards that? "Oh, we were being a little bit more funny, versus a little bit more serious in the beginning. Okay, now we know something a little bit more about our brand."

Cory Henke:     I say focus on the variation in the beginning of the video. If you're going to look at a thumbnail variation test, I'd definitely test that out on Facebook, and then do not run a video without variation. Even if you take that long form, or whatever how long it is, even if it's 30 seconds, send it to an editor, have them cut you a 15. The difference from that could be a five cent cost per view, versus a two cent cost per view, and therefore, you're reaching two times as many people because you decided to build that variation and understand which one performs better. So always build variation, variation in the beginning of the video. And if you're going to test thumbnails, Facebook would probably give you a better understanding of what's clicking through.

I say focus on the variation in the beginning of the video. If you're going to look at a thumbnail variation test, I'd definitely test that out on Facebook, and then do not run a video without variation. 

JD Prater:         Cool man, all good stuff there, man. Just dropping some knowledge on us, I love it. One thing that you said too I thought was really interesting is, you said, "We're just day trading audiences, man, every day." What did you mean by that?

Where all just day trading audiences

Cory Henke:     Oh yeah, that's all we do is really day trade audiences. I work with a lot of e-commerce clients. So when you work with e-commerce clients tent pole and anchor events are enormous. Joining the conversation, being a part of different topics. So when you see the ebbs and flows of any account on why they convert on this day versus other days. When we do a product launch and things like that, I know that I have to be there that day to increase spend in specific areas, right?

Cory Henke:     And when you look at these different accounts that we work on, you start to see how these companies are built very differently. Some people do it with just an amazing product, but no following on Instagram. I think what opened my mind was meeting a brand who was able to create a multimillion dollar business selling a very simple product that can be copied by anybody, but had 100,000 followers on Instagram. That's all they did it with. They had never bought a single search ad, multimillion dollar business, never bought a single search ad.

Cory Henke:     So you're like ... It sort of twists your mind a little bit. It's like, "Wait a second, how did you accomplish that?" "Oh, our purchase behavior changed." So what I mean by trading audiences, I don't know anymore where the most valuable audience is. Is it a web visitor? Is it somebody who viewed my product? Is it somebody who watched my video for 50 percent on Facebook or YouTube? Is it somebody who engaged with my Instagram ad? Or is it somebody who engaged with my Facebook page? All of these different audiences. Or is it the top 10 percent of time on my site? Those people, right?

Cory Henke:     I don't know which one converts, so I need to be able to test all these audiences against all these different creative types. Different creative types would be an influencer, a marketer blog post. A carousel ad, a standard image ad, a long form ad, a short form ad, the different CTA's like Learn More, Shop Now. And once you have the different creatives and different audiences, then you start to see what people align to throughout the entire funnel. So then you start to match those things up.

Cory Henke:     So that's what I mean is that we have all these audiences, and I think the new thing that I'm talking about are the funnels inside of funnels. And even when you look at the mid funnel, you still have video viewers, people who engage with your posts, people who have been to your website, but maybe haven't been to a product page. What do they need? It's very different than somebody just finding out about your product. Also somebody that might have put something in the cart, but completely forgot about it.

Cory Henke:     So when I mean day trading audiences, I mean I'm trying to figure out, "Okay, what does this audience need? What does that audience need? Why are previous purchasers so profitable for you and you have 30 percent come back each week?" The different nuances of campaign help you find out how you're going to day trade these audiences every single day, but yeah, I think the game has changed.

 So when I mean day trading audiences, I mean I'm trying to figure out, "Okay, what does this audience need? What does that audience need? Why are previous purchasers so profitable for you and you have 30 percent come back each week?

Cory Henke:     And I think another thing that I mentioned on a previous podcast is that marketing's not a soft skill anymore. You used to be able to go to college, "I'll get the communications degree," like I did. And just slide on through hoping for the best. No, this is difficult now. This takes a completely different language and an understanding that needs to be passed down. So I think we're in a new phase, and I think at our agency what we try to do is what other agencies aren't doing.

Cory Henke:     And we find it advantageous to heavy up during certain time periods during the day, or during the week, or during certain tent pole events, or when we see one creative take off, or one of our different strategies. We try to really ride those waves of performance. It's really day trading audiences. Conversion rates are different per day. Conversion rates are vastly different and we see the ebbs and flows. I can't tell you how many calls I get. Not calls, but texts in the morning like, "Hey what happened to sales?" And you have to assure them, "Hey, we're seeing this across the board."

Cory Henke:     It's like I'm having board calls every couple of days because marketing is so impactful for these businesses. It's so important. It's not like, "Oh, get whoever to just send the TV Guide to Spotify. We'll run the print ad, talk to the creative team." It's like, "No, what's going on with the analytics? When's the reporting going to get done? How can I have a meeting this week?" It's so intense now. So therefore, I think we're in a really golden time period for marketing, but yeah, hopefully that gave you a better understanding of day trading audiences.

JD Prater:         Yeah, man. I think part of that too is just you think about where we've come just in like the last five years. Five years ago, six years ago, there were 350 companies in the MarTech landscape. We're up to 7,000 companies now. This is great as a marketer, it's also ... Everything is trackable, everything is measurable. And when you can track, whenever you can measure, "I better expect to see growth. I better expect to see revenue." So now marketers, it's no longer, "Let's do some of the best ad creative you've ever seen." It's now like, 'Best ad creative, what was the learning? What was the result? Give me that revenue. It didn't work, go test it, go do this." So it's like, "Oh man." It's never ending and I'm definitely feeling that pressure too, man.

What people are missing is that you still need to brand

Cory Henke:     If feel like there's a shift and it's shifting back and forth. Before we had to believe in TV. Well, it's working. We don't know what's working, but people are searching and people are going into the store, right? And then we got the cell phone, so we completely moved to these two different platforms that we just live in, in terms of what we use on Google, as well as Facebook and Instagram. Now it's completely shifted to, "Okay, everything's conversion driven. What's driving the most conversions? Let's try to maximize those areas." Conversions, conversions, but I think what people are missing is that you still need to brand.

Cory Henke:     Before my second presentations I ever gave, I was just like, "How do I start this? What should I say?" And my buddy brought up a really good point and this guy's not in the industry at all. And he said, "Cory, you should tell them this. 'We've only been reading for so many years, but we've been visualizing our entire lives since the beginning of humanity. We've been watching the story through our own eyes, watching things move, and really thinking about things in our head." And I'm just like, "Maybe that's why a video works so well. Maybe that's why we gravitate towards it."

Cory Henke:     I think about those experiences where we're sitting on the couch and we're watching the Super Bowl or something, and one of those emotional ads comes on. My girlfriend's sitting next to me crying. And I'm like, "Babe, I work in the industry. You can't fall for this stuff. Come on." So there's something about video that helps hit somebody in the heart. And the way that we're able to see it through the data, I notice it through click-to-conversion ratios. When I see high click-to-conversion ratios, or high click-to-installs, there's something that touched you in the heart, versus just getting you to click through.

Cory Henke:     We've become a very click bait society. It's what drives the most views, drives the most impressions. I can make more money if make something more click bait, but when you make something emotional and you hit a touchpoint that somebody needs something, that I think can really move the needle for a brand. And that's why I like that earned view metric on YouTube, because if I can show you a video, and based on that video, you go to my YouTube channel and watch another video, that means you wanted to see my company inside of a platform.

Cory Henke:     You wanted to check on us and really evaluate, "Okay, what are we doing on the YouTube side?" And then ultimately find another piece of content you can watch because you liked the first piece of content. I think that is such an important touchpoint, versus somebody ending up on my landing page and then bouncing 50 percent of the time. So yeah, it's a brand new world, it's a brand new world.

JD Prater:         We'll kind of wrap up with my last question here for you. So we all make mistakes right? We've all failed. Give me some ones that you're like, "Man, don't do this. I know you're going to get started on video now. You guys are going to go on YouTube next week and start uploading stuff. Just don't do it." What are some of those learnings?

Key takeaways

Cory Henke:     Don't just run one video. That's the biggest one. Give yourself a comparison point. If you decide to say, "Okay, I'm going to run one video," at least make that your baseline and don't spend a lot there. If you run two videos, you have a comparison between these two. That I think is probably the most important thing when understanding videos, especially on YouTube because you get to evaluate so many people that are spending a longer time with your content. I think the next important thing that we didn't talk about that is really important is, I see 90 percent of accounts that I have to go in and audit and kind of evaluate, get these videos and get their strategy 90 percent of the way there.

Cory Henke:     That means they go through YouTube, they link everything, they're able to pull segments in. They're able to take that URL, put it into AdWords and then get it under review and then boom, they're live. The biggest piece they miss is you start with the video with attracting, branding. You try to convert them, but directing them. Directing them what to do after this video is so important, and it is missed 90 percent of the time. And it comes from click types. So you don't just need a video strategy, an AdWords strategy for the targeting, the different type of variations, you need a click type strategy on YouTube.

Cory Henke:     Now, the different type of click types that you have is first, is just the standard link that's at the bottom. After that you have cards, in screens, call to action overlays. And then what's coming next is True View for Action where you're able to optimize the text, and the blue call to action button under the mobile video. So cards are little buttons that pop up during the video where you can draw people to your website, another video, or even if you're leveraging YouTube shopping. Shout out to Joe Martinez for his amazing presentation at the last SMX Advanced. That was very eye-opening.

Cory Henke:     YouTube shopping, you're able to in cards. And then in screens, you're able to do the cards throughout the video. End screens show up at the end of the video. That allows you to kick somebody to a link, watch another video, as well as subscribe to your channel. And then another piece that also helps is your call to action overlay. So this is more of a DR type of click type that comes in the first 15 seconds, and it's a little bit bigger than the link URL, it's right on top of it. The first 15 seconds of the video, it's more of a DR type of ad unit, so I don't really use it unless I'm going to be targeting, or somebody goes about my brand, but I really want to drop that in there. That would be your call to action overlay, also very important.

Cory Henke:     Those click types can increase your CTR 2X, 3X, because that's the other thing, people start running YouTube. I see like a 1.2 CTR, and they didn't even do any click types. So click types, vastly important to whatever you guys are going to do on YouTube. Don't take it 90 percent, definitely make it 100 percent by leveraging those click types. And then I think other mistakes are just not trying. Not doing it is a huge mistake. You better jump on it now. People rarely realize YouTube, number one video platform. Can anybody else do skippable video? No, because they don't have the scale.

Cory Henke:     Also, Google said that they were the number two search engine last week on this webinar, I think they might be number three with Amazon in at number two. I don't know, I don't know for sure, but I think it's going to be a battle. So when you have the power of being the number one video platform, the second largest search engine, you're a platform for every advertiser. And I can tell you, having worked across all the different targeting inside of YouTube, it works across the entire funnel.

Cory Henke:     So those are kind of the mistakes that I've learned from. The new AdWords is going to be a completely new space to play that's always every-changing. I think if anybody has any questions, we're always on Twitter, so feel free to reach out any time. But yeah, that's what I would say is probably the biggest things I would look at in terms of pitfalls.

JD Prater:         All right man, well where can people find you on Twitter if they want to reach out, ask you some questions? And then how can they contact you if they're like, "I don't have time for this, I need to hire Corey?"

Cory Henke:     Sure, the Twitter, like many other things, is just @CoryHenke, C-O-R-Y H-E-N-K-E. The website for us is They can reach us there. You can also shoot me an email at Yeah, that's where you can reach us. I think I'll be at Hero Conference London in October 22nd to 23rd, and then Philadelphia next year. I think that's mid-April also for Hero Conference. That's what I got lined up and I think I might be going up there to see Joe in Minnesota maybe after that winter next year. Yeah, that's me, that's the company, that's what we got lined up.

JD Prater:         Awesome man, well thanks again man for coming on, talking to us about video marketing, talking to us about YouTube; and really helping us on learning how to get started, what metrics we need to be looking at, and then just kind of understanding how important this platform is in reaching audiences, getting your brand out there, and then also driving conversions. So, thanks again, man for coming on and really pushing, I would say, the industry forward in YouTube. So, much appreciated.

Cory Henke:     Hey, thanks so much for the time JD, I really appreciate it, man. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

JD Prater:         All right. Well everyone, that concludes the podcast for this week. Again, please check out Cory at Variable Media, and we will see you next week. 

AdStage Team