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Creating Compelling Content for YouTube Ads

Small Biz Buzz hosts Crystal Heuft and Scott Martineau are joined by Brett Curry, who discusses how to leverage YouTube Ads to grow your business with a focus on ecommerce.

For those small businesses that don’t have a video crew or can’t invest enough money in video production, Curry breaks down how to create a compelling YouTube ad on a budget that will still see sufficient viewership.

He explains you can set your campaigns up to drive conversions, but you can also just set them up to optimize for views. Get creative when you start to build what's called a viewed video audience that has viewed your video before, so now you can run another ad to them or show them a display ad or a search ad next time they're searching on Google. If you approach it the right way, you're building an asset and an audience as well as potentially driving conversions right away.

When crafting a video, you don't have to go full production. You don't need special effects and trained actors or to hire a scriptwriter for $50,000. If you just remember that the most important elements are the script or the story that the video tells, and the simple visuals, the message can still be compelling.

“You could even use stock images if you had to, or basic footage that you add to it. So you don't have to go full production, in fact, I recommend you don't,” said Curry. “Start with some concepts, test those out. Once you know a concept works, then increase the production value and kind of take it a step further.”

Curry also reveals three types of content that businesses can use to build brand awareness on YouTube.

Click play for more.


Crystal Heuft (00:10):

Yes, I have a good enough mood to carry this bad audio. So if you're hearing bad audio right now, to our Small Biz Buzz listeners, it is because we are still suffering through remote recording and we're not probably near as prepared as all of you that work remote in Austin.

Scott Martineau (00:27):

That's right, but it's all good. We're going to make up for it with amazing content today. So today, we're totally pumped because Brett Curry is going to take us into the bowels of YouTube and help small business owners understand how can we use YouTube in trying to grow our company.

Crystal Heuft (00:45):

It's really underutilized and can give you great return on your investment, right?

Brett Curry (00:50):

Absolutely. It is definitely underutilized. Our company focuses more on the eCommerce space than anything, so some of the examples I give will lean towards eCommerce, but I get a chance to speak a decent amount, so Social Media Marketing World. Before quarantine, I also spoke at a YouTube LA event, that YouTube invited me to speak at. As we poll the audience in a lot of those places, it's usually only 10 to 20% of the companies and organizations represented there actually invest in YouTube ads. It's still new, brand new to a lot of people or they're just figuring out how to get started so it's untapped for a lot of people. And I will say, Scott, it's really interesting you said, "The bowels of YouTube." This is just a little interesting thing, but at the time of this recording, yesterday, April 23rd, marked the 15th anniversary of the very first YouTube video ever uploaded.

Crystal Heuft (01:47):

I saw that. It was trending everywhere.

Brett Curry (01:48):

It's called 'At the Zoo' and this guy's like, "So I'm here at the zoo. I'm in front of the elephants. They have long trunks." It was a 30-second video. It's really interesting. But that guy sold then YouTube, was it a couple years later? I don't remember the timeframe, but a couple years later, for $1.65 billion. So he was pretty good.

Crystal Heuft (02:09):


Brett Curry (02:10):

It was a pretty good little idea he had there.

Scott Martineau (02:12):

And I bet the first person that watched that video said, "What on earth? Who would ever watch a video about what somebody else is doing?"

Brett Curry (02:18):

"I see you're at the zoo, like I care." Yeah.

Scott Martineau (02:20):

That's right. That's right. So Brett, why do you think that so few of the people that you speak to, by the way, I agree. That's been my experience as well. YouTube, for some reason, there's a, I don't know, is it a psychological barrier? Is it video content that's the barrier? What do you think is behind such a low percentage of people that you're speaking to? And they're out of session about YouTube as well, right? But why do you think it's still low?

Brett Curry (02:42):

Exactly, yeah. I think a part of it is it's intimidating. The platform seems a little more daunting. To get a YouTube creative is harder than certainly something like Google search or Google shopping, or even Facebook or Instagram. With Facebook, Instagram, you can start with a still image, a compelling still image. Then if you'd write some good strong ad copy with that, you've got a potential great ad. With YouTube, people think more like TV, "I have got to come up with a TV commercial," and in some respects, that's true, and in other respects, it's not. But the creative is so important, and in what I'm sure we'll get into this later but, a Google came out with a stat, and you would totally agree with this that your success on YouTube is 70% driven by the creative you use. And so, I think that's the biggest barrier. One, people don't know how to approach the creative, feels intimidating, and then there's fear of losing money. So I think it feels harder to get started on YouTube than other platforms.

Scott Martineau (03:49):

Well, we're going to dig into that and find out if people should be thinking that today, and so I'm really excited. Maybe to start off though, why don't you give us a little bit of the story behind what made you start working with YouTube ads?

Brett Curry (04:00):

Yeah, it's actually great, I'll tell the really quick version, but when I was in college, I was working in the radio business. Then shortly after college, launched a small ad agency just for local businesses, started doing TV and radio, a little bit of print, but mainly TV and radio. Fell in love with TV, that was the thing that seemed like move the needle for my automotive clients and furniture clients and things like that. And also kind of noticed that, hey, once someone got on TV, even local TV, they became well known. They would go eat at a restaurant and be like, "Oh, hey! I see your commercials!" And the business owner would recognize that.

Brett Curry (04:37):

So the power of video really became evident to me. I'd always liked movies. I'd actually liked TV commercials as a kid. I was kind of an odd kid in that regard. So, was doing TV then really transitioned the business, and starting in 2004, started doing a lot more online marketing and then went heavy into eCommerce and search and shopping in about 2010, but still kept this love for video marketing. And started dabbling with some YouTube stuff as we went along, and then, I don't remember the exact year now, but it's been probably three or four years ago, I got invited to a Google Marketing Live, sort of that thing Google puts on, and they announced a new ad format called TrueView for Action.

Brett Curry (05:24):

So TrueView means you only pay if someone actually views the video. And that had been around for a while, and that was the first thing that it kind of blew my mind. I thought, "Wow! We never had this in the TV days. You thought people were watching. You never really knew." So TrueView was kind of the first iteration of, "Hey, you only pay if someone watches," and they had to watch to the 30-second point, or if the whole video is less than 30 seconds. So that's TrueView, so that was cool, that's been at around for several years. But then TrueView for action, that's where Google said, "Hey, you can now give Google a goal. A goal of a purchase if you're eCommerce, goal of a signup, if you're lead generation, whatever. And the smart bit algorithm, Google's algorithm, which knows everything about everybody, will work to get you more action, more conversions, more sales."

Brett Curry (06:13):

And so as we started testing that and experimenting that, it worked and worked beautifully well. And so then I was kind of able to marry all my worlds together, right? Like this previous role affinity to video marketing, to measurable search-driven marketing on Google and stuff. And so it just all came together, and then I realized, "Hey, nobody else was really talking about YouTube ads. This is crazy."

Crystal Heuft (06:36):

Yeah, it is crazy. And we've had some success with YouTube ads as well. I mean, we released a video in January called Quiet the Doubters, and it's just amazing to see what YouTube ads can do to great content, because it just really exponentially grows it quickly. That video, I think, has over 3 million views now on our Keap YouTube. And if you get really good content that speaks to your audience and then put some money behind it, it's just crazy to me to see what can come out of it.

Brett Curry (07:06):

Yeah, without a doubt. So you can build, you can set your campaigns up to drive conversions, like I was just talking about, but you can also just set it up to optimize for views. And so now you've got a video that has 3 million views, you can also do some creative stuff there too, right? Where you start to build, what's called a viewed video audience. For now, you've got this audience of people that have viewed your video, and now you can run another ad to them or show them a display ad or show them a search ad next time they're searching on Google. And so, if you approach it the right way, you're really building a bit of an asset as well, and an audience as well as potentially driving conversions right away.

Scott Martineau (07:46):

So tell me, back on the timeline, so when did TrueView for Action get launched? Remind us that, when did TrueView launched, first of all, then when did TrueView for Action come about? Give us the history.

Brett Curry (07:59):

Yes so, I'm bad with dates. I want to preface what I'm about to say with that, but I will search it a little bit. I believe TrueView for Action was about three years ago, because I was at a Google Marketing Live and they announced that, "Hey, this is the new innovation for TrueView that you could bid on some type of action. And Google would optimize to get more of that." The TrueView platform where you just, you only pay for engaged views, that's been around longer. So that's been around since maybe 2015 or something like that. And I'm trying to search here as I talk and I'm not having much luck.

Scott Martineau (08:41):

Got it.

Brett Curry (08:42):

But yeah, so TrueView has been around a while. TrueView for Action has been more, probably three years or so.

Scott Martineau (08:49):

Got it. And so for listeners who maybe are familiar with Facebook, what you-

Brett Curry (08:55):

Five years ago, so TrueView was five years ago, TrueView for Action then would have been yeah, probably about three years ago. So there you go.

Scott Martineau (09:01):

You got it. You nailed it. So, for those who have experience with Facebook, in my experience, Facebook is a very, maybe the barrier is low for the reasons we talked about earlier but, what you talked about with the ability to optimize in their algorithm, it's a very similar metaphor or analogy on the Facebook side as well, right? From TrueView for action.

Brett Curry (09:24):

It is, yes. So, the Google smart bid algorithm is very robust. It is very good. We've worked with accounts that scale from nothing on YouTube to spending $30,000 a day in ads on YouTube while still hitting goal, hitting the target CPA goal, so the algorithm is very good, and I believe this is [inaudible 00:09:50] on Facebook as well. Even though I will admit I don't run Facebook ads, I know enough to be dangerous. I can talk about it a little bit, but I don't run them so, no firsthand experience. The algorithm does work better if you direct it, especially initially. So, we like to look at intent-based audiences, so audiences of people that are searching for something related to our client's product, or maybe they're researching product reviews on YouTube or things like that, so looking at intent and informing intent-based audiences to start getting conversions in the beginning.

Brett Curry (10:26):

And we're always audience testing, and I hear that from great Facebook agencies as well. They're always audience testing, but once you train the algorithm and once you're getting thousands of conversions, then you can kind of open things up a little more and push for scale. So, I think there is quite a bit of a strong comparison between the Facebook algorithm and the Google algorithm, in terms of [inaudible 00:10:49] marketing.

Scott Martineau (10:49):

For those who aren't as familiar with that, it's just, you basically get to benefit from Facebook or Google, in this case with YouTube, and all of the information that they know about everybody, and they basically go find people who are most likely to take whatever action it is that you're trying to get them to take, which is really cool. Just really cool.

Crystal Heuft (11:05):

Yup. So I wanted to talk about something, because I know, Brett, you hit on something that I feel every single small business I've talked to about video, why they aren't using video in their social anywhere, and they really are uncomfortable with video. Some are uncomfortable with, they think they have to be behind video, behind the camera themselves. Some are uncomfortable with, they don't really know what makes good content. And I felt you did such a good job of breaking that down during your Social Media Marketing World talk. You talked all about three types of content that businesses can be using to build brand awareness. So do you want to explain a little bit about those three, and really kind of make it very simple for social media marketing or for social media marketers out there and small business owners to really take and make their own videos?

Brett Curry (11:59):

Yeah. And so we've kind of, we've been doing this a long time now, and we've spent millions of millions on YouTube ads, we've seen our good ads our clients have created, but we've also, we just watch other advertisers, and I have the privilege of talking to a lot of other big spenders on YouTube. It's a fairly small community, so we share information and stuff to help each other. So, we've seen good ads. So, a few years ago, my team and I, we started kind of collect good ads so to speak, where like, "Oh man, this ad is really working. Let's put that in a file where we can refer back to it." And then we started to kind of see patterns of what ads were working, and we just started kind of classify ads and give them names and break down why they were working.

Brett Curry (12:38):

So we have the manifesto ad, which is kind of an approach that says, "Hey, everything you've seen or done in this particular category, is broken. It falls short." Right? "It's off. It's not your fault, but here is this revolutionary product or this revolutionary approach. And here's why it's so great." Right? And so, one fun example of that is Squatty Potty, which was also a viral video, but the whole concept behind that-

Crystal Heuft (13:07):

Those videos were funny-

Brett Curry (13:07):

What's that?

Crystal Heuft (13:10):

I said that video is so funny-

Brett Curry (13:11):

It's so funny.

Crystal Heuft (13:12):

When that first came out, I remember the ad. You wanted to watch it.

Brett Curry (13:15):

You did!

Crystal Heuft (13:15):

It was funny.

Brett Curry (13:15):

Pooping unicorn, but it's pooping soft serve ice cream, a genius idea, allows you to talk about a gross subject and not be totally grossed out, but you're still shocked and awed a little bit, but-

Scott Martineau (13:26):

Or even even more grossed out, one of the two.

Brett Curry (13:29):

Or even more. That's a really good point actually, Scott. It's hard to say, I think my wife would say "More grossed out," but it's one of those where the whole premise is, "Hey, the way you're taking care of business, it's wrong." We've always done that. We've always been taught, it's wrong, but here's the right way. And so it's kind of funny, that was made by the Harmon Brothers. Great video.

Crystal Heuft (13:47):

It's so great.

Brett Curry (13:49):

We have, some good friends of mine, William Painter's sunglasses, they have a great commercial. And so they talk about, "Hey, why are most high-end sunglasses made out of plastic and why do they easily break? And why is there no warranty? But here's the William Painter made out of titanium glasses." We also have a client that sells memory foam pillows, but they're washable and they're adjustable. And so they've got a video that opens up by saying, "Hey, we have a pillow problem." Right? "The pillow you're using, it's probably too big or too stiff or too small. And, if you can't wash it after several months," I think it was actually after maybe after a year, "Your pillow weighs 30% more than it did in the beginning because of your own sweat." And you're like, "That's disgusting! I need to fix my pillow!" So that's the manifesto, that's just one. So, one of the things I want to say though, is as you're looking at, okay, how do we craft this video ad, you don't have to go full production, like a Harmon Brothers production, right?

Brett Curry (14:54):

You don't need special effects and trained actors and hire a scriptwriter for $50,000. You don't need that. Now, that can work obviously, but if you just remember that the most important things are the script or the story that the video tells, and the visuals, right? So script and visuals, but they can be simple. They can't be thrown together or ill-thought-out, or you can't write a script in five minutes and think it's good, that won't work. But, if the message is good, it can be very simple imagery. We have a deodorant client that has this really simple stop animation video and it works, and it gets you thinking about what's in your deodorant, and am I poisoning my body and all these things, right? So, it can be simple, but it needs to be clear and compelling, and hit on some notes that makes the customer say, "Wow, I should be concerned. Maybe I do have a pillow problem." Or "Maybe I have been overpaying for sunglasses." Or, and then the list kind of goes on and on, and then some kind of visuals to go with it.

Brett Curry (16:02):

But you could even, as you're kind of proving a concept, use stock images, if you had to, or basic footage that you add it. So you don't have to go full production, and in fact, I recommend you don't, right? Start with some concepts, test those out. Once you know a concept works, then increase the production value and kind of take it a step further. So it's kind of the manifesto that I talked about. So one other, I'll just mentioned briefly, we call it the explainer, but probably the best example I've seen is, Grammarly. And so you can just go onto YouTube, search for Grammarly commercial, and you'll see it. But basically it's kind of a simple format of what this tool is, who it's for and how to try it. Right? But then it's just a group of people, and these are paid actors, but they look like real customers.

Brett Curry (16:54):

A guy that's in a library, someone who appears to be a professional, she's like a mom, because she's talking about the PTA, and then there's a student hunting for a job and all these other things. And they're just all talking about how Grammarly helps them out, how Grammarly makes them not look dumb by sending a grammatically air-filled email or memo or whatever. And so, it's just really simple, really straightforward, but it hooks you immediately on, "Ah. I've got that problem." So it's got kind of a clear problem solution format.

Crystal Heuft (17:29):

You showed that one, actually, during your talk. And it really was so clear about what it does and who it's serving. It was very easy to understand, so quickly.

Scott Martineau (17:38):

So I love the practical tips you gave us, the formula for manifesto, basically showing that everything is broken in a category or in an area, gave us a formula for creating an explainer video, which is just really crisp explanation of who's this thing for, why is it going to help you. Any other quick formulas that you wanted to throw out there, Brett?

Brett Curry (18:00):

So, one of the tip I'll share, and then I'll talk about one more kind of template, if you will. A lot of people, their frame of reference for YouTube is TV, right? We grew up watching TV commercials, maybe we love them, maybe we don't. But, we think about, "Hey, I've got to create a YouTube ad for my business. Our frame of reference is my favorite TV ad." Right? These are the TV ads that I've loved.

Brett Curry (18:20):

And sometimes, TV ads have this kind of long buildup before they get to the point of the video. It's telling a story, there's a slice-of-life, there's someone on a sidewalk skateboarding and they're pondering something, and then this happens and the sun shines on them. But it's not revealed until later, what is this about? So that approach does not work on YouTube. You've got the first five seconds before someone skips, you need to hit them hard. And I say, hit them hard, you can still do it in an elegant fashion if that's your brand. But get right to the point, right? Bring that primary benefit, bring that right to the front or kind of the reveal of what you do, bring that more to the front of the video. And there's actually, this is a principle that's used now with movie trailers a lot.

Brett Curry (19:09):

And when I was speaking at this YouTube LA event, I got to meet some people from a group called Unskippable Labs at YouTube. Basically, all they do is they watch ads and look at the behavior that people interact with those ads. So are they skipping or are they not skipping? And so they talked about movie trailers and how some movie trailers now, they begin with explosion, fireworks, some kind of crazy shock you, awe you, and then they back up and tell the story, right? So they lead with this high intensity thing and then they back up. So there's almost these two story arcs in a particular spot. That's maybe a little bit complex, but I just want to emphasize, start with what's most important. Right? Bring that initial benefit.

Crystal Heuft (19:55):

For sure. And I think that's so critical for YouTube ads because depending on where your ad is placed, they might be able to skip it in three seconds. So, I think it's extremely critical to make sure you're front-loading your YouTube ads to really get to the point so that the right people want to stay and watch.

Brett Curry (20:15):

Yep, absolutely. And so it kind of, the third template that I'll share, and this will be really quick. It's called the testimonial sandwich. I learned this from my good friend, Ezra Firestone. But basically, you open with one to three authentic focused testimonials from real customers. So real customers saying, "This is the best X I've ever used." Or "I couldn't believe. I thought I was always going to have to live with this problem, but now I don't." So you open with a couple of testimonials. Then in the middle, you have more of a demonstration. So if it's a product, you're demonstrating the product, if it's a service, you're walking through what that service does and what it looks like. And you're keeping that fast paced, but you're explaining it. And then you end the spot or the commercial with more testimonials, so testimonials sandwich. That's a pretty easy one to edit, especially after you have those testimonials from customers. But that brings in this element of social proof and believability, and so we've seen that format work very well with a lot of different types of businesses.

Scott Martineau (21:19):

So, I'm trying to put this in the perspective of a small business owner. Let's say, I don't have a video crew, have you seen this work with, I literally have an iPhone testimonial from two customers, does that work? Or do you need a little more creative touch than that?

Brett Curry (21:36):

Yeah! That's the beauty of, if you get authentic testimonials, so user-generated content or UGC, that's great if it's just shot on an iPhone or something. So, if it looks a little blurry, a little shaky, but what the person says is powerful and it connects, then it's totally usable. And that, in fact, I think it's often better. So yeah, if you've got a couple of iPhone testimonials from customers, totally use that. The thing that we usually look at when we're looking at testimonials like that is, if it's not a trained actor, which it shouldn't be, it should be a real customer, they may kind of ramble a little bit, right? They may say in two minutes, what they could have only said in 10 seconds or something. So you just kind of have to edit it. You have to edit and pull out, hey, this is the real nugget that this person says. This is the powerful piece of this testimonial. So edit that out and use that.

Brett Curry (22:24):

But yeah, a shot from an iPhone is great. We've also seen where people will get a customer to agree to a video testimonial and then hop on a Zoom call with them, turn on video and ask them a couple of questions, right? Because that set of pieces that sometimes people don't know where to start, so you ask a customer to shoot a video testimonial, they don't know where to start, so hey, we'll make it easy! Just hop on the Zoom call, make sure camera's on, I'll ask you a few questions and then we'll edit it. And that can work-

Scott Martineau (22:51):

Hey, can you say that one more time, but just in 10 seconds instead of 30, and you can-

Brett Curry (22:56):


Scott Martineau (22:58):

Oh, that's so, what an awesome shortcut for people, for our listeners that you've been able to see what works with these YouTube ads, and just hearing you talk about it, I think, it already feels more approachable just because I think one of these three, I think, will probably land with people. The testimonial sandwich is one that could land with any business. Those who feel like they've got a really disruptive message, the manifesto is there. And explainer is just a way to take your logical sales pitch and put it into a format, so that's awesome.

Scott Martineau (23:30):

Really quickly on outsourcing, do you see people being successful with trying to, are there YouTube video advertising firms that you feel would be accessible to small businesses? What would it cost on average to create an effective video?

Brett Curry (23:46):

Yeah, so this one's a little tougher because it's a newer, relatively speaking, a newer format. You can find tons and tons of agencies that focus on TV creatives, or maybe find someone that's doing a lot with Facebook. It's harder to find a creative shop that's doing a lot with YouTube. I'm happy to be a resource, if anybody wants to chat. One thing I will say, I don't know if this is the perfect place to mention or not, but we put together a free guide that kind of walks through all of our templates that we recommend for YouTube. It's free. So you can go to our site and download it, but I would take that and find, "Ooh, I'd love to create something like one of these." Then give that to a local production company that you want to work with and say, "Hey, can we do something like this? And what would that cost?" I think-

Scott Martineau (24:33):

And saying, "Hey, I need a YouTube video." And they don't know what they're doing.

Brett Curry (24:36):

Yeah, because they're going to be coming at it without understanding the platforms. I think use a tool like that and then work with somebody local, and we've seen, we know some people that have created great video commercials for a couple thousand bucks or I think you can even go less. I think another thing you could even try is something like Animoto, or I think there's a couple of the services like that, but basically, you can upload texts, you can upload an audio track, you can upload images and then it kind of animates that and pulls it all together, and that's pretty affordable. So you could even test a minimum viable product video by creating it in Animoto or looking at iMovie or something, and creating something if you needed to or getting it [inaudible 00:25:19] .

Crystal Heuft (25:19):

I do think you brought up a good point though, about [inaudible 00:25:23] some of this first on your channel, on your YouTube channel, people are naturally moved towards because you might think you have a great manifesto and then you find out, you know what? What people are really digging the explainer and that's what's getting people to engage a little bit more. So, I think that I'm testing stuff on the right channel, if you're doing YouTube ads, test it on YouTube and see before you put a lot of money behind that.

Brett Curry (25:50):

Yeah, 100% agree. And one of the quickest ways to test, so you can just upload it as an organic video, get people to view and give you feedback. But another way is to run your different messages to remarketing audiences. So people that have visited your site, but maybe are not customers yet, or maybe they've added to cart, but haven't purchased or whatever, run your new videos to them and watch a few things. Watch, what are my view rates? Are people actually engaging with this or not? Are people clicking through or are they not?

Brett Curry (26:19):

And so you'll be able to read that real data, and so starting small with a remarketing audience is definitely smart because none of us are smarter than the market, right? Even we've been doing this a long time and we have what we think is a great idea, a great ad, you don't really know until you start running it. And so yeah, way smarter, Crystal, to upload it to YouTube, get some feedback from people you know, but then also run it as an ad, but run it to a small remarketing audience. Because then you spend a few hundred bucks, and get some real data.

Crystal Heuft (26:49):


Scott Martineau (26:49):

Hey, before we move on, can you share, you mentioned your templates, where do people find them?

Brett Curry (26:54):

Yeah so, you can get the guide, it's called Top YouTube Ad Templates. Go to, under Resources, and Guides, it's one of the first ones listed there, but, Resources, and Guides and then yeah, it's free. Just grab it.

Crystal Heuft (27:08):

Okay. So I think we have time for one more question, which I think, I have tried a little bit with YouTube. I'm kind of the organic gal, but I've tried a little bit with YouTube ads. And one of the things I've noticed are, they really have ads, you need to kind of know where you want your ad to be placed before you're building your ad. Is that correct, Brett? Because they have kind of different restrictions and different times and all of that. Right?

Brett Curry (27:34):

Yeah, it definitely helps, I mean, you're going to get better results if you narrow the target first. I mean, there's 2 billion active monthly users, and that's globally, but everybody's on YouTube. So, narrowing the focus there a little bit is definitely preferred, and if you'd like, I can kind of walk through some of the early audiences we like to test. Yep, so I kind of mentioned earlier looking at intent-based audiences or audiences where you kind of know what this person is looking for, what they're researching online, what their behavior is. And so, two of our favorite audiences initially, there are multiple ways you can go here but, one is a keyword audience. And so basically, that's a keyword on YouTube, right? So, one thing we've seen over the last few years is there's been an increase in people looking for product demonstrations and product reviews and best XYZ, best travel company, best travel pillow, best teeth-whitening toothpaste, whatever, best of whatever.

Brett Curry (28:36):

So you could start and just say, "Hey, I want to show my ad to people that are actively researching something in my category." Right? So, keyword audiences, and depending on how you structure that, those audiences aren't always huge, but they're usually pretty focused and then you can get some good results there. The other audience we really like to start with is called a custom intent audience. And this is actually based on someone's Google search behavior. So I love this audience type, because I don't know about you guys, but when I'm on YouTube, my search behavior is different on YouTube than it is on Google, right? On Google, searching for all kinds of products, searching for whatever, and then when I'm on YouTube, sometimes I'm just looking for something funny or watching a Jimmy Fallon video, whatever.

Brett Curry (29:20):

But with custom intent, you can build an audience based on what someone has recently searched for on Google, and then show them an ad the next time they're on YouTube. So then it's not necessarily about the content they're watching on YouTube while they're there, but it's about what they've recently searched for on Google. And so that can be a really powerful-

Scott Martineau (29:39):

And that is sort of a curated list, meaning the Google decides what intent categories there are, and you pick those, is that how that works, Brett?

Brett Curry (29:46):

So this one's different. So that would be, what you're referring to, would be in an affinity audience or in-market audience. Those are kind of off the shelf, Google has categorized these and then you just pick the one that you think makes sense. Custom intent, you're kind of in full control. So you pick the keywords, you give those to Google and they'll build an audience around those keywords. So, it's a custom audience.

Scott Martineau (30:09):

So the key difference is that YouTube keywords, especially YouTube searches versus Google searches.

Brett Curry (30:16):

Yeah, in essence. And not to get too technical, but actually the keyword targeting on YouTube is actually contextual. So it's not necessarily the keyword they're actually typing in, but the content they're watching, but that's how people find content on YouTube, is by searching. So it's essentially the same thing, but it's slightly nuanced, but yeah, YouTube keywords would be keywords on YouTube. Custom intent is more keywords on

Scott Martineau (30:40):

I think maybe, just for listeners too, I think this is a massive distinction between Google and Facebook in the sense that you are, I mean, the whole word you're using here is intent, right? And just imagine your experience as a searcher. When you go to search for something specific, you have intention to go actually find an answer to a question versus Facebook you're being interrupted in something else that you're trying to do. And we're trying to put an ad that we think is most likely to resonate with you, but we can't guarantee intent. So it's just so powerful.

Scott Martineau (31:12):

I mean, just think about this is where it becomes really critical for you as we talk about in lifecycle automation, getting clear about your target, you have to understand what's going on in their mind and what are they doing when they go about trying to solve the problem. And in this case, what are the things that they're going to be searching in YouTube and what are things are they going to be searching in Google? And you can go attack that. And I think the cool thing is based on what we know they were searching in Google, now they might be on YouTube watching something completely different, but this ad now can show up based on the fact that we know that they had intent, at least on the Google properties. So powerful.

Brett Curry (31:48):

Yep, 100%. It's probably the main thing I love about YouTube and their scale, and I love video, but yeah, the ability to target the way you can target on YouTube, is pretty phenomenal.

Crystal Heuft (31:59):

Well, Brett, I know we are coming up on time here and I really appreciate the time you've given us. And I already feel more confident about YouTube ads, so hopefully everyone out there does. But where can everyone find you and your company if they want to learn a little bit more about what you do?

Brett Curry (32:16):

Awesome! Yeah, I really appreciate you guys having me on. So, easiest way to connect is at So you can find some free resources there. I also have an eCommerce-focused podcast. You can find the links there at It's called eCommerce Evolution, but it lives at as well. So check it out. They're also happy to connect on LinkedIn or Facebook, happy to connect and talk about this stuff. We'd love to be a resource. So yeah, those are the best ways.

Crystal Heuft (32:45):

Thank you so much. It was great!

Scott Martineau (32:46):

Thank you, Brett, super enlightening. I hope to see the percentage, if you listen to the Small Biz Buzz audience or if they come to one of your presentations and you ask them how many are using YouTube, I hope that we'll beat your typical average percentage.

Brett Curry (32:59):

I have a feeling you have advanced marketers listening to this Podcast. So yes, let me know if I run into you and you listen to this podcast, please let me know. So I can report back to Scott and Crystal.

Scott Martineau (33:08):

And honestly, we have a very wide range.

Crystal Heuft (33:11):

We do.

Scott Martineau (33:12):

There's probably a lot of people here who haven't done it, but I think this educate is part of why we do this, right? It's just to give visibility. Businesses have so many hats to wear and they don't have time to go sit down and learn everything they can about YouTube, and I think you've done a really great job of just giving us the high level points that helps somebody realize if there's potential here for them, so.

Brett Curry (33:30):

Awesome! Thanks guys.

Scott Martineau (33:31):

All right! We're going to call this a wrap for this episode of Small Biz Buzz.

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