A lot has changed in how online advertising is done on the various platforms these days – especially on YouTube and Facebook. The algorithms have advanced massively, making old tactics and strategies obsolete. Today, Tommie Powers, aka “Tommie Traffic,” is back on the show. He was previously on in episode 32.
Tommie is an investor and digital advertising maestro with over 15 years of experience. He is also a highly sought-after trainer and speaker. Since 2007, he’s spent and consulted on over $120M in digital advertising that has resulted in over $550M in revenue.
In this episode, Tommie shares the changes in the past few years in the digital marketing landscape. Tommie and I unpacked the creative side of getting the attention and engaging the interest of your audience. He also gives examples of how to grab your audience’s attention – especially on Youtube. In addition, he talks about the different kinds of Youtube ads and which ones you should use for your business. He also explains how to retarget or remarket your audience, how and where to start when getting into video ads, and much more.
Without any further ado, on with the show!
In This Episode
- [00:20] – Stephan is joined for the second time by investor and digital marketing maestro Tommie Powers aka “Tommie Traffic,” and this time, they will discuss the changes in the digital marketing landscape over the last few years.
- [01:44] – Tommie discusses the changes that have occurred on YouTube, as well as what digital marketers have had to do in order to reach people, capture their attention, and keep them engaged.
- [09:56] – In terms of YouTube advertising, what are some of the hooks that catch people’s attention?
- [14:01] – Tommie distinguishes between skippable ads, non-skippable ads, and discovery ads, spurring Stephan to ask as to which ads he and his clients spend the majority of their money on.
- [16:07] – Tommie explains why running in-stream skippable ads is a better option than non-skippable ads.
- [19:59] – Stephan is curious about the possibility of remarketing and retargeting cold traffic.
- [25:06] – Why should every business run YouTube advertisements?
- [34:05] – Both Stephan and Tommie talk about the tools that digital marketers and freelancers use.
- [38:00] – What tool does Tommie suggest for locating competitors’ ads?
- [49:40] – Visit Tommie Power’s website to learn more about their services and to contact them.
Tommie, it’s so great to have you back. This is the second time.
Sure. Great to be back, man.
What’s changed in terms of YouTube advertising, just the digital marketing landscape in the last few years since you were here previously?
How long ago was that?
A few years ago.
Yeah, a lot has changed—obviously, Facebook, iOS, and Google, a lot of things such as privacy. I saw a lot of things have changed. Costs are rising across all platforms. I was actually just having a conversation with a company that is still trying to rent the pre-iOS strategy and game plan, and then they wonder why they aren’t working. I was like, whoa, you got to change. The playbook got to change. Different things that need to be done.
The biggest thing probably on the YouTube side is the algorithm, and lean towards that and becoming more algorithmic media buyers. Meaning being less ninja on clicking buttons and more about allowing the system to do the work and focusing on feeding it the proper data it needs to do what it does and give us what we want.
In the past, we wanted to control too much, we did control too much, or tried to control a lot. That doesn’t translate as well anymore. You really have to get the algorithm freedom to do its thing. You’re still going to control some things, but you have to give it the ability to breathe and be intelligent about how you are feeding it the data that you want to feed it, and you want to get what you want out of it. That’s kind of been the big thing, which obviously makes managing the advertising and the media buying a lot easier.
We switched our focus on the creative, and that’s where that trade-off happens: we spend a lot of time on these things hours per day. Even on one account, we might spend one or two hours or more in an ad account, every single account daily. We probably do maybe half of that now.
You have to understand why people are on the platform to get their attention and then engage with them and bridge the gap.
That same energy we had to take and put on the creative side because that’s really where it’s been a huge difference because people know ads when they see them. They hover over that skip button. We just had to get smarter and better about how we reach people, capture their attention, and keep them engaged.
If you can get their attention, but if you can’t engage them, it’s not going to really do you any good. I still see a lot of people make those mistakes. They’ll be like, stop right now before you skip. People hate that stuff because you’ll get their attention. You can do all this attention-grabbing stuff, but people really want to be engaged. They’re there to be entertained; they’re there to be educated because many people still go to YouTube for education. They go there for entertainment, product reviews, and things like that.
You have to really understand why people are on the platform, so you have to get their attention, and then you have to engage them based on what they’re there for and bridge the gap between where they are right now, where you want them to be, and you’re offering how they tie that together. There’s a real dance to that. We’ve invested a lot of energy in that part of it. Those are the big ones, changes-wise. I probably said a mouthful there too.
Yeah, let’s unpack some of this. The creative side of it, how do you keep people engaged and interested, not hitting the skip button, get that watch time up, and get the action that you want as the advertiser to happen where I guess they’re going to end up on a landing page or an offer page to purchase something or to sign up for a free trial. What are the specifics of this secret sauce for those first few seconds?
The hook is that the first 5–10 seconds is pretty common across any type of offer, but there are many different things. There are webinar funnels, eCommerce products, physical products, books, free trial software, and a lot of different offers. Depending on your offer, the messaging is going to be different. There may be slight changes, but overall, the big idea is a hook message and call to action.
A hook has to be relevant to the audience, the message, and the offer.
The hook is where you’re going to capture their attention, the message is how you engage them, and then obviously, the call to action is what do I want you to do? Click this ad, go over to my page, and put your information in. I’m going to give you a seven-day free trial to this software that’s going to do whatever it does or put your name and email in, and I’m going to give you access to this PDF cheat sheet and register for my webinar, or whatever it might be. That’s the pretty basic framework of an ad that works, a creative that works.
A hook has to be relevant to the audience, it has to be relevant to the message, and it has to be relevant to the offer. I think that’s where a lot of people get it wrong. They’ll create these hooks because they’re so focused on getting the attention, but they don’t understand how it ties altogether.
You end up with someone’s attention, but you don’t engage them. If you engage them and your offer isn’t congruent, you just send in a bunch of unqualified clicks to your page. When it comes to messages, that’s kind of where the real sauce of it happens, man, to be honest with you.
The call to action is pretty straightforward because it’s pretty much telling them what you want them to do, why they should do it, and what’s in it for them. The message part is the secret sauce area where it’s a Pandora’s Box, too, because sometimes we’re testing many different messages and failing. You fail more than you win there, but when you hit something, we can live for a long time. The message is important.
The message is the secret sauce where it’s a Pandora’s Box, because sometimes we’re testing many different messages and failing.
What we’ve been doing is we study a lot of the platform itself. We study the vloggers and the big YouTubers, and we try to understand what they do. Many do a lot of pacing, jump cuts, and humor. There’s a lot of humor and a lot of storytelling. Obviously, we’ve been doing storytelling, but for people who may not know, storytelling is the overarching theme. If you can’t tell a compelling story, it’s going to be very challenging—not impossible—to engage someone.
A lot of storytelling, and then you’re mixing all of these other elements in there to keep people engaged because you could tell a great story, but if you’re just monotone, it might not connect the same way versus voice inflection or visual aids. There are a lot of different elements, and if you study people who are very successful on YouTube as creators, we’re just taking a page out of their book and rolling it over in our creative process on the advertising side.
Now our ads sort of fit the platform. It’s still an ad, and they know it, but I think subconsciously, there is more there than just being sold to, or I’m trying to shove this message down your throat. I think people appreciate it. I don’t know how much deeper we want to go on that, but that’s how I try to describe the creative process. It’s not as hard as it sounds.
You have to think about what people want. What are they doing? They’re watching YouTube videos. Are you going to interrupt them from watching their YouTube video? Why should they care about what you’re talking about? What are you going to do to get them out of the mindset they’re in to pay your attention? You’re competing with creators, so it makes sense when you think about it.
Yeah. What are some of the hooks, if you could give a few examples, that really grab people, get their attention, and make them want to keep watching?
I think it varies, man. It’s hard to give an example because it really depends on the audience. A lot of what we do is audience segmentation. I’ll give you an example like this. Let’s think about fitness. If you talk about fitness, it’s a huge market, and there are many different ways to speak to fitness people. But if you’re going to go and say I’m going to go after fitness, and you’re going to have this really broad message around fitness, that isn’t going to work because there are levels to it probably.
Let’s say you’re somebody like a Peloton or a Fitbit, where there are different types of people who use Peloton; there are different types of people who use a Fitbit. For example, even if we look at a Peloton, some people are just trying to drop pandemic pounds. Some people are using it because they compete in a sport. Some people are crazy passionate about it and come from the cycling world.
If I’m thinking about any segment, I’m going to identify the key messages and the conversations happening in their minds, and I’ll focus on that.
You have bodybuilders and cyclers, and there are so many variations of how people do fitness. Runners, right? You got a segment into who you are speaking to. When I’m starting to think about a hook for a runner, I’m not a runner, so it will probably be hard for me to come up with that. If I’m thinking about any segment, I’m going to identify the key messages and the conversations happening in their minds, and I’ll focus on that.
Even if you were selling a running shoe, what makes your running shoe great that solves a problem that they have? That hook might be: are you tired of having uncomfortable shoes when you’re running, or are your feet hurting after you get through with your morning run? Here’s why that’s happening, and this is why we developed this product, to solve that and so forth. Look at this person who used to have this problem, and now with this product, they don’t.
Now you’re starting to tell that story. I’m trying to draw them in with something they might be dealing with, a reason they might want to buy my thing, and then I’m going to use that, if you will, as a hook to capture that person. It might not be like the greatest hook in the world because it’s not about that. It’s really about speaking to the right person.
If someone is having a problem, I leave my video with that. That draws them in, and I can keep that person engaged; that person is way more likely to want to buy my product because they identify with that initial thing that I said to them, if that makes sense.
It’s like if you can laser target the people who have tinnitus ringing in the ears, and you leave with something about are you sick of hearing that ringing in your ears? Then, if it’s the right audience, that hook totally grabs them.
If you flip it instead of asking them the question, you can flip that same thing about a ringing ear. Instead of asking the question, you can assume that they have it, and then you can say something along the lines of, gosh, I know when I get that ringing in my ear, it just gives me a crazy headache.
I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m just saying that you can flip that into an assumption. If you say that to the right person, they’re going to be like, man, they know exactly what I’m dealing with. If you say that to someone who doesn’t know what you’re talking about, they’re going to skip. That’s the point.
You want to attract someone who understands what you’re saying to make great hooks. It’s about tapping in with people who likely to need what you have.
You want to attract someone who understands what you’re saying, and that’s really what makes great hooks, in my opinion. It’s really about tapping in with people who are likely to need what you have. That’s who I want to draw in. I don’t want to get everyone’s attention; I want to get the right attention.
If somebody is not a good fit, you actually want them to hit the skip button.
A hundred percent.
Are you paying for that person who skipped, or are you only paying for people who watch a certain amount of time?
It depends on how you run it. You can buy non-skippable video ads. You can also buy discovery ads. You got different versions. You have your typical skippable in-stream ads, and those are just the videos that play before you are about to watch a video that you got five seconds to skip. Then they have something called non-skippable, where you have probably seen these videos, and you can’t skip them. It’s just saying this video ends, and it’s counting down. You can’t skip it. You just got to sit there and wait until that video stops.
Then you have discovery, and there are other ones, but these are like the key ones we use. Discovery ads are the ones where you might be watching a video, and you see an ad sitting off to the right with the recommended, or if you search it on YouTube, sometimes you’ll see ads pop up over the search results, so when you click them, it takes you to a video. Those are called discovery ads.
It depends on the type of unit that you’re running. If you’re running in-stream skippable, the rule is that if the video is less than 30 seconds, you pay if they don’t skip. If the video is longer than 30 seconds, you only pay when they watch at least 30 seconds. That’s kind of the rule on that. If you’re running a non-skippable, the minute that video starts playing, you’re paying. With a discovery, you’re paying the minute someone clicks.
Where do you spend most of your money or your client’s money in terms of those three types of ads?
Skippable in-stream is probably 70% or 80% on skippable in-stream.
Have you tried a lot of non-skippable ads?
We run them now.
What makes it such a compelling opportunity to run the in-stream skippable ads versus the non-skippable ones? Is it the cost? Is it prohibitive? Is it that people are too annoyed by non-skippable ads? Why spend most of your money non-skippable?
It’s a couple of reasons. First, the biggest reason is algorithms. The algorithm, the type of ad that you can run, where the algorithm would do the work for you, you can’t maximize conversion, or you can Target CPA, and both of these are bidding strategies. They’re not ad units; it’s just a bid strategy.
With either of these strategies, you’re basically telling the system I want this action to happen, and I want you to get me as many of these as you can for my budget; that’s maximized conversion. Or you can say, I want this action to happen, and I want to pay this much for that action; that’s Target CPA. Then you still have to set a budget for your campaign, but your bid strategy is based on I think somebody downloading a PDF is worth $5 to me, and this is what I want to pay for that. Go out and find someone who can get this action for that amount.As marketing experts, we need to become smarter and better about how we reach people, capture their attention, and keep them engaged. Click To Tweet
Those two strategies, the bid strategies—we do some branding as well, but it’s a mix of both—from a performance standpoint, we’re trying to put the algorithm to work for us as much as humanly possible, especially top of the funnel. When we’re working middle and bottom of the funnel, we can now roll out discovery ads and non-skippable ads. We can do many other things strategically when we already have someone in our audience, video views, websites, or what have you.
Now that we have them in our world and want to continue marketing to them, we can start leveraging these other strategies. Top of the funnel, the algorithm is working; that’s the big one. The second part is that people are self-selecting themselves into our audience because if they skip the ad, they don’t care. We haven’t said something that they care about.
If they’re watching that ad, now they become part of the audience. If they click that ad, they become an even more valuable part of the audience for us to develop ways to market further to those people, but they’re self-selecting themselves. You get this pay-for-performance while also building an audience to push messaging, branding further, and so forth. This is why we use a lot of skippable in-streams.
Obviously, the 30-second rule. If your videos say one minute and they don’t watch at least 30 seconds, that person counts as a view. They dig in perhaps what you’re saying, making for a more quality audience-building strategy. I might be missing a couple, but those are the big ones.
When you’re scaling, you can’t scale hitting warm and hot audiences.
When you’re talking scale, which is what we focus on, you’re going to be running a lot of types of funnel. When you’re scaling, you can’t scale hitting warm and hot audiences. It just doesn’t work like that. You can get crazy ROI on those audiences, but if you’re really talking about scaling so that you can get more acquisitions, you have to go to the top of the funnel.
Most scaling strategies are going to have a high percentage of the top of the funnel as their budget mix. If I got a $300,000 a month budget, probably a good 70% of that will be at the top of the funnel, and then the other 30% is where I’m going to hit that middle bottom, or some people call it warm and hot. Now, I’m just continually pulling people into my audience and working my marketing strategy, whether it’s getting them on SMS or email, or if they buy or what have you, you’re going to still work the rest of your marketing strategy out after that. Hopefully, that makes sense, but that’s pretty much why we mostly do it that way.
Can you target somebody at the top of the funnel, cold traffic, and then they show some interest? They watched a good portion of the video and didn’t buy; they didn’t go to your website or anything. Can you remarket to them? Retarget them for another go around and maybe get the conversion that time.
For sure, but you don’t have the option yet. I say yet because I think we’re going to get this eventually. Facebook, you can segment people based on how much of the video they watched. On YouTube, you have their view, or they’re not. You don’t know if they watched. You can see metrics of how much they watched, but you can’t put them in an audience based on that if that makes sense.
Let’s say on Facebook you have a one-minute video. If they watch 25% of that, you can make an audience of people who watch 25. If they watch 50%, you can make an audience of people who got to 50. Typically, the 25% audience size is bigger than the 50%. The more they watch, the smaller the audience gets.
On YouTube, you don’t have that yet. Did they view it or not? If they view, everybody goes in a bucket together. We can’t break down the percentage that they watch yet. Oh my God, I can’t wait until we get that because it’s a game changer. It’s a huge strategy when it comes to Facebook and Instagram. I think TikTok might have it as well. I’m not really up to snuff on TikTok.Your hook captures your audience's attention, your message engages them, and your call to action offers them what they want. Click To Tweet
People have been talking about TikTok, TikTok, TikTok. I’m just staying in my lane, but I know many people crushing it on TikTok. I try to stay away from that, but I think they have that capability and have really short videos there, so maybe I’m wrong. On YouTube, we don’t have that. On Facebook and Instagram, that’s a huge opportunity we don’t have yet.
We have to put them in a view bucket, and typically we’re doing a sequence. I would do it then by taking a message that might be three minutes and making it into four videos. Then I can show you one and still give you a call to action. If you don’t click but say you view, I can show you the next one, the next one, and the next one. That way, by the time you get into the fourth version of that video, that’s a pretty warm, hot person, if you will.
It’s a little harder for us to do. It would be so easy for us just to segment based on percentage-wise. We just don’t have that as a strategy, but 100% we do a lot of middle and bottom of funnel remarketing to viewers for that very reason because it works like gangbusters.
If Facebook offers such a great feature here, you must spend a fair amount of money with Facebook to do that type of advertising.
No, anybody can.
I mean, are you taking the opportunity of targeting Facebook with the percentage of videos watched and spending a lot of money on Facebook and not just spending a lot of money with YouTube?
No, I don’t look at it that way. We do it all. Technically, as an agency, I don’t run Facebook currently. I have partners that handle that. We have these partnership clusters where some of us have mutual clients where somebody’s doing TikTok, Facebook and Instagram; we’re doing YouTube, maybe even Google Display and Shopping. We do all Google. We don’t run Facebook per se, but it’s not like one or the other. It’s two different animals. It’s reaching my audience.
Sometimes we can catch people at the top of the funnel and remarket them on another platform and vice versa. It’s a holistic view of it. It’s not one or the other. We don’t ever look at it that way unless it’s just like, hey, we’re dialing in this one traffic source before we diversify. Typically, when scaling, we’re trying to hit them at all angles and make it all work, make sense, and communicate.
It’s not a situation where it’s taking away the budget from YouTube per se for that feature. That’s just something we have as a leverage point on Facebook and Instagram that we don’t have on YouTube yet; that will be huge when we get it. It’s going to be huge for us. It’s just going to make our ads perform better.
Yeah, for sure. What about a local business that maybe it’s a landscaper, snow shoveling, a laundry service, or dry cleaner? Does it make sense for them to run in-stream, skippable ads? Do they need to have some professional level of videography and video editing to warrant spending the money on YouTube ads, or would you say this is more for the bigger brands?
Every business should be running YouTube ads.
I think every business should be running YouTube ads. I really believe it. If you have a business that’s working and a lot of people are trying to get started, and I get all of that, and hey, you can actually do it too. If you have a business that’s already making money because you service clients, sell a product, or whatever it is that you do, if that business is making money, there’s a way to advertise that. There’s a way to get in front of more people giving you money like the people already giving you money. I really believe that.
I think on a local level and at any level, I know I say a lot of these things, but most people, what I’m telling them, and even with our client, it’s like, just get started. You have just to put a message out there.
A lot of times, what we do, we have a data-driven strategy. When rolling out a new creative for the first time, we’re not doing all of the bells, whistles, production quality, etc. We’re not doing that. The reason why is because the message is what matters at the end of the day. If your message can’t connect, I don’t care if it’s a white background with black letters and a voiceover.
We test that way sometimes, not all the time. I don’t care if it’s just pulling out your mobile devices and talking into the phone. If you can deliver a message that connects with people, you can do all of that fancy stuff after the fact.
I’m not a fan of recommending people do much high-production-value stuff until they know what messages are connecting. They’re saying that it doesn’t matter if you’re a big brand, a mom-and-pop, or a landscaper who works a five-mile radius. You can pull your phone out, and you can talk into it. Or, if you don’t want to be on camera, you can make cheap videos.
It’s because it’s really about, what are you saying, who are you saying it to, and what’s the offer? If you’ve got something compelling to offer people, who are those you need to speak to? That’s going to dictate your targeting. Then what should I say to those people to make them care about what I have to offer? If my offer is compelling, you can make this work on any level. You can start at $5-$10 a day.
I think every business should be running, every business that’s generating revenue. Let me be specific because some people are just starting– if you have the capital to invest, for sure. But if you have a revenue-generating business, people are giving you money; I don’t care what kind of business you should be advertising on YouTube. You can make it work.
You don’t need to break the bank. You don’t need huge production value and all of this stuff because the message stripped down is the most basic at the end of the day. If that doesn’t connect, I don’t care how fancy you make it; they’re not going to tune in.Marketing will not do you any good If you can get your audience's attention but can't create a pleasant engagement with them. Click To Tweet
The flip side of that is when we find a message that connects bear down, stripped down, now when we start building it up through these editing strategies, production value, and so forth, we know. We have data to prove people are already connecting with this message. How can I now deliver this message more powerfully? That’s how we’re doing this.
It’s not out of the gate, throwing a bunch of money at video production and that kind of thing. Because of that, it makes it available to everyone because you can start with $5 a day, $10 a day. Especially if you’re in your local area, you can target the radius of your zip code or wherever you’re, and it’ll only show the ad to those closest to you. You can start at $10 a day.
You probably shouldn’t be doing it if you don’t have $10, $20 a day to invest in your business. But if you have a business that’s making money, you should be able to invest $10 or $20 a day and own testing it out and see how it works. You can’t put a couple of $100 a month into growing your business. I don’t know how to respond to that. That’s why I say revenue generating because obviously, if you’re not generating any revenue, then it’s different.
If you’re generating revenue, you should be able to take a piece of whatever you’re generating, put it to the side, and then use this for growth. You could get $5, $10 a day, what is that, $10 a day? That’s $300.
If you’re generating revenue, you should be able to take a piece of whatever you’re generating, put it to the side, and then use this for growth. You could get $5, $10 a day, what is that, $10 a day? That’s $300.
Pull your phone out in a cell phone and talk into the camera. Make about a one-minute video, put $10 a day behind it, let it run for a week, and see what happens. Anybody is available to everyone for sure.
What if somebody doesn’t want to be on camera? They want to do these cheap videos, try stuff out, and be experimental, yet they don’t want to be on camera? They’ve got fear of that or just deep discomfort, so they procrastinate. Is there a solution for those folks? Is there a solution for finding the competitor examples that are performing well so that you can kind of R&D, rip off and duplicate what the successful competitors are doing?
Rip off and duplicate. That’s funny. R&D, I like that.
I learned that one from Taki Moore.
Seriously, there’s Fiverr, there’s Upwork, and there are these places where you can go and get people to make your video. My personal opinion is that if you’re not willing to do whatever it takes to grow your business, I really don’t know how to respond to people like that, you know what I mean?
If you’re so self-whatever about yourself that you can’t pull your mobile device out and talk into your phone to put it in front of people who might give you money, I don’t know how to—you know what I mean? Honestly, I’ve never really entertained that. There’s a purpose on why we would not be on a camera because we’re testing messages.
If it’s about not being on camera, there are ways to pull it off. But I would say reevaluate your mindset when it comes to that. Be willing to do whatever it takes to grow your business. But if you got the money and the capital because you don’t want to be on video—
Do you know what that reminds me of? Les Brown. You got to be hungry.
I’m just saying the opportunity is wide open for anybody with a couple of dollars. They got a revenue-generating business, a few bucks from that business to invest in, a mobile device to make your video, and you can be on YouTube. You are already generating revenue; you probably have a website.
If you don’t have a website and you’re generating revenue, that will add a hurdle because now you have to get a site because you still need a website to send people to from your ads. You’re going to have to solve that.
But if you already have a revenue-generating business and a website, all you need to do now is pull your phone out, figure out what you want, which hook, message, and call to action are going to be like what do you want people to do? What will you say to them in your message, and how do you think you will get their attention?
You can wing that literally. Put $5 or $10 bucks a day and see how people respond to it. You can be in business today or tomorrow. This is always a challenge for me for people who just find reasons not to take action. I have very little patience for that because if you have the resources 100%, hire somebody. It’s super easy to go to Fiverr and get someone to make you a video, 100%.
Some people don’t have the resources that will say that. It’s like, you got a phone? Yes. You got a couple of dollars to put on an ad? Yes. Did you get a website? Yes. You don’t need anything else. You can get in business right now.
I don’t want to hear anything else you say to me that doesn’t involve those things because if I tell you to hire someone to make you a video, you say you don’t have the money for that. You rather put the money in ads. Okay. Put the money in ads.
I hear this a lot. It gets frustrating a lot of times. But if you have the capital and don’t want to be on video, 100% hire someone to get it done for you. If you have money to put in ads but feel like you don’t have the money to do all the other things, you have to be willing to do what it takes or doesn’t.
That’s the only challenge I have when people say that stuff to me. If you don’t have the resources. If you have the resources, yeah, hire. Hire, hire it out. There are plenty of freelancers, companies, and places to go to get this stuff done for sure.
What are they using, those freelancers? Lumen5 to create AI-based videos with the stock video, transitions, and overlaid text?
There’s another one called InVideo that can also pull in stock video footage, marry them together, and things like that. I forget the others. I’m not active. I got a girl on my team that handled—I’ve been training her for probably three years. Now she’s gotten to the point where she’s taken over all our videos, from scripting to editing. She manages that entire process.
I’m more of a strategic-level thinker on these things. I’m not into the execution side of it as much, but I know that there’s InVideo and Lumen5. There’s another one I can’t think of right now. There’s also a platform called VoiceBunny, or maybe its name changed, where you get voiceovers. I think they’re doing videos now as well.
There’s Fiverr, and there’s Upwork. I’m just trying to tick off some tools and stuff we use for certain stuff. Now that we’re doing many things, we have editors and all that stuff to get pretty sophisticated. But if you need tools out of the box, Lumen5, InVideo, like I said, Fiverr. Then if you want a voiceover, you can use VoiceBunny, Fiverr, or Upwork.
I feel like there are a couple of other tools that I’m just not catching right now, but there are tools out there that handle a lot of this stuff. It’s not really one. Maybe I’m wrong because I’m not into the weeds of it anymore, but it doesn’t feel like there’s a one-stop shop tool where you go. You plug something in, and it spits out this amazing or somewhat decent video other than Fiverr where you’re getting a person, and then you’re giving them instructions on here goes my script, this is what I want the visuals to look like.
Maybe they already have some examples of work they’ve done, and now it’s like, make me a video like this, use this wording, and that kind of thing. You got to give them a little more direction versus these tools.
In InVideo, we basically can take a script, stick it in there, and it’ll spit us the visuals out. If you want a voiceover, you still have to get someone to read the script and then marry the visual with the audio. If you don’t have that skill set, that takes a bit of work. Now you have to figure out how to find someone to do that.If you can't tell a compelling story, it will be very challenging — not impossible, though — to engage with your audience. Click To Tweet
It’s not like a one-stop. Maybe InVideo has a way to do all of that. I’m not 100% sure, but it doesn’t feel like any of these platforms are out-of-the-box and have all the elements necessary to make, especially in their hook message and call-to-action format.
A lot of times, they’re making these explainer videos and all of that kind of stuff, which are great for the purpose. Before ad, you got to understand there’s a hook that’s going to capture their attention, there’s a message that I need to deliver that’s congruent with that, and then there’s something that I want them to do. You got to get those elements in there.
I haven’t seen a place where you can go and stick something in and get something out that covers that. You kind of got to direct people to get that outcome, other than you doing it yourself by pulling your phone out, and talking into it, if that makes sense.
Yup. What if you wanted to use a tool to find the competitors’ ads, the video ads that you might want to R&D?
What did you say?
Rip off and duplicate.
One of my favorites is Video Ad Vault. My guy Justin Sardi is a good friend of mine. I don’t get paid anything for giving him a shout-out. I just love the tool. We actually use it, Video Ad Vault. You might just have to google it.
He also has a software called TubeSift– a software that can pull specific videos for you to run your ads against. But now he has his Video Ad Vault that has all of this who’s running what, how much they’re spending, where they’re sending their trip. I don’t know if it tells you how much they’re spending, but you can see view counts, where they’re sending their traffic to their landing pages, and that kind of thing. It’s pretty dope too.
We’re always trying to see who’s doing what and what’s working for other people that we can borrow ideas from, not rip off.
We use it quite often. I don’t know if we do it every day. I know I’m not there every day, but I know on a week-over-week basis. Somehow, that tool is coming up in our activities on a week-over-week basis where we’re going in there, and we’re looking at what other things are happening in the market, depending on different projects we have. We’re always trying to see who’s doing what and what’s working for other people that we can borrow ideas from, not rip off.
For inspiration, right. That tool is great. I feel like there’s something else I know we use, but it wasn’t very good, so I’m not going to call the name out. But obviously, Video Ad Vault by TubeSift or Justin Sardi. Dope, too.
I googled it while you were talking. Yes, it’s videoadvault.com.
For sure, yes.
What about checking their spending, the competitors? I know with Semrush, for example, you can see an estimated ad spend for Google Ads. Is that also going to provide YouTube ad spend?
I have no idea. I don’t know what the roadmap is. That was at one point where SEMrush was giving us data on YouTube, and then they took it away. I don’t know anyone there. I know they’re a big company too, so I don’t have any contacts. I don’t know their roadmap, so I have no idea.
I don’t know where you can go and find how much people spend with the tool. I don’t know if someone has a tool that gives that and is close to being accurate. Please send it to me; I would love to know.
Typically, what I do with Video Ad Vault is not necessarily trying to find their overall spend as much as I’m trying to find what’s working, and then I can look at the view count. I know last week, we found a video. It was uploaded three months ago. We had 20 million views, all unlisted.
When a video is unlisted, you get public, you get unlisted, and you get private. A public video is just anybody who can create a video, upload it, go public, and go out to the YouTube ecosystem. Unlisted videos can only get views if you give them to someone or buy ads.
In a private video, you can only access that by someone giving you access like a Google Doc where you would give someone access to that Google Doc by putting their email address in there. That’s how private videos work. I can’t even access a private video. No one can if the person who owns it doesn’t give it to you.
I don’t want to model everything you’re doing based on how much you’re spending. I want to model what’s working that you’re doing, that you’re spending a lot of money on.
I’m saying that with unlisted videos if it has a lot of views on it, it’s probably because of the ads. Twenty million views in three months, that’s probably working. That’s the indicator that I look for. I’m trying to find what specifically is working because I don’t necessarily just want to model everything you’re doing based on how much you’re spending. I want to model what’s working that you’re doing, that you’re spending a lot of money on.
The view count is very key, and then the setting of being an unlisted video is very key. If you see unlisted, you see a large view count, and then you’re looking at the date on which it was uploaded; that’s a good indicator of—because a 20-million-view video uploaded four years ago might not even be running anymore.
A video that was uploaded three months ago with 20 million views, okay, something’s going on here. We need to study this. This is probably good data that I can borrow from someone else’s data that is probably working. We should probably try something like this. That’s how we’re making that decision.
Can you see these unlisted videos using Video Ad Vault?
Very cool. What about somebody paying for YouTube Premium? What used to be called YouTube Red. I pay for that, and it’s so valuable. I hate ads. I don’t ever watch any. How do you reach those people?
You don’t, unless you’re producing content. Unless you’re a creator, you can reach those people through influencer marketing, but that’s a whole other conversation. That’s a completely different thing.
Are you doing any influencer marketing?
Yeah, we do some of that. I don’t personally do it anymore. Again, it’s like these partner clusters that we operate in where there’s a person that’s an influencer marketing person. We work together.
For example, we have one of our projects where we’ll go in; we’ll pull all of the data from YouTube and find where the conversions are happening. Now we can pass that off to that partner who also works with that client to help them sharpen their strategy of who they want to outreach to do these types of deals with.
We already know from the traffic we’re buying that this audience converts. It’s an alley-oop type of situation, but we don’t do anything outside that. We support that data, we’ll hand it off, and then they’ll do their thing.
I used to do some of that back in the day, but you know how it is. You’re trying to grow. You’re doing everything under the sun. Slowly, you got to say, all right, I’m going to teach someone this, I’m going to not do this, or I’m going to do this, but I’m going to partner with someone.You don't need to have the greatest hook in the world because it's not about that. It's about speaking to the right person. Click To Tweet
If, for a while, I didn’t do it, then I started looking at ways to partner with people to say, here’s a way that maybe we can provide more value to our client and vice versa. Sometimes they’ll bring us projects they’re working on, or we’ll bring them two projects that we’re working on and say, hey, we got all this data. Here go 67 channels where we got data on conversion; we can hand it off to his team, and they can do the outreach and do that kind of thing.
We work together on it like that. But once they go from that, it’s out of our hands. There’s a whole strategy with influencer marketing that I haven’t done in three or four years. I don’t know the ins and outs of it like that. I just get in my little lane. But it’s definitely a killer strategy.
If someone is on premium and that content creator’s producing content, you’ll still see that content. With ads, you can’t run the ad and show it to anyone that’s a premium user. You can’t reach them through ads.
Yeah. Your team is creating YouTube ads and running those ads for your own stuff, not just for your clients, right?
Somewhat, it’s here or there. I don’t have a lot of stuff per se to run ads for. We got a mastermind coming up that we’re about to do a partner with a company called Founder. We created the course together, but Founder really controls a lot of that when it comes to the ads and all of that. They do all of that stuff.
We don’t advertise for clients. Most of my stuff has come through referrals. There is stuff that we do; there are internal projects that we have going on. But the bulk of what we’re doing still, at this point, is our clients or our partners. I’m trying to go more so partnerships because, at the end of the day, other people are just so great at certain aspects.
This is what I learned trying to run my stuff. We’re good at the ads, but some people are just way better at operations, supply chain, customer service, and all of these other things. So it’s like, do you want to be good at that?
Facebook Ads, I’ve spent millions of dollars on Facebook ads. But it just came to a point where most of what we’re producing results from the Google platform. It was like, other people are probably better than us at keeping it real. If I got someone better than us doing that, we’re better at what we’re doing than what they’re doing, and we partner together, one plus one isn’t two. It’s three, four, or five. That’s the rate that I’m going.
I try to stick to what I’m good at. When you have your offers, you have an entire business, not just the advertising lane. It’s everything that makes that work. The entire ecosystem includes copywriting, funnels, integration, and customer service. The list goes on and on and on.
As an advertising agency, we don’t have to do customer service and all of these things. We don’t have to deal with supply chain, cash flow, inventory management, or all of these things. That’s how I learned to try to do all those things. It’s like, okay, we’re not that good at that. I don’t want to learn how to be good at that; I’m already good at something. I should probably find someone who’s already good at that.
When I started doing that, I started noticing how much better things work. I’m moving more to our partnerships now because I can take what we’ve built, and then we can add all of these components together and get way better than trying to learn all of these things. That’s why we’re in it.
That concept is called ‘who not how.’ There’s a book on it that’s called, Who Not How by Dan Sullivan.
Yup. Dan Sullivan, yup. I know that book. As a matter of fact, didn’t I meet Dan Sullivan somewhere? I want to say I met him at Genius Network. Genius Network, you know it?
Yup. I’m a Genius Network member, and I have been for a few years.
There you go. Yup. Dan Sullivan, yeah. That might be where that idea started permeating for me, to be honest with you because you try to do all these things, which is failing. Do you know what I mean? I’m good at this piece, but something that isn’t working has nothing to do with the part that I’m good at. It’s all of the other stuff. Do you know what I mean?
This is like, man, I should probably find people that know what they’re doing. I’m pretty sure being in that probably helped permeate that in my mind and helped me to understand how to activate that as well because you can have that thought, but it’s like, well, how do I do that?
I got some real good game on that from there and some other masterminds and things that I’m in on how to actually execute on putting people together, building teams, finding the right people, and making the fit in the culture side of it and all of that where it all works together.
I know we’re out of time. If our listeners or viewers are interested in learning more from you, maybe even joining your mastermind, or just hiring your agency and having you guys do it all, how do they get in touch?
Tommie Traffic, my name tommietraffic.com. If you google Tommie Traffic or you go to Facebook or Instagram. I don’t use Twitter, TikTok, and all of that. But if you look for me, my name, Tommie Traffic, is pretty easy to find. From there, it will be either Facebook, IG, or something like that.
Just get my information and reach out. I’ll get in touch or somebody on my team. I’m usually pretty hands-on with connecting with people. If there’s an opportunity, it might not be like the initial outreach part. But if you reach out and give us some information about what you’re doing and I think there’s an opportunity, typically I want to have that conversation.
I’m the decision-maker in my world. I like to talk to the decision-makers in the world for the clients that we work with. We’re always looking for opportunities. I’ve grown quite a bit now with the agency side, so I have partners now on my agency partnership piece where we really cover everything.
We have the capability to do it all from the funnels and the integrations, the creatives, the media buying, and all of that stuff. We really can cover the entire ecosystem of digital advertising. We kind of got it all.
We’re really just trying to grow right now and find more partners. Obviously clients as well, but we’re kind of in that zone between moving toward partnerships. I would say, probably in the next two or three years, I want to predominantly focus on that, do less client work and more partnerships ultimately is really where I want to go.
Awesome. Thank you, Tommie. This was fabulous. Best of luck with the growth of your agency and all the cool stuff you’re up to. We’ll catch you in the next episode. In the meantime, make it a great week. Do some good in the world. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.
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Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Focus on the creative side of marketing because people usually don’t like ads when they see them. Become smarter and better at how to reach people, capture their attention, and keep them engaged.
Observe why people are on the platform. This allows me to get their attention and engage with them based on what they’re there for. This will bridge the gap between where they are right now and where I want them to be.
Produce a great story. If I can’t tell a compelling story, engaging with my audience will be very challenging.
Segment my audience. Identify the key messages and conversations happening in my audience segment’s minds and focus on those.
Emulate what successful competitors are doing. If my competitors’ strategy works, it can work for me too! This can greatly increase the effectiveness of my marketing.
Reevaluate my marketing views and beliefs from time to time. Be willing to do whatever it takes to grow my business.
Don’t break the bank when making videos for my ads. I don’t need huge production value for every video I make. I can start with the most basic video and still convey my message to my audience.
Invest in advertising. This is the best way to secure more clients, increase my sales, and help with brand awareness.
Stick to what I’m good at. I don’t need to do everything in my business. Instead, hire the right team members for my business to run effectively and efficiently.
Visit Tommie Powers’ website to learn more from him, join his mastermind, or hire his agency. Also, follow him on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
About Tommie Powers
Tommie Powers aka “Tommie Traffic” is an Investor & Digital Advertising Maestro with over 15 years experience. Since 2007, he’s spent and consulted on over $120M in digital advertising that has resulted in over $550M in revenue.
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