It’s a scientific fact that marketers love traffic.
(I saw it on the Discovery Channel.)
The only bummer is the fact that creating a profitable traffic
campaign takes time and patience to optimize.
But what if it didn’t have to be that way?
What if you could set up a campaign and KNOW it was going to
perform like gangbusters right out of the gate?
That’s the idea behind this blog post—I’ve sourced five
customer acquisition experts (AKA media buyers) to each share
one of their best-performing campaigns.
All you have to do is swipe and deploy in your
business, then tweak as needed…
Then sit back and watch as highly engaged traffic comes to your
site in waves.
Ready to get started?
Tom Breeze, Founder
and CEO, Viewability
I’ve always been blown away by the scale and return on
investment (ROI) potential inherent in YouTube ads, and last
year, I stumbled onto a YouTube campaign that increases
leads by 33% and sales by 52%.
I call it the “Choose Your Own Adventure” campaign.
Here’s how it works:
This campaign involves creating an in-stream
ad (a skippable video ad that runs before the video
content on the page).
I’m sure you’ve seen these ads. Here’s an example of one of our
old in-stream ads:
Anyone who clicked on the ad was taken to a landing page with a registration form:
This campaign performed well, but we were looking for ways to
And one day I got an idea after seeing this quote:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve
me and I learn.”
According to good old Ben (who knew he was such a great
marketer?), there are three levels of teaching/involvement:
Thinking about it, I realized the same is true of video ads.
You can, of course, simply tell the visitor about your
product or service. And that works to a certain extent.
Better video ads actually teach the visitor a little
something, right there in the ad. These ads tend to perform
better than those ads that simply tell.
But how could we reach that third level—how could we
involve our viewers in our content?
The answer came to me when I stumbled across one of these old
books from my childhood:
Those Choose Your Own Adventure books were highly
engaging because they actually INVOLVED you in the action. You
weren’t just passively absorbing the book…
You were actually deciding how it would
And I thought to myself: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could do
the same thing with a YouTube ad?”
As it turns out, we can. And here’s how.
The Choose Your Own Adventure YouTube Campaign
For this campaign, we knew that we tend to have two different
kinds of consumers:
- People who are new to guitar, and
- People who are in a guitar rut—they’ve been playing for a
while, but haven’t seen much improvement lately and want to
take their skills to the next level.
We used this information to give the viewer a chance to “choose
their own adventure” right in the ad.
Instead of putting one generic call-to-action (CTA) in the ad,
we put two CTAs in there—giving the viewer the opportunity to
identify which type of guitar player they are.
The result was two clickable CTAs in the ad, which looked like
You can actually see the YouTube ad in its entirety here:
We ran this ad and generated over 1.5 million views,
using the same targeting options as the original.
And here are the results (along with what we learned):
Increased View Rate by 39%. More people
stuck around to watch the video.
Generated 33% more registrations per view.
Of those people who did view the ad, more ended up
becoming a lead.
Generated 52% more sales. And most
importantly, this ad generated more sales. A lot
OK, so those results are pretty clear: The “choose your own
adventure” style ad is significantly better than the original.
What makes this ad so effective?
I’ve identified four things this ad does that explains why
those numbers improved so much:
1. It Changes the Question in The Viewer’s Mind
Part of why this ad worked so well is because it creates what I
call a “false dichotomy.”
During most ads, the viewer is asking themselves: Should I
click or not?
But by giving two options like this, we are changing the
question to: Should I click A or B?
It assumes the click and changes the question in
the viewer’s mind in a subtle, but powerful way. Just making
that little shift helped create a big improvement in our
2. It Gets Viewers Engaged with Our Sales Funnel
When the user clicks on one of the two CTA buttons in the ad,
they aren’t taken directly to our landing page; instead, they
are taken to another YouTube video providing useful content for
their particular problem.
Then, the CTA on that second video takes them through to our
Because the Choose Your Own Adventure ad links keep the user on
YouTube, it’s an easier click. There’s less
friction than there would be from sending someone
directly to a different website.
This is also a form of “microcommitment.”
A microcommitment is just a small step that
the viewer takes that gets them more engaged
with the ad, and makes them more likely to
continue down the funnel.
It’s sort of like leaving a breadcrumb on the ground. By
getting the person to stop and pick up that breadcrumb, we are
subtly leading them in the direction we want them to go.
This means when the user arrives on the second video, they are
a little more engaged than they were with the first video—which
makes them more likely to click on that video’s CTA. And when
they arrive on your landing page, they are even more
engaged—and more likely to register and become a lead.
3. It Lets Us Create Two Custom Landing Pages
Another awesome thing about this ad is that it allows us to
tailor our content to the user.
People who clicked on the “new to guitar” CTA landed on a page
that focused on the specific challenges that guitar newbies are
likely to face. The content is super relevant to them.
People who click on the “stuck in a rut” CTA, on the other
hand, landed on a page that is written toward existing guitar
players who need help getting out of a rut.
improved the conversion rate on our landing pages while also
helping us to learn more about customers and identify problems
in the funnel.
For example, we learned that guitar players who clicked the “in
a rut” CTA were 5x more valuable than the guitar newbies.
So, we used this information to run some tests on the newbie
funnel that helped us to improve the results from those
visitors, without sacrificing any of our results with the
“in a rut” visitors.
We could never have learned this stuff from a standard
ad with one CTA.
4. It Allows Us to Remarket More Effectively
Finally, this strategy helps us to get even more targeted and
specific in our remarketing.
Instead of one general remarketing list for all guitar players,
now we can segment our remarketing to focus one campaign on
guitar players in a rut and another campaign to focus on guitar
(We do this by building a remarketing audience based on anybody
who has viewed the “In A Rut” or “Fairly New” videos.)
We can also remarket more aggressively to players in a
rut since they are more valuable to the business.
This allows us to spend our money more wisely using this method
How Can You Use This in Your Own Campaigns?
A Choose Your Own Adventure ad campaign works best when you can
segment your users based on one of two things:
- The visitor’s identity (guitar noobs vs guitar players
stuck in a rut)
- The visitor’s intent (do you want more leads or more
And in case you’re not sure HOW to set it up, it’s pretty
simple: Just use YouTube’s new “End Screens” to create your
different CTA links at the end of your video.
You can add up to four links, and you can
specify when you want them to appear near the
end of the video.
The best part about End Screens is that, unlike annotations,
they work on mobile. (This is really
(I’ll be talking about this on the DigitalMarketer Blog soon,
so keep an eye out!)
Choose Your Own Adventure YouTube ads are going to be a BIG
focus for us in 2017, so definitely give this YouTube ad
strategy a try in your business!
Mike Rhodes, Founder
and CEO, Web Savvy
I’m going to share some tips you can take to get a
better return on your ecommerce Google ads (aka Google
Shopping ads or PLAs).
Here’s the problem many ecommerce campaigns face:
Each search term has a very different value to your business…
but because you can’t use keywords, it can be tricky to bid the
right amount for each search.
For example, take these three keywords:
Each of these keywords has a different value for your business.
Generally speaking, the first keyword has the lowest
value because it indicates the visitor is still
researching their options. They know they want to buy a TV, but
they don’t know what kind yet.
The final keyword has the highest value because it
indicates the greatest buying intent. This
visitor knows exactly what they want, down to the exact model.
This person is likely to make a purchase very soon.
And the second
keyword is somewhere in the middle.
So, the question now becomes:
How do you make sure you’re bidding the right amount for
And here’s the answer:
The “Generic”, “Brand”, and “Make & Models” Campaigns
First, start with 3 campaigns: “Generic,” “Brand,” and “Makes
And configure these campaigns like so:
Makes & Models Campaign
This campaign will be targeting your highest-value keywords
containing specific product names, like “65KU7500.”
Because these are your highest-value keywords, you want the bid
to be high to make sure that you’re showing up for these
You don’t need to set any negative keywords in this campaign.
However, you do want to set the priority to “low.”
This is because if someone searches for a more generic keyword
(like “buy TV” or “buy Samsung TV”), you want that bid to come
from your Generic or Brand campaigns instead. (This way, you
won’t be overpaying for lower-value keyword searches.)
This campaign will be targeting medium-value keywords that
contain a brand name, such as “Buy Samsung TV.”
Set your bids and priority in this campaign to a medium
value (something in between your Generic and Make/Model
Finally, make sure to add your Make/Model keywords (such as
“65KU7500”) as negative keywords in this campaign.
This way, if someone’s search includes the keyword “65KU7500,”
your bid will come from the Make/Model campaign instead.
This campaign contains all your generic keywords, such as “Buy
Because these keywords have your lowest buying intent, you
should give this campaign your lowest bids.
But make sure this ad group this your highest
priority, so that if someone searches for “Buy TV,” your
bid will come from this campaign (with a lower bid) instead of
your Brand or Make/Model campaigns.
Finally, add all your Brand and Makes/Models keywords as
negative keywords. This will make sure that if someone performs
a Brand or Make/Model search, those ads will be served by your
Brand and Make/Model campaigns (with their higher bids)
A Quick Example
Confused about how this works? Here are a few quick examples:
Someone searches for “Buy TV.”
Because your Generic campaign has the highest priority, this ad
will be served from that campaign with a low bid.
Someone searches for “Buy Samsung TV.”
“Samsung” is a negative keyword in your Generic campaign—so
this search won’t match to that campaign.
The two remaining campaigns are your Brand and Make/Model
campaigns. And because your Brand campaign has a higher
priority, the ad will be served from that campaign (with a
Someone searches for “Buy Samsung 65KU7500.”
This one’s easy: “65KU7500” is a negative keyword in both your
Generic and Brand campaigns, so your ad will be served from
your Make/Model campaign with a high bid.
Now… Triple Those Campaigns
At this point, you have three campaigns.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve performance even
more, simply triple them.
Create three versions of each campaign, one for each device:
This will give you the ability to tweak your bids based on how
your ads are performing on each device.
The result? Greater control and a better ROI.
Improve Your Campaigns Even More
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve audited a campaign that
puts all the products into one big ad group.
Please, guys: Don’t do this!
Each product can have its own ad group.
This gives you much better control and visibility and
gives you more options when setting up features like
remarketing and extensions.
You won’t always go this granular, but often it will yield the
Layer Remarketing With RLSA
You know that remarketing works, right?
Of course, you do!
But let’s get a little more granular with it.
Let’s adjust your Shopping bids with the help of RLSA
(remarketing lists for search ads). This gives you the ability
to combine remarketing with your shopping campaign.
How does it work?
The idea is pretty simple. You adjust the bid based on which
part of your site the viewer has visited, like so:
Let’s say we’re starting with a $1.00 bid…
- If the person is on your email list, increase it 20%—now
it’s a $1.20 bid.
- If the person visited any part of your site, increase it
50%—now it’s a $1.50 bid.
- If the person viewed your product, increase it 100%—now
it’s a $2.00 bid.
- If the person viewed the cart, increase it 250%—now it’s a
- If the person is a previous buyer, increase it 400%—now
it’s a $5.00 bid.
You don’t have to use those exact numbers, but you get the
idea: You should be willing to pay more for a visitor
who has shown greater interest in buying your product.
Use the Right Ad Extensions
There’s no other way to say it:
If you aren’t using ad extensions, you’re leaving money on the
The right extensions will give your ad more real estate on your
prospect’s screen, generating more clicks, and, ultimately,
The two extensions you should absolutely be using are
ratings and promotions.
This extension will show visitors just how awesome other people
think your product is.
Reviews are essential in ecommerce, so if you have reviews,
absolutely set up this extension. If you don’t have reviews,
then go get some!
Just look at how the two ads on right stand out because of
This extension adds an extra line of copy to your ad that says
When the person clicks, they’ll see a coupon code on the
I believe EVERYONE in ecommerce should be using this
extension—even if it’s just 5% off—because it gives you that
little extra line under your ad.
Now, I know that some people will disagree because they don’t
want to eat into their profits by giving everyone a discount.
But you want to know the kicker?
More people will click on your ad if they see a coupon code
…but few people will actually USE the coupon.
We ran a test that generated a lot of data:
Out of those 1,137 conversions, guess how many people actually
redeemed the coupon code?
Only 62 (about 5%).
In other words, you can get all the benefits of using
the coupon extension… including greater visibility and more
clicks on your ad (notice our 43% click-through rate (CTR)
Without having to give a discounted price most of
(RELATED: 3 Advanced AdWords Tactics That Increase ROI)
Set Up Dynamic Remarketing
If you’ve been following along, you already have a powerhouse
ecommerce campaign that’s firing on all cylinders.
Looking for one more way to kick it up another notch?
Start doing dynamic remarketing.
This allows you to show remarketing ads to visitors based on
their previous browsing behavior.
You’ve probably heard that YouTube is the world’s second
biggest search engine. It’s also a great place to show
your product ads.
You can combine the reach of YouTube with the
power of Shopping ads by using Shoppable TrueView ads.
They’re a bit more complicated to setup and honestly, results
have been mixed for my agency, WebSavvy.
But, if you’re looking to try every last tactic to drive sales,
test ‘em out!
I also highly recommend combining your product feed with Gmail
ads to show your products right inside someone’s Gmail account,
Gmail is a very under-utilized targeting option right now, so
this can bring you great results without much competition.
(NOTE: Want to become a certified paid traffic master? Learn
how to drive quality traffic from platforms like Facebook,
Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn and build a guaranteed system for
acquiring customers with our Paid Traffic Mastery
Certification. Learn more now.)
I want to walk you through the process we use to take an
existing ad account that isn’t performing up to par, and turn
it into an organized and well-oiled machine.
The first thing we do when optimizing an ad account is to look
through the account for any “hidden nuggets”—things that are
working well that we can leverage across the account for even
In this example,
we were working with an ecommerce company in the beauty
industry. This company wanted new customers at a CPA (cost per
acquisition) of fewer than $10 each.
But there were a few problems.
Two Common Facebook Ad Account Problems
Problem #1 was that this company was running
all sorts of campaigns with a mishmash of objectives:
- Ebook downloads
- Post Boosting (Engagement)
- Some Conversion Campaigns
The result of this hodgepodge of campaigns? The company had
no overall strategy. And that lead to…
Problem #2: They were putting money in (about
$5,000/day), but they didn’t know how much money they were
making as a result.
They had an idea that they were more or less breaking even, but
they didn’t know how to improve their ROI or scale their
campaigns to generate even more leads, sales, and customers.
How We Optimized this Account and Generated a 7-to-1 ROI
So, what did we do to fix things?
Our first step was to set up conversion values inside their
custom conversion events.
If you’re selling a product inside of Facebook, you need to
set this up now!
conversion values is what allows you to figure out how much you
made on your ad spend. It’s an extremely important part of your
(Unfortunately, after looking through over 200 Facebook
accounts, I’ve found that fewer than 10% actually do this.)
The next thing we did was to look through their campaigns for
anything that was already working.
We found a few campaigns that were getting newsfeed conversions
We looked closer at these ads and realized a few things:
- They were simple link post ads going to a blog post.
- The blog post gave high-quality content in the form of
- The blog post had tons of product links where people could
buy a product. (Unfortunately, this meant that they had no idea
which products these people were buying once they
arrived at the blog post.)
This was all great stuff that we could work with.
And when we analyzed the site even closer, we realized that the
blog post contained really great videos of their spokesperson
demonstrating how to use their products.
Each video was well done and provided a lot of
value by showing the visitor how to solve a common
We call these “Trojan Horse product placement videos” because
they are primarily content… but by virtue of good product
placement, they do a great job of building desire for the
product being used in the ad.
These were great videos, five to six minutes each, which did a
fantastic job of following our three-step process for video ads
- Get attention through motion
- Education, entertain, inform
- Close for the sale at the end
So, we decided to test them as newsfeed ads.
We started by reorganizing the account to bring some order to
the chaos. We implemented the “Michigan Method,” creating one ad per ad
The account structure looked like this:
We targeted twenty different beauty niches, using nine
variations, three videos, and three different ad copy
The ad formula we used is something I call the “Yankee Clipper” ads formula. This is one of
the formulas we use to systematize our ad copy:
Each and every ad we created was a different variation on this
When it was all said and done, we had a campaign with nine ad
When it launched, it looked like this:
It may look intimidating, but by breaking everything out like
this we were able to easily identify what was working and what
wasn’t. This made it easy to PAUSE the losers and SCALE the
The results of all this were pretty astounding:
We spent £247, 572.87 and generated £1,454,230.83 (that’s an
ROI of 7-to-1)…
All by analyzing the campaign for what was working, bringing
order and strategy to their account, and systematizing our ad
creation process with a winning formula.
I want to give you guys a Facebook ad framework that has been
successful for us over and over again.
Using this framework, we’ve been able to generate checkouts for
$4 each, and leads at $2 each:
Want to learn how we did it?
The secret comes from systematizing our ad process to
include as many proven elements of persuasion as
And we’ve identified seven core elements that
we try to get into every single ad.
Here’s a quick overview of the Seven Core Elements:
Facebook Ad Core Element #1: Credibility/Authority
This is where you demonstrate that you know what you’re talking
In this case, I mention the fact that I’ve tested over $10
million on Facebook ads over seven years.
Facebook Ad Core Element #2: #1 Challenge or Frustration
When you can name the visitor’s top challenge or frustration,
it signals to them that you understand what they’re
going through—and more importantly, that you have the
solution they’ve been looking for.
It also creates some great rapport along the way by helping
your prospect to feel understood.
Facebook Ad Core Element #3: CTA #1
Ultimately, we want the person to click through to our landing
page… but in this video ad, we FIRST want them to watch the
That’s why our first CTA encourages the person to stick around
and watch by teasing them with what they’re about to learn.
Facebook Ad Core Element #4: Give An “Aha Moment”
where you provide an insight that gives your viewer a moment of
realization that provides some real value in helping
them to overcome their problem.
In other words, show them you can help them by actually
In this ad, I share the first four targeting groups you should
start every campaign with.
Facebook Ad Core Element #5: CTA #2
Now, with this CTA, tell them exactly what to
You want to be absolutely explicit when you do this, for
example: Click this link to get your free book.
Facebook Ad Core Element #6: Link Headline
Because this is the biggest line of copy in your ad, you’ll
want to put your main hook here.
In this example, it’s the “#1 Lesson Learned After $10 Million
in Ad Spend.”
Facebook Ad Core Element #7: Link Description
Here is where I like to make a secondary…
- Curiosity or
…statement to reinforce the ad above.
Again, I recommend trying to fit these seven elements into
every Facebook ad you run.
They don’t necessarily have to be in this order, but they
should be in there somewhere.
Next, I want to talk a little more about “aha moments.”
The Power of an “Aha Moment”
To create a
really great ad, you need to give viewers a flash of insight. A
moment when they say to themselves, “Oh! Great idea!”
In the video ad example above, I teach visitors the “#1 lesson
learned after $10 million in FB ad spend.” And the “aha moment”
of the video is where I reveal the four targeting groups they
should start every campaign with.
One thing to keep in mind when creating an aha moment is your
audience’s level of awareness. And I like to track
awareness using the acronym UPSYD:
Unaware: Your prospect has no knowledge of
anything except, perhaps, his own identity or opinion.
Problem or Desire Aware: Your prospect
senses she has a problem but doesn’t know there’s a
Solution Aware: Your prospect knows the
result he wants but not that your product provides it.
Your Solution Aware: Your prospect knows
what you sell but isn’t sure your product is right for them .
Deal (The Most Aware): Your prospect knows
your product and only needs to know “the deal.”
(You can learn more about the UPSYD process in Episode 86 of the Perpetual Traffic
You need to make sure that your aha moment is one that is
appropriate for the awareness level of your audience.
To use the example in that podcast episode, let’s say you’re
running traffic to a ketogenic diet offer.
If your traffic is solution aware—in other words, if they know
about the ketogenic diet but not about your ketogenic
diet product—then your aha moment needs to give the viewer
insight into your specific ketogenic diet solution.
If your traffic is unaware, on the other hand, your aha moment
has to be something that would make sense to a person who
doesn’t know what the ketogenic diet is.
Something like this ad:
And here’s the full ad broken down by the Seven Facebook
Ad Core Elements…
When you can align your aha moment to speak to the specific
awareness level of your visitors, your traffic campaign will
really start to take off.
Which takes us to our final traffic expert and her campaign…
Vice President of Marketing and Director of Traffic, DigitalMarketer
I want to give an example of how I used our
content-first strategy (we talk about this a
lot on the Perpetual Traffic Podcast) to
profitably break into a brand-new market with
At one point last year, we were trying to generate more leads
from local businesses (think restaurants, hair salons, car
dealers, and other brick-and-mortar businesses).
The problem was that when I targeted local businesses using our
Lead Magnets, the CPL (cost per lead) was
around $17. Generally, we prefer a CPL between $3-$6.
So, I put
together a quick Animoto video that explained to local business
owners why Facebook was a better way of getting new customers
than the advertising methods they were already using (like
billboards, Yellow Pages ads, and stuff like that).
I made sure to keep the ad really simple since I knew many
of these people were unfamiliar with how Facebook ads worked.
My goal was just to get the DigitalMarketer brand in front of
people, pixel them, and educate them about how they
can use Facebook to grow their business.
Then I ran this as a video ad, targeting as many local business
owners as I could find.
The video generated a ton of engagement, with over 500 shares,
1,000 likes, and 81 comments. The content really resonated with
You can see the video ad here:
So, I immediately retargeted these people with another ad that has
performed well in other campaigns. If you follow us on
Facebook, then you’ve probably seen this ad for our “Facebook
Ad Template Library”:
There was nothing special or custom about this ad—it was the
exact same ad we have run to many other audiences successfully.
What were the results this time around?
We spent about $43k on this ad, with a CPL of $3.64. When you
add the cost we spent to initially pixel these people, the CPL
came out to $4.49/lead…
Which is right in the middle of our ideal $3-$6 range, and MUCH
better than the $17 CPL we were getting before. So that was
definitely a win for us!
importantly, this strategy allowed us to reach an
entirely new market that we were having trouble
And all it took was creating a quick little education video to
warm up these prospects who needed a little more information
before they converted.
This is a great example of the power of good content and
providing solid value to your prospects.
Give your audience useful information, and they’ll start to
know, like, and trust you… and if you follow up and remarket
well, they’ll even start to BUY from you, too.
(NOTE: Want to become a certified paid traffic master? Learn
how to drive quality traffic from platforms like Facebook,
Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn and build a guaranteed system for
acquiring customers with our Paid Traffic Mastery
Certification. Learn more now.)