Episode 278 Featuring Alex Bond

YouTube Ad Campaigns with Justin Sardi

YouTube Ad Campaigns with Justin Sardi

Justin Sardi is the CEO and Co-Founder of TubeSift, a YouTube Ads targeting tool that empowers users to set up high-performing video ad campaigns quickly by taking the manual work out of finding precision targeted, monetized placements for YouTube advertising campaigns.

TubeSift is trusted by thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, marketing agencies and media companies to achieve the highest ROI for their video advertising campaigns. It is now the go-to software tool for anyone running video ads on YouTube. TubeSift has also been featured and recommended at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2019, the largest marketing event and conference in North America.

On this episode, Justin and I discuss Video Ad Vault, YouTube videos versus Podcasts, the demographics of YouTube, and much more.


What is TubeSift

[00:00:45] Justin Sardi: Yeah, so, you know, I've been doing online marketing since like Maybe like 2012, I was doing a lot of affiliate marketing and I started doing YouTube advertising and running a lot of affiliate campaigns on YouTube using YouTube ads before anybody was really doing it.

And, you know, used to be able to, you still can, but they changed it up a bit, but long story short, you used to be able to pick which videos you were going to put your ads in front of and do it very effectively and scale a lot. Like I said, you still can, it got a little more tricky, but you know, I was basically finding videos like product review videos for the amazing selling machine, for example, was one of the first products that I was promoting.

And I would find all these people with review videos, and then I would tell Google, Hey, I want to put my ad in front of these videos. And I would just be like, Hey, if you're thinking of buying the amazing selling machine, don't do it without this bonus. And people will be like, huh? 

And so I would steal traffic from these people. Basically launch jacking, if you will. And I was doing that with placements and there wasn't really a software that would allow you to, it was a manual process. Going through everything and finding every single video, copying and pasting URLs.

So I teamed up with a developer buddy of mine and we created a piece of software that basically did all of that work, found all those videos, ranking for all those keywords in a matter of seconds instead of like, you know, hours of manual work. So, so it's a targeting tool for YouTube advertisers, really long way of putting that way.

[00:02:12] Alex Bond: But I mean, that was a while ago, right? I mean, that was over a decade ago to my knowledge. 

[00:02:16] Justin Sardi: It was we rolled that out in 2015. So I was doing it in about 2013, 14. Yeah. And then I was like, Hey, why is there not a software that does this? It's still been around. And since then, we've rolled out like It's like a Facebook ad library, but for YouTube as well. So we focus a lot on the ad creative and what's working with YouTube ads now. 

Exploring Video Monetization Strategies: A Comparison of TubeSift and Video Ad Vault

[00:02:37] Alex Bond: So TubeSift users get the opportunity to pretty much find videos that are able to be monetized, like monetized videos to put ads on. And then Video Ad Vault, could you actually explain that to our audience? I feel like it's kind of the opposite, right? 

[00:02:53] Justin Sardi: Yeah, so video ad vault's basically, I like to think of it as a Facebook ad library, but for YouTube. You know, Google has an ad library, it's kind of bad. I mean, you can see the videos, but you have like no relevant data, right? You can't see the landing pages. You can't see how many views, you know, when it was published.

Like you don't have anything to go off of except for like, oh, this is a video ad these people are running. You don't know what's working or what's not. So we put this together. We have almost like one and a half million unique YouTube ads and landing pages. And basically you can search them by, you know, what domain it's going to.

So you can put your competitor's domain in, you could put in a specific YouTube channel, you know, a specific product name. You can go to Amazon and you can say, Hey, I want to find all the ads link into Amazon with the keyword dog or something. There's a lot of different ways you can search and you can find all of the ads on YouTube running in your space.

And then you can check out all the historical data and really find out what types of ads are working. Like and we've seen a lot of, you know, e commerce specifically, a lot of what's been working recently is like split screen UGC, right? So it'll be a product image and then somebody like unboxing it or showing the product in action or, you know, things like that are working extremely well right now.

So we'll be able to find out what trends are working, what hooks are working, what style of video, what the landing pages are looking like, like what kind of offers these people are putting out. And so you can really reverse engineer what's working and apply that to your business so you're not wasting a ton of time and money testing.

[00:04:25] Alex Bond: So these two websites and programs are designed to work with each other. You know, you hop on the video ad vault and kind of get your data, get your research, get everything together to figure out, you know, what sort of ads should I be running and where and what type. And then you use TubeSift to put them on specific videos. Is that accurate? 

[00:04:46] Justin Sardi: Yeah, for sure. I mean, so, so they go, they go hand in hand, right? Like your targeting is only as good as your ad and your offer and your ad and your offer isn't going to work if you're not putting it in front of the right people. So, you know, two sides of the same coin, I guess, whatever you want to call that.

Optimizing Video Advertising Strategies: Prioritizing Video Selection with TubeSift and Video Ad Vault

[00:05:01] Alex Bond: When you're using TubeSift, right? I mean, you can only, you can get as much research as you research and data from the video ad vault as possible, but when it says a company is just using TubeSift or something, they, you know, search for specific videos available, how do they know which ones to prioritize or use or advertise on over other ones?

I mean, is it as simple as this one has more views, so I should go with them or, or what does that targeting process look like? I'm curious if you could have any insight to any of our entrepreneurs listening, what kind of is that breakdown and in the boxes that need to be checked. 

[00:05:40] Justin Sardi: Right. So, I mean, honestly. Even if a video doesn't have a ton of views, but it's relevant, I would still target it because even one targeted view is going to be better than none, right? So I usually throw a few hundred in specifically with the changes Google made, right? They actually pulled placement targeting out of campaigns with goals.

And so what we're doing now is you basically have to set up a campaign without a goal, which you can still track conversions, all that good stuff. But Google's not going to manually or Google's not going to optimize that campaign for you. You have to manually do it. So we've been using placement campaigns to train our pixel.

Right. Because they're not as scalable as they used to be. So now you have to have like hundreds and hundreds of videos in there to get it to spend, and then it'll start spending, you'll start to see some conversion pixel fires, and then that's like training Google on what type of people you want to be targeting.

And then when you go with a little more broad targeting on the campaigns with the goal, that's when you start to see it. It basically just helps train your pixel a lot faster and get you results long-term results faster is kind of what we're doing now. So really like any video that's related to what you're promoting is going to be good.

Maximizing Ad Revenue: Optimal Video Lengths and Types for Advertising Success

[00:06:51] Alex Bond: And I've heard you might have some insight on this. I've heard that specific videos are like better for advertisers or they're better for monetization or they have more targeted if they're like 15 minutes or more. I mean, are there certain lengths of videos that are more lucrative to businesses to advertise on?

I mean, are there other sort of types of videos that are more helpful? For example, someone, I don't know, doing an unboxing of a product and then advertising in that, or is it really just based on, you know, figuring out this targeting like you were referring to. 

[00:07:28] Justin Sardi: I mean, I think it's a lot of intent to, I like to call it intent targeting because if somebody is on YouTube watching a video, you know, best.

Whatever product it might be, for example, like best phone battery bank or something, you know, just cause I have my phone here. I was like, I don't know what just thinking of 2023 or whatever it might be 2024, right? If somebody's searching for that, that they're actively shopping for that product or service, right?

And if you have a product or service that is in that space, right? Your ad pops up in front of that. And you're like, Hey, this is the best battery. Like, it's almost like they're not even watching an ad. They're just like, oh, so, so like any video related works really well. I don't think that the, the length necessarily matters.

I mean, it is. You know, as long as you're putting in front of the right person using the right marketing message, you're going to be all right. 

Evolution of Video Advertising Strategies: Transformative Trends Over the Past Decade

[00:08:19] Alex Bond: I'm interested in maybe the arc of how things may have changed over the last, you know, you mentioned since 2015, but even before then you were still in this space, kind of, it sounded like almost cold calling to add, add ads onto videos. What are some of the things that you've seen exponentially change, grow, or evolve in the eight to 10 years since you've been in this space? 

[00:08:44] Justin Sardi: Yeah, so I mean, when I was first getting started, there was a separate dashboard for video ads you'd have to do like video or, or I forget exactly what it was, but it was like video.googleads.com or something, or it, it used to be called AdWords, but, so yeah, it was like video.adwords.com or something like that.

You couldn't even set up a YouTube ad in the normal Google ad dashboard. You had to go to a separate one, right? So Google's really embraced YouTube ads as a product, right? And they have put a lot of time and energy into making them for the most part, better some of the stuff they've done. I'm like, that made it worse.

But like, you know, the, whole keyword placement thing that really sucked, but for the most part, they've done a good job of making pixels work with it now and being able to train pixels. And they have some really awesome AI that is helping optimize your campaigns behind the scenes and getting you better results.

So they've been working very hard to make YouTube ads a better experience for both advertisers and viewers. And, you know, I think they've actually done a pretty good job of, of it and ad costs are up for sure. But that's like across the board everywhere. You know, it's not going to add costs aren't going down. That's for sure. But that being said, it's just more important to have a better offer and a better ad now, right. 

[00:10:07] Alex Bond: And targeting it to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck when you do have to spend a little more for it. 

[00:10:12] Justin Sardi: Yeah. So I mean, you know, the biggest changes I've seen is just like, honestly, Google's really embraced YouTube ads and, and have been with it doing what they can to make it a lot better. 

There's a lot more competition. It used to be, you could throw up like any YouTube ad and, you know, it was so cheap to get views and everything that even if your ad sucked, you're still profitable. I think nowadays it's a little more important to have, I guess, like a backend. If you will, like have, have an actual plan. 

You can't be as profitable, just running an ad to a sales page. You know, we used to be able to run ads to 47 sales pages all day, every day with like no funnel and we'd be profitable. Now you need order bumps. You need upsells. You need downsells. You need a backend, right?

Cause a lot of times you're going to need to be able to spend a little more than you're making on your initial sale, and you're going to need to build that trust with that customer and get them to buy more from you. 

Impact of Podcast Proliferation on YouTube Ad Pricing and Strategy

[00:11:08] Alex Bond: I'm curious, Justin, this may be off base. I am a big podcast listener, you know, and, and that's obviously a space. That I see a lot of similarities between kind of like the YouTube ad model and the same with, you know even Spotify, any really podcast method. I'm curious if maybe the price of these YouTube ads has gotten up because the competition has gone to podcasts a little bit, you know, for example, I used to listen to music in the car all the time.

Or I used to listen to podcasts on YouTube all the time when I'm in a car, when I'm doing the dishes, when I'm in like a shower. Now you have an audio medium that kind of replaces that. So I'm curious maybe your thoughts on how the proliferation of podcasts like this one may have affected the YouTube ad model in general.

[00:11:59] Justin Sardi: Well, I mean, honestly, a lot of the podcasts that I listen to, me personally, at least, they're also streaming on YouTube. And like, you can see the video, you know, it might just be the audio on my phone and Spotify, but I'm also seeing a lot of, you know, if I want to watch, like even on Spotify, I'll hear a lot of people like, Hey, for those of you watching on YouTube, you can see this.

And I'm like, ah, but I'm driving. I'm like, I want to see that. Like, but you know, so I think there is a lot of crops over there. Yeah. I don't know if like, necessarily, I think there's just a lot more advertisers on YouTube, which is driving the cost up. There's competition there. Yeah. I don't know if necessarily that's taken away from, from their ad spend and they're like, Hey, we need to increase the price but it could be.

Target Audience Dynamics: Impact on Advertising Strategies Across Platforms

[00:12:44] Alex Bond: I'm also curious, you know, with your expertise, if most ads generally target younger, you know when I was working in TV, I found that a lot of the audience on YouTube was like our youngest audience compared to on cable or compared to on streaming.

So I'm kind of curious if a lot of the ad spends are generally for targeting younger audience, or if that kind of affects the brands that are coming in any. 

[00:13:17] Justin Sardi: Yeah. So, I mean, honestly, YouTube has a crazy, so like YouTube overall reaches more 18 to 49 year olds than any cable network in the US right.

I totally believe that broad demographic of people. I mean, my grandparents are on YouTube watching videos, sending videos. The cool thing about targeting people on YouTube is you can actually selectively choose who you want to target, right? So, or like age groups, demographics, all that kind of stuff.

Honestly, I think a lot of the younger people are on TikTok more so. YouTube is a great place to reach, you know, a little bit more of the middle Aged people, you know, I'm almost 40 or whatever. It was just crazy. 37. Like a lot of people my age are still on YouTube, you know, like the kind of the middle, middle of the road.

There are a lot of younger people on there as well, but I mean, I've noticed you can literally target anybody in any age, you know, age group. I've actually seen, you know, with some specific affiliate campaigns in some of the health spaces and things like that like hearing loss and different Supplements and things like that.

Those have been doing, I've seen those doing extremely well targeting, you know, people 55 and up 65 and up. So, you know, people are buying across all age groups really. 

Adapting to Evolving Viewing Trends: Expansion Beyond YouTube in the Digital Landscape

[00:14:32] Alex Bond: And I feel like with the increasing of cord cutting that that price might even go up, you know, because more and more and more houses and families and people in general are moving away from the cable model. That said, a lot of streaming services are adding, like, fast models to, you know, Netflix has introduced a an ad tier. 

I'm curious if your model accounts for Those kind of differences, you know, I mean, question I'm kind of trying to get to is, have you considered adding libraries for other services, you know, like, like podcasts, like a Netflix, like a cable, or if your goal is like, we just want to master YouTube, you know?

[00:15:20] Justin Sardi: Yeah. So we've talked about adding things like, you know, Facebook and a few other things there's just other tools out there that do that. I mean, I know we, like our specialty is specifically YouTube, you know, we wanted to like really dial in, just what our specific platform does and like, we're still adding some awesome feature that we're getting ready to finish in like the next week or so. 

But by the time this comes out, this will be out actually. We have a really cool scripting chunk, right? So you can literally like, find an ad. It'll import the script and it'll write you scripts in that tone or based on based on that ad, if you're promoting the same kind of product, it'll do all kinds of crazy stuff.

You can rewrite scripts from scratch. Like all kinds of awesome stuff. So we've kind of been focusing on that rather than just making it as good as we can for YouTube, rather than branching out and adding a bunch of other stuff, you know. 

Efficient Content Aggregation: Optimizing Library Management for Seamless User Experience

[00:16:15] Alex Bond: I'm curious about the actual product to how do y'all this may seem like a dumb question. How do you aggregate your library? I mean, you have 2 different libraries that you have to go through. How do you essentially find and sort all these videos and productive timely manner for your users? 

[00:16:34] Justin Sardi: Yeah. So, I mean YouTube's API, it all goes through Google's API. You can make calls to that and pull in different data, all kinds of statistics, numbers, like, like all that kind of stuff. So we just have a big database and we'd make a shitload of API calls. So we actually, we got audited by Google for TubeSift, like that. Oh man. Maybe like two years ago.

And we're like, ah, they're going to shut us down. And cause I was like, I don't know, you know what, who knows? But they went through the whole software. They're like, how are you pulling this data? Where are you storing? Like what's happening? It was like a terrifying month long process. Cause we're like, they're going to revoke our access. So we're so screwed in the end.

They were like, Hey, you can't be storing this data for so long. You have to make fresh API calls and, you know, change this, do this. But we ended up having to get rid of the export feature and a couple other things, but we're all good. And they were like, yep, you're good. See you later. So yeah, we've actually worked with Google on the tools. 

[00:17:28] Alex Bond: And that's great. That's kind of getting to what I'm asking is, is how close your relationship. I mean, it sounds obviously between the phone calls and the request, there's obviously a relationship, but there's no real like big brother. They're constantly breathing down your neck. It's actually more transparent then one might believe. 

[00:17:46] Justin Sardi: Yeah. I mean, we're, you know, we're paying them to use like for all the API calls, we're a customer of theirs, basically, you know, I think we do help bring more people into the YouTube ads ecosystem. Like I get invited to different Google events and things like that. I was just at Google's LA office or YouTube's office in LA, like a month ago, hanging out with them.

So we get to go to some of their different offices, you know, I got my plaque here. We actually have a YouTube channel with like 110,000 subscribers in a different niche. So like, I work with them here and there, but we don't get special treatment, unfortunately. We're just another, whatever to them.

Navigating a Crowded Market: Distinguishing TubeSift and Video Ad Vault in a Competitive Landscape

[00:18:25] Alex Bond: Yeah. I mean, there's one of a million to them, you know? I mean, it's gotten to be such a huge company. It's pretty crazy. Yeah. I mean, I'm curious if there are other competitors in this space, you know, I mean, we've talked about, you know, people using the product, obviously being able to use video ad vault to see their competitors. What about you and your competitors? Are there other people doing similar things? And if so, what separates TubeSift and video ad vault from that competition? 

[00:18:54] Justin Sardi: Yeah, there are like we, you know, I launched TubeSift back in 2015 when we first launched, there was a company called V roll and they've actually switched more to, I don't know what they're doing now, but like long story short, they weren't finding monetized videos, right? They were just finding all the videos. 

So we were able to basically, I was like, Hey, I wish that this software would do this. It didn't. So we made our own right. And then TubeSift really took off. And then we had, I've had, I cannot even count the number of people that have just launched, you know, like JV zoo launches or whatever it might be that, you know, one off fire up a software, sell it for a lifetime price and then just kind of go up, go away, go out of business, whatever it might be stop supporting the product.

And I think that because we charged monthly, we were able to continue making updates, right? Then we're constantly adding new features. We added to TubeSift recently a site search, right? So you can actually build audiences based off of websites that people have visited. So we added a tool into TubeSift that does that because we were like, Hey, this type of targeting is working extremely well now.

I personally run YouTube ads. I do a lot of coaching on YouTube ads. And that's, I think that's one thing that's kind of set us apart. It's like, we do YouTube ads. I know what's work, like I'm on top of what's happening. At least I try to be and we can adapt and make our tools work based on what's happening currently.

Right. You know, and there were a couple other YouTube ad libraries, but they didn't have landing pages, they didn't have all the ads. They didn't have, I mean, there was again, a lot that I was like, man, I really wish that I could get this. And so we decided, Hey, we're going to build it and we're going to make that.

Insider Insights: Entrepreneurial Advice and Tips for Navigating the Digital Advertising Space

[00:20:38] Alex Bond: And that's great that you were so involved in hands on in the industry already to be able to know what the problems were that you could actually provide the solutions for.

I'm curious if you have any advice to entrepreneurs, you mentioned that you did like a class on YouTube ads and I was wondering if you had, you know, you don't have to give us an entire crash course right now. Because they can obviously watch, you know, your YouTube channel for that. I'm curious if you had a little tidbit or two for people in that space. 

[00:21:13] Justin Sardi: Yeah, I mean, honestly, it's a lot easier than people make it out to be like Google ads is not that technical, right? I mean, obviously you have to put a couple of pixels on the conversion tracking, all that that's with any ad platform. 

But I guess the three things that it comes down to is having a solid offer, like no matter what, if you don't have a good offer, a good product, a good service, whatever it might be, no amount of ads is going to fix that, right? Like Facebook, YouTube, it doesn't matter. 

So if you have a solid product, then all you really need is a good ad. No, like no, what types of, you know, what is your audience? Like what, what language are they speaking? Right. What are the keywords that are the buzzwords that they're going to understand? You know, how can you relate to them? So it's really just like having a good ad. 

And then putting that ad in front of the right people at the right time. I mean, that's, that's basically, that's the framework that I actually teach, right? Like solid offer, solid ad, and then like, you know, putting it out in front of the right person at the right time. And it's very easy to do on YouTube. 

They've made targeting a breeze, you know, especially with all the like I can literally jump into TubeSift and be like, Hey, find me all the, if I'm selling a solar product, for example. Or maybe I'm doing lead gen for solar. I can go find all the websites that are ranking for installing solar panels or whatever, you know, those people that are visiting those are interested, right? 

If you build an audio, you can like build retargeting audiences based off of other people's other people's websites. It's kind of crazy now. And if you think about it, it's because all the websites have Google analytics, right? And if they don't, everyone's using Google and they're doing a Google search for, you know, this Google knows what you're searching for in what websites you're visiting.

So they just have an absurd amount of first party data. As a Google ads user, you get to tap into, right? So targeting is extremely easy. It really just comes down to, you know, having a solid ad, knowing what's working in YouTube ads, specifically you know, what your competitors are doing, all that kind of stuff. And you know, just really just setting it up. So it's not that difficult to do, you know. 

[00:23:19] Alex Bond: Is there any advice you wish you would have had when you first started, like, if you could go back in time and give yourself like advice from eight years ago or something like that, what would you tell yourself?

[00:23:31] Justin Sardi: Oh, definitely. Like go all in on the software in the beginning. Originally the software was kind of, was selling like 27 information courses. Then the upsell was the upsell was the software. Right. And it took us a while to really be like, nope, the software is the main business. The software is just kind of like an afterthought for a really long time. 

And I would have, yeah, I probably would have been like, Hey, focus on this a lot sooner. It'll, you know, that recurring is pretty sweet. So you know, anytime you can have a recurring offer in your pipeline, you're going to be way better off.

Alex Bond
Alex Bond

Meet Alex Bond—a seasoned multimedia producer with experience in television, music, podcasts, music videos, and advertising. Alex is a creative problem solver with a track record of overseeing high-quality media productions. He's a co-founder of the music production company Too Indecent, and he also hosted the podcast "Get in the Herd," which was voted "Best Local Podcast of 2020" by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia, USA.

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