Despite all the barriers that arose in 2020, the year became a fertile ground for entrepreneurialism. Peterson Institute for International Economics figures show a year-over-year 23% increase in U.S. startups between quarters one and three. That’s an incredibly high percentage that reveals how resilient, determined, and confident dreamers are.
Nevertheless, launching a business has its risks—and costs. Most new companies operate on a mixture of passion and shoestring budgets. Yet they all need to get their brands as much recognition and leverage as possible. And they need to do it before the money runs out.
Unsurprisingly, many entrepreneurs turn to digital advertising to get noticed. In addition to organic marketing tactics, paying for digital ad placements can be lucrative. The only problem is that one of the biggest players of all, Facebook, has fallen in terms of producing ROI. It’s become, in the eyes of AdOutreach CEO Aleric Heck, a “red ocean.”
Moving from red oceans to bluer seas
Heck uses his colorful term to showcase just how competitive and difficult Facebook has become for small (and large) advertisers. He credits several reasons for this phenomenon, such as Facebook’s pay-to-play model and increasing privacy problems. Additionally, Heck notes that Facebook seems to have entered a plateaued phase from which it might never regain ground.
Ironically, Heck doesn’t see the Facebook bust as problematic, but as an opportunity. That’s because he saw the Facebook waters turning pink years before. In fact, his company’s startup phase grew out of a realization that for every red ocean, there’s a blue (uncharted) one. And he found it… and founded a business on helping others find it, too.
This blue ocean alternative to Facebook advertising is none other than YouTube advertising. The YouTube platform has been around for years, but many entrepreneurs haven’t harnessed its power. Plenty have hesitated because they’re not sure their business will translate to the second-largest search engine on the planet. Heck intends to change their mindset with both professional support and a solid education.
His expertise and track record as a leader in YouTube digital ads buoys his assertions about the social channel’s potential. To date, several of AdOutreach’s clients have posted exceptionally high returns on their YouTube ad placements. And they’ve done it on their own by using Heck’s wisdom.
YouTube advertising basics that turn founders (almost) famous
Learning how to make the most of YouTube demands a baseline level of education about the way YouTube and users’ “learner’s mindsets” work. Heck’s not stingy about sharing what he’s learned through Master Classes. In fact, he tends to give away more of the store than other entrepreneurs in an effort to make sure his students know the ins and outs of what makes a stellar YouTube advertisement before any filming begins.
One of his key pieces of advice for lead growth is to focus more on the story and less on the filmmaking. In his experience, people frequently try to do or say too much with their YouTube advertisements. This leads to a watered-down creative that convolutes the main purpose and confuses the watcher… which isn’t smart, even in a blue ocean. It tends to convolute the main purpose and confuse the watcher.
The point of all YouTube ads needs to be strong, straightforward, and simple to digest. Viewers appreciate knowing exactly what they’re watching and why. They deserve to land on a page that gives them what they expect after they click, too. Plus, they don’t want Spielberg quality messaging. What makes a winning ad, Heck points out, is not visual effects. Sure, the video needs to be crisp and the audio clear, but simplicity goes farther than complexity when intriguing warm prospects.
Another recommendation by Heck is to acknowledge and overcome camera shyness. After all, stage fright is a real phenomenon, including for people who seem extroverted in real life. Even founders who take tons of selfies and give presentations can get a case of dry mouth when creating videos. They have a couple of choices: First, they can work with a coach to get comfortable in front of the camera. (YouTube videos need to be genuine, even if they don’t need to be perfect.) Alternatively, they can hire someone as their brand face. Either way, they’ll end up with strong YouTube ads.
A little bit of something? Or a whole lotta nothing?
As a final suggestion, Heck advises just getting started. Companies are launching. Consumers are buying. It’s the perfect post-pandemic storm. Besides, doing something is infinitely better than doing nothing, particularly in a competitive marketplace with an open, inviting advertising platform.
Companies that take too long to dip into the “blue” might discover the waters aren’t as friendly as they once were by the time they grab a paddle. Now is the right time for experimentation and fast pivoting. Businesses tired of throwing more money at Facebook advertising to get fewer returns need to check out other avenues. YouTube’s one that’s ripe and ready.
Entrepreneurs who want to quickly gain momentum for their products and services need the right types of digital advertising. If Heck is right, their best bet is to take paid time off and visit the blue ocean called YouTube.