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If you have ran a PPC campaign on Google recently, you know how costly it can get. Google made a name for itself by dominating the search space and subsequently giving advertisers a bottom of funnel medium resulting in Google ads being one of the most relied on advertising channel by many marketers.

But Google’s brand halo and absolute dominance on the digital landscape often overshadows some of the more efficient and under utilized channels resulting in outrageously high CPMs and CPCs on the platform. 

In this article we will break down how you can extract the same high intent traffic as Google search but only at a fraction of the cost.

Hint: The solution is also owned by Google under a different brand name

But before we dive into the strategy we need to understand what makes google ads so effective.

How Google Ads Work?

Google search is the place where most people go when they need an answer or have a query. By allowing you to place an ad as a potential solution to a declared problem Google provides you high intent traffic. It is arguably the most relevant time to show them that ad.

Apart from high intent traffic the pay per click model, diverse targeting options and measurability makes it seem like a very lucrative business investment.

Are Google Search Ads A Good Investment?

There is no black white answer here, but there is one thing for sure that it is not for everyone, while Google ads have some great benefits, they do come at an absolute premium particularly if you are in the b2b space where the cost of a single click can be 100s of dollars.

Some things that Google search ads cannot achieve:

  • Brand Building
  • Low cost of acquisition
  • Ability to spread business awareness
  • Ability to reach certain niches due lack of search volume 
  • Efficiency for lower margin or low ACV products due to high cost of advertising

So before you start advertising on Google you need to ask yourself if you need any of the things from the list above because if you do, there is a better way.

YouTube ads with keyword and placement targeting

This is the solution, the best alternative to Google search ads. Traditionally YouTube ads have been looked at as a brand building and awareness channel. But that is a massive under utilization of the platform’s advertising capacity.

YouTube is just like Google, both of them are search engines, the only difference is the content format i.e. one is text based and the other is video based. Google realized YouTubes potential as a search engine and that is why it acquired YouTube back in 2006. Since then the platform has evolved in many ways and come a long way from an advertising standpoint as well.

There is a particular targeting option in Google ad platform when building out your YouTube ads campaign to target specific videos and keywords on YouTube. This is the same as targeting queries and keywords on Google ads, same quality of traffic , same level of intent but the difference, Cost!

If you compare the cost of Google ads from the previous picture to our YouTube ad campaign cost you can see what a massive difference there is:

Avg CPC:

Google $16.38

YouTube $0.35

Avg CPM:

Google $697

YouTube $5.08

But all these results are pointless unless the traffic is high intent and that is where it is crucial to select the right targeting and campaign setup.

This is only possible if you run YouTube ads and build the campaign without a goals guidance. At the ad group level you can then insert the videos and keywords linked to your product or service

To find the relevant keywords and placements you can use Google’s own options or find more accurate and diverse data with Adzaps

For example if you are selling digital marketing services, simply goto Adzaps build a campaign around the phrase “How to do digital marketing for small business”, it will provide you with a list of videos that are satisfying that exact query and also a list of relevant keywords.

Copy these placements and paste them in your Google ads account to run your ads on highly relevant content triggered by high intent search just like Google.

By the way, Adzaps is free for 5 campaigns.

Happy Marketing!