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YouTube For Action Leads Form Ads: Early PPC Results



Hi friends!

Today’s thrilling post will be a follow-up piece to a post I wrote some months ago about YouTube Lead Form Ads for PPC. I highly recommend giving that a read if you’re looking to test/expand into YouTube Lead Form Ads, as there are some components, such as the webhook solution, which requires a lot of time and energy to get set-up properly. It would be best to get that ball rolling sooner, rather than later, trust me.

I’ll touch on our early results with the new YouTube ad format as well as how to go about setting them up and what options are available to you, the advertiser.

What Are YouTube For Action Lead Form Ads?

A great question! Thanks for asking, segues are hard enough as it is.

YouTube Lead Form Ads drive leads via in-line form submissions, meaning the user no longer has to navigate off of YouTube in order to complete a form fill. This is a huge step in the right direction for making YouTube a more lead gen friendly platform. That said, users still have the option to navigate to your site after completing a form fill should they be interested in doing so.

This ad format is still in beta, which means you would have to get your account whitelisted in order to use these. That being said, the set up is exactly the same as any other YouTube campaign, however, there is an added option to add and create a lead form during the campaign creation process, should you be whitelisted (or when this is released to everyone).

Worth noting, as of right now, you cannot retroactively edit the lead form ads once you create the campaign, meaning you would have to recreate any and all campaigns that have lead forms you might want to edit. I would make sure you have everything you need (webhook solution, correct URLs, approved ad copy, etc.) before creating your campaigns. Otherwise, you might end up building out all your campaigns on 3 separate occasions as we did!

Below are a few images of what these forms look like and what info we’re able to ask for through these forms. The business, “Bird Patrol”, is fictionary, so far as I know.

What a Lead Form Looks Like^A lead form ad!
Showcase Lead Form Fields^Info fields we can ask for
Post-Submit Options^Post-Submit Options
Thank You of Lead Form^Thank You “page”
Webhook on Lead Form^Where you would enter the webhook solution

Early PPC Results

With this Google product still being in Beta, I would expect some changes to be made moving forward (they’ve already expanded on how much info we can ask for/collect via the forms) for the better. Regardless, allow me to dive into the early results we’ve seen.

For reference, we’ve been testing this with one of our clients in the education industry. We’ve been using the Maximize Conversions bid strategy, although Target CPA is available as well. Additionally, we’re only testing one audience to start and that is the Post-Secondary Education In-Market audience. We have plans to expand to Custom-Intent audiences next and we have high hopes for those!

Looking at our top-level numbers, early on in this test, we’ve spent a bit more than $12K and received 41 leads. That makes our overall CPL ~$290, which for this client is by far the best YouTube-related CPL we’ve ever had. Ideally, as we continue to add and test different audiences, making tweaks as we go (which we’ve not done much of yet), we can get that CPL to the $200-250 level. CPLs at that level, for us, would be a huge success and would mean we found ourselves another viable channel to generate leads from, which have become increasingly harder to find these days.

Taking a more granular look at our campaigns, we have some campaigns which are generating a significant amount of leads at a CPL lower than our search campaigns, which I certainly was not expecting to be the case! As of now, our lowest CPL for campaigns with more than 1 conversion is $64.38. Our account average is a $200 CPL, for reference.

It does, however, appear that you need some fairly significant volume in order to see conversions. Those 41 conversions came from some 526,000 impressions and 148,000 engagements. That’s a conversion rate of .03%. We have some smaller market schools whose campaigns aren’t able to spend, presumably due to the size of the market itself. Several of our campaigns have yet to spend a full dollar and those are the campaigns that have less than 100 impressions. Only 1 of our converting campaigns has less than 6,500 impressions so far.

At this point, it’s tough to say whether the quality of engagements or quantity of engagements is most important…although if you can do both then do that!


I have been more than happy with our early YouTube for Action Lead Form Ads test results, truly! We put a lot of work into this test and for it to generate a significant amount of leads at a reasonable CPL is a huge success, one which we hope to build upon.

In my opinion, these lead form ads would work best for advertisers who aren’t asking for too much info through their lead forms. Not only are we limited in what information we can ask for, but we’re also asking for people to take a break from the content they came to YouTube to enjoy, in order to engage with our brand and provide us their personal info.

I recommend using the lead form ads for more top of funnel lead offers and/or low commitment form fills (like, give us your contact info for more information). That said, these are still in beta and I’ve only seen them tested in this specific vertical, so please, test away to your heart’s content! I genuinely hope you can see some successes from this new Google ad product.


Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts



Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts

Every year, we see new trends entering the world of email marketing.

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers



5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers

Who doesn’t like to have a good experience consuming content?

I know I do. And isn’t that what we – as both a consumer of content and a marketer of content – all want?

What if you create such a good experience that your audience doesn’t even realize it’s an “experience?” Here’s a helpful mish-mash of easy-to-do things to make that possible.

1. Write with an inclusive heart

There’s nothing worse than being in a conversation with someone who constantly talks about themselves. Check your text to see how often you write the words – I, me, we, and us. Now, count how often the word “you” is used. If the first-person uses are disproportionate to the second-person uses, edit to delete many first-person references and add more “you” to the text.

You want to let your audience know they are included in the conversation. I like this tip shared in Take Binary Bias Out of Your Content Conversations by Content Marketing World speaker Ruth Carter: Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns.

Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns, says @rbcarter via @Brandlovellc @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

2. Make your content shine brighter with an AI assist

Content published online should look different than the research papers and essays you wrote in school. While you should adhere to grammar rules and follow a style guide as best as possible, you also should prioritize readability. That requires scannable and easily digestible text – headings, bulleted text, short sentences, brief paragraphs, etc.

Use a text-polishing aid such as Hemingway Editor (free and paid versions) to cut the dead weight from your writing. Here’s how its color-coded review system works and the improvements to make:

  • Yellow – lengthy, complex sentences, and common errors
    • Fix: Shorten or split sentences.
  • Red – dense and complicated text
    • Fix: Remove hurdles and keep your readers on a simpler path.
  • Pink – lengthy words that could be shortened
    • Fix: Scroll the mouse over the problematic word to identify potential substitutes.
  • Blue – adverbs and weakening phrases
    • Fix: Delete them or find a better way to convey the thought.
  • Green – passive voice
    • Fix: Rewrite for active voice.

Grammarly’s paid version works well, too. The premium version includes an AI-powered writing assistant, readability reports, a plagiarism checker, citation suggestions, and more than 400 additional grammar checks.

In the image below, Grammarly suggests a way to rephrase the sentence from:

“It is not good enough any longer to simply produce content “like a media company would”.


“It is no longer good enough to produce content “as a media company would”.

Much cleaner, right?

3. Ask questions

See what I did with the intro (and here)? I posed questions to try to engage with you. When someone asks a question – even in writing – the person hearing (or reading) it is likely to pause for a split second to consider their answer. The reader’s role changes from a passive participant to an active one. Using this technique also can encourage your readers to interact with the author, maybe in the form of an answer in the comments.

4. Include links

Many content marketers include internal and external links in their text for their SEO value. But you also should add links to help your readers. Consider including links to help a reader who wants to learn more about the topic. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  • You can link the descriptive text in the article to content relevant to those words (as I did in this bullet point)
  • You can list the headlines of related articles as a standalone feature (see the gray box labeled Handpicked Related Content at the end of this article).

Add links to guide readers to more information on a topic – not just for SEO purposes says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

You also can include on-page links or bookmarks in the beginning (a table of contents, of sorts) in longer pieces to help the reader more quickly access the content they seek to help you learn more about a topic. This helps the reader and keeps visitors on your website longer.

5. Don’t forget the ‘invisible’ text

Alt text is often an afterthought – if you think about it all. Yet, it’s essential to have a great content experience for people who use text-to-speech readers. Though it doesn’t take too much time, I find that customizing the image description content instead of relying on the default technology works better for audience understanding.

First, ask if a listener would miss something if they didn’t have the image explained. If they wouldn’t, the image is decorative and probably doesn’t need alt text. You publish it for aesthetic reasons, such as to break up a text-heavy page. Or it may repeat information already appearing in the text (like I did in the Hemingway and Grammarly examples above).

If the listener would miss out if the image weren’t explained well, it is informative and requires alt text. General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text. That’s a short sentence or two to convey the image’s message. Don’t forget to include punctuation.

General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text, says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For both decorative and informative images, include the photo credits, permissions, and copyright information, in the caption section.

For example, if I were writing an article about Best Dogs for Families, I would include an image of a mini Bernedoodle as an example because they make great family pets. Let’s use this image of my adorable puppy, Henri, and I’ll show you both a good and bad example of alt text.

An almost useless alt-text version: “An image showing a dog.”

Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.

It wastes valuable characters with the phrase “an image showing.”

Use the available characters for a more descriptive alt text: “Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.”

It’s more descriptive, and I only used 112 characters, including spaces.

Want to learn more? Alexa Heinrich, an award-winning social media strategist, has a helpful article on writing effective image descriptions called The Art of Alt Text. @A11yAwareness on Twitter is also a great resource for accessibility tips.

Improve your content and better the experience

Do any of these suggestions feel too hard to execute? I hope not. They don’t need a bigger budget to execute. They don’t need a lengthy approval process to implement. And they don’t demand much more time in production.

They just need you to remember to execute them the next time you write (and the time after that, and the time after that, and the … well, you get the idea.)

If you have an easy-to-implement tip to improve the content experience, please leave it in the comments. I may include it in a future update.

All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please feel free to add it in the comments.

If you have an idea for an original article you’d like to share with the CMI audience, you could get it published on the site. First, read our blogging guidelines and write or adjust your draft accordingly. Then submit the post for consideration following the process outlined in the guidelines.

In appreciation for guest contributors’ work, we’re offering free registration to one paid event or free enrollment in Content Marketing University to anyone who gets two new posts accepted and published on the CMI site in 2023.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023



The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023

Product marketing is essential, even if you only sell one or two products at your organization.


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