The 12 Biggest YouTube Ad Myths That Are Holding You Back

What do these 2 things have in common: small-budget YouTube ads don’t convert and the Loch Ness monster lives in a Scottish lake?

The answer is: they’re both complete myths. Sorry, Nessie!

With almost 1/3 of the internet using YouTube, it’s no wonder there’s a lot of buzz around the effectiveness of YouTube ads and how to make them work for you. Unfortunately, lots of myths and inaccuracies have slipped through the cracks, leading to many misguided entrepreneurs holding off on running ads.

Never fear—Foundr is here to set the record straight.

We asked our expert YouTube ads course instructor Tommie Powers to debunk the 12 most popular YouTube ad myths once and for all. With years of experience working and mentoring brands in YouTube ads, Tommie has spent nearly 5 years as a resident mentor for 500 Startups, a world-renowned Silicon Valley VC firm.

So get your boxing gloves ready because we are about to knock out every single one of these myths and learn how to crack YouTube ads with ease.

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Myth 1: You Need to Have Significant Video Production Resources/Budgets to Make Successful YouTube Ads

Good news! You don’t need to be a millionaire, you don’t need a Hollywood production studio, and you don’t need an expensive camera to make a winning YouTube ad.

“The reality is that all you need is your mobile phone,” says Tommie. “You can speak into your phone, and you can be able to produce your video. It is literally that simple.”

Remember Ty Lopez and his successful YouTube ads?

“He had a video that went crazy with YouTube ads, and it’s basically him recording to his mobile phone in his garage…and it probably took him a few minutes to make it. It’s a great example of the simplicity of being able to produce videos for YouTube ads.”

All you need is a way to record and a decent Wi-Fi connection to upload the video. That’s it.

Myth 2: You Have to Be Great on Camera to Be Able to Run YouTube Ads

Unless you were born with the same on-screen charisma as Oprah Winfrey, you might be hesitant about being on camera for your YouTube ads. Not many people enjoy seeing themselves on-screen, and it’s even less appealing when you think of millions of people watching your videos. But the truth is that you don’t need to be on camera to create YouTube ads.

“Actually, you can easily create high converting videos without ever needing to be on camera,” assures Tommie. “That’s something I show you how to do in my Foundr course.”

For the camera-shy among us, you can create winning Youtube ads using slideshow presentations, screen recordings, and even animated videos. Find what works with your marketing strategy and your brand, and get creative.

Myth 3: My Business Is Different, So YouTube Ads Won’t Work for Me

Did you know almost 5 billion videos are watched every single day on YouTube?

That’s a lot of eyeballs.

Tommie says that although many people believe their business is too niche or too unique to work with YouTube ads, YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google itself. “A lot of people go to YT looking specifically for everything under the sun…so it doesn’t matter what you’re doing—a potential customer is probably on YouTube.”

Myth 4: What Works on Facebook Won’t Work on YouTube

You’ve mastered Facebook ads, but maybe you don’t want to start on YouTube ads because it seems like a whole other can of worms. No one wants to make life harder for themselves, so you ignore YouTube and just stick with what you know.

This myth is just that: a myth. Neither YouTube nor Facebook is more difficult than the other. If you’ve mastered Facebook ads, you can easily make the transition to YouTube ads.

“In my course, I am going to show you how to take what’s already working with Facebook and translate that to YouTube,” says Tommie. “It’s some very minor adjustments, which will enable you to get some quick wins under your belt.”

Myth 5: YouTube Ads Won’t Work With a Small Budget

Time to blow this myth out of the water.

Tommie is here to remind us that we all have to start somewhere.

“I have clients that are making millions, and we started with small budgets,” he says. “Obviously, you need to be able to invest in your business, but you can and should start small before going crazy regardless of your financial position.”

If you’re still unsure, Tommie has this rough guide to budgeting depending on your current YouTube ad skill level:

  • Beginner: $5–20 per day
  • Intermediate: 3–5x your AOV per day
  • Advanced: up to 20x your CPA per day

Different ad formats and bidding incur different costs, so budget and plan your campaign accordingly.

Myth 6: YouTube Advertising Is Too Saturated With Influencers and I Can’t Cut Through the Noise

When you’re first entering the advertising realm, it can feel like you’re trying to make waves using a drop of water in an ocean of ads. But, believe it or not, most companies haven’t even started running ads on YouTube. In terms of a saturated market, YouTube is still quite empty.

Tommie believes that the Facebook advertising market space has quickly become oversaturated, but YouTube is still relatively unused by the big brands. “With YouTube,” he explains, “I feel like a huge segment of people haven’t even used it to advertise yet. The time to get in is now.”

Myth 7: You Can’t Get as High a ROAS/Profit Margin on YouTube as You Can on Facebook

“Whoever told you this probably spends all their time on Facebook ads, so I’ll just leave it at that,” laughs Tommie.

It’s possible to see a sizable profit margin on either platform. However, when you use both platforms simultaneously, you can capture 2 different audiences. If you advertise solely on one platform, you’re missing out on potential profit.

How you utilize each platform is the difference in terms of ROAS. Begin with smaller budgets, test the waters, and see what works best for your brand.

“We have to start small, work our way up, and trust the process.”

Myth 8: YouTube Ads Are Only for Top-of-Funnel Ads

The myth that people don’t like to leave YouTube to make a purchase while watching a video is not even close to the truth.

A wide variety of ad formats are available on YouTube, and each serves a unique purpose. The reason Google developed “smart bidding” for YouTube Ads, which you may know as target CPA or TrueView for action campaigns, was to drive purchases. TrueView for action campaigns helps drive leads and conversions by adding prominent call-to-action buttons, text, and an end screen to your ads.

“Those are literally designed to get people to click your ad and take action…they have a whole algorithm designed to help foster that, just like FB does as well,” says Tommie.

Myth 9: You Can’t Scale With YouTube Ads

“One of the most disturbing myths I hear,” says Tommie, “is the idea that you can’t scale with YouTube ads. It is laughable.” After decades in the business, Tommie has tested and proven successful scalability with YouTube ads.

“I’ve spent as much as $35k per day on YouTube ads (which comes out to over $12 million per year), and I know people who’ve spent over $100k per day… and I’m talking about a single ad account.”

To successfully scale YouTube ads, you have to find the sweet spot where you’re reaching your potential customers without burning money or wasting time.

Myth 10: Facebook Is Better Because Customers Are Cheaper to Get

If you’re hesitant to use YouTube ads because you believe customers are cheaper to acquire on Facebook, Tommie has this question for you: “Would you rather pay $20 to get a customer who is worth $40, or would you rather pay $40 for a customer that’s worth $100?…I’ll wait while you think about that question. Then tell me if you still want the cheap customers.”

The “cheap customer” approach is not always the best route to take with ads. While the up-front cost might be lower, you’re ultimately limiting your potential return. Always ask yourself, “What would ‘future me’ prefer for my brand?” If the answer is anything but less profit, you need to start looking at value over cost.

Myth 11: My Audience Isn’t on YouTube—They Use Another Platform

Did you know that there are localized versions of YouTube in more than 100 countries around the world in 80 languages? Chances are, your audience is reachable on YouTube.

Why YouTube over other platforms?

“There are things that you can do on YouTube that you cannot do on other platforms,” says Tommie. “The key difference is there’s more intent on YouTube. People go to YouTube looking for specific outcomes.”

YouTube offers Custom Intent Audiences, which allow you to target people who are currently researching specific topics, products, and solutions. When you couple this customization with YouTube’s search intent, it’s almost impossible not to capture your audience’s attention.

Myth 12: I Need a Lot of Followers on My Channel for Ads to Work

Move aside influencers—when it comes to running YouTube Ads, it doesn’t matter how popular your channel is. According to Tommie, you don’t need a huge following and you don’t need to be an influencer to be successful with your campaigns. You need a channel to host your ad videos, but your ability to run ads doesn’t depend on views or subscribers.

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Ready to Start Crushing It With YouTube Ads?

Just like that, you’re one step closer to being a YouTube advertising pro. You don’t need fancy camera equipment or a huge budget to make your ads. There’s a campaign budget to suit everyone, and with the right approach, you can see a huge profit margin.

With an audience of billions, YouTube allows you to target your audience with precision and get your ads in front of your ideal customer. And with these 12 myths thoroughly debunked by Tommie Powers, the master of YouTube ads himself, nothing’s holding you back from crushing YouTube ads for your business.

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