Murky Water: A beginner’s experiences with Adwords


YouTube is an overwhelming sea of “durge” with nuggets of gold floating on the top and some pretty good gems hidden below the surface suspended like silty sedimenty stuff. The problem is you can’t see the awesome suspended gems as they are hidden from view by the turgid lumpy bits floating on the surface. The durge can be overwhelming. Everyone loves a good excrement metaphor.

My point is that I struggle to gain exposure and views on YouTube. There is an awful lot of content for prospective viewers to sift through to even find one of my videos. Now i’m not trying to claim that my videos fall in the hidden gems category at all. I just find that from personal experience when searching for any content that might have taken time to write, edit and film that for every one of these I find I first have to wade through countless gumphf containing people singing in the back of cars and drunkenly urinating in bushes (perhaps I search the wrong things).

Anyway I’m aware I am not making some astute original observation that has never before been made, I’m just stating the hurdles. I then tried to leap them. With mixed results.

I took my first step into the world of google Adwords, in a trial of paid advertisement for my channel. For anyone who isn’t familiar with Adwords for YouTube its the method for setting your video as one of those short skippable adverts that sometimes play before the video you’re about to watch. You pay a set amount every time your video ad is viewed for 30 seconds or more. You can set the amount you are willing to pay per view and your cost per view can be as low as a single penny, however you bid against other advertises for the views so if you have a specific demographic or set of keywords you wish wish to target then you might want to bid a bit higher.

You can credit your account and then set a maximum spend limit per day (however in my experience google can just ignore this and appear to decided you actually wanted to spend a bit more). When this daily limit is reached your advert stops being played until the following day. I am aware I may be majorly simplifying the whole system and leaving a few details out, but those are the basics chaps.

As this post title dictates I am a complete novice with Adwords (and advertising in general- I felt i used to constantly underestimate and trivialise the need for a decent social media presence and advertising and am trying to play catch up now as a consequence). I watched a fairly helpful youtube tutorial as an intro- follow this link if you fancy it:

So firstly I credited my account with 10 pounds via the bank transfer method. This took days to register! I became inpatient and decided to add another 10 pounds to the account via the credit card transfer option. I was then peeved to find that that then took another day to clear. By this point the original 10 pounds had cleared.

With a total of 20 pounds to my account’s name i set my daily limit at 7 pounds with a bid of about 7 pence per view. I got roughly 200 views on my first day. This was great! I was refreshing my video manager page every 10 seconds to watch my total views slowly rise. For someone who doesn’t often acquire much in the way of views I was rather chuffed.

The following day went much the same, however I was slightly surprised to find that even though I had set my limit for 7 pounds my account had actually spent 8.33 that day. It wasn’t a problem as the following day google automatically credited me back the amount overrun.

The third day went by without consequence and my account ran out of money. I had gained around 600 views from spending 20 quid on advertising. I was a bit underwhelmed. Especially as these 600 views hadn’t yielded anything in the way of interactions. No comments, good or bad and no likes or dislikes.

I was however hooked to watching my view counter quickly rise. I felt another go couldn’t hurt. So I credited my account with another 10 pounds and set my video to spend 3.50 a day. I set it going during my lunch break and then checked it again once I arrived home at 6.30 that evening. Embarrassingly I was excited to see the extra 100 or so views my money would have bought me. I opened my laptop and loaded youtube.

My view total had gone from 600ish to 4875! WHAT?! I was panicking. Would Adwords of charged me for all these extra views? It had overrun once, could it have done it again on a more dramatic scale? The problem is that financial stats on Adwords take 24 hours to update so I was in limbo until the following morning when I could check.

I woke up on the saturday and logged into Adwords again. The total cost of yesterday’s advertising had indeed updated. 72 quid!! Jesus! A little bit more than £3.50! I can’t afford that! I also couldn’t contact anyone about it due to it being a saturday. So as always I worried nonstop until the monday morning when I sent a polite yet obviously flustered email to google. Within one day they had replied assuring me that i would not be charged, the fault was on their end and the software had had one earth shattering hiccup. Effectively I had received 70 quids worth of advertising for free. The customer service chappette seemed very friendly and helpful.

Mind you I get the feeling i was lucky and the system doesn’t balls up on this scale all the time. One thing though, even with all this exposure I was still to receive any likes, dislikes or so on. So the quality of this exposure could be debated. I don’t know. I’m sure I may have been lacking in precision with my criteria for advertising or maybe a video blog isn’t the correct form of video for and effective Adwords campaign. Who knows.

But there as you have read it, is my first experience with adwrods. And its mixed.

P.s I love YouTube really

Further P.s if you do fancy giving my channel a view you’ll find it here


2 responses to “Murky Water: A beginner’s experiences with Adwords

  1. Pingback: Does AdWords Really Work? - Thomas Creek Concepts·

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