Affiliate Nerd Out

How to Use YouTube Ads to Boost Affiliate Marketing Performance with Sal Conca

February 09, 2024 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 68
Affiliate Nerd Out
How to Use YouTube Ads to Boost Affiliate Marketing Performance with Sal Conca
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Get ready to unlock the secrets to blending affiliate marketing with the dynamism of YouTube advertising as we invite Sal Conka, the innovative CEO of Amazing Ads, into our Nerditorium. Sal brings a treasure trove of experience, from orchestrating the affiliate program at 1-800-Flowers to mastering the art of video marketing. In our chat, we reminisce over the transformation of affiliate marketing, sharing a laugh or two about the good old days while also peering into the crystal ball for what's next at Amazing Ads. With Sal's insights, we dissect the nuances of steering substantial ad spends and how e-commerce and lead generation strategies meld under his vision.

Ever wondered how YouTube can elevate your marketing game? Sal and I get down to the nitty-gritty of why YouTube stands out in the affiliate marketing arena, offering a sanctuary for affiliate links in a world where other platforms might penalize you. We dissect the crafting of video ads that hit home by addressing customer conundrums and the magic of tailoring content to captivate your intended demographic. It's all about connecting dots — from defining your ideal customer profiles to the alchemy of ad creatives that resonate with your audience's core needs and desires.

We wrap up with an exploration of innovation in advertising tactics, from the significance of view rates to the power of feedback loops with Google Ads. Sal imparts his wisdom on the complexities of YouTube targeting, the rise of AI in video editing, and the game-changing potential of partnerships with affiliates and influencers. Whether it's investing in content creation, fostering authentic relationships with YouTubers, or leveraging exclusive commission rates, we share strategies that could very well amplify your brand and content. So, if you're keen to ride the wave of modern marketing mastery, this episode is your ticket.

For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com

Dustin Howes:

Hey folks, welcome to Affiliate Nerd out. I'm your Nerdirator, Dustin Howes. Sprint that good word about affiliate marketing. You're going to find me here every Tuesday and Thursday on LinkedIn Live and YouTube Live, so put it on that calendar and be here for some live interaction. And my guest today Sal Conka, new CEO of Amazing Ads. Welcome to the Nerditorium, sal.

Sal Conca:

Awesome Dustin, so happy to be here.

Dustin Howes:

Man, you know I love Nerdin' Out, so we have been Nerdin' Out five-ish years, maybe I mean I met you at Plaid Street. What was it? Was that in Chicago? Was that Washington DC? I can't remember Chicago in the Chicago days yeah.

Dustin Howes:

Okay, yeah, yeah, and I made some good friends there and you included. You're in that nice group of friends and quickly bonded and have hung out ever since so glad to have you on. And your direction in the affiliate world has gone into the YouTube world and the ad spend on YouTube specifically, and I'm really interested in picking your brain here today.

Sal Conca:

Yeah, man Can't wait to talk about it.

Dustin Howes:

All right. So if you have any questions for Sal and I drop them in that chat. If you'd like to be in Sal's seat, go come be my guest. Go to dustinhousecom, slash nerd, and we can talk about a topic. Our question of the day what is your YouTube skill level? Rate yourself one to 10. Don't be embarrassed. I'm around a six, seven. Maybe I'm better than most, I would say, but I've done so many videos at this point and gotten so many suggestions that I'm getting good here Without further ado. Here Sal, who are you?

Sal Conca:

I'm just a guy from Long Island man. I just, you know, I'm just a guy from Long Island that does a lot of marketing. I've been in digital for 20 plus years. I lost count so like when he hit the 20, it's just like 20 plus. I don't, I don't know. You know I got started in 99, 2000.

Sal Conca:

One of my first experiences was managing the affiliate program at one hundred flowers dot com, before it was actually a dot com. You know there's a great, there was a great team over there. I was going for, like my MBA in marketing and that was my first taste of digital and, like what was going on in the world of affiliate marketing, Didn't know what it was prior. I had no idea you know what affiliate was till I arrived and it was all new. It was like one of the first to sign the link share contract, One of the first. You know CJ was around. What was B free at the time? Like it was wild stuff.

Sal Conca:

But then I grew up in the affiliate space. I did affiliate marketing all the way through 2012, ish, 2014, ish, something like that. I mean I was managing affiliate programs for a long time at internally, at brands and at agencies and then I had my own agency in the affiliate space for a while. So, you know, and I've been all around this industry of digital and I really had a passion for video and content, social media and all that and it was kind of taking shape at the time and I started getting my hands dirty with like a camera in my hand, you know, and learning the ins and outs of video and understanding what that looks like, and making independent films and working on Instagram and shooting a reality TV show. So I've done like lots of wild things with the video camera and also, you know, because of my marketing background, started like weaving the two together, right, it was like how do I weave this marketing thing with my video skills and my love of video? Right? How do we do that?

Sal Conca:

So that's been the journey over the last few years and now. So for the last year and a half, I was the CEO of another agency called Windfall Media. Pat Grady, who came from the affiliate space as well he's a good friend of mine, he's my partner in crime and he was the owner of Windfall Media and he also had another agency called Amazing Ads. This year, because of the convergence of all these things, where he's working with Ecom companies, I was working with a lot of lead gen and high ticket sale companies. Now we're merging the two, so the two teams are coming together and we're delivering full service, like performance marketing and video marketing all in one, to our clients right now.

Sal Conca:

So it's exciting 2024 is going to be just a real journey for me and Pat.

Dustin Howes:

That's wild. And I knew Pat got out of that affiliate industry for the Amazon industry because I saw him at the Prosper conference last year and we talked briefly about doing something together. It didn't happen, but Pat's a legend in this industry as well. So him getting into the Amazon side of things and the YouTube side of things is questioning my career decisions, like maybe I should be coming on over. You got any room for a face, a talent, for these videos you're shooting here.

Sal Conca:

Sure man, let's figure it out. We'll definitely talk about that. I mean, I like to be on video too, but yeah we plan to launch our podcast this year and do some things like that. We got to start the marketing machine.

Sal Conca:

That Amazing Ads has been around for six years but a lot of it built off of reputation and referrals, like many agencies do. But Pat, to his credit, he's grown that agency to 60 plus clients and we manage 50 million in spend last year for our clients. So we're playing in the big leagues, so to speak, with a lot of diversity around what types of clients we manage. But for my side, pat's managing all the Amazon stuff still, and under my purview is all the Google, youtube, video, advertising, meta, social media. All that good stuff falls to me.

Dustin Howes:

Gotcha All right. Well, it sounds like we might have an ability for me to become one of your referral partners, so let's keep that in mind. But let's talk more about Amazing Ads. Where's this name origin story come from?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, you know it's funny. I have to ask Pat, but I assume my assumption here so Pat can jump in on the comments on this when he sees it. But the whole convergence of Amazon and advertising, Amazing Ads, Amazon, Amazing, I think. Pretty simple naming convention here, I hope. If not, I'm going to get a big whack from Pat when I see him in person at ProsperDex. What do you mean? You don't know the origin story of the name.

Dustin Howes:

Can you stay on the job that's going to happen. That's a tough question to handle, but I do know you know what you guys do and who you're serving out there.

Sal Conca:

What should?

Sal Conca:

I tell everybody we scale businesses to seven figures and beyond. I mean, that's really what we're doing. Everything we do is performance-based. You know we're constantly from our affiliate backgrounds. It's like you know, everything's performance-based that we do.

Sal Conca:

Even in the video marketing space with YouTube, even when we talk about brand awareness and upper funnel, we are still so keyed in to KPIs, conversion metrics, return on ad spend, you know, and how all the channels interact together. So I teach digital marketing at Stony Brook University here in New York and one of the things in doing that you know, full funnel marketing, full customer journeys, understanding, you know, from awareness to engagement to conversion, right, so making sure that when we work with our clients, many of them come to us and they only want the bottom part of the funnel, right, the Google ads, the conversions, the things that we can see that only like when I put this amount of dollars in, I get this many dollars back. Right, and video marketing or TV advertising, let's say, in the past, this is not the metrics that people are looking for, right, but now people realize because of I think a lot of it had to do with TikTok. I mean, youtube has been around forever, but I don't think people really looked at YouTube in this way, as an e-commerce like conversion play. They definitely were for education.

Sal Conca:

That's why WinFall Media existed, with the high ticket sale offers and doing educational videos a lot of that in the real estate and financial services space. But e-com is really getting into the game in a big way. I just saw a stat that said like last year, google's YouTube revenues sales revenues were up 15%. More and more people are entering the space and understanding how to leverage the power of YouTube in e-commerce as well. And connected TV has also opened up a whole other world, right, so think about running ads on Hulu, netflix, amazon Prime and every other streaming platform you could imagine, right Paramount Plus, p-con, etc.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, TV Scientific is doing crazy things over in the affiliate space with that overlap.

Sal Conca:

That's right.

Dustin Howes:

All right, and so the clientele. Are these mainly e-commerce sites, or do you take on influencers that have a really big following, or anybody you mentioned? Real estate was hot for you for a time. What are these clients look like?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, so we do have a diverse client base. Many of them are e-commerce businesses that, from the Amazon side perspective, right, but many of them also have Shopify stores and want to drive direct traffic outside of Amazon. So we're building multi-channel strategies for all of our clients. On the windfall media side, yeah, I was serving high ticket sale clients in the real estate space, tax, tax and legal space, you know, so on and so forth. Those are more lead generation type clients. So we serve e-commerce and lead generation clients and we have the capabilities to do both, you know. So that's that's really.

Sal Conca:

I mean, I don't want it to sound like we serve everyone, because you can't be everything to everybody, but we do have a very diverse, like I would say, in certain niches on the lead gen side, with real estate and financial services products and educational products that we really have a sweet spot there. We do. We have worked with a few youtubers to grow their channels organically as well. So some of them that come to us in the educational space, let's say they want to grow their organic YouTube channels as well, and we've had some great success stories there with people like Linda Page, who was a client of ours and grew her channel over 90 days, hit some really awesome high marks there and growing her subscriber base and view counts, monetizing the channel right, which is the holy grail. Everybody wants to monetize their YouTube channel, so all those things are possible.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome and I I think you came to me and said, hey, love your podcast, want to be on it. And the first thing you said is like, hey, let me help you out with your YouTube channel and I love that. You always come from a place of help and you sat down with me for an hour and like told me hey, these are the things you need to work on on your channel to to go and optimize, to get it better and and we can talk in a little while get you to a better place. But I really appreciate the way you approach that and I assume that's the same thing you do with your clients, like, even if you turn them away, even if it's not the right time for them, you're trying to guide them in the right direction.

Sal Conca:

That's right. Always. I mean, pat, and I believe in three things trust, transparency and accountability. And you know the relationships in this business and every business matter. You know a lot, but your reputation is what speaks volumes. And, yeah, there are many clients who aren't ready for us per se. Right, they either they can't fit the retainer piece, they don't have enough ad budget where it makes sense on a performance basis or whatever it might be. But we always want to help and guide and get them to a level where they can that become a client of amazing ads and work with us.

Sal Conca:

So, and and I think it's part of the educator in me you know I mentioned I teach at Stony Brook. I've been educating. I used to teach music lessons from the time of being like 15, 16 years old, so I've always been teaching in some regard. So I'm always had like I find that consulting is very much teaching in a way, even when I was an affiliate manager, like that was my first foray. Like to consulting as an affiliate manager when you're working with a blogger or a coupon site or this type of site, like they're like how do I grow, how do I do this? And you're the one that's got to like have this skill set, to kind of like guide them in SEO, guide them in conversion rate optimization, guide them on their email strategy, like, so you start learning those channels. That's what I found as an affiliate manager. I was like I started skill stacking like all these things because I had to help these people right.

Dustin Howes:

So 100% and that's how I got into the YouTube game and started learning more about it. And, adam Enfrew, I just released a really cool YouTube course that is maximizing YouTube SEO, I think it's. You know it might be under $1,000, but for those of you trying to learn the skill set there, that would be a really good place to start upscale right there. So talk about the YouTubers and affiliate marketing. This world mixes because traditionally the YouTubers that I've reached out to reach a certain point and ask for some kind of sponsorship, but YouTube affiliate marketing is still really hot. In my opinion, it's easiest way, easiest channel, at least, to get your affiliate links exposed with the description below right, and I feel like that's changing. Tiktok's doing some really good things here. But how big is this industry for YouTube and affiliate mixings?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, you know, it's an interesting like. I'm not a stat. Like, if you ask me this big stat, I couldn't tell you if it's seven figures or eight figures, I don't know. I don't know that. What I know is from my experiences and understanding how our clients leverage affiliates and these partners. And they're not the traditional like.

Sal Conca:

I used to do a lot of e-com affiliate marketing where you're working with the impacts of the world and your CJ and link shares, right, all that type of stuff, these types of referral partners. For many of them on our side, like the high ticket sales and educational programs, right, they're just using links and descriptions with a referral ID at the end. It's less formalized. The payments are tracked manually, you know, etc. But obviously in the e-com world there are plenty of people participating in the what I call traditional affiliate programs, right, I'm dating myself here by saying that, right, it's like traditional affiliate programs.

Sal Conca:

You know, on large networks and, yeah, it's so much easier to monetize your YouTube channel than many other types of channels like Instagram or Facebook, because they don't like off-platform links. They devalue your video, right. So, and you know, with Instagram Reels or these other things that are popular, right, it's so hard to monetize. It's like, oh, we got to go to link and bio or some other way to drive the click, because it's, you know, traditional affiliate is such a click-driven industry last click-driven industry, I mean, if you've really got some smart brands, their understanding attribution, their understanding how to split commissions if that's still the case with certain networks, right. But I think with the amount of people that have joined the creator economy and the amount of people that are looking to monetize, the smart money is in diversifying that income, right. So if I can't monetize my YouTube channel because I don't have enough views but I've got a faithful following, I can at least use affiliate or I can get sponsorship or right. So there's lots of monetization options for creators these days. I think that's a long one.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. Well, let's get into the brunt of it here. Let's talk about best practice and suggestions you make to your clients. So you're on board, you would probably do some kind of audit with their channel existing, I would assume and you're also coming in and like getting them in front of the camera to do these YouTube ads. What are some of the best and first things that the folks out there in that e-com space, or even SaaS companies like myself, can go and do? To start with YouTube ads?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, so we follow like a seven point framework to develop ads, right? So when we're developing an ad, it's like we follow this like script structure to like build an asset, especially in the informational space, educational space, where the video might be a minute and 30 to two minutes long, something like this, right? Not a quick 15 second, 30 second ad that we're talking about for a Facebook unit or a TikTok spot or something like that. If we're dealing with educational products, long form tends to actually outperform short form on YouTube ads. That's first and foremost.

Sal Conca:

So, that means what does that?

Sal Conca:

really mean. It means that that video needs to be structured in a way that's built for selling, and so you know one. The first rule of selling is I need to know the problems that my customers have and, before you even get to that, making sure you know who your customers are. And I say that because so many times we end up in a client engagement. It's like who do we want to target? Who's your ideal customer? Who, like, have you gone through? Do you have personas for your business? Yeah, so many times the answer is no. They haven't done that hard work. They don't really know, they're unsure. Or, if they do, if they do, they've got so many of them that they create one ad set and again trying to be everything to all people instead of contextualizing right Like if I'm doing something yeah, if I'm doing something in the small business space and I serve restaurants and real estate agents, well, my restaurant creative should look very different than my real estate.

Sal Conca:

Even though I'm selling the same thing for small businesses. That's the same. The end goal for both is like either like to fill out some form lead gen right, they're going to the same place essentially, but my ad creative needs to feel like it speaks to them. That's the number one thing I would say in YouTube, because the targeting capabilities in YouTube are like no other platform with what you can do in terms of targeting.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, that's a really great point. I didn't even come up with the concept of an ICP, for I mean to the last two years ago. I mean, I was naturally doing it selling my course, and I knew who I was selling to, and I had six different ones and I was trying to message each single one but I didn't even recognize what that was. That's a persona, that's an ICP, that's who you need to be targeting in. And what I didn't go through the worst part of it is I didn't go through the practice of trying to think of who they are and where they are in the world of the internet essentially, and so that's a great practice for any affiliate manager out there.

Dustin Howes:

Go through this practice of whatever brands you're working on, get into the customer's shoes and figure out where they are and go and find those websites and that traffic, and that will be much more successful.

Sal Conca:

Right. And from the ad perspective itself, it's like this problem-solving that we're trying to do. Right, everybody's product or service solves a problem for somebody. So for the restaurateur, for the real estate agent, that problem may be very different that they're trying to solve the way they think about it, perceive it, etc. So, generally with YouTube ads, we're creating I'm sure you've heard this term the hook.

Sal Conca:

Right, the first five seconds of your video is so important, especially on YouTube, right, it's so important because people in YouTube ads they're going to hit that skip button, right. If it's a pre-roll ad, right, they got that power of the skip button. This is in the power of the viewer, right. But you want to make that video so engaging at the first five seconds that they can't skip and make it feel like that video was made just for them. They ever watch one of those ads or see a video, something you're like, that was made just for me. I mean, they're talking right to me. How do they know this much about me? It's not accidental, right? If somebody's done their job to really understand who's watching that content, that they're serving that ad over, then that video is going to feel like it speaks directly to them.

Sal Conca:

Now we're testing right. So I have a hook and I may test five different hooks, okay, on top of a piece of educational content right On YouTube. I actually have the ability. I actually want to probably educate in some way, shape or form and give people like an action plan, and the last part of that action plan is a call to action that drives them to whatever it is that you want to serve them, what you want to help them with, how you show them you actually solve their problem right.

Sal Conca:

So all of that makes the video compelling enough, especially when we're dealing with education, high ticket offers. I think you know your business is like this you're a high ticket offer. I would consider you a high ticket offer. It's not $20. It's not $100. It's a high ticket offer. And it's B to B, yeah, educational. So yeah, so that process, I'm simplifying it, you know here. But there's more in that education piece that I glossed over. There's a lot of things like your credit building, credibility and all these other things that you know help establish you as a trustworthy source and that you are an expert in your field, one that can help them solve their problem right.

Dustin Howes:

So Awesome, awesome. And with that do you find, I mean there's so many variables to this, but I think there's really two options where that ad takes you Is it going to some kind of lead gen capture or is it going to like straight from the heart and like trying to get a sale on that first visit of their website?

Sal Conca:

The majority is a lead gen capture. And then the question is what you do with it after that. Do you have a solid email drip campaign? What does your funnel look like? Right? How am I continuing to educate down the line? Do I have?

Sal Conca:

And again, I think it depends on the nature of the product. Everybody's product is a little bit different. We do some things with clients where a lot of this educational information is driving people to like a free webinar or free event care. They're going to get sold in the inside that event, right. And at the end of the event then they're like you know, if you stuck through that four hour, two hour, whatever length of that online webinar is, well, now I'm going to push them my high ticket offer, right. And these are the things that are probably like in the $3,000 range or something like that, right. And so, you know, free webinars and events work really well. Live in person events work really well for this.

Sal Conca:

If you're dealing with high ticket, you know. If we're dealing with Ecom, then I think it's a whole different ball of wax. You know, is my product? Do I really need to educate at that level? This is a different type, you know. Then we have other things like bumper ads. Six second bumper ads that can just be non skippable and drive brand awareness right. I've got different options for Ecom and brand awareness building on YouTube as well, so Bumper ads.

Dustin Howes:

never heard that term, I like it.

Sal Conca:

Yeah, there's about six different ad units on YouTube you know, what I was just kind of talking about was mostly the in stream ads, those skippable industry ads that most people are used to, you know.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, very true, and I spent a lot of time on YouTube watching MrBeast and Silly Things. Rover educates my children quite a bit. Tell us about the process of measuring this kind of efficiency. What does that look like when you guys take on a client and we start playing around and creating those ads for them? What are you guys looking for to make this a successful campaign?

Sal Conca:

Yeah. So the first thing we look for is does the video hold people's attention? What does the view rate look like? Do are people actually engaging with the ad? Are we getting people to click? So you know, do I did my ad do its job? Right? Like the creative that we built doesn't hold people's attention, meaning I can actually see how, what the rate. The view rate is 50%, 75%, 100% viewer. What does that view rate look like? And so starting to understand that puts us in additional.

Sal Conca:

Well, if the view rate is really high, but my close, my conversion rate is really low, I've got to disconnect there with my lead form or my funnel, something like that, right. But if I have a really low view rate, well, am I putting it in front of the right people? Does the ad just suck? You know sometimes, even as the video agency or marketing agency that we are, sometimes the client makes the creative and we don't get a lot of input, or they have assets that we inherit, right. So I'm like you're asking me to serve and spend your money based on this asset. I don't think it's so great. Are you willing to invest more money to create a new ad et cetera, right? So all those things matter.

Sal Conca:

And the thing that really closes the connection here and this is with all Google ads, right? Youtube is part of the Google ad platform and it's offline conversion tracking. So for lead generation specifically, you need a feedback loop, right? Because many of these leads end up in a CRM and the sale takes place offline. So if Sal comes to Dustin's website and fills out that lead form after seeing a YouTube ad, I might not close for two weeks, three weeks a month, right, you may pitch me on a phone call. It may happen through an email, somewhere else, that you close this sale.

Sal Conca:

Well, there needs to be a feedback loop from the CRM. Back to Google ads, with a click ID associated that says hey, out of the 100 people that filled out this lead form, these are the ones, these are the 10 that closed and are the highest value. Okay, so informing the AI to go find me more of these. So with e-com, it's easier. We're usually driving revenue signals back, right, I've got a lot of clicks and I've got revenue associated with those clicks. It's a lot easier with e-commerce, with lead generation, it's much more difficult.

Sal Conca:

Most people are just tracking by CPL and the number one metric is hey, just lower, lower CPL. But lower CPL doesn't mean higher quality. When you're chasing the bottom of the barrel right, it's like if you're directed as an agency is to chase the lowest cost. It doesn't mean I'm getting the most value. Okay so without the feedback loop, I won't actually know. Maybe I'm willing to pay double or triple for that lead. If those leads are the ones that close more right, I need to know that information.

Dustin Howes:

Or the lifetime value of that customer is greater as well, right.

Sal Conca:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean it depends when we talk about lifetime value if I think about that for subscription products and things like that, obviously, but if you're a straight lead gen, like high ticket item or something like this, well, I just need to know the overall value. I need to know compare that against it. Some people use lead scoring in one shape or another. Right, they have some sort of lead scoring technology for when these leads come into the CRM, but essentially what we're saying is that lead scoring then has to reflect back to Google. Most people don't close the loop.

Sal Conca:

Right, google is taking away more and more controls from ad buyers, right? More automation, performance max. This is like Google is wants you to use broad match like manually manipulating ads inside Google. They're taking more and more of the controls away from us, right? So the feedback loop there's two things that are going to matter in the future. The feedback loop Can you tell Google all the signals that it needs to know about all the leads and clients and customers that came in through your door, from advertising and to the creative? So the creative and the feedback loop are what's going to matter most going forward.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome and you mentioned AI in this conversation and that is such a hot topic in our industry. You guys, I can see how it's going to help with that feedback loop and I can see a world where you would use you take on a new client and you use something like Jarvis to like get a base of like you know here's 10 ad like scripts that you can use and then you tweak them yourself to recognize an eyeball. What is going to work. But any other tools out there that are super hot in your industry that you guys are utilizing.

Sal Conca:

Yeah, I mean we are using, using and testing a number of different tools all over the place, you know, for video creation. I mean it's really wild because you've got now, like these video tools that can create you AI videos like on the spot. Pika is one of them. There's some other tools out there for video. Some of the names are escaping me at the moment, but there are a ton of AI video creation tools. I think one like for you I don't know if you're using AI to cut up segments from your yeah, but right. If you're using opus or munch, right, those two tools can cut up the your AI video editor. Those things are really popular.

Sal Conca:

Yeah, I mean I use chat, you can see a lot. Okay, big on chat. You can see I enjoy training the model, like you know. Like those seven points for the scripts, yeah, I sit there and tell, like, here's the different points that you need to cover and learn about. Here's an example script that I've used in the past.

Sal Conca:

Now I want you to translate this for this new client, and you know, so, I think it's great in terms of ideation, even when we're working with organic YouTube channels where, like, you're giving it information, you're feeding chat, gpt a whole bunch of information and data, right, and then out of it, you're like, hey, give me 10 video topics around, video ideations around this topic, right, what 10 videos should I create next? And so then you start whittling it down, right, I mean, maybe there's only three out of the 10 that makes sense, or the ones I want to talk about, et cetera. So and so, yes, constantly using AI to transform things. And there's probably Evan Gower who's commenting in here. He works on my team. Yeah, he's probably. He's the AI guru on our team. He knows a bunch of tools. So, evan, feel free to throw some AI tools in the chat while we're talking.

Dustin Howes:

Pmax big fan of Pmax looks like it's funny that chat GPT almost has an old school feel like it to it at this point, Like when you mentioned chat GPT, that's old school in the AI industry, Like I don't know, I don't know.

Sal Conca:

I think that's the difference of like. Do you have the pro version?

Dustin Howes:

I do, I play, I don't use it enough. That's the problem.

Sal Conca:

Yeah, I think the biggest mistake that people make in using chat GPT for these things is they're not training the AI well enough. And when I say train it, like having a conversation with it around what you really want, like you could tell it hey, write me a 90 second video video script about affiliate marketing, right, and it'll do something very generic. But if you say I want you to write me a 90 second video script that addresses a problem at the front, give me five different books. Make sure it's geared towards affiliate managers that do X, Y and Z in this industry, right, Like you have to be specific. The more specific you are with chat GPT, the more detailed those responses are going to be, and then you can shape it. Hey, I like this response. I didn't like this response, you know. So that's really the power of it, I believe.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. All right, let's switch in gears into, like, the keywords that these folks are targeting and the brands you're working with. What should we be striving for? And like, how do we develop the keywords that we should be going after here?

Sal Conca:

Right, so I think like I'll change the topic from keywords to like just the types of targeting that are available on YouTube. I think this is one of the things where YouTube ads gets confused a lot. They assume that I can just put my ad in front of whatever YouTube video or YouTube channel that I want, so channel placements or video placements.

Sal Conca:

You could certainly do that, and so, depending on how big the channel is, you may pay through the nose for some of those you know sorts of targeting, right? Et cetera, et cetera, and if I want to be on in front of, like Alex Hermozzi's YouTube channel because I want to attract other entrepreneurs, like you're probably going to pay a premium for those. The other types of targeting, though we focus a lot on custom intent audiences, so what that means is like if somebody went to Google, for instance, and typed in affiliate manager training or affiliate manager education right, I'm using your business as an example here, right?

Sal Conca:

So if somebody went to Google and typed one of those keywords in, well, they become part of your audience. If I've set up a custom keyword intent audience properly, it means whatever they're searching for on Google, now I can target them on YouTube regardless of what they're watching. If they're watching Alex Hermozzi or they're watching a music video, it doesn't really matter If they put that search in Google at some point. Now I can target them on YouTube wherever they are. So this is really powerful targeting and makes it super specific to the user. This is what I mean by audience first. Audience first targeting is where it's at, and I'm sure people are familiar with other Google type of YouTube audiences, like in-market audiences, like people who are in-market to buy a computer, people who are in-market to buy a car, buy a house, right, these types of things.

Sal Conca:

But when we're dealing with other types of products, whether they're e-commerce or not, like we want to go audience, we want to target people. I have another brand, for instance, that creates these products for grandparents. So we use a whole custom intent audience for GIFs for Grandma. Anybody searching for GIFs for Grandma ends up in that audience, meaning searching on Google for those things. We take it a step further If you search for GIFs for Grandma on Google, there'll be 10 top 10 search results. I can take every one of those URLs and use those as custom intent URLs. So imagine the power of that. Now Google says they're not targeting those people. It's not a remarketing campaign to people that visited those websites. It would be clear here that Google can't do that. That would be an infringement on those websites privacy. But what it says is we'll target people who visit sites like this.

Dustin Howes:

Sites like it Look likes.

Sal Conca:

But if the site is so specific, what are we really talking about here? Or if I only put one URL in the campaign, what are we really talking about here? So we've done this for conquesting, competitive conquesting. Imagine you could do this for people that are logging into Impact Radius or logging into Linkshare. What if they're an affiliate manager? Now, the only problem is affiliates are also logging in there. So unless there's a specific URL specifically for advertisers, merchants and managers, it might get a little muddy. So what I'm saying is you can do this based on keywords, based on URLs. You can really hone in on your audience if you really understand their intent on what they're looking for, searching for on Google, and build up from audiences.

Dustin Howes:

Sal, that's such a powerful message and something I didn't even realize existed on the internet, so I'm so glad you brought that up. Is there any spot like we can hire you as a business right? But do you guys have any kind of like entry level course where I can do this myself, or any that you suggest out there for this?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, we're not a course creator per se. I mean, this information is available on YouTube. You can go look up on YouTube how to use custom intent audiences and show plenty of. This is why, yeah, you're asking me like I think we're going to start a podcast this year so we can talk about these things and people know more that we understand this stuff, because I can tell you time and time again, the clients that we talk to other agencies, that we talk to people who are media buyers for years, they really don't understand the YouTube ecosystem and how powerful it is for advertising, whether that's for business and advertisers, whether that's for using affiliates. We didn't even talk about flanking allies yet I think that's coming.

Sal Conca:

So there's so many things you can do with YouTube out there.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome, awesome. And last thing I want to get to before I let you go the concept of flanking allies. We talked about this before this show started, but can you explain this term and what it is it means to you guys?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, sure. So we have a couple of clients with very large ad budgets. They have affiliate programs. We work with the affiliate manager and the affiliate programs and they're saying hey, we have some YouTubers here who are doing a really good job at promoting the advertiser and because we have big YouTube budgets, we carve out a portion of it to sprinkle what we call a little fairy dust over these flanking allies. Right, and allow them to get more eyeballs on their videos. Right, because, let's face it, youtube, organic as good as a YouTuber is, sometimes a video will hit, sometimes it won't. It depends, right.

Sal Conca:

And if they're doing affiliate content, affiliate reviews, something like this that's very brand specific, might not be the viral hit that you're looking for, right, but it still contains tons of valuable information. It's a great video in the perspective of an affiliate partner or influencer, as opposed to the brand speaking about themselves, right? There's a lot of advantages to have something else talking about your brand than you talking about your brand directly, right? So, in that regard, if a brand has the budget, partnering with affiliates and saying, hey, if you've created this piece of content, we'll put a little ad budget on it, let's test it, let's see if your video drives conversions. Does it drive engagement? Does the video work? Is it appealing to our audience of people? Does it provide validity and credibility to our brands and products? I mean, it's the same thing. You're doing it with influencers and affiliates already right. Why not amplify it?

Dustin Howes:

That's so smart yeah.

Sal Conca:

You're gonna sit there and go well affiliate. They said they were gonna do a great job, but the video only got like 100 views, 1,000 views, like I wanna put 10,000 views, 20,000, 50,000 views on this right. It's a good product.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, if it's a good review, you wanna amplify that with some budget, so that's a brilliant approach as well for the affiliate. They could say hey, this is my content package. It's $1,000 for me to create this YouTube review of you guys, but I want another $1,000 so I can invest in pumping it up from you guys.

Dustin Howes:

That's just brilliant. I like the way you're thinking there and that could go well for any affiliate manager out there that has good YouTube videos with that small amount of views that can pump them up and help them out as creators and that, in turn, creates a great amount of loyalty because you're helping build their audience and their income as well. That's right, Super smart Love how we tied it all back into this. Appreciate you.

Dustin Howes:

Quickly, I wanna talk about our sponsor of the day, and that is my Inner Circle. I have a $97 a month membership for any affiliate managers out there that want to improve their career and just be in a room with a bunch of affiliate managers that are talking about how to get better at their job. What's working for them today? We pass around contacts. You can also hit this QR code for the Inner Circle. Go to dessenhousecom To learn more, All right. Last topic I wanna hit up here approaching YouTubers. In your opinion, what's the best way for an affiliate manager that finds a good target? What should they be saying and their message to them?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, I mean you guys are the. If you've been doing affiliate recruitment long enough, you know the message. You know what affiliates care about most In the YouTube space, though, I think it's a little bit different. They wanna know that the products that they're gonna be promoting or have visual appeal. Can they get excited about it. I feel like it's different than the other world because it's so transparent.

Sal Conca:

When somebody's enthusiastic about a product, when they're talking about it, right, I mean, there's great actors out there, there's a lot of people that can act right.

Sal Conca:

But I think authenticity really matters. So when you're approaching a YouTuber, really make sure it's authentic for your brand, make sure they're the right spokesperson for your brand, right. It's easy to go after everybody when it's a numbers game and you're trying to hit quarterly goals and monthly goals and certain number of revenue, right, all that like it's like we'll just cast the widest net possible. But I think having really tight relationships with your YouTubers and also making sure that like, hey, if this one is successful, we wanna do more of them with you as well, you know and I think, getting into longer term agreements with people if the YouTubers already prove like they've got a track record, a channel have enough subscribers. Right, you can tell, like did they just get started yesterday or they know what the hell they're doing here?

Sal Conca:

If that's the case, then you want to, like, incentivize them with, like, hey, let's give this three months. How many videos can you do in three months? How many? You know what does this look like? Giving them exclusive affiliate commission, you know, whatever that might be, and if you have this ability to put budget on their videos, I mean, what affiliate wouldn't say yes to that? Right, we're gonna-.

Dustin Howes:

It's a great selling point. Yeah, that I've never even thought about. That's amazing.

Sal Conca:

Yep, yep.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome, great tidbits there, fantastic. Now it is that time to defend your posts and I went through your history and I found this. The other marketing geeks, also scrubs fans out there so glad they shared this. I am a huge scrubs nerd. It is like my go-to show when I'm sick. I will just watch reruns of this, of all the episodes. Jd is one of my favorite characters off time. Who's your favorite character on that show?

Sal Conca:

I mean, JD is awesome too. You know, all the characters when you have ensemble casts. So my wife and I also watch a lot of big bang theory. We're big friends fans. When you have this ensemble cast, it's like man, it's so hard, like they're all so good. Yes, they're all so good, you know so. But yeah, I mean, jd was, you know it's his show, it's his cast.

Dustin Howes:

I always say the janitor is one of the most classic characters I've ever seen.

Sal Conca:

Oh, I love that guy too. Yeah, his name just janitor in the show. I forget.

Dustin Howes:

They never say his name. It's just janitor. It's just janitor, right?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, yeah yeah, but it's so like the show is so creative and inventive and that post that I shared I don't know if you saw the underlying like what that was about like somebody used they're making like T-Mobile commercials or something.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, they are.

Sal Conca:

So, but that was a behind the scenes like thing about how they did it. I mean, it's just their creative minds, right, like as a creative and somebody that wants to be more creative sometimes than I am. Like I look at these things and I'm like awe inspired. I'm like shit. How do they think of these ideas, you know?

Dustin Howes:

Yes, bruh, brilliant show, well written and well executed. One of my all time favorites. I'm glad we share that nerd ship there. Lesson of the day this one's super easy. This is custom, custom intent. Audiences are something I've never tapped into and I've got to go and do this immediately for all the brands that I'm working with. So love that lesson. Thanks for being here before us. How do we connect with you here, sal?

Sal Conca:

Yeah, I'm all over LinkedIn. You can find me, sal Conk, on LinkedIn. You can email me at, sal at amazing adscom. Those are the two best ways to get in touch. Love to talk to anybody about YouTube, about their e-commerce business, their Amazon business, shopify store, whatever it is. Love just nerding out about music and marketing and whatever anybody else wants to talk about.

Dustin Howes:

Outstanding great stuff. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. My guests next week are gonna be Joshua Kennedy and Jonathan Green. Stop by Tuesday and Thursday at 12.15 for that show and, without further ado, folks have a good one and appreciate your time. Sal, thanks for being here with us. Thanks for having me. Dustin, appreciate you. All right, take care.

Sal Conca:

Bye guys.

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