June 17, 2024

Scaling eCommerce with YouTube Ads: Christian Hoppe’s Proven Approach

Michel Gagnon
CEO of Stun&Awe

On this episode of the Growth Leap Podcast, I chat with Christian Hoppe, co-founder of Forward Agency. This digital marketing agency has cracked the code for driving revenue for sustainable e-commerce brands with YouTube ads. With over 15 years of experience in digital marketing and advertising, Christian shares how he discovered the power of YouTube ads as a performance channel and his unconventional approach to designing effective creatives.

Turning an awareness product into a reliable performance channel

Starting as a freelancer, Christian has gained experience in digital marketing by working in various agency and client-side roles. He then decided to found Forwrd Agency. This diverse background gives him a unique perspective on the industry and the best strategies for growth.

One of the biggest takeaways from our conversation is the power of YouTube ads for direct response marketing. While many think of YouTube as just a branding platform, Christian argues it’s also a powerful tool for driving revenue, especially for e-commerce. “YouTube works exceedingly well for B2B, for high ticket sales,” he says.

Success on YouTube doesn’t happen by accident; it requires a strategic approach to targeting and creative execution. Christian highlights the importance of finding the right audience and creating ads that not only grab attention but also drive action. Interestingly, he points out that a high view-through rate isn’t the goal. Instead, you want the wrong audience to skip the ad, ensuring your budget is spent reaching the right people.

How much to budget and how to work collaboratively with clients on creatives

When it comes to budgeting for YouTube ads, Christian recommends starting with other platforms, like Google, and Meta to run some tests and see how the messaging resonates. Once ready, a brand can start considering investing on YouTube $10,000 to $20,000 per month. However, he stresses that having a product or service that fits the market is crucial. Without this, even the best ad strategies won’t deliver results.

Throughout our discussion, Christian’s passion for his work and dedication to his clients’ success were clear. He takes a hands-on approach, working closely with clients on creative content and media buying to exceed expectations. “I realized later that my expectations are still sometimes much higher than the client's expectations. So. But I also want to do the best I can for the businesses. And even if the client is happy, but I'm not happy, then, you know, the expectation is, um, is to improve here and yeah, it's just, you know, a living organism basically,” he reflects.

Listen to the episode

Key Takeaways

  • YouTube ads can be a powerful performance channel when used properly, driving significant revenue for e-commerce brands, even those with lower AOV.
  • Success hinges on precise targeting and smart creative content. The goal is to engage the right audience and prompt action, instead of chasing high view-through rates.
  • Start your YouTube ad budget at $10,000 to $20,000 monthly, but ensure your product or service truly fits the market.
  • Quality and structure of creative content are critical to ad performance. Invest in research upfront.
  • Close collaboration with clients on creative development and media buying is essential for achieving top results and exceeding client expectations.

"If there's something you want to do, do it. As soon as you decide where you want to be and where you want to go, it's interesting how things fall into place. If you're open to it and allow the energy to flow, it will come true. I've seen it many times.”

Here's what we covered:

00:55 Christian's Journey into Digital Marketing

02:11 The Power of YouTube Ads for E-commerce

05:15 Secrets to Successful YouTube Ad Campaigns

08:42 Creative Strategies for YouTube Ads

11:13 Budgeting and Testing for YouTube Ads

22:40 Building a Sustainable and Flexible Agency

29:23 Christian's Personal Journey and Philosophy

34:20 Future Plans and Final Advice

Where to find Christian:

Where to find Michel: