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TPE #40: how to create winning video ads without a big budget

May 01, 2023

Read time: 3 minutes

The biggest mistake advertisers make when they run video ads through Performance Max and YouTube campaigns: they invest in expensive, high production value ads without first testing small.

If you do this, you’re just throwing something at the wall, hoping it will stick. That’s not how you should operate.

Before you invest in expensive ads, you should run small tests to identify potential winning marketing angles, hooks, storylines etc.

We’ve created a simple framework for that, which you can now steal and implement for your own accounts.

Let’s dive in.


Find winning video ads before you invest in expensive productions with the Rapid Ad Creation Loop

Video productions and photoshoots can be really expensive (tens of thousands of Euros). You want to make sure that your budget is spent efficiently so it doesn’t go to waste.

You can do that by using our Rapid Ad Creation Loop. It’s a 5-step framework that works in a loop:

Step 1: Research
Step 2: Brainstorm
Step 3: Create
Step 4: Launch & gather data
Step 5: Analyze & optimize

Then, the loop starts all over again. Let’s look at each individual step.



Step 1: Research

The first step is to do thorough competitor research so you can instantly see what’s working and what isn’t.

You want to identify trends, angles, hooks, calls to actions etc. Find out anything you can about what your competitors’ winning ads to take a massive shortcut to success.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Remember: “good artists copy, great artists steal”.

Spy on competitor video ads for free with:


Create a database (swipefile) of ads that got your attention online and analyze what makes them stand out. Model these ads and create your own variations of improved ads (don’t blindly copy, but make iterations to stand out).


Step 2: Brainstorm

After researching, you move on to the next step and brainstorm new ideas:

  • Brainstorm what ads you want to create.
  • Create a list of angles, hooks, storylines, offers, video lengths etc.
  • Use your research to fuel creative ideas.
  • If possible, brainstorm with your team to get more ideas faster.

Again, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Look at what’s already working for competitors and try to improve on that.

Quick tip: use ChatGPT to speed up this process by 10X. Ask for marketing angles, hooks, storylines, CTAs etc. like in this example:



Step 3: Create

After researching and brainstorming ideas, it’s time to create your first video ad. Most advertisers make the mistake of skipping step 1 and 2 and create ads straight away. Do NOT fall into the same trap.

Let ChatGPT write a video ad script for you for free:


We wrote an in-depth guide on how to use ChatGPT to write high quality video ad scripts with prompts you can copy paste. Check it out here.


Make sure that the first few videos are low cost to allow yourself to make mistakes and learn what works and what doesn’t. If an ad performed badly, you haven’t wasted a ton of budget on an expensive video.

The goal with your first video(s) is not to hit a homerun and scale it to the moon. The goal is to find winning angles and hooks that you can use to create better videos down the road (with higher production value).

Three tips to create low cost video ads:

  1. Hire someone on Fiverr (use your own clips and not stock footage).
  2. Make a UGC compilation (make sure you have the rights to use the clips).
  3. Use templates from the Google Ads interface (these tend to be very basic).


Step 4: Launch & gather data

The next logical step is to launch your ads and gather some data. Don’t touch them in the beginning. How long you need to gather data depends on your volumes and spend levels. In general, give it at least 3-7 days.

Again: the goal is not to scale your first video to the moon, it’s to find proof of concept and identify winning angles and hooks that you can later iterate on and improve.


Step 5: Analyze & optimize

The last step is to analyze what worked and what didn’t. Make notes and optimize your ads by creating iterations (different hooks, angles, CTAs, offers, clips, pacing etc.).

After you find winning angles and hooks, you can confidently invest in more expensive, high value production video ads.

It’s a constant process of iterating and improving. So after this step, the Rapid Ad Creation Loop starts all over again.



After the last step, the Rapid Ad Creation Loop starts all over again

After gathering data, analyzing and optimizing, you need to go back to the drawing board and repeat the process:

Step 1: Research
Step 2: Brainstorm
Step 3: Create
Step 4: Launch & gather data
Step 5: Analyze & optimize


That’s the process and framework we use to find winning ads on a small budget.

Again, only invest in big, expensive productions once you’ve tested small and found various winning angles and hooks!

Hopefully this helps you spend your video budget more efficiently.

That’s all for today, we’ll see you next week!


Bob & Miles

p.s. If you want to go deeper, there’s another effective framework you can use to improve your video ads called “Hook - Story - Offer”. We wrote a full guide on it which you can access here for free.


And whenever you're ready, here's how we can help you further:


1. Join our global community of world-class Google Ads Specialists:
Stay up to date with all developments, get trained by us all year round, and learn & grow together with like-minded PPCers.
Become a member of The PPC Hubย (1.200+ members).

1. Upgrade your Google Ads skills in 4 short weeks with our most advanced training program to date.
Sign up for theย May '24 Google Ads Masterclass
(2.700+ students // waitlist).

3. Alternatively, you might like one of these self-paced products: