Tips For An Effective YouTube Strategy
The value strategy
The main strategy with YouTube is to offer value to your viewers (who are also your target market and potential customers). A big mistake is to make your videos about you. Sorry to say it but people won’t be interested. If you approach your video content thinking of ways you can educate your potential customer and help to them achieve their goal, they will more than likely use you when deciding on a supplier of a product or service. Mainly because you have demonstrated your knowledge in the field, built authority, built trust in your brand and you’ve offered value up front. How many of your competitors are doing this? Probably not that many I should imagine, so there’s your opportunity!
Do I have to be on camera?
There are a few common worries when it comes to video. The first is: what if you don’t want to appear on camera? Firstly I would say give it a try, you might surprise yourself. And if you really don’t like it you can create videos with relevant visuals and a voice over. Screen capture videos work well too. Screen capture videos are basically a PowerPoint presentation with your voice over the top.
Is it very technical?
People think video is very technical to learn and it’s expensive to get the kit. Well you can get going using the kit you already own and know. If you have an iPhone or smartphone you can make amazing looking effective marketing videos with a few other bits of kit like a microphone, tripod and a simple lighting kit. You can also edit your videos on the phone using simple editing apps like iMovie so there’s no need for a high power editing pc. This app does a fantastic job of hiding the complexity compared to the desktop version and with smart phones getting bigger and more powerful editing on them is actually really easy and fun. Of course if you have a decent PC you can use that to edit your videos too.
Clean audio is a must!
A microphone is super important to get your videos to sound professional, which is always forgotten by newbie video makers. Good sound is actually more important than good visuals and people are more likely to turn off a video with bad sound than bad visuals. A great microphone for interviews or pieces to camera is what’s called a lapel or lavaliere mic and it clips on your shirt and allows you to get the microphone close to your mouth. This essentially helps to block out the background echo in the room and makes the sound more focused and professional. You can get one of these lapel mics for the iPhone starting at around $15.
Keep it steady
Shaky camera work is another thing that looks amateurish, so a tripod starting at around $15 will sort that out. Lighting is super important too and makes a massive difference to the quality of your image. You’ve probably noticed that your photos look sharp, colourful and vibrant when taken outside on a sunny day. And the ones that are taken indoors, in low light can look grainy, soft and generally not that great. An easy fix for that is a cheap lighting kit starting from around $70. You can even get one small portable light for $25 and that alone would make a massive difference.
What about the time it takes?
People are worried about the time investment you need to put in for the filming & editing. It does take time at the beginning. But after making a few videos, you can streamline your workflow and get this time down to a manageable amount. Once you know the formula of what to put in your videos, the scripting, filming and editing becomes a lot easier. We’re not talking about Hollywood blockbusters here. These videos can be very simple and as long as you say the right thing, they will be effective, trust me! Also once you have your system figured out you can outsource the time consuming part very cheaply. There’s loads of creative people out there that would love to get paid a modest wage to help you make videos. You can train them up and bingo you’re on a roll!
Consistency is the key
When it comes to making YouTube videos and building a following, quality, speed and consistency are the key. You will probably want to prepare, shoot and edit several videos at once and then drip feed them to your audience at a rate of say one a week. It’s good to release your videos at a consistent time too so choose a day and time to release your video and stick to it. YouTube will reward you for your consistency with channel authority and you will find it easier to rank your videos as time goes on.
Keep it short and snappy
These days YouTube gives a lot of weight to audience retention, meaning that if people are watching your video till the end, then your video will rank higher. This is because YouTube wants to serve the best content to its users. So it makes sense that they reward videos with high audience retention, with high rankings. I have found that the average view duration across all my videos is around 2:40.
So this is way I would advise you keep your videos shorter than 2:30 or if you can aim for 2 minutes or shorter. Also it’s easier to make a short video engaging compared to a long one. If you have a lot of content to cover, try splitting it into several videos. I have some longer videos of around 14 minutes which are doing pretty well in views but the average watch time is only around 4:03. All the people that leave before the end don’t get see my call to action, so I’m loosing the opportunity to get new leads. A lesson learned! The main thing is to be engaging. Keep your videos as short and snappy as possible, get to the point and avoid the waffle!
YouTube call to action
It’s important to turn your YouTube video views into leads. So how do we do that? Good question…
At the end of the video add a compelling free offer or Lead Magnet with a clear call to action (for your viewer to sign up to get the free offer). This offer needs its own Squeeze Page to capture the leads (more on squeeze pages later).
At the end of the video you can say something like this:
“If you want to know more, I have a free eBook, “20 ways to make better video”. Just click on the link below this video, enter your details and I’ll send you your free copy.
If you found this video helpful please give me a like, share it with a friend you feel will benefit from these tips and click this button to subscribe to my channel and receive more videos like this. If you have any questions please leave me a comment below.”
A Squeeze page is a simple one page website with a name and email capture form and no other navigation to distract the visitor. Its sole purpose is to convert your visitor into a lead by swapping the Lead Magnet for their name & email address. Using email marketing software like MailChimp you can collect these email addresses into a database.
If they opt in they have entered your sales funnel. The free give away could be a report, or a video training series, just make sure it’s content that appeals to your target market. And if they choose to sign up, you have their email, you can add it to your email list and start a dialogue with them. You can setup what’s called an auto responder email sequence using pre-written emails that offer more value over time. It normally takes 7 points of contact to build trust, so don’t jump in a ask for a sale straight away. But it’s ok to add in a time sensitive offer after several emails once you have built that trust.
Building channel authority
The are many factors YouTube take into consideration when ranking a video. Relevancy, likes, dislikes, comments, shares and subscribers to name a few. A lot of these metrics can be summarised under one main thing called Channel Authority. You build channel authority by releasing consistently good content that people watch and engage with. That engagement will come in the form of people liking your video, subscribing to your channel, share your video and so on. Channel Authority is built up over time so don’t expect it to happen overnight. If you put in the effort, overtime it will become easier and easier to rank your videos. So it’s important to ask people to comment, subscribe, like and share at the end of your YouTube videos like in the earlier example. This will ensure you build your channel authority quickly which will in turn help your YouTube videos to rank higher.
Encourage comments and respond to them quickly
YouTube likes engagement in the comments of the videos and ranks videos with more engagement higher in the search results. It doesn’t actually matter if the comments are good or bad but I would advise to concentrate on the positive ones and avoid going into arguments which won’t help your reputation or brand. This also creates a community where questions are asked and answered which gives value to your viewers and helps to position you as an authority. I sometimes ask a relevant question back to prompt more discussion. You can also remind happy viewers who thank you to download your Lead Magnet and to subscribe, like and share the video.
|Answering a YouTube comment to create more engagement|
It’s not about you
A big mistake is to make your videos about you. Sorry to say it but people won’t be interested. If you approach your video content thinking of ways you can educate your potential customer and help to them achieve their goal, they will more than likely use you when deciding on a supplier. Mainly because you have demonstrated your knowledge in the field, building authority, built trust in your brand and you’ve offered value up front. How many of your competitors are doing this? Probably not that many I should imagine, so there’s your opportunity!
Make it fun
As well as being educated people want to be entertained. Adding fun into your videos will make you more likeable, will make your videos more engaging and people will more likely to share them with their friends.
People want to do business with people they like and trust. A lot of people worry about being likeable on video. My best advice is to be yourself, be genuine and let people into your world. Tell your story, show your flaws and show you’re human. Think about it… when you watch those talent shows on TV they always show how they have struggled or they have vocal problems that week. We can’t help but buy into these human stories as we relate to them. So getting people to buy into your story will build your likeability factor and help you connect with your prospects. Adding your bloopers at the end of your videos is a great to do this.
Google owns YouTube
You also need to optimise the videos so that they rank. One really significant thing is that YouTube videos appear in the Google search engine. Remember Google owns YouTube so they give more weight to YouTube videos in the search results than any other videos. Videos also have a nice big eye catching thumbnail meaning that your video is more likely to get clicked on. And it’s much easier to get your video to rank in Google than a webpage because it’s less competitive.
Viral verses amount?
A lot of people think you need your videos to go viral to be a success. This isn’t the case. If you upload many videos then you don’t need that many views on each video for the total amount to be quite significant. For example if you upload 10 videos and they average 5,000 views each, you end up with 50,000 views across all. That’s a lot of people who know about you, your company or your product. Obviously the more videos you make the more views you’ll get. With video it’s best to be consistent and to try to get content out on a regular basis rather than hoping one video is going to hit the jackpot. In a recent survey it was found that companies successfully using video made 11 times more video content than unsuccessful ones.