Everywhere you look right now you can see the virtual cries that "THIS IS THE YEAR OF VIDEO MARKETING!" In fact, as I browsed the internet, researching this topic, I saw that claim absolutely everywhere.
The video phenomenon is a huge hype all over the internet, and it's intimidating. Many marketers think of video as a quicksand pit designed to swallow time effort and money for little reward — especially as they don't feel qualified to make something that could compete in the world of viral media.
It's such a shame because it really doesn't take much. You can do it, it won't break you or your bank, and the potential reward is awesome.
I asked content marketing and social media strategist Brian Honigman whether he thought that video marketing was essential for marketing success, to which he replied:
"Video isn't a requirement for success with marketing, but it's one form of content all businesses should consider experimenting with to best reach their audience.
Small businesses need to realize that you don't need a film crew and a studio to create compelling video, if you invest in the proper equipment, choose the right ideas and develop footage that's of use to your audience you can drive results with video for your organization."
— Brian Honigman, CEO of Honigman Media, regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and others
So if you're dead-set against creating video, you don't have to fear that it'll bring you down. However, it's a really really good idea! So where's the real life proof that newbies can rock the world of video marketing? I've got a great new story for you...
An example of an everyday marketer (not a video guru) getting traffic and leads from YouTube.
I was talking to a colleague the other day, and she was telling me about her enthusiasm for video marketing. Before I continue, it's important you understand the background here.
- She's not a long-term video expert with oodles of experience with YouTube and video creation.
- She's just running an affiliate site, like many of the people who will read this post.
- She has a newish website (roughly 6 months old) and has only been playing with YouTube as a platform for part of that time (about 4 months).
- Her videos are mostly just PowerPoint words on a screen with a voice-over of her talking, plus a little screen capturing.
- She doesn't have fancy tech, just the microphone on her laptop.
However - she has managed to get thousands of views already, and it's only very early days. Check out this image of her latest month:
And remember, this is without complicated Hollywood budgets or skill levels. Just a marketer having a crack at YouTube marketing. She even said, "I'm sure these numbers can be improved on. My channel isn't optimized very well. I've been lazy with that."
So how does she make money from this? I asked her, and she told me about her process and why it works (which I'll cover in more detail for you in the steps below).
"1) I create engaging videos that are of genuine quality. I teach people new things about my niche, things that make them go "WOW" - things they've never heard before.
2) I put a link to a squeeze page in my video description and encourage people to sign up to it in my video.
3) My squeeze page redirects to a high-converting sales letter once someone opts in. They also receive emails promoting products.
The reason it works well is that people discover me on YouTube, watch my video and view me as an authority in my niche.
I'd say that for every 50 views, I get 1 sign-up. And for every 10 signups on average, I make a sale (sometimes more, sometimes less, 1 in 10 is a safe number) from my front-end VSL (video sales letter) I redirect them to."
It's a neat little funnel, and there is so much you can do with it! You can get traffic, leads and conversions, and grow your brand reach at the same time. And video isn't like on-site articles; you won't get penalized for duplicate content. You can share your videos across the board on social media. It's the medium that just keeps on giving.
So now, from my discussion with my colleague and a bit of poking around, I've broken it down so you can take advantage of the process yourself.
Is Video for You?
You need to assess how competitive the YouTube environment is in your niche to see how difficult it'll be for you to break into.
While the above example is showing great promise of success, I can't promise that this'll work across the board. You have to think about whether or not your niche will have a lot of competition on YouTube.
An example of this is the ridiculously high number of make-up tutorial videos on YouTube.
Yep, that's right: 32,900,000 results. Almost 33 million video make-up tutorials. And I can tell from the video thumbnails that the video standard is going to be quite high. If you were to make one of those videos, you'd have a lot to compete with.
In saying that, many niches have under-utilized YouTube, and have a lot of room for new videos. Comparing the above example to affiliate marketing tutorials, you can see there are only 84,200 results, and I can tell from these thumbnails that the videos have a much lower production quality level:
You can do your own search on YouTube for the types of videos you're thinking of making, whether it be a tutorial or how-to for your niche audience, or a video blog series. See how many videos there are, and what kind of quality there is.
If there are masses of high-quality videos, that doesn't mean it's impossible or that you should avoid video marketing. It just means that you'll have to put in a little extra effort when it comes to finding a unique angle so that you can stand out among the crowd or cater to more specific searches.
If there are few videos, or they're really generic and you know you have more to say on the topic, then you should definitely give it a go.
Step 1: Decide Where You'd Like to Send Traffic
This will help you to sculpt the content of your videos to the target audience of that page.
You don't always need to send traffic to the same place with your videos, you can change it up and link to wherever on your site is most relevant to each video.
But if you really want a solid strategy for conversions, it's probably best to have an idea of the best place to send them before you create the videos. Here are the top couple of options for you to consider:
Option A: If You Have a Mailing List, Send Them to Your Squeeze Page
Sending your viewers to a squeeze page like the one in the image below is the best option for converting your YouTube traffic into a large amount of enthusiastic leads.
If you don't have a squeeze page, you should at the very least have opt-in's of some kind on your site or you're missing out on a great deal of leads and ongoing conversions! If you don't have a mailing list and newsletter set up but you'd like to, the fastest and easiest way is via AffiloJetpack, so feel free to check that out if you're interested.
If you do have a squeeze page already, just make sure you've optimized it to get the best results. I recently wrote a blog post about this here, so pull any tips or tricks from there as necessary.
Think about the type of person you'd like to sign up to your mailing list. What are they looking to know? What are they enthusiastic about? Keep this in mind through the next few steps.
Option B: Send Them to Your Most Relevant High-Converting Content
The other place to send your YouTube traffic is your content, particularly if your on-site content and the YouTube video add value to one other.
This option is generally for you if:
- You don't have a mailing list set up, or
- Your target is to get more engagement for your on-site content
Choose the content that will be the most useful to your audience, preferably something you know that converts well. Think about the audience for this content. What are they looking to do? What challenges are they facing that your site helps them with? Keep this in mind through the next few steps.
Step 2: Create Some Videos
It doesn't have to be rocket science: There are simple ways!
This is the part that frequently turns people off. I asked Brian Honigman about this, and he replied:
"Video seems overwhelming because everyone's fearful that they'll do it wrong or that it won't be perfect. With creating video, it's important to experiment first to see what works and doesn't work for you. There are endless videos, articles and courses on how to do video, it's just a matter of taking the time to find out what works for your business."
- Brian Honigman, CEO of Honigman Media, regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and others
I could spend all day going over your options as far as video is concerned, but thankfully I have a quirky little blog post from not too long ago that covers the topic already in detail for you called, "Video Content: Super Fun! Super Effective."
You'll find what you need to know there as far as how to film or edit your videos simply and effectively, but I'll cover the main points to keep in mind for this purpose here:
- Look around YouTube for other videos in your niche (how-to's, general discussions etc...)
- What do they do well? Anything you could emulate that wouldn't be too difficult to pull off?
- Is there any way you could do a similar thing but better?
- What unique information can you give them?
- You must think about how your video can help your audience with their problems, or enlighten them to options that they might not have thought of.
- Make sure you keep your content relevant to the page you're sending people to (whether that's a squeeze page or on-site content).
- Your target audience should be the same for both.
- If you're sending them to content, you could even explain the gist of some of that content to people in a video then send them back to the full lesson.
- Important: Include a call to action in your video!
- Ask them to click on the link in the description below.
- Tell them how they'll benefit from going there. Is there a freebie they can sign up to get? Or more useful content there for them?
- An example of this might be to say at the end: "Thanks for watching. Remember to click on the link in the description below to get [benefit]."
Once you've created a video or even a short series of videos, it's time to upload them to YouTube. I'll quickly show setting up a channel for anyone who doesn't already have one, and then I'll run through the best process for adding your videos.
Step 3: Set up a Channel for Your Brand (If You Haven't Already)
This doesn't take long, and it becomes a neat little brand-associated hub for any videos you create.
You really do want a channel separate from your regular Google account so that you can personalize it to your brand. If you already have a channel set up, skip forward to step 4. If not, it's really super simple; just follow along the instructions in this step.
Start by making sure you're signed into your main Google account, then head to www.youtube.com/channel_switcher. You'll see a button with "Create a new channel" on it.
Then all you need to do is fill in a channel name (preferably in line with your brand/website name), and then select a category (which will more than likely be product or brand).
Then there's just the Pages Terms, and you can click "Done." Simple as that. Once you get into your channel, there are a few areas you might want to edit to align with the images and information associated with your brand. These include a profile picture, cover photo (called "channel art"), and the "About" information for your channel.
Quick tips for your channel information:
- Use the same brand images that you have on your website.
- This will make the connection between your channel and your site obvious, and strengthen your brand image overall.
- Have a compelling description.
- Make sure you state clearly and simply what people will find on your channel.
- Then add a quirky phrase or some personality; YouTube is for information but also for fun!
Once you've edited these to look like a good channel profile, you're ready to start uploading your videos.
Step 4: Upload Your Video(s) to YouTube
Think carefully about your title and description. Include all relevant information, and don't forget to link back to your site.
Whenever you're signed in and navigating around on YouTube, you'll see there's an "Upload" button in the top right corner.
When you've got your video(s) ready, simply click this button. Then it's really easy to drag and drop a video in, or you can select one by clicking on the big central icon.
Then, while your video is uploading, you can add a title for your video, a description letting people know what they'll learn by watching, and a few tags describing the main topics in your video.
Make sure that you don't forget to put that link back to your website in the description here, especially if you've mentioned it in your video. Otherwise, it's like inviting everyone to a party at your place and then not being home: Awkward.
Then click "Publish" and your video is live and ready to go.
Step 5: Spread the Love! Get Your Videos Some Initial Exposure
You need to take your YouTube videos and promote them in a variety of places where your target audience will be likely to see them.
There are a few ways you can get more views for these videos, especially when you've just launched them and they need a base number of views to show that they're worth watching.
Paid Traffic (Optional, Good for Getting off the Ground)
You can direct paid traffic to your YouTube videos by advertising through AdWords here.
I asked my colleague from the case study earlier in this post if she recommended AdWords and she said this:
"Definitely, I did that. To get enough traffic, I had to pick a really big, open couple of keywords ('dropshipping' and 'dropship') and advertise for all searches using those keywords.
I found for me, the best place for a content-driven video was in the 'recommended video' on the sidebar and in the search results. I think I spent no more than $50; it was really cheap."
Often you'll be trying to figure out what you should be posting on social media to build your brand image. In this instance, you get a win-win when you post your videos to social media. You get something of value to share with your followers, and you can promote your video at the same time.
Try to be active on the social media pages of other authorities in your niche. If you see people asking about the topic of your video or you find a discussion in which your video would genuinely be relevant (don't force it!), share it there.
Forums are not a thing of the past. Many people still use them to keep up with topics of interest to them or to ask questions. This can be a great place to find topics for your videos, but also for you to link to your YouTube videos when they'd be of use. You help others by answering their questions, and you get to promote your material at the same time.
Don't Forget Your Takeaways!
So the aim of the game is to go away and...
- Assess whether or not video marketing will be worthwhile for you.
- Is your niche particularly competitive on YouTube?
- Do you have something unique to bring to the table?
- Create your YouTube channel.
- Create a small series of videos to begin with.
- Include a CTA in your video.
- Upload your videos to YouTube.
- Include a link to your squeeze page or relevant content in the description.
- Promote your YouTube videos wherever you can do it (without forcing it).
- See if you can't get some views, turn some of those views to leads, and some of those leads to conversions.
I'd like to leave you with one final tip from Brian Honigman. I asked him, "If you could give someone just one ultimate video marketing tip or piece of advice, what would it be?" He answered:
"The main thing to think about when developing video content on behalf of your business is to ensure it's related to the interests of your audience and not overly promotional of your company's offerings. Think about what would drive value to your customer base, while still relating to what you sell.
For example, Moz, the marketing software company, has become known in the SEO and overall marketing industry for their video series Whiteboard Friday. In this video series, members of the Moz team explain how to approach certain marketing topics like link building or content marketing myths and more.
This series is done in house and is extremely simple, but has driven widespread results for the organization since it's of value to their customer base without having to regularly call out their marketing software through the videos.
Strike this balance with your video marketing efforts in order to ensure success."
- Brian Honigman, CEO of Honigman Media, regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and others
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions whatsoever about video marketing, or any comments about it if you've already given it a go. I'd love to hear from you.
Best of luck with your video marketing!