The topic for the April 2016 Building Online Communities MeetUp was “A Beginner’s Guide to YouTube Marketing & Building An Influential Community”. The speaker this month was Dan Colbert, aka CameraDan, an entrepreneur, filmographer and self-learned online marketer.
Dan started by listing the three uses for a YouTube channel: (1) getting more clients, (2) generating income and (3) selling your product or service (none mutually exclusive aims of course). He emphasised the importance of defining your ideal audience (in terms of their niches, demographics, etc), and creating at least a couple of audience profiles to aim for.
Dan then took us through the two main types of videos: traffic and conversion ones, both divided into a few sub-types: traffic videos can be mass audience, viral/trending or general interest. They get viewed a lot, generate more likes, comments etc, are under seven minutes long (and usually under three minutes), and can be monetised via ads. The conversion videos can be about upselling to your audience or sharing knowledge/demonstrating your service. They get fewer views, likes, comments etc, are longer (up to two hours), but that’s not what their job is.
Mass audience (traffic) videos can be about or tagged onto news, trends, updates, trailers, ads, events, holidays.
Viral (traffic) videos include pranks, PR stunts, collaborations (very important according to Dan!), animals (especially cats of course), cover songs, inspirational/motivational clips, and spoof sketches. These can get a lot views if you’re lucky, but you should still keep them relevant to your channel/personality/company/organisation.
General interest (traffic) videos are the “unintentional virals”, such as social experiments, product experience, reactions, “how to” or guide videos, game/movie reviews, product comparisons and compilations.
Knowledge (conversion) videos include tips, dos and don’ts, advice, tutorials, opinions, vlogs, interviews, talks, and presentations.
Demonstration of service (conversion) is as you’d expect, client transformation, product and service demos, portfolio work, testimonials, reviews, gameplay and documentaries.
As noted before, these categories are not fixed, and without clear borders: any video can be about both traffic and conversion.
Dan then talked about the “YouTube funnel” of a typical customer journey, which goes something like this:
A person searches for something on YouTube; they watch the 1st of your videos; and another; they check out your channel; they look at your banner and welcome video; they browse through your playlists; watch a couple more of your videos; subscribe to your channel; watch more videos; come across an upsell video; and convert to a paying customer of your product or service.
It is important to build rapport with your viewers at all stages of the funnel. And note that prospects that come through your website etc can take a shortcut route through the funnel. It is important to build a relationship with your audience: pay attention to your branding, theme and the look of your channel, including the thumbnails. Many people miss out by not having an introductory video, or a catalogue of their content and playlists.
It is also important to be clear about what your content is in the descriptions and video names, to make good use of tags, and communicate with your audience by taking part in the comments and elsewhere.
In general, Dan said it’s good to upload two new videos each week, as the YouTube search algorithm seems to favour regularly updated channels.
There were again many interesting questions, around copyright issues, on how to overcome camera shyness and much more. A couple of points I made were on tags: Dan suggested using three “filters”: tags relevant to your channel (your and your business’s names), to the video in question (title words, focus, audience) and generally popular keywords. Another question was about ads: do you have any input into what ads people see with your videos? The answer is no, but they are tailored to the viewer, so this shouldn’t be a massive issue for you.
Click here to download Dan’s slides: You Tube Presentation