YouTube is one of the most powerful marketing platforms on the planet. Learn how to use it to generate leads, make sales, and grow your business.
Lots of different social media channels fight for your advertising dollars and your marketing efforts.
Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and YouTube all want you to use their platform to find your target market, generate leads, and grow your business.
But, of course, not all platforms are created equal, especially when we’re talking about your business.
Some social media platforms will be more effective and some will be less effective.
Is YouTube a fit for your business? And if so, how?
Let’s start by looking at the data.
The Average YouTube User Spends 40 Minutes Every Time They Visit The Site!
YouTube has 1.9 billion monthly active users.
And there are some 7 billion people on the planet. So yeah… YouTube is massive — there’s really no question as to whether or not your target audience is on the platform; they are.
The bigger questions you have to ask are…
- Are you completely committed to using YouTube as a marketing strategy?
- Are you willing to consistently create and optimize video content?
After all, if you hate making videos and you hate editing videos… then YouTube isn’t the platform for you.
You have to be totally committed to your advertising and marketing efforts on YouTube before you’ll see success — the process will require learning and learning and iterating, which will require commitment and grit.
So… is YouTube worth your commitment?
Here are some stats to prove YouTube’s worth…
- YouTube is the second most common platform where people watch video content on TV.
- YouTube is popular among all age groups — 81% of people between ages 15 and 25 use the platform, 71% of people between ages 26 and 35, 67% of people between ages 36 and 45, 66% of people between ages 46 and 55, and 58% of people aged 56 and older.
- YouTube is available in 80 different languages and hosts local versions of the platform in more than 100 different countries.
- Watching YouTube on TV screens is becoming increasingly popular — in March of 2019, users were watching 250 million hours of YouTube content on TV, a 39% increase from the previous year.
- The average YouTube user spends 11:50 on the platform every single day and views more than 6 different pages.
In other words, YouTube is crazy powerful for marketers.
And it all has to do with the platform’s reliance on video content.
For a long time, before the creation of YouTube and the commoditization of video content on the internet, all content was pictures and words.
But when YouTube came on the scene, video began to dominate. .
The fact is, video is and always will be the most engaging form of content, far above written content — which means it’s great for marketers.
What’s the number one rule of sales copy?
The only goal of the headline is to get the prospect to read the first line of the copy. And the only goal of the first line is to get them to read the second line. Video makes that process easier — since it’s visual, it’s more naturally engaging and easier for consumers to spend time with than sales copy.
So on and so forth.
Video makes that process easier — since it’s visual, it’s more naturally engaging and easier for consumers to spend time with than sales copy.
When, for instance, was the last time you saw a Facebook ad that DIDN’T have a video attached to it?
Video is powerful. And YouTube is where video marketing lives. But there are a lot of different ways to grow your business using YouTube marketing.
Here’s an overview.
5 YouTube Marketing Tactics to Grow Your Business in 2020
There are several different ways to market your business, generate leads, or sell products through YouTube. Below are five of the most common tactics.
The tactics that you choose will depend on the kind of business that you’re trying to build.
For example, if you have an ecommerce or SaaS business, then you might use YouTube influencer marketing, SEO, and advertising. If you want to make money directly through YouTube, then you might consider affiliate marketing or ad monetization.
The type of company you’re building will determine how you should use YouTube marketing. Here are your options.
1. YouTube Advertising
Things can get a little bit fuzzy at the mention of YouTube advertising.
There’s the ability to monetize your YouTube channel by running advertisements (only once you’ve passed 10,000 views) and then there’s actually running advertisements for your business on YouTube.
The latter is what we’re talking about here (see YouTube Monetization for the former).
In other words, we’re talking about running a business, having a product or service that you’re trying to sell, and running ads on YouTube to make it happen.
Beyond logistics, running ads on YouTube is mostly the same as running ads on any other platform. Follow this advice…
- Don’t be afraid to be different — People are on YouTube to be entertained. And they are prepared to hit that “Skip” button as soon as the countdown hits zero. So entertain them, grab their attention as soon as possible, and hold onto it. Don’t be afraid to do something a little crazy or different to keep more people watching and, ultimately, taking action.
- Get the targeting right — The success of your YouTube ads is at least partly determined by whether you’ve got the targeting right. So get specific (no need to waste on money on people who aren’t interested). Start with demographic information and then widdle your audience down by specific interest. If your budget is small, err on the side of being extra specific with who you’re targeting.
- DEFINITELY use retargeting ads — One of the most powerful functions of any big advertising platform is the ability to retarget people who’ve already shown interest in your business by visiting your website. Because of that, retargeted audiences typically have a much better ROI than cold audiences.
- Remember you only have 5 seconds — If you factor video load time and that the average website user has an attention span of 8 seconds, you only have about 5 seconds to catch the user’s attention. So do what you need to do to get them to keep watching; make ‘em laugh, make ‘em cry, surprise ‘em.
Example Of YouTube Advertising
2. YouTube Affiliate Marketing
YouTube affiliate marketing is creating a channel and video content on YouTube with the goal of selling other people’s products. When you do make sales, you receive a commission from the company whose products you sold.
The primary benefit of monetizing your YouTube channel with affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to create your own products, you just have to sell other people’s products.
Also, you can start trying to sell affiliate products right away, whereas with YouTube monetization, you must have at least 10,000 channel views before you can monetize.
The main challenges of YouTube affiliate marketing lie in…
- Getting your video content ranking in the YouTube search engine (this will be your primary source of traffic).
- Building an audience on YouTube that trust your reviews.
- Finding profit-heavy products to sell.
As for YouTube SEO, we’ll discuss that in detail here shortly.\
Building an audience on YouTube is simply a matter of consistency and video quality (consistency on YouTube is twice as important as on other social media platforms — create your publishing schedule and stick to it).
And for finding profit-heavy affiliate opportunities, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you! Here’s your list with links to get you started…
- ClickFunnels — You can get up to 40%recurring commissions by helping to sell ClickFunnel’s memberships!
- Amazon Associates — Amazon’s massive affiliate marketing program offers 10%, which isn’t huge, but you can market any type of product that you want because… well, it’s Amazon.
- ShareASale — This is a huge platform for merchants and affiliates to connect. Sign up, sell other people’s products, get paid. Simple.
- eBay Partner Network — Even eBay wants help selling their products. How much you make depends on what you’re selling, but commission hovers between 2% and 3%.
- Clickbank — This is another platform like ShareASale where you can sell lots of different merchant’s products for a commission.
Example Of YouTube Affiliate Marketing
3. YouTube Monetization
YouTube monetization is making money on your channel by allowing YouTube to run ads on your videos.
People who make money this way are often known as YouTube influencers. And as proven by PewDiePie and other huge YouTube stars, you can make a lot of money this way… but it’s no overnight process.
This YouTube marketing calculator estimates that with 20,000 daily views and a 50% click-through rate, a channel would make between $28.50 and $47.50 per day (or between $855 and $1,425 per month).
Also, you need at least 10,000 channel views before YouTube will even let you monetize.
Ultimately, monetizing this way is a long-term play that requires you to consistently create top-notch content, optimize that content for YouTube’s SEO, and build a loyal audience.
A friend of mine, Tricia Lake, has spent more than 3 years building her YouTube channel and she only recently struck gold with a near one-million view video. For her, it’s now a matter of maintaining that momentum.
YouTube monetization is possible, but it’s also a long-term play that’s going to require some grit and persistence. If you do choose to go this route, consider selling merchandise to your most loyal followers as well as running ads — this is a common strategy for YouTube influencers who are trying to increase their monthly income (and ClickFunnels has sales funnels that can help you sell literally anything).
Example Of YouTube Monetization
4. YouTube Organic Funnel Traffic
Imagine that you have a sales funnel that you’ve built to convert like crazy. You want to send as many people to that funnel as possible, right? Because the more people who visit your funnel, the more conversions you’ll get and the more money you’ll make.
It’s conceivable, then, that you’d want to use YouTube as a platform for driving traffic to your website, not necessarily with ads, but organically (or maybe both).
Lots of SaaS and ecommerce and even coaching businesses do this: they create organic video content purely for the purpose of building brand awareness and driving website traffic.
How do they do it?
Well, we’ll build your specific YouTube marketing strategy soon, but here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to drive organic traffic to your website through YouTube…
- Create consistent content — Again, consistency is key. You won’t build an audience or keep an audience on YouTube if you fail to create a publishing schedule and stick to it.
- Optimize your YouTube profile — Since you’re trying to drive traffic back to your website, make sure that there’s a link to your sales funnel right inside of your YouTube profile.
- Add a CTA to your video descriptions — Want people to take a specific action or go to a specific page after watching one of your videos? Put the link in the description and tell them exactly what you want them to do.
Example Of YouTube Organic Funnel Traffic
5. YouTube SEO
YouTube is the second most-visited search engine after Google.
Whether you want to make money directly on YouTube (through YouTube monetization or affiliate marketing) or you want to make money indirectly (through influencer marketing or organic funnel traffic), understanding YouTube’s SEO is absolutely critical.
The better that your videos rank in YouTube, the more views you’re going to get and the more attention you’re going to generate for your brand.
Here are the basic steps…
Step 1. Find Your Keywords
What search phrase(s) do you want to rank for in YouTube?
This is the first question you must answer in order to get your content ranking.
Consider your niche and your audience, go to YouTube, and search for something that you’d like to rank for. Maybe you want to rank for “Marketing software,” for example.
When you type that in, YouTube is going to give you a free list of popular keyword phrases (i.e. things that people regularly search for).
When you choose which keywords to target, try to keep intent in mind — that is, why are people searching for that phrase?
“Marketing software free,” for instance, might not be as valuable to rank for as “Marketing software for small business” (the former are wanting a free solution and the latter might be willing to pay), depending on your business.
Also, consider the competitiveness of the keyword phrase up against how much authority your YouTube channel currently has (number of subscribers, engagement, and views are all indications of your current authority).
Ultimately, you want to try and target low competition phrases if you’re just getting started.
But how do you determine the competitiveness of a keyword phrase in YouTube? Super easy…
Just go to Google and type in your keyword phrase with this tag on the end: site:youtube.*
Then look at the number of results. “Marketing software,” for example, has 5.2 million results — that’s pretty darn competitive.
However, “Marketing software free download” only has 140,000 results, which means it would be far easier to rank for!
To start, choose between 3 and 5 keywords with the right intent and manageable competition (relative to your own YouTube authority). Then move on to step 2.
Step 2. Create an Engaging Video
The more engagement that your video receives, the better that it’s going to rank in YouTube.
Comments, shares, a lengthy time-on-page, and new subscribers are all indications to YouTube’s search engine that your video is worth watching and thus worth ranking.
In fact, even if your video ranks at the top for your target keyword, if it isn’t engaging, it’s not going to stay there for very long… so making a video that engages people is absolutely critical.
Of course, making your video engaging is easier said than done.
So here are some tips (with examples)…
- Ask people to subscribe, like, and comment after watching — Even people who enjoyed your video might not think to like, comment, or subscribe after watching. So give ‘em a reminder. You can even try to bribe them by telling them about your upcoming videos and that, if they don’t want to miss out, they should subscribe.
- Get to the point within 10 seconds — 20% of people will abandon your video after just 10 seconds. There’s nothing more annoying for YouTube viewers than wanting a certain piece of content, but having to sit through a lengthy intro before the creator gets to the point. Many people will leave. So get to the point and get there fast.
- Use the “open loop” — The “open loop” is a phenomenal strategy for keeping people invested in your video (it also works for sales copy). Basically, you make a promise to discuss something that the viewer wants you to discuss… a little later. And they keep watching because they want to know the answer. Seasoned YouTuber creators and sales copywriters expertly create open loops that keep consumers engaged.
- Have high energy on camera — People with high energy, excitement, and enthusiasm keep viewers watching for far longer than their monotone counterparts. So pump yourself up a little bit before hitting “record.”
Step 3. Optimize The Title, Description, and Video Tags
Now that you’ve chosen which keywords you want to target and you’ve created an engaging video to increase retention, it’s time to optimize the logistical elements.
The title, description, and tags of your video should all point in the same keyword-focussed direction; toward the phrase that you want to rank for.
This is a dead-simple step but an important one.
Your title should be extremely enticing to users (which will translate into more clicks) but it should also include your target keyword phrase, or at least some variation of it. The same goes for your description and tags.
Here’s an example…
When I search for “How to drive website traffic”, this video from Russel Brunson ranks number 3…
If we click on it, then we can see why it’s ranking so well.
The title, tags, and description are all working together to tell YouTube exactly what the video is about…
But again, this video has almost 1,000 likes and more than 30,000 views — that engagement surely contributes to the video’s search engine success.
Ultimately, you need to optimize your title, tags, and description to include your keyword phrase, but you also need to create an irresistibly engaging video — that’s the ultimate 1-2 punch for ranking in YouTube.
Pro Tip: YouTube can now transcribe videos… which means it can understand what you’re saying. So make sure to say your target keyword at least a few times within each video.
6. YouTube Influencer Marketing
The final YouTube marketing strategy that we’ll discuss here is YouTube influencer marketing.
This is a phenomenal marketing tactic for the business person who wants to sell more products and build more brand awareness, but doesn’t want to run their own ad campaigns (hasta la vista, Facebook ads).
If you find the right YouTube influencers to promote your products, this can be a total game-changer.
But how do you find the right influencers? And how do you get them to work with you?
Follow these steps.
Step 1. Identify Your Dream 100
Imagine that you were able to get 100 of the best influencers in your niche to promote your product — how MASSIVE would that be for your business?
Well, that’s how the dream 100 works.
The first step is to think of who your target market is, where they hang out, and most importantly, who they pay attention to on YouTube.
Make a list of 100 different YouTube influencers who your target audience listens to — this is your dream 100.
Step 2. Pitch Collaborative Opportunities (Or Offer To Pay)
Next, find each influencer’s contact information and send them an email (hunter.io is great for this).
Within your email, offer some sort of collaborative opportunity. For example, you can ask them to become an affiliate for your product (make sure to sweeten the deal as much as you can!), you can offer to mention their product on your YouTube channel and ask if they’d be willing to do the same, or you can simply offer to pay them for a mention.
Obviously, the more authority you or your business has in the industry, the easier it’s going to be to get your dream 100 to agree to your pitch.
So don’t be afraid to start with smaller “micro” influencers: creators with 10,000 or less views. They’ll be less expensive and more willing to collaborate.
Step 3. Follow Up
In the pitching and networking world, one email is rarely enough.
People get busy, they lose interest (only to regain interest later) and they forget to respond.
So follow up with each influencer on your dream 100 list at least 3 times or until you hear a response. You’ll be shocked at how many people respond because of a follow-up email.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to get funky with your follow-up email to spike interest. Shay Rowbottom, an influencer on LinkedIn, says that she has seen a lot of success by adding the below meme to her followup email sequence.
Discovering YOUR YouTube Marketing Strategy
Different marketing strategies work for different businesses.
And that’s just as true for YouTube as it is for Facebook ads, SEO, or any other type of marketing.
Now that you understand the different types of marketing opportunities that are available on YouTube, it’s time to turn our attention to building a YouTube marketing strategy specifically for your business.
Here are 5 steps to doing just that.
Step 1. Ask Yourself, “Why am I using YouTube?”
Why are you using YouTube to market your business?
What does YouTube offer you that other platforms don’t?
The more thoroughly you answer that question, the better you’re going to understand why you’re using YouTube.
And the better that you understand why you’re using YouTube, the easier it will be to choose a strategy and stick to it.
Are you using YouTube to…
- Find your target market and generate leads for your business?
- Market other people’s products and make affiliate commissions?
- Monetize and make money through ads?
- Build brand awareness?
Or something else altogether?
Start by writing down why you’re going to use YouTube and what you hope to accomplish with the platform.
Step 2. Choose a Strategy That Fits Your WHY
What YouTube marketing strategies do you want to use (look over the ones we discussed earlier in this article) to hit your goals?
If you’re trying to build brand awareness, then YouTube SEO is probably the most important tactic for you to pursue. If you want to generate leads, then influencer marketing and ads might be ideal. If you want to make money directly through your YouTube channel, then SEO, affiliate marketing, and YouTube monetization are probably the way to go.
Whatever strategy you decide to use, make sure it lines up with your “Why?” and your long-term vision.
Step 3. Determine Your YouTube KPIs
The next step is an important one: what metrics will you use to track progress?
In other words, what are your YouTube marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
The KPIs you choose should be direct representations of the overall success of your YouTube marketing efforts, which means that each KPI should be closely related to your “Why?” and the goals you’re trying to accomplish.
Here are some common YouTube marketing KPIs to consider…
Step 4. Create Your Schedule
Consistency is super important on YouTube.
Think of all the most successful YouTube channels that you enjoy watching… they all consistently post video content about almost the exact same topic or with the same exact theme, and in the same format.
Neil Patel offers marketing advice…
Good Mythical Morning does funny games and challenges…
And MinuteEarth does easy-to-understand stick figure science videos…
The most successful YouTube channels find their flow and stick to it.
So if you’re planning to create your own YouTube channel, create a theme, format, or style, and commit to publishing at least one video every other week (ideally a bit more than that).
(This consistent activity is also really good for your SEO)
If you’re planning to run YouTube ads or try influencer marketing, consistency is still a good idea — the more regularly your target market sees references to your business, the better.
Step 5. Learn, Adapt, and Learn Some More
As with all marketing platforms, your YouTube strategy should be a process of learning, adapting, and learning some more.
The more content that youpublish and promote, the more that you’re going to learn about what it takes to be a success on YouTube — so stay flexible and always be willing to adapt your overall strategy to better serve your business goals.
Pro Tip: If you want to get serious about learning and iterating, then consider creating a quarterly review process where you check your KPIs and brainstorm new ideas for moving forward. Is what you’re doing working already? Or does it need to be tweaked?
Branding Your YouTube Channel For Long-Term Success
What is the first thing that someone sees when they visit your YouTube channel?
After all, if someone watches one of your videos for the first time and enjoys it, they’re probably going to visit your channel page to see if they “vibe” with your brand or not.
The goal is to instantaneously communicate to your target market that yes, they should subscribe.
How do you do that?
Here’s some branding advice.
1. Only Create Content For Your Target Audience
Ideally, you should ONLY publish videos that capture the interest of your target market.
The problem with creating content for different audiences on the same YouTube channel is that when any of those audiences go to check out your channel and see content that doesn’t apply to them… well, that can be a turn-off.
You’ll have the most success if you focus on one niched-down target market per YouTube channel.
Also, try to create a consistent theme with all of your videos — meaning, have the same style, format, or feel.
Consider some of the most successful YouTube channels around today. CrashCourse consistently publishes the same style of video that targets the same audience (even the thumbnail graphic of each video has super similar branding)…
The same goes for Big Think…
Lessons from the Screenplay…
And pretty much every other successful YouTube channel.
They only create content for their target market, they use the same format or style for most videos, and they make the thumbnails of each video similar enough for their audience to recognize.
You should do the same if you want to attract and keep the people who matter most: your target market.
2. Carefully Choose Your Featured Video
YouTube now gives creators the ability to feature a video on their homepage. Here’s where that featured video lives…
This is an important feature to make the most of.
When someone visits your homepage to determine whether they’re going to subscribe, your featured video is what they’re likely going to watch first — it’s your first impression.
Keeping that in mind, there are a few different ways to use this feature…
- You can feature your most recently published video. This can be a good idea for channels with a strong theme or content series that they want people to immediately become engaged with. This is what Good Mythical Morning does…
- You can feature your most popular video. This can be a good idea to convince people to subscribe — might as well put your best foot forward! This is what Tricia Lake does (compare the views on her featured video to her other videos).
- You can feature your “CTA video”. In other words, you can feature the video that will introduce your brand, business, or product, and also encourage new viewers to take the first action that you want them to take. Maybe this video just introduces your brand and encourages them to subscribe or maybe it drives them to your sales funnel where they can sign-up for your email list. Ask yourself, “What’s the best first step?” This is what FunForLouis does (notice the CTAs next to his video — the video itself introduces his brand).
3. Create an Actual “Brand”
The main key to branding your YouTube channel is to… well, create an actual brand.
By that, I mean that you should have a logo, colors, header image, description, and about page that all have similar visuals and messaging.
The goal is to make your brand easily recognizable.
Why is that important?
Well, have a look at the data…
- It takes 5 to 7 impressions before someone remembers a brand.
- Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%.
- Presenting your brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
- 64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand.
- 54% of consumers would like to see more video content from brands they support.
Branding your YouTube channel is just as important as branding a business or a website. You’ll notice that pretty much all the most successful YouTube channels have consistent branding.
Take AsapSCIENCE as an example. Their channel immediately communicates that they serve science-lovers.
Then, the graphics, format, and style on each video are similar and easily recognizable.
Their short-and-sweet description tells people exactly what they’re trying to do…
Ultimately, if you want to be a success on YouTube, then you need to create a consistent brand that’s enticing to your target market.
BONUS: 3 YouTube Marketing Tips That No One is Talking About
There’s a famous quote by Earl Nightingale that, when it comes to marketing, is particularly pertinent…
“Watch what everyone else does — do the opposite. The majority is always wrong.”
While that quote is probably a little extreme, it is true that the more people who use a specific marketing strategy, the faster that tactic wears out… the faster it becomes ineffective on consumers because… well, everyone is doing it.
So below are 3 YouTube marketing tips that no one is talking about.
Secret 1. Document, Don’t Create
Most YouTube experts recommend publishing content at least once per week and, if you’re really serious, multiple times per week.
But… how are you going to create, edit and publish all of that content in any reasonable amount of time.
The secret here lies in documenting… not creating.
Gary Vaynerchuk does a phenomenal job of this — rather than meticulously planning and creating content, he just documents what he’s already doing. If he records a podcast, gives a speech, or does something else interesting throughout the day, he pulls an interesting clip and uploads it to YouTube.
Here’s an example…
This is sort of like listening to an audiobook while you run — you’re knocking out two things at the same time.
You might even consider hiring someone for a few hours everyday to follow you around with a camera to document your business journey and then edit and upload those videos for you.
Secret 2. Produce, Don’t Consume
In order to become a big influencer on YouTube or to make your brand succeed on YouTube, how much time are you going to have to spend on the platform?
Chances are, you’re already spending too much time on social media as it is.
But there’s a big difference between producing and consuming. YOU need to produce more and consume less. With that focus shift, you might even find that you’re spending less time on social media… while producing sooo much more.
Secret 3. Buy Ads From Your Dream 100 While Working On SEO
Here’s a little hack for getting the most bang for your buck if you’re going to run YouTube ads.
Remember the dream 100 strategy we talked about earlier?
(If you don’t, your dream 100 just consists of finding and listing 100 influencers who your target market pays the most attention to. These are the 100 people whose audiences you DEFINITELY want to get in front of.)
Well, did you know that YouTube allows you to run ads on specific channel’s videos?
In other words, you can pull influencers from your dream 100 list who have a big YouTube presence and pay to show your ads right on that influencer’s videos.
Pretty cool, huh?
What is YOUR YouTube Marketing Strategy?
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article.
We’ve discussed the different types of YouTube marketing, how to build your own high-level strategy, how to brand your channel, and even offered some not-so-popular tips for being a success on the platform.
Now, it’s time for action.
Let us know how it goes!