How to Develop a YouTube Marketing Strategy

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and a cornerstone of video marketing. While the benefits of the platform are clear, getting started with YouTube and creating an effective video marketing strategy is difficult for many businesses.

A powerful YouTube marketing strategy consists of four key components: planning (and more importantly, knowing your goals), quality content, consistency and targeting.

From the Ground Up: Planning Video Content for YouTube

Planning and incorporating video in your editorial calendar is an essential step in awesome YouTube marketing.

Great video marketing takes pre-meditated effort. You have to strategize, and more importantly, set concrete and attainable goals, when publishing content on YouTube. Are you pushing for a higher subscriber rate, or are you more interested in raw visibility? Your desired outcome will affect how you produce, edit and optimize new content for YouTube.

One great tactic we highly recommend is reviewing your business’s top 10 most organically-viewed blog/FAQ topics and producing extended video pieces, interviews and even audio read-throughs of those topics. 

Focus on Content Consistency

When marketing your business with YouTube, or really any other video platform, the most effective strategies involve recurring and predictable content. Users aren’t as likely to subscribe to your channel if you publish content intermittently, every few weeks, than they would be if you uploaded new content each Monday or on the first day of each month.

On YouTube, sheer volume is the name of the game for building your follower base; additional annotation links, proper tagging and SEO power through descriptions are secondary.

Like traditional blogs and podcasts, the best thing you can do to generate an active audience on YouTube is to share content consistently, and then distribute this content across all of your social media channels.

If you’re utilizing video as a form of blog content, for instance, we recommend incorporating all video posts, titles and descriptions in your ongoing content calendar/blogging documents. This helps in both planning future posts and keeping production on your weekly/monthly radar. Even if all you’re publishing is a recorded webinar or podcast video, set those expectations to keep viewers opening your promo emails and, ultimately, returning to your site.

Tailor Content for Subscribers and the Community

Keep your target audience in mind when creating new YouTube content and optimizing playlists on YouTube.

Most folks who will access your YouTube uploads and playlists are doing so natively on YouTube. Merely publishing content on YouTube and throwing it on your website or across social channels doesn’t cut it. The businesses that market most effectively with YouTube are those that modify their channels, annotations and actual video content for their users.

Think about the path new viewers will take to reach your YouTube videos, and ultimately the next steps necessary to drive those viewers to your site.

Here are some quick tips on specializing content for your specific target audience:

  • Unless you’re publishing a webinar or have set expectations for a long-form video, keep your business’s YouTube content under 3 minutes in duration. As a general marketing strategy, video is powerful in its simplicity.
  • Tailor annotations and other end-of-video link options for individual videos, and push viewers along a natural conversion path with your playlists. This is particularly important for series of videos or other project-specific content. On YouTube, how you format the end of your videos and incorporate external/playlist links can make all the difference between a lost viewer and a website conversion.

At the End of the Day…

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: businesses that use YouTube in conjunction with other hosting platforms (native social media uploaders, private hosting options and the like) typically see the biggest return on their video marketing efforts. For most organizations, YouTube’s greatest marketing value is its audience scope, SEO juice and custom channel options.

Any and all video content you produce should also be uploaded on private hosting services and cross-promoted on YouTube for extra traction. Plan accordingly, create channel playlists based on topic, upload at recurring, predictable intervals and reinforce all uploads with adequate descriptions and tags.

The right way to market with YouTube involves much more than just uploading high quality content; it requires that content to be published consistently, refined on a per-video basis and streamlined for viewers.

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Best Advice I Ever Got About Ecommerce That Changed Everything

I met this man, who was in his late 50s, accidentally while visiting San Francisco. It turned out that he is a super experienced ecommerce professional who owns now 19 online stores across the US and 6 stores in the UK.

We agreed on taking a pizza at his favorite restaurant at Stockton Street and discussing e-commerce.

Unfortunately, his only wish was that he would remain nameless for any articles. I accepted this condition. However, what he taught me changed everything and it was worth it. Visualize everything below in quotes from my Evernote:

Best Advice I Ever Got About Ecommerce That Changed Everything

Listen to your customers

Young merchants like you often ask me about the key ingredients to grow a successful ecommerce business. And while I can go deep into the details, my answer is simple but powerful:

You can always work on your conversion rate from a website funnel improvement perspective, invest in customer acquisition, expand abroad, etc.

But the first key thing you must ask yourself is: from a customer point of view, what’s blocking me from doubling my business in the next 30 days? How could each customer spend more? How do I retain customers? What could lead customer who don’t buy to buy?

And the only way to answer these questions is direct customer listening.

To better understand how to proceed, ask your customers for feedback, read their emails and complaints, and listen to their calls with support. I bet you’ll learn a lot by listening to why they don’t purchase, and where your service or products can and should be improved. Spending a full day digging into all this will be one of the smartest moves to make.

When I was starting my first two online stores, I was spending a full day every week listening to our customers. I couldn’t even imagine that they interact with our store so differently and have different needs than we imagined. That gave us perspective on improving our business.

I was doing it for a first 2 years and developed two sustainable and predictable ecommerce stores with a monthly traffic of about 320k and a monthly turnover of about $520k. Moreover, customer retention was and still is outstanding.

Right now, when I own 25 ecommerce businesses, each has a general manager who still spends a full day on “Customer Listening” (yes we call it like that) every week and send me brief one-page reports with insights. I keep myself up to date with the latest customer trends, needs and customers’ behavior, which helps me to make important strategic decisions for all of my businesses.

Don’t be stupid. It takes time.

Don’t think that I made no mistakes. Although now I own 25 ecommerce businesses, 4 failed in the last 10 years, and I feel that one of those 25 will go bankrupt in the next 6 months. And failure is a normal thing in business, as long as you learn from it and don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Don’t be stupid and never expect to go viral. Out of thousands of attempts, only a few succeed like Dollar Shave Club video which usually inspires all of you.

We tried it often with the help of super creative and experienced marketers and press; we even hit 1 million views on Youtube with one of our “viral” videos, but the ROI was negative. We spent much time and money on it and it gave just a one-time effect. Sustainable and predictable user acquisition channels are the key, not some stupid growth hacks.

Create a story around your brand

You’ll never win against Amazon if you try to compete with it. Instead of competing with Amazon, I always create a story around one theme of products with no more than 5 product categories.

When you have a story and position all of your stores to your target audience like that, you can raise your prices and retain customers much more easily.

Customers are more likely to buy from a “small” store that gives advice, a personal touch, personal offers and makes sure your product is carefully selected and dispatched even if it costs more than at giants like Amazon.

Moreover, when you open new product categories and create a new store, you are getting multiple revenue streams, which diversifies risk and makes you more wealthy in time.

By the way, we party and have fun often. And there are 2 benefits of partying often:

1. The staff is happier, more loyal and simply having fun and enjoying the life.

2. We make many pictures and work with social media and show our community we care about our products, that we know well our product category, and we personally use our products.

I just didn’t mention that our parties are themed by every product category.

E.g. one of my stores are selling camping and traveling equipment, so every quarter, we are taking an adventurous trip in the mountains, a picnic on the beach or camping somewhere in the forests. After the event, we post a couple of blog posts and share the pictures every month. That gives us incredible storytelling and keeps warm relationships with our customers and social media followers.

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