How do you go about creating engaging content for YouTube? How do you reach a large audience with your videos? How can you drive action from viewers?
To answer these questions I’ve had a chat with Aimee Bateman who is the founder of CareerCake.com. She’s a consultant, speaker and skills trainer, YouTube expert and she was a keynote speaker at #smlondon LIVE! 2014. She has no less than five million views across five YouTube channels to her name. You can listen to the audio podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud (embed below) or keep reading for an abridged transcript of our conversation. A longer version is available at Link Humans. Questions by me, answers by Aimee.
How do you go about creating effective YouTube content?
I think the first thing to do is just break through the BS. And I think the first thing that people need to do is that, you know, understand that your consumer is intelligent. I think a lot of businesses, when they’re producing marketing content and video, they just forget that there’s a lot of variance in actual stuff out there and consumers are becoming more and more switched on. I think especially consumers can smell the BS a mile off now so I think it’s important that you keep it real. Keep it really, really real. But make sure that you’re adding value. If we just going to the internet to talk about your business and what you do, that’s great and you might get excited about that, but is anybody else? Well, I’m not so sure. People don’t always care about what you’re doing. It’s how what you’re doing is going to add value to me. So it’s always about adding real value.
And secondly, I think it’s really important when people are marketing their company to remember that they’re not always their customer and what might interest you and what you might think are your unique selling points aren’t always the things that your customers are going to want to know about. So asking questions… Remember, when I first started my YouTube channel about five years ago, before I created any content, I jumped onto social media platforms and started asking people what do you want to know? Like, how can I help you? And then I created my first 12 months of content that I created, was all based on what people had asked for. So I think that’s really, really important.
For example, in the recruitment space, that’s where I live, when you are promoting yourself, maybe as an employer of choice, it’s not just the case of this is what we’re doing, this is how big our business is, this is where our office is. It might be a case of well, let’s introduce some of the people that work for us. Let’s find out what they like about our business. Let’s take a video of them in the club next door cause this is where we go every Friday after work. And just keeping it really, really real but making sure you’re adding value.
What are some of the mistakes to avoid with YouTube marketing?
Some of the mistakes I would say is that people make them too salesy, I think, firstly. Oh, we’re just going to make a video and pretend we’re just adding value but really there’s a massive, massive sales message through there. I think that there’s a lot of people that are doing that and making it really, really obvious. And I think a lot of people aren’t authentic enough so that I think that possibly thing to be something that they’re not.
And I think a lot of people with video marketing tend to make them too long. I think sometimes with video, there’s a certain attention span that you have to keep some of these attention so get that hook in really, really quickly.
Or they’re making brilliant content but they’re not sharing it, or they’re not using techniques, or they’re thinking, “Well, I’ve got this wicked video and it’s great.” And it could be, it could be wonderful but then they just stick it on the homepage of their website but they’re not integrating that into their entire marketing, their entire marketing strategies. You know, the wider social media strategy, how you can actually get people to view it.
What type of technical equipment do you need?
I still use the camera that I bought from eBay for 20 quid. It was a ZI Kodak camera, ZI8 it was, and I still use that. So it depends on your brand really, but I just bought it 20 quid, it was second hand on eBay and I started making YouTube videos in my living room. Yeah, I mean but that was fine for my brand. It depends on what … I suppose on how you want people to view you. But if you can afford, if you’ve got a budget just to bring in an external company or to… Even if you want to make your own, then that’s fine. I would say that the one thing that is really important is your audio. I think even if you’ve got quite a basic camera or you’re making videos on your phone or your iPad, you know, that might be alright for your brand, but never ever compromise on audio, always invest in a good camera and a good microphone.
What are your best tips and tricks for YouTube marketing?
A lot of people ignore the description area but I always think it’s important to blog in my area because people do read that. So if you are going to make a really good video then you want to add keywords, obviously and a title, you want to make sure that the title is really good. So numbers work really well, so “Five steps to…” or “Three ideas for…” Q&A titles work really well. But also, yeah, blogging in your description area. So making sure that you’ve got a link on YouTube, maybe a link to your website or a link to a really funky lead page where you can capture somebody’s email address and obviously implement that into your email marketing campaign to then build relationships with people. Optimising tags, that’s quite an obvious one on YouTube.
I always talk about the 12 second rule. You know what it’s like when you meet somebody and you make your mind really, really quickly but it’s still like that in video, so you have to adopt the same stuff that you would if you were in a room with somebody. You know, if you want to ask some questions, engage with them or you still have to do that on video so I always think creating movements is really, really good with videos.
A call to action, I think a lot of people forget to do that. I definitely forgot to do that, I made lazy, lazy videos in the beginning when I was at 20,000 hits, but nobody was coming to my website and I was like, “Why not?!” But I wasn’t asking them to.
Another really wonderful thing to do, which I haven’t done but I am so going to do it, it’s on my to-do list, it’s creating a video advising people or suggesting why they should subscribe to your channel. And Gary Vaynerchuk has got an amazing on his one which is “Why you really need to subscribe to my channel”. It’s like, “Guys, seriously, if you are not subscribed to my channel, it hurts me. And it hurts my soul.” And he just talks about the value you’re going to get from subscribing to his channel. Because your subscribers are up, that’s basically people who are just out there waiting for you to upload new videos. That’s amazing. You don’t have to worry about being found. They’re going to get an email straight to their inbox when you do launch a new video, so that’s really, really good.
Encourage comments as well. I know a lot of people that produce videos for YouTube and they just think, “Oh, but I disabled the comments” And I get that, considering how many views I’ve got on YouTube, for every 30 beautiful ones for comments, I do get the odd ones somebody says that they hate my Welsh accent so much they want to punch me in the face until I bleed or, you know, something horrendous like that. I would always say that if you’re worried about comments damaging your brand, then you can always switch them to ‘Approved’. But encouraging comments, so actually saying to people, “If you’ve got any thoughts on this video, or you’ve got any questions, please…” And even point down, you know, “Please add something in the comments”.
What is a good call to action in your videos?
Value. One, they have to really believe that you care and that what you’re… you know, that they’ve got to really engage and you really care about somebody. I know and for the first … I didn’t do call to actions initially. In fact, I didn’t really sell my product or any product or coaching services for a good sort of three months when I launched my business because I wanted to just focus on building relationships and trust with my customers, clients or, you know, my community. But a good call to action is just a link underneath and I would suggest building, signing up to lead pages. So either go back to your website or a really, really well optimised lead page and then you can capture people’s email addresses and offer things. So I offer downloads and free stuff, and then obviously you get that email address then and you can hopefully build a relationship, but it’s got to be based on value. Always, always, always value.
How do you promote your videos once they are uploaded?
Obviously a lot of the platforms I’ve just talked about, they have their own services that can help you promote that, but I think that it has to be part of your wider social media strategy.
One of the things – obviously I would think most people listening to this will be totally familiar with – making sure that when you are producing this content, that you’re sharing them on your Google+, stick this on your Instagram, your Facebook, your Twitter. Once you get to a certain amount of hits on YouTube, that video will just promote itself. I think one of my videos, it got, it took about a year to get to 25,000 hits but then once I got to that, it’s getting about 20,000 hits every quarter now. So YouTube will do that.
You can also pay keyword advertising on Google for videos but I think it’s being really, really smart with how you’re doing it. So in terms of blogging and collaborations again. One other thing is interviews, if you’re interviewing somebody within your industry that has got quite a big social media platform, then obviously they’re going to share it with their markets and their network, and then they go back and they see your YouTube channel so they might look at your other videos. I always think that this is something that I am doing at the moment, is putting your YouTube channel or your Wistia channel in your email signature. I think that that’s a great way to get more of your videos views.
Using LinkedIn, actually embedding your videos into your profile on LinkedIn, I think a lot of people don’t tend to do that, they just use text but that’s a wonderful thing, you can add your videos in there. Allowing people to embed – not a lot of people put the embed section off, so I get people… I know for a fact that there are loads of videos, careers websites out there that have got every single one of my videos embedded into their websites. So then you think, from a commercial point of view, why would I allow that? Because there’s no reason for people ever to come into my website and buy my products. Because they can watch my stuff on other people’s websites and you know… But I do believe that allowing embeds will encourage other people to obviously share your content maybe on their blogs or their websites.
Playlists… if you can create playlists so that when one video finishes it doesn’t go to a video that YouTube have chosen, it goes to one of your videos. And making sure that you have really, really good titles as well. But I think a lot of it comes down to just finding influences within your industry that can share your content and people that are going to create real value and then using your marketing expertise and your marketing knowledge to build those relationships.
Latest posts by Jorgen Sundberg (see all)
- Increasing Website Conversions with Trust Signals #smlondon - March 2, 2017
- The State of UK Content Marketing in 2017 - January 23, 2017
- How to Build a Strong Company Website #smlondon - July 9, 2016