As you make your strategic plans for 2019, look no further than YouTube.
7 min read
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With over 1.9 billion active users per month — nearly the size of Facebook — YouTube is one of the most visited websites online and second only to parent company Google among the most searched websites today.
On the surface, one might look at YouTube as a place to watch music videos, stream video games online and tune in to one’s favorite vlogger.
However, YouTube is an untapped goldmine for small businesses and creators to make money — and it’s easy.
Whether you’re a real estate agent, photographer, website developer or a local coffee shop, maintaining an active presence on YouTube can help you gain precious website visits and drive leads as a result of the videos that you post. As an added benefit, your YouTube videos are discoverable via Google search also.
Because Google owns YouTube, you have a higher likelihood of being discovered through a video that you upload to YouTube related to your topic or subject matter expertise than a traditional Google search which crawls the entire internet.
For example, a quick search on YouTube for “Social Media Keynote” will pull up many videos from Gary Vaynerchuk and myself which dominate the first page of search results.
As a public speaker, YouTube has been critical in growing my business over the last year, which is why I have invested in having my keynote presentations recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Besides having excellent SEO ranking, YouTube also offers me a resource to host my video content as a digital portfolio so whenever a potential conference organizer reaches out to inquire about the services that I provide I can point them directly to my YouTube channel.
As you make your strategic plans for 2019, look no further than YouTube where 35-plus and 55-plus age groups are the fastest growing demographic.
From sports to music to business news, YouTube is the new cable television. Below are five tips for beginners on how to grow on YouTube when you’re just starting.
1. Have a purpose.
As shown in the video above, I began my channel in 2014 and have created over 500 videos to date despite only recently hitting the coveted 10,000 subscriber milestone. YouTube growth is slower than other social networks. Therefore, you should have a clear objective or purpose for why you want to create video content.
In 2014, while working a full-time job, I started my channel to vlog my life, which to be candid isn’t all that exciting, and gave up after not seeing a significant number of views. It wasn’t until I began to record social media how-to, tutorial style videos like the ones you see today that my purpose became clear. So, what’s your purpose for being on YouTube?
2. Optimize video titles and descriptions.
Think of YouTube as a video library meets the Google search engine. To get video views and subsequent subscriptions on your channel, you should research what else exists in the same genre or category. My process for creating videos on YouTube involves writing out the titles of topics that I am passionate about teaching and then researching both Google and YouTube to see what currently exists and what the top-ranking titles are.
Also, your description will contain critical keywords and phrases to help your video become discovered in search and also in Google’s algorithm. For example, if you’re creating a video on website optimization titled “5 Ways to Rank High on Google!” you will also want to add in your description “Discover how to rank high in Google search,” “How do you rank high in Google search results?” and “Watch to learn how to rank high in Google search results with these easy tips.” The more times that you use a combination of phrases with keywords in your description the higher chance you have of your video being found.
3. Use TubeBuddy and VidIQ for tags.
Similar to descriptions, you will want to ensure that your videos have keywords as tags to improve discoverability. Two tools which I use and recommend are TubeBuddy and VidIQ. Both tools offer a free and premium version and can be downloaded as a Google Chrome plug-in. With TubeBuddy and VidIQ you can get recommendations on what tags to insert into your videos as well as see how your videos rank in search results for set tags.
Going back to the “Social Media Keynote” search example, the reason why my videos rank high in search is that I have optimized the tags using TubeBuddy and also have the tags as phrases in the descriptions of my videos. The same methodology can be applied for any video or genre.
4. Teach your audience with how-to tutorials.
I work with a lot of real estate agents and often advise them to start a YouTube channel dedicated to all of the things people can do in their city or town versus the traditional approach of sharing listings and home tours.
The same is true for most industries and professions. What are you able to teach that people are running a Google or YouTube search for (e.g., “How to do … “)? There are two reasons why people go on YouTube: to be entertained or educated.
5. Outsource what you cannot do alone.
The most common objections that I hear from business professionals who want to dive into YouTube to create but don’t are access to equipment, lack of expertise for editing and time. In the beginning, a lot of my YouTube content was recorded with a handheld camera that I would carry around with me and prop up using a table tripod for how-to videos. I learned how to use iMovie and edited 200-plus videos — albeit not the best quality edits, but I taught myself a new skillset. Eventually, I began to outsource recording and editing to save myself time so that I wouldn’t be “in the weeds.”
Today, you can hire a videographer on TaskRabbit or Thumbtack for anywhere from $150 to $300 for the day. If you run a small business and need content, consider hiring someone who can shoot and edit and bring that person in every week. During your shooting sessions, have her record enough material for at least three or four YouTube videos which can then be turned into short-form, 60-second videos for Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Following this formula, you would have over 200 YouTube videos in a year if you’re starting from zero and looking at or less than $10,000 of an investment to ensure that whenever someone runs a search for your industry, service or subject matter you are the person who appears and not your competition.
What are your challenges on YouTube? Let’s connect on social media and discuss.