Youtube is one of the most popular sites on the internet, making it a great place to generate leads for your business.
In this podcast episode, Social Wave’s Kan Huang discusses how to use Youtube to find potential customers and convert them into leads. He also shares YouTube video ideas that will persuade viewers to seek out and contact you. Tune in.
In the episode:
The internet and YouTube offer opportunities business owners didn’t have years ago. [02:21]
How much of a subject matter expert should you be, in order to succeed on YouTube? [04:30]
There’s a balance to be struck between education and entertainment. [07:38]
Either give or sell. Don’t try to do them together. [09:16]
YouTube is a search engine – learn to understand and leverage its algorithm for lead generation. [13:09]
What factors affect your ranking in YouTube? Kan lists them out. [17:31]
This is how you turn a viewer into someone who could buy from you. [21:13]
How do people know where they can get your products? [28:26]
YouTube is hugely popular these days. But as a business owner, how can this second-largest search engine in the world be of use to you? Beyond entertainment, YouTube actually presents a powerful opportunity to generate leads. And back to talk about that with James is Kan Huang of Social Wave.
What YouTube’s got going for it
Kan agrees. While some of their clients do have subscribers in the hundreds of thousands, some have only a few thousand, the point being you need less than you’d think to run a successful business.
He refers people to a piece written by Kevin Kelly, 1000 True Fans, which says, if you can get 1000 people to pay you $100 a year, that’s a small ask off a small fan base that generates a pretty decent living.
Before the dawn of the internet and YouTube, that would have been difficult to do. YouTube now gives people that opportunity.
And what Kan thinks makes YouTube unique is its evergreen aspect. That is, you can create content that years and years later can still be discovered by people and lead to sales for your business. This sets it apart from TikTok and Facebook and Instagram, where the half life of content you post is generally quite short, meaning you have to continually create. With YouTube, you get a sort of snowball effect the more content you put out.
How much of an expert do you need to be?
So you’re set on starting a YouTube channel. Naturally, you’ll need some kind of expertise.
That is where you’ll usually start, says Kan. Before you decide the videos and how frequently you’re going to publish and such and such, it’s really important to really just focus on, what are you going to be the expert in?
Now you don’t need to be number one resource person in an area from the get go. You can be the relevant expert, which is, you need to know more than your audience, but not a pretender.
You certainly need knowhow, but you can also just tell people, says James, that you’re not an expert. You can say, I’m learning this thing, and I’m going to document it. He doesn’t like the approach where, if you’re just one step ahead of the customer, you’re qualified to teach.
“If you’re going to start a YouTube channel, work with your strengths.”
What he suspects Kan is saying is, if you’re going to start a YouTube channel, work with your strengths, go with the thing that you have the deepest knowledge on that you could be seen as an expert, that likely people come to you and ask for help with.
That’s right, says Kan. It’s just like when you engage a plumber. You’re looking for someone who’s better than you, and who can get the job done faster, more efficiently, or more mistake-free.
So when it comes to subject matter expertise, try and go narrow – one-inch-wide and a mile deep. That way, you’ll be known for one thing, and can work off that with consistent content.
Striking the balance between entertainment and education
How do you dial the balance between educating and entertaining, asks James?
If you do 100 percent education, says Kan, you could be like the college professor who puts his students to sleep. The opposite extreme would be full-blown entertainment – cat videos and the mindless stuff some people enjoy in their downtime.
The balance would be edutainment, being able to deliver really useful information in an entertaining manner. You need to go all in on your viewers. You need to make them better, smarter, more successful, make them think. And then at the same time, being entertaining in that process. Then when they’re ready to buy, they won’t head for Google or your competitors, they’ll come directly to you.
In other words, says James, you start with the customer’s challenge that you can solve with your deep knowledge, and then create content around that. And you make it educational, but also as entertaining as you can so that people actually watch it.
When to give, and when to sell
Exactly right, says Kan. And do not try to educate and sell at the same time, plugging yourself wherever possible. People can smell your intent, and it will fall flat.
If you’ve got something to sell, believe that people are sophisticated enough to discover it through reading your bio, checking you out, clicking on the links in your description.
You can give a little plug at the end, certainly, but don’t go overboard. Kan thinks the best rule of thumb is to give 100 percent when you give, and sell 100 percent when you sell. Never try to do the two together because they won’t work and they won’t have the effect that you want.
James has heard it said, you can’t harvest and plant seeds at the same time. You might plant seeds and water them, then come back and harvest. He does employ calls to action, but possibly errs too much, he says, on the side of subtlety. The in-your-face approach, though it works for some, would make him feel like a douchebag.
He is straight to the point, however – no fluff, not a lot of ads or big pitches – and people do notice and appreciate it.
How well do you understand the algorithm?
It’s important to understand, says Kan, that YouTube is a search engine, with an algorithm. Therefore, there are ranking factors, and rules you need to play by to be discovered.
“Understand that YouTube is a search engine.”
Keyword research is important – understanding where people are actually searching for information and whether or not you can place yourself there.
What kind of words would that be, for lead generation?
It’s not, as some people might think, what are called money keywords, or keywords with people who have buyer intent. YouTube is more about how-to. So, how to do that, or why is this?
An example could be, if you were a personal injury lawyer: I injured my back, do I have the rights to a personal injury claim? And then doing a piece addressing, what are the chances? What are the key factors? What’s considered a legitimate case, and what’s not? And of course, approaching it in a way that both educates and entertains.
These are the factors that affect your ranking
Some of the key ranking factors people need to think about are:
Watch time – How many hours do people watch your content? That could be total watch time, meaning the total number of hours that people watched on your channel, or it could be watch time specific to each video.
Retention – What percentage of the video gets watched? Sixty percent, 30 percent, a hundred? And it’s also knowing how long out of a percentage is that – so out of a 10-minute video, do they watch eight minutes, nine minutes, three minutes?
Views – The more views on your video, the more it drives discoverability from YouTube.
Engagement – This includes likes, dislikes, comments, how fast you respond, and also the number of subscribers.
Clickthrough rates – This is the impressions leading to people clicking on your videos, leading to people watching your videos. Impressions refer to when a video shows up on your feed, what percentage of people actually click the videos, and then how many people end up actually watching them. This can be impacted by how good your thumbnails are, and the quality of your title hooks, meaning the copywriting on your videos.
Closed captions – This is subtitling, which a lot of people actually dismiss. If you don’t have an uploaded file with the subtitles on it, Google will automatically go and crawl the video and try to figure out what you’re trying to say. And surprisingly, Google can read subtitling, figure out what you’re talking about in the video, and then recommend it through search results.
Turning a viewer into a lead
James is curious: since they’re talking about lead generation, how do you get someone from a video to turn into a lead? And are you tracking that? And how?
They’ve talked about positioning, says Kan, meaning around being a subject matter expert. They’ve talked well about educating and entertaining your viewers. Now with the algorithm, it’s about making yourself discoverable – how can you actually show up on search results?
“If people aren’t searching for the things that you can answer, then there’s actually no point in doing YouTube.”
Because at the end of the day, if people aren’t searching for the things you can answer, there’s no point in doing YouTube. If there’s no search traffic, no matter how great your content is, if you put it out there, you may not necessarily have anyone who wants to watch it.
Now what of those who don’t do keyword research, asks James? Some are creative superstars with millions of subscribers, who do sell merchandise and make ad revenue. What Kan is saying is, to maximize lead gen, you should do keyword research, right?
Yes, says Kan. And you can do without it, but it will take longer.
And the goal may be different, says James. It may be ad revenue, or to just have a lot of people like you. For other people it’s money in the bank, or e-commerce sales.
Kan thinks there are many ways to success, but what they’re looking for is the minimum effective dose. Not shortcuts, necessarily, but what wins can you achieve in three months what could have taken you six months to a year?
If you don’t have an existing audience, and want to monetize your channel through generating leads, you generally have a very small or relatively small niche, and focusing closely on people through how-to content, education and entertainment, is generally how you reach your goal.
Counterintuitive as it sounds, if you want to generate leads, try not to sell. Educate and entertain. Focus on teaching, because if you teach, you become an expert, and you become an expert, people naturally come to you. When they actually say, I want an expert to take care of X, Y, Z for me, who are they going to think of?
The idea is getting people into the sales cycle. Take a wealth coach. Say someone has money to invest, and they come across a video that talks about investing strategy. They might decide they like it, subscribe, and then watch more of this wealth coach’s content. Over time, doing this, they learn tips, tools and software they can use, and at the same time build a sort of relationship with the wealth coach.
When the prospect crosses into buy mode and wants a financial advisor, who will they naturally consider? If they then go and research this coach, check out their website and find out what they offer, they eventually become a lead.
Granted, it doesn’t happen overnight. They’re not buying a pair of socks. But essentially the idea is that YouTube is a great way to build trust.
How will people know where to buy?
How will people know your website, asks James?
They watch your videos, says Kan, and they read your descriptions, go on your channel, look at your About Us page.
It’s the description, says James. That’s what he wanted to know, the connecting piece from YouTube to the phone. He does know people who make content videos and just mention a PayPal address, and people send them money. It can be that simple. Are there any other bridges that come to mind?
Sometimes when people are looking to spend money, says Kan, and they already know, like and trust you from your videos, they might Google your name, or the name of your company. So mentioning that information can give people what they need to put two and two together, learn about you, and inquire about your product.
The buyer’s journey is not linear. It can be any number of ways and go through different methods. They’ve touched on descriptions and bios and channels, but people today are smart enough, and sophisticated enough, to, if they really want to learn more about what you do, take different avenues to do that.
That makes sense, says James. He’s seen people visit his own site many times and from many places.
Kan has created a lot of value. If you want to reach him, the site is socialwave.com.au. Many people come to them looking to grow their YouTube channel, and they have packages specifically for that, which include an audit and strategic advice on what direction to take.
Then, too, if you’re looking to create content, they have the video marketing team to produce, disseminate and promote the content as well. Basically, if you want to generate leads via YouTube, get in touch with them.
Does your video marketing need an assist? Look up Kan and his team
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