In the TikTok-Twitter social media world, it's easy to get caught up in how popular your content becomes right away. How many views or retweets? How many people are interacting? What are they saying? You want to know immediately!
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YouTube is a little different, explains Nick Nimmin. You can't compare views of longform video content to those of short 30-second Instagram Reels. Instagram Reels and TikTok are referred to as vertical content, and whether you get to see it largely depends on what the algorithm wants to give you. YouTube, on the other hand, is highly targeted. People choose to click on those videos.
Echoing statements made by Ian Anderson Gray, Nick also insists that your content and tech setup doesn't need to be fancy as long as it has value. Focus on creating that viewer experience.
And be patient about it. "Give yourself the time to learn how to make content that people respond to and that they'll watch," he says. Don't get too caught up in view numbers. Think about sets of content rather than single videos. Grow your audience like you're nurturing a plant. Make real humans your priority above all else.
And get this: Subscriber count doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does! Video playlists that viewers can binge-watch are much more significant. If you intentionally chain your content together, YouTube will find more viewers for you.
Listen to the entire show now from the link above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode.
George Thomas: I am really excited for this episode. We are bringing on Nick Nimmin and we are talking about YouTube for business. Nick Nimmin helps content creators grow their brands and businesses using YouTube on his personal channel where he shares the tools, resources, and information video creators, marketers, and business owners need to grow their presence online. He has grown his own subscriber base by over 800,000+ and still going. By the way, we're going to talk about why that might not be the metric that matters for you, but over 800,000 subscribers. He hosts a weekly livestream where he helps creators navigate the complexities of YouTube.
Here's what I would love for you to do. Put aside all perceived perceptions historically that you've had around YouTube, content creators, cat videos, going viral, because in this episode we go deep into strategy and YouTube for business. Let's go and talk about what Nick would say to historical folks who have not engaged with YouTube because they don't think it's there for business. Nick, what are your thoughts?
Nick Nimmin: First off, YouTube is a lot more than cat videos and memes and those types of things. In addition to that, you can really leverage YouTube in major ways to bring attention to your business, which ultimately ends up as leads, which then ultimately will end up as sales for some of those as well. People that are not currently using YouTube as at least one tool to bring attention to their business are essentially being left behind by other people that are because the organic reach that you can get on YouTube without any ad spend at all, without spending a dime, is substantial.
In order to reach that, of course, you have to be able to make content that people respond to in a positive way. It doesn't have to be fancy or anything like that, it just has to add value to the people that you're trying to reach. Once you do that, then YouTube does all of the heavy lifting for you. At that point in time, you don't have to have a big ad budget or anything like that because a lot of, or in some cases even all of or a majority of your traffic will end up coming from your social media efforts. In a lot of cases, that will be dominated by the traffic that you're getting on YouTube.
In addition to that, I also want to highlight something as well. Right now, a thing that's going on online in terms of people trying to get attention to what it is that they're doing. First off, any platform can be advantageous for you, but before we get into this, I would like to just make a quick disclaimer about how things are currently working with some of the new ways that people are uploading content to the internet.
A lot of people are comparing the views that they're getting on YouTube long-form content to the views that they're getting on YouTube short-form content, the views that they're getting on Instagram Reels, the views that they're getting on TikTok. They're thinking to themselves, "Why wouldn't I just upload to these other places? There I can get this big spike in viewership," right out of the gate in some cases.
I just want to explain the difference really quick between long-form content and short-form content like that, the vertical content for those platforms. When it comes to the vertical content, it just happens to people, so it's not as targeted, which means the actual people that you're reaching... You can definitely convert them, but you have to get much higher numbers for that conversion that you're trying to get.
The difference between the two is when you're on YouTube and you learn how to make content for YouTube, people are choosing, they're making the choice to click on what it is that you've created. By how you package things from the outside, you can directly target the people that you want responding to what it is that you're doing. Whereas on all of the other platforms, and even on YouTube Shorts as well, what happens is if you make that short-form content, you upload it, then as somebody is sitting there swiping their algorithms are going to try to put it in front of the people they think are interested in it, but if there is any lack of clarity at all, there's a really good chance it's going to be showing up even in front of the wrong people.
If you're wanting to just really maximize your efforts, I really recommend that you just think first about what audience am I going after, how are we going to target that audience, and how are we going to make this the most worth it for us in terms of the amount of money that we're going to be investing into making the content and things like that, what platform can we leverage in terms of getting the best ROI from the actual efforts themselves. One long-form video on YouTube, you can upload that video, and as long as it's a good video in terms of people respond to it in a positive way, in terms of choosing to click on it and watching it and enjoying that content, then what's going to happen is YouTube is going to continue to show that content to people until people stop responding to it.
With traffic on YouTube what can happen is you'll get spikes and valleys and things like that, however it stays long term. I have videos that I uploaded in 2014 that still generate income for me on a regular basis. They're search-based videos. People will come into those videos and find out about an affiliate offer or something like that that I have, and they'll end up converting through that. The long term benefit of uploading long-form content is huge.
Within that, of course, if you are going to be doing content anyway, then you should balance it out. You should have somebody making some of the other content for the other platforms as well, or you should be doing it yourself if you have the bandwidth, just so you can tap into everything, those little spikes and then the long-form content. I'm just trying to express that long-form content is a totally different type of viewer, it's actually served in different ways, and you get a much stronger audience through the long-form content because every person that you're actually bringing in to experience what it is that you're doing has actually made the choice by clicking on it, so it's really easy to target who it is that you're after on YouTube.
George: Marketing Smarts Podcast listeners, did you hear that? Evergreen content, leads, sales. Hopefully, you're to the point of, "I get it," because it's a platform that kind of gives you everything that you need to do for business, which is why we're talking about YouTube for business. Now, one of the things that we've historically seen, the hardest part is getting started. Nick, what are one, two, three tips that the Marketing Smarts Podcast can use to get started with this journey of YouTube for business?
Nick: Right out of the gate you have to set yourself a solid foundation. If you're doing it for business, it's a totally different approach than if you're like I just want to share what it is that I'm creating with the world as a content creator. It's a totally different approach because when you're uploading as a business, you are uploading for the purpose of generating awareness, leads, and sales. Because of that, you have to make sure that when you are first getting started that you are very clear on who exactly that you're going to be reaching, what is it exactly that you're going to be tracking.
For example, a lot of companies when they start YouTube channels focus everything on how many views are we getting, how many subscribers are we getting, when the reason that they started the YouTube channel is to actually get leads and sales. So, because of that, instead of focusing on how many views you get – of course, more views for the right audience will end up generating more leads and sales for you, however, the thing that you need to be focusing on first is how are we converting these people that are coming in.
If you focus on understanding who it is that you're after and you focus on understanding how exactly you're wanting them to convert and you're tracking that, you'll learn very quickly when we upload videos about these types of things they convert at a higher rate than when we upload videos about these types of things, and that can help you finetune your content early. Getting crystal clear on who it is that you're trying to reach with your content and also the goals that you have that are not just based on subscriber counts and view counts.
Basically, just setting that foundation of understanding who it is that you're trying to reach and what exactly it is that you're trying to accomplish with your YouTube channel is the very first thing that you have to do. Then once you understand who it is that you're trying to reach with your content, then you have to figure out how you're going to track things. Once you figure that out, then you have to actually start making content.
Here's the thing. A lot of people think that when it comes to YouTube that you have to have fancy cameras and all of this cool stuff and you have to have rooms that look like George's in order to get any type of response on YouTube. That is absolutely false. You can do everything that you need on your mobile device. It doesn't matter if you have an iPhone or if you have an Android. If you're able to watch this episode or listen to this episode on your mobile device, you have everything you need to start making content. Because of that, if you just grab it and you start making content, you may or may not make good content just based on little things like lighting.
The next thing that you need to do is take whatever tool it is that you are going to be using to make the content and you have to learn how to use it at an acceptable level. A lot of people will start making videos, but they'll make them in dark places, or the audio will be really bad or something like that. What you want to make sure that you're doing—again, you don't have to get all of the fancy stuff—you just have to make sure that you're at least close enough to a window or something like that to where you, if you're talking to the camera, or the subject of the thing that you're showing, to where there is enough light for the viewer to be able to see what it is that you're talking about.
You have to make sure the audio is good enough. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be good enough that it's not a distraction. That's the whole idea when it comes to starting with things like your phone, as an example, is you just have to make sure that you're doing things in a way where the quality is enough that it's not distracting. What I mean by that is if you upload a video to YouTube and your video quality is okay, that maybe you have a phone that's a handful of years old and the picture that it puts out is just okay, but the audio sounds good, right out of the gate you're going to raise the perceived quality of that content.
People will stick around for that, they'll stick around even though the video quality in terms of what they're seeing on the screen isn't the best. On the flip side of that, if you have a great looking image and everything looks amazing, but your audio sucks, echo bouncing all around the room and things like that, then what's going to happen is people are going to abandon the video because the audio is going to be bad enough that it's distracting them from the content, which in turn distracts them from the messaging.
Because of that, once you define your audience, you have to make sure that you're learning how to use the tools that you're using in order to put the content together so that you can put the content together in a way that people will respond to it on YouTube. That's the key. That's the magic potion, so to speak. You have to be able to make content in a way that people will respond to it in a positive way.
From there, once you do those things, then that's where once you start getting viewership, once people do start responding to your content, you go and start digging into your analytics there. Then you start making choices based around what's going to move the channel as well as the content that is converting leads and sales for you or just bringing awareness to your brand.
George: Marketing Smarts Podcast listeners, did you hear that? It kind of reminisces back to what Ian Anderson Gray said, that the gear doesn't have to be the best, it just has to be good enough. Nick said it and Ian said it. If gear has held you back in the past, stop. Let's go ahead and move on.
Nick, in that last section you talked about conversions and tracking. Since it's probably not vanity metrics, I want to ask you what are the metrics that matter? What should people who are getting started or have been using YouTube for business be measuring?
Nick: If they're clear and they know what it is that they are trying to accomplish, if the end goal is a lead or a sale, then that's the priority, that matters more than anything else. The funny thing is when it comes to tracking that, as long as they're putting out content on a regular basis, their videos don't have to get crushed with views, they don't have to get a lot of views in order to be able to generate a sale. Because of that, as long as you are generating sales and you're getting that return on the efforts that you're putting into your YouTube channel, or the finances that you're putting into the YouTube channel, then in that case you're doing a positive thing, and then you just try to scale it from there.
Like I mentioned earlier in the conversation, when companies hop on YouTube, everybody wants to be that one in their industry that has a silver play button or has all of these followers and all of that. That has its place, there is value in that as well and, of course, everybody wants to get there. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that cash register is ringing in order to allow you to be sustainable in the business so that you can in the future get there, because that sort of thing takes time. Because of that, just focus on the intentionality that I mentioned a few minutes ago, focusing on this is what we're trying to accomplish right now so let's focus on that.
If we do talk about YouTube metrics, because I think focusing on leads and sales is kind of an obvious answer for the marketing world, so let's talk about YouTube and the things that you should be focusing on there to make sure that your videos get in front of people. The things that you need to make sure that you're focusing on there is your click-through rate on your thumbnails and your titles and just be mindful that your topic, your thumbnail, and your title all will impact your click-through rate.
Sometimes your click-through rate might be low and your thumbnail might be great, your title might be great, but there's just not as much interest in the topic. Same exact thing goes for your thumbnail. Your topic might be great and your title might be great, but your thumbnail definitely needs improvement. Unfortunately, they don't give us click-through rate on thumbnail and title, we only get it on thumbnail. Because of that, you just want to make sure that you are going into your traffic sources report for each video in your analytics and looking to see what your click-through rate and your average view duration from each different traffic source. You also want to see how many people are completing your videos from each different traffic source as well.
Basically, what you want to use that information for is you can go in over time once you start noticing our videos that do well people typically watch for about this amount of time, we typically get about this much engagement, our click-through rate based on the amount of impressions that we get is generally around here, as long as you're paying attention to those things, when you do notice that they're low, then you can either go in and make changes to the packaging, which is the topic, title, and thumbnail, or you can just be like this is a problem area in this particular video, so the next video we make let's do an experiment and see if we can change up the thing that would normally happen in this video in this particular part based on how we structure our videos, see if we can change that in a way that will pull people through it a little bit longer so we can create a better experience for them.
Just making sure that you're tracking those particular things, because those are what quality looks like to YouTube. According to YouTube, they base everything on the response from people. If you publish something and people don't respond to it, then they're going to prioritize the content that people respond to. The same exact thing happens the other way. If you're publishing content and people are loving it, then YouTube is going to keep showing it to people for a really long time, until people stop responding to it.
Just making sure that you're tracking the things that help you understand how the people you're trying to reach or the people that YouTube is showing your content to that help you understand how to make the best content possible for them and get them to click on it at the highest possible level based on the impressions that you're getting from it.
George: Listeners, that's right, we've reached the first rewind point. You should probably rewind and listen to all of that stuff.
Here's the thing. I want to dive a little bit deeper. Nick, I've had the opportunity to watch you for two or three years, but I'll talk about that more after this question. I want to take a moment and see if you can just talk about a little unknown tool inside of YouTube that the Marketing Smarts Podcast listeners should be thinking about if they're doing YouTube for business.
Nick: The only thing that I can think of that you might be alluding to would be the grouping tool inside of YouTube analytics. Basically, the grouping tool is kind of a hidden feature. The grouping tool allows you to basically compare videos against each other and it allows you to compare groups of videos against each other.
Let's say, for example, you have a real estate company. You're putting out videos teaching people how to buy and sell houses. For example, you could have one group that would be buyers and another group that's sellers, and then you could compare those against each other and see which ones people typically respond to best and in what ways they typically respond best. That tells you if people are responding here and if this will move the business forward, let's just double down on the stuff that people are loving and then do less of the stuff or none of the stuff that people aren't really responding to.
Same exact thing goes if you have, in that scenario, people that have resold houses and you have content about that, people that have been previous homeowners, and then you have new homeowners, people that are just buying for the first time. If you're making content around them, same exact thing applies. You start noticing by using this grouping feature and comparing content sets against each other that when you publish content targeting new homebuyers those typically end up doing a lot better as a content set overall, total, with all of them together, compared to the videos that you make for more experienced homebuyers.
Using that tool just helps you get into the nitty-gritty in terms of comparing the different buckets of content against each other so you can make sure you're seeing which ones are effective there in terms of on-platform performance. Again, this is another one of those situations where even with on-platform performance, you also have to balance out our new homebuyer videos, people respond to them better, but how do they convert compared to our seller videos.
That's why making sure that your priorities are in order is extremely important in terms of the things that you're tracking to make sure that you don't get misled and led off track and end up in one of those situations where you're like, "We've been on YouTube, we have all these videos, we have all these people that are loving our stuff, but our leads are in the toilet." You just have to make sure that you are tracking the right things while you're also trying to get the channel to move.
George: My brother from another mother, that's the exact tool that I'm talking about. Here's the thing. I didn't know about it when I got started, so anybody who is going to get started, I wanted them to know about the groupings feature. It's easier when you have one, two, five, ten videos to start to use that grouping feature. Nick, maybe even talk about you or people who have been using YouTube for a while, and how this tool can help them.
Nick: I have over 500 videos on my channel. I'm still putting groups together all the time. Like with everything you put on your channel, especially over time, like when you first get started, as you're burning through your first 50 videos or something like that, everything can be extremely focused. But after a while you're like, "We have to make some new stuff," and then you'll start coming up with different ideas for different content sets and things that will help you just keep making content.
Through that process, you want to make sure that you are using the grouping feature so that as you're putting those content sets together you can basically just lean into the things that people are enjoying and then lean out of the things that people are not enjoying as much. By doing that, you help gain momentum and all the things that are important on YouTube for channel performance.
Again, remember, it comes down to what it is that you're trying to accomplish in terms of leads or sales, or the reason that you're actually choosing to hop on YouTube or any of these platforms. You have to make sure you're tracking the right stuff.
George: I absolutely love that you keep coming back to this original strategy idea, this is what you started out for. For marketers, for businesses, it's probably leads and sales. So, why do you get hung up on the vanity metrics when you get into the platform? Stay the course to that original strategy.
Nick, I've had the opportunity, two, three years, I don't know how long your channel has been going, but I probably have been watching since it was born. You talk a lot about thumbnails and titles and YouTube strategies. By the way, Marketing Smarts listeners, you should probably go over to Nick Nimmin's channel and become part of the Nimminati and start to learn these additional strategies.
But since we have him on the show, Nick, the question I want to ask you is what are some additional strategies that you might not necessarily always cover, or a little bit past the thumbnails and titles, things like that, that the Marketing Smarts listeners should know about?
Nick: George, I'm going to ask you a question and put you on the spot. As a marketer, as somebody who tries to generate leads and sales and all that stuff, what causes leads and sales to happen, what causes the cash register to ring?
George: I would have to think that you're going after, and I truly do believe, it's the humans.
Nick: Because of that, make sure that you're always prioritizing the humans. As a company, as a marketer especially, you understand the importance of branding, you understand the importance of all of that. When you come onto YouTube, likelihood is pretty high that you're thinking as a marketer that we have to make sure everything is branded, we have to make sure that our thumbnails all look the same way, we have to make sure we're using all the same colors, all these things.
The thing that's most important is making sure that you're adding value to the people that you're trying to reach, that you're making a great experience for them in the content, that you're not constantly trying to, for lack of a better way to say it, you're not trying to shove things down their throat, so to speak, in terms of always trying to sell them. When you prioritize the viewer experience and you prioritize how viewers are interacting with your content and you try to make awesome stuff for them, then the return that you get on that long term is substantial.
The reason for that is because there are a lot of marketers that will go onto all of these social media platforms and everything they post is "buy this," sell, sell, sell, buy, buy, buy. Some people will do that, some people will buy into that for a little bit of time. When you come onto the platform and you're like we're trying to legitimately help you solve these problems, we're trying to legitimately lead you down the right path, then what's going to happen is people are going to start legitimately following you and they're going to start legitimately being on board, and they're going to trust you. As a marketer, you know how important that is.
Making sure that you're prioritizing the viewers over everything else in terms of whatever goals we have, the only way we're going to accomplish that goal is if humans respond to what it is that we're doing, so therefore we have to make sure that we're prioritizing the viewers on YouTube over everything. If we can learn how to make content that the viewers that we're trying to reach respond to in a positive way, and it may or may not be an exact fit of what you think when you first come onto the platform...
Just a quick sidebar for that. As an example, all real estate agents are like, "I'm going to go onto YouTube and I'm going to make videos about how to buy and sell houses." There are very few that are thinking of it from the perspective of I'm going to become the person about town, and I'm going to be that person that has a live show every Friday that lets people know these are the things going on, this is the stuff to do around town this weekend, these are the markets that are going on, so that you become a resource for the community that also happens to sell real estate.
Just making that you're thinking, "How can I add that value so that people can get to know us and keep coming back to us and keep getting exposed to the brand," through whatever your name is through whatever your company is. They'll keep getting exposed to it from there, but in terms of trying to force people to download stuff and do this, it's effective, but for long term, if you're really wanting to milk YouTube for all its worth, so to speak, then in that case just prioritize the viewers over everything else and you'll get avalanched with business.
George: Did you hear that? Avalanched with business. That's what I'm talking about. Here's the thing. As somebody who has done YouTube for business, I know there's a happy mix of keeping people on the platform and trying to get people to the website to generate those leads and sales. Nick, I would like for you to talk about some strategies, best practices around the description area, the about page, keeping in mind, as you well know, this methodology of how do I keep them on the YouTube channel and kind of feed, for lack of a better word, that algorithm, yet give them these amazing opportunities to go over to my personal site and convert as leads, sales, customers, those types of things. What are your thoughts?
Nick: When it comes to your descriptions, your about me page, we'll just call it your presence on YouTube. When it comes to your presence on YouTube and all of the different ways that you can touch people on YouTube as your channel grows, you have a lot of different places that you can spread awareness about what it is that you're doing.
The very first, of course, is start at the entry point, which would ultimately end up being one of your videos. The very first place that people are going to end up coming to you, unless somebody shares your actual YouTube channel or in case they find it from one of your sources that you already have their attention, like if you're trying to get new attention, in that case they're going to end up coming to you in most cases through one of your videos that you publish.
In that particular case, as soon as they land on your video watch page on a mobile device or on a computer, what they're going to see is the video up at the top, and then underneath that they're going to have the option to go into your description. On a computer, they're going to see three lines of the top of your description. On a mobile device, they're going to have to actually click into it.
This is where making sure that as your YouTube channel grows and you start getting some data behind it, this is where it's really important to make sure that you are paying attention to how many mobile viewers are interacting with your content so you can make sure that you are thinking about these things when you're providing calls to action. Even when you're showing things on screen, making sure that you're zooming into things where people on mobile devices can see them clearly, stuff like that.
Basically, what you can do is you have the descriptions underneath your videos, and with those descriptions you can send people anywhere you want. You can send them to anything that is safe and within the YouTube terms of service. I'm going to guess that if you're watching this, your stuff is safe, so you are allowed to send them to your website. You can put that in your description. You can put it below the fold, which is basically a little 'see more' option that they have to click on in order to see that information.
You can also put it above the fold, but I don't recommend putting it above the fold for each individual video. The reason for that is because, yes, you want people going down there, but you don't want people just clicking out of curiosity. You want people clicking on it that are interested. Because of that, I recommend that you put it underneath that 'see more' for the sake of people going down there to get it. Of course, they're going to see your URL on your lower-third in your video, they're going to hear your name and the name of your company, and all that stuff, so you're good there.
The description is one place. The next place is your end screens. Once you get into the partner program, you can actually link directly. The partner program, just so you know, is basically YouTube's monetization. A lot of companies will start YouTube channels and say, "We're using this for something else, we don't need to get in the partner program. No big deal." But that's incorrect. You need to get into the partner program for a few reasons.
The very first is because you want to make sure that since you're in the partner program, once you meet the requirements of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time on YouTube, then you're going to get the option to link to your website or even your opt-ins, or whatever it happens to be, directly from your end screen and directly from your YouTube cards. You want to do this with caution and you want to do it with intentionality, because you do want to make sure that you're not sending everybody that interacts with that video offline.
One of the things that's really important to YouTube is that you keep people on their platform. They understand that people are sending people off as well, but one of the things that they don't want is they don't want every person, your video basically killing the session on YouTube, killing their time on YouTube, or making them leave the platform. Because of that, you just want to make sure that you are being intentional in terms of we're making this video for the sole purpose of sending people off of YouTube.
This part right here might end up being a rewind as well, but I just want to share this because it's important. When you're thinking of how you're going to be linking things together in terms of sending people off-site, one thing that you can do to lower the collateral damage, so to speak, to the actual videos is you can have what I call money videos. Basically, those are videos that are made for the purpose of sending people off-site. They might not perform well on YouTube, but you can send people to those videos from other videos that you make, you can feature those videos on your channel page.
Just making sure that you're setting things up in a way where it's like we're going to be sending people off in a major way, we have our hard calls to action, all that stuff in this video here, so we're going to make all these videos and then we're going to send everybody to that particular video, even though we're going to have links in the description and all of those things like we were talking about before. We're going to have all that stuff in these other videos, but the ones where we're going to do the hard calls to action, we're going to try to send people to those particular videos. Just making sure you're being intentional there.
Back on track. You have your end screens once you're in the partner program. One more thing with being in the partner program as a company, this is why I wanted to bring this up, which is more important, is let's say you're a pizza place and you're making videos about your pizza. You're making YouTube videos in order to bring attention to your pizza place. All of the pizza places in your area can advertise on your videos until you get into the partner program and you block them.
Because of that, you want to make sure that you are going through the process of getting into the partner program even if you're not going to turn on ads, so that you can make the choice to turn off ads and so you can make the choice to block specific advertisers. The reason that you do that is because, like I mentioned, people are able to advertise against your videos where they don't even have to make videos. You can keep this in mind, too, as a marketer. You can advertise on other people's videos, you can target specific videos on YouTube to try to bring attention to your business as well.
The about me page, let's go there next. The about me page is kind of like a bio of sorts for your YouTube channel. There you can talk about your channel, you can talk about the business that you have, the value that you offer through your business. You can also put direct links on your about me page. On a mobile device it will show up there where people can click them down below the actual textual information. When you're putting that information there, if you do find that you have a majority mobile viewership, which most channels do these days, then what you want to do is make sure when you're filling out your about me page that you're leaving space where people can also see those links.
In addition to that, those links that you add are going to show up in your channel banner as well, over on the right-hand side where people are going to be able to click on those and jump directly off there. Any tracking that you have, you would want to make sure that you add it to those particular links there for those particular areas so that when people click on them, you know where they came from.
In addition to that, once you reach the requirements for it, you also have your community feed that you can occasionally share offers and things like that in, that's okay on YouTube. Then you also have your actual channel page. On your YouTube channel page, you have your channel banner at the top, and then as you scroll down the page you have different things that you can customize that you put there to feature on your YouTube channel.
If you are a company, this is where you would use the returning visitor spot and maybe even the new visitor spot to make a trailer that the intention of that trailer is to specifically tell people what it is that you offer on your channel, what it is that you offer in your business, and also give them a call to action to subscribe to your YouTube channel, and a call to action later in the video to go to your website.
Using those particular spots is advantageous there, but the win is on a computer. For the people that are watching on computers, you can actually put links in the description of those particular videos. Then on your channel page for that particular section, you're going to see a video over on one side and then over on the other side you're going to see that block of text, but you're going to have a clickable link there.
In that case, what you do, if you go back to the thing that we talked about on the about me page, you took one page that has no awareness about your business at all in terms of things that people can click on and you've just added the one to the about me section that shows up in your channel art there for people on computers, and then you also have it in the description of that trailer that's in the spot that you put there that's customizable, but you have a link there as well, so you've just added two links directly to your company from those particular spots.
You want to make sure that you're doing those types of things so that people can find you easily.
George: I don't know about you, listeners, but my mind is blown. This idea of a money video, but then tie that with hand-off video, hand-off video, boom, money video. Oh my gosh, what a great strategy to thread that needle of keeping them on the platform and getting them to your site for leads, conversions, and sales. But, hopefully, you have your notepad and your pencil out, and you rewind and actually jot down some of those notes that you may have just missed. Let's continue on by asking Nick another question while we have him.
You've been doing this for a while. One of the things that I like to do on this show is look for hurdles or potholes that people should be watching out for. As people are using YouTube for business now or getting started with YouTube for business after listening to this, what are those potholes or hurdles that you would say stop, wait, watch out for this?
Nick: This is where tracking comes in. First off, you just want to make sure that once you do have your goals set that you are hard focused on the goal over everything. As your views scale, as long as it's the right audience, then everything else will increase, but you have to make sure that you are clear on what you're trying to accomplish.
This has happened to me and this has happened to other people who help people with YouTube channels as well. You work with somebody and they're like, "Our goal is to generate sales," as an example. You're like okay, cool, let's start working on that. Then two months or three months down the line, they're like, "Our YouTube channel isn't growing as fast as we would like it to." The question there is are you generating sales, how much are generating from this? They're like, "We're crushing it on sales, but we want our channel to grow faster." Yes, but that's what everybody wants. Then you dig in and try to help there in terms of first we have to figure out what's converting the most and then see if we can get people to respond to that content better so that it can help you get more views and all those types of things. Just making sure that you're focused on the right thing is super important.
The next thing is you also have to make sure that you give it time. When it comes to YouTube, there is a learning curve. If you are somebody that is doing this yourself as a marketer and you've never made content for YouTube before, because it's different than uploading a story to Facebook, if you have never made content for YouTube before, then in that particular case you're going to have to learn how to make content based on how people respond to it.
You're going to have to be willing to bend a little bit in terms of we thought that people really like this silly segment that we do about bringing our dog in from the rain and having this little highlight moment of our dog in all of our videos, we thought people would love that, but they don't, which means stop bringing your dog in from the rain or featuring your dog in your videos because that's not what people are there for, that's not what's going to drive the sales, if you discover that.
Because of that, just making sure that you are focused on all of those things that I'm talking about in order to make sure that you give yourself the chance. If you come onto the platform and you expect to just get a million subscribers, blow up, and start generating tons of sales within your first month, then you're definitely going to have an expectation failure, so to speak, for lack of a better way to say it. Because of that, I really recommend that you do give yourself the time to learn how to make content that people respond to and that they'll watch for a longer period of time.
I recommend that you start with videos that are five to ten minutes so that you can use those videos to learn how to get people to respond to what it is that you're doing. When you first start uploading, it's also important to make sure that you're not getting caught up in the numbers too much. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but when you first start uploading videos to YouTube, if you don't start getting a huge response right out of the gate, let's say you get 15 views on your first video or 100 videos on your first video, it's going to be like, "Oh my gosh, we just got 15 views on this video," and it's going to feel rough. But when it comes to your expectations there, you have to remember we've only been doing this for a month, so we have to learn the skill set.
Just make sure that you're giving yourself time to learn the skill set for making the content because, to be honest, it's not an easy thing to get people to click on what it is that you're doing, grab their attention in a sea of other content that YouTube thinks they're be interested in, grab their attention, and then pull them through your video long enough that YouTube deems it as a satisfactory experience for them. Just make sure that you give yourself the time to learn how to do that.
In some cases, some people will be able to figure that part of it out really quick. Other people, it might take them a lot longer. Just make sure that you are giving yourself the time that you need, because I can promise you this; if you can put in that effort and you can go through the process of learning it, and you can start adding value to the audience that you're trying to reach on YouTube, it's going to help your business in so many ways that you're going to be like, "Oh my gosh, we should have done this ten years ago."
Just as a quick note, if you are sleeping on YouTube, just make sure you put a deadline, put a goal in terms of we're going to start a YouTube channel on this day, and you start putting the pieces together now to make it happen, because this train is moving forward and it's only carrying the people that are participating.
George: The train is moving, don't let it pass you by. Listen, that could be words of wisdom for a lot of things, not just what we're talking about today with YouTube for business. Hop on that train and let's go.
This is probably a selfish question, but I can do it because I have you here. What are some next level nerd strategies that we should be paying attention to when we're using YouTube for business?
Nick: First, stop thinking of your content as single videos. Start thinking of it as content sets. The reason that you want to make sure that you are thinking about that is because you do want to intentionally chain content together. One thing that is really important on YouTube is the viewer experience, they prioritize that over everything else because they want people coming back, so you have to do the same thing.
Basically, when you're putting your content out, it's really important to make sure that you're thinking we need to decide this is the topic we're going to talk about for this video, if somebody were to watch this video, what's the next video that we could make that the person that watched this first video would be the highest and most likely to watch. Then you do that again for the third video, the fourth video, the fifth video, and so on. You start thinking about your content in that way.
The reason that's important is because it's extremely helpful for the performance of your videos for people to watch your videos all the way to the end, but then once they get to the end of your videos, you tell them, "We made another video about XYZ. You can check out that video right here," and you literally link them to a playlist, and that playlist has some of those other videos in there that you've predicted your audience is likely going to respond to.
The reason that you do that is when YouTube sees people binge-watching your content, that's an amazing signal to them in terms of people are really digging your stuff. If they're watching more than one video, they are engaging in all of the videos that they're watching and things like that, then what happens is a lot of people, content creators and companies, one of the metrics that they'll really focus on hard is the subscriber count.
The funny thing is the way that YouTube works now it doesn't matter if somebody subscribes to your channel or not. Yes, it's a positive indicator in terms of people enjoyed your content enough to subscribe, but getting them to watch more than one video will have a much bigger impact than getting a person to subscribe.
I could subscribe to a YouTube channel today, and if I end up not watching their videos when they show up just a few times, then what's going to happen is YouTube is not going to show me anymore of their content anyway, except maybe every now and then. If I go and watch a video right now, if George sends me a link right now and I go watch four videos from that channel from start to finish, and let's say I like one or two of them, maybe I even leave a comment, then that channel is going to chase me around YouTube for the next at least week, probably the next 30 days. They're going to keep showing me content from their archive, they're going to show me new videos that they publish during that time, because I'm a highly engaged viewer for that particular channel and YouTube has detected that I enjoy that content.
Because of that, when you start thinking of your videos in content sets instead of one-off videos, then you're being intentional and strategic about the flow or the way that the viewers are going to flow through the content that you're putting together, which therefore you're increasing the likelihood of people actually doing that, which then shows YouTube that people are loving your content, which then, based on how YouTube works, for the people that are loving your content, and this is the magic of using YouTube for business, once YouTube identifies these people are watching multiple videos, how the system works is YouTube's algorithms will say this user Bob here watches this type of content, he also watches this type of content, and he responds to this content and these other types of content in this positive way and he's having a really great experience with the videos on this particular channel, or at least this video. Because of that, what other users on the platform use YouTube like Bob does, what other users on the platform are watching some of the same videos that Bob does, but they haven't seen this channel yet? We're going to actually show this content to some of those other people that are using YouTube like Bob and see how they respond to it.
Once you can create that experience that people really enjoy and you can get them to click on it, then what happens is YouTube goes out there and they find all of your Bobs for you. That's where the real power of YouTube comes in, because you're creating that experience for the viewer, which is why I was mentioning before that prioritizing the viewer experience is the most important thing. Basically, when they identify that people are loving this content, then they find other people like Bob that are using YouTube that they'll show the content to.
The reason this is important is because what I was saying before about TikTok and the other short-form platforms is when those other platforms and YouTube Shorts when they're just showing the content to people may or may not be the great fit, but when you're putting out long-form content you can be very intentional by the images that you use in your thumbnails, the topics you make the videos about, the way that you're wording your titles to make sure that you're laser targeting Bob.
Then once YouTube detects that Bob clicked on this and Bob enjoyed this video, and then he clicked on an end screen and he enjoyed another video, and then on that third video that he watched, he ended up subscribing to the channel and leaving a comment. Now we're going to show Bob tons of content from this channel and, like I mentioned before, we're going to find all of the other Bobs that we can find on YouTube that we think would enjoy this content right now. By thinking of your content in sets like that, it can really help you craft that viewer experience in a way that increases the likelihood of YouTube turning into a lead generation machine for you.
Another thing is one of the examples that they give when it comes to YouTube in terms of their recommendation systems, if people are listening to jazz music, even though a lot of the people that are listening to jazz music videos on YouTube are going to like a bunch of different things, but as the system starts putting the pieces of the puzzle together that these people that are listening to the jazz music all like, or a lot of them are liking this content over here, these channels or topics over here, then even though they might not have ever looked at that type of stuff before, your real estate videos or anything else that you can come up with, even though they might not have ever had any interest in that content before or anything like that, just because they've been listening to jazz music, just because Bob has been listening to jazz music, and then some of the other Bobs and Bob had also crossed your videos, then YouTube will start showing you to some of those other people that have been listening to that jazz music as well because they've become a candidate to be somebody that might enjoy your content.
It's really crazy in terms of their recommendation system, but it's all you have to do. We could talk about this all day, we can get into analytics, we can get real complicated and really high level with it, but at the end of the day, all you have to do is just think about the viewer, think about what it is you're trying to get that viewer to do in terms of the goals that you have for the channel and your business, and then think how can we add as much value and create the best possible experience for this viewer and how can we make all of the other content on our channel super easy for that person to find based on the things that they care about. Not the stuff that we're trying to cram down their throat, but based on the things that they care about.
George: I love that you brought up jazz. I love music just in general, but I also love that you were talking about creating an experience. When you think about music and experience, there is sometimes a conversation of should I have music in my video, not have music, and then there's copyright things. Honestly, I know that you've been up to something. Why don't you share a little bit of really cool information to the Marketing Smarts Podcast about something that you've been up to called Creator Mix?
Nick: When it comes to Creator Mix, basically my brother and I created a music resource that you can use in your YouTube videos, you can even use it in your podcasts or if you have courses and you need music for the background or whatever. It's royalty-free music at CreatorMix.com. There's a huge problem right now on YouTube in terms of people running into copyright issues and things like that. We basically made a solution for you there, so you don't have to worry about that.
It's 100% free. The way that we monetize that is we actually monetize it through streams. When people stream it in the background of livestreams and things like that for their livestream, that's how we monetize, which allows us to provide it in other ways in terms of downloading it to where you can embed it in your videos and things like that, where you can actually do that for free. You can find that at CreatorMix.com.
You can also find Creator Mix if you just want to listen to some of the music in the background because it's really great music also, you can find us on Spotify, you can find us on Apple Music, you can find us on all of the major streaming platforms as well if you just want to listen to some good music. We have LoFi over there, we have Trap over there, we have some Deep House music. I think there's 19 albums currently, totaling over nine hours of music currently. We have a huge mountain of music that we're still processing to get out there as well.
George: I will tell you, you should probably check out Creator Mix. See if it's a good fit for you, see if it works for music. Let's go ahead and slow this down for a second. Nick, this is what I typically think as the money question. I really love to see where people's brain goes when I ask this. It's just simply this. Window wide open, what are some words of wisdom that you'd like to leave for the Marketing Smarts Podcast listeners?
Nick: Take care of yourself. And take care of yourself mentally. We're living in a crazy time right now. It's easy to get sucked down all of these holes that will neg you out and make you feel like garbage at the end of the day. Just take of your mind state. As entrepreneurs, as marketers, as people that are trying to do cool stuff and make things happen, our minds are the most important thing.
For every ounce of energy that we give to stuff that doesn't really matter or that takes us down some negative rabbit hole, that's energy that we can't put into building our businesses and making an impact, and a positive impact, in the lives of the people that we're trying to reach. My words of wisdom is to prioritize your brain and the health of your brain and your own wellbeing so that you can shine your light out and impact others.
George: Nick, this interview has been absolutely amazing. I appreciate you taking the time to do it. I also appreciate the dent that you're putting in the world with your content and how you're showing up and enabling people to be their best selves using YouTube as content creators, as marketers, as business owners. This is absolutely amazing. If people want to connect, where do you want to send them?
Nick: You can go to my website at NickNimmin.com. You can hit me up on Twitter @NickNimmin, you can shoot me a DM over there. Either one of those is fine, or you can head over to my YouTube channel. If you just look for Nick Nimmin on Google or on YouTube, all roads lead to Rome in terms of the YouTube channel, so you can find me in any of those places.
George: What an amazing episode. I have a question. Were we able to change your mind about using YouTube for business? If so, let us know at #Mprofs. You can @GeorgeBThomas on Twitter. Reach out. I'm super curious.
Obviously, you could leave a five-star rating and review for this episode, or more importantly, you could share it with a friend. I can't wait to meet you in the next episode. We have a real treat for you. If you're thinking about or have some perceptions about if TikTok is for business or not, hold on, I'll see you next week.
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Published on May 5, 2022
Nick Nimmin, a video marketing strategist who helps content creators grow their brands and businesses using YouTube. On his personal channel, where he shares the tools, resources, and information video creators need to grow their presence online, he has grown his own subscriber base to over 450k and hosts a weekly livestream where he helps creators navigate the complexities of YouTube.
LinkedIn: Nick Nimmin
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