Are you looking for a strategy to attract your ideal audience with YouTube? Do you want more quality leads?
In this article, you’ll discover a YouTube content strategy for businesses.
How YouTube Works in 2023
YouTube is the “second Google”—a vast, ever-growing collection of content that hundreds of millions of people use each day.
It stands out from other video-focused social networks because it emphasizes quality and relevance over everything else. The YouTube algorithm isn't designed for attention or viral reach. Instead, it aims to serve up the most helpful, high-quality content for each individual user. It's closer to a search engine than a social network; closer to a FaceTime call than a TV broadcast.
Videos that are years or even decades old can still be successful on the platform. Valuable, relevant content can keep bringing in new leads and sales. And, as a result, the community that you build on YouTube can support your brand for years to come.
The real secret to YouTube's success is that it works so well for both marketers and consumers. The media that marketers use have to appeal to consumers, without boring or annoying them, and simultaneously give marketers an effective way to encourage sales. YouTube manages to square that circle.
Let's take a look at how it all works.
#1: YouTube: The Consumer's Point of View
YouTube is popular with… well, pretty much everyone who has an internet connection. (That's over 5 billion people, by the way.)
There are tons of reasons why users come to YouTube and the platform accommodates them all.
We use YouTube to:
- Relax with entertaining content.
- Feel something through music, audio, and video that speak to us.
- Learn about topics that interest us, research problems we face, and gather information.
- Zone out with a distraction from the world at large.
A quick glance at the YouTube home page shows content for relaxation, entertainment, knowledge, new skills, and emotional impact.
So when you create content for YouTube, don't just ask who the content is for. You also need to ask: What are those users doing on YouTube? What are they searching for?
Then you can create content that fulfills their needs and guides them toward fulfilling your YouTube video marketing goals, too.
One easy way to do this is by setting up a new, clean Google account with no search history. Navigate to YouTube and search keywords and phrases that are relevant to your target audience. Watch a couple of videos and then note the content that YouTube recommends next.
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In this way, you'll train the YouTube algorithm to become a model of your ideal audience. It will show the content that your audience values most so you can double-down with more relevant, engaging, and activating content.
#2: YouTube for Businesses: The Marketer's Point of View
YouTube has amazing potential to convert viewers into customers.
Audiences are more open to connection when they see a real person in front of the camera—direct, unfiltered, and immediate.
What's more, research has shown that the “distance to purchase” is far shorter on YouTube than on other content channels. In other words, it takes less time and content for someone to decide that they want your offer.
However, these benefits will only come your way if you know how to work with the platform. People visit YouTube for their own reasons. How can you help them achieve their goals while keeping an eye on your own?
Start by thinking about what you actually want to achieve. Many social marketers obsess about creating viral content. But pause for a second and ask yourself: Do you really want to go viral? Why? How does it serve your business goals?
When you think about it, your real targets are probably a lot more specific. Things like:
- I want to become the first channel my users visit when they're looking for entertainment.
- I want viewers to click a link and book a call with me.
- I want viewers to subscribe to my channel/newsletter/community to see the follow-up on my content.
- I want viewers to click through and purchase my products/services/course.
The secret of an effective YouTube content strategy is to integrate those goals with what your audience wants.
You'll reach valuable viewers, reward them with the content they want, and deliver on your key metrics all at the same time.
#3: How to Create a YouTube Content Library
Let's get into the details of your YouTube strategy.
You're aiming to reach the right people, with the right content, to achieve specific goals. How do you do that?
The answer is a library of content. In a YouTube content library, each video is connected with others through links, recommendations, playlists, and a sequence of ideas. Even the oldest videos are still part of the marketing funnel, as newer content builds on the existing, long-term collection of videos.
Remember, YouTube content has a long shelf-life. So when you create a library of valuable content, that becomes a source of search traffic, leads, and customer referrals that will be effective for years into the future.
Your YouTube channel will become a self-perpetuating, ever-growing, evergreen marketing funnel that constantly attracts new viewers and guides them through the buyer's journey.
Of course, there’s a place for live content and trends on YouTube. But this tends to come from specific types of YouTube channels, such as news outlets. Audiences respond very differently to this kind of time-bound content. Although it gets high initial views, it will quickly disappear from search rankings and recommendations. You'll get a better return on your time and effort if you focus on building a slow-burn, evergreen content library.
But what kind of videos should go into your YouTube content library? We've already looked at how to understand your audience through the algorithm. Next, you need to integrate those insights with your own goals for your audience.
Think about what you want people to do. Then link those conversions to specific topics. For example, if you want people to make a purchase, the key topic might be product features and how-to videos. If you want to entertain viewers, then you might focus on “softer” topics such as telling the origin story behind your brand.
Once you've identified some key topics, you can reverse-engineer your marketing funnel. Create videos for people who are completely new to your brand, those who have started to learn more, and people who are already experts on the verge of converting.
For each stage of the buyer's journey, ask yourself:
- What questions do people have?
- What interests them?
- What do they want or need to know to move down the funnel?
This channel uses playlists to offer content for different stages of the buyer's journey, from total beginners to those who are ready to upgrade their business setup.
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Remember, you're building a content library so every video should be connected to another. Every time someone watches one of your videos, you can recommend another clip to watch next, gradually moving them through the marketing funnel until they convert.
Examples of YouTube Content Libraries That Convert
Channel Makers is a YouTube channel that focuses on how to build an audience on YouTube. Their audience is marketers and entrepreneurs, and one of their key topics is explaining how the platform works.
This fulfills the audience's needs by demystifying a valuable marketing channel. And it serves a business objective by demonstrating Channel Makers' expertise, ultimately guiding viewers toward a purchase.
Channel Makers practice what they preach by creating an extensive library of content that's valuable to viewers while building their brand.
The videos are organized into playlists, each aimed at a different stage of the buyer's journey. Each video recommends another, like a trail of breadcrumbs.
Once viewers have learned to trust the channel and look for even more content, they have the opportunity to sign up for a paid training program.
Switch and Click
Switch and Click is a YouTube channel that tends to a niche audience of people with a deep interest in keyboards and other computer peripherals. They care about specs, pricing, and the community around their hobby.
This audience wants both entertainment and expertise. Switch and Click provide that in the form of witty storytelling and artwork, combined with seriously well-informed product recommendations.
This channel combines niche expertise with a bold, entertaining style.
The channel makes most of its income from affiliate links so its goal is to reach more viewers and get them to click links.
They do that by creating fun, snackable videos that fulfill a wide range of search terms by working with the Youtube algorithm so their content will keep showing up over time.
Our next example, SAMexpert TV, is a channel with even more specific expertise. It's all about the details of Microsoft licensing and cloud services. This is a highly specialized topic with an audience that can't afford to make mistakes.
SAMexpert TV proves that the number of views you get on YouTube doesn't really matter. Instead, it's the value of each individual viewer that's important.
Videos from this channel average about 300 views total. But SAMexpert TV makes approximately $20,000 from YouTube traffic every single month!
Everything about this channel is detailed and technical. It provides a lot of value for a highly specialized audience.
That's because the content library meets viewers' needs by explaining complex topics such as service provider self-certification. It also meets the channel's business goals by referring viewers to the brand's website for consulting services.
Aplins in the Alps
Aplins is the Alps is another channel that focuses on entertaining a niche audience but with a clear business goal in mind.
Their content library tells the story of the Aplins, a young American couple, and their adventures as they travel around Europe and build a life in Switzerland. The content is presented in a vlog style that's engaging and entertaining. Viewers keep coming back because they relate to the content creators and want to see what happens next.
This vlogging channel also serves as a powerful marketing funnel for the Aplins' travel business.
But as we know, content libraries have to work for brands as well as viewers. So what's the business goal here?
The Aplins sprinkle valuable travel tips into all of their content, as well as linking videos to create a library of content that draws viewers deeper into their channel. This creates a powerful marketing funnel that can drive both big and small purchases. It enables them to sell anything from PDF travel itineraries and planning templates, to fully guided tours through the Alps.
Your YouTube Content Library
Let's review what we've learned.
First, YouTube is a uniquely valuable channel for both marketers and consumers.
Second, the secret to reaching your audience is to understand their needs as well as your own.
And third—most importantly—by creating a content library, you can meet your business goals while giving viewers the YouTube videos they want. You can build up a video content engine that keeps producing leads and conversions through the power of evergreen content. You'll see more viewers and better results with less time, effort, and energy.
Other Notes From This Episode
- Connect with Michael Stelzner @Stelzner on Instagram and @Mike_Stelzner on Twitter.
- Watch this interview and other exclusive content from Social Media Examiner on YouTube.
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