Video Marketing Blog

YouTube for Business: 12 Ways YouTube Creators Think (and you should, too)

Welcome to Session 3 of YouTube for Business.


It seems like the pace of change in marketing is faster than ever.

And even faster than the change are the new solutions, technologies, media, ideas and information flying at businesses and brands. Especially regarding what they should be doing to grow.

There are 4 mantras swirling around in the marketing world now regarding the way brands engage with their consumers, and we think they are particularly confusing.

  1. Brands have been told for a while now that advertising is broken.
  2. Brands have been told to think like a publisher.
  3. Brands have been told to think like a media company.
  4. Brands have been told that social media is where they should be.

While these are not quite myths—there is some truth in all of them—they are not quite mantras either. They are more like the beginning of the story. The problem or the suggestion of a direction. And in the end, they are not really all that helpful.

Why is this?

Well, it is because the truth is a little different.

  1. Advertising is not broken. Advertising is alive and well and growing.
  2. It is good to think like a publisher—provided you know what this means.
  3. Thinking like a media company? How about acting like one...well, wait, they aren't doing so well. Not the traditional ones anyway.
  4. And social media? It is living on rented land...except for one channel...YouTube.

Is YouTube a panacea to solve all of your marketing woes? Uh, no. Is it a place to engage directly with your consumers? Yes. And it is a way to do this with the most powerful medium ever invented—video. And on a device that is as personal and intimate as any ever created—PC & mobile.

Think like a YouTuber

We say, don't worry about thinking like a publisher or a media company. Instead, you should think like a YouTuber (or YouTube Creator—as the community calls itself).

Why would you do this? A whole host of reasons. Here's a small handful:

  • They are closer to your audience than you are.
  • They are owning share of voice in the growing media platforms.
  • They are defining the culture and conversation.

Wouldn't you like to have any of those said about you? Yeah, us, too.

How do YouTube Creators think? And act? And plan? And produce? Here's 12 of 100+ ways:

  1. They make content...all the weekly. Yeah, that much (or more).
  2. They make content...for their audience.
  3. They make content...until they find what works...seems backward, right? Not here.
  4. They make content...based on what their audience likes/comments/suggests...again, upside-down from the old model.
  5. They market content...instead of just posting and praying.
  6. They market all of their other social channels.
  7. They market make it more search (your new best friend).
  8. They market content...of their friends and collaborators...yeah, that takes some getting used to.
  9. They manage their channel...with great metadata.
  10. They manage their channel...with annotations and CTAs.
  11. They manage their engage their audience.
  12. They manage their channel...every day...all day.

Seeing any patterns here? Make content, market content, manage channel? Yeah, it's not rocket science. It's just that most brands and businesses don't do the work it takes. YouTube Creators do. They grow views and subscribers into fans. In short, they build an audience of their own.

Building An Audiece Of Your Own

And it is important that you understand how they think about an audience. Because an audience is not views. An audience is not subscribers. An audience is a fan base. A fan base who will watch, like, comment and share everything you make. Will they like it all? Nope, but they will care enough to tell you so you can keep making it better.

YouTube Creators are very focused. They are focused on:

  • Making content
  • Marketing content
  • Managing their channel

So they can grow their audience.

Why do they do this? This is an interesting question. You will find a similar progression among many YouTube Creators:

  • They love a topic and making videos about it
  • They learn to love their audience
  • They start making some money from advertising
  • They get serious about growing the channel
  • They find themselves with a growing media business
  • They receive phone calls from brands who want to partner
  • They see all kinds of new opportunities arise

This is the new way of business. YouTube for business. And we are all just at the beginning of the beginning. We are going to see more and more businesses, brands and individuals building audiences of their own on YouTube. YouTube is the new TV. And there will never be a better time to get started than right now.

What's Coming In Session 4?

In our next session, we are going to show you a 4-part strategy to grow your business or brand on YouTube. This strategy will help you grow an audience of loyal and passionate fans. Fans that are more cost effective to find than simply renting or buying their attention. Fans looking forward to all your new videos. And fans who will start sharing so the organic growth takes off.

We will show you how to make your brand the solution that people are searching for. We shared three of these strategies above: make, market, manage. We'll go into more detail on them next week. And we'll share a powerful fourth "M" that helps you know what is working. 

Then we'll go deep on each of the 4M's so you can build your business, brand and reputation on YouTube.

Topics: YouTube for Business

How To Attract Attention To Your YouTube Channel


You spend a lot of time working on your YouTube channel. Thinking about how to get subscribers. How to promote your YouTube channel. This is not a hobby for you. This is YouTube for business. Your business.

You are a YouTube Creator. That's your identity and your passion. You want to get more subscribers. You want to get more views. You care about your audience. You care about your content. You work hard on the details. But you feel like you are stuck in the middle of the pack.

What can you do to draw attention to your YouTube Channel?

YouTube has more than 10 million channels. They categorized these into only 20 different categories. That means you have 500,000 competitors for your category. But you know you don't compete with everyone that is in your category. That guy talking about aliens? The cute cat channel? You guys are not looking for the same audience.

So, how to distinguish yourself from the rest?

We had this same problem. Our sister company, Howdini, needed a way to distinguish itself. So, we created the Touchstorm Video Index to help provide analytics to prove how well we managed this channel. Then we created the TVi Score to show this to the world easily. Finally, we started the YouTube Genome Project to classify all 10 million channels into 2500 categories instead of just 20.

How did the Touchstorm Video Index help us — and can help you — stand out?

By sharing your TVi Score and your ranking within your topic area, you can show the world how well you are ranking within your particular topic. And you can know if you are doing the right things to grow your channel, your audience and your influence. TVi measures a channel on best practices in channel management. Both from a YouTube Playbook perspective and from our own years of experience managing YouTube Channels.

And we wrap it all up into a nice little badge that you can display on your YouTube Channel.


How to display your TVI Badge

To get started, navigate over to the TVi. You will see this screen come up.


Step 1. Click on the Get Badge section. 

That will bring you to the Badge Home Page.


You can see a sample badge in the top left. Below that you will see an example of where you can put your Badge on your YouTube Channel. This is ERB's page – just for an example.

Why would you want to show your TVi Badge on your YouTube Channel?

Because when people click on the link, they will be taken to this page. This is your public-facing badge page where the world can see how well you are ranking. And see how your channel is growing over time.

Why does your TVi Badge Page matter?

Because if you and five other channels all have a similar number of views and subscribers, then no one can tell who is the best channel. Brands looking for YouTube Creators to partner with cannot distinguish easily. But they can with TVi Scores on your badge. This is your way to show the world how well you are managing your channel and growing your audience.

Step 2. Click on the Sign In With Google+ button.

  • This will take you to a G+ sign-in
  • Follow the prompts
  • Point to the right account
  • Point to the right YouTube channel
  • Select it and you will get to your Badge Page

Step 3. Get your Badge Page.


This is your private badge page where you have the option to do four different things:

  • See your score (kind of a duh, but can)
  • Get the link to post on your YouTube Channel
  • Get the embed code to post your badge on your website
  • Sign up to get an email update about your score each month

Let's take a detailed look at these last three.

Three Ways To Promote Your YouTube Channel Using Your TVi Badge

There are three ways that you can use the TVi to promote how well you are managing your channel and building your audience. They are...

  1. Put it on your YouTube Channel About page
  2. Put it in the Channel Art of your YouTube Channel
  3. Post it on your website

Let's take a look step-by-step how to get your TVi Badge working to help your promote your YouTube channel.

1.   Putting your TVi Badge in your About Page


Step 1. You will need to get the link to your badge. Highlight and copy it from your private TVi Badge Page. Make sure the YouTube button is selected. Otherwise, you will be copying embed code for your website. 

Step 2. Log in to your YouTube Channel. 

Step 3. Click on the About section of your channel.

Step 4. Click on the links section. If you are logged in, then this section will highlight and show the editing pencil icon. If you don't see this, then you might not be logged in — or you are in the wrong place.

Step 5. Click +Add in the Custom Link section.

Step 6. Type in a Link Title: Touchstorm Video Index Badge.

Step 7. Paste in the URL you copied into the URL box.

Step 8. Click done and then test it out.

 2.  Putting your TVi Badge in your Channel Art

Steps 1-5. Do them just like above, but then there's one other thing you have to check out.

Step 5a. Make sure you have Overlay first # custom links on channel art selected at a number high enough to include the TVi Badge. So if you have 4 custom links and you add a 5th as the TVi Badge, then you will need to make sure you have 5 custom links showing on the channel art.

Steps 6-8. Same as above.

Now a badge icon will show up as an overlay on your channel art, and will link people to your Public Badge Page. Cool, huh? Now the world can see how awesome you are right from your Channel.

 3. Posting your TVi Badge on your Personal Website


Step 1. Click the Website button on your personal Badge Page. The YouTube button is the default. So, make sure that the Website button is depressed — it should be blue. (get it? blue...depressed? sorry...)

Step 2. Choose the month, year and category. This will change the look of your badge, so make sure it is representing the right category level you want. It is probably the one on the bottom, the topic, instead of the top (theme) or middle (conversation) option. The topic is where your real peer set is living.

Step 3. Wait for the embed code to appear.


Step 3a. Sign up for email reminders while you wait. Just enter your email address (it is totally safe with us) and click Remind Me.


Step 4. Copy your embed code and paste into your site. If you don't know how to do that, then talk to your webmaster or a buddy or Google it. 


There you have it. Your TVi Badge is now telling the world how amazing you really are.


(Photo from Flickr user Dayna Mason, Creative Commons Attribution)



Topics: YouTube Channel

YouTube for Business: 5 Ways To Do Business On YouTube

Welcome to Session 2 of YouTube for Business.


In this Session of YouTube for Business we are looking at a very simple question. What exactly does it mean to do business on YouTube? The answer to this question is actually another question. What level of business do you want to have on YouTube?

Level of business? Yes. There are five levels of business engagement we see on the YouTube platform. Let's review them:

  1. Using the platform to promote your business. This could be using promoted video or creating viral videos that you hope will capture a number of eyeballs. The primary metric that you are concerned about is views. Your primary question is: how do I get more views on YouTube? A great example of this is the Dollar Shave Club video.

  2. Using the platform to engage your audience. This would be creating videos in a way that people are engaging with them on a regular basis. You are thinking about what kind of content they would like. Then you are seeing which content gets the best watch time, and making more of it. The primary metric you are concerned about is subscribers. Your primary quesiton is: how do I get more subscribers on YouTube? A great example of this is the Lego channel.

  3. Using the platform to grow your business. This would be using the video platform to see it impact your business, whether that is direct sales, growing leads, or building awareness and traffic to your website. Your primary metric is business growth of some sort. The question you have is: how do I build an audience of potential customers on YouTube? A classic example of this is Blendtec.

  4. Using the platform as another revenue stream. This would be a business that has grown an audience to the point that you've become a YouTube Partner. You are making money. And it is a nice supplement to your other business. Your primary metric is ... well, what is it? It is a TVi Score. What's that? Here's a quick tutorial on it. Your main question is: how do I increase the revenue coming from YouTube? A great example of this is MetroSkaboarding, which is an online retailer that runs a very successful YouTube Channel with a high TVi Score.

  5. Using the platform as a primary revenue stream. This is the pinnacle on YouTube. There a number of YouTube stars earning seven figures off of their channels, which is in turn generating a load of offline business for them. Your primary metric is a TVi Score, plus the entire Touchstorm Video Index of metrics that matter. We built these for ourself initially to help us grow a top channel. But we've opened it up to the world recently. Your primary question is: how do I attract the attention of business and brand partners for my channel? A classic example of this is beauty vlogger, Michelle Phan.

There's no one way to YouTube.

You can see that a wide range of businesses have found success on the platform. And there isn't just one way to engage YouTube to build your business. It all depends on what you are trying to get done in your business. YouTube is not a playground for kids or stupid pet tricks.  It's too bad that this perception clouds the way people think about YouTube for businesses. Because it is the best platform for building and engaging an audeince of your own.

You need an audience of your own.

Having an audience of your own is critical. And it will only be moreso in the future. Why? Because media continues to fragment. At the same time, more people rush in because the barriers to entry are essentially zero. This means that anyone can start making content people love, amass and audience, and then flip that audience into a business of their own.

See how that works?

Either you have an audience, which means you can flip it into a business; or you have a business, and you have to rent it from the audience owner. Renting fragmented audiences is expensive. It will only get more expensive as the media continues to fragment. This is a cycle that's been going on for decades now, and it's not going to stop. Unless someone stops people from becoming entrepreneurs.

Don't just keep renting an audience.

If you have big budgets and just want to keep renting your audiences, then here's what's going to happen. These upstarts on the new media channels are going to build an audience – your audience – and then they are going to launch a business. In your space. Then when they are growing and you are declining, you are going to wonder what hit you.

It is happening now. But it is going to accelerate. So, do yourself a favor and start building your audience now.

Get started building your audience.

How to get started? Here are four things to do immediately:

  1. Align on your goals. What are your business goals? What do you hope to accomplish with a YouTube channel for business? Which of the 5 Levels of Business are you shooting for? You won't have any benchmarks, so just get some goals down to shoot for. Be concrete and specific. And adjust as you go along. It will take some time to determine.
  2. Assemble your team. You cannot go this alone. You will need strategy to come up with a plan. You will need production to create the videos – this includes writing, camera, actors, editing at a bare minimum. You need someone to post videos, write titles, create metadata and manage the channel. And then you need someone to watch the analytics and monitor comments (and respond). Then you need someone(s) to market the videos for you so you grow views and audience. It takes a team to make this work. You can outsource, but you need resources to build a YouTube business. You need to plan on it.
  3. Audit your existing content. You probably have existing text, image and video content on various sites, channels and servers around the company. Pull all of these together into one place and grade them. We have some tools that can help with this.
  4. Act (& think & plan & engage) like a YouTuber. Yeah, we know. What does this mean? We'll cover that in the next session. Until then, work on 1-3 so you will be ready to get going.

YouTube is open for business. It is the best platform to build an audience of your own. The question is, will you? Watch for Session 3 next week so you can learn more about how to use YouTube for business.


(Photo from Flickr user: jm3 on flickr Creative Commons License)

Topics: YouTube for Business

How to use the TVi (and what the #@$% is it?)

Touchstorm Video Index – or TVi for short – is like the Nielsen of YouTube. It rates and ranks channels into 3,000 unique topic areas and then monitors and measures everything. It’ll give you a whole new view on YouTube. 

We’ve created this simple tutorial to walk you through it all. You’ll learn how you can:

  • See how your channel is really performing
  • Discover who your real competition is
  • Find new people to collaborate with on videos
  • Get your channel’s TVi Score (like a FICO Score, only for YouTube)
  • Join our YouTube Genome Project
  • Get the insights you need to grow your channel

…and so much more. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Except this time. Promise.

First, log on to This is the TVi homepage. Here are three important things that I should point out:


There’s one caveat to all of this that I need to address right up front. 

There are 10 million channels on YouTube, but only 20 searchable categories on YouTube. That means each of you have 500,000 channels you are competing against, which is a lot.

We thought so too. So we decided to do something about it. But we really, really, reeeeallly need your help.


Join the YouTube Genome Project.

What is the YouTube Genome Project? It’s our project to classify all 10 million channels into 3,000 Topics, 100 Conversations and 11 Themes --- plus we’re adding all kinds of metadata to that. It’s easy to profile your channel and it only takes about 30 seconds. Doing this gets you access to the world of data and insights you need to make your channel rock.

We’ve already profiled tens of thousands of channels ourselves, and we profile more and more every day. But 10 million is a lot for our team, so we’re asking for your help.

Go to and follow the steps there. The easiest way is to sign-in with the Google+ account that you use to manage your channel.

Then simply answer the prompts on the page. And voila! You are in the system.

If you get in there and see that something is incorrectly profiled, then just change it and save it. It’s that easy.

Let’s quickly walk through what you can do at the TVi… 

1. Click on Get Badge.
It takes you to this page:


To get your own unique badge and badge page, you just need to sign in with Google using your G+ account that you use to manage your channel. It's as simple as that. When you sign in, you will be taken to this page:


2. Click on Channel Report.
This lets you get a report on ANY channel you choose. Simply follow the instructions on screen and you will get your customized report. To get your own report, sign in with Google.

The YouTube Genome Project (YGP) isn’t finished, so some topics and conversations have not been fully profiled. This means that all of the channels are not in the database. Without the YGP database completed, the TVi has nothing to rank.

This is why we need you and all your YT Creator peers to profile their channels. So if your channel hasn’t been profiled, go enter it in the system!

If your topic area hasn’t been profiled either, you can enter the channels that you think are in your area. Then you can see all of the topic data.

The channel report tells you details about key metrics for your channel. It’s NOT just about views and subscribers—we provide a deep level of insight on seven different “metrics that matter” by running our proprietary algorithms built to measure best channel practices.

This means you’ll see where you’re doing well, where you can improve, and get some ideas on how to do it.

Here’s a sample report for you to peruse. It’s YouTube star Bethany Mota’s. Check it out:

Pretty cool, huh?

3. Click on Topic Report.


I mentioned before that this is our Live Ratings. 

What you see is the entire structure of the YGP. The three columns are the 11 Themes, 100+ Conversations, and the nearly 3,000 topics. If something is grey and italicized, then the YGP hasn’t profiled it yet.

If you want to see a really cool example, then click on the following:

Welcome Home > Food & Wine > Wine

Now, click Generate Report. See anything interesting there? Social media guru Gary V is getting clobbered by BrownBagWineTasting. Surprising, huh?

Spend some time looking around at everything. You can click on those little “i” icons to get more info about elements on the site or in the reports.


Sign up to get emails about your channel, your scores, and other channels you want to follow. It’s free for now, so share it with your friends. And be sure to get everyone in on thisYouTube Genome Project. The more of us that use it, the better it gets.

And finally, as always…

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Ask questions, share ideas for making it better, etc. We made the TVi with you in mind, so share away.

Topics: YouTube Channel Analytics YouTube YouTube Ratings

YouTube for Business: The best social media channel you are not using


YouTube is the most overlooked marketing channel in the entire marketing mix these days.

All of the social media attention is going to Facebook, Twitter and the visual channels like Pinterest and Instagram. All of the digital media attention is going to native advertising and the likes of Buzzfeed and Vice.

There's just one big problem with ignoring YouTube – it is the #2 search engine behind big brother Google. Ignore it at your SEO peril.

The good news is that businesses and brands are starting to wake-up to YouTube. That's why we are starting this series on YouTube for Business. It captures our learnings from helping big brands win on YouTube for the past six years. That's an eternity in YouTube years.

Our plan is to cover the seven key topics that will help anybody get more views, grow their subscribers and build an engaged and valuable audience and business on YouTube. We got our start doing this for sister company Howdini, which we grew into one of the top How-To destinations on the web. Since then, we've started to focus all our attention on building YouTube channels for big brands.

Why should you consider moving your efforts and budgets away from sites like Facebook and over to YouTube? There are a number of reasons. Here are a few of the top ones:

1. Facebook is fickle and expensive.

They make you pay for the priviledge of talking to "your" audience. Oh wait, that's not actually your audience. It is their audience. And that's the dirty little secret of Web 2.0. We are building both the content and the audience for some of the most powerful new media companies on the planet. It's called Digital Sharecropping. And it is a problem for many companies who've invested millions into their Facebook "followings" only to find out they aren't really following. 

The good news is that YouTube is way closer to an audience of your own than any of the other social channels. And on top of this, they have great tools that allow you to actually convert views to subscribers to an audience. And the path is way easier than on the fast flow feed of Facebook. 

2. Twitter is not an's a following.

Speaking of fast flow feeds, Twitter is the king of flow. In fact, their former VP of Media called it just that. Robin Sloan coined the term Stock & Flow and it is a good way to think about content for your business. Flow is real-time, now, topical, in the moment. Post it. And it's gone. No SEO. No tomorrow. Stock is evergreen. It is great for SEO. It is built on your expertise. It is what you are known for. Build it once. It builds your business. Forever.

You need both stock and flow. But for different reasons. Stock is your content. It's where you invest your content dollars. Flow is your distribution. It's where you promote your content. Yes, you should share others' content liberally, but we are talking about you right now.

Twitter is great for growing a following. So, you can promote your content. Yes, I know everyone says, "don't just talk about yourself." You should listen to them in order to build your following. But you should leverage that following to promote your content. Your video content. That lives on your YouTube channel.

Then when people come visit, we'll show you how to convert that view to a subscriber to an audience you really own.

3. Google+ ... who knows?

Google is notoriously fickle about their algorithm. And they just made massive changes to it again. This time eliminating Google Author Rank. What is that? Well, don't worry about it now. Although everyone spent the last six months trying to figure Google Authorship out. Just when we did, Google turned it off.

What we do know is that for now, Google+ seems like it is helping you rank better in your Google search results. If you don't know why that matters, then don't worry. We'll talk about Search, Syndication and Sharing as three discovery strategies for your content. For now, just know that the almighty Google+ has a questionable future.

4. YouTube is an audience of your own ... or it can be.

One important first lesson is this: having lots of views doesn't mean you have an audience. But you knew that. And you also knew that having lots of subscribers does NOT mean you have an audience either.

So, what is an audience then? Simple definition: a group of people who WANT to see your content. Even better if they would pay for it. Although we are going to give it to them for free. We make our money elsewhere.

How to know if you actually have an audience? If 30%+ of your subscribers watch every single one of the videos you post to your channel, then you are on your way. If you are closer to 50%+, then you have an audience. 70%+ is a crazy bunch of fans.

How to get there? We'll get to this. It comes down to thinking and acting like a YouTuber. I know, you just got used to acting like a Publisher. Well, this is related. It's just focused specifically on YouTube.

5. RedBull & GoPro are killing it on YouTube

Yes, you know this. But there are two really important lessons here. Let's look at them very quickly.

GoPro succeeds because it leverages its audience to make its main content. GoPro – just in case you don't know – is the tiny HD video camera that's all the rage with the extreme sports set. They have a built-in group of creators who love making content using the product. It is this crazy circular loop of product demo as content as promotion for the audience themselves which helps sell more product and create more content producers who make more product demos. Yeah, dizzying. And a killer business. How can you learn from this? We'll look at some ways.

RedBull is an entirely different story. They are a soft drink ... and energy drink actually ... and they make a ton of content for YouTube and elsewhere. But it has nothing to do with their product. It has everything to do with their audience. They know them. They know what they love. And they bring them that content. And their audience rewards them with their attention. And their loyalty. There's a reason why RedBull's marketing is a profit center. And they have 60% market share.

6. Other businesses and brands are killing it on YouTube as well

But not as many as should be. Why is this? Because they have not focused on YouTube. They thought it was just a site full of user-generated junk. You know. Cat videos. Stupid human tricks. Etc. Yeah, it is that. But it is so much more. It is the new TV. I'm not the only one saying this. And people aren't just saying it. They are putting serious dollars behind it. Both to create content and the tools and analytics you need to build a great channel.

7. YouTube Creators are brands themselves ... with products!

If you've not heard about Michelle Phan or Bethany Mota, then... well, we'll help you. You really should get out a little more. (sorry)

Michelle Phan started out making how-to beauty videos in her bedroom 6-ish years ago. She's now a beauty guru and cosmetics brand. She signed with Lancome. Launched her own line of products. And boasts 6+ million subscribers. All of her videos get millions of views. Yes, millions. That's like a good cable TV show. It's like a great one. And she makes a new video every week. She's not alone. There's a host of other beauty gurus right behind her. They are eclipsing brands' share of voice on YouTube. 

Bethany Mota also started out making videos about beauty, style, fashion and her life. She's broken out from YouTube alone now. She's a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Yeah, old media. I know. But a huge validation of her audience pull. And their loyalty. These are real stars. Real brands. Real audiences. And real business. 

YouTube is not UGC garage sales any more. If you've not been there in a while, then you should go there. Like now. Well, first, make sure you subscribe to this blog so you can get all 7 installments of the series sent right to your inbox. What could be more convenient?

We are going to walk through, step-by-step, how to build your business on YouTube. Grow views. Grow subscribers. Grow an audience. Of your own. Stay tuned. And subscribe.

Topics: YouTube Channel