Video Marketing Blog

Sean Womack

Recent Posts by Sean Womack:

Back To School the YouTube Way with Lunchbox Dad

It’s Back to School time again, and this got us thinking about all things school on YouTube. We did some digging around in and found this gem of a channel -- Lunchbox Dad.


Lunchbox Dad makes ridiculously amazing lunches for his kids, then writes blogs and makes tutorials on how you, too, can give your kids over-the-top lunches that make you the envy of other parents...or make them want to punch you. Probably both. His channel trailer showed us that he’s not new to this idea. He’s been on TV and in other media promoting his site.

His blog features tutorials and how-tos for themed snacks like Minion Banana Pops or Strawberry-Banana Santa hats, as well as incredible lunches, like this one for a graduation:


(Do you see the cheese diplomas?!)

And this one for a back-to-school lunch, complete with a chalkboard sign for custom notes to the kids:  


After we were done oohing and ahhing at the lunches of our childhood dreams, we decided to look into Lunchbox Dad’s YouTube channel performance using VideoAmigo to see how his videos are performing. After all, he’s got great content, seems to have a following and should be killing it on YouTube.

We were shocked to find that, as of August 30th, his channel only had 407 subscribers with only 50,000 views. This borders on criminal (although it is sure to increase after our entire team subscribes to his channel...seriously).

What’s the deal, Lunchbox Dad?

Because we want Lunchbox Dad to make videos of his lunches for the rest of our lives, we decided to dig into his YouTube channel stats to figure out some ways he could improve and retain some more subscribers.

And we found it.

Lunchbox Dad isn’t putting out videos regularly. In fact, in the past two months, there were only two videos. And it looks like this isn’t just a summer hiatus -- even last year at this time, his videos were showing up sporadically. It’s not that his content isn’t good, there’s just not enough of it and it is not coming out on a regular enough schedule.


To compare, take a look at the Momables channel-- one of the higher rated channels in Lunchbox Dad’s topic, “Lunch, Sandwiches, Lunch Boxes, and School Lunches.”

With over 7,000 subscribers, Momables says she “helps parents make real food convenient and appealing to kids.”



We can see that Momables releases more videos, usually putting out several videos each week, and she’s been doing this for quite some time. What we see with Momables is that she does not have a consistent cadence of videos. This points out the little secret of cadence. Your audience is going to watch when they want to watch, but Creators with the biggest followings built anticipation for their content by publishing a schedule for releases and then sticking to it.

Next, we looked at a more successful channel -- Fablunch -- with 109,928 subscribers.



It looks like Fablunch, too, is putting out videos at least once a week -- sometimes twice a week with only a few exceptions -- but without any consistency to the schedule. She was helped this May by a new video getting 500,000+ views and her views convert to subscribers at a very high level.

A great example of consistency of posting? Sarah Fit.




Sarah’s channel falls in the number one spot in Lunchbox Dad’s topic for both view and subscriber ratings. 

See those orange circles all in nice columns? That shows us that SarahFit is regularly posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays -- and she’s been doing that for a long time.

This consistency gives her 210,835 subscribers something to look forward to each week, which might be why she’s at the number one spot in the category.

I’ve got to go finish cutting my Stormtrooper tortilla, but you can go learn more about Lunchbox Dad’s YouTube channel using VideoAmigo, and get reports and insights on all of your favorite YouTube channels. And all for FREE!



VMAs bring the drama, VideoAmigo brings the data.

The annual MTV Video Music Awards are being held this Sunday night, and we can’t wait to see what happens.

Sure, we’re excited to see who wins big, but what are we really looking forward to?

Kanye West Taylor Swift Meme

Based on Kanye’s 2009 outburst during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech and Miley Cyrus’ anti-Disney debut at the 2013 awards -- Oh, and the fact that Miley is the host this year, we have no doubt that something crazy will happen.  

In fact, the drama surrounding the VMA’s has already begun.

This year’s nominee list for Music Video of the Year features a lot of familiar faces of past nominees, and some of our current favorite artists: Beyonce with her “7/11” video, Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video, and Ed Sheeran’s video for “Thinking Out Loud.” And Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars with “Uptown Funk,” and Kendrick Lamar with “Alright.”

So, who’s missing from this list?

Despite the fact that she is nominated for three other VMA categories, Nicki Minaj went to Twitter following the release of the nominee list to express her confusion as to why her “Anaconda” or “Feeling Myself” videos weren’t nominated for Video of the Year.

Nicki Minaj Tweet

Nicki Minaj Tweet

(If you give a mouse a cookie…)

Before we roll our eyes at Nicki, we decided to do a little research with VideoAmigo to see how her YouTube channel is performing in comparison to the actual Video of the Year nominees.  


We found that Nicki falls behind both Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars in terms of subscribers, but her channel does come ahead of Beyonce’s. (Sorry, Kanye..) 

We decided to do a deep-dive on Nicki’s channel using the in-depth Channel Report to see how she compares with others in her category.  

Within Nicki's in-depth report, we found what is called her "aggregate dislikes," or how likely it is for her videos to recieve a thumbs down in comparison to what is average for her category. 


We found that as of August 20th, Nicki's channel had a dislike index of 206, which means her videos are 106% more likely to be given a thumbs down than the average content in her catgory....Not so great for Team Nicki.

To compare, we looked up the channel likability for a few artists from our nominee list.

To no surprise, girl-next-door Taylor Swift’s videos are 40% less likely to be given a thumbs down than the average video in her category.

VideoAmigo TaylorSwiftVEVO Likability Score

And Beyonce? Her videos are 59% less likely to be given a thumbs down.  VideoAmigo BeyonceVEVO Likability Score

America's favorite ginger Ed Sheeran's videos are 71% less likely to be disliked than average.  VideoAmigo Ed Sheeran Likability Score

For fun -- and with our official nominees in mind, we searched the Music and Performing Arts category in VideoAmigo to see how each of their YouTube channels performed against one another in terms of viewership.

We already knew where Taylor, Beyonce and Bruno Mars stood, so we went down the list and found our next nominee at the number 24 spot: Ed Sheeran.


Mark Ronson’s channel was next at the 153rd spot, followed by Kendrick Lamar at number 196.


We’ll be on the edge of our seats Sunday night to see who brings home the gold, and to see who can drop the most jaws. (We're looking at you, Miley.) 

You, too, can deep-dive into the YouTube channels of your favorite celebrities; see how Miley compares to Kanye, or where Carrie Underwood stands in the Country Music genre conversation. Check it out with VideoAmigo.

Yes, E! News. Those are real people.

On Monday, E! News distributed a listicle titled, “18 Moments from the 2015 Teen Choice Awards That Made Us Feel Super Old" that seriously ticked off a lot of YouTube creators. We couldn't sit idly by and let E! News suffer, so we decided to show them how they can avoid this in the future with VideoAmigo. 


The post discussed how, despite the fact that they are on the “good side of 30,” there were several unfamiliar faces and perplexing award categories throughout the show that made the E! News team feel as though they’ve been living under a rock for the last decade. (Like Choice Viner.

According to the post, the number 6 moment that made the E! News crew feel “super old” was simply the fact that they didn’t recognize the names of some of the nominees.

“Eva Gutowski? Lele Pans? Joey Graceffa? Felix Kjellberg? Are those even real people?” They even misspelled the famous Viner’s name, Lele Pons. Ouch.

This did not sit well with the YouTube world, and rightfully so.

Had E! News done a little research, they would know that the names in question are actually some of the most well known YouTube stars out there, and they would have spared themselves from the angry mob waiting at their front door.

Though there’s no use in crying over spilled milk, we want to make sure this doesn’t happen again because, let’s face it -- it’s just painful to witness.

Grab your pens, listen up and take some notes, E! News.

It’s time for: “Yes, Those Are Real People!” brought to you by VideoAmigo. (VideoAmigo from Touchstorm gives brands and creators the data and insights needed to run successful video campaigns.)

Meet Eva Gutowski, or as she’s known in the YouTube world, MyLifeasEvaShe has over 3 million subscribers to her channel.



Her channel sits at the number 7 spot in her category in terms of subscribers.

And Joey Graceffa? He has over 5 million subscribers that he pushes videos out to nearly every single day. 



Okay, E!’s the real kicker -- the point where you really pushed people over the edge.

Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie, aka the king of YouTube.


PewDiePie has over 38,726,000 subscribers, and 9,801,225,587 views. (No, that’s not his phone number. That’s almost 10 billion views.)

Our advice to you, E! News? Avoid the angry mobs following the Video Music Awards later this month and get caught up on what channels are performing best in each category using VideoAmigo.

Before we forget –  If, in return, you don’t know who E! News is? Actually, you shouldn’t feel so bad.


Their YouTube channel only has 289,536 loyal subscribers even though they’re posting videos nearly every day.



They currently sit at the number 52 spot in the Pop Culture, Entertainment News conversation in terms of views.

And, ironically enough, their website features several news stories about YouTube stars like Bethany Mota. In July, they even posted a listicle titled “VidCon 101” covering the YouTube stars you should know if you want to be "hip with the kids." 


 E! News….are you even real?

Topics: YouTube Subscribers YouTube Views YouTube Analytics YouTube Ratings

Meet the woman beating Anna Wintour on YouTube


This is Chriselle Lim.

She runs a fashion blog—The Chriselle Factor. She’s a stylist. She’s a style-maker. She’s active on multiple platforms, and she’s now a fixture at the fashion shows.

Chriselle owns the leading women’s fashion channel on YouTube. In fact, her channel was number one in TVi Score (more on that below...), above giant brands like American Vogue, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, and Prada. Her videos ‘stay chic’ with topics such as Fall Basic: Styling your Jeans, Journey of a Dress and My Greece Diary. She shares advice in a grounded, accessible way, and the content is extremely popular.

Check out what she’s doing on her other platforms, as well:

Bigger Than Anna Wintour

Believe it or not, Chriselle has more influence than Anna Wintour (the American Vogue channel) on YouTube. She is owning the conversation and the audience, and here’s why it matters:

As online—especially online video—continues to grow, the fashion vloggers are building a huge advantage over the traditional fashion mags, and even the fashion houses themselves. We’ve seen this happen in beauty already. We’re expecting this trend to continue, upsetting the balance of power and influence in the fashion industry.

As part of our efforts to categorize the entire YouTube platform—profiling millions of YouTube channels on a myriad of qualitative data points—we developed the Touchstorm Video Index™ (TVi™) Score chart. This rating balances the metrics that matter (Views, Subscribers, Conversion, Positive Passion, View Density, New Content Activity, etc.) to produce one number to represent the healthiest and best performing YouTube channels.TVi Score measures a YouTube channel’s health in two major areas: 1) how well it manages its channel according to best practices, and 2) the quality of its content strategy. 

In Women's Designer Fashion, the YouTube channel with the highest TVi Score is—guess who—Chriselle Lim. She comes in ahead of Vogue, Chanel and Dior. Chriselle’s TVi score isn’t too surprising given her ranking in views (#4), subscribers (#1) and conversion (#4). The TVi score affirms what we already know about her channel: she’s producing engaging content and using it to generate a following.

So what is it that makes Chriselle’s channel so successful?

Transparency and execution

Chriselle is open, warm and real, and she speaks directly into the camera. Her followers feel welcomed into her life. She recently announced her pregnancy and shared the very emotional story of a previous miscarriage. This transparency builds trust and makes her content inviting, addictive and sometimes truly moving.

Her personality and transparency goes a long way, but Chriselle also perfectly executes the fundamentals of channel management. Her videos are well branded, with great thumbnails. Her topics are relevant and effectively titled. And the content is top-notch—beautifully produced videos with great tips and insights that feature Chriselle well and fit in consistently with her exposure on other platforms.

Fashion is only getting bigger on YouTube. And Chriselle is doing it better than anyone else right now. We’d all do well to learn from her.

Lessons from the Beauty Gurus

If you’d like to read more, check out a landmark study we did a few years ago about emerging YouTube fashion personalities.

Topics: YouTube Channel

YouTube for Business: Make EPIC

Welcome to Session 5 (Part 2) of the YouTube for Business Series.


Last session was all about content. Specifically, the three questions to answer before you make your content. This session is all about the three kinds of content you can make. Only three? Yes. Just three.

The answer to the question "what are the three kinds of content should I make" is:


This is an acronym for Entertaining, Persuasive and Informational Content.

Remember back to Communications 101 class in college? There are only three ways to communicate. You can entertain. You can persuade. And you can inform. It was that way in Comm 101. It is the same way for YouTube.

Your EPIC Mix

So, what should the mix of entertaining, persuasive and informative content be for your YouTube Channel? Your brand will be your guide here. When you look at the best channels, you see that they tend to focus primarily in one of these three directions with their videos. 

  • It might make sense for your brand simply to entertain the way that Blendtec has done so well and so consistently over the years.
  • It could be that your brand is a persuasive brand and needs to drive immediate action – online retailers do well with this kind of content.
  • Or perhaps your category is complex or your product is new or technical. In that case, your content could skew towards informational content which educates your audience.

Over time, you will want and need a mix of content types. But your brand will most likely lend itself to one kind or another more heavily. Let the brand and your audience be your guide here.

Hero, Hub & Hygiene

YouTube tells creators to focus on Hero, Hub and Hygiene content. These are three different kinds of objectives for your content.

  • You need content that builds awareness for your site – that gets attention. This is Hero.
  • You need content that people plan on coming back for weekly – regularly scheduled programming. This is Hub.
  • You need content that people can discover through search – that answers their pressing questions. This is Hygiene.

This framework from YouTube is a great way to think specifically about your YouTube Channel. A robust content strategy will consider all of your content, channels and distribution – not just YouTube. But this framework from YouTube is very helpful.


This 3H model and EPIC are two sides of the same coin. Taken together they give you a robust way to think about content creation for your YouTube Channel.

First, use EPIC to determine the mix of content types for your brand. What percent of entertainment, persuasion and information should you use? And this is broader than just your YouTube Channel. This is about what is right for the brand across all of your media – paid, earned and owned. Not just YouTube, which is an owned channel.

Next, for your YouTube Channel specifically, determine what kind of Hero, Hub and Hygiene content you need. Determine the cadence for this content – how often do you plan on producing it? And build your team – both in-house and external – to help you deliver the content.

Armed with your objectives and strategy. You are ready to make great content.

And now on to our next session – marketing the content right!



Photo Credit: Flickr

Topics: YouTube for Business

YouTube for Business: Are You Making the Right Content for Your Brand?

Welcome to Session 5 of the YouTube for Business Series.


This session is all about content. Making the right content, specifically. It's the reason people come to your channel or discover your video. And you cannot build an audience or a business on YouTube without it.

The first question I'm always asked is, "what kind of videos should I make?" Actually, this is usually the second question. The first is typically, "can you make us a viral video?" To which I respond, "no, because you don't need a viral video." That's when they ask what kind of videos they should make.

So, what kind of videos should you make? That depends on three things:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What is your brand's emotional core?
  3. What is your content's purpose?

To answer these questions, you have to know your audience, your brand and your strategy. Let's look at each one of these in a little more detail.

Know Your Audience

Who you are trying to reach is the most fundamental of marketing questions. But it is surprising how general the answers are. Or how little we really know about our audience. If you are a big brand, then you probably have the resources to fund research and the agencies to do media planning. And both of these are great assets for determining who your audience is and what kinds of content they currently watch.

A brand's media plan serves as a roadmap for an audience's content preferences. So, use it this way. Look at the media plan not only as the guide for where to advertise, but also as a guide for the kinds of content you should be in the business of making. Your media plan is a great guide for content development.

Know Your Brand

At the heart of your brand is an emotional core. A tone of voice. A feeling you are trying to evoke. You know what this is, so make content that captures it. Don't make boring videos if you are an energy drink. And don't make extreme sports videos if you are a camomile tea brand. And don't make videos about yourself. Make videos your audience will love and watch over and over and share with their friends.

Red Bull is the king of this kind of branded content. They don't make videos on how to create the perfect Red Bull and Vodka recipe. They produce some of the best extreme sports content going. They are the brand that "gives you wings" and they bring you people with wings—literally. People jumping out of spaceships, off of cliffs, over ravines, flipping, spinning. It is content that captures the emotional core of the brand perfectly.

Know Your Purpose

Why are you making this content? Good content is there on purpose. It has a purpose. What is the purpose of this content you are making? There are really only three reasons (and ways) to communicate—to entertain, to persuade and to inform—remember that from Comm 101 class? It is still true.

We know that the ultimate end goal is to build an audience of our own, but why are you building this audience? What is your purpose? Are you trying to inform them? Entertain them? A little of both? That's probably best. You need to engage them at that emotional core of the brand. But you also need to answer questions and solve their problems. So, don't just plan on one content purpose.


Now that you have these answers, you are ready to Make EPIC. What's that? It is Entertaining, Persuasive and Informative Content. We'll look at this in the next installment of our series.

Topics: YouTube for Business

YouTube for Business: The 4-Part Strategy to Build Your Channel

Welcome to Session 4 of the YouTube for Business Series.


The four-part strategy for your growing your YouTube channel and audience (and views and subscribers...)

In Part 1, we said that YT is for Business. We looked at the 5 levels of business on YouTube. And we looked at companies who were doing business on YouTube at all 5 levels.

In Part 2, we said you need to think like a Creator. We looked at the DNA of a YouTube Creator and how this translates for a brand.

In Part 3, it is time to learn how to act like a Creator. Producing a channel is all about action. Not saying the word “action,” but being active on the channel. Posting content, engaging audience, promoting the channel. It is a commitment of time and energy to launch and grow an audience. We’ve seen that it’s worth it. Now, let’s learn how to do it.

Building a great channel requires a 4-Part Strategy. We call it the 4M Strategy because (conveniently) each action starts with the letter ‘M.’

We’ll overview the strategy in this section and then go over it in depth during the next 4 sections. Here it is:


The 4M YouTube Strategy

Step One: Make the Right Content

Step Two: Market the Content Right

Step Three: Measure the Right Channel Data

Step Four: Manage the Channel Right

You’ll notice that two of the strategies are focused on the Content, and two are focused on the Channel. This 50/50 split is not an accident. It is intentional. And it is critical. And many producers get this part wrong.


Why do so many producers get this wrong?

Because they like one part of the process better than the other. Some producers love making content. But if you only focus on Content, then you will not have viewers.

Other producers love measuring the channel. Seeing the results. But if you only focus on Channel, then you will not have viewers.

And hopefully, you learned in Parts 1 & 2 why viewers are important. Or rather, what they lead to is important. Viewers turn into Subscribers. Subscribers turn into Audience. And when you have an audience…well, then you have a business on YouTube. And that’s our goal here. 


Elements of the 4M Strategy

Make. Market. Measure. Manage. Sounds easy, right? Okay, so it’s not rocket science. We’ll walk you through the basics in the next four sessions. But the most important part. And the one that will be the hardest is this. Don’t skip steps. Don’t think that you’ll be okay and don’t need to mess with every little detail. Because you do. So, do it. All of it.

Here’s the four elements of a good YouTube strategy:


Making the right content is all about knowing what your audience wants.

Do you know what kind of content your audience is looking for? This is step one. Know thy audience & what they wanteth. They will want your solutions to their problems. So solve them. They will want to be entertained. So do it. They will want your expertise. So share it.

The reason you started the channel in the first place—assuming you started it with them (your audience) in mind—is the reason they are coming. So, keep giving it to them. And ask them how you are doing. More on this in Part 5 of the series next week. 


Marketing the content right is all about making the content discoverable.

Just making the content isn’t enough. You have to make it available. That means putting it everywhere. And you have to make it discoverable. So, make sure the SEO is good. Titles, tags, descriptions. All that SEO stuff comes in here. And make sure it is syndicate-able too. That means finding partners to share the love.

You can’t just post and pray. You need to post and then promote. Like a shameless circus promoter. Yeah, you read right. And we’ll make a promoter out of you in Part 6.


Measuring the right channel data is all about the metrics that matter.

There’s a mantra that says “you get what you measure.” And this is true. If you are measuring something, then you are more likely to fixate on that number. And you are more likely to figure out what makes it move.

Just make sure you are fixating on the right things. On YouTube’s insights, this is primarily Watch Time. Not views. Not subscribers. Watch Time. That’s because it’s what ensures that your videos are of a quality according to YouTube’s point of view. And if they think you are good, then more people will find you. Because YouTube will promote you.

We think there are 7 metrics that matter. And we’ll get into that in Part 7 of this series.


Managing the channel right is all about good habits and best practices.

You want to make sure the channel is branded well, the thumbnails are good, your channel trailer is set, your annotations and calls to actions are in place. And…

What are all of these? Well, these are just some of the best practices for managing your YouTube channel. They are based on the current YouTube Creator Playbook, the YouTube Certification training (Touchstorm is YTC), and our own years of experience about what works and doesn’t on YouTube.

We’ll cover these best practices in Part 8.


And just to recap...

A good YouTube strategy covers all four areas.

  1. Make the right content.
  2. Market the content right.
  3. Measure the right channel data.
  4. Manage the channel right.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don't miss any of this series. And be sure to check out the first three posts if you haven't read them yet.

Topics: YouTube for Business

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

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

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