Hi to all,
We'll start with this excellent post by "video guy" Paul B...
I found the story of your son's "standalone" experience interesting, Paul. Too bad he stopped a couple of years ago. He was likely not far away from an inflection point and taking off.
The classic curve is one that grows slowly to a decent number (like your son's 7500) and then, suddenly (assuming the vids are excellent), many accounts take off.
But yes, this is an example of what I refer to as "standalone" (as opposed to doing vids that supplement the content on websites, which is more do-able and should yield a strong boost to many sites).
And another "yes" - we're thinking about doing an AG for YouTube. This one would be different from the social media AG's that we are working on (taking quite a bit of the Content Team's time lately).
That's because becoming a standalone YouTuber follows the C T P M approach of the SBI! AG. You proceed similarly, DAY by DAY, with us merely pointing out what has to be applied differently. Actually, one big discovery of my research so far...
Folks fail at YT for exactly the same reason as bloggers/web site creators do. Info-overload. Their questions or statements (both in some "pro" articles in the user comments) are often so off-base, indicating no clear process, no inherent understanding of the framework within which you work to create a successful business.
Or they may focus on the leaves of the forest. Not only do they not look up to see the trees, they don't even see the forest. For example, some spend too much time lining up a perfect set of equipment, researching endlessly. Others choose really poor topics. Many can work for years with no results (and with the personality of a wet rag).
Clearly, "standalone" attempts have a super-high fail rate. It's not as easy to measure since there's no way to know how many try. Heck, it's tricky to define "try."
You have to nail the big things down, like SBIers do in DAYS 2 to 5 of SBI!, before you get into the how-to and what-to-use nitty-gritty. Those DAYs are the same, with some differences (ex., the tools change, the core funnel principles are the same-but-different, etc.)
So yes, this is a major problem for beginners, as Paul noted...
There are a lot of folks who will provide you with lots of tips and tricks to raise your profile but gee you have to trawl through a lot to find accurate material - and you have to know enough about how things have changed in YT to know which videos are no longer accurate.
"Luckily," that's what we do well...
Pull it all together, in order, step-by-step, leaving out bad or outdated info, updating only as needed (i.e, adjusting for what makes a significant difference and not chasing the tons of "tips" that, if they are any good at all, are really too small to matter much).
Paul also gives some good examples of SBIers using YT to good effect already. We need more of their voices here.
An example, and a core issue, is who do you address if you want to embed the video (which is what most SBIers do now)? Also, can we adapt a video to ALSO address what non-web-site visitors seek? If so, how do we make such a "hybrid" vid?
Is it necessary to re-cut the rough video for that second type of viewer? Nori, for example...
Most of her vids' impressions come from being embedded on her site. But that water park video exploded out of nowhere because it nailed "standalone" elements, too. How much of a "one-of" is that, though?
To get some idea of how different the videos are, take a look at...
Nori's YouTube info-videos for embedding in [Domain Private]
Experimenting with a "Nori and Yuki" account (standalone)...https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4HUYI ... Rnv4PaA6aQ
Dramatic difference. If embedded, it's more of an info-supplement, less of an exciting piece of entertainment.
To answer your question re "bump" in traffic, Paul, I was speaking about the right column. That's when Nori's viral vid (800K and growing) took off. It has little search presence, but gets a lot of exposure in that right hand column after viewers go to major accounts in the "water play" category.
Both of course, can help, though. And there are strategies for beginners to help you get found by search or discovery (i.e., right column).
Just to be clear, I'm speaking of "traffic" within YouTube here. Those who embed would, of course, use cards to direct visitors to whatever their MWR may be. "Standalone," though, would send folks to related videos of theirs or to their "merch."
Thanks for the excellent article on how to think about metrics, Paul...https://www.distilled.net/blog/metrics- ... marketing/
Again, I suspect the key point is understanding what "standalone" viewers seek, as opposed to "info-vid" viewers (who are usually on the website), as well as where they are in the funnel. Once you have that, your "steering" changes accordingly, at many different spots (from description to closing card).
And yes, I agree with this...
It's really important to highlight that just hosting a few videos on YT (whether or not they rank well in the Google SERP) is certainly not enough to drive meaningful traffic to your site. Even having a lot of videos on there and a pretty consistent production schedule isn't necessarily enough to drive significant traffic to the site, compared to the work required to create the content. You need a consistent structured plan.
If you are embedding supplementary information, you can do that on your page-building schedule - those vids are part of THAT process. You're not trying to build subscribers and views, not as a primary objective.
If you ARE creating a standalone account, it's all about "time viewed," which means that creating vids daily is a best-practice starting strategy (in terms of frequency). Major accounts often start slowly, unsure and testing, not really committing. Once they see the potential and some growth, they accelerate to a daily schedule for a year or 3, and then, once established, they can drop down to, say, weekly (or less often).
They focus more of their time on the business opportunities, knowing that their large and faithful following will not drop off if they let frequency slow. If anything, many will continue to grow on its own for quite a while.
I don't agree with all your "YouTube characteristics," Paul, but we can explore those at a later date. A quick example...
The embed on your page is an iframe and is not adding significant organic juice to your page.
I assume you mean Google search results by "organic juice?" If so...
Video presence is going to be a growing part of the ranking algo. That said, remember, it's always just one out of hundreds of factors. But if an embedded video substantially helps a visitor to a hotel review page really GET that hotel, compared to just text and imagery, it's a better page. And Google ranks better -> higher.
And, in this case, it's not hard for Google to tell since it owns YouTube, which knows everything there is to know about how well the embedded video performs.
And that brings us to one of THE most important considerations that an SBIer should weigh before adding YouTube...
If you CAN see the extra added value of a vid (especially vs. competitors such as TripAdvisor for example), a well-done video is going to help your organic search.
While Google might have a tough time re how much an engaged FB presence means (since its knowledge is incomplete), it has access to all the data it needs when it comes to YT-embedded video. So, using the classic "Google test" that has never let me down...
"IF I was Google, what would I do?"
I'd improve the algo to take into account how much video content is pleasing visitors who have searched on a given keyword.
On another point, I'm not clear on how visitors are "lost" from the site to YT. Clicks generally open new windows (ex., expanding to full screen - when reduced back down, the visitor is still on the page). Even clicking on the "YouTube" logo opens a new page with that video. When it's closed, the visitor is back on the site.
But we're getting lost in the leaves instead of sticking to the forest for now.
The biggest point in my mind that has been evolving, and it's reinforced by your comments, is that the "info" vid is really different from "standalone." The entertainment of the latter may trigger a desire for more info about the video, but we're talking about two different beasts, whose visitors (and the creators) have different hungers.
For example, there's not a great deal of value in monetizing info-videos with ads. You won't grow your account into a major (million-view videos) account. The goals of "what's next" are different.
I haven't seen this "info vs fun" dichotomy discussed among the YTers at all, probably because they are all standalone YTers who assume that their viewers want to be the same. But "INFO-SUPPLEMENT" (of web pages) can be a strong second purpose of getting into YouTube.
And THAT is a mindset that most folks HERE already understand. Porting the "how to" and the "to do" is considerably easier for SBIers.
That said, we WILL borrow from the "standalone." I'm now much more conscious of imbuing your info-vids with a strong personality, for example. Don't treat it like a documentary.
Your own particular monetization model, Paul, selling video services to clients, is a very particular one. Strategies and choices such as vimeo or wistia may only apply to this circular "using video to sell video services."
If anything your experience with your son is a better example of the "standalone" YTer. Still, you have a really good understanding of the dynamics. For example...
Everyone I have spoken to and worked with (as I covered earlier) has no or little traffic to the site from YT.
And yes, for info-vids, that's not the point.
The real point is to improve search results by OVERdelivering info by using a medium that does a better job than works and images alone. If you OVERdeliver great info to your visitor, that ultimately ends in improved search results.
It's the core axiom that SBI! has always been built upon.
Way back when, I was originally successful with black hat tricks before I wrote MYSS!. But they never lasted. And, as I've written before, SEO gurus only wrote about some great tricks when they started to fail - they saved them for themselves until the engines started to catch on.
So, when I wrote MYSS!, I could have included next-generation tricks that worked. But that would put me and our readers on the treadmill of staying ahead (i.e., fooling the engines with more and more sophisticated tricks).
But that becomes a treadmill that would be going faster and faster, more and more uphill. The ONLY "trick" that has always worked is this...OVERdeliver superb content to targeted visitors. THAT'S WHAT GOOGLE WANTS.
And that's why Google rewards it, and it will only get better and better at doing so.
That's why info-vids are not about generating traffic from YouTube. Still...
We may be able to figure out a "hybrid" that can develop some EXTRA traffic from YouTube search. But the big payoff of creating info-vids will actually come from Google and delighted visitors to your site.
This thread is becoming a useful preliminary conversation. Each TYPE of vid has a particular purpose. Is it possible to create a hybrid?
Should most SBIers focus on info-vids (assuming a niche for which video really helps)...
Is there "standalone" potential for a different edit, which puts pressure on filming extra material? There'll be some overlap, but substantial differences, too.
A topic to be figured out, the answer is going to depend on individual circumstances. More understanding needed to figure this out.
Thanks very much, Paul for some excellent commentary. And to those who have added to this thread...
Many of the answers indicate that we can improve how folks think about YT and the info-video, how it fits with the existing text and imagery, etc.
I didn't have a chance to dissect various YT accounts, don't have the source of exposure data, etc - so I can't see why YT is not delivering much traffic to Paul's site.
But if Paul is looking for YT clients to hire him for videos, his visitors may already be in the right spot (i.e., is there a need to send them to the site)?
I wrote the above just before I read Cath's reply right after Paul's, which comes to a similar conclusion for herself...
I have links from my descriptions to the relevant page on my site. But when I think about it, the YT people don't need to click over to my site because I've included everything they need to know on the videos in YT. Whereas of course with FB and Pinterest, there's an image and brief description but then people have to click over if they want to know more.
B-B-B-Bingo. That's what I meant with Paul, too. Paul's viewers not only know what they need to know, they can see the quality of vid that Paul delivers. In both of these cases, the site becomes redundant.So it's really important to understand how vids fit into each site and its particular circumstances...
Having a solid plan with goals will not only bring some gains, it will avoid disappointment of not reaching goals that should not exist (i.e., info-vids will be seen mostly on your site, not so much YT-generated).
It's your videos that can make the sale or MWR directly. OR, if info-vids stick to the subject of the page, that shouldn't happen for most niches. They are supplements whose function is site-centered, not YT-centered.
For most, therefore, I suspect that vids about Panama or Anguilla will "tease" with good vibes and a few stimulating basic facts. They'd WANT more info IF it created interest.
So, as mentioned above, fully understand all the interesting dynamics and motivations of visitors, the nature of the video and the SBIer's monetization model is going to impact pretty much every aspect of what you create, from concept to "next-stop steering."
--A quick note about the categories on the Feedly page of successful TY accounts that I've set up for you to study
Janice said her dog vids were "silly (or cute) which doesn't fit into any of Ken's categories."
Janice, I'd include those in the "TY ENTERTAINMENT" category. If they got too silly (although I can't imagine pets going too far!
), I put them into "Nonsense."
But please note that these merely reflect my own editorial judgment. "Nonsense" would be "entertainment" for their target market (um, "idiot teens"). So I'm just being cruel by denigrating the particularly, um, silly (to be kind).
On a serious note, it was really tough deciding on where some of these belong. And I'm sure that I was brain-dead enough at times, that some belong in another category. And some of the larger categories could be divided into sub-categories.
I wanted to keep this as simple as possible. The range of videos covers a wide gamut of types of STANDALONE videos from "real" YouTubers. Here's what is important...
Even in vids that are in niches much different from yours, there are techniques that can be borrowed to improve your info-vids, which alone is something that is important and previously unexplored.
Or they can stimulate a great idea.
Finally, they can be powerful extensions that demonstrate WHO you are and that reinforce your voice, augmenting your connection with your visitors, in YOUR own way.
And a final note...As Holly points out, not every niche will work well.
It's pretty hard to make a migraine sufferer look exciting while s/he lies down in a darkened room.
There may be particular topics that can impart info better through video. What to do?
First, search for migraine on YouTube - anyone doing anything clever with this? Also, check out your best known competitors' sites Are they using video for any subjects?
If you find nothing after a sweep like that, and you can't out-of-the-box-figure out how to do it, then let it be. You can at least know that competitors don't have this as a tactic to gain an edge.
Sheesh, I've got to read everything, it seems, before commenting. Because Elyssa later suggests that same YouTube search...https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1394990#p1394990
Be careful, though. If you are looking at standalone YouTubers, what they cover may ore may not work well on your website as an info-vid. Still, it's a great place to start!
Good one, Elyssa!
Quick answer to Teesta re football (aka "soccer" in America ⚽️)...
If you want to use YouTube to demonstrate various plays, for example, you can clip snippets from actual pro games and "glue them together," adding your own commentary.
I'll use basketball as an example (sine I know that 🏀 ). If I wanted to demo the "pick and roll," I'd find vids that show all the major variations, download short clips of various pro games where it's really well demo'd. I'd eliminate the audio and add my own commentary.
This, I believe, is "fair use," since you don't depend on any one video, you create a new work by combing through many videos to demonstrate the different ways this can play out, and by adding your own audio commentary.
We'll get into YouTube's definition of "fair use" later...https://www.youtube.com/intl/en-GB/yt/a ... /fair-use/
The important thing to understand is that this would be an "info-vid," an excellent and unique way to impart info that mere words and pix cannot achieve. Bottom line...
You may or may not get found for this at YouTube, depending on what you cover and how, because "how-to" vids are by nature, informational. But...
You definitely DO improve your page!
OK, I love reading all the replies. Patterns are forming, and it helps push my thinking on this. I believe we can help many SBIers improve their sites by building info-vids that INFORM, better than you could do with just words and images.
Whether you can also develop your own traffic through YT is an interesting 2nd topic. Originally, I thought this would be a red herring that we'd probably discuss and omit as irrelevant.
I don't think that's so true anymore. It's a much bigger learning curve, harder to teach in a success-reproducing way, but worth considering for some.
Onwards and upwards!! Please keep those thoughts coming - thanks a million!
All the best,
P.S. I'll be on to other matters for SBI! this week. I've let a few projects pile up (this YouTube topic is huge and fascinating), slowing down Content, Marketing and Dev (triple whammy) for an important blog post, and significant improvement to Brainstorm It! (exciting advance).
I have to careful with my health, too - I lost Thursday and Friday to a relapse of pain and 100db tinnitus, something that is just going to happen from time to time, it seems.
Meanwhile, there's not a lot that is "new" AND "important" in "Noise Land" that matters to growing your business. It's "stay the course" and expect to grow even more. That said...
We are tracking a couple of bigger issues, one of which we will be bringing into SBI!, keeping it nice and easy for you. More on that later.
But this period of relative calm is great. It lets us really dig into a major topic like YouTube at a time when the use and consumption of video is at a significant inflection point.
And it's fascinating. I can easily start this in the morning and then, suddenly, it's 8PM. Where'd the day go. I'm loving this and expect good stuff to come out of this for you. Heck...
We've covered more ground that I expected to by now. My plan was to learn-learn-learn and then put it all together. Instead, several posts have imparted "where I am" information, introduced new concepts, and received some valuable feedback and information from you.
And THAT, dear SBIer, is not only more effective It's fun.
Thanks again! Much appreciated!!