If you've been following along with Ryan's progress, you know that he's been working on a site in the baseball training niche. From our early conversations, we discussed how creating videos and publishing them on YouTube could be an excellent opportunity for Ryan to grow his audience and drive traffic to his website.
Since teaching people how to do different drills or simple things like throw a baseball with proper form are very visual, video is a natural medium to use for demonstrating these techniques.
In today's coaching call, I review a really clever and effective YouTube marketing strategy that I first heard about from the guys behind ILoveBasketballTV on the Digital Marketer blog.
After you've watched our video, click here to read their blog post.
In a lot of ways, this strategy is very similar to the long tail keyword strategy we regularly talk about in the keyword research phase of site building. Basically, you focus your efforts on more specific search queries in the hopes of ranking for those less competitive searches and building an audience.
The “I love basketball” guys call this a “bracelet and charm” strategy, which as you'll see in the video is just a way to visualize how your primary keyword/category connects to all the more narrow, long tail searches inside of that category.
So for Ryan, we talk about a possible “bracelet” of “Baseball Workouts” and then find a “charm” to attach to that bracelet in the keyword “Baseball Workouts For Catchers.”
If this is making no sense, just skip down to the video and I'll show you exactly what I mean. I implemented this strategy for Long Tail Pro last year, when at the time we had no YouTube channel at all, and it worked pretty well as a free lead generation tool.
Other Call Highlights
We had a lot of fun on this call, as you'll soon hear. After I hung up with Ryan it was about 12:30 AM here in Ohio and I told my wife, “That Ryan guy works like crazy!”
As you may recall from his application video, Ryan works at a print shop and things there have been busier than normal – which means extra hours for Ryan. In addition, he picks up hours when he can for a delivery service to earn a little extra money by night. Besides those things, he still makes time for his most important job – being husband and dad.
Oh yeah, and then there is this niche site thing…
I've got a lot of respect for Ryan and the work he puts in to make a better life for his family.
That said, here are a few other important points from the call:
1. Video is harder to duplicate.
Unfortunately, in past public niche site projects people have done shady things to sabotage the site like sending bad links or even copying the content and creating a site of their own using the stolen content. In this call Ryan hints that he might go all Buzz Aldrin on anybody who tries to rip off his hard work once we make the domain public.
We had a good laugh about it, but blatantly unethical tactics really do grind my gears…
That said, building a legit following on YouTube is much harder to copy. Even if somebody did things the right way and hired a writer to create a baseball site to compete with Ryan's, unless they really know the game of baseball they'll have a hard time doing instructional videos on how to play the game like Ryan can do.
There is just a lot more involved in creating that video than researching and writing a blog post. Ryan feels comfortable in front of the camera and he knows his stuff, which is an asset that he should take advantage of to develop a loyal following and get traffic to his site.
2. Easy to repurpose.
In our call about content strategy, we discussed various content types like “Embed & React” and “The YouTube Cut-up” where you can make a YouTube video the basis of a blog post and then add your own ideas/thoughts to turn it into a post that your audience can benefit from.
Obviously, you can do these things using other people's videos. However, it's even better when you are using your own videos and turning them into blog posts. You can take screenshots of yourself demonstrating the technique, and you have the advantage of really knowing the content inside and out – so you can turn it into a blog post.
Near the end of the call, I also mention that Ryan can flip that around and take blog posts he's written and then shoot a quick video on the same topic. You've already done the research, so why not take that same lesson and share it with a different audience on YouTube and increase your footprint online?
3. Focus on one thing.
For the “charm” videos, it's important to really keep things tightly focused on your topic. If we're talking about workouts for catchers, don't get off track and start talking about outfielders too – stick to catchers.
The cool thing is, by focusing on these long tail searches, you know exactly what the person wants to learn.
I told Ryan to focus on just one tip/trick per video, and try to keep things to about 2 – 3 minutes in total. Since YouTube monitors the stick rate, meaning how much of your video people watch on average, doing helpful videos that answer the exact question the person has will result in many people watching the majority of your video – which is a good thing.
When you don't do this, and wander off topic, like discussing outfielders on a video where you've clearly targeted catchers, people will simply move onto the next video because you are no longer relevant to them.
YouTube can then see that people are only watching 20% of your video and then leaving – which is kind of like the “bounce rate” for Google results where someone goes to your site and immediately leaves – in both cases this can hurt you in the search rankings.
4. Verbal call to action
One thing that really stuck with me about the ILoveBasketballTV guys was that they always end their videos with a verbal call to action.
What do you want the viewer to do?
Subscribe, like, or comment? Maybe you've got a lead magnet that will help them learn even more about the topic you just discussed… Either way, if you just end your video without telling people to do something – you're going to miss out on opportunities to grow your subscriber base, engage your audience, etc.
Many people get blind to ads in the corner of your video, and they may never read the description and click on your link. However, if they've watched the entire video they clearly are interested in what you're saying. So since you've got their attention already, take the opportunity to tell them what they should do next.
We talk about these things and so much more in our 7th coaching call, but before we get there – I want to let Ryan share his thoughts on how this process is going and the progress he's making:
An Update From Ryan
Hello from Team Underdog!
That’s how I’m representing myself anyway – because a lot of the time that’s exactly how I feel. I’m working two jobs and have a family… and building a Niche Site.
I know, I know. Boo Hoo, right? Woe is me.
This is just the reality of trying to create a side (or hopefully not side) stream of income online. It’s not easy. It’s a lot of work. And it’s no different from the reality that Jake faces every day, or that Spencer faced 10 years ago when he started on his journey. There are a million reasons to quit, give up, and not go for it. And only one reason not to.
And that’s why I’m here, plugging away… and I may even be starting to see some results. Maybe.
So enough with the motivational nonsense, it’s time to get down to business.
The other day I got 48 views on my site! It was a small victory and a nice boost of positive energy to keep me going. I’m not getting those numbers consistently yet, but it’s still a good sign.
Where did those views come from?
I’d love to tell you that they were all from organic traffic, but only a handful were.
The others came from Facebook. The strange thing is that I haven’t even promoted my Facebook page yet. In fact, I don’t even have any content on it yet. So, it’s strange that I would see any traffic from it, but maybe Facebook gives you a little boost when you first start a page or something? Do they put it in front of more eyeballs on your first day? I have no clue, but it was nice.
In general, I feel good about where the site is right now. It still needs more content, but as I start to do outreach and link building, I feel good about what I’m sharing and putting out there. I’m just getting antsy about seeing some revenue start to trickle in. I need more backlinks, and so far I’m striking out (pun not intended, but perhaps intended). Once they start to hit (pun totally intended), I’m sure the site will start to generate some income.
So that brings us to this call regarding Youtube. If you’re just reading this and not listening to the call, I’d suggest you check it out. Jake drops some real knowledge bombs, and it’s info that I’m not sure a lot of people in the Niche space are talking about.
I’m really looking forward to getting some video content out there, but it’s probably going to be a month or two before that starts to happen. First I need some backlinks and more content. Always more content.
Hope everyone else is seeing success in their sites, I know that many of you who are following along are starting to see results, so that is very encouraging! Until next time…
Watch the Coaching Call
You can watch the full video of the coaching call below, or if you prefer to listen to the audio only, you can download it here.