Episode 112

Lessons from 100 Million Organic YouTube Views with Liz Germain of VidFluence

Liz Germain - vidfluence
March 31, 2020
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Liz Germain is a YouTube Marketing legend.  We met when I was speaking at an event for eCommerce brands at the YouTube LA Offices.  Between her own fitness channel and her client’s channels, she’s helped rack up over 100 million organic video views on YouTube.  Wow! In this interview, we deep dive into how she does it. From the content, she creates to the research that inspires it. We also discuss where you should start and how to take your YouTube channel to the next level. 

Here’s what we cover

  • Liz’s killer YouTube Influencer structure that leverages evergreen content for years of leads 
  • How Liz created a video and blog post for a natural birth control method that is still generating leads and sales 4 years after it was created.  Compare that to an Instagram story that has a shelf life of just 24 hours.  
  • The 3 types of YouTube content and where you should start
  • The fundamentals of building a great YouTube Channel
  • Plus more

Liz Germain - CEO & Founder at Vidfluence

Via Facebook

Via Instagram

Via YouTube


Super Sister Fitness YouTube Channel

Vidfluence - YouTube Marketing Made Easy!

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Ready to Grow & Monetize YouTube? - Vidfluence

YouTube Marketing Mastery - Facebook Group by Liz Germain

YouTube Growth Course - Vidfluence

Mentioned in this episode:

T Harv Eker YouTube Channel

Business Lunch with Roland Frasier Podcast

Business Lunch with Roland Frasier Podcast - Episode 138 - How to Develop, Market, and Go Global with You Game-Changing Product, Josh Snow

Side Effects of Birth Control | Every Woman Needs to Watch This!” - Super Sister Fitness YouTube Video

Natural Cycles App

How To Do The Splits FAST - In 3 Easy Steps!” - Super Sister Fitness YouTube Video

Google Trends

YouTube Growth Course - Vidfluence

TubeBuddy - #1 Rated YouTube Channel Management and Optimization Toolkit

vidIQ - How to Get More View and Subscribers on YouTube

Keywords Everywhere

Ready to Grow & Monetize YouTube? - Vidfluence

YouTube Marketing Mastery - Facebook Group by Liz Germain


Episode Transcript

Brett:

Well hello and welcome to another edition of the eCommerce Evolution podcast. I'm your host, Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce, and I am just absolutely pumped about today's content. We're talking about a topic that will seem like it would be super familiar for me, but it's actually not. We're talking about YouTube marketing, but YouTube on the organic side, I do almost all YouTube ads and so this is new to me and it's going to be a ton of fun.

Brett:

Hey, Brett Curry here. Before we dive into today's topic, I want to talk quickly about YouTube ads. People ask me all the time, what makes for a great YouTube ad? It is true, the ad is the hardest part for getting YouTube to work. Now, I love the campaign structure. I love audience targeting and I love tinkering with bids and using the smart bid algorithm and I even like budget management. I like all that behind the scenes stuff. But I've seen it time and time again where the exact same campaign structure just limps along with a mediocre video, but you get the right video with the right message that resonates with people, and that same campaign structure just takes off, it scales.

Brett:

So over the last couple of years, my team and I, we've been collecting good YouTube ads. We've been watching, we've been paying attention, looking at our own clients, looking at the numbers, finding what are ads that resonate and work on YouTube. So we started building this little guide, this little guide that we use internally and we started categorizing ads and giving them fun names like the manifesto and the UGC mashup and the have it all. So we started kind of breaking down what elements in these videos make them work. So I was speaking at a recent event and I just happened to mention that this resource existed and people sort of clamored for it.

Brett:

Everyone's like, "Hey, I want to see the guy. I want to see that resource. I want to see all these successful ads," and so that's what we've done. So we put together this resource kind of first time ever, going to share it with a broader audience. It's free. So check it out and get our list of winning YouTube ad formulas with lots of examples. Let this be your inspiration for your next killer YouTube ad. So this is a free resource. We'll link to it in the show notes to this show, but you can also go to omgcommerce.com. Click on resources and then guides and it's the YouTube ad templates and guide. Check it out and I hope it inspires your next killer YouTube ad campaign. And now back to the show.

Brett:

My guest today is Miss Liz Germain. Liz is a YouTube marketing expert. She's a rock star at this stuff. She's the founder of Vidfluence and her own YouTube channel along with her clients have racked up over 100 million organic views, that's just straight gangster. So with that Liz, welcome to the show and thanks for taking the time.

Liz:

Yeah, thanks so much for having me. I'm super excited to talk about this and share some of the organic and SEO strategies that we have seen working for us and our clients.

Brett:

Yeah. So a quick story about how we met. So OMG, we did an event at the YouTube LA office, Google YouTube offices in LA. This was before all events were shut down and/or postponed. So during one of the Q and A sessions Liz stood up in the back and asked a really smart question. Sometimes someone goes in the microphone and ask a question, you think yeah, I don't think you thought that through before you voiced that question, but your question was like super intelligent. Then you said something about organic video views, and I was like, I don't know that. This was a really smart person.

Brett:

So anyway, we connected afterwards, found out she's a rock star with organic YouTube, and so here we are and I think will be kind of fun or maybe fun's not the right word, interesting, given the current state of things and I know with this being a podcast, you guys may be listening to this and the world is back to normal, but as at the time of recording, the world is not very normal. We're all in quarantine or lockdown or at home or whatever. So Liz, what have you seen in terms of viewership and how that's shifted and changed here in the last few weeks?

Liz:

Yeah, so it's interesting times for sure and obviously as everyone's in quarantine, I started to get really curious with people being laid off and people being at home and people looking for online information, not just for your physical health and safety, but also for mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, getting updates and news and being able to work out from home, being able to start generating income from home.

Liz:

So I started getting really curious, how is this affecting YouTube viewership? I went in and I looked at my channel when this first started hitting, like when it first started breaching in the USA and we were up 43% in viewership that week, that very first week before the quarantine was enforced. Then the following week, the channel went up to 153% on my own personal channel, which is a health and fitness channel for women, and I just checked it last night and we were at 248% increase.

Liz:

So they're continuing to climb and obviously as people are more and more locked up in quarantine, a health and fitness channel makes sense because people need home workouts, they are trying to stay healthy while they're in quarantine. And also I got curious, how is this affecting my other clients and are their views also going up? I went and looked a physical therapy client who does a lot of mobility trainings and stuff online who had just started her YouTube channel. In the past week she's now at 8.1000 more views than usual, which was awesome. She also gained 1.4000 subscribers in the last week.

Liz:

One of our clients who is a business and finance expert, Harv Eker, he's at 19.6000 more views than usual, which is insane. That's a really, really, really awesome. A self-publishing channel is up almost 2,000 more views than usual. Then a gaming addiction and mental health channel is also up 2.4000 more views than usual, and that's just a handful of some of the client results that we're seeing. Obviously all of their metrics are up across the board. Their watch time is up. Their subscribers are going up, some more than others. So it's really interesting times and I think regardless of when someone's listening to this episode, if you're still in quarantine, awesome. Take this as a sign that YouTube is the way to go.

Brett:

Absolutely.

Liz:

And also even beyond that, into the future. I mean, if this isn't a loud and clear sign that everybody is moving towards having more online assets, building up their online business, increasing their viewership, increasing their brand credibility and their visibility across the board online to provide more safety, more efficient ways to deliver information for leads and prospects, then I don't know what it is.

Brett:

Yeah. The time was right before all of this happened to build a YouTube channel, to build a following, to start cranking out great content for a lot of the reasons that we'll get into on this show. But now, I mean it's just imperative and it has been interesting. So I have been watching things on Facebook too of people were talking about their ... you're talking about fitness, people are talking about their fitness goals, right? So like, hey, I'm stuck at home may as well lose some weight and get my beach body ready if I ever get to go to the beach again and stuff like that. So that's definitely happening.

Brett:

But also you're right, the mental health, spiritual health, all those things are being talked about a lot right now as well. So on the ad side of the equation, just want to throw this out there, because I'm a YouTube ad guy, there's more inventory now than ever before because there are more eyes on YouTube. So it's also a good time to be thinking YouTube ads as well. So I want to get your background just really quickly, Liz. So you mentioned the health and fitness channel for women. If you can give us kind of a quick rundown of what that channel is, why it started, you guys have just done phenomenally well with that. So give us a story about that and then kind of talk about what you're doing now and then we'll dive into the content.

Liz:

Yeah, sure. So eight years ago my sister and I were ... my actual real life sister and I were fitness instructors and personal trainers. At the time we were living in Los Angeles, which everybody knows is a very expensive place to live on a personal trainer salary. We were working four or five different jobs and I was teaching and running all over the city to try to get to my classes and help support people. Originally we started a WordPress blog and the intention for that was because we were getting the same questions over and over from classes of up to 50, 60 people at a time.

Liz:

So we created this resource online because one of the biggest questions we were getting was, what do I eat or what did we do in this week's work out, I want to practice it at home on my own. So we started posting workouts, recipes, and just general information so that we didn't have to repeat the same thing over and over and so that people could refer back to it even when we weren't there. When we started that blog, we also opened up an Instagram account. This was back when Instagram was just getting started. We set up all the things. We set up a Facebook page. We set up a YouTube channel, but we didn't really touch it yet.

Liz:

Over time, over the next like three, four months, we started growing really, really quickly. Our email list started growing. The Instagram account started growing super-fast and we were getting women from not just LA and California area, but we started getting women from Australia, South America, Europe, even parts of the middle East. So we had the idea one day to launch a group challenge and see if ... we were hoping to get 10 women signed up for it online.

Liz:

It was like our first ever launch. We were hoping to get 10 people. We were like, "That would be so cool," and because of the power of the internet, we actually enrolled with no background in marketing, no understanding of ads, no understanding of really ever having done this before. I was 24 years old when we started this business. I had no idea what I was doing online, but we ended up getting over 350 women enrolled in that very first launch for the program.

Brett:

Wow, so you guys were totally shocked, totally floored.

Liz:

Totally floored. I mean, it was insane watching the numbers go up and up and up and this was before we'd ever done anything with paid ad campaigns. So this was all completely organically by building a community around a common cause and creating valuable content that was resonating with the audience that we were building. So that was really awesome. We made our first chunk of money and then we realized that there was a big opportunity and we said, why not us?

Liz:

So we went all in. Within the next six months, we were both able to leave all of our jobs and switch to doing this full-time, which was really, really cool. Then a couple, two, three years ago, my sister got married and she decided to leave the business to start a new business with her new husband. So that was an interesting time and transition ...

Brett:

That until you get trumped. I feel that was not cool of your sister.

Liz:

I mean we went through a moment. We got a moment for sure.

Brett:

Are you kidding me? Please.

Liz:

But prior to that, basically I had kind of seen it coming. The writing was on the wall. They were building up their own new platforms and things like that. They started a new YouTube channel. So the writing was on the wall and in the transition I had to get really smart because she was half of the leadership team obviously. She was the other person in the business that knew how to do everything in the business, right? And so losing half of the leadership in that transition, I had to get really smart about where should I be putting the effort now and where are we getting the highest ROI from all of the marketing efforts?

Liz:

Because at that point we were doing everything, was like Instagram, Facebook, we had ad campaigns running, we were doing YouTube videos every now and then, we were posting on Pinterest, we did all the things, right? With that, that's a lot of work and it's a lot of management even having assistance and having a team to support us, it was still a lot of work. So what I noticed in that transition when we did that company audit to find out where the highest ROI was coming from, I was shocked to find the results because we were posting every single day on Instagram. We were putting so much time and energy into it. We had the Facebook ad campaigns running like I said.

Liz:

What I found shocked me because most of the revenue that was not just for that year but the entirety of the business was coming from YouTube and Pinterest. Those were the platforms that we kind of just like brushed off. We were solely focused on Facebook and Instagram and just really going all in with that, and when I actually sat down and crunched the numbers, YouTube and Pinterest had a higher return on investment. They had higher conversion rates for us and basically took the least amount of time for us to produce the content for us. I was like, "Oh my God, why didn't we know this before? We should have learnt this three years ago." And the reason for it is because YouTube and Pinterest specifically are search engine based. So the way I see it and the way that I've experienced it ...

Brett:

A good asset will build over time rather than just being a flush in the pan, yeah.

Liz:

Exactly, you do the work once and as long as it's good and it's targeted and it's converting, it will pay off forever, pretty much. So yeah, at that point I transitioned all the efforts over into just focusing on YouTube and for the next year I just did YouTube, turned it into an affiliate network where we started promoting other influencers instead of just having me do it all, which is really awesome because those still are paying us, the channel is still roaring. It was an interesting transition.

Liz:

By that point I was kind of like over the health and fitness industry in general. I mean, I've been in that business for five, almost six years and so I took some time off because now everything that we've done has been automated for the most part.

Brett:

That's awesome.

Liz:

I'm a really big fan of video marketing automation and so took some time off, traveled around and I was really waiting for the next thing that I was supposed to do, and in that time off a bunch of people asked me, because I was like traveling all over the world, this was before COVID-19 obviously. But I was traveling all over the world and had probably two dozen people ask me over that period of time, what do you do? How are you traveling? How are you doing all this cool stuff? My answer was YouTube. YouTube and video marketing automation. The follow up question to that is, well how do you monetize YouTube? How did you do that?

Liz:

It was a very clear sign to me like this is a market need and this is something that people don't understand that there's a huge opportunity there by creating evergreen video content from an organic perspective, you're essentially creating the equity. You are basically building assets for your company and if you do it right, it works on autopilot, which is super, super cool.

Brett:

Yeah. I love this topic so much and you were sharing your stats. You shared it once we hit record, but you were also talking to me before we hit record and your channel just to get anything that I missed, is a super sister fitness, which is awesome channel. But you said you've gained what, like 10, 15,000 subscribers, something crazy like that, and maybe I may be exaggerated, but you've gained thousands of subscribers in the last few weeks, right? Even though you're not shooting new content at this point?

Liz:

Yeah. I haven't uploaded a new video over there for at least eight months, which was shocking, but yeah, this month I think it wasn't 10K but it was a few, it was like two or 3000 new subscribers.

Brett:

Exactly.

Liz:

That's pretty cool. We're at least getting one or 2000 subscribers every month without even touching it, but right now there is definitely a spike .

Brett:

It's amazing. So I was listening to a podcast recently, it was actually Roland Frasier's podcast called Business Lunch, which I highly recommend, and Josh Snow was on it. He's the founder of Snow Teeth Whitening. So the question came up, if you're doing influencer marketing and you can only pick one way to do influencer marketing, what would you choose? He said, he didn't hesitate. He said, "Oh, YouTube for sure, because you have an influencer create a YouTube ad endorsing you, and then it just like builds and grows over time and it's evergreen and it can be super valuable where you do an Instagram story or something which they do all of it, but you do an Instagram story or something, it's just a quick shout out and it's gone within 24 hours type of thing."

Brett:

So with the idea that we're talking to an eCommerce audience, right? Let's talk about how you've used influencer marketing and how you would recommend eCommerce companies use influencer marketing. So kind of walk us through that. Maybe give us some examples. How do you leverage influencer marketing with YouTube? What does that look like?

Liz:

Yeah, this is a great question because that was one of our specialties in that business. At least a third of our revenue from the company was coming in through brand deals and sponsorships specifically with usually some sort of an eCommerce product or a women's lifestyle type of product. What I usually recommend is what we learned over the five years that we were doing brand deals and sponsorships with companies like that, and we got to a point where ... I mean we're like, we're looking at all the analytics from the Instagram posts, from the Facebook posts, from the Pinterest shares, from the blog posts, from the emails that we send out and from the YouTube videos that we were creating or creating for these companies.

Liz:

What we started to notice that for the first year was that the ones that performed the best long term were the YouTube videos and the reason why is because we would SEO them and we would make them compelling for people in our audience to watch. That's a very big difference from just posting a 24-hour post on Instagram. A lot of those too, it's hard to quantify because people aren't necessarily there to learn or to solve the problems that they're having or the challenges they're facing in their life. YouTube is very different.

Liz:

So what we ended up starting to recommend for partners that wanted to work with us is YouTube and embedding a YouTube video into the blog post was the base package. That's where we started because we knew that it was going to get them the best results and obviously when we win they win and the audience wins. So what we ended up recommending is finding a topic that not only we could target for an SEO based keyword strategy but also provide that compelling reason to watch.

Liz:

The reason that YouTube is so different than time-bound platforms like Facebook and Instagram is because it's evergreen and it stays up there forever. I'll give you an example. We did one brand deal with a natural non-hormonal birth control company. It was like a little app and comes with good temperature because women can read their temperatures instead of taking hormonal birth control pills and we support that. We support being educated around your fertility and your natural cycles, and so we partnered up with this company, and this was four years ago, we created a video called the side ...

Liz:

So here's the keyword formula for it. If you're going to do a brand deal or some sort of a sponsored video on YouTube, you want to have a target keyword in the beginning of the title and then a compelling reason to watch, that's the formula. So you have your target keyword-

Brett:

Nice.

Liz:

... compelling reason to watch. So the video title is called side effects of birth control. That was our target keyword and the compelling reason to watch was every woman needs to watch this.

Brett:

Nice.

Liz:

So obviously that worked very, very well. That was over four years ago and they're still generating leads from an organic perspective. So I think that was like a six or $7,000 deal to produce the video, they're still getting a payoff from it four years later. It reached over 94,000 views and every single month they're still generating leads from that sponsored video. So what we also did was then we took that video, embedded it onto our blog in a permanent blog post that we also SEO-ed and then added additional features to that, like a Pinterest infographic. We basically created a whole spread for them. So it's also ranking on Pinterest as well. So basically ...

Brett:

So that infographic is ranking on Pinterest as well?

Liz:

Yeah, so that went viral. It got shared a ton of times. So it creates this cyclone of organic traffic that continues to build up over time. Sometimes it was challenging to communicate this to people, especially in eComm space, they were just looking for a shout out on Instagram or an Instagram story where we promoted an affiliate link or something like that. But first of all, the quality of that is very, very low. The conversion on that is also a very, very low, at least that's what we saw.

Liz:

These people don't want to be spammed with affiliate links. The thing about affiliate links too like a 10% off or 20% off with XYZ code, it's easy for the eComm company to track because based on code usage and whatever, they can see how many people actually use the code. However, the influencer on those time-bound platforms like Facebook and Instagram, they have to continually promote it, so they would have to continually basically spam their audience with that link from.

Liz:

YouTube is not like that at all. You do the work once and you have the ability to create an educational piece, so it's content marketing by educating and providing value beyond just saying, "Hey, go buy this product and save 20% off." It's a very different animal and like I said, it has the capacity to create a cyclone of long term evergreen organic traffic for your business.

Brett:

So this is fantastic. I want to break this down a little bit because I don't think most people are considering YouTube this way. So you mentioned you would SEO the videos, right? And then you'd SEO the blog post as well, but let's talk about the video first. What do you mean by that and why do we SEO a video? And by the way, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, I think most people know that, but just in case you're scratching your head SEO, Search Engine Optimization.

Liz:

Yeah, totally. So Google owns YouTube. Google is the largest search engine in the world and YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It's also the second most visited site in the world. So when we're talking about SEO in a video, we're talking about doing keyword research to find keywords that have high search volume and relatively low competition that you have a chance to rank your videos on the search engine platform.

Liz:

The cool part about YouTube too is because it's owned by Google if you do a really good job of ranking your videos on YouTube, you'll also end up taking over those top video slots in Google as well and on Google, there's that extra videos tab too and they prioritize YouTube videos there obviously because it's their partner company that they own. So when we're talking about SEO-ing a video specifically, we need to identify those high traffic keywords that have low enough competition that you stand a chance to rank on the first page of YouTube search results.

Liz:

There's a couple of different places that you need to make sure that you're putting your keyword in that really, really matter. Number one is in the title. So you want to get it as close to the beginning of the title as possible. And remember, the title formula is target keyword plus compelling reason to watch. That's it. Don't over complicate it. Don't make it too fancy. Just keep it simple.

Brett:

I love that. I've never heard it explained that way, but it makes all the sense in the world because also part of Google's and part of YouTube's ranking arithmetic is viewership, right? And how many people actually click something to view it and how long they view it and stuff like that, so that compelling reason to view, that's a really important part of that formula.

Liz:

Yeah, totally. Another video that we had on YouTube went totally viral, 6.2 million organic views is how to do the splits fast in three easy steps. So how to do the split was target keyword, fast in three easy steps, that's what people want to know, right? They want it easy, they want it fast, they want to know. So we've used that formula over and over and over again. The second place where keywords really matter is in your description. So the first two to three lines of your YouTube video description are, you need to have your target keyword again in that first sentence, and then a couple of two or three relevant related keywords within that.

Liz:

YouTube truncates, I think it's after 150 characters or something of the video description. So anything below that or anything that they need to click to show more, you don't want to necessarily have all of the stuff down there. You want to get it up at the top so that it can categorize, because YouTube's job organically is to be able to identify what video content needs to go where within the archives, right? And then be able to call upon it easily when somebody is searching for that in a query.

Liz:

So yeah, you want to make sure you have your target keyword in your video description as well with a couple of variations, but don't do keyword stuffing, which is basically sounding like a robot and just copy pasting a bunch of keywords in there, make it sound still human, and make sure especially for eComm companies that you're including whatever links or promotions that you have above that fold. You don't want that to be buried in the show more either.

Liz:

Then the last place that they ... Well, there's actually two more places they especially matter is in the tags of the videos. So you want that target keyword right in the beginning of the tags and then whatever relevant variations there are. Again, don't keyword stuff because you get penalized for that. Then last but not least, saying your target keyword within the first five seconds of your hook because YouTube can hear what your videos are saying.

Brett:

YouTube is transcribing your videos, right? And they're looking at the actual spoken content of the video.

Liz:

Right, exactly. So those are the four main places that keywords matter. Obviously there's a bunch of other stuff like metadata and stuff when you're uploading the video, but we don't need to get into that. It's a little techie and a little nerdy.

Brett:

Yeah. So let's talk about this and just a little bit of my background. I mentioned on the show before, but we used to do a ton of SEOs. We actually started as an SEO company but rarely if ever doing anything with YouTube and I haven't touched SEO in quite a while now, but what are your recommendations for keyword research? So you're trying to identify what are these high volume keywords and specifically high volume keywords on YouTube.

Brett:

I think it's really important to underscore, and you mentioned it's second most popular search engine, but that's what people do when they go to YouTube. They go to YouTube and they discover videos by typing in queries. Occasionally you're going to watch the recommended videos and stuff like that, but still it's largely driven by my search queries. What tools, what are you using for keyword research and how do you identify those high volume, low competition keywords?

Liz:

Yeah, so we have a step by step process that's outlined in our YouTube growth course. So we won't have time to go into all the nitty gritty things, not today, but my recommendations are, and this is actually, I've been wondering about this for the last year at least. So at your event, I was really pleased to hear the Google guy that you had there when I got to ask like, "Hey, what's the accuracy of the YouTube search tools that we're using? Are those accurate?" He basically confirmed what I was already thinking is that YouTube doesn't share its search metrics with anybody, and that's something that a lot of YouTube organic and SEO people are not talking about, but I think it's really important to understand.

Liz:

So the keyword tools that I'm about to recommend just know that if the numbers aren't matching up, because this is a question we used to get all the time, if the numbers aren't matching up, is because those keywords tools are pulling data from aggregate sites not directly from YouTube itself. So what we ended up having to do is we're looking at estimated averages over a period of time, usually it's taken from the last 12 months. So they're not always great for up-to-date information.

Liz:

If you're looking for like if there's something happening in the world, a world event or something happening in your industry, a big tent pole event or a conference coming up and you want to create a video around that organically, you're better off using trends.google.com to get up-to-date accurate information around searches. But when you are just generally putting together your YouTube organic strategy, there are three keyword plugins that I use all the time and highly recommend. Number one and my favorite one is TubeBuddy. So T-U-B-E-B-U-D-D-Y. The second one that we use all the time is BidIQ, and the third one is called Keywords Everywhere. Now, Keywords Everywhere applies to the whole internet, so it's not just YouTube specific, but those first two are YouTube specific.

Brett:

Awesome, and we'll link to those in the show notes. We'll link to your course as well, which we'll talk about in a minute which I highly recommend people check out. So this has just been phenomenal so far. I want to dive in. When you and I were kind of prepping for this show, you were teaching me about three types of content to create on YouTube. So I think this is a large question that people have. I get it that, hey, you want to find content that's related to a keyword that's getting some volume, but not super competitive and all that. But what are the three types of content, and kind of walk us through what those could look like?

Liz:

Yes, so first let me give you a quick background on where this idea comes from. It doesn't come from me directly, but we use this practice all the time and this is what we recommend in our programs and working with our clients. This information comes straight from YouTube. A couple of years ago, I won something called the YouTube Next Step contest for that health and fitness channel, which is basically a way that YouTube ...

Brett:

Nice.

Liz:

... gives back to its creators.

Brett:

Is that like an Oscar? Is that almost as prestigious as an Oscar?

Liz:

Well, I would say the YouTube Oscar ...

Brett:

You have to give an acceptance speech or anything?

Liz:

Those were like the creator awards, but this is a contest that anyone over, I believe it's 10 case subscribers can apply for and it's a way of you to ...

Brett:

That is a lead status, anything over 10,000 subscribers, that is definitely, what? Top couple percent of YouTubers I would assume.

Liz:

Oh, really?

Brett:

I don't know. I just made that up on the spot. It sounds impressive. Anyway it's cool, we'll just leave it ...

Liz:

You've made it. If you're over 10K.

Brett:

Exactly, yeah.

Liz:

Up there, you're done. So yeah. As part of winning that contest, I got to go into the YouTube space in Los Angeles right across the street from where we met. They basically took us through an accelerated film school for the week called Creator Camp and we also got to work with a YouTube channel manager who was a Google employee as well as the YouTube employee for an entire year. Through that year they taught us all the analytics and stuff we needed to look for, how the search engines work.

Liz:

Part of what we learned there was that they did, I think the year prior they had done a cross section analysis of the fastest growing and highest engaged YouTube channels that ever were. They were looking and studying the channels and the types of content they were putting out to figure out and identify patterns and that's where this concept comes from. So we just want to be really clear. There are three types of videos that they found on these fastest growing highest engaged channels.

Liz:

Number one is, what most people do when they start out on the YouTube organic side is called hub content, like the hub of a wheel. This is what most people do when they are repurposing their podcast episodes or they're re-purposing Facebook lives and just uploading content that was made for another platform. It's not to say you shouldn't do that, but when you are brand new and if you're trying to grow your channel organically, we don't recommend starting with hub content. But I'm going to give you a little bit of background about, okay, what is that kind of content besides just podcasts and Facebook lives?

Liz:

Hub content is essentially, if you were to think about your YouTube channel as having a TV show and you were having a new episode come out every week, that's your hub content. It's like what your known for, is the meat and potatoes of your channel but you don't want to start there unless your somebody like a Marie Forleo or Brendon Burchard who already has an audience, who already has influence. The reason why is because it's not very searchable and it's not discoverable and if people don't already know, like and trust you and love your content, your hub content can actually end up hurting your watch time and watch time is super, super important on YouTube when it comes to organic rankings.

Liz:

So the second type of video and then we're going to get into the third and best type of video content that you should have, but before we go there, the second type is hero content. So this is like I was asking you guys like you talk about hero ads all the time and I'm like, are you talking about the same type of hero organic content that we talk about? So hero content is really only designed to be produced and published on your channel one or two times per year.

Liz:

We think about these as like if your hub content is how people who already know you get to continue to interact with you, hero content is what makes them become absolute raving lifetime fans. Typically, it's content that is designed to create and spark an emotional reaction within them. A lot of times it will be more polarized type of content. Taking a stance on something or providing an antagonist journey that the viewer can relate to and really identify with. These hero type videos often have the propensity to go very viral. They use a lot more story boarding and the antagonist journey within them. But again, these are only designed to be once or twice a year. Typically, put a little bit of higher budget into it, hire a professional video production team and really create the story, the mission for why your company is doing what it's doing, right?

Brett:

Did you guys do something like that for Super Sisters’ Fitness?

Liz:

Yeah, so we produced a story, a hero piece that was called Why Your Health Matters and I believe it was like a five or six-minute video. The first half of the video was like super like sad piano music. When you're using the hook for a video like this, what we noticed is the videos that went totally viral, they always started with the same three things. We studied Jay Shetty and Prince EA and a bunch of these other big viral storyteller type creators, and what we found is that starting the video with a hook on a hero piece, they always started with either an interesting question, a compelling fact or a bold statement. So we started our hero piece called Why Health Matters with a stat about heart disease and how it kills more people in the United States than anything else.

Brett:

Interesting. So did you still, with this hero piece, just really quick, did you still put a keyword in the front, we're you still thinking keyword with this or this was not keyword based? Okay.

Liz:

Hero videos are not keyword based. They're the story and the mission of your company.

Brett:

Yup.

Liz:

So when we shared that startling talk, I think it was something like every five seconds somebody in the world has a heart attack and when I was in third grade, one of those people was my dad because we do have a history of it, that's why we started our company.

Brett:

Really? Crazy.

Liz:

Yeah.

Brett:

That's that emotional story that people watch and they're like, wow, they connect with you on a deeper level than they ever did before.

Liz:

Totally. They got to see like who is this? This isn't just another fitness company out there. We have a real reason, a real vision for transforming this issue in our country, right? So it goes through, some of the emotional aspects of it and the charge polarized content that people really got behind. We went into the prescription drug industry, we went into our healthcare system, we touched on some really, really polarized topics. Then midway through the video transition into hope and vision.

Liz:

So then it's like, here's what we're doing. Here's how we can start to shift this, not just for us, but for our kids and for the future generations and all of this and went into health and fitness and exercise and eating right and being the example for your community and that video went absolutely bananas, especially on Facebook. We posted it natively on Facebook and it hit over a million views organically on Facebook alone because people were commenting on it, sharing it, they could identify with it. So we got to create raving fans with that video, and that was the hero video.

Liz:

But really you only need to produce those once or twice a year. That's the general recommendation of best practice. Don't spend all your time doing hero videos because even though they have the propensity to go viral because they have the identity piece in it, it's not always a guarantee this thing with the SEO and keywords are. So that brings us to the last and final type of content that you need. This is where every YouTube channel should start if they want to grow organically and take advantage of the search engine capabilities of YouTube, and that is help content.

Liz:

So help content is where everyone should start. You want to have as much help content as you can, and this is where you can really break down, look at the data and identify those keywords to bring in that organic traffic. Well, we typically recommend for new channels that have a goal to bring in organic traffic is to develop anywhere from five to 10 help videos before you do anything else, and those should all be keyword researched ...

Brett:

Meaning create five or 10 help videos before you launch your channel, or just five help videos before you look at hub or hero content?

Liz:

Five help videos before you do any hub or hero content.

Brett:

Got it, okay.

Liz:

That way you'll have a ... because think of it this way too. If you have a library of help content that's designed for your target viewer customer, when they land on your channel, you only get one chance to make a first impression. So if they land on your channel and these are intelligently designed strategic videos that are not only pulling in organic traffic, no matter where somebody lands on your channel from, if they see a bunch of helpful content that's solving their problems and challenges, the likelihood that they're going to subscribe goes way up as well.

Liz:

So help content is the bulk of what we help support people in figuring out as far as planning the strategy, deciding what your channel pillars are going to be, breaking those down and then doing the individual keyword research to figure out what videos you need to go produce, and then being able to train teams and stuff like that if people have teams, we help support training teams so that you don't have to hire a full time YouTube expert. So help content is by far the best. That's where everybody should start. You can post help content as often as you want, but definitely start there. Help content is once a week posting once people already know who you are, it's a way to connect with your audience and continue to provide value, and then hero content really hits the ball out of the park and creates raving fans for life.

Brett:

It's amazing. So we got hub, hero, and help content, start with help content, just phenomenal stuff. As we kind of wrap up this, there's a few things I want to ask and then we'll talk about how people can connect with you and harness your genius. What are some of the misconceptions or the mistakes that people make that are common as they're trying to get started with YouTube organic that you would want to help them avoid?

Liz:

I would say the biggest misconception is that it's going to be an overnight success. YouTube organic is really not ... like if you want overnight success, do YouTube ads, hands down. You'll be able to get the data faster. You can see if it's converting faster, but once you're to the point in your business where you're ready to transition and start building assets for the business that work on autopilot without actually requiring an ad budget behind it, because we all know you turn the ad budget off, the traffic goes away.

Brett:

Just stop, yep for sure.

Liz:

I recommend that every business has at least a baseline organic strategy just to provide security for the business if and when your ad accounts get shut down or something changes in the platform or your ad budgets shift or something stops converting. I recommend that every business have that foundation of organic strategy and be able to pull in traffic organically, right? So not depending on ads, however, if you want fast results, you want quick data, YouTube ads is great for that. And also I would say the biggest misconception is that this organic strategy and SEO is going to basically produce wild results overnight. It doesn't, it can sometimes, but don't put all your eggs in that basket. YouTube organic and SEO strategies are more when you're to the point in your company where you want to build assets.

Brett:

I love that, and I think yeah, don't expect that your first video or your second video or maybe even your 10th video is going to be a viral success. Maybe none of them will be viral. If you're really good at creating help content, they may be each moderately successful but added together can be really impactful for your business and I 100% agree with your assessment. I love ads. I like the control and the scalability and the immediate feedback that we get by running ads. But you shut those ads off and it's over, right? It's done.

Brett:

Where if you're building these ongoing assets, like the example you gave with the natural birth control, four years in and they're still getting a ton of leads because of that work that you did, that's remarkable. We all should put together a plan and a strategy to try to harness that for sure. So I've been very motivated by you as we had our prep call and then this call, like I got to get after, man, I actually enjoy creating content, but OMG, we got to get after it on the organic YouTube site because we have been guilty of potentially just taking a podcast and throwing it up on YouTube. I've been kind of lazy man, with our YouTube strategy. So we're going to get after it, but really good stuff, Liz.

Brett:

For those that are listening and say, okay, I've got to hear more of Liz's tips and insights, where can they connect with you? And maybe you have some courses or some guides, so talk about that. Then what if someone just says, "I just want to hire Liz to like come and help me." Maybe you're not for hire right now, but let us know how can we connect more with you?

Liz:

Yeah, so one of the best places to start if you're interested in growing YouTube on the organic side is to go to YouTube growthhacks.com. We put together a five step process for making sure that you're set up for success from the organic perspective. Another thing that I would love to mention here is that we have a Facebook group called YouTube Marketing Mastery. It's a free group, open to anybody who is interested in growing and monetizing their YouTube channel. You can find that at facebook.com/groups/youtubevips. Last but not least, if you're interested in the YouTube growth course, you can check that out at gethelpwithyoutube.com.

Liz:

If you want to reach out directly to me, the best place to do that is inside that Facebook group. We can hop on a quick 15-minute call and talk about what's happening with your channel, what your goals are, what your challenges are, and you'll be able to walk away with a customized strategy plan for you to move forward and figure out what the best way is to whether we work together, whether you do a channel audit, whether you take our 90 day consulting program. We have many, many different options that people can work with us, and I'm excited to connect with you all.

Brett:

Awesome, Liz Germain, ladies and gentlemen, that was awesome. And we will link to everything in the show notes, so if you were not taking notes or if you're driving and you can't remember all that, check it out at omgcommerce.com or ecommerceevolution.com. We'll have the links to all of Liz's resources in the Facebook group and all of that. But man, that was straight fire Liz. We appreciate the time. Thanks for taking your quarantine time and spending it here, we so greatly appreciate it.

Liz:

Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.

Brett:

Yup. Awesome. Tons of fun. So again, check out the resources online, and we would love to hear from you. We'd love to hear feedback from you, what you'd like to hear more of, what you'd like to hear less of. If you feel so inclined, we would love that review on iTunes and with that, until next time, thank you for listening.





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