Hey there ZATO blog followers! Ever wanted to know how to start a YouTube Channel for your business, but from someone who has recently done it (and successfully)?
I had the fantastic opportunity of interviewing two of my favorite people in all of Paid Search on Clubhouse a couple of weeks ago. Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan are both brilliant tacticians, as well as great overall people, so I take every chance I can to chat with them.
Specifically, I wanted to pick their brains on how they have grown their Paid Media Pros channel on YouTube to nearly 6000 subscribers… no small feat when you consider the PPC community isn’t that large to begin with! I’m, ahem, trying to get my own PPC YouTube Channel off the ground (though decidedly less serious than Paid Media Pros), so I asked them a bunch of questions about starting and growing a YouTube Channel.
Since Clubhouse Rooms are live, I wanted to at least get some notes down so we could release our learnings to you through written form… even if you missed the real deal!
I hope to represent them as best as possible (thank you to the one and only Chris Reeves, on our ZATO team, who is the best note-taker in all of the land) below in what was discussed during our interview.
Clubhouse Room on How to Start a Business YouTube Channel from Nothing
Section 1: Starting a YouTube Channel for your business (Tips):
Where did you come up with your idea for the channel? Talk through your origin story.
Joe and Michelle worked together at Clix Marketing, and discovered (though conferences and speaking sessions) that they have an affinity and love for training people in PPC. Joe used to be a radio DJ (and actually studied that in college!) so he had production and technical experience in that regard. They decided to give the YouTube thing a shot!
What equipment is a must-have? What does your tech setup look like?
You don’t need a ton of expensive equipment to start the account from nothing, so their recommendation was to start with a basic setup and build your equipment as you go. They use the Yeti Blue Microphone, though we had a discussion on this; I personally use the Rode Podcaster, but am concerned about the sound levels on it so I’ve been checking out the Shure SM7B as a next step.
In terms of camera, you can fairly easily use your iPhone camera, though some begin investing in better setups as they grow. Typically a clean background to keep the focus on the speaker is wise, though I (Kirk talking here) have opted for breaking the mold with my Star Wars lego sets in the background as I attempt to increase brand awareness in that regard. On the other hand, you should probably follow the advice of the two people WITH all the subscribers rather than the one who just started. 🤷🏻♂️
How do you come up with new ideas for videos?
It’s the answer none of us want to hear, but we all know is important: PREPARE A CONTENT CALENDAR AND STICK TO IT.
I mean, it’s really that simple, Joe and Michelle have their ideas planned for the next 5-6 months!! Take the time to sit down, think, and make time to allow the creative to happen. Sometimes creating something is unplanned, but planning creativity is an undervalued tactic.
One thing we discussed is asking subscribers for ideas, and there are pros and cons to this thought. you can help your audience become more engaged, but it might be hard to actually get ideas from them until you grow the channel to a certain size.
The short: don’t undervalue the simple ethic of hard work + consistency here.
How do you market your channel, if at all?
Joe and Michelle got started primarily plugging their channels at conferences, webinars, etc. They also recommend promoting it through the normal channels you would think about marketing anything! Test ads with clips of key phrases or discussions made during the video. Cross-post on other social channels, engage with your audience. Be consistent, and shout it out when you get a chance to such as at the end of a seminar you’ve just given on YouTube Ads.
How do often do you monitor your channel KPIs, if at all?
Being true marketers, they do check their YouTube data, actually quite a lot. They have a finger on the pulse of how long the videos are that perform well, when they should release them, how people are responding in terms of view length and subscription behavior, etc. It was clear to me that they knew their channel data inside and out, which as a data-driven marketer, I can appreciate the fact that this leads to specific insights otherwise unattainable. Sometimes being immersed in the data gets you further than before, in a way that you can’t quite put your finger on. Know your channel data!
One interesting tidbit I got, was that as a professional channel, there is very clear evidence that people drop off during vacation times, weekends, and other times when they aren’t at work. Once would expect YouTube views to increase as people get home from work, but their engagement decreases. Personal vs Professional channel exposure is definitely a thing and something to be aware of based on the Channel you are starting!
Section 2: Monetizing Your Business YouTube Channel (Tips)
What should we think about if we want to monetize our YouTube Channel?
First, 1,000 subscribers is required to even begin monetization. That’s a pretty important note to be aware of in case you need a goal to shoot for.
You also need at least 20,000 minutes of watch time per month for a year (4,000 hours within the past 365 days) in order to begin monetization, along with the 1,000 subscribers.
You definitely can’t get rolling on monetization until you have built a bit of a following, so YouTube clearly assists in filtering out accounts who give up, or are of low value (great call, IMO!).
By the way, it’s important to note that views don’t count towards monetization… watch time does! Because of this, Joe and Michelle focus on making more videos, and longer videos. That being said, you do NOT want to ever sacrifice quality just to get an increase in watch time… people will see that quickly and you’ll end up losing subscribers: a really important balance here.
As a general rule, they have found that their videos should be at least 8 minutes in length (they shoot for 10 because that’s the maximum ad-cut range).
In terms of ads that will show on your videos, you can turn off entire categories such as politics or religion to ensure you don’t get awkward ads that would conflict with your specific YouTube Channel, so once you get monetized (because you got this, that’s definitely happening!) it would be worth investigating that option.
Section 3: Lightning Round Questions on Growing Your Business YouTube Channel (Tips)
- Put time stamps in your video! Not only do people like knowing what to expect during the video, and where, but time stamps will show up independently in Google searches!
- If you want to make a 10 minute video, you should expect:
- recording to take about 1 hour
- editing takes another 2-3 hours
- this puts their investment at about 4 hours per video
- Since they co-own the channel, they split up the responsibilities based on their individual interests, personalities, and skills. This has worked very well for them. For instance, on a certain video, one of them may shoot the video and another may edit it on the weekend.
- Titles? Sigh… clickbaity titles definitely work well – though they personally avoid this in order to stick with their more serious brand. Also, make sure to use a creative and uniquely designed card for the main image of a video shown in the SERPs. This really helps draw eyeballs and clicks!
What’s the biggest thing to keep in mind from interviewing Joe and Michelle? Starting a YouTube Channel isn’t necessarily (or at all) easy. It requires discipline, working when you may want to watch that latest episode of Dr. Who (just me?), being consistent, and putting out top-quality videos. However, if you do that, you might just find yourself with some monetization and extra cash in the bank.