• Justin Patterson

How to use YouTube for lead generation

Originally posted on Medium here.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is lead generation?

  • Strategies for your business to optimize lead generation on YouTube

  • How YouTubers can leverage these strategies to grow their channels

YouTube is far and away the largest video streaming platform worldwide, with nearly 5 billion videos watched per day! Due to this, it has become an extremely popular medium for not only influencers to market their products, but also brands around the world. Most brands use YouTube strictly to market to their audience through ads before videos. However, more and more brands are realizing that YouTube can be the perfect platform to generate new leads for their business.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of identifying potential customers interested in your products or services. Once initially interested and identified as a potential customer, businesses are then able to continuously interact with these POTENTIAL customers until they turn into ACTUAL customers.

In the past, businesses executed very basic sales techniques in order to generate leads, like emailing potential customers and that would be enough to get a sale. However, with the increase in competition , it has become increasingly difficult to engage with potential customers.

Nowadays it’s important to target actual potential customers, instead of wasting time and resources on leads that are never going to turn into a sale. A strong lead generation program doesn’t just close sales, it increases brand awareness, strengthens relationships and allows you to have a strong sales pipeline for future product or service offerings.

Customers now have abundant amounts of information on all kinds of product or service offerings, which is why it’s crucial to get creative with the ways you reach potential customers. Instead of posting a billboard with the hopes people will not only see it, but pay attention to it, businesses and content creators alike must focus on the ways they can connect with these customers. If used effectively, YouTube is proving to be a successful lead generation tool for businesses of any kind!

How your business can use YouTube for lead generation

Before we get started on actual strategies, it is important to talk about why YouTube? As mentioned earlier, YouTube is popular. How popular you might ask? Well it is the second biggest search engine after Google! This means that people from all over the world are searching for information using YouTube. More and more people are using YouTube due to the engaging videos and dialogue that makes the information they are seeking more digestible.

Well, you know nearly 5 billion videos are watched each day. But did you know, 1.3 billion people use YouTube, 30 million people visit the site daily, and the number of hours of video watched on YouTube each month exceeds 3 billion?

Since we have established the popularity of YouTube, it’s time to answer how businesses can use this site to generate leads:

Step 1: Know your audience

Before starting any type of audience engagement strategy, you must figure out who exactly your audience is. Once you determine the needs and behaviours of your audience, you will be able to create targeted content. Some good questions to ask are:

  • Where do they go to find information?

  • What are they searching for? Why?

  • What gets my customers excited? Upset?

By doing this you will be acquiring more quality leads, as the people you want as customers will be paying attention to your content.

Step 2: Define your goal

You need a clearly defined goal before you start any campaign, and a YouTube lead generation strategy is no different. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, your strategy on how you will do that will be different than if your goal is to increase merchandise sales. Identify the overall goal, and the specific metric(s) you will be using to measure its success.

Step 3: Offer real value to your audience

A famous saying is: “quality over quantity” and that couldn’t be more true in regard to content creation on YouTube. That is why identifying your audience is such an important first step. Due to this, you will be able to produce quality and relevant content that your audience will actually enjoy and connect with.

Step 4: Point your audience to the next step

It is important to provide a clear call to action (CTA) in your video. A CTA is something that prompts viewers to take some action. After a viewer watches your content, what do you want them to do next? Simply posting content with no action from your viewers is a missed opportunity to capture a new lead. By having a clearly defined goal, you will be able to craft a call to action according to your goal.

For example, if you wish to increase your merchandise sales, then your call to action could be leaving a merchandise link in the description of the video, inviting your viewers to join your newsletter on merchandise updates, or pointing viewers to additional content you’ve created about your merchandise. All of these actions direct viewers to take another step towards your desired goal.

It is also important, no matter the goal, that you are giving your viewers the chance to engage with more content. Whether this be social media accounts for yourself or brand, blog posts, or helpful resources revolving around your content. All of these actions from your end will result in more potential customers converting into actual customers.

Step 5: Build trust

By making content that is specific to the audience you are targeting, you will be getting more viewers that can turn into actual customers. However, this will not automatically turn these viewers into good leads. In order to do that, you have to build relationships with them prior to throwing products or services in their face. This is because customers buy from companies they like and trust. Engaging with a variety of different viewers in the comment sections and answering questions in a friendly manner will develop this rapport.

Step 6: Convert leads into sales

Once you have developed relationships with your viewers and turned them into potential customers, this is when you will be able to present your viewers with a call to action. Simply asking your viewers to sign up for your email list would be a great first step to convert them into paying customers. From there, your business will be able to present different product and service offerings, which will give all the viewers you converted into leads the chance to be an actual customer.

How is this process similar for any YouTuber?

YouTubers can employ the exact same method to turn their channels into profitable businesses! The competitive landscape for YouTubers is more crowded than ever before, and the recipe to turn a viewer (a POTENTIAL customer) into a loyal super-fan (an ACTUAL customer) is to:

  1. Know your audience

  2. Define your goal

  3. Offer value to your audience

  4. Build Trust

  5. Convert to sales (if you aren’t selling anything, this can be converting viewers to subscribers, directing to follow on other platforms, directing to watch other videos etc)

Whatever your goal is on YouTube, whether that be to simply upload videos on topics you like or trying to monetize your channel, the steps outlined in this blog can be used to reach that goal.

“if you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.” Start making engaging with your fans a priority, instead of an afterthought and you will notice a world of a difference with how they support you.

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