“What should I do with my YouTube channel now?”
It’s common for new VOD business owners to be confused about what they should do with their YouTube channels once they’ve launched their independent video streaming services.
And frankly, the right answer to that question isn’t an obvious one.
We realized that pretty much everyone who asks this question feels they only have one of two options:
- Option one: Let the channel die (but that seems like a waste)
- Option two: Continue to monetize it (but what, then, is the point of your new VOD?)
But, there is a third option:
To take advantage of your YouTube momentum to push your current VOD business forward.
This option will supercharge the growth of your video business without needing to invest unnecessary time and effort into your channel, or lose all of your past hard work.
In this article, we’re going to show you how to repurpose your YouTube channel and turn it into a powerful marketing engine that will drive targeted customers to your new VOD service.
VOD + YouTube = Your New Profitable Business Model
You probably feel a little stuck on what to do with your YouTube channel because you think YouTube is a direct competitor to your new video on demand (VOD) service.
But, that’s not true; your YouTube channel and your VOD are two different platforms that play two different roles in your business.
YouTube is not a video monetization platform – it’s a video search engine.
Think of it this way:
- Your VOD is your video monetization platform – it is where you sell and stream your paid content
- Your YouTube channel is your video marketing platform – it is where you get your streaming business discovered and grow your brand
You need YouTube to generate traffic, build brand awareness, and connect the right people to your paid VOD. Basically, your YouTube channel is a powerful marketing asset.
We find that Uscreen customers who have a YouTube following of 500+ subscribers earn more money in a shorter period of time than those who don’t.
If you already have a YouTube following of at least that size, you’re in a great position to turn it into a marketing engine. And if you don’t, that’s ok! You can work on getting more views on your YouTube channel while following the tactics we give you in this guide.
5 Steps To Turn Your YouTube Channel Into A Marketing Engine
There are five simple steps you need to follow to repurpose your YouTube channel to complement your VOD:
- Switch to a “Search Engine” mindset
- Adopt the YouTube Sales Funnel
- Get clear on your YouTube content structure
- Optimize your existing content
- Create targeted content for your new sales funnel
We’ll break down each of these steps and look at an example of real YouTubers that have used this model to build formidable VOD businesses.
Let’s dive in…
1. Switch To A “Search Engine” Mindset
The first step is a change in mindset.
Everything you post on YouTube from now on needs to have a clearly defined goal that will feed back into your VOD business in one way or another.
Ideally, your YouTube content should:
- Be optimized for YouTube searches
- Attract a potentially paying audience
- Grow your online community
- Spark discussion and debate
- Educate people about your paid content
- Convince them to pay for your content
We know – this may sound intimidating. It was intimidating to us too, until we designed what we like to call a YouTube to VOD Marketing Funnel.
We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how you do this over the next few steps. But, for now, be prepared to approach your YouTube content in a much different way.
2. Adopt The YouTube Marketing Funnel
The next step is to understand and adopt the YouTube marketing funnel.
A marketing funnel (generally) is a way of looking at the customer journey from top to bottom—from when a potential customer becomes aware of your brand to when they place their order (and possibly, beyond). This journey has stages, which can be metaphorically represented as a funnel.
A YouTube Marketing Funnel is specifically focused on the customer journey from YouTube to your VOD.
This YouTube funnel is split into three stages:
The main goal here is to push users from the very top of the funnel to the very bottom, all the way to being paying subscribers to your VOD.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these stages and how to create the right content for each of them.
Top Of The Funnel – Where Your Brand Meets New Potential Customers
The top of the funnel is where new people come to first find out about your content. It’s the “point of entry” for those people looking for the kind of content you’re creating.
The audience at this stage of the sales funnel is wide, general, and not yet ready to buy.
You can achieve this marketing goal by creating TOFU YouTube content that:
- Attracts new viewers
- Builds brand awareness
- Sets the tone for your channel
- Gives people a reason to watch future videos
- Generates leads that will trickle down to the next stage of the funnel (MOFU)
It’s the online equivalent of walking to a physical store for the first time; you’re looking to subconsciously answer the questions:
- Did I find what I was looking for?
- Did I feel good about what I saw?
- Would I come back for more?
The content you create for the TOFU stage of the YouTube marketing funnel will fall into one of these five types:
a) Video Listicle
b) Topical vlogs
c) Opinion pieces
d) Simple tutorials
e) Entertaining content
Let’s take a closer look at each of these types of TOFU YouTube content.
a) Video Listicles
A video listicle is a video that uses a list as its thematic structure, but is fleshed out with sufficient information for every point.
Example: 7 Ways to Promote YouTube Videos
This type of content is easy to digest, quickly touches on lots of different points, and allows viewers to easily dip in and out.
Brian Dean uses this to great effect on his SEO-focused YouTube channel. He uses list-based content to share tips his audience can instantly put to use:
This style of video is also:
- Highly shareable
- Great for starting discussions
Both of which can help to effectively grow your brand.
b) Topical Vlogs
Topical vlogs can really help you set the tone for your channel.
By choosing a sought-after topic in your niche, or one that’s currently in the news, you can really set out your stall on what you think.
Peter McKinnon, a photography YouTuber, does this superbly on his channel. He picks beginner-level topics that people always talk about and creates interesting vlogs about them:
If you watch the video you can see that Peter clearly states how he feels beginners should learn, and shares some actionable advice. Perfect for TOFU audiences.
These videos can be as simple as grabbing your camera and sharing your thoughts; or you can get creative and turn them into actionable takeaway posts.
c) Opinion Pieces
Opinion pieces aim to take a basic topic and share thoughts, feelings, and emotions about them. They are more targeted and less takeaway-focused then the vlogs in the last section.
Ramit Sethi, a personal finance entrepreneur, does this well on his channel. Take a look at this short two-minute video about why he doesn’t talk politics:
This video provides some cool insights into his world and why politics isn’t his go-to topic.
The opinions you share don’t need to be hot takes on a newsworthy subject; they just need to be relevant to your niche and the people you want to attract.
d) Simple Tutorials
One of the most important parts of the YouTube sales funnel is search traffic.
These are viewers who find your videos because they’re looking for an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or advice on how to do something.
By creating simple, easy-to-follow, tutorials you can lure people to your content and hook them for your future updates.
Here’s a really cool example from Ellusionist:
This type of content ideally provides a lot of value to the viewer but isn’t valuable enough to go into your premium VOD product.
e) Entertaining Content
The final type of content is also one of the most common – entertaining content.
These are videos that showcase what your channel (or brand) is about, and serve no other purpose other than to be interesting, entertaining, and maybe shareable.
TMillyTV, a dance choreography-focused channel, does this by sharing the routines instructors have put together for popular urban songs:
We’ll look at how TMillyTV expands on this TOFU content later in the guide, putting it to good use throughout the funnel. But, for now, pay attention to how it entertains and hooks viewers with the “wow factor” of this content.
The thing to remember about all these pieces of content is that they are designed to get the right people to the next stage of the sales funnel.
Which brings us squarely to the middle of the funnel…
Middle Of The Funnel – Where You Spark Interest in Your Paid Content
Let’s hold on to the TMilly example for a little while longer.
Did you notice how, at the end of that dance choreography video, the following call-to-action (CTA) popped up?
Viewers who watch this video purely for entertainment will probably overlook that CTA and move on to the next dance video in the queue.
However, viewers watching that video with an interest in dance and in learning choreography will most definitely click on that CTA.
This is when you start to see the YouTube Marketing Funnel in motion.
That CTA takes you to what we would consider MOFU YouTube content – It’s a 5:34-minute preview of a paid tutorial for that same dance.
The middle of the funnel is where people begin to engage with your content, form concrete opinions about your brand, and join your community. In TMilly’s case, the channel’s core community is formed of die-hard dance fanatics.
People at the MOFU stage are definitely interested in your content niche and what you’re creating, but aren’t quite ready to pay for your paid content just yet.
However, your content, paid and unpaid, is definitely on their radar.
You can achieve this marketing goal by creating MOFU YouTube content that:
- Educates people on your chosen topic
- Builds relationships with your subscribers
- Creates discussion and community
- Gives viewers a taste of what you paid content can do for them
- Nurtures leads to trickle them down to the next stage of the funnel (TOFU)
This means it will likely fall into one of these two types of content:
Let’s take a closer look at each…
Tutorials look at one element your audience wants to learn about and breaks it down.
If you have an information-focused VOD business you might be thinking, “why would I give a tutorial away for free?”
The answer is two-fold:
- Viewers will still pay for content they can get for free (more on that here)
- You can limit the “depth” of the tutorial as much as you want in length, knowledge, or both
TMillyTV’s tutorial preview is an example of a MOFU tutorial video for YouTube.
Breakdowns look to explore a topic in-depth and impart valuable knowledge to the reader.
These types of content are perfect for establishing yourself as an authority and thought-leader in your niche.
Charisma on Demand, a channel that helps people exude charisma and confidence, does this brilliantly by breaking down why Wonderwoman is an incredibly inspiring character.
These videos are often up to 10 to 25 minutes in length but many of them, like the one above, are so relevant to their audience that they attract hundreds of thousands of views.
Breakdowns also have the power to spark discussion between members of your audience and with you as the creator.
The key with MOFU content is to engage your existing viewers, present your VOD as a potential upgrade, and entice people to the next stage of the funnel. This is called lead-nurturing.
How does this work? Simple.
That MOFU video of TMilly’s choreography tutorial preview ends after 5 minutes, promoting the viewer with another CTA to purchase access to the full tutorial on TMilly’s independent VOD platform.
As you can see, TMilly created a clear path from his TOFU dance video, to his MOFU tutorial preview, to his independent VOD (MOFU, we’ll get to that).
You want people to watch these videos, take away something valuable, and then give them a strong reason or incentive to visit your VOD site.
Charisma on Demand does the same. When you get to the end of the video, you can see a CTA to the channel’s private VOD service.
You can see that each of the video types explained above has:
- High levels of value to the reader
- Strong hints to their premium offering
- Calls to action to check out their BOFU stage
Bottom Of The Funnel – Where YouTube Viewers Become Customers
The bottom of the funnel is where you promote your VOD business and convince people to try your premium paid content.
Viewers at this stage of your sales funnel are ready to buy and are weighing up their options; they’re just waiting for a little nudge from you to get them over the edge.
This entire stage takes place on your VOD website, not on YouTube.
BOFU content is the next logical step from your MOFU content. Viewers will have followed a strong CTA at the end of your videos and found themselves on your main site.
Let’s look at that process a little closer.
As mentioned above, TMilly’s MOFU content ends with a strong CTA to access the full tutorial that you can see in the last 10 seconds of this video. The link in the video’s description then takes you to this page:
This is your BOFU content. This page contains a:
- A shorter version of the tutorial
- A description of the lesson
- A call-to-action (CTA) button to pay for access 🎉
There’s nothing groundbreaking about this; instead, it’s just simple and effective.
If the TMilly format doesn’t feel right for your business you can also look to use different types of content such as:
- Video sales letters
- Written sales letters
- Customer testimonials
And, if we could give you a pro tip here:
When we looked at Uscreen’s 1.1 million subscribers we found that free trials converted viewers to paying subscribers at 52%.
So, if you want to increase the impact of your BOFU content, look to offer a seven- to ten-day free trial for viewers to test your VOD platform.
3. Get Clear On Your YouTube Content Structure
By now you should have a clear idea of how your YouTube content needs to be structured.
Each video needs to:
- Have a clear purpose
- Appeal to a section of your YouTube Marketing Funnel
It’s important that you think of each YouTube video you create as part of a larger marketing strategy. You should be able to answer the questions:
- What is the goal of this video?
- Who does it appeal to?
- Where does it fit into my sales funnel?
Better still, you will be able to link specific videos into “chains” that correspond to each stage of the sales funnel and progressively lead the viewer toward your VOD sales page.
We recommend that you split your YouTube content calendar up like this:
- TOFU content – 60%
- MOFU content – 40%
This split allows you to focus on lead generation and can help you to gather data on what content attracts the correct people to your sales funnel.
You should also include:
- Calls to action
- Links to other content
- Links to your VOD site
- Branded intros and outros
This ensure that everything is connected and has a purpose on your YouTube channel.
But, before you create any new content, let’s look at how you can get the most out of your existing content.
In this step, you’re going to take a close look at your existing YouTube content.
You’ll want to look at each of your videos and see whether they are:
- TOFU content
- MOFU content
- BOFU content
And see how you can optimize them to fit your new marketing approach.
Here’s how the optimization might look at each stage:
- TOFU content: keyword-driven headlines for SEO, optimized descriptions, website links in comments, call to action to join your mailing list
- MOFU content: content-driven headlines, in-video cards, links to other content, join the discussions in the comments
- BOFU content: product-driven headlines, strong calls to action, links to sales pages, testimonials or positive user comments
You may also find that your channel has a number of videos that drive high levels of traffic, but could also go behind your VOD’s paywall.
You will need to look at the statistics for these videos and decide whether these videos are:
- Better used as premium content on your VOD site (in which case, remove them from your YouTube channel and keep them exclusive on your site)
- More effective as “traffic magnets” on your YouTube channel (in which case, keep them as is)
This step is critical to the process so be sure to take care of this before moving onto the next one.
The final stage in this process is doing what you do best – start creating epic YouTube content.
How you do this is up to you, but remember the key points from this guide:
- Have a clearly defined purpose for each video and what purpose it serves in your funnel
- Provide a high level of value to your viewer
- Make sure all videos have CTAs and are connected to the next funnel stage
Other than that, it’s over to you!
Wrapping This Up…
Phew! That was a pretty intense guide, right?
By now you should have a clear understanding on how to transform your YouTube channel into a marketing tool for your VOD website.
Here are the five key things you need to remember from this article:
- YouTube and your VOD are not in competition: they are two tools that work together to help you create an EPIC online video business.
- YouTube is a marketing funnel: you don’t need to earn money from your videos on the platform. Instead, use them to grow your audience and sell subscriptions to your VOD.
- The YouTube Marketing Funnel has three stages: TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU. (Click each of those links to read that section of the article again.)
- Your content should always have a purpose: each of your videos should target a specific person, at a specific stage, and give them a strong call to action.
- Optimize your existing content first: put your existing videos to work and help them find an effective place in your funnel
Understand and apply each of these five elements and you will be well on your way to creating a YouTube Marketing Funnel that works for you.