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How to Use YouTube to Cross-Promote Your SaaS Blog
8

How to Use YouTube to Cross-Promote Your SaaS Blog

Business
Published or Updated on
June 3, 2022
/
8
min read

YouTube isn’t the first platform most SaaS entrepreneurs turn to for growing awareness of their product. If you have competition, they might prefer PPC on social media or Google, organic SEO, or some other channel. That could make YouTube your best bet for getting noticed.

In The YouTube Formula, Derral Eves shows us how to use the power of YouTube to build a brand. In this article, I summarize some of the key points by answering some of the most common questions SaaS founders ask about YouTube, focusing on ways it can complement your blog.

Should I Start a YouTube Channel While Growing My Blog?

If you’ve achieved momentum with your blog, and have a system in place that ensures you’ll write and publish regularly, then starting a YouTube channel is a good idea.

YouTube is one of the most powerful platforms you can use to bring exposure to your SaaS company. Besides the convenience of watching videos while doing other things, there are so many creators now on YouTube that it’s many people’s first destination for researching a topic. It means more opportunities for people to find you.

On YouTube, one of your videos could go viral, bringing you lots of exposure in a short time period. Your new blog would take longer to climb the Google rankings and get the same exposure.

It’s also easy to present your content in a way that doesn’t make it seem like it’s marketing. For example, if your SaaS solution helps merchants keep track of inventory, you can create videos about the difficulties ecommerce businesses have in managing inventory.

In one video, you can describe creating a product numbering scheme and how they should structure it so it’s easy to keep track of their product line and recognize which products map to which product numbers. You’d explain why it’s important to do this and what problems they’ll run into if they don’t create logically coherent product numbers.

Then you can suggest ways to solve this problem and mention your SaaS product in passing. This opens the chance to do a demo of how your SaaS product makes it easy to create product numbers and intuitively categorize them.

To make it seem less promotional, you can describe a couple of ways to do it. First, explain how to create a product numbering scheme using a free or low-cost method like Google Sheets. Then you can describe the faster way to do it: your SaaS product!

Demonstrate how your solution easily creates a product numbering scheme and does it in a fraction of the time it would take via Google Sheets. By the end of the video, they’ll walk away with two excellent suggestions for how to solve their problem and won’t realize you just advertised your product.

Create a Funnel That Complements Your Blog

Try the AIDA model, with YouTube videos forming the first stages of the funnel.

For the Attention phase, make entertaining videos. This will attract viewers who are just browsing YouTube. Not all will be in your target audience, but some may be, and you’ll reach them more easily through an engaging presentation than a more direct, plain style.

Study what others in your industry are doing and note the engagement with their videos. What do viewers find funny or inspiring? Can you identify a style that suits your brand and personality so you can consistently produce the same vibe?

For the Interest and Desire stages, create more practical videos that make your avatar aware of your product. Embed these videos into your blog posts where it would complement the written content.

By helping your visitor learn more effectively, you’ll keep them on your page and lower your bounce rate. This increases Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT), one way Google measures the quality of your blog post.

If you need to get income fast, publish some videos for the Action stage first so you can serve those ready to buy immediately and get some sales. For example, you could announce a new free trial subscription to your SaaS product, with a call to action and link to your website at the end of the video.

A Caveat

The aforementioned assumes you’ve become efficient enough in your blogging that you can spare 30 minutes each day to create videos.

“Don’t be tempted to launch into many platforms at once. The key is to stay focused and refine your expertise in one platform before diversifying.”—Joe Pulizzi, Content Inc.

How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?

YouTube’s primary goals are to predict what users are interested in so it can show them videos they’ll click on, and to keep them watching for as long as possible.

It starts by using optical character and image recognition technology to identify what’s in your thumbnail. If your thumbnail shows a picture of a guitar, for example, the YouTube AI will group this along with other videos on “guitar” [1].

It follows a similar process for the video itself, checking it frame-by-frame to identify the “main idea” of each frame and ensure it contains nothing that violates its policies. The YouTube AI also derives meaning from the natural language used in the video, and its title and description.

Using all this data, the algorithm detects nuances in your video’s topic so it can categorize it with those most relevant or interesting to viewers.

If your guitar video talks about the history of guitar playing rather than musicians who stream guitar performances, people interested in the former will notice your video when YouTube displays it among other videos on their Homepage, Suggested feed, and search results.

Tips to Leverage the YouTube Algorithm

Use Cloud Vision

After you’ve created your thumbnail, plug it into Cloud Vision to check whether your thumbnail might be flagged for inappropriate content. Though it’s not the exact system YouTube uses for its safety measures, it’s effective enough to minimize the risk of policy violation.

Not sure what's so racy about this team high five. Regardless, I would choose another image as a thumbnail.

Know What’s in Each Frame of Your Video

The AI will recognize every object in it and categorize your video accordingly. By being aware of this, you’ll have an idea what other types of videos YouTube will recommend it with.

Add Keywords in the Description Area

Besides explaining what your video is about, add some phrases people would use to search for your video, but do it in a natural, conversational way [2]. For example, instead of listing a bunch of terms individually—financial technology, software for real estate, client transactions—write something like, “Financial technology (FinTech) is a rapidly growing industry that affects all areas of the economy, and the real estate industry is no exception. We have created a SaaS solution that will help real estate agents like you take your business to new heights by tracking client transactions and collecting data for your property portfolio.”

Phrasing it that way can help increase your views and watch time, which are two of the “satisfaction signals” the AI uses to decide what to recommend to viewers.

How to Design Your SaaS Business’ YouTube Content Strategy

Your content strategy is how you publish videos that help or entertain your target audience so they eventually become customers. To keep it simple, we’ll break it down into three steps:

  1. Plan one year of videos.
  2. Execute the plan.
  3. Adjust based on feedback.

1. Plan One Year of Videos

To save time from having to come up with a new idea every day, create a list of topics answering questions your customer avatar might have, or that would interest them. Be able to glance at your calendar and make the scheduled video—no staring at the camera or surfing the internet wondering what to talk about.

One way to maximize the number of videos you can produce about a topic is by planning playlists.

Plan Future Playlists

Look up anticipated product launches of tools that complement your SaaS offering. For example, if your solution integrates with multiple platforms or services, you’d look for upcoming platforms it would work well with. If you’ve developed an app marketplace, you’d look up anticipated launches of apps you could list on your platform. If your SaaS product can leverage AI—maybe it’s a writing tool or a code generator—investigate future releases of technology like GPT-4.

For each tool or technology, start with a video about “rumors and speculations” surrounding its launch and discuss expected features. Follow that up with a video about its announcement. When it finally comes out, do a video showing how user-friendly it is (or isn’t!). Then you could film an in-depth walkthrough of its lesser known but useful features.

Yet another video topic could be The Pros and Cons of Tool X (30 Days Later). If the tool is a better version of something you already use, do a video on how it fits into your workflow. Why do you need the tool? What does the tool do for you? How does the tool make a difference in your performance?

Combine these videos into a playlist for viewers to binge watch in the sequence you intended. Instead of viewers getting herded away from your channel by the YouTube AI, they’ll be consuming your videos back-to-back, increasing your watch time and getting YouTube to recommend your videos more.

2. Execute the Plan

The trick here is to make room in your blogging schedule to produce videos that complement your posts. You can do this by repurposing blog posts into videos or vice versa. One research session produces multiple content pieces!

Repurposing also lets you leverage visual and audio elements you created for one format in other formats. If you narrated your blog post, just add stock footage and you have a video!

Starting with a blog post has the advantage that you can record it in one go; you already have a script ready to follow. However, if your style is more cinematic, with lots of graphics, frequent cuts, fewer words and more action, you might find it easier to create the video first, then write a blog post that expands on the events in the video.

3. Adjust Based on Feedback

Once a month, glance at your retention graph and identify the parts of your videos where 50% of your viewers click away. This can indicate something you need to change in your content, especially if it happens consistently—maybe a boring intro? An overly sales-y ramble?

Try to move this abandonment point further into the video, if not eliminate it altogether. Increasing your average view duration will lead to YouTube recommending your videos more.

There’s a Lot More

It’s impossible to convey the depth of detail Eves offers in The YouTube Formula.

Pathwooded has been planning its expansion into video, so we’ve been listening to podcasts and watching videos on how to make the most of our efforts. No one on these platforms provides the same level of comprehensive insight about YouTube success as Eves does in this book.

If you’ve been thinking about making videos, and want to learn about YouTube from an engaging teacher with lots of funny stories, grab The YouTube Formula today.

[1] Eves uses “YouTube AI” and “YouTube algorithm” interchangeably. The AI itself actually uses more than one algorithm. For example, there’s one algorithm for maximizing the hit rate—how often viewers find what they’re looking for—on the Homepage, and a separate algorithm for maximizing the hit rate on the Trending page.

[2] Nick Nimmin, “YouTube Description Tutorial and Template”, Nov 16, 2018, https://youtu.be/XIqJNlV1GpA.

Chris Del Campo
Wizard of Light Bulb Moments

Practiced in the art of playing video games while writing long essays. Subtly charming social mediaholic. Wannabe pianist. I like long, romantic walks down every aisle of Target.

How to Use YouTube to Cross-Promote Your SaaS Blog
8

How to Use YouTube to Cross-Promote Your SaaS Blog

Business
Published or Updated on
Jun 3
/
8
min read

YouTube isn’t the first platform most SaaS entrepreneurs turn to for growing awareness of their product. If you have competition, they might prefer PPC on social media or Google, organic SEO, or some other channel. That could make YouTube your best bet for getting noticed.

In The YouTube Formula, Derral Eves shows us how to use the power of YouTube to build a brand. In this article, I summarize some of the key points by answering some of the most common questions SaaS founders ask about YouTube, focusing on ways it can complement your blog.

Should I Start a YouTube Channel While Growing My Blog?

If you’ve achieved momentum with your blog, and have a system in place that ensures you’ll write and publish regularly, then starting a YouTube channel is a good idea.

YouTube is one of the most powerful platforms you can use to bring exposure to your SaaS company. Besides the convenience of watching videos while doing other things, there are so many creators now on YouTube that it’s many people’s first destination for researching a topic. It means more opportunities for people to find you.

On YouTube, one of your videos could go viral, bringing you lots of exposure in a short time period. Your new blog would take longer to climb the Google rankings and get the same exposure.

It’s also easy to present your content in a way that doesn’t make it seem like it’s marketing. For example, if your SaaS solution helps merchants keep track of inventory, you can create videos about the difficulties ecommerce businesses have in managing inventory.

In one video, you can describe creating a product numbering scheme and how they should structure it so it’s easy to keep track of their product line and recognize which products map to which product numbers. You’d explain why it’s important to do this and what problems they’ll run into if they don’t create logically coherent product numbers.

Then you can suggest ways to solve this problem and mention your SaaS product in passing. This opens the chance to do a demo of how your SaaS product makes it easy to create product numbers and intuitively categorize them.

To make it seem less promotional, you can describe a couple of ways to do it. First, explain how to create a product numbering scheme using a free or low-cost method like Google Sheets. Then you can describe the faster way to do it: your SaaS product!

Demonstrate how your solution easily creates a product numbering scheme and does it in a fraction of the time it would take via Google Sheets. By the end of the video, they’ll walk away with two excellent suggestions for how to solve their problem and won’t realize you just advertised your product.

Create a Funnel That Complements Your Blog

Try the AIDA model, with YouTube videos forming the first stages of the funnel.

For the Attention phase, make entertaining videos. This will attract viewers who are just browsing YouTube. Not all will be in your target audience, but some may be, and you’ll reach them more easily through an engaging presentation than a more direct, plain style.

Study what others in your industry are doing and note the engagement with their videos. What do viewers find funny or inspiring? Can you identify a style that suits your brand and personality so you can consistently produce the same vibe?

For the Interest and Desire stages, create more practical videos that make your avatar aware of your product. Embed these videos into your blog posts where it would complement the written content.

By helping your visitor learn more effectively, you’ll keep them on your page and lower your bounce rate. This increases Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT), one way Google measures the quality of your blog post.

If you need to get income fast, publish some videos for the Action stage first so you can serve those ready to buy immediately and get some sales. For example, you could announce a new free trial subscription to your SaaS product, with a call to action and link to your website at the end of the video.

A Caveat

The aforementioned assumes you’ve become efficient enough in your blogging that you can spare 30 minutes each day to create videos.

“Don’t be tempted to launch into many platforms at once. The key is to stay focused and refine your expertise in one platform before diversifying.”—Joe Pulizzi, Content Inc.

How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?

YouTube’s primary goals are to predict what users are interested in so it can show them videos they’ll click on, and to keep them watching for as long as possible.

It starts by using optical character and image recognition technology to identify what’s in your thumbnail. If your thumbnail shows a picture of a guitar, for example, the YouTube AI will group this along with other videos on “guitar” [1].

It follows a similar process for the video itself, checking it frame-by-frame to identify the “main idea” of each frame and ensure it contains nothing that violates its policies. The YouTube AI also derives meaning from the natural language used in the video, and its title and description.

Using all this data, the algorithm detects nuances in your video’s topic so it can categorize it with those most relevant or interesting to viewers.

If your guitar video talks about the history of guitar playing rather than musicians who stream guitar performances, people interested in the former will notice your video when YouTube displays it among other videos on their Homepage, Suggested feed, and search results.

Tips to Leverage the YouTube Algorithm

Use Cloud Vision

After you’ve created your thumbnail, plug it into Cloud Vision to check whether your thumbnail might be flagged for inappropriate content. Though it’s not the exact system YouTube uses for its safety measures, it’s effective enough to minimize the risk of policy violation.

Not sure what's so racy about this team high five. Regardless, I would choose another image as a thumbnail.

Know What’s in Each Frame of Your Video

The AI will recognize every object in it and categorize your video accordingly. By being aware of this, you’ll have an idea what other types of videos YouTube will recommend it with.

Add Keywords in the Description Area

Besides explaining what your video is about, add some phrases people would use to search for your video, but do it in a natural, conversational way [2]. For example, instead of listing a bunch of terms individually—financial technology, software for real estate, client transactions—write something like, “Financial technology (FinTech) is a rapidly growing industry that affects all areas of the economy, and the real estate industry is no exception. We have created a SaaS solution that will help real estate agents like you take your business to new heights by tracking client transactions and collecting data for your property portfolio.”

Phrasing it that way can help increase your views and watch time, which are two of the “satisfaction signals” the AI uses to decide what to recommend to viewers.

How to Design Your SaaS Business’ YouTube Content Strategy

Your content strategy is how you publish videos that help or entertain your target audience so they eventually become customers. To keep it simple, we’ll break it down into three steps:

  1. Plan one year of videos.
  2. Execute the plan.
  3. Adjust based on feedback.

1. Plan One Year of Videos

To save time from having to come up with a new idea every day, create a list of topics answering questions your customer avatar might have, or that would interest them. Be able to glance at your calendar and make the scheduled video—no staring at the camera or surfing the internet wondering what to talk about.

One way to maximize the number of videos you can produce about a topic is by planning playlists.

Plan Future Playlists

Look up anticipated product launches of tools that complement your SaaS offering. For example, if your solution integrates with multiple platforms or services, you’d look for upcoming platforms it would work well with. If you’ve developed an app marketplace, you’d look up anticipated launches of apps you could list on your platform. If your SaaS product can leverage AI—maybe it’s a writing tool or a code generator—investigate future releases of technology like GPT-4.

For each tool or technology, start with a video about “rumors and speculations” surrounding its launch and discuss expected features. Follow that up with a video about its announcement. When it finally comes out, do a video showing how user-friendly it is (or isn’t!). Then you could film an in-depth walkthrough of its lesser known but useful features.

Yet another video topic could be The Pros and Cons of Tool X (30 Days Later). If the tool is a better version of something you already use, do a video on how it fits into your workflow. Why do you need the tool? What does the tool do for you? How does the tool make a difference in your performance?

Combine these videos into a playlist for viewers to binge watch in the sequence you intended. Instead of viewers getting herded away from your channel by the YouTube AI, they’ll be consuming your videos back-to-back, increasing your watch time and getting YouTube to recommend your videos more.

2. Execute the Plan

The trick here is to make room in your blogging schedule to produce videos that complement your posts. You can do this by repurposing blog posts into videos or vice versa. One research session produces multiple content pieces!

Repurposing also lets you leverage visual and audio elements you created for one format in other formats. If you narrated your blog post, just add stock footage and you have a video!

Starting with a blog post has the advantage that you can record it in one go; you already have a script ready to follow. However, if your style is more cinematic, with lots of graphics, frequent cuts, fewer words and more action, you might find it easier to create the video first, then write a blog post that expands on the events in the video.

3. Adjust Based on Feedback

Once a month, glance at your retention graph and identify the parts of your videos where 50% of your viewers click away. This can indicate something you need to change in your content, especially if it happens consistently—maybe a boring intro? An overly sales-y ramble?

Try to move this abandonment point further into the video, if not eliminate it altogether. Increasing your average view duration will lead to YouTube recommending your videos more.

There’s a Lot More

It’s impossible to convey the depth of detail Eves offers in The YouTube Formula.

Pathwooded has been planning its expansion into video, so we’ve been listening to podcasts and watching videos on how to make the most of our efforts. No one on these platforms provides the same level of comprehensive insight about YouTube success as Eves does in this book.

If you’ve been thinking about making videos, and want to learn about YouTube from an engaging teacher with lots of funny stories, grab The YouTube Formula today.

[1] Eves uses “YouTube AI” and “YouTube algorithm” interchangeably. The AI itself actually uses more than one algorithm. For example, there’s one algorithm for maximizing the hit rate—how often viewers find what they’re looking for—on the Homepage, and a separate algorithm for maximizing the hit rate on the Trending page.

[2] Nick Nimmin, “YouTube Description Tutorial and Template”, Nov 16, 2018, https://youtu.be/XIqJNlV1GpA.

Chris Del Campo
Wizard of Light Bulb Moments

Practiced in the art of playing video games while writing long essays. Subtly charming social mediaholic. Wannabe pianist. I like long, romantic walks down every aisle of Target.