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YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google. Many of our listeners and followers are growing their own podcasts or Instagram platforms which largely involve video marketing. And I’m all about repurposing video content to grow an audience. That’s why I’m excited to share my guest today Travis Albritton, host of the Honest Marketing Podcast.
Travis has launched more than a dozen podcasts. He has spent almost 4 years as the Head of Content at Buzzsprout producing their YouTube channel. He is the founder of Honest Podcasts, a full-service podcast production agency serving Christian-owned businesses and specializing in high quality video podcasts. We are going to chat about building a strong YouTube presence!
Ruthie: Let’s talk about YouTube. When did you first realize you had a knack for video production and specific?
Travis: So it’s funny, most creators that I know are like overnight successes, seven years in the making. And I would say that’s probably true for me. It took a while to even figure out I was good at it or enjoyed it. Starting a podcast is relatively easy. You just need a microphone, no way to record things and you can post it. So video, you add the extra layer of, I need to also look good while I’m saying things. Whereas if it’s just audio only, you could be in your PJs and nobody even knows.
Repurposing Video Content from Podcast Recordings for YouTube
Travis: I worked at a company called BuzzSprout, which does podcast hosting. If you’ve ever searched for “how to start a podcast”, you may have seen my face on the internet already. I did that for four years, but we noticed that there weren’t a lot of companies teaching podcasting on YouTube. We saw an opportunity since there really wasn’t a lot of competition yet. We got ahead of the curve and positioned Buzz Sprout as the educator of the world for free podcast content.
The very first video I did was a microphone review. It’s a proof of concept to see how would we actually make this video using the resources we have. That was enough to commit to a short period of six months to see what else could we create on YouTube.
We started by taking an audio podcast and simply setting up a camera in the corner. Then we recorded me recording the audio podcast.
We had some strategies behind that and over time started trying different techniques. My team and I learned things about editing and picked up skills over time. Eventually, Buzz Sprout had built one of the largest YouTube channels on podcasting.
Any kind of platform you build is very slow going in the beginning. Not many people know what you’re doing. The strategy is a little bit different when you’re first getting started versus when you have an established audience. But you stick with it and outlast people, which the biggest metric of success is how long have you’ve been doing it.
Then you can create something really meaningful.
How to start a YouTube channel
Ruthie: If I wanted to start a YouTube channel and transition my podcast content there, what would be some of the first simple things that I would need to do to set up to maximize my reach and time?
Travis: When you’re first getting started, it’s really thinking video by video. What is something that people are looking for? That’s where search engine optimization and search traffic and traffic volume become important. Because if 5 million people a month are looking for how to grow an Instagram account.
That’s a lot of people that you can get in front of versus how many captions do I use? Maybe that’s 5,000 people a month searching for that. And maybe that’s a video worth making. But after I make this other one where more people have an intent to find this information.
YouTube is where people go for tutorials
YouTube is still very much a search engine. It’s the number two search engine in the world behind Google.com. When anyone wants to look for a tutorial or a step-by-step guide, YouTube is where they go.
I would first think through what is the goal of the channel? Is it to grow your business? Maybe to shift people over to your podcast or your email newsletter? Perhaps to sell them products and really identify like what are the core problems you solve for? Not what products do you sell, but what are the problems that you’re fixing in people’s lives?
That’s all a business is, you’re giving me money to fix something for you. And the value of that thing getting fixed is more than what you’re giving me in exchange. Think about what problems you solve for people. And then what are the kinds of questions that people ask around those problems?
Start with the problem you solve
In my business, it’s how do I start a podcast for my business? Or how do I start a branded podcast? Or how do I do content marketing for my business? With my YouTube channel and the content I create, those are all videos that I want to make. Because those are the things that people are looking for. I can throw my name out there and say, I have an answer for you, that’s how people find me.
Now, the YouTube algorithm is the other piece where they’re suggesting your video based on what other people have watched. And that’s not necessarily something you have control over. When I look at my own stats the videos that have done exceptionally well are not the ones I would’ve picked.
Show viewers you have the answers to their problem
That’s the first thing to think about is what problems can you solve for people. Questions that they have that can give them confidence that you can help them with other problems that they have.
YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels
Ruthie: Something that is really easy to do is make a short reel on Instgram, or a story then transition that over into a YouTube short. Do you feel like those are pretty valuable? Is that a smart strategy?
Travis: Absolutely. Instagram and YouTube and TikTok all have they all have the same form factor.
It’s a vertical video, typically 16:9 aspect ratio. And they have various limitations on the length of the video but typically shorter is better. Because what matters to those platforms is percent consumed, average percentage consumed. For YouTube, if you have a one minute YouTube Short and somebody watches 30 seconds, to YouTube that’s 50%.
That’s the number they’re looking at. If you have a 22 second video and someone watches 21 seconds their percentage is 95%. YouTube says that’s a winning video because somebody watched it almost all the way through on average. Shorter ends up being better on YouTube.
And in the same way that Instagram is really leaning into Reels, YouTube is certainly leaning into shorts. There is an opportunity to have a short go viral related to the other content that you have. But you do want to have both YouTube shorts and long form content that goes more in depth.
What to include in a YouTube Short
Ruthie: When you post a short, let’s say you are repurposing, what’s the most important thing to include with that? A title and maybe a description? Do we use hashtags?
Travis: Make the title a hook. Because whatever the hook is, that’s going to get someone interested in watching the video. Most shorts are watched on mobile devices, so it’s going to take up the whole screen.
It’s not going to be a traditional YouTube experience on a desktop and you see all this information around it. It’s just going to be the video itself and then a little title at the bottom. Those are the things that matter, the hook of the title and the hook of the video.
The description? Not as important. Hashtags, not as important for shorts. YouTube is just looking at what percentage of this video was consumed on average by this initial audience. And then who are other people that share those qualities that may be interested in this video as well.
That’s really where YouTube shorts optimization kicks in. So it’s not search based, it’s not based on your subscribers. YouTube is really using this as a TikTok copy. Creators that are in the know encourage you to do both kinds of content.
YouTube for Community
Ruthie: One of my mantras here at Authentic Online Marketing is Community grows opportunity. Is it possible to grow community with a YouTube channel?
Travis: Absolutely. The YouTube comment section is a really great place to build community on the internet. Use calls to action in your videos. Tell people to leave comments, asking specific questions, and then reply to those comments.
You also want to convert it into a community that you own. In the same way you encourage people on Instagram to join your email list, do the same for YouTube. You want the call to action to be, “Let’s go from YouTube to somewhere where we can have a more intimate conversation without having to fight with an algorithm in the middle”.
Encourage engagement on your YouTube channel
YouTube loves to see lots of likes, lots of comments on videos. That tells them, Oh, this is not just a video. People are actually engaging and interacting here. Reply to people’s comments on your video within 24 hours. That shows them you’re actually there and you actually heard what they said.
But on a practical note, it doubles in number of comments you have on your video . And so if 20 people leave comments and you leave 20 replies, that’s 40 comments. Yeah. That’s one metric that YouTube uses to decide if is this a cool a video worth sharing outside of your current audience.
What to Include with a Repurposed Podcast onto your YouTube channel
Ruthie: We have several podcasters listening. I know there is a big wave towards repurposing Zooms over onto a YouTube channel. If I did that, what would be the important things for me to include?
Travis: A mistake people make starting a video podcasts is: How do I make my video podcast less podcasty? How do I make it more like a talking head YouTube’s tutorial with a vlog of me walking my dog?
You are basically video recording a talk show like a Joe Rogan style podcast. It’s not edited in any particular way. Just him talking to a person and there happens to be video cameras in the room
Often people will actually start the podcast and then put it over on the side. They’ll listen to it while they do other things.
How it looks is not as important as if you were trying to build a YouTube channel just for YouTube and you’re not trying to repurpose it. Okay.
Posting that to YouTube is a great way to start repurposing your content. You’re not trying to create a whole other system of processes and extra hoops to jump through to create content. That just discourages you for making things.
Repurposing to your YouTube Channel from Other Platforms
Travis: So that’s, that’d be the first piece of advice is just turn on a webcam.
Use the camera on your phone and capture some video as you’re recording your podcast the way you normally do. And then just upload it to YouTube and see what happens. Cause it’s just exposure that you weren’t getting before. Like it’s right. Let’s say you get 100 downloads an episode. Then put it on YouTube and get 10 views. That’s 10 more people than you had before. All you’re doing is putting it on one more platform.
YouTube is another platform to place your Podcast
So I see it more as instead of just being an Apple podcast, Spotify and Google Podcast. Now you discover this place called Overcast and you get it in there as well. YouTube is just one more distribution platform. For your content. Turn your camera on so it’s not just a still image with audio in the background. That will perform better on YouTube.
For my podcast and for my clients, we just record online and use one camera. Whether that’s a web camera or a professional camera. We upload it, and we publish it. Because when people are listening to a podcast on YouTube, it’s for the content.
They’re there to get information. They want to take part in the conversation. And there are some really big podcasts on YouTube have a hundred thousand subscribers.
Using Zoom for your YouTube videos
And it’s just like Google Hangouts. For Zoom. It’s not even a really professional setup. It’s just them recording their Zoom meeting and uploading it, but people listen to it. People watch it because the content is valuable. So you’re not competing with content that’s YouTube specific. It’s offering.
YouTube can share your podcast to any device
The beautiful thing about YouTube is that it works on every single device. Which is always the hard thing with sharing a podcast episode. Instead of, “Do you use Spotify?”, “Do you use Google Podcast?”. Let me find the very specific app you actually use and send you that one. It’ll work for every device that’s connected to the internet can get to YouTube. So that also becomes a really easy link to share that will work for everybody.
Ruthie: My very first podcast that I listened to was on YouTube. It wasn’t even video. It was just a picture of the host and I could listen to her.
Travis’s Tip 3 Tips for marketing on your YouTube Channel
Ruthie: What are your top three tips for the entrepreneur who wants to market on YouTube?
1. Growing on YouTube takes time. Be patient.
Travis: Tip one is be patient. It takes time to grow a YouTube channel, it usually takes quite a while to build momentum. That’s just because you’re planting a new flag in the soil.
I would look at YouTube as a one-year experiment. If you haven’t done it before, commit to one year of content. Ride the highs and the lows. You’re going to have some videos that do really well. You’re going to have months where like nothing good happens, and you’re like, Why am I even doing this?
But look at it a year at a time. Because then you’ll notice you spent this much time this year making content for YouTube. Ask not only if the YouTube channel has grown. Also ask how has it impacted you and your skills. Has it improved the way you deliver content, communicate effectively, basically practice public speak.
Every single video you make for YouTube is really valuable as a business owner. Being able to engage with people and explain your ideas in ways that people can understand them. And then you’ll start to see some larger trends, right? So how is YouTube performing versus your podcast or versus your Instagram?
Have a long term vision for your YouTube channel
If if you’re looking at this from a long term view, then that gives you the ability to be patient and to not compare yourself to creators that have been doing it for several years.
Cause that’s the other thing too, is you start to compare yourself with your competition or other YouTube creators and you think, Man, they’ve got 250,000 subscribers. I’ll never get there. It’s like, yeah, but they started with zero one time too.
If you publish consistency consistently, you still don’t have a thousand subscribers at the end of that, but you’ll have a couple of videos that pop off and do well where you’re getting 5,000, 10,000 views. And once that video is there, it continues to work for you.
So I think the other thing about YouTube is you’ll still have people watching videos that are 5, 6, 7, 8 years. Whereas you don’t necessarily get that with social media, you definitely don’t get that where everything lives for 24 hours and then it’s basically irrelevant.
Those are all benefits that you get by starting YouTube and then sticking with YouTube long enough to see if it’s going to move the needle for your business.
2. Start creating YouTube videos with the gear you have
Travis: The second thing I would say is, don’t get too wrapped up in the gear. That can be very overwhelming thinking like, I need to be a videographer, I need to be a video editor, need to learn how to use like these professional software, I need to become a graphic designer so I can make thumbnails, I need to become a copywriter so I can create engaging headlines.
And now you’re wearing the hats of five people all at once and giving yourself no slack for being in the beginning stage of this process.
And so just use what you have. If you have a phone, those cameras are actually pretty good nowadays. And so you can use that to record video. If you have a webcam, you can pop open Zoom. If you have a MacBook, you can use QuickTime, which is an app that’s already installed, and to record video that way.
And post that to YouTube. You can also live stream into YouTube, either on YouTube or using a platform like Riverside or StreamYard. If you wanna do webinars for your students and you live stream it. That’s another way to create content so don’t get so wrapped up in the gear. Just start with what you have, and then over time, add one piece here and there.
3. Do YouTube shorts
Travis: And then the third piece of advice that I would say is make sure you do YouTube shorts, just on a very practical level.
Most of my top performing videos are shorts. Now the engagement’s different, right? So someone might watch 20 or 30 seconds of a short versus four to five minutes of a long form video, but they’ll get 10 to 20 times as many views.
If you’re wanting to capitalize on what’s working on YouTube right now, they’re pushing shorts really hard and they’re in talks of making podcasts. And audio content more a central part of the platform. And so everyone in the industry is waiting for them to announce what the final version of that looks like.
But if you go on the YouTube explore page, you’re going to see a tab for podcasts and that’s relatively new. Stay on top of what new thing YouTube is doing. Cause typically that’s the thing they’ll want to lean into as far as just here’s some extra impressions.
And right now that’s shorts and very soon podcasts will be a new part of the platform as well.
YouTube for Monetization
Ruthie: Do you think that YouTube is a substantial platform for generating funds?
Travis: Most creators do not become rich with ad sense. When people think about monetizing a YouTube video, they think I get the channel large enough that brands and companies will spend money to show a video in front of my video or show a banner under the video.
But typically it’s how do you build an audience and then point them to other products, other services that you offer? My monetization strategy with YouTube is not YouTube ads. It’s how do I create content that resonates with my ideal client, so then they give me money to provide a service.
That’s how I monetize. My YouTube channel has nothing to do with YouTube at all. YouTube is just a platform I’m using to get the content out there. It’s not zero, but it’s not going to make you rich is the answer.
Ruthie: But it can be a good avenue to push more potential audience. A larger audience towards your product or your service, or your book, or your platform, whatever it is that you’re trying to grow.
Travis: Think about it more like a megaphone on the internet you can use to tell people what you do, and then a certain percentage will become customers or clients of yours. That’s the best way to monetize YouTube.
So see it as a benefit, as a bonus if you get some money from YouTube ads, but I would not make that the focus.
The Honest Marketing Podcast and Honest Podcasting
Ruthie: Tell us a little bit about your podcast and about your company.
Travis: Honest Marketing is the podcast that I launched that is mainly focused on business owners and entrepreneurs that want to learn proven strategies to grow their business without selling their souls so you don’t have to grow at the expense of your values. You can make a really great business that serves people and that service-oriented nature comes through, not just in the products that you sell, but how you sell them.
That’s the tension that as Christian entrepreneurs, we have to hold, and that’s what the podcast is about, what are the things working that you can implement and feel really great about them? And that’s really the focus. We talk about content marketing, podcasts, YouTube, Copywriting, how to create a profitable Facebook ads campaign and really bringing in experts from all different facets. So no matter where you are in your business, you’ll get something valuable out of it.
How Honest Podcasts can help your business’ podcast
My company, Honest Podcasts, is a service to businesses that want a branded podcast. They want a podcast that represents them and connects with their listeners. Or they use it as a networking tool to interact with clients if they’re B2B focused.
I do basically do all the production for them. We do audio video, repurposing blog content, social media, content, all the things that you would want to create a podcast that is building momentum and using that content in different ways. So that’s the company piece that pays for the podcast.
If you are a business owner and you’re thinking, “I think I want to start a podcast,” I want to do a video podcast of you more than happy to help you out. And even if you don’t become a client of mine, I’m more than happy to point you in the right direction so you can at least get the next steps for you to start.
Ruthie: Cause you’re an honest marketer.
Travis: And so part of it is just having that kind of abundance mindset that I’m more than happy to turn people away from my business if it’s going to be in their best interests as opposed to mine.
It’s about how can I use my business as a way to serve people and serve business owners? And sometimes that means not doing business with me, and I feel really good about that.
Connect with Travis
Ruthie: Where do you want people to connect with you?
Travis: Go to the Honest Marketing YouTube channel.
I’ll give you a link that you can put in the show notes. They can click over there and leave a comment on one of the videos. And I’d love to interact and answer any questions that you have. You’ll see Ruthie’s episode up there soon too. Maybe comment on that one. Give that one a little extra boost so I can get some more.
Ruthie: Thank you so much for spending time with us today, Travis. We sure do appreciate you being here and sharing all of your knowledge about YouTube with the folks.
Honest Podcasts: honestpodcasts.com
Honest Marketing (audio podcast): https://www.buzzsprout.com/1907341
Honest Marketing YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@honestmarketingpodcast