Would you believe that more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day? Even more, according to a recent Cisco report, 3 trillion minutes of video will be watched per month by 2021! There’s no question that your prospects and customers are watching more video — so they’ll expect to see it on every site they visit, especially yours. Maybe it’s time you start thinking about developing a video marketing strategy.
With that in mind, I interviewed Adam LoDolce, founder of Viewership.com and author of “Viewership: The Video Marketing Formula to Get Millions of Views on YouTube.”
Adam is a self-made video marketing expert and visionary.
His Sexy Confidence YouTube channel is one of the fastest growing channels in his niche with more than 50 million views over the past three years.
Q&A with video marketing expert Adam LoDolce
Adam has been kind enough to step out from the camera and answer some questions about building your small business viewership.
How did you get started in video marketing and what drew you to it?
Adam LoDolce: Long story short, I started creating my first videos for my dating coaching company about six years ago when I wanted to just reach a local audience here in Boston. So I created a video called “The Boston Dating Coach Man Makeover,” and it was just a video showing how you can kind of improve your look, improve your clothing, and that video actually did pretty well, and it ranked quite well on Google for a “Boston Dating Coach.”
It also got me some great business.
Videos have always resonated with me, and I love making them.
I think it’s a really fun way to create something for three or four hours that can serve you and your business for three or four years in the future.
For instance, with my business “Sexy Confidence,” I saw video as a huge part of really growing a brand into a real business. So I invested everything into video and it certainly paid off.
In your opinion, why is small business video marketing so powerful?
Adam LoDolce: It’s powerful because it sets you apart. No one else is doing it in most industries, especially for small businesses. People are very uncomfortable making video or putting it out there to the world.
A lot of people struggle with perfectionism when it comes to their videos, and if you’re able to have regular video content, as opposed to just written content or let’s say pictures on Instagram, people are going to resonate with your brand, resonate with your story on such a more deep, meaningful level.
And they’ll get to know you. And it will also make you kind of a celebrity.
So let’s take a pizza shop for example. If you are an owner of a pizza shop and you create a video once a week or even once a month, I guarantee people — if they’re watching your content on social media — they’re going to come into your shop and be like, “Oh my God, Joe, like I’ve been watching your videos for weeks now.” You’ll be a mini celebrity to them, which is what makes it incredibly powerful.
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OK, so you’ve generated tens of millions of views on YouTube. What’s your secret?
Adam LoDolce: There was really no secret other than consistency. I’m creating a lot of videos. Actually, I would say two things: consistency and continuous improvement.
Hard truth: your first couple of videos are going to suck, and if you think that every video has to be perfect, you’re never going to get anywhere.
So it’s all about consistently creating videos.
I’ve created over I think 250 videos that are solely on Sexy Confidence, and in total, probably about 500 videos. Of course, the first ones are terrible. So that’s something I talk a lot about in the book, “Viewership,” and I even share with you my first video that I ever created, which of course is now unlisted.
Do our readers need certain equipment? Lighting, etc.?
Adam LoDolce: Of course, it totally depends on the business. To get started, I would just suggest creating a selfie video and talking a little bit about your day.
With Viewership.com, I focus on authors, thought leaders, info marketers, basically people who have something to teach. They can simply create a very basic, simple video tutorial teaching something that will draw an audience to their business.
For example, after this interview, I’m actually speaking with someone who teaches people how to grieve after death. In her case, she could come out with a number of different video tutorials. For example, the first one is “Three ways to grieve after your loss,” right? And by releasing that piece of content in a video, she’s going to attract a lot of people who are going through the grieving process. Then at the end of that video, of course, she can say, “Look, if you’d be interested in having a little bit more help in this area or downloading my guide to the grieving process, go to my website,” which will allow her to start collecting leads.
Do videos need to be polished and perfect, or can they be rough around the edges?
Adam LoDolce: Messaging is so much more important than quality. It really just depends on your budget. Ultimately, most small businesses don’t have a budget, but most small business marketers have a phone, so start with your smartphone.
The worst thing you can do is spend tens of thousands of dollars on one video when you have no experience creating videos in the first place because chances are your first videos are going to be pretty bad.
They can be rough around the edges at first. Then, as your channel and your business continues to grow, reinvest in it. I mean, I have a full studio at my home. I used to pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to go to a studio and that’s when my channel started making six figures, and it continues to do that. It’s just a matter of economics here, and certainly, as it starts to work more, then you continue to invest.
In your book, “Viewership,” you mention methods to discover your video audience. Can you give me a brief summary of what those are?
Adam LoDolce: So there’s a few different ways.
First is YouTube search and suggested videos, so really optimizing your videos so that they are very clickworthy.
I don’t like to use the word “clickbaity” because you want to make sure that whatever you’re promising people in the title, you actually deliver in your video. That said, you do need to make topics that people really want to watch.
A lot of people fall into the trap of creating content that they think people might like rather than content that people are actually already watching and want to hear more about.
The second way to discover your video audience is through paid advertisement.
If you’re an existing business now, and you have products that you sell on your website or maybe you’re selling books, or programs, or courses — really anything on the Internet —you can use paid advertising through YouTube ads or Facebook ads to grow your audience.
In particular, YouTube ads are great because you not only market your product, but you can also, at the same time, build your viewership. So when you start running YouTube ads and promoting videos, once people start watching one of your videos, they’re most likely going to watch other videos of yours.
It’s a very cost effective way to continue growing that audience just by pushing out and promoting videos that you’ve already created.
In addition, you can use what are called Trueview ads or In-stream ads, those “annoying” five second skippable ads that pop up before you watch a new video on YouTube, to direct market whatever products you have.
So those are definitely two great ways to build your viewership on YouTube.
I’m also somewhat of a mad scientist, and I am starting to experiment a little bit with Linkedin. Linkedin is great for B2B (or business to business companies) and, of course, “Viewership” is a B2B company, so it’s something I’m starting to explore a little bit more.
How can a small business owner hook the viewer? Any expert tips?
Adam LoDolce: You know, hooking the viewer really happens within the first 10 seconds of any video.
Let’s go back to the pizza example. Let’s say you’re at a local pizza joint in the city. You start the video by saying, “Oh, this pizza is disgusting!” And you throw it against the wall —doing something really dramatic, right? That’s going to hook the viewer no matter what it is you say next; they’re not going to leave you.
Another great way to hook the viewer is to open up with a story.
So by starting out a video saying, “I want to tell you a story about how I was completely broke 10 years ago, and now my businesses bring in over $200,000 every single month.” Most people are going to want to hear that story, right?
So, it’s a great way to just kind of hook them, or you can just straight out be funny at the very beginning of your video. That’s something I attempt to do and improve. I’m not the funniest guy in the world, that’s for sure, but it’s something I try to do to hook the viewer.
If you could go back and do it all over again, what three tips, tricks or insights would you want to know?
Adam LoDolce: Well, that’s a tricky one.
No. 1: I would focus less on production value and focus more on quality content.
No. 2: I would start with paid media. When I started Sexy Confidence, I was just releasing videos and not promoting them with paid media, so it took me longer to grow my viewership.
No. 3: Develop a sales funnel that is good for YouTube.
Before, I would always just direct people to my website and tell them to check it out. Now if you go to my website, I have a lot of different ways to capture leads and funnel them through. Looking back, I really didn’t have much of a strategy there, so adding funnels is a big reason for my success with video.
Can you tell me a little more about your new book and what small business owners can hope to learn from it? (Spoiler alerts welcome.)
Adam LoDolce: Oh, you want to know more about “Viewership,” eh?
I wrote this book because I wanted to give others a headstart on their video marketing.
“Viewership” — currently available on Amazon (I know a shameless plug) — is a video marketing formula to get millions of views on YouTube.
In the book, I teach readers how to attract new customers and prospects who are searching for their products and services online, build deeper relationships with existing prospects, and gain exposure to literally millions of new prospective customers.
The first part is teaching you how to create videos and what I call “R.E.A.C.H.E.R” videos — really punchy videos that people are going to actually want to watch. I developed a system (really my secret formula) based on the acronym R.E.A.C.H.E.R., which stands for:
E: Educate, Entertain or “Edutain”
In the book, I go in depth on each point and provide resources and examples to help readers fully connect with their audiences.
If you could have anyone, past or present, star in a video with you, who would it be and why?
Adam LoDolce: I’ll go for Barack Obama. I’d love to get him in my videos because he’s just like the coolest guy ever. But, uh, maybe too political for this climate? Nah, that’s the best I got for you. Let’s go with Barack.
Image by: Viewership Blog