Today, Workiz is speaking to Marissa and Shanna, the sister-duo behind the Youtube channel Marissa Rachel, which boasts nearly 1.7 million followers. The girls are Youtube gurus, frequent contributors to Forbes Magazine, and have lectured about building a brand using social media at the USC film school. They’ve created a number of paid advertisements for some of the world’s largest brands, like Forever 21 and Victoria’s Secret PINK. They’re also United Nations Ambassadors, have appeared in music videos, and even get flown in private jets by brands like “20th Century Fox” to make appearances and film television slots.
Clearly, they’re influencers who have built an incredible personal brand using Youtube, which any small business can learn LOADS from. So today, we’ll be learning from the experts and getting the girls’ personal tips on how Small Businesses can successfully leverage Youtube to market their business and services.
Learn how Shanna and Marissa built a marketing empire using their Youtube channel – boasting nearly 1.7 million subscribers to date
Youtube is ripe with opportunity
It happens to small businesses everywhere – often times owners scratch their heads, thinking to themselves, “how do I get more exposure and find new customers?” Especially if you’re in field service, you might decide to go the traditional route and open a website, a Facebook page, and maybe pay to advertise your business on Google Local Services or Angie’s List.
But, have you thought about marketing on Youtube?
The stats are kinda crazy!
Did you know that Youtube is actually the second-largest search engine, after Google and the third-largest site, after Google and Facebook? Not only that, but in any given month, 8 out of 10 18-49 years olds are watching Youtube, viewing 1 billion hours of Youtube content every day (that’s more than Netflix and Facebook videos combined.) Yet, only 9% of Small Businesses are actually leveraging Youtube as a Marketing channel.
So the space really is ripe with opportunities for small businesses!
The Edge you need to succeed
If done well, creating Youtube videos for your small business can give you a tremendous edge when it comes to gaining exposure and growing your customer base.
Shanna and Marissa agree that developing a social media presence for your small business can:
- Establish you as an “expert” in your field
- Lend credibility to your skills
- Enhance your personal brand.
So, when your desired clientele is looking to hire someone, this can be the extra little edge you need to stand out from your competitors.
So, what’s your plan?
One of the main takeaways we got from our interview is how important it is to have a clear and targeted plan before going live with a Youtube channel.
Why? Creating a three-pronged, targeted content plan was what allowed Marissa and Shanna to build the channel powerhouse that they have today, turning themselves from hobbyists into Youtube professionals practically overnight!
In their own words: “we weren’t very consistent when we were first starting out, we would just post random videos that we felt like making, and our audience grew very slowly. It wasn’t until we actually developed a plan that our channel started taking off. In mid-2015, we went from growing very slowly to blowing up practically overnight. We hit 50k subscribers, and two months later, doubled to 100k subscribers, two months later doubled to 200k subscribers, and 10 months later hit 1 million subscribers. We became much more intentional and started to approach our channel more as a business rather than simply a hobby,“ said Shanna and Marissa.
The three-pronged approach to creating Youtube content
Before going live, it’s a wise idea to know who you’re speaking to and understand what type of content you should be creating for your channel.
Go ahead and ask yourself:
- What is the goal of your channel?
- Who is your target audience?
- What type of videos should you be creating? What topics should you cover?
1. Define your channel’s goal
“Define your goals from the onset. Are you trying to drive sales? Generate more brand awareness? Establish yourself as an “expert”? Attract investors? “It’s important to always stay focused on your target objective and let all your decisions reflect that goal,” said Shanna and Marissa.
Putting this into practice:
Maybe you’d like to create a Youtube channel that will drive sales to your junk removal business located in Queens, New York. Therefore, you’d primarily be creating videos that show your work, demonstrate your business values, explain the services you provide and the problems you solve, show happy customers, and give potential customers a glimpse into what life would look like if they hired you (service professionals who wish to use Youtube as a dedicated marketing channel can also use Workiz field service software to track their profitability and results, using our Call Tracking and Masking.)
2. Get clear on your target audience
What is the demographic you’re trying to appeal to? Get clear on their age, gender, location, and specifics like the language they use, experience level, and familiarity with professional terminology.
Putting this into practice:
You might be a plumber who wants to build a Youtube channel for 18-34-year-old males in the U.S. who have decided that they want to become plumbers and are just starting their apprenticeships. So they would know very little about plumbing, or maybe just the broad basics, a bit of professional terminology, have little to no experience, and need very in-depth information and lots of explanation.
3. What Topics Should You Cover in Your Videos?
Now, ensure that your content always resonates and strikes a home run with your audience.
This is where you’ll take your audience’s interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes into play. Ask yourself specific questions like what do they do in their spare time, what shows do they watch, and what sites do they visit. Over time, as you start to create content, you’ll also start receiving comments and questions from your audience, which will help you create future content and understand what topics are important to your viewers.
If you’re a bit more advanced, you can also use tools like Google Trends and VidIQ to understand which topics have high search rates at different times of the year, to try to leverage trends and get as many views for your videos as possible.
Putting this into practice:
If you’re creating a Youtube channel for new plumbers who are just starting their apprenticeship and are between 18-34, you might create a profile chart that looks something like this, which you’d look to for inspiration when it comes time to create video topics.
(*Obviously, you don’t always know these things, but it’s an important step for you to visualize who your viewers are and create content that’s on topic, interesting, and relevant for them.)
Dmitry Lipinskiy, the Roofing Expert at Roofing Insights, often takes his audience’s questions to turn them into videos with thousands of views, like his How to Video on “How to Pass a Roofing Exam.”
Getting your audience to hit the big, red subscribe button
A picture of Marissa and Shanna when they received their gold Play button from Youtube for reaching 1 million subscribers. They now have nearly 1.7 million subscribers.
Ultimately, the name of the game is getting your audience to hit the subscribe button and keep them coming back for more. So you’ll need to build an authentic connection with your viewers. But how do you do it?
1. Audiences love personal storytelling
Storytelling gives people a personal connection to the product or service you’re selling. It can put a face and a personality behind an otherwise impersonal transaction.
For example, Steven Lavimoniere, a Plumbing and HVAC professional from New York, often relies on personal storytelling on his Youtube channel. In his video, “Online Reviews Can Be Deceiving,” Steven tells the story of a customer who left him a one-star review on Google Local Services. This video is not only a good explanation about why he received a bad rating but outlines his entire work process and customer service values, demonstrating that bad reviews don’t always reflect the work we’ve done but also reflect a customer’s attitude (note: You can actually drive more positive reviews to your service business using Workiz field service software.)
Steven Lavimoniere uses storytelling to describe an undeserved experience of getting a one-star customer rating on Google Local Services.
2. The art of the tease
When it comes time to share information with your audience, Marissa and Shanna recommend teasing the audience with bits of information rather than giving it all away. “For example, you could make one video about your best tip for solving a problem and use that video as a marketing tool to get them to want to watch more,” said Shanna and Marissa.
For example, if you’re a junk removal professional, you could create a Youtube video called “5 Signs It’s Time to Call A Professional Junk Removal Expert” and share your tips on when to do your own junk removal and when to contact an expert. Then, at the end of the video, you can say something like, “if you’ve liked these tips, be sure to watch next week’s video on tips that will let you…..”
AK of AK HVAC does a great job of teasing future video content in his videos. In this video, he closes by saying something like, “wait until the full-featured van tour so you can see what’s in the back of my van,” to drive interest in watching future videos.
3. Create evergreen content
The girls also recommend “How To” videos which tend to be “evergreen” (meaning they never go out of fashion), and will continue to be searched month after month, year after year. For example, “How to become a plumber.” It’s difficult to keep coming up with new ideas after new ideas, so repurposing content is a great way to keep your content fresh yet relevant to your audience. For example, you could invite a different person to appear in the video with you or shoot in a different location or cover the same topic from a different point of view.
Kenny Molotov, an expert plumber who gives advice to plumbers who are just starting out, created this great, evergreen video with a commonly asked question called “Are you too old to become a plumber?”
A heads up about online bullies and trolls
The online space has its share of bullies, haters, and negative Nancy. So what do you do if your video sparks some hate? Of course, you’ll need to address a customer’s legitimate concerns in a private and professional manner.
“But for random internet haters, trolls, and bullies, we personally recommend deleting all of those comments. Hateful and negative comments have no place on your channel. This is your space, and you can control it as you see fit. YouTube actually has a great feature where you can blacklist certain words from appearing in your comments section. So if you blacklist the word “stupid,” for example, and someone writes a comment using the word “stupid” in it, you will have to review the comment first and decide whether you want to publish it or not,” said Shanna and Marissa.
Final thoughts: You don’t have to be huge to make an impact!
Don’t be intimidated by larger channels with tons of subscribers. There’s room in the space for everyone – large and small. Smaller, more fledgling channels can make just as big of an impact with targeted, crystal clear content and a promotional plan. But don’t take our word for it – Forbes even wrote a fascinating article on the power of the “micro-influencer.” Smaller, more niche influencers actually have double the “like rate” of their larger counterparts and show that nowadays, authentic engagement is far more important than just audience size alone. So you can be small and still make a profound impact with your target audience!