During yesterday’s Blab with Melody Jones on “How to Use Social Media to Build an Email List,” I spent the first 30 minutes explaining why building a list is so important, and summarizing the most common mistakes beginners make with list-building.
You can watch the entire Blab above. Despite a good Internet connection, my part of the video looks choppy, and my voice doesn’t always sync with my video. 😥 If it’s too painful to watch, hang in there. I’m having the entire session transcribed, and I’ll offer it as a series here, probably next week.
While preparing for the presentation, I noticed how I haven’t been making best use of my YouTube channel recently. That’s why I’m dedicating this entire post to that all-important site, owned by Google, and sharing tips I mentioned during the Blab.
Where to Start Building an Email List
But first things first. If you want to start building a list and use social media to grow it, start here:
- Identify your target market.
Think of all the various sub-groups of people in your target market who need your expertise. Identify them by demographics (age, education, location, gender). Then list the topics they’re passionate about. Do they cherish their Second Amendment right to bear arms? Do they worry about climate change? Do they hate politics? The answers will help you find them in Facebook and LinkedIn groups and in topic-specific discussion forums.
- Choose a compelling lead magnet.
That is, a can’t-do-without digital freebie you can offer in exchange for someone’s email address. It can be a cheat sheet, checklist, video series, a how-to guide, a free toolbox, a list of FAQs about your topic, etc.
- Create a JPG or PNG image for the freebie—something you can use when sharing tips on the social media sites and encouraging people to join your email list.
- Create a landing page at your website.
It should “sell” people on all the reasons why they need to sign onto your list. Include the image for the lead magnet. You can see my landing page for “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week” here.
- Create a thank-you page at your website.
Thank people for subscribing. Tell them how they can access their freebie. You might also offer free content they might like before you start sending emails. I link to my “Tips of the Week” archives to give them a taste of the types of tips they’ll find in their email. This builds excitement (I hope).
Email List-Building Opportunities Galore on YouTube
Want a sneak peek at what I discussed?
Let’s look at YouTube. As I was preparing my notes for the presentation, it dawned on my that I’m missing opportunities galore on YouTube to do what I’m suggesting below. Perhaps that’s because I don’t post new content to YouTube as often as I do on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
From the header photo at the top of your YouTube channel.
I want good search engine ranking for “publicity expert.” That’s why I added “Publicity Expert’s Tips” to the header and linked to the landing page. Click the image below and it will take you over to my YouTube channel so you can see how this works.
You can add a link to the header by logging into your YouTube account, clicking on “My Channel” on the left, and then clicking on the tiny pencil in the far upper right corner of the header.
While you’re there, add other buttons to your social media accounts. Double-check all the links to make sure they work. One of mine was out of date.
From the “About” tab on your YouTube page.
Once again, as I was preparing my notes for the Blab, I checked my own “About” tab and beefed it up to include the link to my landing page.
From video descriptions.
Your video descriptions (and mine too) are one of most overlooked opportunities on YouTube. That’s probably because by the time we shoot, edit and upload the video, we just want to write a few quick sentences in the description, add some keywords, and be done with it.
That’s a mistake. YouTube offers 2,000 characters for the video description—the equivalent of a 900-word article! And that’s a lot of real estate you can populate with keywords to help pull traffic.
From video annotations.
Annotations are the words and phrases that pop up during the video. You add them on the back end when you’re preparing the video to be published.
You can choose the size and color of the font you want, and designate exactly where in the video, and for how long, it shows up.
Use an annotation to remind people to subscribe to your email list, and give the link to the landing page or the sign-up box. The link isn’t clickable but they can copy it.
If you’ve already published your videos, you can edit them, add annotations and save the updates.
From replies to comments.
Return to YouTube at least once a week and check to see if people are commenting on your videos. If they are, reply to their comments. The more interaction Google sees on your videos, the more traffic it will pull. I moderate my comments which means they don’t show up below the video until I approve them.
Pay attention to the questions people are asking within their comments. Take the time to answer. This is an excellent opportunity to encourage them to subscribe to your email list.
Create a video that tells people about your email list.
I created this Welcome video, which I use on the homepage of my website. It refers to my email list and encourages people to subscribe. You could also assign a video like this to one or more Playlists, as long as the content is a good match with the topic of the list. A Playlist is a group of videos on the same topic. Videos loop, one after the other.
7. Create a variety of short videos with short tips.
The ideal size for videos is shrinking, along with people’s attention spans. Try to keep videos to a minute and a half to two minutes. Offer the link to your sign-up page or landing page in an annotation.
Those are my ideas. I know there are more. What do you do on YouTube to build your own email list?