Where should you host your video content? How do you create compelling videos? How can you turn viewers into customers?

To answer these questions I’ve had a chat with Aimee Bateman who is the founder of CareerCake.com. She’s a consultant, speaker and skills trainer, YouTube expert and she was a keynote speaker at #smlondon LIVE! 2014. She has no less than five million views across five YouTube channels to her name. You can listen to the audio podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud (embed below) or keep reading for an abridged transcript of our conversation. A longer version is available at Link Humans. Questions by me, answers by Aimee.

How do you go about creating effective video content?

I think the first thing to do is just break through the BS. And I think the first thing that people need to do is that, you know, understand that your consumer is intelligent. I think a lot of businesses, when they’re producing marketing content and video, they just forget that there’s a lot of variance in actual stuff out there and consumers are becoming more and more switched on. I think especially consumers can smell the BS a mile off now so I think it’s important that you keep it real. Keep it really, really real. But make sure that you’re adding value. If we just going to the internet to talk about your business and what you do, that’s great and you might get excited about that, but is anybody else? Well, I’m not so sure. People don’t always care about what you’re doing. It’s how what you’re doing is going to add value to me. So it’s always about adding real value.

And secondly, I think it’s really important when people are marketing their company to remember that they’re not always their customer and what might interest you and what you might think are your unique selling points aren’t always the things that your customers are going to want to know about. So asking questions… Remember, when I first started my YouTube channel about five years ago, before I created any content, I jumped onto social media platforms and started asking people what do you want to know? Like, how can I help you? And then I created my first 12 months of content that I created, was all based on what people had asked for. So I think that’s really, really important.

For example, in the recruitment space, that’s where I live, when you are promoting yourself, maybe as an employer of choice, it’s not just the case of this is what we’re doing, this is how big our business is, this is where our office is. It might be a case of well, let’s introduce some of the people that work for us. Let’s find out what they like about our business. Let’s take a video of them in the club next door cause this is where we go every Friday after work. And just keeping it really, really real but making sure you’re adding value.

What type of technical equipment do you need?

I still use the camera that I bought from eBay for 20 quid. It was a ZI Kodak camera, ZI8 it was, and I still use that. So it depends on your brand really, but I just bought it 20 quid, it was second hand on eBay and I started making YouTube videos in my living room. Yeah, I mean but that was fine for my brand. It depends on what … I suppose on how you want people to view you. But if you can afford, if you’ve got a budget just to bring in an external company or to… Even if you want to make your own, then that’s fine. I would say that the one thing that is really important is your audio. I think even if you’ve got quite a basic camera or you’re making videos on your phone or your iPad, you know, that might be alright for your brand, but never ever compromise on audio, always invest in a good camera and a good microphone.

What are your best tips and tricks for video marketing?

A lot of people ignore the description area but I always think it’s important to blog in my area because people do read that. So if you are going to make a really good video then you want to add keywords, obviously and a title, you want to make sure that the title is really good. So numbers work really well, so “Five steps to…” or “Three ideas for…” Q&A titles work really well. But also, yeah, blogging in your description area. So making sure that you’ve got a link on YouTube, maybe a link to your website or a link to a really funky lead page where you can capture somebody’s email address and obviously implement that into your email marketing campaign to then build relationships with people. Optimising tags, that’s quite an obvious one on YouTube.

I always talk about the 12 second rule. You know what it’s like when you meet somebody and you make your mind really, really quickly but it’s still like that in video, so you have to adopt the same stuff that you would if you were in a room with somebody. You know, if you want to ask some questions, engage with them or you still have to do that on video so I always think creating movements is really, really good with videos.

A call to action, I think a lot of people forget to do that. I definitely forgot to do that, I made lazy, lazy videos in the beginning when I was at 20,000 hits, but nobody was coming to my website and I was like, “Why not?!” But I wasn’t asking them to.

Another really wonderful thing to do, which I haven’t done but I am so going to do it, it’s on my to-do list, it’s creating a video advising people or suggesting why they should subscribe to your channel. And Gary Vaynerchuk has got an amazing on his one which is “Why you really need to subscribe to my channel”. It’s like, “Guys, seriously, if you are not subscribed to my channel, it hurts me. And it hurts my soul.” And he just talks about the value you’re going to get from subscribing to his channel. Because your subscribers are up, that’s basically people who are just out there waiting for you to upload new videos. That’s amazing. You don’t have to worry about being found. They’re going to get an email straight to their inbox when you do launch a new video, so that’s really, really good.

Encourage comments as well. I know a lot of people that produce videos for YouTube and they just think, “Oh, but I disabled the comments” And I get that, considering how many views I’ve got on YouTube, for every 30 beautiful ones for comments, I do get the odd ones somebody says that they hate my Welsh accent so much they want to punch me in the face until I bleed or, you know, something horrendous like that. I would always say that if you’re worried about comments damaging your brand, then you can always switch them to ‘Approved’. But encouraging comments, so actually saying to people, “If you’ve got any thoughts on this video, or you’ve got any questions, please…” And even point down, you know, “Please add something in the comments”.

What is a good call to action in your videos?

Value. One, they have to really believe that you care and that what you’re… you know, that they’ve got to really engage and you really care about somebody. I know and for the first … I didn’t do call to actions initially. In fact, I didn’t really sell my product or any product or coaching services for a good sort of three months when I launched my business because I wanted to just focus on building relationships and trust with my customers, clients or, you know, my community. But a good call to action is just a link underneath and I would suggest building, signing up to lead pages. So either go back to your website or a really, really well optimised lead page and then you can capture people’s email addresses and offer things. So I offer downloads and free stuff, and then obviously you get that email address then and you can hopefully build a relationship, but it’s got to be based on value. Always, always, always value.

What is the best platform for video?

Yeah, didn’t Mark Zuckerberg say in the conference too, back in March, that he reckons that by the end of next year 95 percent of Facebook is going to be video or something. I know that that might not be right but it was a long nose lines and I was just like, “That is incredible, absolutely incredible”. I remember when I quit my job four years ago in recruitment, and I deemed what was quite a very good job in recruitment. And I remember people saying, “Is she seriously quitting her job to make YouTube videos?”. Some people said it to my face and some people said it behind my back. But they thought that I was mental but no, video is absolutely the way forward, so I could probably see that Facebook is definitely going that way. But I don’t think there is a best one, to be honest, I think it’s a case of finding a nice blend – if you want to put it that way – because they all do different things really. So I’m falling out of love slightly with Vimeo at the moment just because I’m a little bit obsessed with Wistia at the moment. So I think it’s fine that you blend between… personally I would look at between YouTube and Wistia for very, very different reasons but to use both of them.

What’s the reason you would use Wistia vs YouTube?

Well, the reason I like Wistia is that you capture emails. It’s a very interactive platform so from a marketing perspective it does things that YouTube can’t do and it’s an absolute dream. But YouTube is till the second biggest viewed website in the world, but Wistia is wonderful because, well, one, it gives you 25 videos for free initially, I mean you do have to pay, I think it goes to about $100 a month after that if you want to use the interactive stuff but you get much fave, I think it’s when people watch your video on Wistia or they click on it, if it comes up on Google they don’t go to YouTube, they go direct to your website and I love that. I mean it might be a case of they might… you might have to host that video on a very, very, very well optimised page for it to come up on Google but yeah, you’re going straight through to your website where you, obviously, you can sell your products or you know, talk a lot more so.

It is frustrating that when I host things on YouTube that sometimes those people will never ever come to my website, they’ll just stay on YouTube so that’s what Wistia does. The analytical engagement stuff I’ve be looking at, I’m launching some new products next month and I’m looking at hosting them on Wistia, it’s just… it’s incredible. I just love it. There’s a clickable link at the end of the video so a real call to action rather than just putting a link at the bottom in the bio section so it can go direct to a sales page, or obviously just to capture email addresses too…. And you can link in your MailChimp, Constant Contact or whatever email marketing software that you use. There aren’t any ads, which some people will like. Obviously YouTube ads pay my mortgage so I actually have revenue from my YouTube ads also in videos so but obviously there are no ads on Wistia which is cool. But for marketers you can control the look of it. I know you can do this on Vimeo as well, but you can control the look of it so you know, the colour, the size of the social media, share button icons so it can look really, really well. And then you can embed that video direct into your newsletter, for example, which is something, that’s one of the main reasons that I love Wistia is that you can embed it, you can copy the code direct and put it into your email marketing platform. For me and my marketing page that they have and it’s direct into your newsletter HTML which is, I think, fabulous. So you get what you pay for, I suppose.

Find out more about Aimee at CareerCake.com and her main YouTube channel CareerCakeTV. Top image: Bloomua / Shutterstock.com