YouTube is a driving force to building brand awareness, developing a substantial following, and generating sales. As the second largest search engine on the planet, people are constantly turning to YouTube influencers to discover helpful tips, find reputable products, and honest reviews.
On YouTube, the fitness industry is one of the most competitive niches by far. There are a plethora of workout videos, tutorials, and how-to’s created by legions of aspiring fitness personalities; marketing in this realm can therefore be an enormous challenge. That’s why Fanatics Media CEO, Mark Fidelman, took to Blab on November 18th with the top fitness YouTube influencers to get to the bottom of how the experts market to fans on YouTube. He was joined by wellness experts and YouTube marketing gurus Abel James, Daniel Rose, and Scott Herman for the insider scoop. Watch the full replay here:
Abel James is a fat loss coach, author, and the host of the Fat-Burning Man podcast. As a former strategic advisor to the consumer food and beverage industry, Abel has gained a wealth of knowledge that now goes toward fighting the misinformation that has contributed to the obesity epidemic America faces today.
Daniel Rose is the CEO and Co-Founder of Six Pack Shortcuts, a brand designed wholly around helping people obtain six pack abs as quickly as possible. The Six Pack Shortcuts YouTube channel currently boasts an impressive 3.6 million subscribers and continues to grow each year.
Scott Herman is the founder of Scott Herman Fitness whose YouTube channel has nearly a million subscribers. Scott has been working in the fitness industry since he was 15 and became a personal trainer by 18. With another 400,000 followers across Facebook and Twitter, Scott has developed a devoted and sizeable following over the years.
Take a look at the YouTube marketing acumen these three shared.
Question #1: Who are the people that are watching these fitness videos on YouTube?
Abel responded: “I think the stereotypical YouTube watchers has changed a lot in the past couple years.”
He stated that YouTube viewers used to be younger, more tech-savvy individuals, whereas now everyone is getting in on the game. He divulged how his wife’s dad is now using the platform and how more and more baby boomers are beginning to utilize its offerings as well.
Daniel shared that with his channel, it was mostly younger men at the start; now the demographic is more evenly dispersed among gender and age groups. He stated, “A lot of people don’t realize it is literally everybody. Men and women of all ages.”
Question #2: Why is this not on TV and what is it that you guys are doing differently that wasn’t done before?
Daniel proclaimed that television and YouTube are two completely separate devices and that YouTube is much more unique. He discussed that the biggest marketing mistake brands are making on YouTube is attempting to use television commercials. Daniel stated that YouTube is different in the sense that people need more of a personal connection on the platform. He elaborated by saying, “On TV it’s more like you’re broadcasting, whereas on YouTube it’s a lot more like you’re their friend.” And that for brands, “Somebody needs to be on there making that personal connection.”
Abel whole-heartedly agreed and stated, “Being experienced in both traditional media and internet media, it is a fundamentally different thing. How you connect with people, how you present yourself.” He added that the main distinction between television and YouTube is the option for versatility and length; with YouTube it is possible to generate uniquely targeted short and medium length content led by a personality that the audience responds to.
Question #3: What makes you so popular on YouTube and what are you doing that your competitors are not?
Abel stated, “For me it’s really been about consistency.” He discussed how people who upload videos to YouTube sporadically are creating barriers for their audience to resonate with them. He also stated that folks must be more strategic with the way that they think about their brand operations if they want it to be a lifetime commitment.
Scott: “My biggest thing, the reason why I started my channel was because I just wanted to help people.”
He reflected how when he started his channel back in 2009 that he was doing cheesy videos in his apartment just so that he could help folks and connect with them. He thought that one of the reasons he is so well-known today is that since the beginning he has taken the time to respond to each and every comment on all of his videos.
Mark asks if other YouTubers are doing that as well and insists there must be some other ingredient to their success.
Scott stated that he believed most YouTubers don’t interact with their audience as much as he does and that his drive to help people is what really shines through to his followers.
Daniel agreed that it is massively important to communicate with your audience. He also added that there is a big difference between the audience and those who actually interact in the comments. He pointed out that older men typically don’t comment much, whereas younger men do. But while younger men don’t normally spend as much, they will be the ones who will share the materials across social. This is why Daniel believes organic ads, and drawing in the younger generations, is so important.
Question #4: What types of campaigns will you do for brands and what types will you not?
Abel shared this: “It has to be a product that I would use at home. It has to be something that is really a part of my life.” I think one of the biggest and most important things about new media is that you need to be a real person.” He also stated that the moment an individual begins to promote something that they don’t personally believe in, they lose credibility.
Scott agreed as he reflected on a product called Thync that he and his wife tested for 3 months and found to be excellent. When he posted his video endorsing the product, his fans reacted poorly and began to call him a sellout. Scott summed up his answer with, “It has to be stuff that you use in your lifestyle and sometimes you’re going to have a hard time getting that message across if it’s something new.”
Question #5: Are There Any Better Platforms Other than YouTube for Brands to Gain Sales?
Scott stated, “YouTube is #1. If you want to grow your social media, you need to be on YouTube.” He compounded that by stating that if a person wants to grow their brand they have to be willing to show their personality.
Daniel concurred stating that he believes the only other platform that comes close is Facebook. “Pretty much everyone needs to be on YouTube and Facebook.”
Abel stated that from a video standpoint, people need to utilize YouTube. He recalled that he has recently been gaining a lot of feedback that people are using YouTube as a way to discover content and that, “If you’re not using some sort of link on your videos then you’re missing out on the whole power of YouTube.”
Question #6: What Are the Challenges in Working with Brands and What Don’t They Understand?
Scott’s response: “I think what brands need to do before they put together their marketing plan is talk to one of us, because they’re just going to waste a lot of time in trying to figure out what our communities want.”
Abel agreed and added, “You also need to know what those people do.” He talked about how quite often he receives emails from fat burning pill companies wanting to sponsor him, when if they knew about his brand, they would know he is constantly making fun of such products. He also believes it to be good practice for businesses to send content creators their products months ahead of time so that individual can create talking points of their own.
Daniel felt that the biggest mistake brands are making is sending out scripts for content creators to read. “I would give the content creator a little more creative control if they have a good track record. I feel the real money in YouTube sponsorships is made from long term relationships.”
There is still tons more valuable information to be gained from these YouTube experts in the full video.
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