At The 2018 NAMM Show, Lee Anderton of Andertons Music, NAMM's 2018 Dealer of the Year, shared tips for getting noticed on YouTube. According to Anderton, he grew his online business from $2 million to more than $30 million annually in seven years, and YouTube was critical in making that happen.
Andertons Music currently employs a full-time video staff of three and eight regular part-time presenters. The company releases at least one video per day across four channels. Early on, Anderton contacted guitarist Rob Chapman to do a couple of videos for the store. Anderton eventually migrated from Chapman’s YouTube channel to his company’s own channel. It was a turning point in building Andertons Music’s following and subscribers.
Here are Anderton’s tips for growing your YouTube presence. (Watch the video for the full session.)
Be prepared to get trolled. Inject your personality, opinions, brand and sense of humor into videos. Don’t be vanilla. And you’ll receive comments, so you’ll need a thick skin.
Be honest (and try to keep suppliers happy). There’s a fine line to walk when demoing products. You have to be totally honest about a product, even if it’s negative. That said, be careful what you say. Don’t use YouTube to assassinate.
Don’t rely on someone else for growth. Start your own channel from Day One. Anderton shared that he spent the first three years growing Rob Chapman’s channel and finally started his own. Your YouTube address is valuable. You want to grow your own subscribers.
Monetizing the overseas audience. According to Anderton, his store’s YouTube channel generates $5,000 a month in ad revenue, but it costs him five times that number to run it. There are other ways to monetize the audience. One way is indirectly from customers who watch a channel and form brand loyalty.
Growing the tech, drum and keyboard channels. Andertons is a combo store. Its main YouTube channel produces content primarily on guitars. So, Anderton decided to create another channel that’s targeted to other segments. He warned against posting sporadic content for tech, drums and keyboards on a guitar channel.
Look for more sponsorship. Anderton has a dream to get to the point where his YouTube channel becomes attractive enough for consumer product companies who want to partner with him.
Keep abreast of other video sharing platforms. If YouTube decides to make a big change, it’s out of your control. Right now, YouTube has no competition, but Facebook and Amazon are getting into the market. Things are going to change in the next few years, so follow the developments.
Content is king. Your content has to rise to the top. If it’s boring, it doesn’t matter how good the production is. It’s a waste of time.
Finding your own unique angle. Ask yourself what your unique angle is. It doesn’t have to be about millions of subscribers; the quality of engagement is more important.
Transitioning from doing it all yourself to hiring people. Anderton has a video format: two presenters, no script, have fun, a percentage of talking versus playing and the right flow. His video editor knows the guidelines and keeps a sense of humor. Anderton advised retailers to hire people who are an extension of your brand and personality.
Building your YouTube channel. You can use your existing Facebook and email marketing platforms initially. What’s important to YouTube is the title, thumbnail, tags and keywords if you have a small subscription base. Google’s using less in the algorithm for tags. You’re better off to float to the top in a small niche category, organically.
Message versus entertainment. Anderton commented that his YouTube longevity comes from an innate ability for staff to spark off each other and be entertaining without a script. Every YouTube video Andertons Music produces is about entertainment first, then the product. If it’s not funny and entertaining, people won’t stay to watch it. Your average view time in analytics tells you what’s working.
Do it for love. Anderton does YouTube because he loves it. His company produces YouTube videos three to four days a month. And he shared that it takes three to four years before a YouTube channel has traction, so you should be making videos for the love of it.