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How To Convert Youtube Views to Fans, Subscribers & Sales

YouTube is the number one place that people go to find music online, so it’s no surprise that many musicians are realizing the importance of establishing a proper presence on the site. But a big question still remains - you’ve put in all the effort to grow an audience and get a load of hits on your videos - now what?

What you want to do next is acquire the fan and connect with them somehow. They may be the kind of person that “subscribes” on YouTube, but most people aren’t, so what you want to do is try get them back to your website to either get their email address or get them to purchase.

Traditionally, the best way to do this was with a link in the description box, but here’s a little tip from us on how to get a much more prominent, clickable link on the video:

Change The Advertisement

You’ve probably noticed that YouTube shows little ads at the bottom of some of your videos. These are mostly useless, and a little bit annoying because they take people away from watching your video.

What we’ve discovered is a little work around that will actually let you control what gets placed in these ads - including a free link to your own site! It’s a slightly lengthy process, but pretty straight forward and well worth it.

Google Adwords

You’ll need to make an ad to promote your video using Google adwords. This doesn’t have to be a big ad or a long campaign, we usually do a $1 ad for 1 day. If you haven’t used Google Adwords before, it’s pretty straight forward - just click “start now” and follow the steps.

Once you’re inside adwords you want to create a new “display ad” and select the “YouTube Promoted Videos Template” as you can see in the screenshot below

Click the “select a YouTube video” option and find your video that you want to promote.

You can set the budget to as little as you want, we usually do $1 - or you can put some proper money into the promotion if you’d like to try boost the hits it gets

Customise Your Ad

One this ad gets approved by the Adwords team (it usually takes about 24 hours) you can login to your YouTube channel, find the promoted video and click edit.

Over on the right hand side, below your video, you’ll now see a new menu that wasn’t there before - “Call to Action Overlay.” As the name implies, this is where you can insert a message that encourages the fans to click through to your website. In this example below - we were giving away a free download of the song being performed in the video, in exchange for the fans email address.

Now when fans view your video they’ll see your ad shown on your video, which will attract WAAAAAAAY more clicks than a link in the description box.

Keep The Clicks

So there you go. Now, instead of fans clicking on random ads for other business’ products, they’ll be clicking through to see more about your music, to join your mailing list or buy your album!

You can also do more to encourage people to click the CTA overlay by mentioning it in the video or do a colored annotation pointing to it - which will help overcome the natural ad blindness that some users have.




Jason Spitz 6:58 pm - 13th October:

Really cool! Quick question, though — does the AdWords budget I set for my ad affect how many times it will appear on the video, and how long it will run for? I’d be interested to see an analysis of what it costs to keep this “call to action” ad present for a sustained period of time vs. the increase in signups/sales you can expect to gain as a result of it.

Peter Tanham 11:33 pm - 15th October:

Jason, that’s the best part - on the video I used in the example I spent $1 on an ad a year ago - and the CTA Overlay is still running today!

Advertising for the video “activates” the option, but stopping the ads doesn’t take it away 🙂

Canalh 2:07 pm - 16th October:

great ! thanks !

David 5:36 pm - 29th November:

If you create an ad for 1$ and it doesn’t go away, does that mean you miss out on the opportunity to make money through Google ads as well?

Peter Tanham 8:05 pm - 29th November:

David, that’s correct - if you think you can make more money from running ads on your video than you could from attracting new fans then absolutely go for that, but 99% of musicians should earn more by trying to get a lifetime fan instead of a $0.10 ad click.

CD BAY 11:12 am - 3rd March:

I think it’s worth a try for musicians since most of us are not really interested in marketing other business products


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