How we made $2.5MM from YouTube and Google

there is no clickbait here the backbone of our company success has been Google and by extension YouTube hear me out our website gets around 250,000 organic visits per month I'm excluding all paid and old social media traffic from that number these are visits to our website that came from somebody looking for an answer in Google and stumbling upon our content also our YouTube channel is now getting close to 500,000 monthly organic views since we started both of these efforts the traffic driven to our products and to our websites has generated over 2.5 million dollars in sales and that's pretty insane in this video I'm gonna talk about what we did to kick-start our ranking in Google search how much money we've spent doing it and how much money we spend today finally we'll help you figure out if or when your company should attempt to do content marketing [Music] the potential when focusing on content marketing is enormous we are still a small brand considering but we get millions and millions of brand impressions every year you could say for free just thanks to our presence in Google but this did not come easy or cheap it took us years to develop it the early stages in the early stages of the company we had a small blog and basic very basic social media presence this is back in 2014 so having a Facebook profile still translated into some organic views and some organic traffic it's completely relevant now so we didn't do content marketing per se at least not diligently we mostly just published simple articles and promoted them on social media without a lot of money to boost them at this stage we didn't have our business model clear so we were mostly looking for leads and signups free beta testers and would give us some data about our product experience scale this was the question that changed the course of our company for reals when we joined to the 500 starters accelerator our point of contact Purnima said we're gonna give you $75,000 as part of this program how will you spend them to scale faster and bring users profitably that question pointed out two critical flaws in the way we were thinking about our business first let's understand what bring users profitably me what you pay to bring a user into the platform needs to be less than the revenue that you get from that user that's like basic business the fancy term is unit economics so at that stage we were charging five dollars a month for a product yeah that's not the case anymore sorry so if we subscribe to a user and got them to stay for say 12 months we would charge them up to $60 so it turns out that it's really hard to get a user into a SAP platform for less than $60 not to mention that we need to save some money to actually serve that user you know the servers and the customer support and so on so to the second point scaling faster up until then all of our very few users had come organically we were probably making around $1,000 a month in subscriptions so by organically I mean most of them came via her social media campaigns some press articles and so on but we weren't doing any ads or campaigns that we could quickly scale mostly because we didn't have any money so here's the fundamental problem there was no campaign that we could do that could get his users for less than $60 if we spent the seventy-five thousand dollars we had we'd come out of the experiment with less money and die so what did we do the pivot we did two simultaneous experiments first we increased our pricing at that point we set our plans to 120 and $150 per year and no monthly option at the same time we started running ads on Google search and this is the key that unlocked everything just in case you don't know how Google search ads work you just pay to appear on top of the Google search results these are ads and these are organic results the stuff that Google is naturally recommending okay so the advantage here is that as long as you're paying your ad is going to show up and you can get an ad in there in minutes literally so we started paying clicks from all keywords that related to our business you know keywords like presentation software like PowerPoint alternatives like presentation design you name it then we carefully tracked the visitors that came from each one of those keywords independently to figure out what they did on the platform we did this with Google Analytics it turned out many of them found the platform exciting and signed up for an account but very few of them were paying for a plan yes the pricing was high and it was annual only but we're building a business we needed to figure out a combination of features and pricing and keywords to make money but there was one keyword that worked wonders the keyword pitch deck for every 90 dollars that we would spend on ads we would subscribe one paid customer and since 120 is bigger than 90 we would make at least thirty dollars in profit immediately remember we were doing annual plans so we didn't have to wait for those customers to renew we were literally recovering this cash immediately a money machine nothing good ever lasts because this of course didn't last too long while the keyword pitch thing was a goldmine for us there are only so many searches for this keyword or four related keywords soon enough there was no more money we could pour into this campaign to get us more clicks we were already the first result in ads around this time we did a little hack we launched a second site that we called pitch deck examples com and we still have it and we started running ads to that website as well that worked great and the combination of these two websites allowed us to dominate these paid search results these two tactics grew our company to around $20,000 in monthly subscription remember we started with 1000 it's big change and after that we just couldn't pay for more clicks we had the money because everything that we paid to Google we would recover right away but there were no more searches to target so right there we realized that our ads had a 5 to 10 percent click-through rate so out of every search on Google our ads would capture up to 10 percent of the traffic where did the other 90 percent go well to Google's organic results and we were nowhere to be found in those so we figured we have to rank for Google now this is absolutely critical we only did this after we knew the audience that we were targeting content marketing is expensive very expensive you get tons of traffic but a small percentage of conversions so you don't want to be wasting that effort targeting an audience that doesn't care for your product the reason this strategy worked for us is because we knew that the audience that was looking for pitch deck was made up of startup founders and so we just started developing content for them the content boost I started writing articles like crazy two or three articles per week pitch deck tear downs pitch degree designs pitch tech templates we also combined those writing efforts with paid content boosts if I just wrote the article and just shared it on our tiny social media channels nobody would read it so we decided to spend some ad money to boost them and to get more people to read them now we focused on getting readers as cheap as possible but always making sure that the traffic that we drove actually read the content if you push traffic to a page and they leave 3 seconds after they land the Google algorithm will figure out that your content is terrible these articles were of course optimized for search that's called search engine optimization and the combination of the extra quality traffic and the sudden burst of content from this page called sliding com started getting our content to the front page now this effort lasted around 10 or 11 months the longest bed we had made on a single campaign up to that point I estimate that we spent around seventy thousand dollars over the course of those 11 months now everything was done in house by the way our marketing team grew from just me to a group of four people throughout that time but one year later we had articles ranking in first second and third place for the keywords that were valuable to us we even stopped running ads because the traffic now came quote-unquote free slide being and the company that we are today was built on the backbone of this experiment we grew to over 10,000 customers and over 1 million dollars in annual revenue from people finding us through search and we of course continued to publish content we stopped driving paid traffic and our domain became powerful the content we post in our vlog now ranks rather easy because Google already considers our domain a source of valuable content but then we reached another ceiling we were capturing most of the searches related to pitch decks and investor decks and we were still a small company but now what there are a bunch of customers that are not looking for pitch decks and investor decks and still need one then came YouTube YouTube is after all the second largest search engine in the world so we began creating video versions of our blog posts which completely failed if you're curious you can find some of those really old videos by scrolling deep down into our video uploads I don't recommend you do it we do have a funny ish version of this same story which I shot while I drank one Jagermeister shot permit that's a true story but still didn't work out we hope so tried interviews we try to sit come which didn't work either we tried a tech / design review series that we called the good the bad and the tip also didn't work finally in October 2018 we found our format this format that's me reading from a teleprompter in front of a green screen with some fancy graphics behind me I'm a digital animator so I actually did the animation and those first few videos after we found the right combination we then expanded the team and now we have three people who work behind the scenes to get two of these videos to you every week now is this the right path for your company should you do content marketing before I tell you make sure you that you don't miss those two weekly videos by hitting that big red subscribe button all right now so why shouldn't you do content marketing well you should not do content marketing as your first strategy as I said it's expensive it takes time and there's a lot of trial and error these meters are expensive our latest estimate tells us that each one of these videos costs well over one thousand dollars to produce and that's considering that we don't outsource anything your company has to do content marketing once you figure out that your unit economics work once you know what the perfect audience looks like and the type of content that they consume then you can double down I still believe Google search ads are a fantastic method to figure out if your unit economics are working we have another video in start-up growth which covers a few other options and you can use it in the early stages some other ways in which we can help I have some consulting hours available to help companies around this stuff you can find my contact info in the description and then there's slightly of course which you can use for free by signing up at slam Unicom slash youtube finally if you have any questions around this we have a disc or channel and we do a session a live session after we launch each video so go ahead and join link also in the description see you next week [Music]


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