I’ve been marketing in the online poker training niche since 2003 – a nice, big market, but lots of competition – and lots of restrictions against advertising in the usual places… which drove me to figure out some creative, unique ways to bring traffic to my sites (beyond SEO)…
Now I’m going to share one of my best-kept secrets with you. It’s not really “secret”, but how well it works seems to be (until now).
What I found is this. Free “training videos” that provide real, useful information to the target market will enable you to get the word out and drive traffic to your site… but YouTube is overflowing with millions of videos, so how can you get noticed?
Can you say “iTunes podcasts”? Yep. By posting your useful, informational videos on iTunes (in addition to YouTube), and ensuring you have a keyword-rich Subject line and description, you’ll have immediate access to millions of iTunes viewers. When I first posted my 2-part podcast on “sit and go tournaments” on iTunes, I got tens of thousands of views – per week!
I had to upgrade my hosting account because the video download traffic soaked up all available bandwidth from my original hosting account.
Let me say that again. I posted an hour-long tutorial, giving away some of my best techniques for free in these two “podcast videos”, and picked up over 40,000 viewers a month – for about 6 months, after which it started tailing off… (time to post another one)
For this to work, your podcast needs to benefit your audience and cause them to rate your podcast highly (I think if you type “sit and go tournament” my video is still ranked #1, and also ranked highly for “poker tournament”, keywords that are in the video subject line).
Need LOTS of free traffic? Don’t forget about iTunes. I believe iTunes is actually a better way to grab loads of traffic from videos than YouTube and the other popular videos sites. Best of all, most of them had enough money to at least buy an iPod (so they probably have a credit card and some money to spend, if you have something they want).
Of course, if you post a cheesy or marketing-oriented video, it probably won’t work. You need to provide real, useful information that your target audience will derive real value from for best results. What I did was included a 30-second “Brought to you by” commercial in the middle of the useful content (works like a charm).
Also, like any video, be sure to include your domain name, so they can come to your site afterwards. Finally, be sure and give the viewers a reason to visit your site (to claim another free gift, another video or other “money magnet” offer that will attract them).
Finally, here are some good articles available on how to post your podcast to the iTunes library. There’s a good article here:
Nowadays, you can simply post your video on some sites and it automatically gets routed to the iTunes Store (podcast library). When I first did this a few years back, I did the old-fashioned way:
1. Created an iPod-compatible video file (I use Camtasia Studio)
2. Hosted it on my own web server
3. Created the RSS feed (XML file) which describes the podcast
4. Registered that XML file with iTunes
Here’s an article for that process:
P.S. Would love to hear what your experience is with iTunes podcast marketing.