YouTube Video Strategy: How to Grow a Business With YouTube in 2021

YouTube Video Strategy

Want more leads and sales from your YouTube channel? Wondering how to use different types of videos for different objectives?

To explore YouTube video strategy, I interview Sunny Lenarduzzi on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Sunny is a YouTube marketing expert who helps entrepreneurs next-level their awareness online. Her YouTube channel has 500,000 subscribers. Her podcast is The Sunny Show and her courses are the Authority Accelerator and YouTube for Bosses.

You’ll learn what types of YouTube content and calls to action Sunny uses to scale her business, how to apply the Hot Script Formula to drive traffic to your offer, and more.

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Sunny’s journey on YouTube began 5 years ago, quite by accident.

She was running a full-service social media marketing consultancy and had a handful of clients. Her biggest focus was ensuring that the content she created was generating revenue for those clients and things were going well. As word of mouth spread, she became overwhelmed with the demand for her services but didn’t want to hire a team. At the same time, she knew she needed to find a way to answer clients’ questions without getting on the phone with them or going to an additional meeting because she just didn’t have the time.

Out of desperation, when a number of clients began asking her how to use live streaming and Periscope for business, she recorded her answer in a simple video that was meant strictly for her clients, loaded it to YouTube, and sent the link to her clients.

The next day, she woke up to find the video had thousands of views, and even though there was no call-to-action in the video (because it was for her current clients), people who watched it were finding her email address or her website and asking to hire her. That’s when she realized YouTube was a search engine and people were finding her because they were searching for an answer to the same questions her clients had asked.

That experience led her to commit to a year-long experiment during which she would answer her clients’ FAQs via video on her channel. Within a couple of months, she’d received a message from the head of social media at NATO asking if she would speak to their delegates at headquarters in Brussels.

Over the next 4 years, Sunny focused on keyword strategy and creating The Sunny System, an approach that builds a self-propelling ecosystem that essentially drives more traffic and views to your videos. This in turn creates higher rankings for you so your content is suggested more often to the right audience. Her channel continued to grow, and she created and launched her YouTube for Bosses course which currently serves 8,000 people globally.

Then, when George Floyd was murdered, Sunny felt she had a responsibility to acknowledge the situation and use her platform to bring awareness of the dangers of social media and the echo chambers it enables. On June 23, 2020, she published a video titled, “I’m rethinking social media…”

That video changed the direction of Sunny’s content strategy. She’s gone from being keyword-heavy and focusing on content driven by the planning system that she knows works, to sharing authentically from her mind and heart to transparently create a more equitable and inclusive business platform.

What Marketers Need to Understand About How YouTube Works

As someone who has worked on every social media platform for a very long time, Sunny says YouTube is the only platform that truly delivers long-term, consistent, evergreen traffic to your business.

To do that, though, YouTube needs to know what you want to be known for and who you want to attract. When your positioning is clear to YouTube’s algorithm, it knows when and to whom it should surface your content via search and suggested videos.

If you simply throw up a bunch of content without any thought process behind what you’re publishing, you ultimately confuse the algorithm and it doesn’t know where to put your content.

You need to be clear on your ultimate objective and why you’re using YouTube for business. This clarification will help you create the right video content.

Creating YouTube Video Content for The Sunny System Scaling Funnel

The Sunny System is a three-tier scaling funnel built around how people discover you, learn about you, and get in touch with you. The system is designed so that regardless of whether the new video you publish is part of the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel, the content itself is at the center of your ecosystem.

Sunny creates at least one video for each stage of the scaling funnel each month.

Top of the Scaling Funnel: Videos to Build Awareness With Cold Leads

These videos are designed to attract a cold audience of people who generally don’t know why they need you in their life or why they should follow you. The goal is for YouTube to serve these videos in results for broadly searched phrases so you get a lot of visibility and build brand awareness with people who are curious about a topic. These videos will be your biggest source of views and subscribers.

Sunny calls these breakthrough, gateway, or guaranteed view videos (GVVs) because the topics have proven to deliver views in your niche. They feature beginner-level, basic knowledge and concepts that relate to the ultimate outcome people are trying to achieve.

These videos won’t attract hot leads who are ready to buy from you but they do bring people into your ecosystem so you can nurture them with content until they realize why they need to work with you.

For Sunny, the top-of-funnel video could broadly cover generating passive income.

Rather than delivering a call-to-action that sends these new leads off of YouTube, Sunny uses an end screen for each video to lead viewers deeper into her content by suggesting a related video or playlist. This keeps people on her channel, raising the watch time metric and increasing the chances that a viewer will subscribe.

Middle of the Scaling Funnel: Videos to Educate Warm Leads

Middle-of-funnel videos are designed to educate a warm audience of people who are interested in achieving the objective your products and services help people achieve. This will be a smaller audience because their interest is more topically specific but it’s also a more qualified audience. The path to purchase conversion of this audience will be shorter than that of a cold audience that’s still in the awareness phase of the cycle.

Following on the example above, Sunny’s middle-of-funnel videos for this audience interested in passive income would be about building a brand and authority because that’s an important step in generating passive income. She would cover all of the steps required to build a brand and awareness, and then drop a mention that YouTube is a great way to accomplish that.

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The call-to-action on middle-of-funnel videos is intended to collect an email address from the viewer so the nurturing cycle can continue. Sunny typically sends these viewers to an opt-in or registration page for a webinar/workshop that will further educate them on how a YouTube channel could help them build a brand.

Bottom of the Scaling Funnel: Videos to Convert Hot Leads

Videos at the bottom of the funnel are topically specific and directly relevant to achieving the outcome of whatever your product or service provides to people. These will be advanced topics so you can use advanced language and go much deeper than you would in top- or middle-of-funnel videos.

These videos will have a small number of views but a high conversion rate because they’re designed for a hot audience of people who know exactly what they want. The process of these people going from not knowing you or what you do to ultimately deciding to work with you to get what they want is very short.

In the context of the examples above, Sunny’s video about lead generation on YouTube for entrepreneurs explains how someone’s actually going to make money for a business from YouTube. Helping people achieve that objective is what Sunny’s products and programs are based on so somebody watching that video is likely a very qualified lead for her business. The video may have a small number of views but those views are from extremely hot leads so conversions are high.

There’s no need to warm these viewers up further and you want to reduce as much friction as possible, so the call-to-action should send viewers directly to a page where they can buy your product or book a call with you.

The Hot Script Video Formula for Creating Video

Sunny has developed a proven formula for producing videos that work. The formula breaks down into three phases:

  • Phase 1: delivering the hook, outcome, and testimonial
  • Phase 2: delivering the value
  • Phase 3: delivering the calls to action

This formula can be used to create videos for any stage of the funnel discussed above. Below is an example of a video from the bottom of the funnel.

Phase 1: Hook, Outcome, Testimonial

Start your bottom-of-funnel video with a hook that reassures people that your video is actually about what you say it’s about. Then provide the outcome of what the video is going to teach so viewers know they’re in the right spot and keep watching. Then follow up with a testimonial to establish your credibility. To visualize this, “I helped my client go from 0 to 100,000 subscribers in less than 10 months.” Together, it should take you no more than 45 seconds to deliver the hook, the outcome, and the testimonial.

Phase 2: Value

Next, go into the value and get through it as quickly and succinctly as possible. Don’t put in fluff or filler and don’t tell people why they need to watch the video.

Why? If somebody is searching for how to build a brand and you spend the first 3 minutes of your video talking about yourself and why people need to build a brand, people are going to tune out. They know they need to build a brand. That’s why they clicked on your video. They need to know what to do. Get right to the meat of the topic so people come away from your video feeling like, “Oh my gosh, this is so valuable. I’m getting so much out of this. This person is the expert.”

Phase 3: Calls to Action

Finally, at the end of the video, deliver two calls to action.

The first CTA is for engagement. “If you like this video, hit that like button, be sure to subscribe, and share this with somebody who needs to hear it!” Those engagements essentially signal to YouTube that this is a quality piece of content the algorithm should push to more people who are similar to the viewers engaging with it.

The second CTA is for conversion. “Okay, great. Now you understand how to generate leads from YouTube. How do you actually convert those into sales? I would love to talk to you about this. Make sure you book a call below and we’ll get on a strategy session.” Then use your description, end cards, and a pinned comment to share the URL of that landing page.

Leveraging The Sunny System Scaling Funnel for YouTube Growth

A huge key to growth on YouTube is making sure that you’re not relying solely on the YouTube algorithm to work for you. You need engagement to show the algorithm that you have quality content. When you’re starting out, that’s difficult because you don’t have the audience or subscribers to give you that engagement.

That’s why The Sunny System recommends building your audience on several different platforms that will all work together to drive traffic and viewers back to your YouTube videos.

Additionally, because social media algorithms are unpredictable and you don’t own those platforms, Sunny strongly recommends owning your audience via your email list. In some way, shape, or form, you should always try to drive people to join your email list.

Then, when you do release a new video—whether it’s top, middle, or bottom of the funnel—you can send that video to people you know will be interested in it. Which then gives that video a ton of engagement and tells the algorithm to give it more visibility and a higher rank in search.

What you end up with is an ecosystem built of diversified lead sources and audiences so you’re not relying on one platform or one audience.

Tips for Distributing Videos on Other Social Media Platforms

Sunny’s biggest tip for distribution is to be mindful of using features that are native to each social media platform when you share your content.

On Facebook, for instance, simply sharing the YouTube link to your video is a mistake. Facebook doesn’t want people going off the platform so your reach on that post will be reduced.

Instead, use clips of your original video to create a 30- to 60-second teaser to upload to Facebook. Then you have some options for driving traffic back to the original video on YouTube. You place the link to the video in the first comment on the post and verbally tell people where to find it.

Alternatively, you can use the first comment to tell people to search for the title on YouTube to find the video. When those people search that title, they’ll click on your video, which sends more beneficial signals to the YouTube algorithm.

On Instagram, Sunny suggests a feed post that uses storytelling to share micro-value points without giving away the whole video. Then use the description to tell people to search the title of your video on YouTube.

For Instagram stories, you can create a graphic that fits Instagram Stories parameters. You can then drive traffic to your video with the swipe-up feature (if you have it), with text in the story that tells viewers to search the title on YouTube or by directing viewers to the link in your bio.

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Learn more about Sunny on her website.
  • Explore Sunny’s YouTube channel.
  • Very interested in leveraging YouTube to build your brand or your business? Visit
  • Watch exclusive content and original videos from Social Media Examiner on YouTube.
  • Tune into our weekly Social Media Marketing Talk Show. Watch live on Fridays at 10 AM Pacific on YouTube. Listen to the replay on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

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