Founded back in 2005, YouTube has quickly become one of the single most powerful platforms for both businesses and individuals. Hundreds and perhaps even thousands of people are able to make their living creating content on YouTube alone. For businesses, there are plenty of reasons that YouTube is critical for digital marketing success.
First, YouTube has an incredibly vast reach. There are over 1.9 billion logged-in active users every single month and many more that are logged in. In the critical 18 to 49 demographic, YouTube reaches more adults during prime time than any single cable network does. Additionally, those same users are twice as likely to pay close attention than they would to a television. YouTube provides a massive, captive audience.
Just as importantly, we need to understand exactly how powerful video content itself is. For example, 72% of people prefer to learn about a new product, service, or company via a video instead of text. 70% of marketers state that videos convert better than any other type of content. When placed in an email or on a landing page, video dramatically increases the conversion rate. Video also gives recall a huge boost. After a month, 80% of users are able to recall a video that they’ve watched.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that YouTube isn’t simply a platform to place video content that you’ve created. You can also use it successfully as an advertising platform. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that YouTube is the social media platform in which audiences are most receptive to advertisements. However, this post is more about using YouTube as a content platform, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments about YouTube as an advertising platform.
Below, we’ll talk about some important ways you can get started with your YouTube content marketing strategy, and how to create content that engages and excites your users.
1. Understand the Types of YouTube Video Content
The first thing you need to think about before using YouTube as a content platform are the types of videos you’ll want to make in the first place. We’ll help you get started by listing some of the most common and useful types of video content below, but the sky’s the limit!
- Product – videos showing people exactly how to use and get started with your products or services are perhaps the most important content pieces you’ll have at your disposal. They will help create a good user experience by providing a useful and engaging way to help themselves and act as a powerful advertisement, too.
- Testimonials – testimonials are a very powerful way to drive trust. If you can show your audience that you’ve been able to help other people like them in a significant way, they’ll be much more likely to trust what you’re trying to sell them on.
- Culture – these videos give your audience a peek behind the curtain. It could be an interview with your employees, a tour of the office, or a behind-the-look view of a product launch. They’re a great way to build your brand and drive authenticity.
- How to – think of a how-to video as a product video taken one step further. Instead of showing your users how to simply use a product or service, you’re going to show them how to take it to the next level. Take Lowe’s as an example. A chainsaw would need its own product video. But if you want to use it for a project, you’d like up “how to cut down a tree”.
- Webinars – recording your Webinars and hosting them on YouTube gives you a way to create content without any additional work. From your audience’s perspective, they’re gaining access to valuable, engaging content that provides valuable insights.
- Live – live streams are becoming more popular every single day. Viewers watch live streams longer than they watch on-demand content. Plus, they give your brand a personal, human touch that other types of content simply cannot replicate.
2. Don’t Forget About SEO
It’s easy to forget that YouTube is actually a search engine itself. Many people will simply navigate to YouTube and search for the type of content they’re looking for. Google itself displays videos organically on its own results page. Despite this, many brands don’t think about optimizing their YouTube video content for search traffic. If you’re able to do so successfully, you’ll see a noticeable jump in your overall engagement.
The first step is the same as it is for any other type of SEO. Think about what keywords and key phrases your audience is likely to search for, and optimize your YouTube content marketing strategy around them. In other words, create the content your audience is most likely to look for.
The next step is optimizing the titles of your videos. Make them short, engaging and informative. Most important, be sure to include your keywords directly in the title for maximum success.
Don’t forget about writing a great description. It should be engaging, keyword-rich, and descriptive. Keep in mind that the first line of your description will be the first thing a user reads before they click to show more, so spend plenty of time nailing the opening.
You’ll also want to take the time to optimize the tags you use for your videos. Obviously, you’ll want to include the keywords and key phrases your video is targeting. However, be careful not to use too many tags, as that could actually hurt your organic traffic the same way that keyword stuffing in text-based content can.
One overlooked aspect of video SEO is watch time. If people click into your videos and only watch briefly before clicking away, it’ll hurt your chances of appearing high on the search results. This means you have to do two things. First, you need to make sure that your introductions are engaging enough to entice the viewer to keep going. Second, you need to make sure that your videos aren’t misleading. The title, description, and thumbnail should capture the essence of your video so that only people who are truly interested start watching in the first place.
Finally, do everything you can to get your users engaged. Generating comments, likes, and subscriptions show YouTube and other search engines that your content is useful and engaging, thus making it more likely to appear organically in searches.
3. Spend Time Managing Your Channel’s Page
Think of your channel page as your company’s homepage on YouTube. Take the time to customize your channel with your proper logo, color scheme, company information, and any links that you think are useful or important. Building the channel page up reinforces your identity and drives home the link between your video content and your business.
4. Engage Fully With Your Audience
The whole purpose of video content is to be engaging, so don’t forget to actually spend time engaging with your audience. Monitor comments and responds to them quickly. Seek other similar content and feel free to comment and start discussions on their videos, too. This will help users looking for similar content stumble upon your videos.
Listen to your audience’s preferences. When one particular video or type of videos get a lot of comments or views, take notice. Create more content like it and respond to people who enjoyed your original video to let them know you have something else they might enjoy. Remember, the larger and more engaged your audience is, the easier it’s going to be for everybody else to find you.
5. Craft Powerful Calls to Action
Just like any other content format, your CTAs are the key to driving any further action. The whole purpose of taking the time to create great YouTube video content is to convince your audience to take the next step, so you can’t forget to actually ask them to do so. In the actual description, make sure to include any pertinent links. You can also use integrated buttons and links directly on your video, so make sure to take advantage of them and speak to them at the conclusion. Lastly, make sure to ask your audience to like, comment, and subscribe to your channel at the end of each video, as that helps drive more organic views.
6. Curate Relevant Content
If you really want to get your YouTube channel off the ground quickly, you can do it without a huge library of your own original video content. Simply create playlists that would be relevant and interesting to your potential audience and add pertinent videos from other content creators (ideally not your competition) to them. When people are searching for this content, they may stumble upon your playlist, which would lead them to your channel page and your own original content.
7. Stay Consistent
You don’t need to post videos every single day, but you do need to put content out consistently if you want to gain any sort of serious traction. The more content you have, the more chances you have to attract any individual user. If you need help getting started, look at some successful non-video content you have, and find a way to repurpose it. You can also interview staff, other industry experts, or satisfied clients very quickly to put together some simple and effective content. The key is putting out enough content so that it’s easy for people to find you and worthwhile for them to stay engaged with you.
YouTube is an incredibly popular social media platform that has basically unlimited potential for businesses to tap into. The key is understanding what your audience wants and how you can best deliver it to them. By following the above advice, your YouTube content marketing strategy will be strong enough to start building a larger audience and engaging with them as fast as you can click the publish button.