Incorporating YouTube into your content marketing strategy can do amazing things for your business. As the world’s second largest search engine after Google, YouTube is an alternate way of extending your reach beyond an existing audience.
Throw into the mix the fact that there is still less competition for eyeballs on this video-based platform (the search phrase ‘social media marketing’ gets you 285 million results on Google, as compared to 7 million on YouTube!), and it definitely makes for a great medium for positioning yourself as an expert in your field and ultimately, driving traffic your way.
Here is a list of high-level tips on how to improve your marketing efforts and increase your brand recognition on YouTube:
- Choose a YouTube username that is consistent with your business brand, and then make sure you link it to Google+. This will help optimize your content sharing and channel management efforts.
- Use your account’s ‘About’ section to include a keyword-dense description about who you are, what you are about and the value you offer potential subscribers. Craft the description so that it is front-loaded with the good stuff because that’s what gets picked up and displayed on search results.
- Create a clear link between your YouTube channel and your website. (Channel settings > Advanced > Associated website)
- Take advantage of the branding opportunity your channel art and avatar image presents.
- Create a channel trailer! This is the first video that new visitors get to see when they first discover your channel. Keep it short, let your personality shine through and make sure you answer the “Who are you?” and “What’s in it for me?” questions people will have. Oh and- don’t forget to ask people to subscribe!
- Organize your best content using playlists with keyword focused titles. This is perfect for videos that are part of a larger series, or videos that are perhaps related in some way. What you are doing here is grouping related videos, ensuring that your content is consumed in the order it was intended and providing an opportunity to play more than just the one video for someone whose attention you already have.
- Use the fact that people favor video content by including the word ‘video’ in the title of your YouTube video, and more importantly, blog post titles and email newsletter subject lines that have an embedded video in them (source: videos in an email can see as much as a 300% increase in click-through rates and landing pages with an embedded video have shown an 80% increase in conversions.)
- When naming your video, remember that it is the first ~ 70 characters of your title that gets displayed in YouTube search results so get the keywords in your title at the start of your video, e.g. “Video Optimization: How to Maximize the ROI From Your YouTube Marketing”.
- The same concept applies to the description that you craft for your video too.
- Front load your description with SEO-rich keywords that your ideal audience would use (and obviously, it needs to match the content of your video).
- Make the ask and include a call to action for those who watched your video – whether it’s to subscribe or to click a link
- Include links to your website, social media profile(s) as well as other episodes or playlists (Tip: you need to include the full URL for it to be hyperlinked)
- Highlight a critical point in the video with something like “Details about this year’s enrollment starts at 2:35.”
- Set words that your ideal audience would typically use to find your content as your tags. To find the best traffic-generating keywords for your videos, use tools like TubeBuddy to run a keyword and competitor analysis before you even start. (Here’s an article by Search Engine Land that explains it all in a lot more detail: YouTube SEO: How to find the best traffic-generating keywords.)
- Categorize your videos correctly. By this, I mean – be guided by relevance. (Tip: When a video fits in more than 1 category, I suggest going with the category that your audience is most likely to use to find your kind of content. The other perspective to take, when relevance applies in all instances, is to up your chances of being found by going with the category offering less competition.)
- Appreciate that different people consume information differently. There are going to be viewers who need or prefer captions. Take the time to provide this option. YouTube makes it incredibly easy. I have tried YouTube’s ‘upload a transcription, then auto-sync process’ as well as it’s ‘auto-generate captions, then edit’ process. Both work great.
- Brand your videos (and your channel) with custom video thumbnails. This is your opportunity to control how your videos are presented to potential viewers- which in turn affects click-through rates. While you’d have to A/B test what works for you, I’ve always thought that including a visual of you helps build a connection with your viewers, and adding a little headline text can do well to offer context.
- Don’t forget to promote the heck out of your YouTube videos.
- Cross promote your videos across all your other platforms. Share them on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. Embed it in a blog. Feature it on one of your weekly newsletters.
- Feature (and link to) your YouTube channel on your website using an awesome plugin. Here’s a link to an article offering the 10+ Best YouTube Plugins for WordPress to Improve User Engagement.
That’s it for now. Good luck!