YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and a cornerstone of video marketing. While the benefits of the platform are clear, getting started with YouTube and creating an effective video marketing strategy is difficult for many businesses.
A powerful YouTube marketing strategy consists of four key components: planning (and more importantly, knowing your goals), quality content, consistency and targeting.
From the Ground Up: Planning Video Content for YouTube
Great video marketing takes pre-meditated effort. You have to strategize, and more importantly, set concrete and attainable goals, when publishing content on YouTube. Are you pushing for a higher subscriber rate, or are you more interested in raw visibility? Your desired outcome will affect how you produce, edit and optimize new content for YouTube.
One great tactic we highly recommend is reviewing your business’s top 10 most organically-viewed blog/FAQ topics and producing extended video pieces, interviews and even audio read-throughs of those topics.
Focus on Content Consistency
When marketing your business with YouTube, or really any other video platform, the most effective strategies involve recurring and predictable content. Users aren’t as likely to subscribe to your channel if you publish content intermittently, every few weeks, than they would be if you uploaded new content each Monday or on the first day of each month.
On YouTube, sheer volume is the name of the game for building your follower base; additional annotation links, proper tagging and SEO power through descriptions are secondary.
Like traditional blogs and podcasts, the best thing you can do to generate an active audience on YouTube is to share content consistently, and then distribute this content across all of your social media channels.
If you’re utilizing video as a form of blog content, for instance, we recommend incorporating all video posts, titles and descriptions in your ongoing content calendar/blogging documents. This helps in both planning future posts and keeping production on your weekly/monthly radar. Even if all you’re publishing is a recorded webinar or podcast video, set those expectations to keep viewers opening your promo emails and, ultimately, returning to your site.
Tailor Content for Subscribers and the Community
Most folks who will access your YouTube uploads and playlists are doing so natively on YouTube. Merely publishing content on YouTube and throwing it on your website or across social channels doesn’t cut it. The businesses that market most effectively with YouTube are those that modify their channels, annotations and actual video content for their users.
Think about the path new viewers will take to reach your YouTube videos, and ultimately the next steps necessary to drive those viewers to your site.
Here are some quick tips on specializing content for your specific target audience:
- Unless you’re publishing a webinar or have set expectations for a long-form video, keep your business’s YouTube content under 3 minutes in duration. As a general marketing strategy, video is powerful in its simplicity.
- Tailor annotations and other end-of-video link options for individual videos, and push viewers along a natural conversion path with your playlists. This is particularly important for series of videos or other project-specific content. On YouTube, how you format the end of your videos and incorporate external/playlist links can make all the difference between a lost viewer and a website conversion.
At the End of the Day…
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: businesses that use YouTube in conjunction with other hosting platforms (native social media uploaders, private hosting options and the like) typically see the biggest return on their video marketing efforts. For most organizations, YouTube’s greatest marketing value is its audience scope, SEO juice and custom channel options.
Any and all video content you produce should also be uploaded on private hosting services and cross-promoted on YouTube for extra traction. Plan accordingly, create channel playlists based on topic, upload at recurring, predictable intervals and reinforce all uploads with adequate descriptions and tags.
The right way to market with YouTube involves much more than just uploading high quality content; it requires that content to be published consistently, refined on a per-video basis and streamlined for viewers.