YouTube is a massive conglomeration of videos covering just about every subject. If you start to type in “how to” in the search bar, you get everything from “how to love Lil Wayne” to “how to draw a rose” (and yes, that is what popped up when I typed in “how to”). You can find music videos by Rhianna right next to a user’s acoustic cover of Rhianna, and you can also find classic YouTube treasures like “Charlie bit my finger” and “Keyboard Cat.” With more than one billion unique visitors coming to YouTube each month, the site is a potential marketing gold mine. With over 100 hours of video being uploaded to the site every minute, however, it can be hard to make your efforts stand out. Here’s 13 tips on how to successfully boost your Youtube marketing efforts– and results!
Tip 1: Be Original
In addition to the never ending onslaught of Keyboard Cats and Sneezing Pandas, a rapidly growing number of companies are flocking to YouTube to boost their own marketing efforts. If you are going to stand out, you have got to do something that is different. It sounds obvious, but this is often a lot harder than it sounds. Utilize creative, visually appealing graphics and insert humor.
Coming up with content to make a video can seem daunting, but if you can blog about it, you can make a video about it. Making your own how-to video showing how to use your product, interviews with other experts in the field, or creating an FAQ to answer questions can all be great ways to build clients’ confidence in your level of expertise and the quality of your product. Videos have the potential to be engaging and eye catching at the same time, so take advantage of that. Most importantly, deliver information your audience wants in a way they’ll find appealing.
Tip 2: Grab Their Attention Quick
When you’re watching a video on YouTube, next to it you can see a long list with links to other videos in the side bar. If your video doesn’t catch a user’s attention immediately, they’ll click on another one without batting an eye. Expert Mari Smith says that in the first 3-5 seconds you must grab viewers attention, essentially giving them a preview of how incredible the rest of your video will be, because 3-5 seconds is all you’ve got to keep them.
Tip 3: Have Strong Eye Contact, High Energy
Again, this one seems obvious, but this doesn’t always happen. It can feel awkward looking directly and confidently into a camera. If you don’t, however, it can make you seem distracted or nervous, making viewers in return uncomfortable. Be upbeat, smile, and be approachable just like you would in real life. Having people like you is a huge part of success in your business and in YouTube videos. You lose a lot of charisma and energy when you’re shuffling papers or looking over in the corner, and you want to be seen as a knowledgeable expert, not a nervous user making their first video and can’t stop fidgeting.
Tip 4: Make Sure Your Video Can Be Found
Having a marketing campaign on YouTube is near useless if your video is impossible to locate, staying hidden under everything else on the site. It’s crucial to make sure that it’s easy to access and find your videos both from within YouTube and outside it. Have links to your YouTube channel everywhere—on your website, on your Facebook, on your Twitter, and even in email newsletters you send out to clients. Post your videos directly onto your other sites, letting customers know that you’ve got new content for them to watch.
Aside from making sure your channel is accessible to visitors on your sites, you also have to make sure that users googling blind for results will be able to stumble upon it as well. Keep in mind that Google owns YouTube, and that Google searches (as well as those on other search engines) often display videos on the first page of search results.
In order to make the most out of this, make sure that your most targeted keywords are in the title of your video. The example I have here is the video titled “Stock Market Tips and Facts: How to Read Stock Market Quotes.”
Not only the title clear about it’s subject matter, it reiterates exactly what the video is with a specific rewording of the topic. This increases your chances of having your video pop up with a wider range of search phrases. If anyone searches for either “stock market tips” or “how to read stock market quotes,” this video would pop up for in both search results.
Now let’s take another look back at the picture. Another thing they do really well? There’s a clear description of the video, stating exactly what is going to be covered in the video and who it’s going to be covered by. And, of course, make sure your description is chock full of keywords.
Tip 5: Use Tags
This goes with the above topic of making your video findable. Like with the description, it’s important to place all keywords in your tags section. Like a concise title, tags will help your target audience find the video even if the exact wording of your title and their search phrase don’t line up exactly.
Tip 6: Encourage People to Subscribe and Like
Landing pages are widely used to get people to leave their emails or contact information. A nice little benefit of marketing on YouTube? You don’t even have to get anyone to leave their personal information, you just want them to click those likes and subscribe buttons so that every new video you upload goes directly to them. While the like button doesn’t send the videos to them in the future like a subscription will, it still affect your video’s priority in the search engine rankings. The most liked and subscribed to videos and channels will pop up first, so getting people to like your videos and subscribe to your channel can help new viewers find you, too.
Tip 7: Make Your Channel Fit Your Brand
Everything you do when it comes to your business contributes to the brand you build. You want your YouTube channel to match your actual website and your social media sites. Consistency can help gain credibility, just as a site that is updated frequently and looks filled out with good content will help gain (and keep!) credibility. Make your channel unique, giving it a customized background. This only takes a few minutes, but it makes it look like you’ve put a lot of effort into your channel instead of starting it as an afterthought when you were bored. A customized channel helps viewers to get the sense of who you and your company are, and again, it makes you stand out from everyone else.
Tip 8: Use the “Player View” Layout
Part of how YouTube prioritizes videos in results is the number of page views, so this next tip is an effective trick to boosting your views. By using the “Player View” layout, not only do you get to pick your best video to be featured, the video also automatically plays and therefore boosts your total views numbers.
Tip 9: Engage Viewers
Social media at its core is designed to be interactive. Again, I’m going to use the Epic Rap Battles of History videos because they do a great job when it comes to viewer interaction. They encourage viewers to say who they thought won the rap battle. They take only viewer suggestions in regards to what their next video will be, many of which are plastered all over their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube comments in abundant numbers. They feature behind the scenes clips for every video, giving viewers an up-close glimpse at how it’s made and a chance to get to know the people who are behind it. While it would seem fairly easy to encourage users to interact when they get to propose rap battles between Genghis Khan and the Easter Bunny, Peter and Lloyd (the two creators who started the idea) have become famous as YouTube sensations. They have actually build an entire career off of entertaining people from a studio near their home, doing something they love. While most of us don’t go quite to that extent, using YouTube to enhance our careers instead of to become our careers, they’re obviously doing something very right and it doesn’t hurt to take some notes.
Tip 10: Try to Get Them to Watch More
We’ve already established that there are dozens of videos hanging out in the sidebar waiting to grab viewers away from you in the blink of an eye. If a viewer has watched your video all the way through to the end, make sure they’re prompted to watch more. One way to do this is to form playlists, automatically playing video after video until they’ve gone through everything. This allows you to put them in a specific order if desired, which is especially useful if all of your videos are designed to be watched in a set order.
You can also use annotations to have prompt links to other videos. These are, essentially, calls to action that are just calling someone to click on them. You can offer multiple annotations advertising different videos, playlists, a link to your website, or even a subscribe option. Using annotations to suggest other videos can help boost overall views when they go to your other videos.
Tip 11: Use YouTube Ads
Being featured in a YouTube ad will mean your video pops up in a highlighted box in the search results. See here:
There is no need to explain the benefits of this. Aside from this, there are several other hefty benefits of this particular type of advertising. You can pay for your video to pop up when certain keywords are searched, and you can do so on a pay-per-click basis. You can also do this for substantially less than when you pay for advertising on Facebook or Google.
If you have your video promoted on YouTube, you can now take advantage of CTAS, or Call To Action Overlays. The overlays begin as soon as the video plays, and you can use it to give more information on your video, channel, other videos, or website. If viewers click on the CTA, they can be directed to your website or your YouTube channel. Even if a viewer didn’t get to your video by it being promoted, and even if you’re video is no longer promoted, the CTAs will remain on the video as long as you choose to leave them there. The best news about CTAs, perhaps, is that it’s a free feature so you’re getting more advertising for no added cost.
Tip 12: Partner Up with YouTube Celebrities
As established earlier, there are creators like NicePeter and EpicLloyd who have become celebrities thanks to YouTube. These two actually advertised the video game Assassins Creed in one of their rap battles, garnering a lot of interest in the game amongst their fans. There’s a lot of YouTube celebrities out there, and a lot of them specializing in different areas of expertise. Give them free samples of your product and ask them to review it online.
Let’s say you sell cake mixes. Send a box to Rosanna Pasino, a YouTube personality who’s gained popularity by making cakes modeled after video games. Getting someone teaching a how-to to use your product will increase the odds that the people learning will want to use exactly what she did.
Tip 13: Review Results
Just like with every other part of your business and marketing campaign, it’s important to take a look at what’s working and what’s not. YouTube gathers all sorts of good data for you to go through, both on individual videos and all of them. You can see which videos are the most watched or most liked. You can also see who’s been watching your videos and how they got there in the first place. You can use this to create contenet more relevant to your audience, and to develop new ways to get them to see it.
It’s also important to take a look at user feedback in the form of comments. Are people asking for something different? Are they asking questions or leaving replies, showing interest? Again, YouTube is a form of social media, and user interaction is hugely important. Find out what your target audience wants by using your results, and they’ll keep coming back, to you, your product, and your channel.