Just like any marketing campaign you need to know what results you would like to obtain? Are you attempting to raise brand or product awareness?
Are you wanting to drive traffic to your website? Are you hoping to get the ‘word out there’? Whatever the reason is, you need to have a precise plan for an effective marketing campaign to be a roaring success.
For marketing purposes you should typically be using YouTube to drive people to your website, become a member of your community, join your mailing list or view other content (such as courses).
Getting Started on YouTube
It’s very easy to start a YouTube channel, if you already have a google account then simply ‘sign in’ to the account and navigate to YouTube.com. From here you can create your own page (also known as a channel) – this is where you’ll upload all your videos.
Choosing a username is quite simple, it should be short and un-complicated, exactly like the descriptions described for other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Your username should reflect your company, product or service and be memorable for your customers and users to remember.
Here is the full YouTube user link:
If you already own a YouTube channel you can easily link this to any Google+ account, simple go to your account settings on YouTube and click on; Link channel with Google+’ below your email address.
One of the first things you should do is create a high-quality avatar image (profile picture) for your new channel, it’s recommended that you use a high resolution image that’s 1600 x 1600 pixels. This picture will be displayed on search results and comments as a thumbnail, If you have linked your YouTube channel to your Google+ channel then your Google+ avatar will automatically become your YouTube avatar, you can change this through Google+ settings panel.
It’s worth remembering that a great avatar can act as a promotional poster and attract a lot of visitors to your videos, think about what appeals to your target audience and adapt your plan accordingly, generally it’s recommended to keep your thumbnail for a prolonged period of time so there’s some ‘familiarity’ however you can change it to match seasonal trends and events.
It’s also a good idea to upload a YouTube ‘banner art’ so it displays prominently on all devices, from computers, tablets and smart phones. YouTube introduced this feature in June 2013 and it has been a great branding tool ever since. It’s recommended that you upload an image which is 2560 x 1140 pixels in size, this is because it can be displayed on large devices (televisions) and small (mobile phones) – the image simply ‘responses’ in size to whichever device it’s been viewed on.
Generally, it’s a great idea to ‘wow’ any potential user with a fantastic image which highlights exactly what your business or product is about, try and build a connection which makes a user click on a video or click on your external link to your official website!
Video Page Ranking
Some people think that simply uploading a video to YouTube is ‘enough’ and it should automatically be watched by millions of people, after all millions of people use YouTube don’t they? Yes, they do, however simply expecting a video to ‘take off’ simply won’t happen for the vast majority of people.
Just like Optimising a website for search engines, you need to optimise a video so it stands the best possible chance of ranking higher than your competitors, here are some elements you should be aware of:
Video Title – A video title is obviously important, it can drive a lot of traffic to a video, however it’s crucial that you don’t stuff it with as many keywords as possible, generally the best titles only contain around 5 or 6 words.
Description – Typically you can employ similar Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques within the description sector, make sure you include your keywords and link to your website / landing page in the first few sentences of the description. It’s recommended that you link to your website within the first line if possible.
Tags – Tags should never be overlooked, Optimising this section correctly can make a big difference to the performance of your video, they firstly help YouTube with categorisation and secondly they help with related content (such as videos on the right sidebar) – this can be important when for attracting new viewers from competitors or rivals.
Comments – Typically the more comments a video has the better it will rank, this is because comments indicates viewer engagement, popularity, video relevance and trust.
Views – Similar to comments, views can affect your rankings, if your views are increasing quickly this highlights viral potential and a high-quality video (because it’s perceived as being popular) – obviously getting high views is easier said than done, but it certainly can help to propel you to the top of the YouTube search results.
Viewer Retention – Always keep an eye on your statistics within YouTube analytics section, video retention simply counts how many of your viewers watch your video until the end, if you’re achieving high figures this typically signifies quality content.
Subscriptions – Getting people to subscribe to a YouTube channel can be a very difficult task depending on the industry or sector you’re targeting, generally it will be easier to get subscribers for music artists compared to a company selling sinks. In general, terms the more subscribers you have, the better your content as this once again indicates quality and popular content.
Video Likes (Thumbs up/down) – a part from measuring the feedback of a video, i.e. more thumbs up indicates a popular video, thumbs down indicates an unpopular video – the thumbs feature is also used by YouTube when recommending videos to other users who may be interested in the content you have uploaded. This can be seen on the suggested videos tab on the right hand side, so always attempt to have as many ‘thumbs up as possible.
Back links – Just like major search engines, YouTube uses inbound links to rank your channel and the videos you upload.
Create Video Playlists
Once you’ve got a user hooked you can always reel them into more videos and content through the use of playlists, this is simply a great feature YouTube offers to all accounts. You’re able to organise all of your videos into sections which can easily be discoverable, for example you can have a ‘product demonstration playlist’, ‘popular products playlist’, ‘new product playlist’ and so on – the possibilities are endless, you’ve just got to use your imagination in how to ultise the tools for your requirements!
Creating a playlist is easy, simply log into your YouTube account and click on ‘Video Manager’ on the left hand side, you should notice the following links, Videos, Live Events, Playlists, Copyright Notices, Search History and Likes. Click on ‘Playlists’ – after this a new page should appear and towards the top of the page there should be a little box with a plus sign that says ‘New Playlist’ click on this button and select the videos you would like to use.
Drive More Traffic to Your Website
YouTube can be a great source for driving new traffic to a website or web-store, even people who are beginners with video technology can still obtain decent results when used in the correct way. Generally it’s a good idea to combine your video content with a separate landing page, this firstly enables you to track how and where a visitor has came from and secondly you’re able to streamline your content so it’s relevant to the visitor in question.
So how can you do this, well here’s some tricks that you may find extremely useful.
If somebody has reached the end of your video they probably liked what they saw, you need to capitalise on this moment. Always include an ‘end of page advertisement’ this can be a simple a graphic which may include your name, logo, telephone number and website address. Please see the example below:
The Image above is an illustration only for example purposes – it is not real.
Generally we all lead busy lives, sometimes we don’t have the time or opportunity to watch the whole video (no matter how impressive) – to combat this problem you can simply include YouTube’s built in function of annotations.
Equally ut’s extremely important that you ultise YouTube’s video description section for each video you upload. Typically 65 characters will fit in the first line of the description, this is prime real estate that most people will read. You should place any links (website address, landing pages, etc) in this section, always remember to include ‘http://’ as part of the URL so the link can be clickable and open in a separate window or tab.
On your main account page always remember to include an appealing channel art banner, include elements such as your logo, contact number and website address. Equally it’s also important that you remember to complete all of the settings in your YouTube profile, you can have a clickable link to a website address which some brands ultise in unique ways, for example the average user will simply put their website address – www.Domain.com – however some brands cleverly use landing pages and call to action text such as ‘Get a free quote’ or ‘get this fantastic deal now’.
Please note this strategy will only work if the overall content of the YouTube channel is consist and collective as one, if you’re posting random videos this simply won’t work and could confuse the viewer.
Limit on what you post to YouTube, for example say you have a music video or new product, make your audience work to learn more – if they want a free mp3 as part of a giveaway they can get that, but they have to ‘like and unlock’ the content on your Facebook page.
If a customer wants a free demo or sample of a product, they can get that too, but they need to visit your website and join your mailing list. (This tactic works great if you ultise it with a custom landing page).
Further Video Related Tips
Provide Valuable Content – It’s easy for anybody to create a video and upload it to the internet, there’s millions and millions of videos to choose from – so how can you differentiate yourself from everybody? The answer is simple, provide valuable content. This may be easier said than done but it’s certainly worth looking at your sector and writing down all the content you see from your competitors, what are they missing? Can you find a niche that hasn’t been done?
Or equally can you do something they may have done, but improve it! Have you noticed company videos which promote their nice factory or process but as a customer it doesn’t really mean anything at all to you? I’ve seen it countless times and yes on the outside it looks great, but that doesn’t mean the product will be any better than somebody else’s.
You need to create an emotional reason inside of your customer, a response that is so over-powering it’s saying ‘you can’t live without this product!’ – Forget about highlighting how many awards you have won that can be saved for the end of the video, capture their attention from the start and show the customer what the product or service can do for them!
Sound – People look shiny new gadgets and generally they purchase expensive equipment, I’m all for professional looking videos and if you can do it, then great! However sometimes people forget about one important element, the sound! How many times have you heard a cracking, hiss or fuzz when listening to videos on YouTube? How many times have you heard videos that only is present in one earplug?
In general standards are improving, however I always say if your video is representing your company or product then TV standards need to be met. After you have created the video, sit back and watch it, if it’s not good enough for a national television advert it’s probably not going to ‘wow’ or inform your customers. Always attempt to have the best possible standards.
Nothing is Perfect – Attempting to have the best possible standards and having the best possible standards are sometimes two different things, remember nothing is perfect and everything is viewed differently by different people. Always attempt your best and don’t get dis-heartened if somebody, somewhere dislikes what you’ve done, because at the end of the day nothing is truly perfect (even from the professionals).
Consistency – Whatever level you’re creating content at, always stay constant to that level, don’t ‘dip’ – Consistency can be the key to long term success on YouTube, once a viewer knows your standard they begin to expect that same level everytime, so don’t disappoint and always keep producing quality content and relevant content.
Music can be a great way to raise interest and engagement with your video, if you’re attempting to sell a product or service then you’re using this music for commercial purposes. Songs which have been recorded by an artist will require a license (usually for a fee) and for other paperwork to be cleared (such as usage on a worldwide basis, length of video and so on).
It’s highly recommended that you purchase a ‘royalty free’ music track for your commercial videos, you can buy these from an array of different websites, simply search online for more information.
Equally there’s also a feature in YouTube called the YouTube audio library which has over 150 royalty-free backing tracks (check the rights for commercial usage).
Access the YouTube Audio Library via the creation tools menu in the video manager section of your YouTube account. You’re able to ‘filter’ the list provided by duration, mood, genre and instrument, you can also preview the track before you download the song you like.
Did you know YouTube are basically offering free space to plug your channel? If not, then you need to check out ‘Fan Finder’.The YouTube Fan Finder feature allows you to submit up to five channel ads that targets users who are most likely to love your content.
This is done through a ‘matching science’ that looks at what people are already watching on YouTube and highlights your channel to them. The overall theory is that the user will eventually become a regular viewer and you will grow a strong fan base on the platform.
To enable this feature simply navigate to the Video Manager section on your YouTube account and click on Fan Finder in the menu. Simply upload a channel advert, which can be created in a similar style to how you would normally create your videos. Then submit the video for ‘review’ to the YouTube Fan Finder page.
Typically it’s a good idea to keep your advert short and sweet, be clear with what you want to say and portray a professional image.
As the majority of people won’t have a clue who you are, it’s recommended that you introduce yourself within the first five seconds. Remember to be yourself and don’t ‘change’ the way you operate or the company operates, if your target audience likes your humour then display it, as each industry is different only you can know what works well for your market.