Do you want to be the next YouTube star?
Or do you at least want your business to be the next YouTube star?
There are so many opportunities out there for content marketing from Facebook to Tumblr and everything in between. However, how many businesses are utilising a site like YouTube?
YouTube is the fastest growing video sharing site in the world. It has over 1 billion users and these users go on to watch over 4 billion videos every day.
Yes, you read that right.
4 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day.
Would it not be awesome if one of those videos was something that your brand created?
The interesting thing is however, many businesses forget or skip over using YouTube as a marketing channel because well, let’s face it, it is much more costly and timely to create a video than it is to whip together a blog post or share an infographic.
But, what if we could convince you that your investment into YouTube could be the one thing that helps catapult your brand in 2016?
Let’s take a look at some of the statistics and metrics from YouTube:
- 56 countries post content on Youtube and this includes over 61 languages
- YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google (and is owned by Google)
- More content is uploaded to Youtube in 60 days than all three major US TV Networks generated in the last 60 years
- 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute
- One out of four billion or 25 percent of daily views come from mobile devices alone
- 17 percent of all internet traffic flows through YouTube
- 6 billion hours of video are watched every month on YouTube
Despite these statistics, the YouTube market is not as saturated as you think. In fact, there are so many opportunities to establish more clients or customers, feature higher in search engine results, build your reputation and grow your business through YouTube.
Because of the large base of people using YouTube, it is also likely that your demographic are on there, just waiting to hear from your brand.
If you have been thinking about starting a Youtube channel, or curious of where it can take you, we are going to take you through all the steps you need to create a thriving, kicking YouTube baby.
Your Content Strategy
Just like any good marketing plan you need a content strategy. In order to do this, you need to narrow down who you are catering your videos to. The more you can define this, the more direction your content will have.
To get started, think about the type of person you are marketing to specifically.
For example, instead of just broadly suggesting“marketers”, aim for something like “marketers in Melbourne” or “online marketers”.
The next thing to think about is what your demographic may want to learn from you or what goals they may have.
For example, if you are catering to online marketers, think about the things that they may specifically want to learn about, like how to make money online.
You can also branch out here and think in a broader sense. Maybe an online marketer would also want to learn the best posture to sit at a desk or something more indirect to what they do.
Remember, the main point of content marketing is to get your target audience engaged so you can eventually market to them in the long run.
The next important thing to think about is how your demographic will want to receive this information.
Even though YouTube is all about creating videos, it may help you to think about whether you are going to do it in a tutorial style, in a product review, in a demonstration or in a general overview video.
Think about how your video will be able to enhance the content that you are aiming to provide and then think about what will really be beneficial to your audience.
To recap, start by-
- Thinking about your audience specifically
- Thinking about what your audience really wants to learn from you
- Thinking about the best way to deliver this content in video format
Creating Your Videos
In order for your videos to be successful they have to contain juicy information that helps to attract viewers.
Having a high quality video with strong production elements will also be important, but the first step is to really nailing the type of content that your audience wants to see and hear.
To help you think about what type of content you may want to produce, think about whether you want to entertain your audience or teach them something.
If you really think about it and narrow it down, these are usually the only two factors that drive people to watch content online.
Of course, it would be best if your video could accomplish both these things, but starting with just one will help you to know which direction you need to take your videos in.
Understanding this will also help you to shape the videos and determine the style and approach you would need to take.
Once you have established your main idea, it is time to get thinking about producing it.
No matter what content strategy you have gone for, simple is always better. In fact, we recommend that you start as simple as possible in order to ensure that you can focus on your goal and deliver content that is clean and distraction free.
When you start to get the hang of things you can then branch out and start to practice some of your Academy Award winning moves, but until then, stick to the basics.
How to keep your video basic and clean:
- Stand or have your subject against a blank wall. White walls work best, but feel free to also work with what you have got.
- Make sure the surrounding area is free from noise. This includes voices, street traffic and your pet dog. It may also be worthwhile to invest in a good microphone for your camera.
- It is not necessary to have a pro, high-tech camera, however using one that can deliver high resolution videos and a clear image is paramount.
- Make sure the lighting is soft and not too harsh. Try to ensure that your face or the subject can be seen clearly and is not shadowy or over-exposed. Take advantage of natural light by shooting first thing in the morning or just before sunset.
- If you have a person in the video, try to have them wear solid coloured clothing as patterns can be distracting.
- Get savvy with editing software like iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Alternatively you may wish to source this out to a third party editor if you are not confident with your skills.
If you need help with creating an epic video, we recommend you watch some of your favourite YouTube stars or brands for inspiration and to see if there is anything you would like to replicate in your own videos.
There is a creative element to creating video content, so really there are no rules. But researching and then blending your own style and intention into the video will definitely work well.
It may also help to know that most people run a YouTube channel for at least year before they really start to learn and see what their audience truly wants. Of course there are always exceptions, but for this reason, never stop innovating or experimenting with different techniques and styles.
Optimising Your Videos
In order to get people to watch your videos you do need to do some optimising. In many ways, getting your videos to rank high up in Google’s search results comes down to similar practices that you would do for SEO on your website.
The first step is to create a YouTube Channel. This where you will upload your videos to and where users can find your videos and subscribe to keep updated. Once a user subscribes, they will be sent an email by YouTube every time you update or add a new video.
When you create a channel, YouTube automatically syncs it to your Google+ Account as well. This is a great way to co-promote your videos and it also helps you to rank higher in Google’s search results.
In order to make it easy for your brand to be noticed, stick to naming your channel after your brand name and including your company logo for your image.
Along with creating your channel, you also need to ensure that your videos are named in a way that will make them easy to find.
The first thing YouTube looks for when it comes to search results is whether your video is relevant to the title. It does this by assessing these three areas:
- The Title
- The Description
- The Tags
Just like you would for a blog post, think about your main keywords and then include them once in the title, once or twice in your description and then in the tags if appropriate.
When it comes to writing your description, aim to include at least 1-5 sentences about your video. YouTube’s search algorithm is simple and pulls most of its information from this area, so don’t be afraid to provide some detail.
Another way that YouTube assesses how your video will be ranked is by the way that users engage and interact with it.
Basically, the longer that your viewers stick around to watch the video, the higher it will rank in search results. For this reason it may be worthwhile keeping your videos short and sweet until you work out whether your content strategy is an effective one.
Other factors that will influence the ranking and visibility of your videos include-
Overall Views: as expected, YouTube will favour videos that are receiving a high volume of traffic. More views lead to better rankings as long as the audience interaction is good- ie. users are not dropping out within the first 5 seconds. In order to really register in YouTube’s algorithm, your videos really need to be getting a few hundred, if not a few thousand views. Don’t let this dishearten you however, as the more time you put into these features, the more chances your video will have to be seen.
Subscribers: YouTube will give preference to channels that have many subscribers as this proves that people are interested in your videos and want to see more.
Favourites or Social Shares: the more your video is ‘favourited’ or shared through YouTube, the higher up it will appear in the search results.
Comments: this is not a heavily used feature by YouTube, however the more comments a video receives, the more weight it will have with YouTube’s search algorithm.
Taking into consideration these factors, it is important to ensure that your channel is up to date, that your video is properly named and that your description is well written. It may also be beneficial to encourage your users to subscribe, leave a comment or share your video on their favourite social platform.
Promoting Your Videos
There are many ways to promote your YouTube videos, but here are the top four that we love the most and think will do the best, especially when you are just starting out.
1. Email List
The best place to share your videos with has to be your email list.
Your email subscribers are often highly engaged and generally love the content that your brand produces. Secondly, marketing to your email list will give you the chance to do a promotional launch of your videos and explain what your viewers can expect and learn from your video content.
Announcing your YouTube channel through your email list is also a great way to give your audience additional content and access to more information. Chances are if they are signed up to your list they will be highly interested in what your videos have to offer and are more likely to subscribe and share your content.
A good strategy is to craft a special promotional email that announces your new channel and all the benefits that users can receive if they watch and subscribe.
2. Social Media
The second best way to get your video out there is to promote it on your social media networks. Start by sharing your video on your most frequented social networks, whatever they may be for your brand.
You can also use this opportunity to comment and converse with your audience on social media about your videos and what they can expect from your channel.
If you really want to push your videos, you can also try reaching out to influencers in your industry who may be able to share your content on their social networks.
3. From Your Website
Promoting your videos on your company website is a great way to get viewers and prospective customers to watch your content and learn about your brand. It is also an effective way to quickly give your clients and customers information about your business or the products and services that you offer.
4. Paid Advertising
YouTube allows businesses to promote their posts using paid advertising. They offer four different options:
- 1. True View In stream ads: ads are featured at the start of a similar video
- 2. Overlay video ads: ads are featured as an overlay during another video
- 3. True View In-Display ads: ads are featured in the right sidebar
- 4. Display Ads: ads are featured in a larger format on the right hand sidebar
Depending on the type of ad that you select, YouTube charges around $10-30 USD per thousand views. This is fairly reasonable and may be worthwhile, considering the amount of effort, cost and time it takes to actually make the video.
Using Your Videos to Increase Sales
Once you have your YouTube channel up and running and you are starting to get regular viewers, it is important to think about how you are going to use your videos to increase sales and grow your business – because that’s the whole point, right?
The best way to go about doing this is-
1. Include a Call to Action
YouTube allows you to add a call to action to your videos. These often appear in the top right or left hand corners of your video and can be used to direct people to watch another video or subscribe to your channel.
It may also be beneficial to include a link to a complimenting blog post, sales page or product page. This of course will depend on the intention of your video.
Call to Action’s can be very effective on YouTube. In fact, one study found that videos will a call to action converted 31 percent more subscribers than videos without.
Consider testing out your call to actions on existing videos that are already doing well in order to see how they convert. This will help to give you an indication of whether your audience are responding to them or not.
2. Convince People to Sign up to Your Email List
Obtaining new email subscribers is a great way to grow your business. Consider including a link in your description section that redirects viewers to sign up on a special landing page.
You can also test adding this link into your videos, however research has shown that it may convert better in the description section.
3. Write Back to Comments
When you engage with your audience they are more likely to be interested in your products and services. For this reason it is important to take the time to write back to comments and answer viewers questions.
Another thing to note with YouTube is that often commenters can be negative or harsh. While it is important to take into consideration constructive criticism, try not to engage with trolls or allow yourself to be discouraged by them.
4. Let People Know Where Else to Find You
Whether you do this through your video or your video description, give your viewers the opportunity to find you on other networks by leaving your Twitter handle, Instagram username, your email address or even your website details somewhere that is easy to find.
This makes it easier for viewers to reach out to you and find out more about your products and services. It can also help to grow your other social networks.
If you have ever thought of starting a YouTube channel, the time to act is definitely now. There are so many people visiting the site every day and there is currently very little competition considering the scope of the site.
In order for your videos to be effective, start by thinking about what your audience really wants to learn or create in their own lives. Whether you are marketing to businesses or on the consumer level, there is always something that your brand can offer.
Once you have worked out the premise of your content, get to work by creating a simple, stylish and informative videos that are professional and help to convey your message.
There are many different video styles that can help you to achieve this such as tutorials, product demonstrations and more. We really recommend scouting through videos on YouTube that are similar to your brands mission to see what they are doing, what works and what does not work. This will give you a strong beginning foundation and will help orient your videos in the right direction.
Once your video is made, uploaded and you have included all the necessary information including your keywords, it is time to get marketing.
The best place to market your videos is through your email list and then your existing social networks. To help give you a kickstart, you may also want to pay for advertising. YouTube offers many affordable options that may be worth the investment, especially if you have spent a lot of time and effort creating your videos.
It takes time to develop traction on your YouTube channel, so aim to be in it for at least 12 months before you really start to notice mind-blowing results. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule and there is no reason why you can’t start seeing results in as little as a few weeks.
Even though creating a video seems like a lot of work, it really could be the secret sauce that helps your business to thrive in 2016.
Are you going to give YouTube a shot?