Video marketing is huge, and YouTube is the online home of video content. With more than 1.8 billion active users, YouTube remains the leader of the pack, despite rising challenges from Facebook and Instagram (particularly via Stories).
And if you're looking to utilize video within your digital marketing efforts, YouTube needs to be at least on your radar - but how can you ensure that you're making the most of your YouTube efforts, and establishing an effective brand identity and strategy for the platform?
While there's no definitive right or wrong process, these four steps are must-do's for anyone who wants to maximize their YouTube performance.
1. Really Work on Your SEO
Search engine optimization is not limited to websites and blogs - you need to think in terms of "findability" when it comes to video content as well.
Failing to do so will potentially banish your videos into obscurity, and not only in YouTube search, but on Google as well (since Google owns YouTube and their search algorithms are closely aligned).
To maximize your YouTube SEO, you first need to make your video title "keyword relevant". Use a decent keyword density in your description, and use the proper tags in your content. These steps will help bring people to your videos.
Tools like Text Optimizer can help you create better-optimized content, easier and faster, so it's a good option to consider for your YouTube video descriptions. Text Optimizer uses semantic analysis to extract related concepts from Google's search snippets, then helps you construct sentences around those terms.
2. Treat Your Videos as Part of Your Content Strategy
Your video strategy and your overall strategy need to be interconnected to ensure optimal branding performance.
Content marketing, in general, can be a great source of cost-effective leads and website traffic. And if you manage to create a blog post that generates a steady stream of organic traffic, you can embed your YouTube videos within them to help both illustrate key points and increase your video views and engagement.
You also need to keep an eye on your analytics, particularly in relation to embedded videos.
You can use Youtube Analytics to identify how much of your embedded videos people tend to watch - while it's also a good idea to implement on-site analytics to better understand your audience interactions.
Finteza is a free web analytics solution that can be used to monitor your content performance. You can set up a funnel to track how many people click your YouTube links to go to your YouTube channel.
You can also play around with your video placement and link CTA to try and improve those metrics.
3. Create Video Editorial Calendar
It can be daunting, at times, to maintain a steady flow of relevant content - which is often even more pressing when creating video, given the extra workload required. The key to maintaining both quality and consistency is establishing a workflow, and ensuring those responsible for content creation are aware of the key timelines and requirements.
By using an editorial calendar, you'll be able to publish a diverse and well-balanced video content library on your YouTube channel. Creating a social media content calendar will also assist with promoting and managing content on social media sites.
ContentCal is an affordable content editorial platform which can help you create a "clutter-free" video content calendar, which will unite your whole team in achieving your key goals.
ContentCal gives your team a centralized place where you can plan out your YouTube marketing campaigns. Your team will see approaching campaigns on the calendar, be able to read the brief for each, and then act on those uotlines independently. The tool has been both a time-saver and efficiency-booster for me.
Another element that can assist in your planning is to work on evergreen material - subjects and content that will remain relevant for months, even years into the future. These will enable you to plan your content further ahead, solidifying your process.
You should also look to incorporate popular holidays into your marketing efforts for a seasonal boost, which, again, you can do on your content calendar.
4. Exploit Social Media
You should also establish a social media tie-in process for each of your YouTube videos.
Even if you're running things entirely from YouTube, utilizing your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest channels will provide significant benefit for promotion, drawing even more viewers to your content.
You should also consider uploading video previews as Instagram stories or posts, with links to your full YouTube videos from there - either in Stories (if you're able), or by using your bio link.
Apart from getting clicks to your YouTube videos, your content will also likely make for good Instagram material, which will help to grow your following and engagement on that platform also.
As for Twitter and Pinterest, you can use Viral Content Bee to improve your visibility on both the channels. Simply, use your YouTube video link to create a new project on VCB. You can use this tool to identify the video thumbnail URL to get it submitted to Pinterest.
Once your project is created and approved, VCB members will share it around on Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Mix and you'll be able to watch those interactions grow and engage with each of them to grow your community and visibility:
Developing a successful video marketing strategy, on any channel, takes time, organization, and creativity. This is all key on YouTube. There's no definitive path to success, but hopefully these tips have given you something to think about, and will help you develop your own YouTube strategy.