Dear Socially Stephanie:
My YouTube videos aren't getting any traction. On average, they are about 20 minutes long and very informative. Am I doing something wrong or should I just say goodbye to YouTube as a marketing tool?
Viewless in Virgina
Video is big right now. Strike that: Video is HUGE right now. So no, don't give up on it. Instead, let's rethink the way you are YouTubeing and make it work for you.
Now, you probably do understand the value in YouTube and video marketing; otherwise you wouldn't be creating videos. But in case you are on the fence, let me talk numbers for a second. Sit down, because this is going to blow you away. 100 million people watch online video each day. 50% of executives watch business-related videos on YouTube. Of those people, 65% of them will actually check out your video after they watch your video. Bingo!
Let me throw a few more out there. On average, online users watch 16 minutes and 49 seconds of video per month. There's your first problem. Your videos are longer than what the average person watches in a month. That's not going to work. So we if 20 minutes is too long, what's the sweet spot? 5 minutes. 5 minutes and 5 minutes only. That's all you need. Here's the good news: your 20-minute videos can be repurposed into four 5-minute videos, giving you more content to work with.
If your videos are overlooked simply because they are too long, with a little tweaking and shortening you may see an instant change in views.
The next thing that could be stifling the amount of views you are getting is something as simple as the way you upload your videos. And don't worry, you aren't alone. Many videos I come across are missing key components like tags, descriptions and links. Leaving these areas vague or blank is problematic because it hinders your chances of being found. Remember YouTube is owned by Google, and Google means search.
Here's how I want you to combat that. First, make sure you add a link to your website or landing page right away, in the description. You want traffic and you want to make it easy. Next, create a keyword heavy description that will allow people to find you while searching for the right things. This will also help you get found for "related videos," which is muy importante. Some might even argue that transcribing your video in the description will help fill the space with context. See, simple changes.
Lastly, you know that nothing just goes viral or gets a million views just because it is uploaded. You need to do your part to get it to the right people. Embed it on your site or in a blog post, share it on your social channels and seed it to your subscribers. Your fans know you, and they're the most likely to watch it right away. The more views you get to begin with, the more chances you have to keep that momentum going.
Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?
Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)
Illustration by Jesse Wells