Let's start with the facts:
1. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
2. Since March 2014, the number of people watching YouTube videos has increased by 40%
3. YouTube has over a billion users which is almost a third of ALL people on the internet.
YouTube is a video hosting platform - a free one at that - and when you look at the stats above, there's no real reason why you shouldn't be using it for your business videos.
But how do you effectively use YouTube for video marketing?
You're about to find out...
Step 1: Establish your goal
Quite like anything in the world of marketing, you need to assign a goal to everything that you do.
Your goals will no doubt be along the lines of:
- Brand awareness
- Drive leads
- Improve SEO
- Increase conversions
But the problem that most businesses make is that they try and create a piece of content that will achieve all of those goals. Unfortunately this is not the way that marketing works. Every piece of content you create will achieve a different goal so first step is to understand what your goal is.
As with all social channels, YouTube is a great place to attract people who may not have heard of your brand before, so if we're talking goals then YouTube will typically fall under brand awareness.
I'm not saying you can't use it for other goals, but if you take a look at some of best brands killing it on YouTube, their videos are all focused on building community, rather than on selling their product or service.
Take a look at this Innocent Drinks video for example. It was released during the Rugby World Cup and it's a spoof on how brands capitalize on trends to try and sell their products.
Why does it work?
- It's comical
- It's relevant while poking fun at trying to relevant
- It casually features the product without being overly 'salesly'
- It's shareable
- It builds brand awareness
Step 2: Create videos your audience cares about
So now you've established your goal, it's time to get creating your videos. Although you'll be using YouTube to build brand awareness, you still need to find a good balance of creating content that your audience cares about.
Therefore your videos should be:
- Engaging and entertaining
- Valuable and useful
- Answering the needs of your audience
Along these lines, some best type of videos to create on YouTube, from a business perspective, are 'how-to' style content.
For example, Six Pack Shortcuts has gained an incredible 3,654,977 subscribers and all of their videos revolve around teaching their viewers how to do something:
Whether it be 'how to get ripped on a budget', 'how to make fat burning coffee', 'how to lose body fat' - Six Pack Shortcus knows the kind of content that their audience wants to watch, and they've used that to build brand awareness.
Step 3: Do keyword research
The next step is to upload your video to YouTube. When you do this, you're going to want to do keyword research so that your audience can find your content. Your keywords need to be relevant to your video, and you should strive to use keywords that'll benefit you brand message the most.
Tip: Using KeywordTool, you can find the best keywords to match your brand objectives there's even a section to specifically search for YouTube keywords.
Uploading a video is fairly simple: YouTube will ask for the title of your video, a short description and the keyword tags.
For example, we created this video to explain what a mobile app video is:
As you can see, we've targeted a long-tail keyword: 'Mobile App Videos' and used it in the title, description and then tagged it, along with other appropriate keywords.
By creating a video that specifically answers our audiences questions, and using the right keywords on YouTube, we're far more likely to attract people who are likely to use our service in future.
Step 4: Use annotations and cards
Annotations are basically clickable links that you can insert into your videos, and this is a great way to drive people back to your site to help create more leads. When you're planning your video content, make sure you consider what you can use as a CTA.
For example, in this video we use annotations to direct the user to a blog post that Hassan is talking about in the video:
So what's a card?
Cards are basically the fancy version of annotations. It's the same idea, in that you can include clickable links into them, but they look a lot smoother and more professional.
If you check out this video you can see that the card pops up as a 'more info' button, which viewers can click to find out more details.
This can be especially helpful if you want to promote a lead generation content piece like an eBook.
Step 5: Choose an enticing thumbnail
Don't miss this step, choosing a thumbnail is important because, as much as we don't like to admit it, we all judge a book by it's cover.
The best thumbnails are:
- Minimal but relevant to the video content
If you check out the Red Bull YouTube channel you'll see how to do it right - each thumbnail provides a glimpse of what the content is about, enticing you to click-through to watch more:
Step 6: Cross-promote
Promoting your video across other channels significant boost your marketing efforts on YouTube.
We'd recommend you come up with a great promotion strategy including some (or all) of these elements:
- Write a blog and include it within your post
- Email your database and include a link back to your video
- Upload the video to your social channels
- Outreach to relevant influencers and ask them if they might want to share it
- Write a guest post surrounding the content of your video and link back to it
- Pay to advertise your video and YouTube channel
Posting your video across other channels will help get more views to your content and gain more exposure for your YouTube channel.
Step 7: Keep on top of your analytics
The final step is to keep on top of your analytics.
YouTube offers insights into all of the videos you upload so that you can see how many views you've received, who's watching, where they're from, how long a person watched the video for and audience retention.
Using YouTube to market your video will certainly help build more brand exposure, but the important takeaway here is that you need to be creating awesome video content that's relevant to your audience. Once you've got the foundations set in the form of a great video, you'll find it a lot easier to market to your audience.
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Main image via Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock