Before the internet really hit its stride, personal branding was mainly an in-person exercise. Back then, building your own personal brand meant carefully shaping a “real-world” persona while continually reinforcing that image through traditional marketing channels (print, TV, radio, etc.), a painstaking journey that sometimes took years and countless resources. Now, personal branding is virtually […]
Mastering the art of YouTube marketing can provide a distinct advantage for brands and SMBs seeking a lift online.
Listed as the second largest search engine on the web (short only of parent company Google) and serving more than two billion users globally, Youtube content has the potential to reach a vast consumer audience. If your Youtube strategy is on point, each Youtube video you post can really make a difference for your business, engaging a sea of users and making an impression that resonates with thousands or even millions of potential customers.
But high popularity also means intense competition, with numerous brands all vying for the same video-sharing audiences. And with such a vast platform, countless videos, and constantly shifting SEO trends and updates to contend with, breaking through the noise can be a challenge.
Having an effective Youtube marketing strategy is key to landing in the spotlight. Yet, building one to promote your Youtube channel and get people talking isn’t always straightforward. That’s why I’ve done my best to break down the basics on how to magnetize your Youtube channel and create a Youtube marketing strategy framework that gets traction for your business.
Bulk up your Youtube channel for SEO
Every successful marketing effort starts with a strong foundation. In the case of Youtube marketing, that foundation consists of a fully-optimized Youtube brand channel. This channel not only informs viewers about your brand but provides the compelling, searchable content viewers are seeking when they need it most.
Once you’ve created your Youtube business account, it’s important to insert the small but essential details that will shape your channel and create the launching pad for all Youtube videos you post from here on out.
- Uploading images and company logos
- Filling out the channel description
- Inserting business contact info and links
- Connecting to related channels and content.*
*This last item is particularly crucial, as it demonstrates activity on the platform while showing users you’re an active member of your industry and the community.
Setting up your Youtube channel is fairly routine, though you should take the process seriously. Businesses commonly overlook this part of the process, missing a great opportunity to optimize a high-value asset that stands out in Youtube search.
Inserting clear, high-quality brand images, company logos, concise description content (with calls-to-action) and unbroken links in the right prompts is the best way to maximize channel visibility and impact on the platform. It also provides a powerful lift for all Youtube video content you launch in the future.
To be clear, optimizing your Youtube channel doesn’t mean stuffing your content with keywords, which can make your profile look spammy and discourage users from following. Always insert search terms naturally and with common sense.
Follow the metadata and optimize your videos
With your Youtube channel optimized and ready to go, it’s time to talk about Youtube videos or, more specifically, how to optimize your video content so it actually shows up in search results. While posting creative, engaging, educational videos is important, they won’t go very far if they aren’t optimized or geared for Google and Youtube.
For your Youtube marketing efforts to really take off, search optimization is key – and it all starts by following the metadata.
Video metadata provides viewers helpful information on each video you post, including the main idea (title), a description of what it’ll cover, the category it fits in, relevant search terms, and more. It also determines how each video is seen and ranked by Youtube, Google and other search engines, making it crucial not only to complete it but also to include the right info in the right prompts. Inserting irrelevant search terms or incorrect information in video metadata can sometimes even result in content removal, so this needs to be done carefully.
Youtube video titles are generally what people see first when scanning search results. Creating clear, concise and compelling titles for each new video is how you capture consumer attention and get people curious enough to click. If you want to generate interest and engage people with your videos, video title creation is where the rubber meets the road.
- Conduct keyword research to learn which search terms viewers use most.
- Note those keywords and create titles that include those terms in the beginning.
- Keep each title within 60 characters or so. This ensures each title is displayed in full and in the context searchers need to make a decision.
Search engines don’t display much when it comes to video content descriptions. In fact, Youtube only shows the first two or three lines of each video description, hiding the rest behind a “Show more” icon directing viewers to the rest. Because of that, it’s vital not just to keep your descriptions brief but to insert CTAs, links, and video details early; and to surround it with content that compels action.
Other hacks for optimizing Youtube video descriptions might include throwing in elements like video transcriptions, social channel links and hashtags. These features can often enhance a good Youtube description’s SEO mainly because they tend to contain relevant keywords, though it’s important to avoid overuse.
Selecting the right category for each Youtube video allow the platform to connect and group your content with related videos, creating tie-ins that can strengthen video relevance and ranking. Youtube categories currently include How-to and Style, People and Blogs, Auto and Vehicles, Entertainment, Comedy, Film and Automation, Sports, Pets and Animals, Science and Technology, Travel and Events, Nonprofits and Activism, Travel and Events, and Education.
Video tags allow you to optimize videos further by spotlighting the primary search terms in your content. By selecting the correct tags, you’re creating an instant association with similar videos on Youtube, potentially tying your content to other high-engagement videos while expanding its reach. Take care to tag primary keywords AND more commonly used keywords when tagging your Youtube videos.
Custom video thumbnails are shown to have a significant impact on video performance, much more than the auto-generated thumbnail options Youtube provides when uploading a new video.
In fact, 90% of the top videos on the platform have custom Youtube thumbnails in video results pages, an eye-popping statistic your Youtube marketing strategy can’t afford to overlook.
When customizing video thumbnails, selecting high-quality images and pics that best represent the videos you’re posting is crucial. Using clear, representative images ensures each Youtube thumbnail makes the best impression on your audience, regardless of device or screen size.
Supplement your video marketing efforts with Youtube ads
Optimizing your Youtube channel and video metadata is a great way to build an organic Youtube presence, particularly in search results. But if visibility isn’t improving fast enough – or you simply want to reach your audience RIGHT NOW – adding Youtube Ads to your Youtube video marketing strategy might be the right solution.
Of course, a paid advertising campaign costs money, but supplementing your Youtube marketing strategy with ads can often provide a powerful boost to your efforts, making it more than worth the expense. A Youtube advertising campaign can shortcut your Youtube videos to the top of search results, delivering near-instant improvements in visibility, engagement and even brand awareness among your target audience.
What do you Youtube ads look like?
Youtube advertising is available in various formats, each offering unique features and opportunities to get relevant videos in front of potential customers:
- Bumper ads – With a video length limited to six seconds, bumper ads are placed before other videos and can’t be skipped by the viewer.
- Video discovery ads – Available as skippable or non-skippable video ads, these can appear anytime during, before or after the video.
- Sponsored cards – Sponsored cards are displayed as cards within relevant video content. These ads are generally used to market your products or other videos.
- Overlay ads – Available only on desktop, overlay ads are somewhat see-through and appear within videos near or at the bottom.
- Display ads – Display ads appear within a video’s sidebar (to the right) and are available on desktop only.
Whichever format you choose, a Youtube ad campaign can be great for targeting a specific Youtube audience or even compelling a specific action, such as by including a CTA to direct viewers to your website or different content. You also have the option to create something entirely new or to re-purpose an existing video, something that has driven views and engagement in the past.
Add Stories to your Youtube marketing strategy
Once exclusive to Snapchat, the Stories trend spread quickly across social media, becoming a popular feature on Facebook and Instagram. Not to be left out, Youtube soon jumped on the bandwagon, making this short-term social marketing tool a go-to feature and creating yet another valuable video strategy tool for local marketers and SMBs across the platform.
It may take some time to access the Stories feature (Youtube channels need 10,000 or more subscribers to qualify), but once you get there, the marketing opportunities really open up. Though they disappear after seven days, Youtube Stories are easy to create, edit and customize, with untold options for adding music, filters, graphics, and links to your content.
Stories videos offer brands an excellent opportunity to spice it up and add variety to their own content mix, which in turn helps keep content fresh, engaging and appealing to users. It can also help you expand and strengthen your brand’s online community and build awareness and loyalty among a large demographic.
While not for everyone, adding Stories to your Youtube marketing strategy could be a great way to rev up your company’s Youtube channel and get quality videos out to an even larger audience.
Promote your Youtube videos on social
When it comes to Youtube marketing, cross-promotion is crucial. Often (but strangely) overlooked, cross-promoting your videos and Youtube channel across other social media platforms is a common sense way to get more views and generate traffic for your videos.
Smart video marketing promotion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok ensures your social media followers get valuable interactive video content on a regular basis. It also allows you to encourage followers to become subscribers. And the more subscribers you add, the more opportunities open up for accessing other features (Youtube Stories), getting in the good graces of the Youtube algorithm, and improving your reach and authority on Youtube results pages.
Your followers should receive an update for each new video title you post. Social previews and snippets can also become a part of your Youtube marketing strategy, baked into the Youtube posting process to take full advantage of social media’s full promotional potential.
Embed a Youtube video whenever possible
One of the best ways to maximize your Youtube marketing efforts? Look no further than your website.
Within each landing page and blog post on your site lies a golden opportunity to embed interactive video content and drive traffic to your channel. Inserting related how-to and product education videos into blogs and product pages not only enhances online text but creates interactive elements that keep users on your website even longer.
And, every featured video you include on your site offers another opportunity to convert prospects and grow your bottom line. Videos are so effective, in fact, that inserting just one on a product or service page can improve your conversion rate by up to 80%, a powerful but easy way to turn more visitors into paying clients.
Getting more Youtube viewers can be done in any number of ways. Still, embedding videos within existing high-traffic content provides a cost-effective opportunity to ramp up engagement and channel subscriptions.