This post originally appeared on tBL member Joshua Lyon's blog Joshua Lyons Marketing Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.//?#
Why Use YouTube for Marketing?
Have you ever visited YouTube to search for something, only to find yourself two hours later watching a completely unrelated video? This occurrence is more common than you may realize. It demonstrates that YouTube is powerful and gives you a reason to consider using YouTube for marketing.
First of all, you went to YouTube to search for answers because there’s a good chance YouTube can help you. This is only possible because of it’s size. In fact, YouTube is currently the second largest search engine, next to Google. This means millions, if not billions, of other online users are going there for search queries. As a result, this also means you have a vast audience to reach, on YouTube, with your own marketing videos.
Secondly, you found yourself hours later still watching videos on YouTube because the platform compels users to create helpful and engaging content. Both of these quirks make marketing on YouTube one of the most effective lead and traffic generating sources available to you.
The Elements of YouTube Marketing
In a nutshell, there are basically two aspects to an effective YouTube marketing campaign: Creating videos and sharing videos. All your activities will revolve around these two aspects. And, the success of your YouTube marketing will ultimately depend on how effective you are at creating your videos and sharing them.
This guide breaks down these two aspects of YouTube marketing into eight individual elements. It also presents tips and best practices on how to effectively use this marketing platform. It is important to remember these are just guidelines and you can often deviate slightly from them if you feel the need to do so. However, you should always aim to keep your activities consistent with the principles, as these will ensure you get optimum results. The eight elements include:
- Creating good content
- Making quality videos
- Crafting headings and using keywords
- Creating attractive thumbnails
- Collaborating with other YouTubers
- Using call to actions
- Including descriptions
- Promoting your videos
Creating Good Content
Regardless of what your online goals are, you’re not going to get very far if you don’t have good content. This doesn’t just apply to YouTube. Any blog, website or even social media page without good content is bound to quickly lose relevance. On all of these platforms, the goal is to create content that viewers will relate to and find useful.
Crafting good content should not be too difficult for you, as you can easily refer to your goals to guide you. The real challenge is making your content applicable and useful to your audience. To do this, it always helps to define your target audience. You can also look at how your competitors present their materials, to guide you on whether to adopt their methods or go in an entirely different direction.
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Making Quality Videos
Your videos represent what customers can expect from your brand. If your videos are of poor quality–blurry images, shaky frame, inaudible sound and poor lighting–you’re merely saying your brand is inauthentic and offers substandard products. Since that’s not your marketing goal, you want to focus instead on creating videos that are the exact opposite of those listed above. Specifically, your videos should include the following:
- Clear images: A good smartphone will probably get you clear images. You should also ensure the video has enough lighting.
- A steady frame: You can invest in a tripod since you intend to make many videos in the future (hopefully).
- Crystal clear sound: You should also consider investing in a small microphone.
You should pay attention to the length of your videos. The internet is filled with so much information. As a result, people’s attention spans are shrinking by the day. Therefore, your videos need to be short enough to be finished by your viewers, but long enough to communicate your ideas. The recommended length of YouTube videos is between three to four minutes.
Crafting Headings and Using Keywords
When people need answers, they search for results using keywords. It doesn’t matter if your video has all the answers they’ll ever need in a well laid out format, complete with graphics and animations. If you don’t use the right keywords in your headings, you won’t get any views. Headings comprise most of the written words you need to worry about on YouTube (the rest are usually in the description, more on that below) and so, you should pay attention to them.
Luckily, getting the right keywords for your headings doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to put yourself in the mind of your target audience and ask yourself: what would I search for if I wanted to know this? Additionally, you can use a keyword research tool to find relevant keywords in your niche. To help with this, you may want to read our blog post titled 7 Tools to Use for Keyword Research.
Creating Attractive Thumbnails
After your video shows up in the search results, users still have to click on it to watch it. Your thumbnails will definitely influence their decisions. By default, YouTube sets your thumbnails by picking a frame from your videos. Unfortunately, this is done at random, and it may be blurry which will not correctly represent your video. Instead, use these tips to create great thumbnails for your YouTube videos:
- Include a short description of what the video is about.
- Be sure to use high-quality images.
- Use attractive images (don’t be afraid to use photo editing and graphics software like Adobe Photoshop or illustrator).
- Keep the look of your thumbnails consistent throughout your videos.
- DO NOT use misleading thumbnails as those will erode your credibility.
Collaborating With Other YouTubers
Reaching out to, and collaborating with, other YouTubers is a great way to gain exposure for each of your channels. There are several ways you can do this. One of the more common ones is to create a joint video. However, you may encounter some challenges using this approach. For example, it would require a significant amount of editing since they’ll probably be filmed separately. However, whatever challenges you may face are nothing compared to the benefits you’ll reap from the collaboration.
You could also collaborate by sharing and linking to each other’s channels and videos. This will gain you traffic from their subscribers and vice versa. When you’re picking channels to collaborate with, ensure they have subscribers in your target audience. Also, be sure they develop content that is consistent with what you usually share on your channel.
Using Call to Actions
Without a call to action, your viewers are likely to walk away (or scroll away) from your videos, forgetting all about you and your channel. To prevent this, you need to guide them to the next step. Calls to action are useful for growing your subscriber base, as well as increasing user engagement. As a business, the most important thing you can do with calls to action is to move your viewers closer to buying from you.
However, you have to be careful when using calls to action as they can also be very annoying when used excessively. There are several styles you can use in your videos, and each is useful for achieving different objectives. The popular ones include:
- Inviting viewers to subscribe to your channel. You can insert a subscribe button in the video to make this step even easier
- Directing users to your website or blog. This is useful in situations where you have more information for the viewers. It is also useful when you have special offers you want viewers to be a part of.
- Inviting users to leave a comment. You can use this to increase user engagement and get feedback about your video.
- Asking users to follow you on your other social media platforms. You should note that this is only going to be effective in situations where the viewer knows to expect great content from you. Otherwise, you’re going to get a low response rate. An excellent way to tackle this is to make unique videos.
The truth is that most people don’t read the description in videos, and usually skip on to the video itself. However, that’s not an excuse to leave it blank or load it with lots of useless information. You should include a short description of the video for viewers that do read it. You can also add some information that you believe may be necessary, but not important enough to feature in the actual video. The description is also a great place to put links to your website or other online spaces, especially if you’ve invited users to go there in your video.
Promoting Your Videos
Promoting your videos is fundamental to growing your channel. Ideally, you want to get your videos across to as many people as possible, and you should use every online platform at your disposal to achieve this goal. You can begin by posting links to the video on your website, or better yet, getting a YouTube plugin.
You can also create content around the videos on your blog so users who desire more information can refer to the other; it’s a great way to generate traffic for both platforms. You should also spread the word on other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn.
Closing Thoughts About Using YouTube for Marketing
YouTube is one of the most exciting platforms available to us in the 21st century. From funny cat videos to instructions on how to assemble furniture from IKEA, it is a trusted source of information. By following the tips in this guide, you’re well on your way to promoting your brand on this expanding platform.
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