YouTube has become such a pervasive part of our lives that you almost wonder what it was like to have two hours to kill before there were cat videos. But YouTube isn’t just cats and Gangnam style—YouTube is also brands finding new and creative ways to engage their customers and keep them interested.
So the question is, how can you grab customer eyeballs in an ecosystem that has a 100 hours of video uploaded to it every minute? Here are some basic YouTube marketing tips to get you started:
1. Make Videos
Sounds obvious enough, but you would be amazed how many brands create a few videos for their “launch” and then just wait around for the hits to roll in. It doesn’t quite work that way. To be successful on YouTube and keep your customers interested, you have to produce videos consistently. Aim to produce at least one video a week to keep your channel feed active and get more chances to build an audience.
Running out of ideas? Break up your long content into a series of short videos to pique your audience’s attention and keep them coming back. There are some excellent tips on how to record affiliate videos here.
2. Get Seen
Setting up your channel and making videos is not all there is to YouTube marketing. How do you make sure you’re seen? There’s this little thing called YouTube SEO that you should probably pay a little bit of attention to.
All YouTube videos have a title, a description and tags. These are known as the meta data and shouldn’t be ignored. Optimize these three components for good YouTube SEO.
- Your title is the first thing viewers will see, so make sure it’s something that describes your video, but also try to include keywords (especially towards the beginning). If you want to include your brand name, place it towards the end.
- You can usually only see the first couple of lines of the description of a video; the rest of it is hidden below the fold. Be sure to include a link back to your site in the visible part.
- Describe your video well, and include your keywords to keep it SEO friendly.
- Finally, tags are used to properly describe your video, so be sure to use relevant keywords as tags, starting with the most important ones first.
Optimize your video with these details to give it more exposure and a better chance of being watched.
3. Celebrity Stalking
YouTube has made celebrities out of thousands of ordinary people. From makeup artists to Pilates instructors, from photography tutors to DIY carpenters, there’s a celebrity in almost every niche you can imagine. If you’re just starting out on YouTube and need to get some attention to your YouTube channel or your product, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a YouTube celebrity in your industry and see if they will talk about your product/channel in their video to give your view count a little bump.
4. Data Is Your Friend
YouTube’s Analytics tool has so much good information about your videos that you will learn to love data. This data can give you insights into your views, watch times and sources of traffic.
Every time your video is watched, YouTube records detailed information for you and presents you with back end data that can tell you not just how many times your video was viewed, but also details such as which days it received the most views. This is useful information to analyze and use for optimization of future videos.
You will also see how long your audience spends watching your video. Are they watching the full video? Are they dropping off after 20 seconds or are you losing them before you’ve even had a chance to hook them? Word on the street is that the YouTube algorithm is now largely affected by the video watch time. This information will help you see where you’re going wrong and figure out how to optimize your videos for better watch times.
Finally, how are viewers getting to your video? It is important to optimize your video for discoverability, but to do so you need to know where your viewers are coming from and how they’re finding your video. Are they coming from another website or from a YouTube search, or is a related video placement what sent them your way? Use the answers to optimize your metadata and position yourself for even better discoverability.
5. Build a Community
YouTube is a social network, so without a social community your videos are unlikely to get much attention. So, to repeat the most oft-repeated words of social media advice: Build a community. Create videos that engage your community, that don’t just talk AT your viewers but invite them to interact with you. A small but loyal community is worth more than no community at all.
6. Blogger Outreach
Not all YouTube views happen on YouTube—they often come from other sites. To expand the exposure for your videos, consider reaching out to bloggers who may have an interest in your product or what you have to say in your video. These bloggers will often have decent-sized subscriber bases, and if they agree to feature your video or talk about it, you will reach people who are likely to be interested in your product.
Build real, non-slimy and genuine relationships with bloggers and they will be happy to feature your content for their audience.
YouTube for the sake of YouTube won’t bring you any results, but if you plan out a strategy, put in the hard work to build a community and get the word out about your videos, you could start seeing some great results and getting your product in front of an audience that is likely to buy.
Have you had much success with YouTube marketing? Leave us a comment on what's worked for you. If you have more ideas on how to make the most of YouTube, we'd love to hear from you, too.