YouTube has nearly 2 billion monthly users, second only to Facebook on the social media landscape. Users spend an average of 40 minutes on the site with each visit, compared to Facebook’s 20 minutes. And most of those users are between the ages of 18-49. If you’re looking to capture that demographic’s attention, YouTube is your way in.
YouTube is a discovery machine. It’s the second largest search engine after Google, and because Google is also its parent company, YouTube has total search engine optimization (SEO) on video results for Google searches. Basically, if you have video content–and you should–it’s the best home for it.
Learn From The Pros.
By now, you’ve probably heard from your kids or your coworkers about YouTubers, the new wave of celebrity. These young entrepreneurs have mastered their art, becoming experts in production, editing, and performance to create an online brand out of their personalities and lifestyles. Over 2,400 channels have amassed at least one million subscribers, with the most successful channel, entitled Pewdiepie, about to break 100 million and this is just a regular guy talking about gaming and pop culture. 100 Million!!!!! That’s the population of Egypt. Forbes estimated Felix Kjellberg, the 29-year-old Swedish man behind the channel, made $12 million in 2017 alone.
How do YouTubers get a following? Authenticity. People are attracted to it. Whether they follow a personality, a how-to channel, or a gamer, audiences can tell when a YouTuber is passionate about what they are posting. Once an emotional bond forms between the YouTuber and the viewer, trust and loyalty follow. The psychological term is Parasocial Relationship. You develop a one-way relationship with someone you have never actually met in person but feel a bond to.
Consistent posting is the next key. Your view return rate is going to directly correlate to how often they can expect something to return to. YouTubers lose subscribers when their posting schedules fall behind, so make video content a consistent priority, and get into a posting routine. It doesn’t have to be weekly. You can post once every two weeks, or once a month, as long as you’re consistent and the gap between videos doesn’t grow unexpectedly.
Let’s Get Started.
Launching a new YouTube channel is just as important as any other product launch. Make sure your channel reflects your brand with the channel art at the top of the page and the icon next to your name – those are like your Facebook cover photo and profile picture, respectively, and they set the tone for your channel. Then, upload your first video. Email the link to your employees and your clients. Invite people over from your other social media channels to get the party started.
Creating and posting videos may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few easy guidelines that can make the process easier:
1. Refine your content.
This should go without saying, but make sure your videos are fact-checked and on-brand for your company. Everything they say will reflect on your organization as a whole, and video content is something to be proud of.
Open with the broad strokes to keep more viewers interested longer. If you begin with specifics, you may lose viewers before you get to the topics they want to hear about.
2. Hook your audience immediately.
It’s important to find a way to get people hooked right off the bat. So don’t start with boring bits – get right to the juicy stuff so people won’t immediately click off. One way to do this may be by creating some pain. Is there something the viewer may need? Something they don’t know about? Something that has been annoying them that you can tap into?
3. Tag your videos.
When you upload, you’ll see an opportunity to tag your videos. Think about what your target demographic is searching for. Start with broad strokes. If your video is about a new product, say, a toothbrush, start by tagging “hygiene,” “morning routine,” “healthcare,” etc. Then, get specific. Tag “electric toothbrush,” “crest white strips,” “dental care,” etc. For a full guide on tagging, click here. And we also recommend this handy Youtube Tag Generator.
For example, we produce a great podcast targeting women in marketing titled “The Show Runner Marketing Podcast“. So tagging is crucial for having our audience find us. Here is what was created from the tag generator in a matter of seconds: podcast, marketing, marketing podcast, women in business, women, women in marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, guerilla marketing to women podcast, web marketing podcast, modern marketing podcast, top marketing podcast, best marketing podcast, video marketing podcast, social media marketing podcast, internet marketing podcast, obm social media marketing podcast, digital marketing podcast, network marketing, marketing tips.
4. Let your tiles and thumbnails do the talking. (The hook before the hook!)
Your title has to engage the potential viewer, but it can’t look like it’s trying too hard. That will take away your authenticity. Give people a reason to click by letting them know you have something to say that they want to hear. “How to…,” “Newest innovation in…,” and “Ever wonder why…?,” are all great ways to begin a snappy title.
Your thumbnail is your title’s partner in crime. Highlight the subject of your video with an image of your product, an icon for a social media platform you plan to discuss, or a graph/statistic providing a strategy you’re here to share. Using three to four words on your thumbnail can also capture interest, just don’t repeat the words in your title. If you’re unsure about your thumbnail, make a few versions and send it out to your workforce, ask them to vote on one. Even better, put them out on Twitter and conduct a poll asking which one your followers would rather click on. Asking for help is proof of authenticity.
5. Don’t forget about the description.
In your YouTube Studio, you can set up an automatic description that will be placed under every video. Then, you can add a unique sentence or two to each individual video. In your uniform description, you’ll want:
a. A link to your website
b. Links to any social media for your company
c. Links to related videos, or any videos your reference in your video – give credit where credit is due
d. A bullet list of topics the video covers so even if you don’t open with what a viewer came to see, they’ll know you’ll get there eventually and it will come up in their searches
6. Make sure your video gets suggested.
YouTube has a very complex algorithm, but there are ways to play the system. Turn on the “Related Channels” functionality in your YouTube Studio. This will allow your channels to be advertised on established ones. Identify channels like yours and check out their videos. You can search their videos by “most successful”, and get title and thumbnail ideas from those. If one of their videos piques your interest, make a video of your own reacting to it, joining their conversation, and tag them in it. You can network on YouTube.
7. Make your videos accessible.
Closed Captioning is a vastly underused resource. Add subtitles to your videos. YouTube has a tool that will do it for you, all you have to do is give them a quick proofread. Not only will this boost your SEO, it will likely be one of the only videos like it that will be accessible to hearing-impaired consumers because not nearly enough people caption their videos.
8. End your videos with a call to action.
Start by giving viewers some value for their click. Link something useful in your bio, suggest other videos they could be interested in. In return, ask for a like on the video. Get your friends and coworkers to like the video, too. This will boost SEO and get your video suggested as a related video to others like it.
What Else Is YouTube Good For?
YouTube Studio lets you watch your analytics, so you can see your channel grow in real-time. You can see the demographics you’re reaching, and the ones you could be reaching better. If your videos are monetized, you can see how much money you’re making, even though it may not be a significant amount. Videos that are longer than ten minutes get SEO and can be advertised on themselves.
YouTubers, the really successful ones, often take brand deals and plug products they believe in, so if you’d like to reach 24-36-year-old women with your product or service, consider approaching a YouTuber who has that demographic in his/her pocket about plugging your company in his/her next video.
At the end of the day, YouTube is a lot of fun. Making content, promoting it, and consuming it are great creative outlets and a great way to engage your consumer base.
If you’re still not sure how to go about starting your own channel, give us a buzz and let us help you strategize the best content for your company! Heck, we can even shoot it for you if you’d like. Our Executive Creative Director, Michele Marlo loves new challenges! ; )