Video marketing is in a massive state of growth, we all know that. What I've seen is some over engineering around some of the strategy of actually marketing your videos, and it starts with channel usage. Videos need a home, and YouTube is a "must have" when it comes to video housing software. I am going to walk you through a few points to help you understand why YouTube is a powerful marketing tool, and the simple steps to creating your company channel if you haven't done so already (and if you have, some items to consider reviewing to make your current channel more effective).
YouTube: The #2 Search Engine to Google (...who owns YouTube?)
At this point, it's no mystery that Google owns YouTube. And just as you'd think, YouTube, and more specifically the videos hosted on your channel, can be driven by search engine optimization. One of the less known facts is that Google will actually prioritize videos hosted on YouTube in search results versus other hosting sites like Vimeo. When your audience is online, you need to start to expand your organic reach, and YouTube is certainly a great start when it comes to organic visits to your video content. Especially when most of us have minimal video editing skills and the ability to put a lot of effort into optimization, YouTube helps make hosting your videos as well as helping them get found. SPOILER ALERT: It's not going to take long before YouTube surpasses FaceBook as the #2 most utilized platform when it comes to social content.
If you could take a guess, how many registered users would you say YouTube has? Is your guess somewhere in the high millions? If so, you are wrong...way wrong. YouTube has over 1.8 billion monthly users (30 million on a daily basis). How is that for an audience? Granted, what is the actual percentage of those users that may fit into your business' persona range? That's for you to know, but there is a very good chance that a decent chunk of your target audience is browsing YouTube consistently. Start to use your YouTube hosted videos in your website and social content to get a good gauge of where your audience is hanging out, and better yet, send out an email to your database gauging their interest in video content and where they hang out! Being completely transparent and asking your audience if they use YouTube allows you to know if it's worth more of your time than less.
Distribution & Sharing
YouTube makes it very easy to share your content in several ways, to several platforms and tools. Want to embed your video in a blog post of web page? Easy. Want to start sharing your videos on various social channels with it natively rendering? Click one button and bam. You don't need to jump through holes or watch "how-to" videos (probably on YouTube...hah) to figure out how to begin sharing your content in all potential locations.
Building Trust & Community
Much like other social channels, you can build a community of subscribers that want to keep coming back for your content. Video, more than any other form of content builds trust. You are showcasing yourself or your products, and you really can't fudge the facts around what your brand is made of. When you build trust, you start to build a following. Now, in order to build a community on your channel, your content needs to be appealing. Here is where we lose a lot of the drive for people to spend the time on video, is that they feel they don't have the skills to create professionally polished pieces. SPOILER ALERT: You don't need to. You need a cell phone, a good mic (which could be IN your phone), and a great setting. Organic, non-overly produced content works, because it's not about the visuals; it's about the message. A 2 minute Q&A session, or a 5 minute State of the Industry style video goes a long damn way. Even more so, it builds the GOOD kind of repetition and reminders in your audience to keep coming back to your channel. In the end, you are trying to build habits for people to know who you are, and to follow your messages that can ultimately help them bridge a gap, and evangelize alongside you.
Utilizing in Web Content
There are so many ways using either your YouTube content, or even someone else's can help boost and promote your written content. In this instance, let's use blogging as an example of utilizing YouTube. Aside from embedding relevant videos where applicable, you can use your longer form video content for several pieces in a short amount of time. But let me run with an example. Your company runs webinars quite frequently that are roughly 30 minutes long. Now, this method relies on you recording this webinar for future use...so please do this. Once your webinar wraps up, it's very easy to splice down the recording into digestible 4-5 minute pieces, which in this case you can get roughly 6 video pieces from your webinar. What you do from here is easy - get the audio of your webinar transcribed for the actual written copy of the blog post, and embed the video piece on top. And voila, you now have 6 pieces of blog content to post over a few weeks. I have seen a lot of organic success from posting content via this method, and especially when your webinars include deep information that can lead to a sale, it turns out to be super valuable content in the end.
At this point, it should be a no brainer as to why you need a YouTube channel. And if you already have one, it's easy to see why you need to give it more love and attention. I would argue that whether you do or don't, you should still go through the easy steps to creating and ensuring that your YouTube channel is set up properly to effectively market your content properly!
Setting up OR Auditing your YouTube Account
It's critical to set the foundational elements to hit the ground running, and to audit your existing account (if created) so you can focus on promoting your content that adheres to your brand. Ensuring that you create your YouTube channel the proper way (connecting to your "Google My Business" account) allows your marketing efforts to connect with your digital campaigns as a whole. You need to consider your current branding on your company site as first priority, and then from the Google step-by-step walkthrough, you need to consider the 4 easy points below:
1) Create the channel under your Google My Business account
If you have this account set-up, then it's very easy to create and connect. This step ensures that all Google assets are housed under one roof. If your YouTube account is already set-up, but not connected to your main business account, click here.
2) Channel Optimization & Branding
Much like social accounts, YouTube has unique sizing for both the logo icon and header image. Consider your current setup for any of your social accounts, AND utilize your branding scheme from your website to help you out. To create something a little more custom, yet on brand, make sure you follow the sizing guidelines for YouTube imaging.
3) Adding & Optimizing Videos
It's time to start adding the actual video content. Go through an audit of your current videos, and ask yourself "which of these have a message that is worth watching", and "is this content meant to be viewed publicly?" If you get a resounding yes for both, then upload all that are applicable. Finally, you need to make sure you add a proper title, and meta-description to help the SEO juices kick in. If you have SEO tools that allow you to check keyword rankings on Google, use this to your advantage when going through this step.
This step can be a unique one, and sometimes not applicable. But, if you have videos from a series, or a webinar that has multiple parts, you should create playlists so viewers can watch content in a predetermined order (if they wish) that flows.
YouTube has emerged as an engine to help drive your video efforts forward through a sheer mass of viewers, as well as allowing you to take advantage of some of the best search engine optimization tactics for your video content. If you are a newbie to the video marketing space or want to talk more about how YouTube can help your digital efforts, get in touch.