The Increasing Power of YouTube
In an age where video and visual content is consumed more than ever before, YouTube reigns king. With videos on everything from how to build a coffee table to the bloopers from Season 2 of Friends - YouTube pretty much has it all. It comes as no surprise that the video hosting powerhouse is the second most trafficked website and largest search engine behind Google.
YouTube can be accessed in a multitude of ways, like through the mobile app, embedded video on external sites and TV. 75% of adults watch YouTube on a mobile device. Over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched every single day - that’s more than Netflix and Facebook video combined.
To ignore the increasing power of YouTube would mean missing out on the opportunity to reach an audience that is ready with their eyes wide open. Here’s everything you need to know as a marketer looking to take advantage of YouTube for growing your brand’s reach.
Video Advertising is Now Accessible to Brands of all Sizes
The ultimate game changer is that video advertising is now available to all brands no matter the size. In traditional advertising, steep prices were the barrier to entry to run broadcast TV commercials. Now you can run video ads on YouTube with a pay per view model on any budget small or large. Also, with YouTube’s powerful targeting you can have a much more effective audience, where as TV is a much wider net. Pay attention to the data and length of the ads you run.
Reach your audience in real time through YouTube Live. Live video is growing in popularity as people seek out more personal ways to connect with brands. Hosting a Q&A with someone from your brand’s team, giving an inside look at your office, or showcasing new products or services are all great examples of content that you can utilize YouTube Live for. Viewers can ask questions and comment in real time, allowing you to address them on the spot and have that conversation with them that they may not have through an Instagram post or regular YouTube video.
When you upload a video to YouTube, there a couple of critical steps in making sure it’s optimized. First of all, optimize your video title with relevant and popular keywords - this will help your video show up more frequently as people search for content related to your video on both Google and within YouTube. Second, make sure your subtitles are accurate and you add in plenty of corresponding tags to your video.
Types of Content: The Three E's
Three types of content perform well on YouTube: emotional, entertaining, and educational (how-to’s). Figure out which one is best for your brand, then create a strategy around that content and create something you know will engage your audience.
Formatting Your Content
There’s a lot that goes into formatting your video’s content. A few things to keep in mind:
- Video Length - it’s always best to keep it short and sweet. Think short attention spans = short video!
- Add a Description - This is crucial. Give the viewer a gist of what your video is all about, and include a link to your website far up in the description box so it stands out.
- Make Sure Your Video is Properly Transcribed - This goes back to the SEO component, but accurate captions are also important for making sure those who are hearing-impaired can still watch your video. You’re also catering to the people who prefer no sound on video.
- Include Call to Actions with Cards - In the creator studio, you can add cards (or CTAs) for: promoting a video or playlist, directing to a site, or a poll. You can also add the CTA to the end screen feature.
- Music Licensing - If you’re using music in your video, make sure to use royalty-free (YouTube has a selection to choose from) or purchase music licensing.
Promoting Your Videos
Once you publish a YouTube video, make sure to promote it heavily on your own digital channels including your website, social media, and email marketing. YouTube also offers step-by-step guides for advertising your videos (these would appear before a different video starts, or alongside a different video on its watch page) - learn more here.
Good for Awareness, Not so Good for Conversions
Marketers should consider that while YouTube is immensely powerful in creating broad awareness for your brand, it’s not so effective for sending traffic to your website. YouTube likes to keep the audience engaged on YouTube, which is why links you provide in your video’s description box and CTAs are “no-follow” links (which don’t impact search engine rankings). Keep this “up-funnel” perspective when you organize your marketing plan and be sure to use the right KPIs (i.e. views, watch time, subscriber count, impressions) when measuring the success of your YouTube campaigns.
There’s no denying that the future of social media is video. Marketers looking to take their video marketing to the next level should utilize YouTube and all it has to offer brands. Research what your competition is doing on YouTube, and if they’re not on the platform - you’re already ahead of the game. The platform has and will continue to be at the forefront of the video revolution so pay attention as YouTube rolls out new tools and advertising features for brands.