YouTube is the world's second largest search engine and a cornerstone of video marketing.
While the benefits of the platform are clear, getting started with YouTube and creating an effective video marketing strategy is difficult for many businesses.
A powerful YouTube marketing strategy consists of six key components: planning, creating quality content, cross-posting, targeting, and optimization.
In this blog, we tackle several ways businesses can create a powerful marketing strategy for YouTube and, by extension, your video marketing efforts as a whole.
From the Ground Up: Planning Video Content for YouTube
Great video marketing takes pre-meditated effort. You have to strategize, and more importantly, set concrete and attainable goals, when publishing content on YouTube.
Are you pushing for a higher subscriber rate, or are you more interested in raw visibility? Your desired outcome will affect how you produce, edit and optimize new content for YouTube.
One great tactic we highly recommend is reviewing your business's top 10 most organically-viewed blog/FAQ topics and producing extended video pieces, interviews and even audio read-throughs of those topics.
Focus on Quality Content and Consistency
When marketing your business with YouTube, or really any other video platform, the most effective strategies involve recurring and predictable content.
Users aren't as likely to subscribe to your channel if you publish content intermittently, every few weeks, than they would be if you uploaded new content each Monday or a more involved production on the first day of each month.
On YouTube, sheer volume is the name of the game for building your follower base; cards, end screens, proper tagging, and SEO power through descriptions are secondary.
"...You can’t simply be publishing rubbish content and expect it to perform well. The perfect intersection is quality content but published on an extremely regular basis—but it’s the regularity that often gets glossed over."
Like traditional blogs and podcasts, the best thing you can do to generate an active audience on YouTube is to share content consistently, and then distribute this content across all of your social media channels. Speaking of...
Cross-Post Your Videos Across Social Channels
Once you've spent all that time filming, editing, and publishing, don't let it sit just on YouTube!
The power of social media marketing has truly thrived over the years, with over 88% of businesses marketing on social media. One way to boost views and attract more attention to your video content on YouTube is by sharing it on your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter company profiles.
Keep in mind the social media best practices for each platform – think of hashtags, @mentions, or any character count limits when creating the messaging to complement your video. And, don't just copy and paste the same message on each channel... make sure to make each cross-post unique to the platform to attract new faces.
Tailor Content for Subscribers and the Community
Most folks who will access your YouTube uploads and playlists are doing so natively on YouTube.
Merely publishing content on YouTube and throwing it on your website or across social channels doesn't cut it. The businesses that market most effectively with YouTube are those that modify their channels, conversion/subscribe elements, and actual video content for their users.
Look at the video content you're creating and think of ways to modify that content for viewers, their interests, and anything else that would make them want to click on your video.
Think about the path new viewers will take to reach your YouTube videos, and ultimately the next steps necessary to drive those viewers to your site.
"While the number of views a video receives is certainly a valuable metric, it's not the end goal. You ultimately want people to view your videos and follow through with an actionable response. If you're producing videos just for views, you'll end up with very little of the latter."
Here are some quick tips on specializing content for your specific target audience:
- Unless you're publishing a webinar or have set expectations for a long-form video, keep your business's YouTube content under three minutes in duration. As a general marketing strategy, video is powerful in its simplicity.
- Tailor end-of-video link options for individual videos, and push viewers along a natural conversion path with your playlists. This is particularly important for a series of videos or other project-specific content. On YouTube, how you format the end of your videos and incorporate external/playlist links can make all the difference between a lost viewer and a website conversion.
Use Extensions to Refine Your Content
The great thing about technology in 2019 is that it can do a lot of the hard work for you. When it comes to marketing on YouTube, you should constantly look for ways to improve your potential reach, views, engagement, and accessibility.
Using extensions can help you in a multitude of ways. Measure the SEO value of your titles, tags, and descriptions, see where you rank compared to other video content. Monitor your views, the search volume of your tags, and discover what people are searching for before they come across your content.
All this can help keep your YouTube top-notch – optimized for today's users and what they want. If you're looking for two great and easy-to-use extensions, we suggest checking out TubeBuddy and vidIQ.
At the End of the Day...
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: businesses that use YouTube in conjunction with other hosting platforms (native social media uploaders, private hosting options and the like) typically see the biggest return on their video marketing efforts.
For most organizations, YouTube's greatest marketing value is its audience scope, SEO juice, and custom channel options.
Any and all video content you produce should also be uploaded on private hosting services and cross-promoted on YouTube for extra traction. Plan accordingly, create channel playlists based on topic, upload at recurring, predictable intervals, and reinforce all uploads with adequate descriptions and tags.
The right way to market with YouTube involves much more than just uploading high quality content; it requires that content to be published consistently, shared across your social platforms, refined on a per-video basis, and streamlined for viewers.
Alex is a University of South Florida mass communications graduate and Video/Media Specialist at Bluleadz. He is a big movie nerd, loves (possibly dangerous) concerts and enjoys taunting co-workers with a camera. He's probably seen The Royal Tenenbaums 14 times by now.