YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, with only Google being larger, so if you aren't leveraging this platform in your social media marketing strategy yet, now is the time to begin. YouTube boasts over a billion users, with hundreds of millions of hours of video being watched on a daily basis. If your target audience is centered around millennials, YouTube is the place to be, as they reach more people between the ages of 18-34 and 18-49 than any cable network in the United States.
Video marketing in particular is highly effective, as people love to interact and engage with videos and videos produce a higher click-through-rate than text or image posts. With that in mind, here are some tips you can start incorporating right now to use YouTube to market and grow your business, while at the same time tapping into a new audience you may not be reaching with your other social media efforts:
1. Produce Lots Of High Quality Content. Posting a video a month to YouTube isn't going to help you achieve much in terms of results. The YouTube channels that are the most effective are the ones that are producing lots of high quality content on a consistent basis. You need to keep your followers interested and new content helps with growing your subscriber basis.
Try not to overthink video topics. Potential topics you can choose from include interviews of your customers or staff (behind the scenes videos help with creating an identity for your company), product demonstrations (people love to see how they can actually USE your product or service in a real life scenario), tutorials/Q&A's, webinars, webcasts, and you can even turn some of your existing blog posts or infographics into videos.
2. Include Calls-To-Action In Your Video. You will likely have a call-to-action in the text description of your video, such as including a link to your website with the specific action you want the person to take, but you should also include at least one call-to-action in the video itself. Potential calls-to-action include asking the person to subscribe to your YouTube channel, share the video on their other social media channels or website, follow you on Facebook, Twitter, etc., leave a comment about the video (make sure you respond to feedback as it's posted so your channel is interactive), contact you for more information, and the list goes on.
Taking advantage of an overlay (the little ad that shows at the bottom of your video as the person is watching it) is the perfect opportunity for calls-to-action, in addition to including them in the video itself so people know what you want them to do after they've watched your video. Here is a great video from Perry Lawrence on how to create the call-to-action overlay on YouTube:
3. Use Keywords Wisely. While you will of course get traffic to the videos you upload by posting them on your website and other social media channels (cross-promotion is a must), a good deal of your traffic will come from people finding your videos on YouTube on their own. And this is accomplished by you using keywords wisely so people can, well, actually find your videos in their searches. StartupNation Media Group provides a great example of how to effectively use keywords:
Example Keyword: “Plant Tomatoes”
TITLE- How to Plant Tomatoes
DESCRIPTION- http://www.YourSite.com/blog – Do you want to know how to plant tomatoes?
Watch this tutorial NOW!!
TAGS- plant tomatoes, how to plant tomatoes, planting tomatoes, grow your own tomatoes
If you are struggling to come up with keywords to use, check out other companies in your niche who are posting videos with similar content to yours, and include their keywords in your videos.
4. Customize Your YouTube Channel. First impressions mean a lot, and potential and current customers are not going to be overly impressed if you haven't done much to make your YouTube channel your own. There is a huge opportunity here to ensure your YouTube channel reflects well on your brand, and you can do this by choosing a relevant and eye-catching banner for your channel, having a main video that actually interests your target audience, creating relevant playlists to organize your content and make it easier to find, and having an about section that describes what your company does, with links to your website and other social media channels. Six Pack Shortcuts & Abs After 40 does this extremely well:
Here is a video from BetterCloud reviewing how to customize your YouTube channel:
5. Collaborate With Others. Collaboration is a highly effective marketing strategy on YouTube. By collaborating with someone else in your niche who shares a similar target audience with you, you both are able to extend your reach by tapping into each others subscriber base. This is especially true if you are both sharing the collaboration videos on your respective websites and other social media channels. A great collaboration partner is someone who you already interact with on YouTube, or you can simply look for other videos in your niche, and once you've identified a potential partner, reach out to them via email or social media.
A simple way to collaborate with others is by making guest appearances in each others videos, possibly by interviewing each other. You can also record collaboration videos together on topics that interest your respective target audience, or by doing guest vlogs if you find it difficult to get together where you record your own video that then gets posted on their YouTube channel. Keep in mind you don't actually have to record videos together in real time. You can simply record your portion, have them do the same, and use video editing software to combine the clips.