As broadband Internet becomes more widespread and accessible across the world, the share of video content is rapidly and inevitably growing. The majority of users regard video as the easiest medium to perceive. It is only natural, then, that YouTube, being the best-known video sharing service, is an incredibly important tool for any online marketer. However, there is a huge gap between deciding to use it for marketing and actually achieving any success in this field. So how does one go about it?
It is not as easy task as it may seem, for e-commerce communication is by definition purely commercial in 99 percent of situations, and you will have a hard time persuading your clients, both current and potential, that the primary goal of any video you publish is not to get into their wallets.
1. Technical Stuff
For the visitors to see the awesome content you are going to publish, there first should be visitors. And to guarantee their initial influx, you should know basics of how to start a Youtube channel and optimize its technical aspects.
Channel name. That’s what you are going to be remembered by, so put a lot of thought into it. Make sure it is short, self-explanatory, catchy and easy to remember. Make sure there are no letters that can be mixed up (“i” and “y”, “c” and “k”) and fancy letter combinations that are hard to type by ear. Ask yourself: if you heard it for the first time with a lot of noise in the background, would you be able to type it correctly half a day later?
Integration. Place links to your main website and other social media channels you run to catch the audience attention immediately. Nowadays, people get distracted easily and they are not ready to spend their time searching for your website. Make their life easier – put everything they might need to reach you in front of their eyes.
Description. It should be concise, no longer than a couple of sentences, tell what your channel is about and contain your most important keywords.
Icon. Viewers are going to associate your brand with this image. Therefore, it has to be clearly recognizable and relevant to your brand. To achieve this you can use a logo, brand colors and a brand character (if you have one). The icon will appear whenever your videos turn up, so make sure your brand name is clearly visible even when it is small.
Cover photo. Make it unique, striking and directly connected to the primary topic of your channel. You may change it depending on season/contest/news. Experiment!
Make sure it is useful. Find out what your customers care about and give it to them. Useful tips and tricks on how to use your products. Instruction manuals dealing with topics that directly relate to your industry. Demonstrations of unusual applications of your products. A study from Luxy Hair – they don’t clamor about how awesome they are but provide demonstrative instructions that don’t even necessarily need their products to implement, thus gaining loyal subscribers who are likely to become clients.
User-generated content. Social proof is an extremely powerful tool. What other people believe and do has a strong influence on what we believe and do, even if we try to persuade ourselves differently. Therefore, a user-generated video of some random person using your product is much more likely to impress potential clients than a professional, glossy video describing its advantages – a thing well-understood by GoPro with its 4.5 million subscribers. Run a contest for the best video among your clients offering freebies to winners, give discounts to those sending you high-quality videos, or motivate them in some other way.
Regularity. If you want results, post content on a regular basis but don’t sacrifice quality. Create a fixed schedule for a week and let your subscribers know about it. For example, you can post a video about Topic A every Monday and on Topic B every Friday.
Subtitles. Most people nowadays watch videos on their phones, in places where they either can’t hear what is said very well or outright cannot turn the sound on. So make sure they understand what is said even when they can’t hear you.
No matter how excellent your content is, it’s useless if nobody can find it. So take care of it.
Title. Your targeted keywords should be in the first few words of the title, but don’t overdo it. Also make sure the title is really related to the video – you want visitors to stay and watch, not click “Back” in disgust.
Description. Make it as big as you need for the benefit of those who will probably read it in its entirety, but remember that only the first couple of sentences will show up in search results.
Tags. Tags are an excellent way to show concisely what the video is about. They keyword is “concisely” – don’t go overboard with them.
Thumbnail. A custom thumbnail is a good way to attract visitors. As with the title, make it relevant.
The easiest way to the top is to attach yourself to somebody who is already on the way there. In other words, collaboration with the industry influencers whose channels are already fairly popular. By working in tandem with a well-known YouTube creator you promote both your brand and his channel – like, for example, Mountain Dew did in their collaboration with Devin Super Tramp, a YouTuber with 4.5 million subscribers.
Choose the opinion leaders/celebrities/influencers that are somehow interesting for your target audience. Before the contact, you should clearly understand how the collaboration should look like. Brainstorm with your team about ways how this persona can be involved in a video, discuss its final goal and which audience it appeals. Prepare the proposal with the details and reach influencers out through social media account, e-mails or PR managers. A piece of advice here: check all the details before signing an agreement and ensure you are able to meet obligations.
YouTube is more important for your marketing than ever. According to statistics, video content already constitutes more than 70 percent of Internet traffic, and this percentage is likely to grow further – and your business should capitalize on it.