You have been here to watch a donkey play piano, satisfying mukbang videos or randomly explore the depth of video content by browsing the entire evening. There is no end to the amount of entertainment you will find on YouTube. The online video app has become the hotspot catering to the needs of 85% of internet users.
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Seeing the massive migration of netizens to YouTube, businesses strategically use the platform to more than 2 billion active users. If video marketing on YouTube wasn’t in your strategy, it is time to rethink your course of action. After all, the benefits are immeasurable when you expand your reach on the world’s second-largest search engine.
The public is on YouTube and trust us when we say that the conversions are seriously awe-inspiring. For this reason and many others, 87% of marketing professionals use YouTube as a marketing tool.
If you wish to know the ins and outs of YouTube marketing, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the initial formalities, strategies, tips and best practices for video production, growth metrics and SEO.
But first, let’s gloss over what is YouTube marketing and why should you use YouTube in your brand strategy?
What is YouTube Marketing?
YouTube marketing is a strategic promotion of business and products through YouTube videos and ads. A dedicated channel on the platform makes it a dependable video content repository.
Why must you invest in a well-rounded YouTube Video Marketing Strategy?
The benefits and importance of using YouTube for your business endeavours are immense. It all begins when you understand the content consumption pattern of internet users and how they have changed over the years.
“Online video is the Swiss army knife of internet marketing. It really can be used all over the customer lifecycle, whether it’s customer service, marketing, or even recruitment.”
The popularity of videos can be realized because 2 billion active monthly users on YouTube stream around 1 billion hours of videos every day. Another compelling input from Think with Google states that there has been an 800% rise in watch time of both ad-supported and purchase of feature-length movies. This is directly reflective of the audience’s content consumption pattern.
Source: Think with Google
But why are videos gaining popularity? This rise is primarily due to the psychological impact that motion films have on a viewer’s mind. According to a study by CL’s Department of Experimental Psychology (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences) and Vue Entertainment, watching films benefits brain function, creativity, productivity and social connections.
To comment on the success of marketing video content, LinkedIn points out the shareability of videos to be 20 times more than any other type of content. The high shareability quotient of video is directly proportional to its high ROI, as 74% of marketers stated. Dollars to doughnuts, video marketing, is bulletproof when it comes to success in the digital realm.
Now that you are convinced to adopt YouTube as a marketing domain, here’s a walk-through of the best practices.
6-Step YouTube Video Marketing Strategy
Step 1 - Create a Compelling Business YouTube Channel
A channel is your window to YouTube. The identity you establish here reflects what you stand for as a brand or a company. A company or a business channel is different from a general vlog or a haul channel. So, PewDiePie, Casey Neistat or Jeffree Star aren’t the content creators to look up to. But you can definitely learn the art of telling compelling stories and building an engagement with fans from them.
The first step to making waves with your marketing video starts by creating a channel.
You can easily create one through your personal Google account.
Log in or Sign up using your own Gmail address. Do the needful by setting up the basic groundwork.
Start by inserting a channel name. It will be accompanied alongside each video title and hence should be harmonious with your overall branding.
Put up a profile picture, a YouTube banner (2560 x 1440 pixels) and a general description in the ‘About’ section (a description around 50 words would be more than enough).
Image Courtesy: NikkieTutorials
The banner is a massive part of creating a custom layout for your channel. A YouTube banner is displayed in the top horizontal frame and must be utilized to display prime links related to your business. Keep the banner’s colour and branding elements consistent and add links to your social media channels and websites for added conversion.
Image Courtesy: Zach King
Use the ‘About’ section mindfully by inserting proper CTAs (Call To Action) buttons to drive traffic to your social media handles and website. When setting up a profile picture and banner, remember to be consistent with your brand colours.
Step 2 - Create a Welcome Channel Trailer Video
Your first YouTube video should be a trailer. A trailer is displayed on the top of your YouTube channel page and plays automatically for all new users. It welcomes new subscribers and explicitly tells the audience about your business and all they can find on your channel.
The trailer should be intriguing enough to encourage people to subscribe.
It should be an extension of your value proposition. Keep your target audience in mind and create short, crisp and engaging video content, 30-90 seconds long, that goes with your channel description.
Image Courtesy: Rihanna
Step 3 - Make Creative and Useful Video Content
Every YouTube or video marketer has the most significant responsibility to build content that represents the company values, promotes their unique offering, and engages enough to make the viewer hit the like, share, or subscribe button.
But how to make professional YouTube videos with high shareability? The key is to be engaging, informative and entertaining.
A practical way to go about creating videos is to build content for your viewers stuck in the different marketing funnel stages. This way, you will have videos for every stage.
At this stage, a first-time viewer is simply a stranger. So, first impressions work wonders here. The goal here is to turn random people into regular visitors. You might want to generate leads by creating videos with a wow factor in the attract stage. A good example would be animated and explainer videos. Search up your target audience’s top queries, research competitors’ existing content, and shape up a script accordingly.
You want to convert visitors into leads to try out your product or service in the convert stage. But at this stage, general psychology dictates that a person is hesitant. To give that initial nudge down the funnel, offer a free demo video or a tool demonstration to make the lead slide down to the close stage.
It is time to bring your loyal customers to the front line to present their success stories at the close stage. Produce a testimonial video or a customer case study to show how you have made a difference. A real-life experience is more likely to enable a customer to seal the deal.
The closing stage is crucial as it shows how valuable you are as a company. The end goal of creating marketing videos at this video marketing stage is to convert leads into customers. What better way to do that better way than showing a world where you are of consequence?
At the delight stage, you basically provide the user with all that they are looking for. After a product or service purchase, a user does the logical search to get acquainted with the know-how. You can spoonfeed your customers and delight them by creating know-how or how-to content in advance to keep up with this fast-paced digital domain.
Step 4 - Create Marketing Videos
After the introductory formalities, it is time to get into action and dive into making videos. A smart YouTube marketing strategy would outline the type of video content, its scope, and its categorization into playlists. If you have a blank YouTube channel, think of it as a blank canvas with diverse options to decorate it with.
The process is simple - Plan, Write a Story, Design an audio and video script, Visualize the screenplay and Shoot! Find a hook point you insert in the video that your competitors missed out on and focus a little extra on the production.
Set up the props, lights, camera, mic positioning, mood-setting and the like to create a highly engaging video. If you are looking for a jumpstart to make viral videos, here is an exhaustive guide to help you through the process.
As a video marketer, here are a few extra points to step up your game:
- Use video thumbnail to your advantage. To begin with, you must consider these technical aspects to make a click-worthy thumbnail:
Image Courtesy: Roxxsaurus
Thumbnail dimensions: 1280×720 px
File format: .JPG / .GIF / .PNG
Maximum File Size: 2MB
It is a common yet false practice among YouTubers to employ clickbait. But your goal as a company should revolve around building trust, attracting viewers and retaining the existing audience. Clickbait is definitely not the way forward.
As per YouTube, “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails".
This static image makes a user stay and forces him actually to click to watch the video. To design the best YouTube thumbnails, here are a few non-technical elements to focus on:
- Select a gripping high-resolution image and use it to show it as an extension of your video content for thumbnail. You want your viewers to click on the video from an entire pool based on its reliability and unique information. If you are making a brand video, remember its social media’s shareability depends on a powerful story and sentiment-grabbing factor. Ergo, keep your target audience in mind while developing marketable content for your YouTube channel.
- Brush up the video captions. Grammatically correct captions are essential for the YouTube audience that consumes videos without turning on the sound. Although YouTube automatically generates captions, it is wise to edit them for minor spelling errors, names, etc.
- Segment your videos into playlists. To make the viewer easily surf your channel, it’s good to segment the videos into logical and easy to navigate playlists.
Step 5 - Optimize your YouTube Videos for SEO
Now it’s time you learn how to optimize your YouTube videos for search.
A video marketer’s job doesn’t stop at creation. Like blogs and other content requires SEO optimization, videos thrive on good SEO to make them discoverable through an organic search.
Search engine optimization through Google and other engines is also applicable to video content. A query produces video content in YouTube’s internal search and Google search results only if it has proper SEO optimization.
Therefore, optimization is vital to a successful YouTube marketing strategy. Here are the key pointers to get started with YouTube SEO:
Do Keyword Research for YouTube
“How to optimize YouTube video for search” is a burning question circulating among video marketers. The process is indeed streamlined when you proceed in the given fashion beginning with keyword research.
These keywords are to be included in the video title, meta description and tag to clue YouTube’s algorithm about your marketing video.
Here are simple ways in which you can perform a keyword search on YouTube:
- Use the search autocomplete feature: When you simply type a phrase in the YouTube search bar, it gives result suggestions. These suggestions are keywords that can be incorporated.
- Use keyword research tools: Like content marketers lookup long tail and short tail keywords on Semrush and Ahrefs, there are both paid and free tools to help with keywords for YouTube SEO optimization. Semrush, VidIQ, TubeBuddy and Keyword Keg remains popular choice among YouTubers.
Title and Meta Description Optimization for YouTube
Now that you have the target keyword around which you wish to create a video use it wisely to shape your content and optimize existing ones. Firstly, make a compelling title that’s click-worthy and arouses an instant interest.
Image Courtesy: Chloe Ting
A good practice to make YouTube titles is to keep them up to 60 characters long. Also, it reaps good results when the keyword placement is towards the beginning of the title. Remember to curate an emotional connection with your words.
To optimize the video description, all you have to do is write an attractive copy that summarizes the content of your video. It further aids the video streaming platform’s algorithm to understand all about your video.
The optimal length to write a description for a YouTube video is 150+ words. But only the initial 100 characters are displayed under the video. The rest of the content is wrapped up on “Show more.” So, make the most of the space that’s visible with actionable and appealing content rich in power words and CTAs.
Insert YouTube Cards and Endscreen for Advertising
Your video is also a great source to divert the audience to ads and promotional links and nudge them to take action. For this, youtube encourages the use of cards and endscreens.
Cards are rectangular notifications under the ’i’ icon on the top right corner of your phone or desktop screen. A maximum of five cards is ideal.
Image Courtesy: Becca Watson
A good practice is to include cards only when you have content relevant to your current video, enhancing the viewer’s experience. Moreover, space out the cards evenly throughout your video to give enough time to decide and take action.
Similarly, endscreen is the final frame of your video, which can add links or cards to your playlist or video as an extension of the content just viewed.
Image Courtesy: Jeffree Star
Employ Tags for added reach
Tags are a special place to add your focus keywords related to your video. You can optimize the tags by inserting the keyword in quotes. Make sure to add tags that are a good blend of both long tail and short tail keywords.
YouTube condemns when the tags aren’t relevant to the video or don’t match with the description.
Step 6- Distribute Videos - Know the right place to post videos
Another decisive factor determining the success of all the hard work you have done so far is your chosen distribution channels. The video you have created has to dwell within the target audience that it requires. Therefore, it is imperative you know the best place to post a video.
- The marketing videos of the attract stage need an audience. You have to give such videos as much exposure you can. Henceforth, social media platforms, YouTube channels and high-performing blogs are optimal.
- In the second stage, where a visitor has opted to sign up and needs more information, a demo video or a product walk-through will go best with an email campaign, a landing page or a demo webpage.
- The close stage shows your company’s value proposition and is extremely useful to build brand recognition and awareness. Hence, these videos can be easily shareable on social media platforms and YouTube.
- For the final success of your video marketing strategy, insert the how-to content in your knowledge base. It is like a self-service customer library where people can find product/service-related information.
Your YouTube marketing strategy will be complete now that you have incorporated the above-mentioned key metrics with your unique value propositions. Remember, branding and business in this wildly popular video streaming space is a slow process at first. But knowing your audience, adding value to their lives through entertainment and education is the foundation of success.
Along with following these marketing strategies it is important to have guidance from digital marketing experts! KoolStories- a micro learning platform brings in a space for learners to get one-on-one sessions with seasoned professionals in a single click. Not only that, but you will also get a chance to upskill yourself in just 15 minutes! Learn and explore the world of digital marketing with like-minded people.