YouTube, as the world’s second largest search engine, clearly rules when it comes to video content. Video content is in high demand. Currently, 4 in 5 millennials will seek out video content when researching a purchase decision, so it’s no wonder Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, SnapChat and Twitter have rolled out video features. It’s easy to see why many businesses are placing video marketing as their top priority as they plan towards 2019.
If you’ve already set up a YouTube Channel for your business, you’re probably wondering what you need to know in order to maintain a competitive edge.
Here are 10 ways your business can get a jump on the competition by using YouTube to your advantage:
1. Keep the content coming
Those who are successful on YouTube have one main thing in common: they keep the content coming. Without fail, they publish with regularity.
Consistency in delivering content is key. Creating and posting quality content isn’t easy, and quality video is an investment.
YouTube is a unique marketing channel with massive potential and if you aren’t prepared to provide both excellent quality and content, YouTube may not be right for you.
Decide what you are able to deliver and what frequency you are prepared to publish. Do not promise a video a week and then let it slip to once a month. If you decide to add a YouTube Channel to your marketing mix, publishing content that provides value and publishing that content on a regular basis needs to be your ultimate end goal.
Frequency helps attract new subscribers. It is recommended that you post four videos per month - which ideally works out at one per week. Set a schedule and stick to it: whether it is releasing a new video every day, once a week or once a month.
2. Research your space
Before you begin to publish your own content, research what others operating in your space are doing well. Know what your competition is publishing and what sort of content is performing well for them.
Contrary to what you may instinctively do, it is important to keep your ‘related channels’ turned on. Many businesses turn off the ‘related channels’ feature on YouTube, worried that a competitor’s video will turn up as a related channel and steal their user. Chances are that a user watching your videos will also be watching your competitor’s videos anyway - so don’t pass up the opportunity switching ‘related channels’ on provides to your business. When you turn off the ‘related channels’ feature, you also remove your business channel from appearing in the YouTube recommendations list. We recommend you use YouTube’s network effect to your advantage, and ensure you have your ‘related channels’ turned on.
A great way to keep your users on your channel is to create well-crafted playlists. When your user begins watching a video through your playlist, YouTube will auto-queue the next video in your playlist to play automatically – which keeps your user watching your channel.
Many YouTubers will add a video link at the end of each of their videos, directing their user to the next related video, which is a great idea. Why not go one better? Instead, add a link to your playlist. This way, your user will be directed into your playlist as they click the link, and then your videos will then continuously play your playlist. Now, you don’t have to rely on your user to continue clicking on your suggested links at the end of each video, or worry about losing them to other video suggestions. (To create this special link, all you need to do is add &list=ID at the end of the normal video URL).
3. Select your niche
Now you know what your competitors are up to, it’s time to select your niche. Select an area, or a few key areas, where you believe your business will be able to become the authoritative voice.
Delivering true thought leadership and offering real value in one (or just a few key areas) is far more efficient and effective than attempting to cover a broader range of subjects and providing no real depth.
Plan before you create. The ideal video length according to Buffer Social is around 3 minutes, however Syed Balkhi - founder of YouTube channel List 25 with over 2.2 million subscribers and over 550 million video views - says the ideal length is around 8-12 minutes long. You will need to use that time effectively to provide a comprehensive video about your chosen topic. The first eight seconds, just like in a rodeo, are the most important. The click-away rate in those first eight seconds is incredible. Start delivering information straight away and you’ll gather subscribers.
You will want to choose a keyword related to your topic, and use this keyword not only in the title of your video, but in the script of your video as well. When your keyword is repeated multiple times during the audio of your video, it will help your rankings on YouTube search. Keep in mind YouTube will automatically attempt to add closed captions, during which their algorithm reads your entire script and then calculates the relevance of the content of your video to a particular keyword. Tools such as KeywordTool.io can help you to find relevant keywords connected to your subject matter.
4. Make use of Call To Action annotations
Of course you aim to see your channel subscriptions grow. If you tackle this incorrectly, you will annoy people and they won’t subscribe. Whether your call to action is ‘subscribe’, ‘share’, ‘click’, ‘watch’, ‘like’ or ‘comment’, your aim is to make your call to action unobtrusive, and something that will ultimately provide value to your user.
When you launch your channel, you should always start by making an introduction video detailing the sort of content you will be publishing and how often you plan to post. You can make this introduction a Company Trailer video, which tells your audience who you are, introduce your team and let your audience know what they will gain by becoming a subscriber.
Regardless of any other call to action you choose to include, you should always include a ‘don’t forget to subscribe’ at the end of each one of your videos with an easy link included for your users to click on.Video
5. Add the subtitles
Yes! Add the subtitles! Most people jump on YouTube on the phones in public without the sound turned on. Whether they are sitting on public transport, or enjoying downtime at a coffee shop, you want this large potential audience to know what’s being said in your content so they keep watching. Now both Facebook and YouTube have integrated the ability to add subtitles into their video uploading capabilities, so when given the choice, always add the subtitles/closed captions.
Collaborating with someone in a similar field, who have a similar audience to yours, means they will get exposure to your audience and, likewise, you will get exposure to theirs.
If you have someone in mind – reach out with your idea. Most people are open to collaborations as it is a great way to get your content shared and seen by an audience that may not find you otherwise.
7. Always provide value – offer help, not a sales pitch.
Never oversell. Offer value, help, information and guidance as a way to build your brand. People will switch off if you pitch, however if you choose to inform them you can include a call to action to entice them further towards a sale.
Sharing information is a great way to build trust with your audience. Become an expert in your field by answering important questions people will search for. The easiest way to do this is to make “How To” videos. People actively search for answers on the internet to learn more about a topic, with How-To searches are increasing by 70% year-on-year according to Think With Google.
8. Don’t forget SEO
YouTube is essentially a search engine in its own right, whilst also a subsidiary of Google. People search YouTube much the same way as they will search Google – they search for keywords and phrases that will help them find the information they are looking for.
Typical SEO rules apply for all YouTube content, so ensure your uploads have sufficient descriptions, correct tags and an appropriately thought-out title. A great tool to help is Tube Buddy – a free browser extension that will help you manage your channel and optimize your channel.
9. Share, embed & email
Consider how your business will use the content you create. Several great ways you can use your video content to market your business and build your brand are:
Add your videos to your blog and/or social media pages.
Product demos and promotional videos can be used on social media, as well as on your website.
Live videos, webinars and software demos can be shared via Facebook Live, Periscope, etc.
Video is a great value-add for e-marketing and can be a powerful conversion tool, so don’t forget to include your videos in your e-marketing plan. Did you know that Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts click-through rates by 65%, boosts open rates by 19% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%? In fact, Hubspot report including a video in an email results in a 200-300% increase in click-through rates.
10. Put your customers in the spotlight
Small businesses have had fantastic results from posting video testimonials on YouTube, and on their websites. Did you know that video testimonials have been proven to have a better impact on potential customers than written testimonials and are a great way to build trust and credibility online?
In fact, the top three most effective types of video content according to Curata, are:
Customer testimonials, which placed at #1 (51%),
Tutorial videos, which come in at a close second (50%), and
Demonstration videos, which were ranked third (49%).
You are now in a great position to ensure your YouTube Channel stays ahead of your competition. With correct nurturing and some strategic planning, you will be able to grow your YouTube Channel subscribers and views.
Keen to read more of our blogs on Videos? Here are a few.
Top 10 Ways for Using Video on Your Website
How to create a great promotional video for your business website
Top 10 Benefits of Using YouTube Videos on Your Website