Back in 2006, Google bought a little website by the name of YouTube for the bargain price of $1.65 billion. Since then, YouTube has become, in effect, the internet’s second most popular search engine. Now was YouTube already on a path to web prominence? Or was its acquisition by Google key to YouTube’s success? The world may never know. (Much like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.) No matter how it happened, YouTube’s rise is clearly our new reality. Ignore YouTube at your peril. Embrace it and bask in its glory. Here’s how to get the most out of YouTube’s video marketing.
Make Great Content
This seems like a no-brainer, but most YouTube videos tend to be, generally speaking, less than broadcast quality. Whether you’re showing off the new fishing rod you just bought or teaching college students how to unclog an apartment shower drain, the jump from “barely good enough” to “great” is smaller than ever. In other words, you can easily improve your game just by following some simple guidelines. A cheap clip-on microphone, compatible with every phone on the market, will immediately elevate your videos’ quality.
Utilize Closed Captioning
YouTube offers automatic captioning, but you should upload a verbatim transcript whenever you can. This will provide a better user experience for anyone who relies on closed captions. Heck, even people who don’t rely on closed captions often use them, especially if they’re using YouTube to learn something. Captions allow users to get the information without turning up the volume on their phones or computers.
Not only is providing captions the friendly, neighborly thing to do, but it can also help your SEO, too. YouTube indexes all of the words contained in your uploaded transcript, which is like getting the milk and the cow for free.
Use the Appropriate Ad Format
The variety of ads you can implement on YouTube include 6-Second Bumpers, Pre-Roll Ads, and In-Stream. Are you looking for awareness and brand recognition? Deploy some 6-Second Bumpers. Do you want clicks and conversions? Then you’re probably in the market for Pre-Roll ads. They can’t be skipped and run 15-20 seconds in length. Do you have a 30-second commercial that you want to repurpose? Think about using that for an In-Stream ad. If you want to see all of these in action, just open YouTube and search for something. You’ll see it all.
While it’s a bit tongue in cheek to describe YouTube as the second biggest search engine, it does still have the world’s biggest search engine powering it. They inform each other, too, so what’s good for one is often good for the other. You should leverage that enormous YouTube/Google data network through targeting. Target and find your desired audience using the options for gender, parental status, and personal interests. Narrow down your video placements by searching for specific channels that would be of interest to your ideal viewers. If you find that one type of audience is responding better to your message than another, you can always re-target. That’s the beauty of digital marketing.
Use an End Screen
You’ve made some great content, added closed captions, and targeted the appropriate viewers. Now you should reinforce your brand and inspire your viewers to take their next action. Use the end card as a digital signpost, directing your viewers to their next destination–a landing page with more info and a form to fill, or a product listing or external website, or even a link to your YouTube channel with more videos.
Support Your Efforts
YouTube is great for extending your brand and driving conversions. However, a multi-faceted strategy embracing many platforms is going to open the door to more success. Use multiple ad types on YouTube, and experiment with your targeting options. Consider running companion campaigns in Microsoft Bing and Google Ads while leveraging your common keywords and targeting wins across every platform you use.
If you want even more help upping your YouTube game, get in touch with us today.