Video Marketing: Guide to launching your business’ YouTube Channel

Launching a YouTube channel is easy, but encouraging engagement is the hard part. Here’s how to build an audience, optimise your video, and turn viewers into customers.

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Video content is shared 1,200% more than text and images combined on social media. While Facebook users dominate network size and engagement, YouTube is the platform of choice for almost three quarters of adults, and 94% of the 18-24 demographic. If you’ve not got your business a YouTube channel, it seems it’s about time you did.

One of my clients has recently stepped up their webinar activity. They’re demo-ing their products and offering troubleshooting tips and tricks – perfect YouTube content. I’m going to show them how, with a little effort, they can make the most out of their video content, so it’s not only benefiting their customer-base, but also their marketing activity.

Firstly, what do you want to get out of YouTube?

“Internet fame” is a nonsense, unrealistic goal for having a YouTube channel. It’s a noisy, noisy place these days, and being noticed let alone adored by millions is going to be tough and take a lot of time and effort. However, improving and managing your business’ reputation is a very reasonable expectation. YouTube offers another dimension for getting content out there about your brand because video can rank really well in SERPs, especially for branded terms, and the SERPs themselves are a treat for the eyes:

Launch a Youtube channel -Video in SERPs

Just look at those rich, rich snippets.

An overview of your product or service, or a customer’s feedback on your product or service via video could help improve conversions. Visitors who engage with video are substantially more likely to convert compared to those who don’t, and 96% of consumers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online.

Having a YouTube presence offers a new avenue for traffic. Approved YouTube Partners are able to add links via YouTube Cards, which can link straight through to other videos, a relevant page on your website, and could even help you decide what content to be pushing out next:

Launch a YouTube channel - YouTube cards

Image via support.google.com

… that leads me nicely on to Step Two…

What should your business be publishing on YouTube?

I think it’s best to apply your rules for blogging to your rules for video-ing. That is, you need some sort of planner or calendar to mark when your business should be posting new videos and what they should be about. Developing an effective content calendar starts with categorising your ideas, and then populating those categories, which can be done through a number of resources:

Google Analytics: Which topics have worked for you in the past? Which of your site’s pages are visited most frequently? Using the Site Search “search terms” report, what are people looking for?

Existing Customers: What are they talking about? What do they ask about? What have they historically had trouble with?

Google Alerts: Although not as useful as they once were, monitoring keywords or phrases relevant to your product or service might inspire a video topic.

Forum Activity: Find out what your users want to know more about by scouring relevant forums for their questions and comments.

Content Search Tools: We just lurve Buzzsumo for searching for content ideas through what’s trending or what’s being shared the most online.

Social Media: Scour Instagram for relevant hashtags, look at what’s trending on Twitter, and filter through the comments on your and your competitors’ Facebook and/or LinkedIn.

Making a decent corporate YouTube video

I’ve written about the varieties of corporate video you should be considering before, but the quality of the production is a big factor. Luckily, in response to video exploding into marketing, there’s a bunch of tools to choose from that make it easy enough to do inhouse; iMovie, ClickMeeting, Animoto, and GoAnimate to name but a few.

While I’d encourage everyone to have a go in-house, for some it’s just not possible. Video production companies vary hugely in price, and if you don’t have a Hollywood budget, it can feel like outsourcing’s not an option for you and your business either… but you could try picking up a freelancer on Fiverr, or reaching out to a relevant influencer who’s already enjoying some YouTube coverage and ask if they’d work with you.

Optimise your YouTube videos

Give your video the best chance of being found and watched by adding content when you upload it;

Launch a YouTube channel - Upload screen

Video Title

Maximum 100 characters. Include a relevant keyword/search term and your brand and product/service name as a minimum, and then any other applicable information like location or people featured.

Video Description

You should use the first line of your description as another chance to get your keyword included for search as well as some detail about the video. You’ve got about 5,000 characters to play with, but lines two and three are your most visible, and so are your most important. Here’s a very rough template to help you utilise the remaining space…

Line 1: Content description
A short, to-the-point description of your video containing your most important keyword

Line 2-3: First call to action
Include a call-to-action (visit our website/like our video/subscribe to our channel)

**********************************

Helpful text
Any further details that users might find helpful like a summary/transcript

Relevant links
Depending on what the video is about, this may be a specific page on the website, a blog post, or perhaps your contact form

Second call to action
Reiterate your first call to action

***********************************
List of social media profiles

Website
Contact info (email, address, etc.)

***********************************
Credits
Like music any you used, or the production or whatever – this is obviously optional.

Video Tags

This is to “tell” YouTube what your video is about and to help it rank for any relevant keywords. Go to town on this part and add multiple tags as this section has a 500 characters limit. Some people suggest that including your brand name here may help more of your own videos get pulled into “suggested videos” over a competitor’s, too.

Video Timestamp Links

If your video is long, or contains a lot of information, consider including a clickable table of contents in a pinned top comment which divides the video into chapters. Here’s how.

YouTube Analytics to monitor your video’s success

To make sure you’re really making the most of your YouTube activity, you want to drill-down into your YouTube Analytics and analyse some key performance metrics – not just views – to establish if what you’re doing is working, and what to do if it isn’t.

Watch Time: This is the total number of minutes spent viewing your content, which YouTube apparently sees as more important than a raw view.

Audience Retention: In a similar vein, this will show how long viewers spend actually watching your content by pinpointing when they left your video. It gives you an idea of when you lost their attention, and what caused them to do so.

Subscribers: The more you have, the more people are likely to see your new videos through their Subscriptions list on their YouTube homepage. You can encourage people to subscribe with YouTube cards or via the description.

Real Time Report: There is a two day delay in YouTube’s view and watch time counts, so the real time report will help you measure your video’s impact early on. Seeing a spike in visits could indicate that your video has been shared to a new audience, which offers an opportunity to engage with whoever shared it.

Traffic Sources: Like your referral traffic report in Google Analytics, the Traffic Sources report will show you where your viewers are coming from. So if you get a lot of views via someone searching YouTube, you know that you should spend more time optimising future videos to ensure the same success.

Sharing: See the number of shares your video has received and through which social media platform/messaging app. This will help inform you of how to use your video content in your social media strategy.

Comments: Check who’s saying what. If someone’s asking about your product or service, you get to interact with them and maybe turn them from viewer to customer in the process. Similarly, the likes and dislikes metric will provide a top-level view of how you’re being received – just don’t take the dislikes too personally. The internet can be cruel!

Don’t be discouraged by a lack of YouTube activity

Launching a YouTube channel for your business is quite simple, and with a carefully planned process, it’s fairly effortless to kick it off. Consistency and attentiveness is important in encouraging activity around your videos, and while that requires time and resource… and patience… keep it up and you will see engagement with your brand grow over time. And with more engagement comes better brand recognition and trust – that’s when your viewers can become your customers.

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