Getting the most from YouTube
YouTube is used as a search engine, a hosting service, an advertising platform, a social network and a community site. Google+, Facebook, Twitter etc. all integrate YouTube embeds into their platform framework. This allows users to watch videos directly from their feeds without having to leave the social networks themselves. Social media players like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have extended video’s dominance by making video sharing instant.
Fill your file with keywords
YouTube videos are a lot like blog posts: short, focused, and keyword-rich so they can help you rank higher in the search engines. Google searches often return YouTube videos at the top of search results. Keywords should be used throughout your video in the following places:
- Title: Your title should include the keyword you are targeting. (You will have a chance to title your video as it’s uploading to YouTube.)
- Description: You can treat your description as a mini-blog post, including clickable links to your website.
- Tags: Beneath the description field you can enter “tags,” which are all the keywords you are focused on.
- Narrative: YouTube “listens” to the narrative of your videos and does a mechanical transcription. Because of this, it’s important to use your keywords in your narrative as well.
LINK YOUR VIDEO BACK TO YOUR SITE
1. Include a link in the description as a naked URL with no anchor text.
2. Set up the content for advertising and get an Ad overlay link. With your AdWords account, you can create ad overlays for your YouTube videos. The overlay will appear as soon as the video begins to play and can be closed by the user. You can use the overlay to share more information about the content of your video or to raise interest in your channel, other videos, or additional websites. When users click on the overlay, they are directed to your external website as specified in the overlay’s destination URL.
3. Engage viewers by including links back to your site within annotations. YouTube measures viewers’ engagement with videos as part of their search algorithm. The more viewers engage with your videos (liking, commenting or posting video responses), the more likely your video will come up for a given search. You can add verbal requests and calls-to-action with in your description, but YouTube also allows you to include clickable links within your video annotations.
Using interactive videos is a great way for brands to direct customers to specific problems and engage fans with a unique story telling experience. In the example ‘Choosing a different ending’ anti-weapons campaign, the Metropolitan Police produced an interactive video series which allows the user to assume the film’s character and choose what happens next. You can interact with it, choose what to do and decide how it ends.
Once your video has gone live, make as big a splash as possible to drive traffic and increase views.
- Give the video a thumbs up. More thumbs up on your video will increase its visibility in the YouTube search. (YouTube is the number two stand alone search engine in the world behind Google.)
- Embed the video in a blog post. Any views that happen at the blog post count towards the video’s total views which can also increase it’s visibility in the YouTube search.
- Share the video through social media. Tweet it. Post it to your Facebook profile and business page. Pin it. Post it to LinkedIn groups. Share it wherever your ideal customer hangs out online.
- Promote it in an email newsletter. Include an image from the video with the “play” button and link the image to your YouTube video.
INCREASE YOUR SUBSCRIBERS
The most effective videos are how-to’s that show your ideal customer how to overcome their biggest challenges. Videos may vary in topic, length and professionalism, but very few should be promotional. (They don’t rate as well.)
Think of each video like you would a blog post: an opportunity to be found in the search engines, establish your credibility, and lead people to an opt-in page or subscribe now button.
People can subscribe to your YouTube channel just like they would your blog or email newsletter, allowing you to continue communicating with them.