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9 Strategies to Optimize YouTube Video Content

By September 20, 2013 No Comments

YouTube videos are a key part of the digital marketing toolbox. They can generate brand awareness and trust, and lead to both engagement and conversions. It’s incredibly easy to shoot a video and upload it to YouTube. If it weren’t, YouTube wouldn’t boast 100 hours of video uploaded every minute!

But are you achieving the maximum results from your YouTube videos? To do it, you’ll need more than a nifty camera: you’ll need some strategy.

Here are 9 tips for creating better awareness, engagement, and conversion with your videos:

  • Brand the video. Get your name and logo in there. If you can do it throughout without being intrusive, do it. Don’t forget to include your company and website info (and maybe other social media addresses) in the video. Since you never know how a viewer might stumble across your video, you want to be sure they know who you are and how to find you.
  • Educate with the video. What’s the point of your video? You’d better know the answer – and why it matters to your customers or prospects – before you shoot. Viewers don’t want to be sold. You don’t walk into a store and say, “Sell me this ”. You say, “Please tell me about this ”. People watch videos to be instructed, educated or entertained. So educate first, then sell. View the video through their eyes: if it doesn’t instruct, educate, or entertain, you should do some soul searching.
  • Stay on topic. How do you know if your video is too long (or too short)? If you’ve done your job on #2, it’s probably not too short. There’s no specific correct length for a video.
    • Think it through. You may or may not use a script, but either way, decide what you intend to say ahead of time.
    • Break it up. Instructional and educational videos in particular run the risk of overwhelming your audience with information. If the video is starting to feel bulky, look for a logical break(s) and create multiple, shorter videos.
  • Use your words. A bit of prep research will give you an idea about what search terms people might use to find your video. Without becoming spammy, don’t be shy about using product name, description, and other identified search terms in the video.
  • Fill in the blanks. When you upload the video to YouTube, you’ll need to fill out a form describing your video in detail. You’ll notice that you don’t have to include much information, and some of the blanks don’t even need to be filled in. Don’t give in to this temptation! This is critical information that will help your video to be found by people searching YouTube, Google, and other search engines. Where appropriate, include a link back to your website or product page in the description.
  • Use Closed Captioning. Closed Captions were designed to help the hearing impaired. Because search engines are hearing impaired, so to speak, Closed Captioning works for Google (and YouTube) as well, by making a video’s spoken words “visible” to them.
  • Give It a Home. Embed each of your videos on its own page on your website (in addition to making them available via your branded YouTube channel). Don’t forget to SEO the page fully. The closed captions (#6 above) improve the video’s SEO only on the YouTube channel’s page, not your website.
  • Get the word out. Proper SEO will bring traffic to the YouTube channel and/or your homepage, but you’ve put a lot of effort into this, so fuel the fire by sharing the content. Use your presence on appropriate social media outlets (perhaps Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to make your fans aware of the new video or series. Blog about it, share it via email and forums, and make it easy for them to share as well. If the video or series is worthy of one, don’t hesitate to issue an online press release using a cost-effective online PR service.
  • Analyze the results. If you intend to make videos a part of your ongoing strategy (and you do, right?), you’ll want to grab ahold of what works, and toss aside what doesn’t. YouTube provides strong analytics, showing everything from number of views to more important data like average time each viewer spent (did they stay and watch, or leave early?) and how many liked the video or subscribed to your channel as a result. Google Analytics, installed on your website, can also clue you in to which videos lead to engagement, and help to steer your future video efforts.

Put these nine YouTube video tips into practice, and you’re sure to see positive results. What other video content-optimizing advice would you share with a business attempting to build its brand through YouTube videos?

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