YouTube is a fantastic place to upload your videos to because it is the second most popular search engine and over 800 million unique users visit the site each month. This is all well and good but it does mean you need to do a bit of work in order for your YouTube videos to be found, especially when approximately 60 hours of video is uploaded every minute and over 4 billion videos are viewed a day. With these statistics in mind I’m sure you can appreciate the importance of giving your video(s) every chance you can as it would be a great shame to spend a proportion of your marketing budget on a great video only to then stumble at the final hurdle.
In this blog I’m going to take you through 8 tips to help improve your YouTube advertising campaign and explain the importance of each of them.
Step 1 – The video titles
The title is one of the most important factors when setting up your YouTube videos as YouTube and Google use this when indexing videos in a search feed. You need to think about what the viewer might search for. Take for example our showreel, if we gave it the title – Echo Video Showreel 2015 we wouldn’t be wrong because that is what it is, but is it realistic that someone would search for that? In my opinion probably not, because firstly it is a little too specific and when people look for video production companies they want to find a selection of them. With this in mind a better title may be – Video Production Company Showreel because it resembles what the search term is likely to be.
Step 2 – The Description
Writing the description is the same as writing good SEO copy for one of your web pages. In the description you need to give YouTube as much information as you can about what is in the video and it’s a great idea to include instructions and links for the viewer so they can, for example find out where to buy the product or service. Another tip is to include links to your social channels as it’s a great way to grow your online community and reach.
Step 3 – Tags
YouTube tags are very similar to meta tags in your website. They are short and to the point snapshots of your video. The first tag should be the video title as this is your main search term. You’ll notice that whilst you type the tags YouTube will give you suggestions, it’s great to use these suggestions where possible.
For these first 3 steps research is key. Have a look at your competitors YouTube videos to see what they are doing and search for some terms you think will be appropriate for your videos to see what other videos appear in the search results. When you type in a search term in the search bar YouTube will give you suggestions, these are great to consider as they are based on what YouTube viewers have been searching for.
Step 4 – Video Category
Under the advanced tab in the basic settings you will find a drop-down box with a range of categories listed, choose the one that best fits your video. You can browse categories in YouTube so this will help your video be found via more avenues and it helps YouTube determine what related videos to show down the right hand side of the screen.
Step 5 – Customised Thumbnails
If your YouTube account is in ‘Good Standing’ order YouTube will allow you upload customised thumbnails. These can make a huge difference as it the image you see in a search result. You want to choose an eye catching image that is related to your video for this so it entices a viewer to click on the video. You can also get a graphic designer to produce a thumbnail which can match your branding and include some text to give the viewer even more information. I can’t stress enough that the thumbnail must be related to the video as people have taken advantage of this in the past and had their YouTube channels deleted.
Step 6 – Annotations
Annotations are a fantastic way to include call to actions in a video. In an annotation you can include links to –
Your associated website (usually your business website)
Your Google+ account
Add a subscribe to our channel function
Link to other videos
One of your YouTube playlists
A fundraising project
E-commerce website if you are one of YouTube’s approved sellers.
There are several different types of annotations too so it’s best to discuss this with your video production company as there are many ways to use them. One I will briefly touch on is incorporating a call-to-action in your video script so that the viewer can see and hear what you want them to do. When the video is edited you can then include a call-to-action on the screen in your brand colours and use a spotlight annotation to turn the text or graphic into a link.
If you have the ability to create URL forwarding pages within your website it’s a great idea to create a few that forward to your social media profiles. This will enable you to include these links in annotations so you can build up your followers and increase brand awareness.
Annotations really help you engage with the viewer and they can drive traffic to your website. With so much information and choice available on the internet today it’s more important than ever to make a viewers journey as short as possible and their experience as easy as possible.
Step 7 – Cards
Cards a very similar to annotations except they work on mobile devices, so they can be very important. They are a fairly new feature so they don’t have much customisation built in but they basically work the same as annotations by including links to your associated website within the video.
Step 8 – Subtitles and CC
Subtitles are a great addition to your YouTube videos as they do two jobs. The first is accessibility, they make your videos accessible to a wider audience by allowing deaf users to learn about your products and services. Secondly YouTube look at the transcriptions and use the content to help index your videos in the search results, so if you have a well written script packed full of keywords and terms subtitles could really help. If you don’t have a script for your video YouTube can automatically transcribe your video for you but will need to watch the video and edit and transcription because YouTube isn’t that accurate.
One final thought – If your are uploading your video to YouTube to embed on your website you should still complete all these steps because you never know who might find it whilst browsing through YouTube and why only have it available in one place when it could be in two for only a small cost to your time.
It looks like there is a lot of information here but once you have implemented it once or twice you’ll soon get the hang of it.
If you need any more information on how to make the most out of your YouTube videos or if you would like us to mange your YouTube channel please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Will or Andy on 01273 911345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.