I listen to you. A few weeks ago I asked you what social media platform you would like to learn more about to better your marketing activities. The response was overwhelmingly in favour of YouTube. And this is great! YouTube has changed digital marketing in the past few years dramatically. Does it work for any type of business? Yes, it does. Does it work for everyone? Not necessarily. So how to decide whether this is the right platform for you and your venture? Keep reading now and you will find all the answers you are looking for plus the best YouTube marketing tips for 2018.
Why Use YouTube in Your Marketing Strategy
Before we go in detail on YouTube best practices, let me give you 3 good reasons why this platform should be part of your marketing strategy in 2018 and beyond.
1. Video is the best performing piece of content.
As I wrote last year in the Content Marketing Trends for 2018 post, videos are number one pick for all content marketers. That's because they attract much more engagement and reach a greater audience. So no surprise, YouTube is doing better than ever before.
2. YouTube is the second largest search engine.
Obviously, everyone is fighting for a spot on the first page of Google Search, but making it on the first page of YouTube is equally good. Not to mention that thousands of people search for the term "YouTube" or "video" in their search phrase, meaning they prefer to watch rather than read about a topic.
3. YouTube and videos are perfect for strengthening your SEO.
If you embed a video from your YouTube Channel to your website's home page, you increase your chances to rank high by more than 50 times!
Who's on YouTube
Let's look at some YouTube statistics so that you get a better picture what kind of people you can reach on the platform and whether this is good for your business.
There were 1.47 billion active users on YouTube in 2017 and 1.58 billion estimated for 2018.
18-34 year olds are the largest user group on YouTube, but 35+ and 55+ are rapidly growing.
The majority of users are male (62%)
The young generation (18-34) spends more than 4 hours a day on YouTube.
Millennials say they prefer YouTube to watching TV. The predictions are that by 2025 TV subscriptions will decrease in more than a half.
only 9% of the small businesses are currently on YouTube, which gives you a great opportunity to get new customers, since the platform on the channel is low.
How to Create a Successful YouTube Channel
I suppose you are now sold on the idea of starting a YouTube channel for your business. Let's look at the best practices for creating a successful one.
On YouTube, you can add a profile picture and a cover photo, similar to most social media platforms. Remember, we talked about being coherent in your branding across channels. So, stick to a profile picture that displays your logo or an image that is highly recognisable as part of your brand.
You can create a beautiful cover with Canva. There are templates there that will help you size the image with the correct dimensions for the YouTube cover frame. When you choose a photo, make sure it is related to the nature of your channel so that people would know wha it is about even before they have the chance to read the description.
Your Channel Description
Ok, now you have beautiful images to brighten your channel. Next step is writing a good channel description. Don't go into too much details here. Just let the viewers know what they can find in your channel and why they should subscribe to it (the value you provide). Don't forget, this is a search engine, so include keywords in the text. Simply put, think of your channel description as a meta description for your website.
Customise Your YouTube Channel You can customise the layout of your channel, which will bring you a lot more design options and make your page much more exciting. You can do things like, uploading a channel trailer, adding links to the top of the page, organising playlists, changing theme colours and many more. To activate the layout options click on the gear button under your cover and choose "customise the layout of your channel".
Upload an Introductory Video
After you discover the additional design features, you should add an introductory video (trailer). Channels that have an introductory video perform 6 times better and get 50% more subscribers. Your video should be short and sweet - 30 to 45 seconds, quickly tell people the basics of your channel and encourage them to subscribe.
Once you start uploading content, organise your videos in playlists. This gives structure, makes your channel organised and also increases the chances of more of your videos to be watched by someone who landed on your page.
Things You Need to Know About YouTube Marketing
I you already have a well presented and wisely set channel, it's time to learn what to do with it and where to put your focus.
Watch Time is More Important than Views
It's good to have hundreds and thousands of views on your videos. However, it is much more important to monitor the watch time. What is watch time? It's how long the viewers actually watch your videos. This shouldn't be measured in seconds, because some clips are 1 minute long and some are 1 hour or more. The most accurate measurement of watch time is in percentage. If you can get more than 35% watch time of all of your videos you are doing well. If you get lots of views but people only spend a few seconds on your video, this will hurt your ranking significantly.
How to increase watch time? Create good quality videos with clear sound and interesting content.
Every Post Needs SEO
Your SEO efforts on YouTube don't stop with the optimisation of the channel. You will have to add keyword-rich (but readable!) description, title and tags to every video you upload. Also, link it to other related videos to increase your chances of getting found and promote your other content.
Consistency is Key
I must be stating this in every of the blog posts I've written recently. But this is just to emphasise how important consistency is for your success on any digital platform. Whether it is your website, blog, social media account or YouTube channel, if you aren't consistent, you won't get far. Create a content plan and schedule. Then follow that schedule and don't miss a posting day. You don't have to upload new content every day or every week, but for you to retain your subscribers, you will have to commit to your posting schedule because they will expect a new video from you as frequently as you told them you will post.
How to Get Subscribers on YouTube
Here are a few ways, in which you can get more subscribers.
Ask people to subscribe to your channel either at the beginning or the end of the video.
Put up content that your audience wants to see (do your research before you start producing videos)
Add this to the end of your YouTube channel URL - ?sub_confirmation=1 - This will add a subscription pop-up, appearing every time a visitor lands on your channel.
Promote your channel with paid ads - As with other social media platforms, you can also get more subscribers and video views with paid ads. YouTube is part of the Google family, so you will need an AdWords account.
60% of the most popular videos are banned in Germany
If you are trying to market your products and services to the German market on YouTube, you want to check the restrictions first.