How to Make YouTube More Social

When done correctly, YouTube can be an amazing revenue generator in your social media marketing plan. You can read my other blog posts on how to use YouTube correctly. However, even with my tips, many businesses only optimize their profile and throw videos onto the internet. YouTube videos are often considered a link to share on other platforms, but YouTube should be considered an actual social, interactive platform in its own right.

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Create Videos Inspired by Followers

Sure, you can plan a video content calendar that goes for months on end. But make sure you leave spaces for video content that your followers request. To find out what your followers want to see, ask them! Ask in actual videos or in your commentary when sharing video links. You can read their responses on other platforms or…

Read through Your YouTube Video Comments

There may be a lot of them, but try to scan through all of your comments on your YouTube videos. Mark spam posts as spam, but don’t mark negative posts as spam to get them off your feed. Only positive comments makes viewers suspicious. Try to respond to as many comments as you can. If you just enjoyed what someone said but have nothing to add to it, thumb it up to show your appreciation. Don’t try to force a conversation if it isn’t there.

Use Call to Action

Every business feels odd telling viewers what to do. But you need to include a call to action in every video. It can be spoken at the end, in a graphic screen with links at the end, or in the description below the video. Many of your viewers will follow your call to action and do what you want them to, making the platform more socially interactive.

 

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Ways to Optimize Your Business YouTube – Part 3

When it comes to search engines, YouTube is the second most popular one on the internet. If your business has the creativity, time, and budget for it, making YouTube videos to market yourself is a great way to engage your customers. Before uploading, you need to know how to make your YouTube channel SEO friendly and how to promote YouTube videos with optimization.

Optimization is necessary if you want your YouTube marketing campaign to be successful. There are 800 million monthly views on all YouTube videos with hundreds of videos being uploaded every day. There is a lot of competition. For your videos to be seen, you need to understand how to optimize every aspect of your channel and videos.

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Video Tags and Description

Your tags need to match the keyword research we talked about in Part 1 of our YouTube optimization guide. Use keywords that are part of your overall marketing strategy to connect all of your platforms. Also use keywords specific to this video and for YouTube search results.

The description needs to include these keywords as well, along with a few other things:

  • Using keywords in your description gives another boost to your SEO.
  • Descriptions let viewers know what you are offering.
  • Only the first 160 characters will show up right under the video without clicking Read More. It will also be the only part that shows up on search engines, so optimize the first two sentences with your keywords.
  • It works best when you use the same keywords at the beginning of your title and description.
  • Place a call to action at the end of the description.
  • Include links to the previous or next video.

Stat: 100 million people take a social action on YouTube every week.
Tip: Do not be stingy on the description. You have a lot of space and you need to use it! Always add links to your website, blog, and social media profiles at the bottom of the description.

Playlists

Remember all the different kinds of content you can create from Part 1? You can divide the different types of content into playlists. This allows followers to get to the content they want to see. And, since playlists automatically go to the next video in the set, they may stick around and give your videos more views. Some good examples of playlist categories include:

  • Products
  • Work Life
  • Industry News
  • How-To’s
  • Charity
  • Client Testimonials

Stat: Playlists increase engagement and tie into your video content strategy.
Tip: Get creative with your playlists! Make sure your categories fit the personality of your brand. So, if your brand is funny, make your playlists funny. If your brand is quirky, make the playlists quirky.

Via Flickr labnol

Via Flickr labnol

Engagement

The most important key to success with a YouTube marketing plan is engagement. When your viewers are engaged with the videos, they will explore the brand and become loyal followers. This is done a number of ways, including creating great content, but starting a conversation with your viewers is one of the best. When you interact with your audience, they feel valued by the brand and will become loyal to it. Here are three ways you can start conversations on YouTube:

  1. Give updates. When you upload a video about something that is happening in with your brand, update the description on how it is going, or create a new video about it. Make sure to link to the new video in the old video’s description and annotations.
  2. Respond to channel comments. Your channel is going to act as a discussion board for your brand. Take some time every week to go through the channel comments and reply to questions or great comments. Even reply to negative comments, but do so professionally. Do not start a flame war.
  3. Respond to video comments. Video comments are more specific than channel comments. The three days after you upload a video, respond to a few comments a day. Then check back on the video every few days for two weeks to respond to comments until you upload a new video.

Stat: Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month.
Tip: Not only do you need to start conversations, you need to be active in commenting. This makes your brand seem human and likeable.

Promote

You need to promote on three platforms: subscriptions, social media, and cross promotion. Promoting these three ways will help you build audience touch points and loyalty among your viewers. This is similar to the call to action we talked about in Part 2.

  1. Subscriptions. At the end of each video, either tell people or have an ending screen that tells people to subscribe to see more of this kind of content. End each video with an exciting look at upcoming videos so they will be more willing to subscribe.
  2. Social Media. Have buttons in your video, description, and channel that tell people to click to share the content or click to follow your brand on other platforms.
  3. Cross Promotion. Not only should you ask viewers to share content on social media, you should also share it on your own platforms. Every time you upload a new video, share it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and any other social media platform you use.

Stat: 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook.
Stat: Over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute.
Tip: Instead of directly telling viewers to share your videos (which can get in the way of quality content), create an ending image that says they should like, comment, favorite, and share on certain social media site. Use annotations to put outside links on this screen.

Via Flickr FindYourSearch

Via Flickr FindYourSearch

Analyze

Analyzing how well your YouTube marketing campaign is doing is an essential piece of success. When you look at the statistics, you can see what areas you are struggling with and what areas you are excelling. This allows you to make changes where you need to and don’t mess with things that are working well. YouTube analytics will measure:

  • Performance. YouTube will tell you how many views each video and all of your videos. They will also tell you how many minutes have been spent watching your videos and subscribers net change.
  • Engagement. YouTube measures engagement in Likes, Dislikes, Comments, Shares, Favorites Added, and Favorites Removed.
  • Top 10 Videos. YouTube will not only tell you the top 10 videos on your account, but will break down their ranks by views, minutes watched, and Likes.

Stat: More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years.
Tip: There is a pattern you need to follow for a successful YouTube marketing campaign – strategize, create, optimize, promote, and analyze. This is a circle that never ends.

For more ways to optimize your business YouTube, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our series on the subject.

Ways to Optimize Your Business YouTube – Part 2

I was so excited to start writing about Vine videos for social media marketing that I forgot to talk about part two in my series about optimizing your business YouTube profile and videos! Without further delay, here it is!

When it comes to search engines, YouTube is the second most popular one on the internet. If your business has the creativity, time, and budget for it, making YouTube videos to market yourself is a great way to engage your customers. Before uploading, you need to know how to make your YouTube channel SEO friendly and how to promote YouTube videos with optimization.

Optimization is necessary if you want your YouTube marketing campaign to be successful. There are 800 million monthly views on all YouTube videos with hundreds of videos being uploaded every day. There is a lot of competition. For your videos to be seen, you need to understand how to optimize every aspect of your channel and videos.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

Call to Action

You need to tell your viewers what you want them to do.

  • A call to action is the next steps a viewer should take
  • Usually, videos tell a user to like, comment, and share the video. They may also tell a user to visit their website or get on Twitter to post something with a hashtag.
  • Call to actions can be placed in the video, on the YouTube page, or in the video description.

Consider making the titles of your videos a call to action as well.

  • Make the title 70 characters or less including spaces. This helps YouTube index them for higher search result placement.
  • Use keywords at the beginning of the title.
  • Accurately represent the subject of the video in the title.
  • Include the episode number in the title if it is part of a series.
  • Titles need to be enticing so people click on them.

Stat: Generalized call to actions increase conversion by 10% while call to actions that are specific to the product or brand can increase conversion rates to 20%.
Tip: A call to action that is related to your product or service will convert better than a generic call to action.
Stat: Putting a call to action at the end of a video can increase conversion rates by 144%.
Tip: By placing a call to action at the end of a video, you force people to understand your message. They get excited about the product or service and are more likely to respond to your call to action.

Annotation

You need to be careful if you use annotations. There are some businesses who nearly cover their entire video with annotations that link to other videos or to their website. This is tempting, especially when users can easily turn annotations off if they don’t like it. However, this is seen as a desperate attempt at advertising from viewers, making them less likely to watch your videos. If you do use annotations:

  • Use them sparingly, at most two at a time. Space them out throughout the video.
  • Make your points clear with interactive commentary.
  • Add background information.
  • Highlight calls to action.
  • Link from within the video.

Stat: There are 500 Tweets per minute containing a YouTube link.
Tip: Consider using annotations at the end of the video, telling the user to share the video on Twitter with a link.

Via Flickr Lachlan Hardy

Via Flickr Lachlan Hardy

Thumbnail

An excellent thumbnail image can attract people to your video even if they do not have a particular interest in the subject. YouTube automatically generates thumbnails that are screenshots from your video, but you can also create your own thumbnail to insert into the video.

  • When creating your own thumbnail, they should be 1280px in height and 740px wide. Make sure the file is under 2MB.
  • Thumbnails can be a close up look at the product or service you are talking about in the video. For example, if you are talking about kitchen knives, make the photo a close up of the blade slicing through an onion.
  • Entertaining thumbnails pique curiosity about the video for people who do not become interested based on the title and description.
  • A representative thumbnail will accurately depict the subject of the video.

Stat: Thumbnails increase clicks from searches by 64% among men and 154% among women.
Tip: Make your thumbnails stand out in order to get more search engine clicks.

For more ways to optimize your business YouTube, check out Part 1 and Part 3 of my series on the subject.

Ways to Optimize Your Business YouTube – Part 1

When it comes to search engines, YouTube is the second most popular one on the internet. If your business has the creativity, time, and budget for it, making YouTube videos to market yourself is a great way to engage your customers. Before uploading, you need to know how to make your YouTube channel SEO friendly and how to promote YouTube videos with optimization.

Optimization is necessary if you want your YouTube marketing campaign to be successful. There are 800 million monthly views on all YouTube videos with hundreds of videos being uploaded every day. There is a lot of competition. For your videos to be seen, you need to understand how to optimize every aspect of your channel and videos.

Via Flickr MySign AG

Via Flickr MySign AG

Keywords

YouTube has a Keyword Tool you can use, or you can use another keyword research tool to find words that relate to your brand and videos. These keywords need to be searched often in order to give your videos a higher rank. If you use certain keywords on your website or other social media tool, then you should incorporate those into your channel and videos.

Stat: 75% of users do not scroll past the first page of search engine results.
Tip: “How to” keywords are very popular on YouTube.

Via Flickr Jonas B

Via Flickr Jonas B

Channel

Your channel needs to have an appealing, sleek design that is branded and engaging.

  • Your logo needs to be your avatar. It should be 800px by 800px.
  • Your banner should be custom for the channel at 970px by 150px. You can make it clickable so people are directed to your website or blog.
  • Your background needs to either match a logo color or be a custom brand background. If you create a custom background, remember that your content will be in the middle. The size should be 1500px wide by 2000px high.
  • Make sure to put social icons everywhere so people can connect with you easily on other platforms.

Stat: In a poll of 400 Americans, half subscribed to at least one YouTube channel.
Tip: Use the keywords you chose earlier in your profile information and tags.

Via Flickr opensourceway

Via Flickr opensourceway

Content Strategy

Do not treat your YouTube videos like television commercials. That is the quickest way to turn off a viewer. If you do create content strictly meant for advertising needs to be creative and entertaining, nothing like a commercial. All of your content needs to be diverse and engaging. Everything you put on YouTube needs to serve a purpose or solve a problem. The goal of your content is to:

  • Increase conversion rates
  • Improve brand awareness
  • Give users useful content that entertains or solves a problem
  • Create social engagement and sharing
  • Appear in SERP

In order to make great content, you need make a video schedule, produce the videos, deliver them to YouTube, then promote them across the internet. There are six main kinds of content:

  1. How-To. How-to videos are the most popular kind of YouTube video. Many people prefer watching how to do something rather than reading a set of instructions.
  2. Product Demonstration. Similar to a How-To video, you can create a video demonstrating all of the features of a certain product.
  3. Client Testimonial. Compile a bunch of clips submitted by customers talking about how your brand helped them. They do not have to be professional commercial quality. The more “homemade” they look, the more potential clients will trust they are real people.
  4. Trend Recap. If there is a trend or event going on that relates to your industry, recap it! For example, if you sell clothes, recap the fashion at the Oscars.
  5. Audience Poll. Create a video starting a poll where your audience has to answer a series of questions in the comments. This creates excellent engagement and customer interaction, plus you get a look at how your audience thinks and what they want to see.
  6. Illustrative Animations. Animations are a great way to illustrate a point in an accessible way. Make sure you have the talent and budget for animations.

Stat: 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, or one hour every second.
Tip: When your content is diverse, it will reach unique audiences that you might not have had access to before beginning your YouTube marketing campaign.

For more ways to optimize your business YouTube, check out Part 2 and Part 3 of my series on the subject. In the meantime, let me know which of the six YouTube content examples most appeals to you in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!

How to Tell If Your Brand is Ready for YouTube

YouTube video marketing is becoming a popular brand marketing strategy for businesses today. However, not every brand is ready to venture to YouTube. Only certain businesses can achieve YouTube marketing on the scale it needs to be for a good ROI. You need to ask yourselves these questions before beginning a YouTube marketing plan. If the answer is no, then you need to reconsider this marketing plan.

Via Flickr AV Hire London

Via Flickr AV Hire London

Do you have the resources?

YouTube is cheaper than television and it reaches a wider platform. Businesses still need enough resources to make their content perform well on YouTube. You will need a big enough budget to write, film, produce, upload, and promote the videos. You also need the proper equipment with a decent HD video camera, a tripod, and proper lighting at a minimum. A video needs to be high quality in order to make your business look better.

Via Flickr mohamedn

Via Flickr mohamedn

Do you have the talent?

The people who are going to be in your videos need to have some amount of acting talent. At the very least, they need to be excellent speakers who convince viewers in their roles. Whoever is in your videos will become the face of the business, so choose your talent wisely. You will also need employees or an outside video marketing company to film and edit your videos properly. If you have employees do it, they will either need a raise or you need to understand their other work will be neglected. If you hire a video marketing company, which is added expense you have to budget for. Make sure to choose the company wisely if this path is chosen.

Via Flickr opensourceway

Via Flickr opensourceway

Do you have enough creativity?

YouTube has a future where people predict that it will replace commercials on television. However, the content you produce for YouTube should not resemble a commercial at all. It is not a boring platform to push your marketing message. YouTube is a community of creative users and they expect the same creativity from businesses like you. Success with YouTube will only happen when your videos are entertaining, informative, and unique.

Via Flickr Racum

Via Flickr Racum

Do you have a good vision for content?

Make sure you understand what YouTube is and what kind of content is expected out of you before continuing with a video marketing idea. Look at what kinds of videos your competitors are creating on YouTube for inspiration and to set goals about what you need to beat. You need to have a clear goal that fulfills a larger vision you have for a marketing plan.

Via Flickr dmhoro

Via Flickr dmhoro

Do you have time?

Once you begin a YouTube channel, you need to stay committed to it. It takes a lot of time to write, make, upload, interact, and analyze the videos you make for YouTube. Viewers who find your channel that has not had new content for months, they will lose interest in your business. You have to be consistent on when you upload videos and you need to be active in responding to comments.

Via Flickr Robert Scoble

Via Flickr Robert Scoble

Do you have the right product for YouTube?

Some industries do very well on YouTube and some do not. For example, if you are selling kitchen gadgets, you can make videos about how to use them. However, if you are a tax preparer, there is not a lot you can do on YouTube besides basic financial advice.

Service brands have difficulty on YouTube because of the amount of content that is needed to remain consistent. Services can advise viewers about things in their industry, but giving too much advice will render your services irrelevant when they can just watch YouTube videos about how to do it themselves. Service industries have to get very creative with their content in order to be successful.

Via Flickr batmoo

Via Flickr batmoo

Do you have only one target audience?

You need to decide what your target audience is before starting a marketing campaign on YouTube. Often, this is to attract new prospects or to develop existing ones. For new prospects, you need to create promotional videos and share them all over the internet. For developing existing customer interest, you need to create instructional or informative videos that you can embed on your website or in email marketing. If you want to do both, it can be very time consuming and difficult to achieve this on YouTube, but still possible if you have a team dedicated to only YouTube marketing.

Give some examples of brands who seem like they were made for YouTube and some who should have stayed far away in the comments!

The Best Ways to Use YouTube for Business

Videos are extremely powerful, making for the best business advertising. YouTube has become one of the best platforms for using YouTube for marketing. It is free, easy to use, and available to the mass market. Creating professional YouTube videos allow you to take advantage of the marketing potential.

Uploading business videos to YouTube will not immediately show results. It takes time and consistency for your videos to gain popularity and ROI. Focus on creating quality and valuable content in order to reach a successful level.

You will need to create an individual channel for your brand. Not only will it host the videos you upload, but it will also show every video you like and favorite. A channel also gives you the opportunity to create playlists based on categories of videos. For example, if you have some How-To videos along with breaking news about your company, make playlists for each kind.

After you have created a YouTube channel, there are certain things you need to do to effectively utilize YouTube for marketing.

alicegop

Via Flickr by alicegop

Content Needs to Be Relevant and Fill a Need

You need to post valuable information that entertains as well. This will help generate loyalty and trust to the company from viewers. Content should not resemble a commercial in any way. Traditional advertising does not work on YouTube. There is a large, creative community on YouTube. Your videos need to be engaging and creative in ways that are usually not found on television or radio.

These videos tell a story that, while advertising a product or service, are also entertaining enough for people to share with their friends without feeling like they are promoting anything. This will increase your brand awareness and exposure.

Via Flickr by Jeffrey Beal

Via Flickr by Jeffrey Beal

Give the Business a Face

The YouTube community wants to hear, see, and interact with real people. This means your business needs a face. When viewers read anything your company writes, either in comments, on the website, or a blog, they will picture that face in the videos saying it. Instead of just being on paper, you become a three dimensional company.

Videos can either feature an engaging actor, like the Old Spice videos, or an actual spokesperson from your company. Using real people consistently in videos helps build the relationship between the viewer and the company. This converts viewers into long term customers.

Via Flickr by leti_valde94

Via Flickr by leti_valde94

Videos Need to Be Quick and Engaging

Professional videos can be made cheaply now since cameras are cheap. Videos will look more professional when the camera is placed on a tripod. When doing the videos yourself, you can film them in the morning and have them posted after lunch.

Outline a script and rehearse it before filming. It needs a beginning, middle, and end and needs to be short. Two to four minutes is the best length for YouTube videos. Any longer and people will not stay engaged. Any shorter and you risk not getting your message across.

Via Flickr by SEOPlanter

Via Flickr by SEOPlanter

Use SEO in the Video

More than 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. This means you need to take every measure possible to allow your video to be found, both on and off YouTube. Google owns YouTube, meaning the correct keyword usage can help your video get to the top of search engine ranks.

The targeted keywords need to be in the first few words of the title. A colon should be added after the keywords and then the title should be rephrased for a better effect. For example: “SEO Keywords: Using Words to Your Search Engine Advantage.” Start your description with the full URL and do not limit yourself on how many words you put in the description. Describe the video, the company, the product in the video, and add all links to all your sites. Make sure the tags contain all related and relevant keywords.

Via Flickr by MySign AG

Via Flickr by MySign AG

Share and Interact After Posting the Video

Do not just post the video and leave it on your channel. Feature your channel on your website. Embed videos into your website and blog posts. Share videos on Facebook, Twitter, and all other social media websites your business have. Encourage friends, family, coworkers, and employees share the video to get the ball rolling. Any time anyone comments on the video, either within YouTube or where you share it, respond to comments and interact with your viewers.

What else can businesses do on YouTube to help market their business? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!