Social Media has changed the face of marketing and online video, YouTube in particular, is a huge part of that. Here are 5 Critical YouTube Strategies for Business so you can take full advantage of this opportunity – and it’s an extraordinary time: today 87% of internet users view video content each month – and that percentage is growing. There are 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute – and that number is growing. YouTube broadcasts more video in 24 days than ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and FOX have broadcast in the past 24 years – and it’s growing.
Here are 5 great ways to get in the game:
1 – Create and Customize your Channel – Start off on the right foot, first set up a custom YouTube channel, it’s not nearly as complicated as you might imagine and it’s well worth the effort. You should add your company’s branding or at least customize your channels colors to reflect your company’s look and take advantage of the opportunity to add information and links back to your main website. By setting up a channel you establish a home base for your videos on YouTube, making it easy for folks to find more of your content and subscribe to your channel so they get a notification when you post fresh video. Once you have your channel set up, just sign in and you’ll see a tab for “Themes and Colors” – click it to customize your colors and give it a personal touch. Click “Advanced Settings” to upload a photo or graphic – this will likely take a little experimenting; you have a max file size of 256kb with an optimum size of about 2000×2200 pixels. Remember, YouTube is going to center your graphic behind your channel content, so put the interesting part of your image to the right and left of that 960 pixel center column. Again, not as complicated as it might sound, but if you want to start off with custom colors and all the info, do that and come back to it.
2 – Get Found in YouTube Search – People are looking for video to watch, make it easy to find yours. Your video title can now be a 120 character headline, that’s obnoxiously long, don’t use all of it but do use enough to have a cool catchy title, your brand name and even web address (it won’t hyperlink from the title, but put it there so if people want to jump to your site they can easily copy and paste right into their browser). The description box now allows you up to 5,000 characters – that’s room for more than just a few details. Start with your URL (using the http:// so it hyperlinks) and then recap the information you’re giving in the video, tell the story of the video, tell the story of your company, weave keywords in a natural manner throughout the copy and link to specific pages on your website or blog where appropriate. Just because you can write 5,000 characters doesn’t mean you should – but use the space effectively… and end with another link to your website for good measure! Add the Tags; now you have 120 characters available here also, think details, details and add every relevant keyword you can think of – be creative, but stay real and on topic. When you’re using keywords to help people find you be consistent in your file name, video title, description and tags.
3 – Add Subtitles (avoid annotations) – Adding captions to your videos is quite simple and opens up access to your videos to hundreds of millions of hearing impaired folks around the world and offers an additional layer of engagement to anyone watching. This is especially effective with sales and training videos, you allow people to see you delivering the information, hear you speaking and they can read along, triggering multiple learning modalities – all simultaneously! With the advances in voice recognition, adding subtitles is now an absolute breeze. Two easy solutions are to either go to the Capture Tube website or use the transcription feature built right into YouTube. Here’s how: go to your videos, pick one, click on the “Edit” button, then the “Captions and Subtitles” tab and you’ll see “Available Caption Tracks / English: Machine Transcription” download and follow the reasonably straightforward instructions. Amazingly Cool. Remember though; this is a machine, transcribing your voice, on a video, over the internet. You should proof read, edit and correct. It’s Amazingly Cool, not magic. Subtitles are great, annotations on the other hand are not so great. Annotations are a fairly new addition to YouTube (addition, not improvement). Annotations allow you to add graphic comments over your video, often looking like cartoon balloons – don’t do it, it distracts from your content and looks amateurish and unprofessional. If you really have to add something to your video either re-shoot it or use some editing software like iMovie and do it right.
4 – Promote Your YouTube Videos Elsewhere – YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, but that doesn’t mean you should just post and hope for the best – every time you add a video to your channel post it to Facebook and Tweet about it (you can set this up to happen automatically) then blog about it and post the video to your blog with the embed code (in fact allow embedding by others, why not – the more views the merrier and when someone posts your video on their blog you reach a whole new audience) link to it from your email and include it in your newsletter.
5 – Grow Your Channel – sadly, many businesses crate a channel, post a couple of videos and kind of forget about it. Don’t do that! Nothing says “boring” like “last-video-posted-a-year-ago”. Video is a key part of social media, perhaps the most critical and effective element and it’s growing every day. Stay connected with your channel, organize your content, engage with the YouTube community, reply to comments (and clean up the inevitable spam posts) keep up with friend requests and favorites and generally show your YouTube some love. Keep adding videos when you can – remember, we’re not all George Lucas or Steven Spielberg; sometimes we will do a big production and sometimes a video that’s pretty good is good enough – don’t post junk, but don’t over think it. A behind the scenes look at your business could be quite interesting, informative and effective even if you shoot it with your iPhone.
Remember; the world of marketing is changing at a faster pace and in more profound ways than ever before in history – the future is now and Video is a key part of your success, embrace it and have some fun!
I hope you found some value here for your business – I’d love to hear from you; on our blog you’ll find all sorts of great resources, ideas and training on Social Media for Your Business you’ll find us at SocialJumpstart.com youtube watch time