People don’t always associate video with content marketing, but it’s a huge and growing area. You can find videos on social media, blogs, email and websites.
Optimizing articles for Google is essential, but now it is equally important to optimize videos for YouTube.
By the way, did you know that 90% of users say that product videos help them make buying decisions?
And considering that video watchers prefer short clips rather than 3 hour professionally choreographed productions, it’s a no-brainer. Whip out that smart phone and record a minute or two of your wise words and shining personality!
How about a dose of technique for that personality? Each of the following tips requires some time and/or money (not too much). But the results of implementing them will bring you more viewers, boost your SEO and make your videos more professional looking.
Gone are the days when you could use a cheap camera in a poorly lighted room and brag about how your cat uses ESP to forecast the weather (well, maybe that last part is still pretty popular).
Include Written and Spoken Keywords
Few people spend much time fiddling with keywords in YouTube, so this is an area in which you can excel. Remember with keywords, you always want to think long term strategy. Use keywords that reflect exactly what your video is about.
Don’t use popular words or phrases to gain short term traffic. You want to find fans and customers, not fly-by-night viewers.Don't use popular words or phrases in your descriptions to gain short term traffic. You want to find fans and customers, not fly-by-night viewers Click To Tweet
Use your main keyword in your title and at the beginning part of the first sentence of your description. Choose other relevant and similar keywords, including your name. Try to use specific words rather than broad terms.
Also, place keywords in your script whenever possible, without sounding like a broken record (can I still use that phrase in 2018?).
Customize Your Thumbnails
If you want to attract viewers to your video, you should create a custom thumbnail. You can choose a shot from your video or import a photo or graphic. YouTube creates three thumbnails for you, but you can go your own route instead. When editing, click on the button labeled “custom thumbnail” and upload your selection.
Have patience, because it could take up to 30 minutes to appear.
Be sure to choose a graphic that accurately reflects your video. Unrelated clickbait is definitely not the way to go. If you decide to include a title, make sure you select a large, bright font because the thumbnail shot will be…yes, you guessed it…very small.
You can create a custom thumbnail using a photo/video editor or graphics software such as Picmonkey or Canva. You can also download dedicated apps such as “Thumbnail Maker & Banner Maker” or “Thumbnail Maker for YT Videos,” both for use on iPhones & iPads.
Display an End Screen
A great YouTube feature is End Screens. This option allows you to add a call to action to your video. You can display a link to another video, a playlist, your website, or ask the viewer to subscribe to your channel.
End Screens appear at the END of a video (not at all intuitive, I know…). You can choose from a maximum of four spaces on your video screen to add links or buttons.
Create a Trailer for Your YouTube Channel
A channel trailer is like a movie trailer, but for a personality or content. The intent is to entice a viewer to subscribe to your channel with your winning personality or fantastic content, and I’m sure you have both of those things.A YouTube channel trailer is like a movie trailer, but for your personality or content. Click To Tweet
When you create a trailer, keep it short, around 30 seconds. Inform viewers what you will be showing and talking about, and what your publishing schedule will be. Also, remember to update it periodically as your channel’s content may change over time.
Remember, the trailer may be a viewer’s first exposure to your brand, so assume you need to introduce yourself and describe your topic of choice. And don’t forget to hook ‘em – by the first 7 or 8 seconds if possible.
Put Together Playlists
Creating a playlist is a superb way to get more viewers for your videos. A playlist is a curated collection of videos about a single topic. To come up with a playlist, start with one or two of your own videos that share a similar subject. Then search YouTube for popular videos covering the same subject and add them to your playlist.
Many viewers enjoy playlists because they provide a ready-made list of videos about their topic of choice. If you put a good collection together, your search rankings should rise, along with your watch time.
Playlists appear separate in the search results so you are giving potential viewers more options for finding you. A viewer can discover your video content through the playlist or any of the individual songs in the playlist. Also, don’t forget to add eye-catching titles and descriptions that include your chosen keyword.
Publish to Multiple Areas
After you create and upload a video for YouTube, you should repurpose it to other platforms. You can post it to a social media account that accepts video, other hosting platforms like Vimeo and embed it in a blog post for your website.
It might surprise you to learn how many video sharing websites are available. Take a peek at DailyMotion, Veoh, Break or LiveLeak, which are just some of the many sharing sites.
Aim for Quality Sound and Visuals
Back when video sharing was new, sound and visual quality were not as important. These days, your videos must be as good as you can afford them to be. Competition is increasing and entrepreneurs are becoming savvier videographers.
You can start with a lavalier microphone, but as soon as you can, switch to a better microphone like the Blue Yeti or the Blue Microphones Snowball. For recording, try a smartphone, the Logitech C930e or the Canon VIXIA HF R800.
Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a tripod too – your recording devices (and audience) will thank you…
Plan for Silent Viewing
Did you know that 80% of Facebook viewers watch videos with the sound off? Due to this, your videos should always have the option for captions. Captions make your videos more accessible, convenient and memorable.Videos should always have the option for captions. They make your videos accessible, convenient and memorable. Click To Tweet
If you have a script for your video, you can copy and paste your material into a captioning editor. Otherwise, you will have to transcribe your video. You can type it yourself, get it outsourced or, if available, use your video editor’s speech-to-text.
After you have added all your captions, check them for accuracy and make sure they match the narration. Upload your masterpiece and count the views as they pile up!
Branding Is a Must
With all the competition out there, YouTube branding is essential. You need your channel noticed above all the other noise. Choose a unique and catchy name for your channel and try to keep it to 2-3 words.
Visually, you need to incorporate your logo and brand colors into the channel artwork and video presentation. You can also use your brand voice in the channel description and let viewers know what type of value they’ll get from watching your videos.
And, as mentioned earlier, your channel trailer is a fantastic opportunity to show off your brand and personality.
Finally, you can add watermarks to your videos. Besides the benefit of branding, they help increase your subscriptions. When you hover over a watermark, a subscribe button appears for viewers.
Optimize Video for Social Media
There are several things you can do to optimize your video for social media. Already mentioned were tactics such as adding captions and including your branding. Another technique that increases engagement and sharing is the use of native video. Instead of linking to YouTube, upload your video directly to the platform you are using.
Live video streaming is another great option for you on YouTube. It’s exciting, engaging and people love it! Recording live is a way to be more intimate with your audience. It allows you to interact with your viewers and get instant feedback.Recording live video is a way to be more intimate with your audience. It allows you to interact with your viewers and get instant feedback. Click To Tweet
Don’t forget that videos can have animations or slide shows. If done in a creative way, these are also great techniques you can use to grab the attention of viewers. And keep to a square format because it always outperforms landscape in social media.
Pay to Promote the Video
Although there are many free options for promotion, sometimes is good to add some paid promotions to your strategy. If you don’t invest in anything else for your video promotion, at least considering doing it via YouTube and Facebook.
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and brings in over three million searches per month. And, with one billion unique visitors per month, it’s smart to pay for a little promotion on this platform.
Advertising on YouTube is done by utilizing “TrueView” ads. You can promote your videos to people who are searching through and watching YouTube. Advertising accomplishes this by placing your videos:
- IN the search results
- beside other videos
- before and after other videos
- as sponsored cards
Facebook, with one billion active users, is another place to put your dollars to work. Enter Facebook video ads. For this platform you upload video to Facebook’s native video player. After that, you have the ability to customize both the budget and the audience.
If you choose to bid by cost-per-impressions you become eligible for autoplay, which I recommend over cost-per-click, which does not allow autoplay.
Stage the Light and Setting
Your set and lighting can affect the look of your video, making it more or less professional. For your set (if you record static video), think about how you’d like to appear on the screen. If you like a white or clean background, you should buy a backdrop to place behind you.
If you would like a theme, use your branding colors or gather a selection of items that represent your business. If you make fitness videos, display a room with exercise equipment in the background. If you make cooking videos, maybe your set can be your own kitchen.
Take a good look at your background after you make your next video and make sure it’s subtle, professional and clean-looking.
Good lighting is so important that I recommend you purchase at least an inexpensive kit from Amazon.
The easiest lighting is natural. You can use the light from your window, or you can add in a Reflector. If you use a Reflector, place it on the opposite side of the window so it “bounces” the light onto the other side of you.
Another way to light your set is “Three Point Lighting.” With this setup you use three light sources around you, 2 angled facing you and one angled behind you.
One other popular lighting tool is a Ring Light. It is set up pointing at your face. Place your camera in the middle of the ring and it will pick up soft light across your face.
Include YouTube Cards
YouTube Cards are small boxes that appear on the right side of a video on desktop and below a video on mobile. If a video has cards, the viewer will see a teaser (at a time you choose) and a tiny “i” icon will appear in the top right corner. Clicking the teaser or the icon will display any cards associated with the video. Viewers can scroll through cards while watching a video.YouTube Cards are great for getting views because they're appealing, work on mobile devices and give you more opportunities to link to outside sources. Click To Tweet
YouTube Cards are great for getting views because they give you more opportunities to link to outside sources. They work on mobile devices and they look appealing. You can add up to five cards to each of your videos and there are five types to choose from:
- Video: link to other videos or playlists.
- Channel: get subscribers to a channel.
- Donation: link to non-profit organization.
- Poll: add an on-screen survey.
- Link: link to an approved website.
So, to wrap this baby up:
Video marketing can help you connect with your customers in a way that nothing else can. They get to know you on a personal level. And, the experience or education you provide sticks with them.
But remember, these days people expect quality audio and visuals in their videos (and yes, they still expect videos of silly cats with tin foil hats. You can’t avoid human nature). What you can avoid, on the other hand, is bad, poorly-optimized video.
Hopefully you can churn out some rockin’ videos with some of the tips I listed!
Do you know of any other tips you can share? Have you already had success with any of these techniques? Inquiring minds want to know so please let me know in the comments!