The chief source of on-demand content in the world is YouTube, which has more than 1 billion users daily. With such a massive, receptive audience to potentially be tapped, it is hardly surprising that businesses consider their YouTube presence critical for business.
A recent State of Inbound by HubSpot showed that close to half (48%) of marketers in the United States plan to increase their use of YouTube in campaigns over the next year. If you plan to incorporate video into your marketing activities, here are some tips for building and growing your YouTube channel:
- Prepare a Strategy
To get the most out of the platform, brands ideally want their YouTube videos to rank highly in the search results; a large number of views; a growing subscriber base; and most importantly, to know the intention of the channel.
Just like getting started on any social media platform, it takes a lot of time and consistent effort to grow a large, engaged audience. You have to be in it for the long haul. You cannot simply upload videos hoping that they gain traction.
Map out the videos that you wish to produce, starting with the intent of the videos. Why are you doing it? To show customers how your products work? Increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Increase sales? Determine the key messages and takeaways, themes, through to duration, content, and aesthetic – including subtitles and headings.
- Channel Branding
Just like all other touchpoints for your business, your YouTube channel needs to reflect the voice of your brand. You can create a branded icon and banner for the YouTube page, but your brand also needs to be reflected in your business. For a business that creates a series of videos, they should all ideally have the same look and feel.
- Video Creation
You need to have some considerations in mind after you are ready to begin filming:
– Determine where you will film the videos. You want to ensure that you have a great-looking background. Ideally, you shouldn’t film against a window and light should always come from behind the camera.
– Creative editing can be used to fix bad footage, but you can never fix sound in editing. Ensure that you film in a quiet place where you cannot hear the noise outside.
– What is the tone of your videos? Informative? Professional? Humorous? Fast?
– Will you have a person on camera? If so, who is the most suitable individual for that?
– Production value is another important consideration, but it does not have to be expensive to get good production value. Good footage has everything to do with good lighting and angles. Find a person that’s best behind the camera to end up with good-looking, well-shot videos.
- Avoid Boring the Audience
Think about the kind of value you would like your viewers to gain when creating your video. If they aren’t learning something of interest or being entertained, they are likely to disengage quickly and will be unlikely to return.
For brands, the content types that work best include tutorials; trend reports; case studies, interviews and AMAs with brand ambassadors; and fun, organic “behind the scenes” with staff. The informal approach is usually best since videos that do well are usually useful, unusual, or comical.
Always remember, however, that the nature of video is evolving and content is being digested in small, impactful pieces. It therefore means that your video must capture and retain the attention of the audience within the first 15 seconds or less. If you wait any longer to offer them the best bits, you are probably losing eyeballs already. The best performing videos are generally 33 seconds long.
It might seem straightforward, but brands often make videos and then put them up without enhancing or editing them. You must never forget these 5 editing essentials:
– Add music without forgetting to credit the source.
– Include a large placement holder at the beginning that can be read from a distance. It allows people to quickly see what the video is about from the feed. It will help you get more views.
– Add fonts
– Add a closing page with a call to action – e.g. comment/subscribe, redeem a promo, visit the website, etc.
– Cut out boring parts and mistakes (any funny mistakes can be made into a bloopers roll).
- Below Your Video
Always keep in mind that the section below each video is valuable real estate. You can use it for adding a link to your website or a coupon code for tracking the number of sales or leads your channel is converting. Include contact information to allow viewers to get in touch and learn more about the brand.
Finally, don’t assume that viewers will engage automatically. Ensure that you add a call to action at the end of each video, whether it is a reminder to comment, subscribe, or share with a friend, or visit your website to redeem an offer. You should also email your business databases periodically with a reminder to subscribe or a link to new content, as well as encouraging them to repeat buy with customized offers and discounts.
How to Get Video Views and Subscribers
Just as is the case with any social media platform, it takes time to grow a following on YouTube and you must work at building your views. Here are some effective tips for doing just that:
– YouTube SEO: YouTube is a platform with its own search engine optimization algorithm used for ranking videos in its search engine similar to how Google ranks websites. A few tips for boosting your YouTube SEO include proper tagging with keywords relevant to your brand and content, and tricks such as enabling functionality for YouTube to transcribe video content in the settings section. The use of strong keywords, hashtags, titles, and making the most of the description box will help you generate more traffic. Still, external marketing is critical for a channel looking to truly build an audience.
– Sharing with the Audience: YouTube has made it easy to share videos by providing several integrated social links that allow you to share videos to different platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more with just one click. Sharing content is a great, free way to drive more traffic. However, you may consider amplifying their reach further with social media promotion and companies such as Social Plus. For instance they offer you the opportunity to buy Instagram likes to boost your audience further and create more shares for your post.
– Growing Your Subscribers: The other way YouTube ranks videos is on the basis of the number of subscribers to the channel. The fastest way to grow the number of subscribers is promoting your new channel to all your existing followers or customers via social media or email and asking them to subscribe. YouTubers often add a note at the end of each video asking viewers to subscribe. That way, they will receive an alert whenever you post a new video. Finally, collaborating with other high-profile YouTubers and featuring them in your videos can increase your views and subscribers.
– Focus on Quality and Not Quantity when It Comes to Views: If you are a software company that has a product demo video, that’s obviously something only serious customers would watch. Businesses sometimes lend themselves to a busy YouTube channel compared to others. If you have a health and wellness, lifestyle, educational, beauty, or personal empowerment business, you will need to communicate a lot more with customers regularly.
A few years ago, it would have taken a team of professionals and tens of thousands of dollars to create just one video, but the camera phones of today have similar video quality to an expensive camera of just a few years ago.
Combined with the accessibility of user-friendly software, businesses are now able to create meaningful and great-looking videos in-house on a fraction of the budget and still have a shot at competing with the bigger brands.