Alessio Pieroni shares what works on Youtube in 2022

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Alessio Pieroni
Alessio Pieroni

One of the biggest places for brands to harness growth nowadays is on YouTube. This social media platform has an impressive number of users, giving it the potential to be a channel for exponential growth when properly harnessed.

Digital marketing experto Alessio Pieroni has the insights you need to hack YouTube growth in 2022. As the founder of a successful digital marketing agency (Scale for Impact), former CMO of Mindvalley, and author of the new book Exponential Marketing, Alessio knows what it takes to make YouTube a huge channel of growth. Read on an extract from Chapter 2 “Social Media” to learn some of his YouTube tips and tricks.

The platform was born before Facebook (it’s older than Facebook and many other social platforms) and has a huge number of users (about 2 billion): YouTube is the social video par excellence but there’s way more to it than just that.

YouTube is also – and for a growth hacker above all – the second-largest search engine in the world and it is connected to the first largest search engine – Google, which among other things, actually owns YouTube. Users search for videos on the platform but Google includes videos in its search results as well.

Therefore, on YouTube we do SEO. Just like creating content for a blog, you have to think in terms of keywords and queries. There are two tools that can help you:

– VidIQ, a tool that shows you information about the video and how much the keywords are searched.

– Ahrefs, a famous SEO tool, more keyword oriented.

Your goal is to create content that responds to widespread searches, which may not be easy, as the competition on social media is vast and fierce.

In order to grow, you obviously need to make great content, even though that may not be enough to rank it properly. You need to address the three ways, users can move through the content offered by the platform:

– SEO Search

– Suggested videos

– Subscription to the channel

I’ll introduce the metrics, a tool that is fundamental to work on the video strategy you are planning.

The main metric, more important than the number of views, is the average viewing duration. YouTube counts a view if the user has seen at least 30 seconds of the video (a very different unit from Facebook’s 3 seconds). Since YouTube wants to keep users on its platform as much as possible, longer videos are preferred. Typically, 10 minutes is the ideal length. Longer videos can also perform well but a “short” video that gets more views will be more valuable than a long one with lesser views.

We can calculate a video’s ranking by dividing the average viewing duration by the number of views.

Another important metric to check is the CTR- click-through rate. You can boost it by working on the title and thumbnail of the video. YouTube provides you with certain tools to run A/B testing within the platform.

Let’s go back to the way users search for or discover videos.

The first mechanism is the video’s SEO search. The question you need to ask yourself is: How can I rank my videos in YouTube search?

The second mechanism is suggested videos: as you know, you can find them in the right column (next videos), being suggested to you both during and at the end of the video (in this case, it can be the autoplay that decides what to show next). Google has full interest in showing you a sequence of suggestions that may result in an interesting experience.

To access this possibility, the content you create must target other videos. You can do this by studying videos that work and by “copying” not just the style of the content but also the title and thumbnail as well as the tags they use.

Finally, there are those videos the platform suggests on the home page. You can rank for these positions as well, but most suggestions there belong to the category of channels you’re subscribed to, based on the number of subscribers to those channels and the notifications they send.

Increasing the number of subscribers is a great strategy because subscribers greatly contribute to video views. The metric to work on is the average number of subscribers viewing the video.

This is obtained by dividing the number of subscribers to the channel by the number of views one week after the video is published. 10% is a good step to go after: it translates into numerous free views that contribute to your ranking.

Finally, let’s go over the features YouTube recently introduced to improve the relationship between subscribers and the channel:

– Notification bell. Essential: if you’re subscribed and don’t receive any notification, you may not know when new content has been published by the channel you’re following. That’s why content creators need not only to promote subscriptions to the channel but also subscribing to notifications.

– Community. The way channels can communicate with their subscribers is through a feed. It’s also very interesting for giving access to exclusive content to new subscribers.

– Special content for subscribers, such as premieres (previews for subscribers). These are tools aimed at retaining their followers.

– Advertising. Certainly not a recent introduction but one that has evolved by following the growth of the Google Ads platform. We all hate those first 5 seconds we can’t skip but for the growth of a channel, online advertising can make a huge difference.

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