It’s widely known that video content can have a huge impact on your marketing strategy as it provides the easiest way to reach and engage your target audience. And that’s why, once your video marketing strategy is well underway, you should consider getting your business on YouTube.
As the second-biggest search engine globally, YouTube allows you to showcase your product or service while nurturing your brand’s identity by prompting viewers to spread the word by sharing your content.
But even though this platform offers excellent opportunities for any business, it’s sometimes wildly misunderstood and mismanaged!
So, to help you introduce your business on YouTube in the best possible way, we’ve taken core strategies from some of the best video animation companies operating on the platform and compiled them here for easy reference.
Including some fundamental steps to improve video rankings on the site from the get-go, and improve your inbound marketing strategy right away!
Why Does Your Business Need a YouTube Presence?
YouTube is a great place to market your company through product videos, tutorials, and explainers – which is the same as saying that audiences on the platform enjoy and engage with these styles of videos. After all, it’s easier and more effective for them to watch a short video than to read an article or website about a company or product.
What’s more, your viewers can comment and share a piece of content, increasing opportunities to engage and connect with a wider potential customer pool and even provide customer guidance and support on the platform.
As for promotion opportunities, here are some key marketing objectives that YouTube helps you pursue:
- Showcasing your product’s features: through product videos, you can show your audience your product or service in use and explain its benefits by focusing on its main features.
- Driving valuable leads: at the end of your videos, you can add a call to action (CTA) that drives traffic directly to your website or shop. Remember we said YouTube has a huge audience? Well, you’ll be directing that same audience to the rest of your online presence. People that find you through YouTube can soon find themselves browsing your website.
- Demonstrating expertise and nurturing trust: by uploading educational pieces, like tutorials and product explainer videos to YouTube, you show your audience that you’re knowledgeable in your niche and make available information that can help them solve problems related to their pain points.
On top of that, other types of videos, like testimonials from happy customers, can go a long way in increasing your audience’s trust in your brand by providing concrete proof of your business’s reliability.
- Real-time marketing: you can also use YouTube to host live video events and launch a new product, answer customer questions, interview and collaborate with experts, and more! You only need to get ready and schedule a live stream that can then be added to your channel once it’s finished.
YouTube sounds pretty amazing now, doesn’t it? Well, you haven’t heard the best part yet—it’s completely free! That’s right; you don’t have to spend a single cent to get your content onto this platform.
However, to achieve all the goals we’ve mentioned, you need to improve your rankings on YouTube. To do so, every element of your videos, from the title to the description keywords, has to be optimized.
Keep reading to find out how to get featured on the site’s search results!
Taking the First Steps: Keyword Research for YouTube
Just like Google, YouTube uses keywords, among other factors, to determine if a video is relevant for a query and thus feature it on the first page of results.
So, the first step for YouTube marketing optimization is to brainstorm and then narrow down the keywords you’re going to focus on. Make a list of keyword ideas, then do some keyword research to select the best options.
Here are two easy ways in which you can start to do your research:
- Find out which tags popular videos use: the easiest way to begin is by searching a topic related to your product or service, then checking out the tags of the top-ranking videos for keyword inspiration.
- Use a keyword planning extension or plug-in: there are many extensions for Chrome and plug-ins for Firefox that work directly within Youtube’s search bar. Whenever you search for a term, these tools give you three key pieces of information: the search volume, CPC, and competition data.
Once you have a hefty pool of keywords relating to your company and content, all that’s left for now is to choose keywords from your list and matching them to your video content (or develop videos around them!). The closer they relate to your company and product, the better.
In the following sections, we’ll touch upon more details on implementing these keywords on the platform in a practical sense.
Pro Tip: To get the most out of your optimization, you should prioritize low-competition keywords to avoid being buried in the search results by more established channels.
Content Optimization Elements — Engaging Users’ Interest
Another factor that YouTube takes into account to decide if your video matches the query is how viewers engage with your videos. Once you help the platform understand your video through keyword optimization, it factors in other elements to determine if it should feature them higher or lower on the search result pages.
There are four elements that can be optimized to achieve that goal:
- Type of marketing video: choosing the right kind of video to upload to your channel is probably the most important factor in content optimization. YouTube users are mostly looking for educational and entertaining content, which is why pieces like animated explainers tend to perform so well on YouTube.
- Audience engagement: engagement is related to user interactions on the platform (comments, subscriptions, shares, etc.). The more people interact with your videos, the higher they’ll rank.
- Length: Both long and short pieces can perform well on YouTube. That said, what matters most is how long people watch your videos, not how long they actually are.
This goes hand in hand with the Watch Time metric on the platform. The longer the video, the more time the viewer will stay on the site. However, it’s essential to keep your content valuable. If your video is 10 minutes long, but your viewers drop off after two, you won’t rank higher. But if you upload a two-minute video that most people stay glued to, it will tend to perform better.
- CTAs. Adding a call to action that encourages your viewers to subscribe to your channel, share your video, leave a comment, or watch another video on your channel is a good way of increasing interaction and climbing the ranks.
For this purpose, YouTube offers a feature called “cards”, which allows you to create preformatted notifications. You can add up to five cards per video, so not only can you include CTAs, but you can also set up one to promote your brand and direct traffic to your website.
All in all, content optimization involves creating specific types of videos that YouTube users will be looking for and then refining them to retain their attention and encourage their interaction as much as possible!
On-page Optimization Elements — Engaging YouTube’s Algorithm
The next step after content optimization is perfecting all the modifiable elements within the website to better serve your content to people who might be interested in it.
Here are five of the most important on-page elements that you can optimize to climb the ranks:
- Titles: you need to make a good first impression, and the title of your video is the very first thing your viewers (and YouTube!) will see. So, the title should be clear, concise, descriptive, and above all, it should include your primary keyword!
- Thumbnails: even though thumbnails are not a direct ranking factor, they can help you increase your click-through rate and your watch time. How? A custom thumbnail can make you stand out from the other results and become the reason why some viewers decide to watch your video instead of someone else’s.
Thumbnail optimization involves uploading an image that accurately represents your video and catches people’s interest. Keep in mind that you should avoid GIF pictures and large files and follow YouTube’s recommended image ratio and size.
We also advise that you use your main keyword as the thumbnail file’s name. It’s one additional way to tell YouTube that your video is relevant to that keyword.
- Descriptions: the video description is the most direct way of telling YouTube and your viewers about the content of your video. You have 5,000 characters available to include a detailed overview of your video, but there are certain guidelines that can help you make the most out of it:
- Use your target keyword in the first sentence and spread the others throughout the text.
- Don’t overdo it by trying to cram all your keywords, but include the most important ones instead.
- Remember to use natural language that’s easy to read to help your viewers understand what your video is about.
- Avoid walls of text. Descriptions might allow up to 5k words, but an optimized description will rarely require more than a couple hundred.
- Tags: video tags are another way of explaining what your video is about, and you can include your longer keywords as tags. They might not be a priority like a good description is, but they can be the factor that decides whether your video shows up as a suggested video.
- Transcripts and subtitles: Making your video accessible to your audience is a must, and luckily, YouTube helps you in this regard by generating automatic captions for your videos. Transcripts also are another way in which YouTube can understand what your video is about.
You should consider taking the time to edit the auto-generated close captioning because even though it’s good, it’s not perfect. Correct spelling and grammar can go a long way in retaining your audience.
Optimizing on-page elements means giving your audience and YouTube even more information about your video in a subtle way that doesn’t overwhelm your viewers.
Additional optimization — Becoming a YouTube master!
You’re almost ready to become a YouTube master! All that’s left is tweaking a few more features to obtain the best results. Other elements that you can optimize include:
- Playlists. They’re excellent tools to keep your viewers engaged by automatically playing related content from your channel. For a well-curated playlist, all you need to do is to check your videos and identify a few that have a common theme or topic.
Of course, you should avoid adding all of your videos into a single playlist and try to create multiple ones instead.
You can even use playlists to guide your viewers through a learning sequence and, at the same time, down the sales funnel. If your audience doesn’t have to spend time looking for the next video, you’re adding value to your proposal.
We recommend that you optimize the playlist’s name as well. If you can, you should simply add one of your main keywords to it. The more a keyword appears in relation to your channel, the greater the chances of being featured in a query.
- Channel branding. People need to know where to find you, and for that, your channel needs to have a more professional look and be properly branded. It doesn’t have to be too complex; it just needs to match your brand.
For example, you can change your channel’s icon to your company’s logo or add channel art to make your YouTube profile more attractive.
Don’t forget to fill in the “About Me” section because it offers a great opportunity to include social media links, contact info, and more optimized text.
- Channel trailer. When people visit your channel, the trailer is among the first things they will see. Giving them a preview of what you’re offering and what makes you unique can transform visitors into subscribers.
- Mobile optimization: content has to be shareable and since most users watch YouTube on their phones, you should consider optimizing your videos for mobile devices. For example, using the right aspect ratios is essential to help your viewers avoid the hassle of rotating their phones to watch a video. Another good idea is to further optimize your thumbnails since they become significantly smaller on mobile devices.
Even though optimizing these features is not compulsory for ranking higher on YouTube search results, it can help you attract more viewers and increase their potential of becoming subscribers and customers.
Video marketing goes hand in hand with YouTube. By uploading your videos to this platform, you can reach a vast audience, but first, you need to optimize your content and certain on-page elements so that you can get featured.
This YouTube SEO guide includes the most important points that you can implement to take advantage of your channel and the possibilities it offers.
All that’s left is for you to start improving your channel, and with consistency, you’ll see how you can climb the ranks and become featured in YouTube’s results.
If you still don’t have a YouTube channel for your brand, what are you waiting for?