Video content is the rage of the day, and what better platform for viewing videos than YouTube itself? It shot to popularity ever since it was launched in 2005 and was acquired by Google in 2006. Today, it has experienced growth with over a billion users who can access videos in 76 different languages, making it the 2nd largest search engine in the world, after Google.
Its growing popularity makes it ideal for individuals and businesses to use it for marketing purposes. But like all good things, this popularity comes with a downside for marketers. The popularity of YouTube implies that it is a platform with intense competition, with over 400 hours of video being uploaded every minute to YouTube. Trying to stay ahead of your game amidst such intense competition is a challenge, but if done right, it has the potential to help you reach out to billions of users, grow your YouTube subscribers, and increase YouTube views for your videos. That is why it is imperative to develop an effective YouTube marketing strategy to ensure you’re getting the most out of your YouTube marketing efforts and gaining real YouTube subscribers.
Developing a YouTube marketing strategy
Creating a marketing strategy is crucial to begin your YouTube marketing and grow your YouTube views as well as YouTube subscribers. Clearly jotting down your goals is the first step here. Targets you’re looking to achieve must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound to help guide your marketing efforts. Decide on what you’re looking at in terms of clicks/traffic, number of YouTube subscribers and YouTube views, as well as the kind of engagement you’re targeting with your viewers. Determining your key performance indicators (KPI) will aid in measuring the results of your efforts. Once you’ve got a well-defined strategy in place, it’s time to put in the work to see results, and these tips can help you in getting the maximum benefit from your YouTube marketing efforts and witness growth.
Ways to get the most out of your YouTube marketing strategy
Having a YouTube channel is just the beginning. If you’re a business looking to experience growth, you’ll benefit more from creating a Google Brand account as it’ll allow other people from the business to also help you in running the show. The keys to taking your YouTube marketing to the next level is unlocking the secrets to getting discovered, gaining more YouTube subscribers and YouTube views, and automating your YouTube marketing process.
Here’s how you can achieve all of that and take your YouTube marketing to the next level.
Know what your audience wants
Making use of analytics will help you access both quantitative and qualitative information about your YouTube subscribers, including details like subscriber demographics, average watch time, view counts, retention rates, interaction across videos, sources of traffic, and revenues generated. Such data provides valuable insight into where and when your videos are being viewed, age and gender of your viewers, and can help you determine whether you’re reaching the audience you had planned to. If you’re not, you can decide to either modify your content or explore the new target audience that you weren’t initially expecting. Qualitative insights can also be accessed by reading and managing video comments.
Find out about your competitors and favorite channels
Look up the competition, as well as your favorite channels. How many YouTube subscribers do they have? Which of their videos have received the most and least YouTube views? What keywords have they used? What are their audience interactions like? Knowing how well your competitors are doing is going to help you stay unique, avoid the same drawbacks, and experience more growth. Analyzing your favorite channels will also help you assess why you return to a particular channel, what’s unique about it, and may even give you inspiration for your own channel.
Optimize your videos for SEO
Even if you have great content, you’re not likely to grow if your videos can’t be discovered, so it’s important to optimize your videos for SEO. Your metadata is very important here as it contains details about your video, including video title, subtitles, tags, description, category, thumbnail, and closed captions.
- Make sure your title is around 60 words so that it’s not cut off from search results, and do some keywords search to ensure that the title includes relevant keywords relating to the topic.
- Only the first 100 words of your video description will be visible before viewers click on “show more,” so make sure you’ve included keywords upfront. A video transcript with links to your social channels, video credits, and video-specific timestamps is also useful. If you’re using hashtags, don’t use too many, and make sure you’re following the hashtag rules of YouTube.
- Use tags to highlight your main keywords and help in broadening the reach of your video by associating it with similar videos. Categorizing your video will help to group it with similar platform content. YouTube’s categories include Music, Film & Animation, Pets & Animals, Autos & Vehicles, Gaming, People & Blogs, Sports, Travel & Events, Comedy, News & Politics, Entertainment, Nonprofits & Activism, How-to & Style, Education, Science & Technology.
- Use a custom thumbnail image to generate more clicks and YouTube views. A thumbnail using a 1280 x 720 px image will ensure that the image looks aesthetic irrespective of the size of the screen the video is being viewed on.
- Uploading a compatible text transcript or a synchronized subtitle file will enable you to add subtitles or closed captions. You may also have a complete video transcript and automatically make YouTube time the subtitles, type the subtitles/translation while watching the video, or employ a professional translator or transcriber.
- Make use of cards as well as end screens to link to external websites, poll viewers, and direct people to other videos. Cards are rectangular alerts displayed in mobile and desktop platforms at the top right corner; up to five cards can be added per video, but if you have multiple cards, ensure they’re spread out equally to give the audience time to take the necessary action. End screens permit you to prolong your video for 5-20 seconds to guide viewers to other YouTube videos or channels, to grow your YouTube subscribers, or support external links, like those leading to your website.
Decide, upload, and schedule your videos
Decide on the type of video you want- tutorials, customer testimonials, thought leader interviews, vlogs, live videos, event videos, case studies, or product demonstration videos. Follow the YouTube video specifications and look to grab attention early on with a video that’s recorded using quality equipment, while deciding the length and multimedia elements of the video. Since most viewing happens on mobile phones, make sure your video is optimized for the mobile format. Uploading content consistently will help your YouTube subscribers engaged and promote channel growth and engagement. You can even schedule your videos for cross-promotion with other social media posts.
Attract YouTube subscribers through channel optimization
Optimize your channel for a consistent experience overall through relatable content that gives your channel a personality.
- Fill out your YouTube profile by including a bio that’s rich in keywords, social media profiles, and website links, a 2560 x 1440 pixels, 2MB max eye-catching banner image, and maybe even featured channels to open up avenues for cross channel collaborations.
- Make a video playlist with videos that progress logically from one topic to the next, keeping viewers on your page for longer and raising your channel’s average watch time statistic.
- Include subtitles in your videos to help increase the video’s reach.
Make YouTube advertising work to your advantage
Apart from just accessing content on your channel, people can also view your content through ads that appear on YouTube. You can make use of overlay ads, skippable and non-skippable video ads, bumper ads, sponsored ads, and display ads. It’s imperative to make people forget they’re even watching an ad, so it’s important to create engaging content that’s relevant, specific, entertaining, and brief.
Don’t be afraid to work with an influencer
Influencers have the advantage of already having a massive fan following that trusts them, so tie-up with an influencer to promote your brand. Choose an influencer who has a genuine interest in the product/service because paid partnerships become less attractive if they come across as very controlled. The influencer talking in a non-scripted manner about the brand would be far more convincing and succeed in generating more YouTube subscribers and YouTube views for your channel.
Be prepared to adapt after analysis
Even with everything else on point, you still have to make sure you’re monitoring your channel and adapting to changes signaled by the data. When you put up a video, analyze how it’s helped in changing subscriber count, audience demographics, traffic sources, and locations for video playback. Paying attention to reports and comments can also provide you with a direction on what’s working and what needs to change for your channel.