Last week we launched a blog series around building your business video strategy on social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Today we’re diving into YouTube strategy. We’ll take a look not only at why your business should be on YouTube, but how to optimize your videos for YouTube. This will help maximize your potential to build an engaged audience and convert that audience into paying customers.
You’ve probably already heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, after Google. But YouTube isn’t all about search – it’s also a great place to build an audience and establish yourself as an expert in your field, which translates to new customers that trust your ideas and opinions.
To help you build your YouTube video strategy, we’ve compiled a list of questions for you to consider.
When it comes to YouTube, success is dependent upon maintaining a consistent schedule. Throwing up one video and calling it a day won’t get you very far. Regularly scheduled content, on the other hand, keeps your existing audience engaged and gives them a reason to come back. Plus, it attracts more opportunities to introduce new people to your business.
That being said, it’s important to set realistic goals for yourself. Regularly scheduled content doesn’t mean you need to be posting a new video every day, or even every week – we know you’ve got your plate full as it is, managing your business. So take a few minutes to think about how much time you can realistically allot to producing videos and build your schedule around that.
PRO TIP: When putting your schedule together, try to post consistently on the same day of the week and time so your audience knows when to come back for new content.
Once you’ve decided how often you’ll be making videos, it’s time to decide what they’re going to be about. Focus on creating content around your industry expertise that people can learn from. For instance, as a real estate agent you could create a how-to video with tips for home hunters. As a restaurant owner you could create a cooking video featuring the chef teaching people how to make one of your specialties.
People come to YouTube looking for advice, tutorials and answers to a questions – if you can be there with what they’re looking for, it’s a win-win situation. So think about some of the most common questions surrounding your business or industry and try to formulate content around them. Yoga With Adriene promotes her online yoga classes and live yoga classes in Austin, Texas with yoga tutorials on YouTube.
You could also create an explainer video that showcases the products or services your business offers, to share with potential new customers. The “Unsubscribed trailer” spot on your channel page is the perfect place for this. People who stumble across your videos through search and navigate to your channel page to learn more, but haven’t subscribed to you yet, will see this video displayed.
For current customers that subscribe to you on YouTube, behind-the-scenes looks into your company can be a nice addition. For a look at how behind-the-scenes video can be used, check out this example from Blue Apron.
You can also use videos to promote sales and special promotions. Just make sure your promotional videos don’t outweigh your educational content.
Are your competitors on YouTube? If so, take a look at their channels to see what they’re doing, how often they’re posting, and what types of videos they’re posting. What are they doing well and what could they do better? Take these things into consideration when building your own strategy and try to put a spin on your own content to make it uniquely yours.
Now that you’re starting to think about building a YouTube strategy for your business, we thought we’d share some best practices for you to keep in mind once you start creating and uploading your videos.
When you upload a video, make sure to fill out the title, description, and tags fields so that viewers can find your videos. Think about the terms your customers are searching for when looking for businesses like yours and include those keywords. For instance, if you own a Vietnamese restaurant you’ll want to include the names of some of your most popular dishes that customers may be searching for, like “Pho” or “Bánh,” in addition to more general phrases like “Vietnamese food.”
Organizing your videos into Playlists, each with their own title and description, will also help boost your videos in search results. Create playlists also encourages viewers to stick around and watch more of your content.
We talked about publishing content on a consistent basis, but how do you maximize the chances of first-time viewers coming back? Use YouTube’s “Annotations” feature to add a Subscribe button to each of your videos. When a viewer subscribes to you, they’ll be notified every time you put a new video out.
Community development-focused content, including Q&As, contests and giveaways can also be great for getting viewers to engage with you.
In today’s content-packed world, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, so keep your videos as short and concise as you can. A fun infographic from Buffer puts the optimal length of a YouTube video at 3 minutes, a figure they arrived at by analyzing the length of the top 50 YouTube videos.
Sometimes a longer video makes sense – a webinar or video of a lecture, for instance. But the 2-3 minute mark is a good goal to shoot for. If you can’t figure out a way to cut your 15-minute tutorial down, split it into several parts.
Building an audience is all well and good, you may be thinking, but ultimately your goal is to convert viewers into paying customers. Make sure to optimize your videos for conversion by adding calls-to-action (both as verbal and text call-outs in the videos themselves, as well as in your video descriptions), including links to your website or product pages, and including your logo in the videos so viewers know they’re tied to your business.
Are there any YouTube-related questions you’d like us to address in future blog posts? Leave them in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Curious to learn more? Stay tuned for the upcoming posts in our Building Your Video Strategy on Social Media series: