The Educated Marketer

 

2017 YouTube Essentials

by Vicky Lynch | Sep 27, 2017

 |  college recruitment, inbound marketing

 | 0 comments

Do you remember when sending someone a video meant you downloaded it to a CD and popped it in the mailbox? Or worse, maybe you sent a VHS? YouTube changed all that about twelve years ago. Now we take for granted that anyone with a smartphone can share a video instantaneously with the click of a button.

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The capabilities are incredible. An average Joe in Chicago can share a video that can go viral and be viewed millions of times by people around the world. A teenager in a small town can become famous overnight from posting videos of themselves singing or doing makeup tutorials. Your company could be reaching thousands of new consumers or clients by creating a free YouTube Channel.

Overview:

YouTube was created on February 14, 2005 by three former PayPal employees and was sold a year and a half later to Google for 1.6 million dollars. According to Mashable at the time, there were 280 other video-sharing sites, so YouTube had its competition. In the end, their site made it easy to post and embed videos, ultimately winning out over users. YouTube now has 1 billion users, or almost one third of those on the internet.

Expandedramblings reports that 180 million people in the US use YouTube (as of January 2017). 46,000 years’ worth of video are collectively viewed each year, 1 billion hours are viewed each day and 400 minutes hours of video are uploaded each minute. YouTube reaches more people in the 18-34 age demographic than any cable TV network in the U.S.

And yet only 9% of small businesses use YouTube. Opportunity, anyone?

YouTube offers the chance to get your videos in front of tens of thousands of people or even more if you strike a chord with a viral video. Blogger Mirna Bard also points out that because YouTube is powered by Google, properly tagged videos will show up in internet search results, further increasing your reach.

What to Post:

To post on YouTube, you will need a Google account to create a channel for your company. SproutSocial offers an easy tutorial on how to specifically set this up. Your YouTube channel will need to feature your company logo, and design should stay consistent with your brand and existing webpage and social media accounts.

You will want to post videos to your channel that promote your brand, not necessarily specific products. If it makes sense, you can create multiple YouTube channels that highlight individual products or service. Entrepreneur shares the example of Proctor and Gamble. They have their own channel, then channels for their popular brands. Remember, your videos should entertain, not just sell, or no one will want to watch them.

When to Post:

Tubefilter recently conducted a study with their audience, who is a similar demographic to YouTube users. Their findings suggested the best days to post are Thursday and Friday. The best times during those two days is between 12-3pm. This gives YouTube enough time to index the video and get it into their subscribers feeds ahead of peak viewing time in the evening.

According to the Telegraph, a good distribution strategy is perhaps more important than timing. Promote your videos through your other social media platforms and on your website so that your followers and fans will know when a new video is available.

Length of Posts:

As I write this blog post, the top trending videos on YouTube range from 1:35 to 20:22. There is no hard and fast rule for how long to make your videos. Minimatters.com suggests that if there is a way to make a short video that covers the same points as a longer one, always opt for short. If you have a longer video, think about splitting it up into several shorter, digestible ones.

In a recent study, Wistia found that under 2 minutes is a sweet spot for videos, along with between 6-12 minutes (for a different type of video). You should avoid posting videos longer than 12 minutes when possible. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, so once again, look at your channel’s analytics to decide what length of videos your viewers most engage with.

Frequency of Posts:

If you are focused on creating quality video that is engaging and entertaining to your viewers, it will likely be hard to post more than once or twice per week. Adweek suggests that scheduling your posts is the best way to hold yourself accountable for completing a video and your followers will know when to check back on the site for a new video.

No time to upload your video on the same day each week? YouTube allows you to keep a post private and release it at the designated time.

Common Fails:

  • Don’t simply upload commercials about your products and services

It may be tempting to upload commercials you have already produced. But Entrepreneur points out that people tune in to be educated, informed and entertained. You want to post videos that enhance your company’s image without directly selling.

A couple examples would be to post cooking tutorials if you sell kitchen gadgets or fashion tips if you sell clothing. Both feature your products and create a need but the videos offer a value add.

  • Don’t be quick to abandon ship

Here’s the scenario. You go through all the steps to create a channel and post a couple videos that are engaging and entertaining that build your brand. You’ve done everything right, but no one is viewing them. Many companies are frustrated and tempted to move on when their efforts don’t immediately pay off.

As with anything, Udemy.com points out, everyone has to start at zero. It will take time and commitment to build up your audience. Focus on creating high quality and valuable content and your audience will follow.

  • Don’t forget to send viewers to your website

As exciting as it would be to build up your audience on YouTube, ultimately, having a successful channel isn’t doing anything for your company if you aren’t able to drive that traffic back to your website. Udemy.com suggests including a link to your website in each video description, include links in the “about” section and channel header and release content that appears on both YouTube and your site. Even better if it’s a two-parter or a teaser on YouTube and a full video on your website.

Best Practices:

  • Do promote your videos across multiple social media platforms

YouTube allows you to link to your video in all your social media accounts and you can also embed the video in a company blog post on your website. Entrepreneur suggests running a Google AdWords campaign as well. You can set your cost-per-view ahead of time, then you only pay when someone views your video.

  • Do think outside the selling box

YouTube is a great place to promote and sell your products and services, but it is also an amazing place to post training videos for employees on new products or sessions at industry conferences that employees or consumers may be interested in viewing. Socialmediatoday reports that digital companies like MOZ, Distilled and Blue Glass offer conference sessions from relevant sessions for sale through their stores on YouTube.

Also—make sure your website is mobile-optimized. More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.

  • Do consider advertising on YouTube

In addition to creating your own channel and posting videos for free, paid advertising is also available through YouTube. According to the site, the amount of small and medium-sized businesses advertising on YouTube has doubled. This time you will be creating ads versus other content but you will have the ability to customize the ad to your budget and your audience. And unlike other video advertisements, you only pay-per-view.

Eric Siu, CEO of Single Grain advises companies to grab the viewer’s attention within 8 seconds, test out the different ad formats to see what works for you, create different targeted groups, look at your analytics and of course, optimize your landing pages.

Other Tools for Posting and Measuring:

Using specific keywords will help drive more search traffic to your video. Plug in your intended keywords into the YouTube Keyword Tool to find out what people are searching for on the site.

  • Video editing tools

YouTube used to offer these, but axed them just this year. However, there are an abundance of good video editing software programs you can invest in to make your videos more professions. Check out Final Cut Pro X if you have a Mac, or Magisto, which will work in most browsers.

Now you have the details, time to start brainstorming and creating the YouTube videos that will reach your consumers across the globe.

This blog post is part of our Social Media Essentials Series 2017, an 8-part blog series aimed at demystifying social media promotion, one platform at a time. Each post will focus on a separate social media application offering the skinny on updated ways to best use each site for promotion. We’ll let you know about who you will reach, what to post, when to post, examples of best practices and more. We will feature a new post every two weeks. Follow the Educated Marketer to stay up to date on our series.

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This blog post is part of our Social Media Essentials Series 2017, an 8-part blog series aimed at demystifying social media promotion, one platform at a time. Each post will focus on a separate social media application offering the skinny on updated ways to best use each site for promotion. We’ll let you know about who you will reach, what to post, when to post, examples of best practices and more. We will feature a new post every two weeks. Follow the Educated Marketer to stay up to date on our series.

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