How to Use YouTube to Leverage Your Brand

By now, nearly everyone knows that video content is a big deal. In case you haven’t or you’ve forgotten, here’s a refresher:

●      The average Internet user views 32 videos every month, and consumes 16 minutes of online video ads. (ComScore)

●      When shared on social media, videos generate 1200% more “shares” than text and image posts combined.

●      Four times as many consumers would choose watching a video about a product than reading about it.

●      One in four consumers lose interest in companies without video content

●      People are 1.81 times more likely to purchase a product after watching a video.

People are watching more videos than ever. They are more memorable and engaging than any other form of content. If your business doesn’t have some video content strategy, you’re likely missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with and engage your target audiences.

Why YouTube?

 When it comes to video content, YouTube is king. Here are a few reasons why:

●      Over 1 billion hours are spent watching YouTube every day. That’s more time than we spend on Netflix and Facebook video combined.

●      In a typical month, 8 out of 10 people between the ages of 18 and 49 will watch YouTube.

●      It is the second most visited search engine on the Internet, following Google.

●      The time people spend watching YouTube has doubled year over year.

●      Almost almost one-third of all people on the Internet use YouTube.

●      Users watch over 6 billion hours of video on YouTube every month.

YouTube is the most popular site for videos. For brands, it can be a key platform to help you reach out to your audience and spread awareness. At 10twelve, we’ve worked with many clients to develop and leverage YouTube to grow their business. These are some of the essential tips to remember if you want to incorporate YouTube into your strategy.

1. Create useful educational content.

Remember that YouTube isn’t just a social platform. It is a search engine that people use to find information. Think about what your target audiences would search for and what topics would interest them. Then, plan your video topics around that.

How-to videos are great for YouTube. In fact, year over year, “how to” searches on the site increased by 70%. Other types of videos that your business should consider are:

●      Customer testimonials - Establish credibility and show transparency.

●      Product demonstrations - Show users how easy it is to use your product or service.

●      Company or product explainer videos - Tell people what you company does and who you are in an engaging way.

●      Tutorials - Offer insights into your industry.

●      Interviews or event videos - Build a community around the insights and experience that you share.

Educational videos are one of the main and most important types for brands to create. In addition, there are inspirational videos, like those used by initiatives like charity:water (Water Changes Everything) and The Global Goals (#WhatIReallyReallyWant) that stir emotions and motivate users to take action. User-generated videos, influencer reviews and vlogs are also valuable, because they are instrumental in building your community and developing trust.

2. Keep videos short and sweet.

People have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Although video is one of the most engaging types of content, you need to grab viewers’ attention within the first three to five seconds. To do that, make sure that you make it relevant and important to the viewing audience. Even using the word “you” in the first five seconds can increase the time that someone views a video.

Grabbing a person’s attention is difficult enough, but keeping it for a long period of time is challenging for even the most skilled content creators. So, as a rule of thumb, keep it short and sweet. According to one recent analysis, YouTube videos that are under 2 minutes get almost 50% of all views.

3. Include two calls-to-action.

It would be a waste of time, effort and resources to create an amazing video, then end it without giving your viewers an action to do. What do you want them to do next? Most likely, your end goal isn’t to simply entertain them with a funny video, although that may be a byproduct. Maybe you want them to visit your website? Sign up for your email list? Try your product? Donate to your cause? Figure out what you want them to do and then give them a landing page to do it.

Most videos should include two calls-to-action. The first is the obvious one: get them to take a measurable action. The second is for engagement. In order for videos to rank higher on YouTube and Google, you need to get as much engagement as you can within the first few days of uploading it. At the end of the video, remind viewers to like, leave comments and questions, subscribe to your channel or share the link on social media.

4. Promote on other channels.

For any content to be successful, you need a strong distribution strategy. YouTube may be the primary spot for uploading your videos, but if you aren’t promoting them on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere, you’re probably not getting many views. Remember, YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the Internet. In order to get people to view your video, you need a strategy to drive traffic there.

Use industry-specific hashtags when you share it on Twitter. Write keyword-rich video descriptions. Release a short teaser video on Facebook or Instagram to generate interest back to the full video.

5. Invest in YouTube Advertising.

Even with the best SEO and organic engagement tactics in place, your videos may need a little help to boost ROI. Luckily, YouTube can also be a powerful advertising platform. If you advertise on YouTube, there are two main ad options: skippable and non-skippable.

Skippable, of course, means that people can choose to skip the ad after the first few seconds. Although viewer count is higher for non-skippable ads, they force viewers to watch, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that viewers are actually interested.

On the other hand, if someone chooses to watch an ad instead of skipping, they are more likely to take action and have higher conversion rates. Besides the ability to skip, you need to think about where viewers will see your ads. There are in-streaming ads--ones that play before, after or during another video clip--and in-display ads--ones that show up in search results, suggestions and in-video overlays.

With YouTube advertising, you can drive more traffic to your videos and attract visitors that search for or view content that is similar to your own. It can serve as a platform for people to discover your brand and learn more about your products and services.

Video, in general, is an incredibly valuable marketing tool for businesses today. When you upload engaging video content to YouTube, it can produce amazing results. It can help you educate people about your products and services, generate interest, and spread brand awareness. However, like any tool, it takes skill to use it effectively.

To get more ideas for how to use video for your business, check out YouTube’s For Business channel. You can also learn more about how to leverage YouTube for your brand by reaching out to 10twelve today.