We all love YouTube. This is where videos go viral, and sidetracked individuals like me go to waste productive hours watching standup comedy and music videos. But from a marketing perspective, there are some real drawbacks to using the YouTube platform.
It is not easy to rank as there are thousands of videos trying to get the under 5 spot for the keyword you are fighting for. This is why some youtubers never see any success. If you make YouTube videos for your marketing strategies then you might see various issues like:
- You do not see any conversion. Reasons can be anything — either your videos don’t get enough views or even if they do, you fail to convert those views into prospectus.
- You did not earn any of the backlinks to your video. YouTube does.
- YouTube places other ads at the end of your video, making it hard to convert that viewer.
- Viewers can easily be distracted by the 20+ videos in the sidebar, causing you to lose a viewer.
As a marketer these are major concerns. But we still find the distribution potential of YouTube enticing. So what can we do to maximize our reach while minimizing the negative benefits of using YouTube? That is what I am going to cover today.
However, if you’re looking for a winning YouTube strategy, you’re not going to find that here. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: you can’t outsource strategy. So I can’t develop it for you. You will have to create a strategy that works for you on your own. I am not going to change your YouTube marketing strategy overnight. I will, however, highlight a few points that you should consider when building your strategy.
With that being said, most of what I will talk about today will be in the realm of tactics. You know, the tactics are the little things you can do to help with the execution of your YouTube content marketing strategy.
Why use these YouTube marketing tactics?
No matter what, make sure that your strategy (aka endgame) is built around a concept that involves owned assets. Meaning the reason you are using YouTube should be to:
- Drive email signups. [See my guide on Email Marketing here]
- Have people sign up for your free online course.
- Ask people to visit your website.
- Make people members of your online community.
What would you not be able to do with these tactics?
- Increase your YouTube followers. [I have a different guide for that.]
- Have them check out your social media profiles.
- Simply have them watch the video.
Now on to the meat and potatoes of this article: YouTube Marketing tactics.
The first tactic is simple. Your goal with YouTube is to broadcast your message to new and existing viewers. Not Apple’s message or Samsung’s. It is your message that you are there to promote. So don’t allow YouTube to run any type of ad on your video. Your business should not be on YouTube to collect a little money from their advertising partnership.
One of the most critical parts of your video will be at the end; this will most likely be your major call to action (CTA). Naturally, you will want your viewers to execute the CTA, not jump to another video with your competitor. So how do we get around the video thumbnails at the end of your video? There are two things you can do.
First, you can simply create your own set of thumbnails for more of your videos during the editing process. Then you simply use the “citation” function built into YouTube so that those images become clickable. That way you have a chance to retain those viewers on your channel.
The second option is to simply run a 30 second black screen with a clickable CTA. The reason we do this is twofold:
- Hopefully they get tired of waiting and finally click on your CTA
- Or they get tired of waiting and move on. If a viewer chooses that option then fine, they are not ready to take action. But at least you tried.
The best way to use tactic #2 is to have the thumbnails link to videos hosted on your own website. That way you get viewers to your website where you have a better chance of them converting. That is, of course, if your website has been optimized to convert those leads using a properly structured marketing funnel.
This is my favorite tactic. Often when talking with prospective clients we tend to be very structured and very to the point, especially in the B2B marketplace. But we need to build trust. The video has hopefully built up our reputation and authority with the prospect, but the end gives us an opportunity to build trust. How, you ask? By adding humor and showing funny bloopers or outtakes shot during video production.
I have found that showing a little humanity can go a long way in building trust and helping to break down the walls of skepticism a prospective client often has when first learning about you and your company. Plus, who doesn’t like to laugh a little?
Limit what you put on YouTube. You need to find a balance between posting on YouTube and posting to your own website. For example, if you publish 4 videos a month, put half of them on YouTube, but put all of them on your website.
If you are a big fan and user of Google Hangouts on Air, which you should be, then putting them on YouTube makes sense. Especially since they get automatically uploaded there anyway.
So there you have it, folks. There are a handful of tactics you can use to make YouTube work better for you and your company. The primary takeaway, as always, is to make sure you maintain ownership of your own content. The only way to make that a reality is to publish content on your website and grow your email list. Third party websites like YouTube are great for increasing your marketing reach, but you need to remain focused on driving those leads back to an owned media asset.