YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing platform and the second most popular social media platform after Facebook, with 122 million active daily users and 2.6 billion active monthly users. That’s a huge potential audience for your content, but it also means that the competition for those viewers is fierce. Just uploading a video and hoping that people will find it is unlikely to prove successful. There are, however, many proven marketing strategies that can help you to promote your content on YouTube. Some of these techniques will form a part of your business’s complete marketing strategy, not just your YouTube marketing strategy. Others are YouTube-specific tips and tricks that will help you to promote your business on YouTube. Taken together, they should help you to grow your YouTube audience.
Content creation and optimization
It all begins with content. At its very heart, your marketing strategy must produce content that not only promotes your brand and message. It also needs to be genuinely engaging content that people want to watch. This works on two levels, the first and most obvious being that if people aren’t watching your content, then you are not succeeding in spreading your message. But second, YouTube monitors video length and retention figures. When people click away from a video after only a few seconds, this has a negative impact on its YouTube ranking, making it harder for people to find using search. Priority one, therefore, is high-quality content.
Whatever your budget, Artlist makes it easy to create professional videos with its extensive range of assets. These assets include templates to help you structure your videos, footage to give your content a polished and professional look without having to work through long and complicated shoots, music, and sound effects to help immerse your audience in the world you are creating.
After you have created a video that tells your story in an effective and engaging way, there are a few simple things you can do to optimize it for search and make it easier for your target audience to find and engage with your content.
First, you need to identify the keywords that pertain to your video and then apply them appropriately. By using relevant keywords, it ensures that your content can be identified and searched for by potential viewers. You should include at least your main keyword and your secondary keywords in your video’s file name, title, tags, and as a part of its description.
When it comes to your video description, think of it as an extension of its title. It needs to be tailored to the video itself with a few sentences that describe it and include your keywords and phrases. This is how external search engines, such as Google, will pick up on your video, as well as YouTube’s search engine, so make the most of it.
A good thumbnail is essential for your video. It’s what viewers will spot and engage with instantly when presented with it in a list of search results. You want to think of it as the face of your video, and while they say you shouldn’t judge books (or videos) by their covers, people certainly do. Thumbnails and covers serve as important communicators of theme and feel.
When you upload a video to YouTube, you can add it to a variety of different categories in the advanced settings area. By grouping it with other similar types of videos, it makes it easier for search engines to pick it up and recommend it to people.
Info cards and end screens
Don’t forget to include info cards and an end screen in all of your videos. You can use info cards to link to other sites or videos or to ask questions and engage with your audience. The end screen is a neat way of wrapping up your video, asking your viewers to subscribe to your channel, or even point them in the direction of another video.
By including your video in a playlist that you curate, you can encourage your viewers to go from watching one of your videos to another. Playlists are a very easy way to lead people through your content catalog.
Don’t forget to include subtitles and captions in your videos. First and foremost, it is good practice from an accessibility perspective as it enables as many viewers as possible to engage with your content. As an added extra, it provides search engines with another way to identify and pick up on your content.
Consistent branding and messaging
Maintaining a consistent brand is vital to presenting your business to the world. This is something that you will already be working on, for example, on your website, in your correspondence, and on your packaging or merchandising. You will have a logo, a marketing strapline, a color scheme, and a particular tone of voice that you use in all your materials. Carrying this through to your video content is an important part of promoting your brand.
When it comes to video content, it’s about a bit more than just applying your brand’s standard assets and maintaining its tone. You also convey your business’s brand through what’s known as a visual language. This means that you will devise a consistent approach to the coloring, framing, composition, music, and style of your videos that helps to make them instantly recognizable as your videos and are reflective of your messaging and values.
A business that produces handmade cupcakes will want videos with a very different look and feel from one that makes athletic gear. This will come over in how the videos are framed, how they are cut, the lighting style, and the coloring. They might both have ‘upbeat’ music, but even that can vary in its style and tempo in order to connect with their target audiences and to project what the business stands for. The music you choose will form an important part of your audio branding.
Creating a visual language for your videos is a part of your wider marketing strategy and deserves time and consideration to produce the right outcome.
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Cross-promotion and collaboration
When you’ve made your video, shared it to YouTube, and ensured that it is fully optimized to help it appear on both YouTube’s search results and on other search engines, it doesn’t end there. To maximize the potential engagement with your audience, you need to leverage as much of your social capital as possible to tempt people into watching it. This means shouting about it on Twitter, sharing it on Facebook, and editing them for Instagram and TikTok. Repurposing your content is a great way to speed up your team’s content creation process.
Instagram and TikTok both have video-length restrictions that don’t apply to YouTube, as well as using different aspect ratios, which means that you cannot upload a YouTube video directly to these channels. However, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore them. Far from it. Think about how best you can edit your YouTube video to make it suitable for Instagram, or even make an Instagram-specific video that will encourage people to go and look for the longer form.
If you’ve collaborated with other creators or businesses while making your video, remember to tag and mention them and ask them to share the video, too.
Stay on top of trends
Just like clothes and interior design, videos have trends, too. It’s worth staying on top of these trends to ensure that YouTube’s algorithms can keep your videos at the top of its search results. If you’re signed up for an Artlist Enterprise account, you have the benefit of a dedicated account manager who is on hand to advise you about the latest trends, whether for YouTube or anywhere else.
If you’d like more information about how a dedicated Account Manager and Artlist Enterprise plan can help your business. Contact us to learn more.
Engage with your audience
Finally, remember to engage with your audience. This can take a variety of different forms. You can address them directly in your videos. There’s no shame in asking them to like and share your videos. You can make appeals to them using info cards. Entice them with giveaways. Use YouTube’s community features to ask their opinions in polls. And don’t forget to dip down into the comments and interact with people there, too.
Maintaining viewing figures and engagement for your company’s YouTube channel is a balance between listening to your viewers and providing them with content that interests them. Whether you’re creating how-to videos, UGC, influencer collaborations, or anything else, it’s important to create a YouTube marketing strategy that reflects your brand and its values. If you create your content with one eye firmly on your marketing strategy and the other on your customer, you should see your channel and ROI grow.