Though I don’t use YouTube as a central part of my personal marketing strategy, I do make sure to include videos as audiences today expect multimedia posts. It is also important for me to be aware of the most effective practices when coaching entrepreneurs whose businesses can benefit from a presence on YouTube. In order to make the most out of YouTube and use it to promote your blog or business, you need to make a game plan before jumping into the YouTube market. To do that, you need to first take a look at what some successful YouTubers have done in order to drive traffic to their YouTube channel, and in turn to their websites.
1: POST CONSISTNETLY
Posting consistently can be a big help, not only in generating traffic, but also in making sure that visitors returns. If somebody subscribes to your channel, but they don’t see a new video for a month, they may unsubscribe. Likewise, if you aren’t posting regularly, they won’t see your videos in their feeds. Aim for one video a week, and in a year, you’ll have 50 videos, which is a significant library. In order to keep ahead of the game, try to have a few completed videos before you get started, and always be a couple weeks ahead. Try not to batch post either. It makes it hard to viewers to keep up, and irregular posts like that don’t usually help you generate followers. Instead, spread your posts out.
2: KEEP IT SHORT
You know the feeling. Somebody posts a video on Facebook, you see it has a running time of more than eight minutes, and you think: maybe later. Time is a huge factor, especially when you are just starting out. If people don’t know who you are, they don’t want to invest ten minutes in your video. If you keep it under three minutes, though, people will be more likely to check the video out because it requires less of a commitment. Once you’ve gotten a significant number of followers who trust your brand and look forward to your videos, then you can make them a little longer, but before then, be sure to keep it short.
3: RESPONSE VIDOES
Response videos are one of the most popular genre of videos on YouTube. If you see a video that is taking off, record a quick response video sharing your thoughts, and upload it. This will allow you to piggyback on the success of a trending video, and can get you some views of your own. When doing this, it is important to be positive, and try to be funny and unique. If you are paying a compliment to the video you are responding to, the user will be more likely to leave your video up, and if you add a funny twist to the video, people will be more likely to give your video a thumbs up or share it.
If you are just starting out, and you’ve put together a decent library, try reaching out to a YouTuber with a larger fan base and offer to do a collaboration with them. If you have a skill that can be applied to another niche, try doing a cross over. Maybe you are an artist and you can paint a car for a channel on classic cars. This is a common practice. The host of Six Pack Shortcuts, for instance, has done cross promotion self-help books, while comedians Key and Peele have guest hosted =3. Of course, you don’t have to have 1 million followers for this to be beneficial. Consider some creative ways to cross promote, and start contacting some fellow YouTubers.
5: ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION
If you have a product that people use, especially if it is something that they can create with, encourage them to share what they’ve done with it. If you are simply offering your thoughts on sports, food, arts and entertainment, or gardening, ask people to share their thoughts, and then incorporate past comments in future posts. This is not only a way to ensure engagement, but it is a great way to get people to share your video. If you share something a user has submitted, they will be more likely to post it on their social media. This is something that Screen Junkies has done with their Honest Trailers series, where they ask users to submit movies they’d like to see lampooned. Make sure that you engage with the audience and solicit their participation so that they feel like they are part of the process and become invested.
6: USE THE DESCRIPTION BOX
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen a video and noticed that there was nothing in the description box. Including key words in your video is the best way to show up in search engines. If you leave it blank, you are missing out on an opportunity to get your video noticed. It also helps viewers to figure out what your video is about and if it is worth their time to even watch it. If a viewer isn’t sure whether or not your video is on the subject they want to hear about, they will likely pass you over.
7: PROMOTE YOUR BRAND
This is tied closely with the idea of using the description box, but it goes beyond that. If you have a website, you want to put a link to it in the description box, but you also want to make sure that you mention it in your video. Tell viewers where to find the link, and make sure you mention your site at least a couple times during the video (but not too much). If you have any logos, try to include them in the background images, and make sure that viewers who watch the video will know your name and the name of the company or website you are promoting.
8: BE FUNNY, BE UNIQUE, AND BE USEFUL
This is the hardest part of making a great YouTube video. It is easy enough to say ‘be funny’ or ‘be unique’, but it is not something you can teach. In terms of being unique, simply try to offer viewers something that isn’t out there already. Take, for instance, The Tipsy Bartender. Their videos are generally low production quality, but they are funny, entertaining, and offer useful tips. For people who want to make drinks at parties, they have a host of great and fun ideas, and they present them in an engaging fashion.
9: USE SOCIAL MEDIA
YouTube isn’t like traditional television. People aren’t going to flip through the channels and stumble upon your show. You have to put it out there. After you post your videos, share them on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. If you are on Facebook, make sure to tag friends you think would like the video. If you are on Twitter, tag celebrities related to your niche. Made a cooking video? Tag Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay. Got a movie review, or book review? Tag the actor or author. Don’t just post the video and expect people to find it. Share it.
For some people, a YouTube channel is the end product, but for people who think bigger, it is merely a way to promote your end product. It is great because if you get a significant following, you can end up with an extra stream of revenue through the ads, but more importantly, it can help drive traffic your website of blog. Be sure to mention your name and your brand, and make sure there are links going back to your page. Collaborate with others, encourage participation, and be sure to post regularly, and keep your posts short. This will not guarantee success, but if you aren’t doing these things, it will almost certainly guarantee failure.