YouTube as a Blue ocean
Many companies and marketers disregard YouTube (referred to as YT) as an established, competitive marketing space. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, as YT is the second largest search platform, just behind its parent company, Google. Not only is the platform much larger than traditional social media, but the CPC is also drastically lower than other traditional advertising platforms, and CTR is 27.4 times higher than standard banner ads. This alone is cause for a strategic video campaign on YT; but today, we will be focusing on how to reap the benefits purely from organic content.
As we mentioned in a previous blog, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. Although messaging is much more powerful in video format, it is still essential to engage your audience long enough for them to retain it.
#1: Engaging your Audience
Along with driving much higher engagement than text content, data suggests that shorter videos drive greater engagement and retention. Popular videos on YT average 4 minutes and 20 seconds in length, according to a study done by minimatters. In the video space, less is more, yet it is still necessary to spend enough time to fully cover the idea you are presenting.
Wistia reported to expect 60% retained engagement throughout a 4-5 minute video, compared to 75% retained engagement for a 1-2 minute video. This may sound low, but compared to a study by Sumo, it is drastically higher than the 20% audience retained throughout a text blog (you’re missing out, 80%). Presenting your topic in a powerful, intriguing, and engaging way; succinctly, is vital to maximize viewership and to capitalize on the ranking algorithm.
Users on YT engage with content that is: entertaining: such as cat videos, helpful; such as tutorials, or informative; such as a new product feature or launch. Engaging your audience with related, important information conveyed in an exciting, interesting, or amusing manner is absolutely necessary to retain and grow your audience. YT has even gone on record saying retention and engagement are significant factors in ranking, so make sure you have calls to action within your video to like, comment and subscribe.
#2: Ranking and Keywords
Although the end-all-be-all in video marketing is quality content presented in an engaging manner, it is still necessary to be strategic in positioning your videos so they will appear to your target market. Amongst the myriad of ranking factors in the YT algorithm, the most important is the keywords your title, description, tags, and the closed captions (yes, CC’s are crawlable) your video is centered around. These keywords help YT and Google determine your relationship with search engines.
It is essential to be strategic in your keyword choices, as this is the foundation to ranking your videos for the right viewers, therefore driving a higher audience retention rate, which also has a significant impact on ranking.
When planning keywords for a video, one of the best free tools to capitalize on is YT’s native Autocomplete feature in the search bar, showing the “long tail” keywords that are usually less competitive, and viewers are already searching for.
#3: Titles, Descriptions, and Tags
When you have selected your target keyword for your video, make sure to include it near the beginning of your title. Aim for a 70 character title including spaces, ideally between 5-10 words. Your title needs to be enticing yet natural, to avoid keyword stuffing or spam.
As far as descriptions go, make sure it is at least 250 words long, and your focus keyword appears between 2-4 times. Your description helps Google and YT understand the context of your video, which allows them greater ability and favor to position you in both search rankings and the suggested video sidebar. Your description and tags are the perfect places to include LSI keywords, which are Latent Semantic Indexing.
You can think of LSI Keywords as the “synonyms’ ‘ to your keyword, or alternate variations meaning the same thing. Including these LSI keywords in your tags is a great way to avoid keyword spam. Tagging is the part of off-page YT SEO, as it is not visible on a video page, while still impacting search results and ranking. A great rule of thumb here is to aim for 9-12 tags, beginning with your exact keyword, including a few variations, as well as a few general tags in relation to the topic you’re covering.
#4: Gaining Traction
When you have successfully published your video and you are ready to gain traction from your target market, it is good to build some initial viewership, both to climb YT’s rankings, as well as establish authority on your video before it reaches your target audience.
The best way to gain initial traction is through backlinking your video to Q&A forums such as Quora, in your blog posts, as well as sending a link to active clients and your business network. Another great way to build momentum on your video is through paid advertising, which we will cover in our next blog post. Another great strategy to maximize viewership is to review your YT Analytics, which will show you the exact keywords your viewers are coming from, which may necessitate a change in your title or description.
Once you are gaining organic traffic to your video, make sure to engage your audience by replying to their comments.
YT Content is an expansive blue ocean and a massive opportunity for any Go-To-Market Strategy
As there is a higher barrier of entry to produce video content compared to written content, it is no surprise that there is less competition in the video space. Another advantage of marketing through video is click-through being 27.4 times more likely than standard text and link ads. Video content is also shared 1200% more than links and text combined. These statistics make sense, as the human brain processes things visually, and can comprehend video 60,000 times faster than text. With staggering metrics like this, on the second largest search engine in the world, it is a clear necessity to incorporate into your business’s GTM strategy, as either an inbound organic strategy or through paid outreach – or ideally, both!
Don’t know where to begin incorporating YouTube and video media into your demand generation? Schedule a call with us below to lay the foundation.