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Marketing | Sep 21
Dann Albright on December 10, 2018 • 8 minute read
Last summer we wrote about how the barrier for creating video for business has been lowered significantly.
We also noted that we’d continue to see increased investment in this area as both the technology to create and measure video continues to improve.
Like blogging in, say, 2010, we’re at an inflection point where investment is high even though many are still figuring out ways to leverage channels in order to grow their influence.
And, to be clear, investment is high. Whether it’s professionally shot video or the social “selfie” videos that have become woven into the fabric of business culture, brands are creating a lot of video.
In our most recent report, we spoke with 25 marketers to learn more about their output every month, the channels driving growth, and how video fits into their bigger goals and strategy.
The highest-represented segments were marketers in software, ecommerce, as well as agency professionals.
To get a handle on the overall investment companies are making, we first asked respondents to share the amount of video they create every month.
52% of respondents said they’re creating “just a couple” of videos every month, while 48% said they’re creating anywhere between 10-30 videos every month.
(28% said they’re creating between 10-20 videos every month, while another 20% said they’re creating between 20-30 videos every month.)
While video is being leveraged across the customer lifecycle, our respondents seemed to lean more toward acquisition as the main application for the video content they create.
52% of respondents say they leverage video most in blog posts and to grow their influence on YouTube. (Note: Respondents were instructed to “select all that apply.”)
Since marketers are investing significant time and effort into growing their YouTube channels, we also asked respondents to share their most effective methods for growing their YouTube channels.
Here’s what we learned.
Editor’s note: Want an easy way to track views, watch time, and other important video marketing KPIs? Check out this free, plug-and-play dashboard.
As you might expect, most marketers focus their efforts–first and foremost–on creating the best video content they can.
“We use many different angles including behind the scenes footage from different festivals, event recap videos, DIY tutorials for rave fashion and makeup, product videos that show some of our light up accessories, and more,” says Brandon Chopp of iHeartRaves.
“By having a diverse offering of videos in many related categories, we encourage viewers to subscribe to our channel because there’s a high probability they will find other videos they like.”
Other marketers shared similar thoughts:
Greg Shepard from Dallas Maids points out that you don’t always need professional-level video skills to succeed on YouTube. His channel, “Clean Freaks, Cleaning Tips and Household Tricks,” earned hundreds of thousands of views without them.
“The videos are corny, the editing low tech, but the content was great. And that is all we did–create videos with great tips and tricks on how to clean homes. As a result, the channel grew beyond what I had expected.”
Shapard adds, “our best video is approaching 100,000 views. I know this is quite modest compared to other channels. However, unlike other channels, our success lies solely with the content being valuable and interesting enough to have been the catalyst for growth.”
Jon Hayes from Judgement Media points out that your early videos aren’t going to be great, but that consistency will help you improve them over time.
“Presenting a video is something of an acquired skill and the only way to become better at is it to practice. Part of this means biting the bullet during your channel’s infancy and creating a few videos that are somewhat rough around the edges.
Hayes continues, “as long as the content you are presenting is of high quality, you’ll find that people are more than willing to forgive a less polished product.”
“Set your #1 objective to be watch time and #1a objective videos viewed/session,” says Sam Simon from Madrax.
“The longer you keep viewers on YouTube and allow it opportunities to deliver ads, the more likely your videos will be presented throughout the platform.”
“Longer videos that keep viewers watching to the end, playlists where they watch multiple videos from a channel, and higher click rates of your suggested video stills are all things that will get your videos watched by more people.”
“Then ask your viewers to become subscribers. In the video, as part of the end card, in the description.”
Video optimization is crucial for driving traffic to your videos.
40% of marketers we surveyed said that YouTube search is the primary traffic source for their videos.
Here’s what Pete Prestipino from Chicago Digital says about optimization:
“By engaging in formal keyword research and optimizing the naming of the asset (the video title) and its description, the likelihood that more users will discover the video as they use search engines increases dramatically—and more visitors equals a greater likelihood that people will eventually subscribe.”
“Ideally, the terms should be used early in the title and description (i.e., the first few words). Keywords and variations of those terms and phrases should also be used liberally within the transcription of the video.”
Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers emphasizes the importance of long-tail keywords:
“Once you find a few long-tail keywords related to your video, include one of them in the title, include all of them in the description and also add them to the YouTube tags. After that, add a few LSI keywords inside the description.”
“You can write up to 5,000 characters in a YouTube video [description], so use this space.”
Kaylee Pope from Prime Publishing has seen great results from optimizing for both Google and YouTube search:
“By doing so, we’ve managed to increase our Google search views from around 18% of our referral views to 24%.”
“Oftentimes, updating older videos with better titles and keywords can really give them a boost on the SERP. You can actually run your Youtube URL through Moz’s Keyword Explorer (exact URL setting) to see what it may be currently ranking on.
Pope continues, “it is also important to do keyword research (and check the results page for videos) on all new content when you are uploading it.”
“Just be aware that YouTube does state specifically in the Community Guidelines that updating your metadata and title to increase views can be considered spam. Only use this method when you find a keyword that is truly relevant to the video you are sharing.”
“We work a lot on ranking in suggest videos,” says Mackenzie Thompson of Disque Foundation.
“To do, this we’ve put together a process before we publish our video, we search the tags of similar videos to ours with the same keywords and filter based on the number of views.”
“Once we’ve identified the SEO tags they’ve used, by right-clicking and going to the page source, we then use those same tags and TAB formula in our video post.”
“If you want to get noticed, you have to start noticing others on YouTube,” says Peter Koch of Selleratheart.
“Start commenting on other people’s videos in your niche, be a constructive member of the community, be interesting and people will click on your profile and eventually subscribe to your channel if they find your videos as interesting as they found your comment.”
“Post valuable and striking comments,” says Aarif Habeeb of Aarif Habeeb & Co. “No one will accidentally encounter your YouTube channel and become a regular viewer.”
Your audience is unique. So you have to find what works for them to grow your YouTube channel. Here are a few more ways that marketers mentioned:
There are as many different tactics for growing your YouTube channel as there are audiences. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for your viewers, and you’ll see your channel grow.
Share your favorite channel-growing tactics in the comments below.
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