Youtube has over 1 billion users who watch hundreds of millions of hours of videos per day. And unlike other video sharing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, YouTube is also the world’s second (only to Google) largest search engine. With that in mind, here are four strategies to employ to give your video its best shot at being surfaced and consumed by your target audience.
1. Think about your customer’s journey, starting with their Google search.
If you’re just starting out on YouTube and have yet to build a following, chances are your first viewers will find you through search. So before you hit record or start building your video story, think about how you want your customers or viewers to find you. Who are you trying to attract? What are they searching for on Google or YouTube and how can you help them? Figure out which keywords you want your brand to rank for and craft compelling and entertaining video content around those keywords. The key to is to think about what the ideal path for your customer is. Say your company is a photo printing company. Your brand may be interesting to people who are searching for things such as “engagement photos” “scrapbooks” etc. If you want to capture those interested folks, your best bet is to create content for what they’re already searching for. There are several ways to do keyword research. Here are a few easy ways to get started.
- YouTube’s Autofill Search: When you start typing in Google’s search, you’ll notice it will autocomplete in a dropdown. These are clues to what people are already searching for and a great, simple place to begin your keyword research.
- YouTube Trends: YouTube’s Trend Dashboard lets you quickly see what content is popular across a number of locations and demographics. Use this tool to hop on existing trends or viral videos. You might be inspired by the latest viral hit, which can influence your creative direction and potentially lead to loads of views quickly.
- SEMrush or Ahrefs: These databases supply users with a ton of information, including related keywords and keyword difficulty, which is an important factor to consider. You want to target keywords that have volume (meaning people are searching for them) but low competition (meaning not many content creators are using the term yet.) Turn to these tools to discover keywords to try to rank for and evaluate traffic potential.
- KeywordKeg: Keyword Keg has a dashboard devoted to YouTube and lets you target users based on buyer intent, so you’re not wasting time or money on keywords that have a low likelihood of converting.
2. Know what kinds of videos people are watching on the platform.
According to marketing agency Mediakix, product reviews and how-to videos rank as the top two types of videos on YouTube, with vlogs (video blogs) coming in at number three. This is great news for small businesses because the platform comes primed with a huge audience looking to learn more about products or how to do something. Try coming up with a how-to series that uses your product or service in some way or consider posting customer reviews. Consider sending your product or offering your service to high-profile YouTubers who regularly do product reviews. Just make sure they are relevant to your brand.
3. Don’t neglect YouTube’s metadata fields.
Your title, description, and keywords are all meta data that tell search engines how to index your content and make sure it surfaces in front of interested searchers. Craft keyword-rich titles and descriptions and use YouTube’s keyword fields to improve search ranking. Add your bio, tagline, and website link to the description field of every video you publish so it’s easy for viewers to learn more about you.
4. Add YouTube channel art.
Just as your video and metadata tell search engines that your content is relevant, your and video thumbnails tell people browsing through search results that they should click and watch. Your YouTube video cover and thumbnail are additional branding opportunities to communicate your content’s value and compel clicks. Plus, it makes your channel look more professional, which is important when competing on this massive platform.
Armed with these audience-building tips, you’re ready to start creating awesome videos for YouTube!