As promised in a previous post, this is the first in a series of blogs…
A fully optimized YouTube channel is quickly becoming as important a destination site for your business as your web site- as the move towards the audio-visual web gathers pace. Cisco predicts that 70% of web traffic will be video based by 2017.
Consumers and business buyers increasingly expect to see audio-visual explanations of product and service information particularly on mobiles smartphones and tablets – where reading text based graphics is difficult.
And as the search and browse times of clients decreases, so the need for quality audio visual content increases – as buyers look for shorter product and service explanations in video and animation form, showing complex products in a more easily understandable way.
Why a YouTube Business Channel?
At the heart of online video is of course YouTube the second biggest search engine and the place where 70% of all online video is viewed. YouTube viewership is now growing at 50% each year with millions of fans coming to YouTube every month.
YouTube is now over 10 years old and has evolved from what was essentially an entertainment portal into a rich source of content marketing with powerful content management features, and is now a major channel in the social marketing business arena- especially as the internet generation become the new buyers in both b2b and b2c.
Google has launched the YouTube Creator Playbook to help any business create their own channel and have launched a ‘channelization’ strategy with the assumption that EVERY business will develop its own YouTube Business Channel, not just as a brand engagement tool but a new lead generation and revenue channel for your business – and which compliments your web site and other social media channels.
YouTube is increasingly being used to search for product and service information such as ‘How to’ videos, tutorials, explainer animations with voice over, product visualizations of software applications. Consumers are viewing testimonials, and video guides- prior to making buying decisions. In a recent survey AOL found YouTube to be the most effective online platform when it came to raising awareness and driving purchase decisions.
An essential part of your marketing ecosystem
So having a content rich, professionally produced YouTube Business Channel that is fully optimised and integrated with your social media channels and linked to all of your online presence is now becoming an essential part of your marketing ecosystem.
Many video marketing professionals will tell you that YouTube is not the only show in town- even if it accounts for 70% of all video traffic, and they are right. There are numerous highly innovative video marketing platforms available such as Vimeo, Flimp, Wistia and Vidyard. It may well be your organisation uses one or more of these to take advantage of the self hosting, security and advanced analytical features that they bring, however, you also need to use YouTube- as a well optimized and integrated YouTube channel will build you a different type of audience, made up of browsers who are online for relevant information, or find their way to your channel through conventional search. You can use a whole range of optimization techniques to make those buyers arrive at your YouTube Channel. Metadata, tagging, titling, playlists, keyword strategies all come into play through real time video SEO.
And by adding regular fresh content you can start to build a subscriber base and drive more views which ultimately leads to more sales.
It’s all about getting your target audience to eyeball your short form video-and some long form- at a time when they are in buying mode. So having a YouTube Business Channel that compliments your web site and other video marketing platforms will become a prerequisite for businesses going forward.
YouTube Business Channel – what you need to do to get started
At the Interactive Video labs we advise clients to always start with the YouTube Creator Playbook to create a YouTube Business Channel marketing strategy that you can then implement or we can help you implement.
The key focus is on the following areas
- Channel Appearance – the look and feel of your YouTube Channel
- Channel Content- video content types and how it is categorized
- Search – the optimization of your videos and channel
- Integration- with your social media sites and your wider web audience
The approach is to develop a YouTube channel strategy which has an ROI element so you can measure the effectiveness against a range of indicators including
- Leads generated
- Brand engagement measures
- New subscribers
- Video views and watch time
- Performance against competitors
You have already got a channel- but it isn’t working?
If you have setup a YouTube Business Channel that has very few views, subscribers or engagement it makes sense to get an expert to run a health check or audit of your existing channel against the YouTube Creator Playbook.
An effective YouTube Business Channel requires key building blocks in place to ensure maximum performance. To achieve this your channel needs to be benchmarked against key performance indicators to identify the improvement opportunities that can drive lead generation and brand engagement – and outperform your competitors. This what you get from a YouTube Business Channel Audit.
A YouTube channel audit is simply a process where key areas of branding, layout, meta data optimization and audience building improvements are achieved by following the YouTube Creator Playbook guides. A typical audit is placed into four main categories where an aggregate score out of hundred is gauged on what has been achieved on your YouTube channel. These categories are appearance, content, optimisation and integration.
As part of the VIDEO LABS- we have developed a methodology to help businesses really take advantage of YouTube as a communications media. We work with you to either set up your channel from scratch – or audit your existing channel- to give you a real time benchmark of where your channel currently is, how it compares going forward.
So if video is in your plans for 2016, and it should be, drop me a line!