If you’re serious about organic traffic, you need to be writing long form content.
Why? Because Google prefers long form content, and multiple studies have validated it.
When Brian Dean analyzed over 1 million Google search results, the data showed the average length of content on the first page was 1,890 words.
There is a range of reasons for this phenomenon, but the overarching theme is Google typically deems longer content more authoritative because lengthy posts explore and explain topics in greater detail.
Long form content can bestow other gifts as well. When Wordstream incorporated long-form pieces into their content strategy not only did their organic traffic increase but their average time on site tripled.
But this article isn’t about long-form content by itself. At this point, that topic is a cornerstone of content marketing, and there are plenty of places you can learn more about it. (Like here and here.)
This article is about advertising your long-form content on YouTube. Let’s dig into the how and why.
There are a couple of reasons. The first is obvious: Because YouTube is the third biggest search engine on the planet behind Google and Google Images.
Like on Google, SEO is a thing for YouTube. And because it’s a thing, you can follow a similar approach to what you’ve been doing in Google search.
As an enterprising marketer, you’ve probably already uncovered big keyword opportunities for your blog and written long-form pieces around them, right?
If you could take that same content, translate it into a different medium, and get even more traffic for keywords that are relevant to your business, you’d do it, right?
The good news is topics that are popular in Google search are often popular on YouTube as well — sometimes even more so.
Finally, “how-to” searches are remarkably popular on YouTube.
People most often turn to this platform for education, and a lot of long-form content is heavy on education. It needs to be long to comprehensively explain the subject and transfer knowledge to the reader.
So you know long-form content is important. And you know YouTube is huge. Now let’s look at how to connect the two.
How to Translate Long-Form Content to YouTube
Here’s one more reason why long-form content and YouTube are a perfect match: audience retention is directly correlated to higher rankings.
The longer viewers stay on YouTube, the more ads they see. So it’s easy to understand why YouTube would prioritize longer, engaging videos that keep people on the site.
A lot of marketers make short videos that preview longer content, which works great for social media. But on YouTube, a channel that only has short-form content probably won’t be ranked that high for any keywords.
Don’t shy away from translating that 5,000-word piece into a 10-minute video. That’s what YouTube wants you to do.
This brings us to the execution portion of our show. The strategy — or at least the model for the strategy — is pretty clear. So here are a few tips on how to make an engaging video.
1. Get the right person on camera
Without a doubt, this is the most difficult part. A lot of people aren’t comfortable on camera, and even the people who are “comfortable” may not be that talented.
The good news is this skill can be improved with a good script (see below) and practice. Being good on camera doesn’t mean being a Shakespearean actor. It means delivering the lines clearly and with mannerisms that resemble those of someone who isn’t freaking out.
If you don’t have someone in-house who can do this work, it might be worth hiring some freelance talent to come in and read the script. At least, in the beginning, that will give you the help you need to get some videos off the ground.
Also, check out the stats on that video. It’s 14 minutes long and has over 130k views.
2. Write a good script, use a green screen, and include visuals
Just like you don’t need an A list celebrity to be on screen, you also don’t need a Hollywood set to produce good videos.
Really, you just need a green screen and some visuals. (And of course the right video software, but that’s a topic for another time.)
You can put a green screen up on any wall around your office. With a couple of video lighting techniques, your shoot will look great.
The green screen also gives you the opportunity to add graphics as the video goes on. This is pretty important for this type of content because you need to illustrate your points with something other than the speaker’s hands.
Oh yeah, and you need a good script. Don’t slack on this part. Outline the main sections of your written long-form piece, and translate the content in a way that works for video.
That typically means shorter sentences and simpler words. This combination keeps the content punchier and makes it easier to digest, which helps with audience retention.
3. Use quality background music
You’ll definitely want to add some background music to your video. This can make the intro more engaging and prevent that awkward silence from creeping in when the speaker pauses.
The exact type of music depends on the mood you’re trying to set. If you’re
This might sound complicated, but it’s not. There are plenty of music licensing companies that offer subscriptions to entire libraries of music — think everything from cinematic music to dubstep to classical — for less than most SaaS products.
There’s a lot more that goes into video products, but if you follow these three tips, you’ll have a solid foundation for producing quality videos.
And perhaps more importantly, you’ll be well on your way to a multichannel strategy for your long-form content, which means more traffic and, hopefully, more revenue.