Trying to deny the rising popularity of video marketing on YouTube is about as easy as denying the rising sun in the morning. You can close your eyes and ignore it – but billions are still seeing it. And that ‘billions’ comment applies to both the sun and YouTube – over a billion unique visitors watch something on YouTube every month!
Modern video marketing is nothing like it was in the style we’re all more familiar with – television. YouTube is not a place to upload commercials and walk away. It’s a place to share content that your users want to watch – rather than TV, which forces people to watch commercials while trying to watch the content that they actually want to see.
Start thinking about YouTube as your chance to create your own space (or channel) and you’ll better understand how the platform and medium works.
This article will look at the ways that you can build a successful YouTube channel, starting with the basics of the type of content you’ll produce, and narrow it down to look at some of the finer details.
YouTube Content Options
There are really only three styles of marketing videos on YouTube:
- Entertaining or Serial Videos
- How-to Videos
- Product Education Videos
Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Figuring out which style you want to have as the primary driver of your videos is the first important decision you’ll make about your YouTube channel.
Let’s look at each style with some examples.
Entertaining or Serial Videos
I’m looking at this one first because so many video marketers excel with it. The vast majority of YouTube’s users are looking for entertainment. Your goal with this style is to find what your audience (prospective or existing clients) are looking for in an entertaining YouTube video.
Old Spice gets it right by appealing to a younger market of men. They are legendary for their ability to entertain users with quirky videos; We all know The Man Your Man Could Smell Like:
Old Spice video marketing strategy thrives by creating unique characters (like that weird mannequin/robot, the screaming Terry Crews, and their newest Nature Man). Look through their video playlist to see what I’m talking about.
One more thing that Old Spice does so well, but that isn’t talked about anywhere near enough, is the effort they put into social.
What some marketers forget is that “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” went truly viral only once he interacted with fans by answering questions they sent in on social media.
Creating characters (or mascots) like this can give your brand an entertaining face that resonates with prospective clients. It also increases the chance of your YouTube videos going viral (whereas a how-to video, below, is less likely to explode like Old Spice’s ad campaigns have).
Ok, we can’t all afford to hire actors like Isaiah Mustafa or Terry Crews. Fear not, because ‘How to’ style videos can be created by nearly anyone in your company with an outgoing personality.
Using the How-to approach gets your videos in front of those who would actually be interested in purchasing your products. This is certainly true in the home improvement world (as one of the top uses of Youtube is for do-it-yourselfers looking for a little guidance).
Home Depot has taken advantage of this with their frequent How-to videos:
The key here, of course, is to show products that can be purchased in their stores. They’ve used a little tool in the bottom left corner that lets you jump right to their store for that item. You can easily create this with YouTube Annotations if you’re not a programming wiz.
How-to videos don’t just work for a DIY firepit though. Many software and marketing businesses use them to great effect to explain a strategy, technology or step-by-step process.
Product Information Videos
Product information videos are where people literally just sit down and talk about their products. Sound like a pure #fail move considering the above discussions? Not necessarily, but you’d better have a fun product to start with. You’ll also need to have someone knowledgeable and engaging talking about your products.
One brand that certainly fits the bill is Hot Wheels. They always seem to strike a chord with their audience when they just sit down and talk about their products:
The key is that they’re skipping the hype and giving people genuine, direct information about their products. You can look at these videos as both a way to capture new customers and to support existing customers – a video FAQ, if you will.
Getting your videos found on YouTube
Now that we’ve talked about what type of content you’re going to post on your YouTube channel, we need to look at how people are going to find your videos. This isn’t all about search results, this is also about being found AND viewed.
Search plan: Your SEO plan will come down to the style of video you want to present and the keywords that will be used to search for it. You can borrow heavily from your website’s SEO plan to get started. For more help look at my YouTube SEO planning guide as this topic is an article in itself. The basic point is to find keywords for each specific video, and then insert them appropriately in the title, description, and tags.
Video thumbnails: Being found through SEO is just the first step. When people view search results they’re looking for something that will catch their eye on the left hand side where the video thumbnails are. Create something custom, get your image editing skills up to par, which conveys more information about the video. Check out how Epic Meal Time kill it (and their stomachs) in their exciting thumbnails:
Playlists: This is how you can really start building your YouTube account into a channel. Giving your users playlists to watch can let them push one button and play dozens of videos. Make it easy for your viewers to enjoy related content by creating lists around specific content ideas, events, and series.
Branding: You’ve put all this work into having a YouTube channel, so you better make sure that people know who runs it! Use your logo in your profile image, your homepage header, and stick it in your thumbnail images too. Using it in the videos themselves is ok, just don’t go so far that you distract from the content.
Content is always first as it is what is ultimately going to help you get shared across social media and keep an audience over the long term. Points one and two above are going to build your YouTube channel in the short term through search. Points three and four are going to drive home your brand story. With all of these tactics working in unison you will be able to sustain your YouTube video marketing for years to come.
What sort of YouTube channel style do you think will work best for your brand? Feel free to discuss it with me in the comment section below, I’m always up for a chat about YouTube marketing!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community