With over 1 billion unique visitors each month, it is no surprise that YouTube is the second most-used search engine. As a small business, it is important to realize that YouTube is a great network to reach audiences. Today’s blog will offer several tips to help small businesses stand out from the endless amount of content on YouTube.
Similar to Google, YouTube has its own algorithm that determines the order of how videos are displayed in response to each search query. Some of these key factors include average visitor watch time, keyword relevance, number of subscribers, customer engagement and video length. By focusing on these criteria, brands will be more easily discovered and will stand out among other channels on YouTube.
- Share Relevant Content
YouTube’s algorithm for video search results and suggestion prioritizes videos that have a longer “watch time” over videos that receive more clicks. For this reason, the best way to optimize for this metric is by creating and sharing content that is relevant to viewers and will keep their attention. Videos that are too promotional or do not make sense to people who are unfamiliar with your brand will most likely cause viewers to move on to the next video.
YouTube users search for video content based on their needs. As a small business it is important to create content that addresses these needs. Many viewers on this platform are searching for educational information. Whether they are looking for a tutorial on applying a “Smokey Eye Shadow” or on how to bake “The Best Apple Pie”, viewers want a video that will give them clear step-by-step instructions. A great example of a company that does this is Birchbox. This monthly subscription service offers their consumers value by sharing useful content such as makeup and hair tutorials. By positioning themselves as a source for beauty and lifestyle tips, Birchbox is ready to be there for customers during their Zero Moment of Truth as discussed in last week’s post.
Quick fact: Most top videos on YouTube are about three minutes long so make sure your videos are not too long.
- Optimize Your YouTube Homepage
Treat your YouTube channel as if it were your own website. Take advantage of every opportunity available to brand your page. Here are a few key opportunities:
- YouTube allows for channel icon and cover photo customization. Make sure to select quality visuals that are a good representation of your brand.
- At the top of every YouTube channel there is space highlight a video. This is a great opportunity to introduce a new audience to your channel. YouTube offers great tips on effective trailers here.
- Complete the “about” section of your channel and include a strong call to action. A good CTA could ask views to subscribe to your channel or to visit you company website by offering a link.
- Offer visitors links to your other social media channels.
- Use Keywords
YouTube’s algorithm for video search result prioritization relies on the information you provide. This means that the titles, tags and descriptions you write are crucial. Video titles should be concise and include major keywords. Make sure to use as many relevant tags as possible. Similarly, video descriptions should use plenty of relevant keywords, convey key points from your video and highlight the value this video offers viewers.
Uploading a transcript will also help make your videos more search friendly because it lets YouTube know what your video is about. A transcript appears on your video similarly to closed captioning on TV. Therefore it adds convenience to viewers who are hard of hearing or those who are in a noisy situation. Uploading a transcript to YouTube is very simple, find instructions here.
- Make a Call To Action
When someone is viewing your video, ads and suggested videos can be very distracting and cause your viewer to click away from your content. Once you have a visitors attention, you should make a call to action encouraging them to visit your website, blog, subscribe to your channel etc. YouTube annotations offer a great opportunity for a CTA. Annotations should be carefully placed so they are relevant to viewers as they watch your video. Find instructions on how to add annotations here.
Video descriptions are also a great place to add a CTA. Below is a an example of how Birchbox uses their video descriptions to invite viewers to their website and other content streams.
- Create Playlists
Use playlists to keep related videos organized. Once you have shared several videos, your content will appear messy and will become hard to find. Organizing related videos into specific categories will allow visitor to find exactly what they are looking for. The best thing about playlists is that they appear in search results and will keep visitors watching your content.
Every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube. By practicing these tips your YouTube channel will be sure to stand out from your competition.