After its beginnings in 2005, YouTube has become more than just a place to watch cat videos. Now in 2014, YouTube has become the world’s second largest search engine, a driver of online culture, and a springboard for Internet fame. YouTube has expanded to bigger and better ideas than cat videos. YouTube marketing is a great way to visually connect with audiences.
YouTube is being used by people who share. Content is uploaded and shared through YouTube at record rates. Users can follow channels, upload their own content, comment on and discuss videos, and follow other users’ content.
Engagement. The comments on YouTube are famous for being a bit of a wasteland. Many of them are meaningless and often from trolls. In order to improve commenting on YouTube, YouTube comments are not directly tied to Google+ accounts. As a business, you’ll need to link your Google+ brand page and your brand’s YouTube account. First, you need to make your YouTube account an administrator on your Google+ page. After everything’s connected, alerts for new comments on your YouTube videos will appear in your G+ notifications, and your YouTube videos will show up in a tab on your G+ brand page.
Help Content and Other How-Tos. For some products, tutorials and how-tos are going to be very valuable. Help your customers and audience learn how to better use your product, including ideas about how to use your product in novel ways. Help them learn to do things they may not be directly related to your product, but are highly relevant to their interests.
Exclusive Content. This can take the form of early access to new products, special channel specific promotional deals, or even insider company news. Giving these limited audiences exclusive access to different types of content will make them feel honored and “in-the-know”. Also, creating channel-specific content will give each person a reason to follow you on more than 1 channel, increasing the depth of their relationship.
Incentive Participation. Have your community create content and share it on your behalf across their networks. You then can curate based on hashtag or on a central repository (e.g. a blog post holding YouTube content), or find another way to help draw attention to and connect the user stories. This activity can drive awareness of your presence and help engage the audience while cutting down on the amount of work required for you.
Just like your other marketing efforts, it is imperative that you know what success looks like. Tailor your efforts (content, engagement, etc.) toward initiatives that help you move the needle and prove your success by measuring progress against your identified goals.
Engage Responsibly. If you have comments enabled on your videos, make sure you moderate them and stay engaged. You’ll want to make sure your channel continues to provide value. If you happen to find yourself in the presence of spammy trolls, remember to keep your cool; you act on behalf of your brand in a public forum.
Comment Wisely. Whether you have comments enabled on your videos or not, there are likely going to be times when you’ll need or want to comment on other threads and videos. The standard advice also applies here: Don’t yell at people, check spelling and grammar, use your brand voice, and don’t leave spammy comments yourself.
Uploading Videos. Uploading videos is the easy part, but filling out the information about the video is the real work. You want to make sure that your description is SEO and people optimized, that your title and keywords are on target, that your videos are properly categorized, and if possible, that you provide a transcript of each video. Every bit of relevant information you can add to your YouTube upload gives you more opportunity for people to find your video and makes it accessible for all types of users and search bots.
YouTube TestTube: This works much like Gmail Labs. For those of you looking to stay up-to-date on potential, new YouTube features (or even just access to some neat elements), you’ll want to occasionally check TestTube and see what they have to offer.
YouTube Analytics: This offers the equivalent of Facebook Insights for your videos. You’ll find numbers on engagement, discovery, and demographics.
YouTube Advertisers: This is a central hub where you can get an idea of what other brands are doing for inspiration, and it’s also a portal with a great deal of content about ad solutions.
YouTube Charts: A list of videos sorted based on most views, popularity, comments or other criteria. Looking for content ideas? This is a great spot.
YouTube is one of the many platforms to utilize for your company’s social media marketing. Is your business on YouTube?