In terms of social media platforms that have gained and maintained relevance over a long period of time, YouTube is hard to match, never mind exceed. According to the German database company Statista, YouTube ranks second on the list of most visited websites in the world, with more than 22.8 billion visits every month as of June 2021. Since launching in 2005, YouTube has grown in leaps and bounds and now stands unrivalled as planet Earth’s premier online video sharing platform. With an estimate of 2.1 billion users worldwide – approximately 26.6% of Earth’s population – and video content varying from entertainment to music and news, it has become an indispensable tool in damn near every sphere of humanity’s interaction with the digital world.
It is unclear if it was a general decrease in attention span that has led to increasing consumption of video content or if the boom in the volume of video content was what resulted in the drop in attention span. Whichever it is, what is clear is that attention has shifted away from written content and people will much rather watch than read. The greatest evidence in support of this is perhaps the statistical revelation that about 500 hours of video content is uploaded onto YouTube every single minute. This means the competition for attention on the platform is quite simply insane and each of views is indeed worth its weight in gold, and maybe more. Therefore, it is so important to stand out from the crowd, understand the needs of the audience, optimize videos, and constantly analyze competitors and audience reaction. Some users pay for ads or influencers or buy YouTube views to rank higher by the platform’s algorithm and trigger organic view count growth.
Role of YouTube in Digital Marketing Today
The sheer number of people flocking to YouTube every day, looking to be entertained or informed means a digital marketing strategy that fails to include it in its plans is almost certainly doomed to fail. Even mega-companies like Coca-Cola, Apple, LEGO, and many others now make use of the platform to share video content created around their brands and products. And it only makes sense that they and other companies and brands do so. YouTube has a massive audience that greatly influences what is considered hot or not, and even though the cost of advertising on the platform exceeds that of its counterparts, the stupendous potential for an upturn in brand awareness and revenue makes it cost-effective. It is now a matter of non-negotiable necessity that every company, startup or established, creates a YouTube and starts creating content around their brand for upload to the billions of users logged in across the globe.
How to Use YouTube as the Ultimate Digital Marketing Tool?
What would you say are the markers a successful digital marketing campaign? Increased brand awareness and recognition are definitely high up any list. Higher revenue streams from increased sales of products and services, where applicable, is also a strong indicator of a productive campaign. Higher social media and website traffic increased followership count and engagement rate and recognized role as influencers and trendsetters in your field round up the top 5 markers of success. Every digital marketing campaign should be designed and geared towards achieving these goals and objectives.
Now that we have established the need and place for YouTube in every digital marketing strategy, it is time to learn how to wield the video-sharing platform’s powers to your advantage. This will mean taking steps to pull in views, likes, comments, and subscribers to your brand’s account with the uploaded content. Ultimately, all your activity on YouTube must be structured in such a way that your brand experiences an increase in profit generation. Without further ado, let us go into the steps you will have to take to achieve all of this:
1. Ensure Complete Branding of Your Channel:
Many people seem to regard this step as being much lower on the scale of priority or even as an afterthought, but I daresay it should be number one on your list. This is because the competition is tougher than ever so skipping steps that will help your brand register strongly in minds of users is suicidal. From the choice profile picture to video thumbnails, every detail matters and no stone should be left unturned. Everything associated with your page should be visually appealing and custom to you so users automatically recognize your content without even seeing the channel name. The “About” page is a great way for visitors to know what you represent so get colourful and creative with your description and include links back to your website and social media pages. The Channel Trailer feature is an awesome way to retain first-time visitors so be sure to utilize in the best way possible. If you take out time to plan this step properly before launching your page, it can very well be the difference in how much time it takes you to attain substantial recognition on the platform; a properly branded channel will earn more views and subscribers with a fewer number of videos that a poorly branded account would.
2. Create High-Quality Video Content:
An obvious tip, yes, but it is still very much worth reiterating. The users of YouTube want to be informed and entertained, but the relatively short attention span of most people – the younger age group especially – means they want this in the shortest time possible. So, the definition of high-quality content means it is visually appealing, in line with whatever is trending at the time and is of an optimal run time. The issue of video length is often a tricky one, but as much as you can stick to a maximum of 5 minutes. If your content is going to be significantly longer than that, it has to be able to justify that length. This means you would have to put double the effort to keep the video interesting and ensure you do not irk viewers by being repetitive or slow. It is important you also add Calls-To-Action towards the end of your videos to boost engagement; ask viewers to subscribe to your channel, direct them to your other videos with cards and end screens or throw in links to your other social media pages or website.
3. Optimize your Videos for the Search Engine:
After Google, statistical evidence lists YouTube as the second most used search engine in the world. This means that Search Engine Optimization is critical to success on the platform and you have to be very proactive about increasing the chances of your videos popping up when people search for related content. This starts with your video title; ensure the most relevant keywords are included in there. The video description text and tags also have to be rich in keywords to ease the discovery and improve relevance. Make use of SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner to research the keywords most relevant to your content and proceed to use them judiciously. Do not spam your metadata with generated keywords and do not arrange them in ways that compromise the basic rules of grammar and leave you with odd-sounding sentences. Doing this will greatly increase the chances of your brand pulling in organic views, and if you’ve created content of the best possible quality, you should find your channel keeping those viewers as subscribers and customers.
4. Get Useful Insights from YouTube Analytics:
Even with the many tips and step-by-step tutorials you might take in preparation for launching your digital marketing campaign on YouTube, navigating through the platform still requires a fair bit of trial and error – especially in the early days. Failure stories are not at all rarities and you are likely to have your fair share of them. This is where detailed information about what you are doing wrong and the aspects you are getting right comes in, and that is exactly what you get with YouTube analytics. It arms your brand with a wealth of information, ranging from audience demographics to the total amount of hours YouTube users have invested in viewing your content. The audience demographics statistics in especially useful in planning future content as it enlightens you on the age group, gender and location of the people that enjoy your content the most. Analytical data and statistics like these will help you know your audience better and shape your video content in ways that keep them satisfied.
5. Use Other Social Media Platforms:
Your success on YouTube can be greatly accelerated by your activity on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other platforms. Your brand should also have accounts on s many of these platforms as you feel you can manage to strengthen your marketing campaign. Share your videos on Twitter or Facebook, or post teaser videos with links leading back to your YouTube page. Links to your YouTube channel can also fit nicely on your Instagram or Twitter bio. You also want to maintain a reasonable level of activity on these platforms by starting or joining conversations in ways that reflect positively on the brand image you are trying to create. Analytic tools available on Twitter and Facebook can also further contribute to decisions that can improve your marketing strategies.
6. Create video playlist:
After you have uploaded a considerable number, the next step is for you to categorize them into playlists. This increases chances of retaining viewers who might otherwise move onto other channels to consume content. Categorizing videos according to similarity in theme will bring more results than just lumping all your videos together, so you want to put time and thought into creating these playlists.
7. Pay for YouTube Ads:
While this is a relatively expensive option, the potential results justify its inclusion in any digital marketing campaign. It lets YouTube handle the work of strategically your content in the path of users that are likely to be interested. Many brands run ads on YouTube and you should be ready to do the same if you want your brand to register in the subconscious of as many people as possible.
8. Collaborate with other YouTubers:
As much as you can, seek out opportunities to work with other account owners on creating content. It gives you the chance to learn from their experiences and introduces your brand to a whole new audience. Find YouTube influencers and brands similar to yours and reach out to them about the possibility of a collaborative effort. Doing this on a regular basis will help grow your follower base a lot more quickly than operating as a lone wolf would.
YouTube is a powerful marketing tool and the chances it would stop being one any time soon are quite literally zero. Integrating these 9 steps into your marketing strategy will greatly accelerate the progress of your campaign and turn your brand into a profit-making machine. It boosts the visibility of your video and increases the chances of the YouTube algorithm suggesting your video to users, earning you real, organic views and subscribers in the process.