Do you use YouTube in your marketing? Wondering how often you should publish videos and what type of content works on YouTube?
Why Marketers Should Consider YouTube
YouTube is sometimes not even part of the social media conversation; it’s just known as a video platform. But it is a social network. It’s also the number-one video platform, second–most-visited website, and second-largest search engine in the world.
Marketers should consider it simply because their target audience is definitely there. YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users and their consumption is going up all the time on mobile, desktop, and even smart TVs. People are viewing content for longer, which is YouTube’s goal: to increase time on the platform so they can sell advertising to build business.
Emphasizing Quality Over Quantity
YouTube is different from the other social media platforms or content feeds. Content on other platforms is here today, gone tomorrow. Not many people watch a Facebook video from 2 weeks earlier, let alone 2 months or 2 years earlier. But YouTube isn’t a content feed, it’s a content library, which makes it so powerful.
YouTube isn’t about quick tweets and quick Instagram captions. If you put out something more substantial and higher quality, it then has the opportunity to rank in search and be viewed for weeks, months, and years to come. The quality over quantity strategy means creating evergreen content that you put energy into, not just for the first few days of views but so it can be watched years later.
Focusing on Branding Over Marketing
As marketers, we’re used to doing paid ad campaigns where we just want to get some clicks, drive people to a landing page, or grow our email address list. Maybe we want to do a sales promotion and try to get as many clicks and as much traffic as we can quickly. It’s here today and gone tomorrow.
But when you do that, you have to hop from trend to trend, from marketing campaign to marketing campaign. Whereas a business like Nike, which has really built a brand, doesn’t ultimately get you to buy their clothes because of their great Facebook ads strategy. They get you to buy their clothes because of the brand equity and trust they’ve built over decades.
Branding actually builds on quality. It builds on the experience that somebody has with us, as opposed to quickly jumping on a trend and rushing to put out content. In this case, we don’t always think through the experience that someone is having with us.
When you build a brand over time, you want to be known as the go-to expert. You want it to be known that in your area of expertise, or in your area of how you serve people, whenever people show up; you’ll deliver on your brand promise, your value proposition. As things get more crowded on YouTube—and on all platforms—becoming a recognizable brand can also help you beat the algorithm. One of the reasons why people click on your videos is you’re more recognizable; not because of how you look, but because of the way people have known you for delivering.
Don’t just create videos for direct selling; create content that represents your brand. As marketers, we always want to quantify everything. If we put out a great YouTube video, we want to deliver value for a few minutes. But as the video ends, we say, “If you want to go deeper, go download my free checklist, or go install this free app or this free coupon or plugin, or go watch a webinar.” This now sends people into a sales process or a sales sequence.
However, in 2020, you want to do that a lot less—maybe only one out of 10 videos should send people off-platform. That goes back to why YouTube is going to suggest your videos: by adding to their overall time on platform, you’re adding value. Hold off on the sales conversation and develop know, like, and trust on YouTube longer. Of course, eventually you need to send people to your website but if they’re really interested, they’ll seek you out.
Be patient. Slow down. Build trust and build your brand over time, and be less focused on short-term marketing metrics.
In 2020 and beyond, you don’t have to be so overt with marketing. In fact, if you’re pounding a message down people’s throats, it’s fatiguing. Instead of listing your product—if it’s makeup, for instance, saying the name, URL, exact color, and other details—just show off how good it looks and mention that you ‘love this new eyeshadow’, etc. This is curiosity marketing.
People who are interested will then ask you what it is and the conversation is now happening in the DMs. You can share a link with them directly, or an affiliate link, because they’re actually asking you. So you’re creating interest by putting out valuable content.
Keeping People on YouTube
Keeping users on the platform is what all platforms want: Facebook wants you to stay on Facebook, Instagram wants you to stay on Instagram, and YouTube wants you to stay on YouTube. They’re not going to penalize you for sending people off-platform. They give you the tools to link your website to your YouTube channel and you can use clickable end cards to send people off. But the algorithm sees session starts and session ends.
If you have an email list that sends traffic to your weekly YouTube upload or you have social media influence on Twitter and send traffic to YouTube that way, YouTube notices that you’ve initiated a session, and they love you for it. You brought people to the platform, and the longer they stay, the more you’re rewarded.
It’s actually not just the viewing session on your channel, but the total session time period that you initiate. If they watch other content, a portion of that is attributed back to whoever started the session. The opposite is also true: If you consistently end the session by calling people to go to your website or sending people off the platform, you’ll suffer with the YouTube algorithm.
One strategy for keeping people on-platform is to link to other videos. You’re keeping the conversation going longer on YouTube to extend that time on platform. As counterintuitive as this might seem, would you rather get 100 people off of YouTube to your email list, or grow your YouTube channel to 10,000, 50,000, 100,000, so now you can get thousands of people to your email list over the next couple months and even years? It’s a long-game approach.
Every social platform is monetized by advertising. Therefore, if YouTube can keep people on the platform longer, they can show more ads and make more money and then you’re an ally of the platform.
YouTube cares a lot about view velocity. How fast is your video getting views once you make the video public? This is influenced by your subscribers, external traffic, interest, and people clicking on your content. If you upload your video at the peak of when your own audience is on the platform and it’s going down, that’s going to affect your view velocity.
Simply uploading that video at a more strategic time of day could determine the long-term destiny of that video being watched and ranked. It could also potentially generate new viewership for your channel for weeks, months, and years to come. So this is definitely an important metric to pay attention to.
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