A critical piece of virtually any digital media marketing campaign is video—no other type of media is as engaging to current and potential customers. While video should be integrated across a range of different social media platforms, one of the most popular sites for content distribution and social media video is YouTube. Developing a strong YouTube presence can help companies find new potential markets and build a strong relationship with existing customers. Overall, YouTube has a larger reach than cable television, with more than 1 billion users around the world collectively watching millions of hours of videos each day. Even more importantly, YouTube is the second-ranked search engine by volume.
If that’s not convincing enough, YouTube offers a number of features for businesses to make the most of the site as a marketing tool. These include:
YouTube helps brands find new customers through its free Fan Finder feature. This tool lets companies target people who are most likely to enjoy the content available on their channel and become a follower. To use this tool, brands need to create channel ads, which are short videos that introduce people to the brand and give them a taste of the rest of the content available to them. Once the ad is uploaded, companies can go to the Channel Settings menu in the Video Manager menu to select it as the channel ad. The ad is then queued under Fan Finder until YouTube approves it, at which point it will begin appearing to audiences likely to enjoy the content.
When creating a channel ad, companies should ensure that the video is well branded and memorable. Since most viewers will not be familiar with the brand, it is critical to give them a sense of what the company is all about within the first few seconds. Viewers will simply skip to the next video if the ad does not get their attention. At the end of the ad, there should be a call to action, whether it is subscribing to the channel or visiting a different website altogether.
Once brands have succeeded in getting viewers to watch their videos, the trick is keeping them on the channel. If viewers leave the channel, they may start paying attention to a competitor. A great tool for driving viewership is InVideo Programming, which allows video creators to embed clickable thumbnails directly in their videos. To use this feature, companies can go to the Video Manager menu and find InVideo Programming under Channel Settings. This tool allows brands to upload a watermark, such as a logo, that is displayed over all or certain videos.
Because of the nature of video, companies should use a watermark composed of a transparent image with a very simple color scheme. Intricate or opaque images will distract from the video. If organizations do not want use an image, they can upload a simple string of words. One good trick is to color the words blue so that it looks like a link and encourages clicks. Marketers can have a featured video appear with a call to action to click and watch, and they can also choose whether it appears at the beginning of the video, the end, or at a custom time.
Associated Website Annotations
Inserting a call to action, complete with a clickable link, to a video description is very straightforward. However, businesses can also add a link to an outside website on the YouTube video viewer using associated website annotations. The process starts by using the two-step process to verify ownership of the account. Then, companies can use Google Webmaster Tools to verify ownership of the domain. With these two verifications complete, the personal website can be linked to the YouTube account.
In the Advanced section of Channel Settings in YouTube, marketers can put the website URL in the Associated Website box. A green circle should appear indicating that everything was successful. With this done, they can add a clickable link to the associated URL directly in a video. After inserting a video annotation, it can be marked as an associated website link, which turns it into a link to a listed URL. One smart strategy is to watermark videos and then place the URL link right on top of the mark as a transparent annotation so that viewers can click on it to go to the company website.
When uploading new videos, organizations can add tags to help them rank better in searches performed on YouTube. Marketers should play around with these tags, as well as the titles of videos, to optimize their appearance in the “related videos” window. If the video comes up in this window, it will play automatically after the video viewers initially clicked on finishes.
YouTube Audio Library
Music can do a lot for setting a video’s mood or tone. The right music can evoke a strong emotional response that makes people relate to a brand. However, the wrong music can turn audiences off and cause them to click away, even if they like the content of the video. Licensing music can prove extremely expensive, but the YouTube Audio Library helps brands find the right music for their needs.
Individuals can access the library through the Video Manager menu and the Creation Tools tab. Here, marketers can filter by instrument, mood, genre, and duration, and preview the tracks that are returned by the search. Once they choose a song, they can download it and add it to a video. More than 150 tracks exist in the library, all of which can be downloaded without paying any royalties.