Online video has never been more prominent and accessible than it is today. Over 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, and over 6 billion hours of video is watched every month on the platform – and that’s just YouTube alone – not accounting for other services such as Vimeo.
Here is Slinky’s guide to the Top 10 ways your business or organisation can utilise YouTube to it’s full potential, with a goal to attract more viewers and potential customers or clients to your door. Although this guide is specific to YouTube, a lot of these principles also apply to other video hosting platforms.
1. Brand Your Channel
You should customise your channel to reflect your brand and this can be achieved through assigning a custom logo and banner image. You can also categorise your videos into Playlists, directing your customer to videos which may be of specific interest to them and easily allowing them to watch videos on a similar theme.
Your featured video should be chosen with careful consideration as this is the first video that will appear on the main page of your channel. Also try branding each of your videos by adding a logo ident at the start and end of each film.
2. Drive People To Subscribe
Subscribers to your YouTube Channel will get weekly notifications of any new videos you upload, so this is a great way of staying on your customers radar by keeping them up-to-date with any new products or services you introduce.
Drive people to subscribe by adding ‘Subscribe To Our Channel’ buttons and links on your website and email newsletters. Not to mention the ability to add clickable subscription links directly into your video using YouTubes annotation system.
3. Use The Video Description To Your Advantage
Do not simply describe the content of your video but use this text to promote your business. Add a call-to-action with a web link where possible as well as any other contact information that may be relevant.
Plus, don’t forget, YouTube allows you to set up a template description that will automatically add to every video you upload. The ability to edit each description separately is still there, but you don’t have to type your contact info for every single upload.
It can also be useful to include your contact details at the end of your videos, particularly if they are to be embedded on other sites away from YouTube where on-page description text may be unavailable.
4. Tag Your Videos Correctly With Keywords
Tags are keywords that are attached to your video which allow it to be indexed by certain search terms. Using correct or the most appropriate tags greatly increases the chances of your video being returned in searches, which in turn helps with SEO or Search Engine Optimisation to help rank your website higher in search listings.
You should try to include the most important key words in your title and description. However, don’t be tempted to stuff your video tags with trendy or popular keywords that are unrelated to your video, as Google (the owners of YouTube) have techniques to detect this and may penalise your video’s search ranking if they feel you are trying to mislead it’s index.
5. Embed Your Videos Into Your Own Website
While it is important to maintain the appearance of your YouTube Channel, it is also important to pay attention to how these videos appear on your own website.
You can embed YouTube videos into your own website pages, thereby removing any branding, advertisements or unrelated material that can be seen on YouTube’s website. Embedding videos in your own website environment also offers your customer the opportunity to watch them without leaving your site.
6. Reduce YouTube Branding and Related Videos For Embedded Videos
To minimize the YouTube branding on the video player interface of your embedded videos, ask your website developer to add the following highlighted string command to your video source in your website’s HTML code: src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/qRsj345Ew2I?rel=0&autoplay=1&modestbranding=1″
The ‘rel=0’ command tells the video player not to display any relevant video links at the end of your video, as you wouldn’t want your competitors videos popping up!
An example of this modified code in action can be seen with the embedded video below. Notice that the YouTube branding is downplayed in the corner of the screen (only a text YouTube credit rather than a logo), and at the end of the video the screen remains blank (or goes back to your video still-frame) – no other ‘related’ videos are shown.
Modest Branding and No-Related Videos Demo
7. Upload High Quality Video
Always aim to upload your original video file in the highest quality possible and at the highest resolution available.
YouTube will automatically create different versions of varying resolutions to stream to all sorts of platforms right from mobile phones through to HD displays – including non-Flash devices such as iPhone’s and iPads.
8. Network Within YouTube
By subscribing to other channels that are relevant to your business or sector, and commenting on videos in the same sector as your own, this can drive traffic back to your channel and create more exposure for your business – not to mention the business networking opportunities you can create.
9. Monitor Comments
Comments are good for videos, but to be safe from malicious posts set your privacy settings to ‘Approve All Comments First’. This allows you to remove any offensive comments and maintain the professional image of your channel and brand.
10. Cross Promote Across Social Media
Share new material across social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. This can help create a viral buzz around your new video. If you upload multiple videos at once to YouTube, consider staggering your social media announcements as to not bombard people with lots of videos at one.