This guest blog is by Bridget Horne, the Director of Communications and Corporate Relations for the Boston chapter of Back on My Feet.
You just created the perfect video for your business. It’s a full package of pitch-perfect writing, engaging imagery and concise messaging. Your customers are going to love it. Now all that’s left to do is post it online and call it a day. Not so fast. Posting your video on a platform such as YouTube opens the doors for a whole new audience of consumers to discover your company and, hopefully, become new customers. That’s because YouTube—with approximately 2 billion videos viewed every day— is one of the most utilized online search engines in the world, second only to Google.
With this great opportunity comes a great challenge: How can you make your video compete with the seemingly endless sea of other videos? Three words: Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines by strategically employing the use of particular words or phrases likely to come up high on an online search engine. This organic approach to visibility considers the same algorithms that search engines such as Google, or in this case YouTube, use when providing results.
With a good idea of what to put on your YouTube channel and where to put it, you will make your page as easy to find as possible. The following tips will help you through the process.
1. Know your keywords. Start with your title. The title is the best indicator of the video’s content to search engines. The more specific, the better. Say your video is about a new energy-efficient window installation process by a Hyannis, Mass.-based company. You’re going to have much better luck in creating relevance with the words “energy-efficient window installation in Hyannis” in your title than just “window installation.” With a specific description, you are creating a niche that is far more likely to bring relevant viewers to your page. Think to yourself, if you were searching for a window company near you house, which search words would you use?
Once you’ve penned the perfect title, turn your attention to the video’s description. With a bit more room to turn on the creative copywriting juices, the description is where you should explain, as precisely as possible, what your video is trying to convey. Do not fill the description with keywords at random. Create a compelling reason for viewers to click play. It’s a good idea to lead with a link to your organization’s website to draw consumers exactly where you want them.
Finally, don’t forget tags. Pull out your exact keywords here. Again, be specific, but be sure to create tags that you will be repeating in your other videos (you didn’t think you’d just be making one did you?). And don’t forget to include the name of your company!
2. Provide a transcript, if relevant. It’s impossible for search engines to pick up the actual content of videos posted on YouTube. Therefore, providing a transcript, or even part of a transcript, will provide a greater opportunity for a search engine to pick up your YouTube page. Let’s return to the window installation example. There’s only so much you can write in your title, description and tags before becoming redundant. A transcript of what was said by the window specialist as he actually installed windows in the video will be rife with even more of the specific “niche words” viewers might be searching for.
This also provides a great opportunity to link this particular video to your website or blog post, where you can provide even more engaging content. Which leads us to the next tip …
3. Encourage engagement. Every great message includes a call to action. Whether it’s visiting your organization’s website (as noted above), becoming a fan on your company’s Facebook page, or clicking “purchase” on your online shopping page, you can get viewers there by pointing in the right direction. YouTube provides captioning and annotating capabilities that let you include text right on top of the video. While sure to get a viewer’s attention, I encourage you to use these sparingly.
Keep comments open. Monitor incoming comments closely, both for spam and for further engagement from you. Consumers like to know they are heard, and responding to a comment is an easy way to say “you have my attention.”
4. Use your tools. YouTube provides tools to help you get the most out of your usage. Their Help Center provides recommended articles and particular topics to help you learn the ins and outs of YouTube. Additionally, YouTube Insights provides analytics that can help you learn how to improve future videos by learning particular information such as demographics, what held viewers’ attention and what didn’t. By understanding what works, you can be sure to include more of it.
With the right information at your fingertips, you’re positioning yourself for YouTube stardom. Or, at the very least, an effective video campaign for your business.