By Eric L. Steckel, LCI’s Digital Media Strategist
As the second largest search engine on the web, YouTube is now the 800 pound gorilla in the online video world. If you’re creating video content, you need to have it on YouTube. However, just posting videos is nowhere near enough. It’s important to ensure that your video content is part of an overall integrated strategy. When done right, it becomes a key component to your content marketing strategy and works hand-in-hand with SEO efforts.
There are a number of ways to optimize a brand’s YouTube presence. Ideally, we approach the project by looking at all of a brand’s online assets to ensure that a strategy is developed that integrates with those properties. In essence, we are cross pollinating the video to both optimize its performance within the YouTube environment while also improving other online assets such as the website, call-to-action pages and other social media properties.
Strategy & Tactics
Like any good campaign, it comes down to strategy and tactics. Ideally, it is executed as a whole, monitored over time and adjusted based upon measured performance and return on investment. A good approach breaks it down into initial needs and ongoing needs. In this post, we will look at initial needs.
Initial Needs: YouTube Channel Optimization
As we’ve stated, a successful YouTube channel is an ongoing project. Ideally, at the outset we would develop a strategy and incorporate the appropriate tactics. Over time, we would track, analyze and improve the performance based upon measurable results.
The first approach to take is to analyze keywords that drive search results to the video content and the channel. The first approach is to utilize the YouTube tools for suggested keywords. In addition, it’s important to analyze keywords that are currently successful for the brand’s online search taking advantage of Google Analytics and Google Adwords.
Once we’ve determined keywords for a specific video, we would use them in the:
· Title – Create titles that are keyword specific, descriptive and engage the viewer.
· Tags – Utilize these keywords in the tags
· Description – Be sure to create one that is keyword specific.
· Transcript – Upload a transcript of your video.
In addition to making the initial consultation, it is important to analyze the success of the keywords and make adjustments based upon measured performance over time.
The next approach to take is to optimize the brand’s YouTube Channel. Just as we applied keyword analysis to drive traffic to the videos, we would apply keywords to the channel.
In addition, be sure to maximize the impact of the YouTube channel layout.
· Playlists – Organize content into relevant playlists that incorporate keyword descriptors.
· Personalize the Channel – Create a look and feel that is consistent with the brand and helps to drive engagement and a response to the call to action.
· Feature Video – We would take advantage of the feature video option by leading with a welcome video. If no video is appropriate, it would be ideal to create a piece of content that acts as the company welcome video.
· Annotations – Annotations give us the ability to create on-screen comments and links to other videos, including our own. There are many creative ways to use annotations, but one effective method is to pause a video and then link out to another of your brand’s videos or relevant online resources. This method can also encourage online sharing.
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