YouTube is a powerhouse for video search on the net. With millions of visits and hours of new footage every day, it’s no wonder that YouTube has become the authority on web video. Now is the time that smart marketers and businesses are going to take advantage of this new and exciting media. Viral Video is now an official term in our new urban colloquialism and it’s no wonder that businesses have sat up to take notice. Video is here to stay, and for now, YouTube is king.
But how do you jump in and make the most of your videos on YouTube? With a site that massive, it’s easy to get lumped into the thousands of videos that don’t see large numbers of views or get the notoriety they deserve. Below are some simple and effective tips to get the biggest bang from your video and possibly become the next viral video cyberlebrity all over the internets:
-Don’t Rick Roll Google
Google can’t watch your video. Gasp! That’s right. Google can’t watch your awesome video, no matter how awesome it is. But fear not, Google can read your video. Well sort of. It’s important to remember that text drives search engine discovery. When the bots crawl your site, they can see that there is a video on the page, but they can’t tell if they are watching an exciting, compelling add about your business or if they’re looking at Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” music video. So help ‘em out. YouTube allows you to write descriptions for your videos. The best practice is to always start the description off with a URL to your site. These descriptions are truncated, so a URL first is key. Follow that up with some keyword rich content about your video, and voila! Now Google knows your video is relevant, and not a Rick Roll.
-“Leave Britney ALONE!”
I’d think most web savvy people know who Chris Crocker is. And if not by name, I’m certain you’ve seen his runny mascara and breathy rant all over YouTube to “Leave Britney ALONE!” Instantly this video blew off the charts to become one of the most memorable viral videos of our time. And it was a video response which garnered hundreds of its own responses.
YouTube is a community site. Much like Myspace or Facebook, it relies on user generated content to keep it running and thriving. Take advantage of this! It’s so important to be active in the YouTube community. If there are niche videos on YouTube that are related to your field or business, create a video response to them. This is an excellent way to get more video content on your YouTube channel, as well as entice viewers to check out your content. The more you put out, the more likely you are to get back.
-I’ll Scratch Your Back, If You Scratch Mine…
As I stated earlier, YouTube is about the community. A good practice is research your competitors’ videos. YouTube ranks its video results based almost solely on community factors. If your competitors are ranking better for search terms than you are, it probably has to do with the tube community. How many comments does that video have? How many times was it favorited? How many other sites link to that video, or have it embedded? These 3 variables can make or break how often YouTube shows your video when the keywords are searched. It’s smart to get active. Comment on other user’s content and encourage them to comment back. Actively use YouTube to find other videos you like and favorite them. The users who are more active tend to have higher viewed videos. It’s a time investment, but the fruits of that labor really can be worth it.
-Do You Understand the Words That Are Coming Out of My Mouth?!
Google does. Wait. Doesn’t that contradict my first tip, about Google not seeing video? Well, yes and no. No, Google cannot watch your video. But yes, Google can “hear” it, so to speak. Meet GAUDI: Google’s Audio Indexing system. It’s brand new and still early in the developmental stage. It places a yellow tab along the timeline of the video every time the searched keyword is spoken in that video. Currently this works only on YouTube’s political channel, but there is talk this will expand to include all of YouTube in the future. So get a jump on the other’s and plan your videos to be keyword rich in dialogue as well as description.
-So, Cool Video…Now What?
Always always always include a call to action. Like an ad or commercial, it’s so important to make sure your viewers know what to do next! YouTube allows annotations in their videos, so feel free to add in little reminders of what services you offer, and why it’s in the viewer’s best interest to buy from you. Businesses should also remember to watermark all their videos in some way. Perhaps a logo in the bottom right corner, or a moving graphic that is at the beginning or end of the video. This unifies all your pieces and reassures viewers the video is from your brand. Your online identity is important, so make it work for you.
YouTube is a great tool for marketers to get their media out to the public and drive traffic to their sites. But remember that YouTube’s rise to the top was practically over night. There is a lot of evidence that suggests other video search sites are picking up steam and may blow up as well. So as a final, free, 6th tip, submit your videos to other video search sites as well! Sites like vimeo, dailymotion, and blinkx are great places to start. Take advantage of video marketing to help grow your business in 2009.