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Over a billion people a month discover, watch, and share videos on YouTube. YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices. YouTube has launched local versions in over 70 countries and in 76 different languages. Getting started on YouTube takes four steps, although it’s the beginning of a long journey.

Given the abundance of videos on the web, it’s risky to assume that your content will be organically discovered by a large audience.” In July 2015, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed that 400 hours of video (closer to 800 now) were uploaded to YouTube each minute, which is the equivalent of 1,000 days of video every hour. These numbers are much higher now, so how do you build a successful social media platform for YouTube?

Brand Strategy

It is extremely difficult to discover success organically without a plan or brand strategy. There is so much content on the web, so it’s naïve to assume all of your content will be organically discovered without a strategy. You must establish what your brand stands for, as well as what your audience cares about.

Build your content planPencil and eraser drawing question mark on piece of white paper

  • Is it a subset of your overall strategy or mission?

Prioritize your brand’s objectives 

  • What is the goal that you are trying to achieve through a video campaign?

Add video-related details to your audience persona

  • What does your target audience on YouTube watch and like?

Research your competition

  • What opportunities are your competitors missing, or what can you do better?

Decide what success looks like (KPIs)

  • What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for your video campaign? YouTube provides metrics on who is watching what, called engagement. Views are not a KPI and do not necessarily help you to achieve meaningful business goals or objectives. Create videos based on your business goals and objectives, such as getting traffic, leads, or sales.

Creating Great Content

Images of Words "Targeting, Authenticity, Discoverable Topics, Accessibility, Converse with Viewers)

Create great content using the fundamental principles that have emerged as important key guides for a successful creative strategy. In other words, try to emulate what key influencers are currently doing, but make your content unique in some way.

Targeting – YouTube stars have specific audiences. As an effective marketer, you must identify the group that you are attempting to reach and try to get a better response to your content. Be specific and niche.

Authenticity – People tent to subscribe to people, not brands. Find personalities who can engage with your audience and who would appeal best to the target audience. Avoid paid spokesman or actors unless you have a high budget to work with.

Discoverable Topics – Discover topics by performing keyword research using YouTube. Themes constantly change on YouTube, so taking advantage of hot internet video trends will be up to consumer expectations. 

Accessibility – Even if it’s part of a series, make each video comprehensible to a first-time viewer. Make it easy for viewers to connect with you and one another within your content with comments, forums, or contact forms.

Converse with Viewers – Ensure that viewers can let you know instantaneously what you’re doing right and what is falling flat. It is essential to connect with viewers via shout-outs or other positive actions that will make them reconnect or share your work. 

Images with words (collaboration, sustainability, shareable content, consistency, interactive content) green background.Collaboration – Collaborate with established YouTube creators who are already reaching your target audience. Cross-connect to increase promotion for the benefit of both parties and grow your audience.

Sustainability – Be real and authentic, see authenticity. Decide if you’ll be able to maintain the project over time. Don’t burn out trying to over pace content, make it relevant, and schedule it out in a content calendar.

Shareable Content – Watching is not enough – sharing is the end goal and creates viral events. Develop show formats that are highly shareable.

Consistency – Develop a consistent voice, format, and schedule and repeat elements of a show the same way every time.

Interactive Content – Share viewer questions and feedback in your videos or incorporate their actual content into your channel. The goal is to elicit feedback and take them to the next step. Cards are a new technology YouTube has rolled out. 

  • Viewers can click on cards and see your videos and playlists.
  • Cards take viewers to the website where the product information is available, or to download the coupons.

Develop a Programming Strategy

Develop a programming strategy and then schedule your help, hub, and hero content. Identify tent-pole events for your audience and schedule hero content around them the year. Create recurring episodes, or hub content, to induct viewers to keep returning to see more. Capture the intent of your target audience. Build a channel calendar to map your content strategy over the year. Promote your channel across your videos and encourage viewers to subscribe.

7 Video StrategiesMan covering face with phone with youtube logo in red with black background

  1. Make YouTube a key part of your strategy
  2. Create the kind of video content your consumers watch most
  3. Schedule your videos
  4. Optimize your content
  5. Promote your videos with Paid Media
  6. Amplify your content with social media
  7. Measure more than views

Optimize Your Content

Optimize your video content for YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine. Get your metadata in shape – make your title tags, and video descriptions work for you. Create visually-compelling thumbnail images to make clicking on your videos irresistible. Include well-placed cards in your videos. Ask for subscribers and drive viewers to other videos, but don’t overwhelm them. Titles should be 100 characters max, and the description should be 5,000 characters max; as long as it’s relevant, it doesn’t matter how long it is. Use playlists to group similar videos on your channel, and offer your viewers a curated, lean-back watching experience. Consider featuring channels your brand supports on your brand’s channel page. This is an excellent opportunity for cross-promotion with YouTube creators (cross channel opportunity). Make sure your channel, description, and icon are optimized for discoverability across YouTube.

Improve Your Content’s Discoverability

Improve discoverability by reaching out to influencers in social media:

  • Define your community and give fans a reason to keep coming back for more videos.
  • Develop relationships with your top influencers in blogs and social media, recognize them in your videos, and respond to their comments.
  • Spur conversations and healthy debate within your community.
  • Use multiple social media platforms to find and engage your audience.
  • Gather data in YouTube Analytics and measure your success.

Creating a YouTube Business Channel

Just like most Social Media platforms, users and businesses have their own accounts. Here is a quick process to set up a YouTube channel for your business:

  1. Sign in to YouTube and go to All my Channels.
  2. Click “Create a new channel” and fill out the details to create your new channel.
  3. Go to youtube.com/verify. You’ll be asked to provide a phone number, so YouTube can send you a verification code via voice call or SMS text.
  4. Once you’ve verified your account, you will be able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes, as long as the account is in good standing.

Your channel will be broken into the following areas:

  • Home is where your audience arrives when they see your channel for the first time.
  • Videos shows a list of all your public uploads and all of the videos you have publicly liked.
  • Playlists contains a list of all the playlists that you have created.
  • Discussion, if enabled in your channel navigation settings, will display comments left on your channel.
  • About lets you add a channel description (maximum length of 1000 characters), set your channel country, enter a business contact e-mail address, and define social or other web links.

Key Marketing Metrics

YouTube Views are not an indicating metric of success. Marketers must understand brand lift, website traffic, conversions, and, most importantly, Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI).

Brand Lift – In Google Ads, you can design a basic survey from a list of templated questions about purchase intent, brand awareness, and other common categories. Then you launch into your video campaign and, automatically, one group of users will see display ads from your campaign, followed shortly by the survey. A second, similar group will not be shown the video ads but will receive the same survey. Google compares the aggregated and anonymous data from the two groups of respondents and gives it to you to measure the impact of your campaign on brand awareness, ad recall, and brand interest.

Website Traffic – In YouTube Analytics, the Annotations Report provides information on the performance of video annotations. It gives engagement information such as click-through-rate and close rate for annotations on videos, while the Cards report gives you information on how viewers are interacting with cards on your videos on desktop, mobile, and tablet. Together these reports now make website traffic a realistic metric for a YouTube video campaign.

Conversions – Conversion tracking can help you see how effectively your ad clicks lead to valuable customer activity on your website, such as purchases, sign-ups, and form submissions. Conversion tracking also allows you to take advantage of advanced flexible bid strategies such as target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and target return on ad spend (ROAS), tools that help you automatically optimize your campaigns according to your business goals.

Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) – The return on marketing investment (ROMI) is the contribution to profit attributable to marketing (net of marketing spending), divided by the marketing “invested” or risked. ROMI is not like other return-on-investment (ROI) metrics because marketing isn’t the same kind of investment. Instead of money that is “tied” up in plants and inventories (often considered capital expenditure or CAPEX), marketing spending is typically expensed in the current period (operational expenditure or OPEX). Usually, marketing spending will be deemed as justified if the ROMI is positive. A necessary step in calculating ROMI is the estimation of the incremental sales attributable to marketing:

  • Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) = [Incremental Revenue Attributable to Marketing ($) * Contribution Margin (%) – Marketing Spending ($)] / Marketing Spending ($)

    Graphic representation of return on marketing investment equation
    Photo: Marketingmag.com

To learn more about YouTube marketing strategies, gaining exposure, and measuring impact, contact SPF Marketing today at (313) 641-0134 or e-mail Stefan@spfmarketing.com. Check back for more content on YouTube, as well as a host of other Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, contact SPF Marketing for more information on services including: