YouTube is the original video platform giant! It’s the second largest search engine on the internet, second only to Google; making it an ideal platform for a well-executed marketing strategy.
The Google-owned platform records more than 500 hours of video content uploaded every hour and 81% of Americans regularly use YouTube. Establishing a YouTube presence can improve SEO rankings and brand recognition.
If you’re not already on YouTube or don’t have a dedicated marketing strategy, you can’t just throw up a few videos and cross your fingers. You want your production and content creation efforts to yield results, whether that’s views, engagement, website traffic or an increase in sales. Plan your content to match your goals.
Here are 6 tactics to help you create an effective YouTube marketing strategy.
Know your audience
Part of planning your content is knowing who you’re talking to. Conduct a deep dive into your ideal customer and research what they want. Boil it down to these general factors:
- Desired outcomes.
Peek in on your competitors. What are they producing? How is their engagement? This is not so you can “copy + paste” but to help you gauge what kind of content is already successful. Narrow your focus onto one to three avenues of messaging to begin producing videos.
Create valuable and relatable content
Your videos don’t have to go viral for your channel to be successful. YouTube isn’t the “fast and loose” video platform of its competitors.
Being considered a search engine, users are driven by intent. They’re going to YouTube for a purpose. The most common intents are to learn and to consume.
If they want to learn how to practice for a driving test, they may search for relevant topics like how to pass, what to prepare and study, and general driving safety tips. If they’re looking to consume, they will typically be going directly to the channel they enjoy or exploring suggested similar content.
Creating engaging, consumable content should be the aim of your strategy, you can’t sell, sell, sell in every video. Join a movement, hop on a trend, create a shareable resource, be interesting!
As you continue to create relevant content and your viewership or subscriptions grow, you will begin to see a community build. Engage with these viewers and be present on your channel.
Consistency is key
Consistency is not just related to posting frequency. This also refers to the kind of content you make and the consistency of messaging and design. If you’re a food-adjacent channel, you probably don’t need to hop on the latest makeup trend.
Refer back to your customer research. That’s who you’re talking to. Create a strategic content plan that highlights what they want to see from you.
For best results, be informative and engaging — nothing too dry. Remember these are people on the other side of the screen and they came to your video or your channel for a reason.
Some marketers are overwhelmed by the complexities of production: scriptwriting, filming, editing, retakes and design. As a whole package, it can be time-consuming, but you don’t have to start out with a huge team and paid talent.
Start small — you can even use your iPhone! The emphasis is on starting, not starting perfectly. With video content taking the lion’s share of the information market, you can’t afford NOT to play the game.
Encourage viewers to take action
The call to action (CTA) is a required element of your marketing strategy. Video watching is a passive activity. You won’t find a lot of success putting out content and just hoping the viewer takes a hint.
You need to take it a step further and ASK for the action. Refer back to your YouTube marketing campaign goals. Do you want more likes, new subscribers, content shares or increased website traffic?
Make sure you are clear and have only one unmistakable call to action. Confused people do not take action. Your objective with each video should be the same.
Here are some of the most common YouTube CTAs:
- Subscribe to my channel for more videos like this one!
- Like and subscribe!
- Follow us on other social media platforms for other exclusive content!
- Click the link in the description to … (schedule, access an offer, learn more, etc.).
- Share this video.
You should also leverage the “End Screen” capabilities to promote your other videos, curated playlists, or send people to your website. This is a way to keep people on your channel and in your world.
Increase website traffic
People like YouTube, they feel safe and likely want to stick around. You have to give them a good reason to leave the platform and venture to your website.
Offer a helpful resource
Talk up your incredibly helpful and free resource they can download from the link in your description. Send this traffic straight to the resource and collect emails before they can download.
Offer a free consultation
If you offer a custom service or a free power session, send this traffic straight to your scheduling platform. You’ll automatically collect contact info but make sure the copy on this page reaffirms their intention to talk to you. Keep the messaging consistent with your marketing campaign goals.
Refer them to exclusive web content
This could be articles on your blog or additional industry information on your website that’s not available anywhere else. Make sure the content on your site is worthy of the hype.
Be searchable! The most effective YouTube marketing strategy
We’ve covered this lightly already but it’s worth mentioning again. YouTube is a search engine, and the second most popular search engine on the internet. It has its own SEO best practices and ways to optimize your videos and profile to increase your reach.
Keywords help viewers find your content. They’re called keywords because these words and phrases are what your viewers are using to search for relevant content. Strategically place keywords in every possible place, including:
- Video title
- Video thumbnail
Let’s give some examples. If you’re trying to speak to students studying for their driver’s permit test, use those words in your content. If they are studying for the CDL test, you may need to use more mature language. If you produce fitness industry content, use language your audience is familiar with and will be searching for. You get the gist.
Use relevant tags in your video uploads. Don’t try to piggyback on something that’s not related or you will lose credibility among viewers.
Craft well-thought-out video descriptions. This is a chance to infuse keywords and tease or outline what the video contains. Leverage this space to add links to other content and resources.
Always customize YouTube thumbnails with branded designs and keyword text. This is the first thing users will see when searching the platform. A badly designed thumbnail may get passed over.
Optimize your content playlists to batch relevant topics together or to suit a specific niche. You want to keep viewers in your world for as long as possible by continuing to offer content.
While you may need to invest in bigger and better equipment down the road, that doesn’t have to be today. A smartphone and decent editing software are all you need to get started.
Have a plan for your YouTube marketing strategy and create genuine, engaging content. What are you waiting for?