Many brands are finally realising the power of video as a traffic and sales generator, producing video content that both advertises their products/services and informs their customers. YouTube is a natural home for this video content, as it's not only the 2nd largest search engine in many countries (after Google) but also free and easy to use.
The downside of YouTube's massive reach is that there are 60 hours of new video uploaded to YouTube every minute, so it's very easy to get lost in the noise. In order to ensure that your content is amongst the 4 billion videos streamed each day, companies should do everything they can to optimize their corporate presence on the platform. Here are some of the first steps to consider...
When producing content for YouTube, you may find (depending on the demographic and viewing device) that most people will prefer to watch short form video content, so aim for videos to be between 3-5 minutes long. If you have a video that is 10+ minutes long, consider splitting it into multiple segments and give each segment a unique title and brief introduction.
If you have a large archive of video content, do not upload it all at once. Instead, drip feed YouTube with a couple of videos each day. This frequency of uploading has been found to really grow channels quickly.
Within any made for YouTube content, Ayima recommends having the presenter/narrator prompt the viewer to Subscribe to the channel, Like the video or Leave a Comment. If you can start to encourage the audience to interact with the YouTube Channel more, your brand will naturally build strong quality score signals.
Even if your company has many brands and products, Ayima recommends uploading all of the video content into a single branded YouTube channel. YouTube channels are like domain names in Google's web ranking algorithms, consolidating domains/channels to a single location boosts authority and rankings across the board. If you already have multiple channels, it may be worth migrating the videos into a single destination.
Make sure that every video has a unique title, that describes the video and includes the keywords you would use if searching for the video.
e.g. "ACME Widgets Video" could become "How to use ACME widgets" or "ACME Widget in-depth review".
Don't include your brand name in the title of each video as a branding exercise - if the video isn't specifically about your company (e.g. History, Recruitment, News etc), having the company name in the title is merely diluting the relevancy of your video for related searches.
When tagging up a video on YouTube, try to keep the number of tags in the 5-10 terms range. Exclude stop words such as "the" and make sure that you really focus on words that give context to what the video is about. Examples of good tags include:
- Place names
- Peoples names
- Brand, product or model names
Tagging helps YouTube form the Related Videos suggestions, so if you tag videos correctly you can find that your brand's videos now show up at the end of other popular videos in your niche. It's worth researching what tags similar popular videos have used - as with the title - avoid dilution of relevancy by only using tags that are exact matches.
A lot of the top YouTube channel owners have built their large audience base by treating YouTube as a social network, it's not just about having great content. Interact with your company's YouTube audience as you would a Facebook fan or Twitter follower, user engagement should dramatically improve.
Ranking Videos on YouTube / within Google
YouTube videos rank very well within Google's universal, aka "blended", search results - often pushing down organic listings that have significant authority and many inbound links. For that reason alone, hosting your videos on the YouTube domain which has such a high authority within Google, has a clear advantage. But like other content, if you want to increase the chances of a video appearing within the organic search results, you need to look at building links to the video within YouTube just as you would a key page on your corporate site. One way of doing this is to conduct a blogger outreach program where you contact relevant blogs and offer them the video to embed on their website. Within the YouTube "Embed" code (linked to under each video) you can also append a link to the root of your channel or to the video itself.
When a video is embedded on a page – the content of that page provides Google with further context of the type of searches that the video should rank for. So embed the videos on your main site where possible.
With the relevancy of the video taken into account, the following factors will help to increase the rankings of each video within YouTube:
- Number of channel subscribers
- Frequency of new video uploads to the Channel
- Ratio of thumbs up / thumbs down for each video
- Video engagement (ratio of thumbs up/down and comments)
Once the channel is set-up and optimized content is starting to drip in, your company should use other social networks to promote the channel and push people to each new video. This means promotion of the channel to your newsletter, previous customers, active clients and followers/fans on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Five key actions to take away from this...
- Optimize video titles as you would with webpage titles
- Increase the uploading frequency of fresh new content (but don't upload all at once)
- Embed videos on relevant websites and reach out to bloggers in your space
- Leverage existing social networks to grow your YouTube Subscriber count
- Treat YouTube Subscribers as you would Facebook Fans
You can of course buy thumbs up on YouTube in a similar way to buying links, to manipulate YouTube's ranking factors. It's a very risky practice unless you know what you are doing and to start with, you're much better off concentrating on producing more video content and growing the channel organically.