Started as a small video sharing platform, the growth story of YouTube is nothing less than phenomenal. With in a year of its launch YouTube had million views everyday and more than 65000 videos were uploaded each day in early 2006.
This new innovative was in uncharted territory of video sharing kindled the imagination of then tech companies and within a year of its launch Google acquired YouTube in its first high profile acquisition ever for a whopping $1.65 Million.
Ever since its acquisition in 2006 YouTube’s growth was staggering and it has opened up a new avenue of sharing content, media and news.
YouTube’s Staggering Numbers Now: (Source: YouTube)
o. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
o. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
o. 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
o. 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
o. YouTube is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages
o. According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
o. Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year
Sooner than later marketers realized the importance of YouTube as a viable and highly lucrative and profitable marketing channel considering the fact that people spend more time on YouTube than on traditional televisions.
YouTube Marketing For Ecommerce Companies:
Types Of YouTube Videos For Marketing:
As ecommerce marketers you could resort to various formats (messages) of videos all depending on the context and the audience.
This is one of the most direct ways of using YouTube for marketing. You could upload television ads or even ads specifically produced for online viewers and upload them on your YouTube channel.
Apart form direct promotional ad type videos, you can produce creative videos that often aims at creating and spreading brand awareness among your prospective customers.
How To Videos or Product Support:
At a time when providing exceptional customer service is considered to be a unique selling proposition, you could use YouTube as a channel where your customers can get their doubts cleared with product or service related tutorial videos. Many a time these how to videos act as a first point of contact to new prospective leads that might persuade them to come onboard as customers.
A great example of this is The Home Depot’s how to videos on building and setting up house hold appliances.
YouTube can be a great platform for you to share your customer’s video testimonials and recommendations about your product/service.
Many companies use YouTube for live broadcasting product/service specific events like new product launches and other real life promotional activities. A great example of this is Red Bull’s famous Felix Baumgartner’s Stratos fall.
Other commonly used Videos worth trying out are,
1. Webinars and presentations
2. Interviews with CEO, customers and brand ambassadors.
3. Product demo videos
4. Product reviews
5. Behind the scenes
6. Humor – News jacking.
YouTube Marketing Strategy:
Just like any other digital marketing strategy specific to a social networking platform, YouTube too needs different and medium specific marketing strategy.
Understand Your Audience:
Understanding who your target audience is greatly helps to formulate and produce videos accordingly, it depends on,
5. Existing customers or New leads
7. Other proclivities
Purpose of the videos:
Understanding the purpose helps you to produce videos that clearly communicate your goal. Purpose might be of,
1. Direct Sales Advertisement
2. Tutorials and How to Videos
4. Promoting special limited offers
6. Product launches.
8. Product Reviews
When considerable amount of energy, time and money is invested into strategizing and promoting products through YouTube, it is highly imperative on your part to measure the ROI on the resources. Setting up target metrics like,
1. Click through rates
2. Videos views
3. Videos shares
4. Conversions triggered by videos
Might help you to ascertain the efficacy of your marketing strategy.
Creating a New YouTube Channel For Your Brand:
Promoting and marketing your products and services needs a company specific and exclusive YouTube channel
1. To create a brand specific YouTube channel all you need is a Gmail account.
2. Visit YouTube.com and click on Sign in. Use any of your existing Gmail Id to log in to YouTube.
3. After logging in, click on My Channels on the side bar.
4. By default every new account will have a default channel that can be used to build your channel. If you desire to create a new channel from scratch then click on https://www.youtube.com/channel_switcher
5. Click on Create New Channel
6. You’ll be asked to provide a name to your channel and also select the type of channel; in this case it is a product or brand.
7. As the proverbial saying goes that A first impression should always be a best impression, You can add a small trailer video that both communicates who you are and what you offer to your customers. To enable trailers click on the pencil icon and select Edit Channel Navigation.
8.Click on Enable the browse view.
9. To select channel trailer click on Add Channel Trailer and select from any one of the previously uploaded videos. Since the trailer video is the first content anyone who is new is going to see on the channel, the recommended best practice is uploading a short, concise video that clearly communicates and captivates new visitors to engage and subscribe to your channel for regular updates.
10.YouTube also allows you to completely rebrand your YouTube channels by enabling you to upload pictures and graphics that portray your brand. You can add pictures or graphics by clicking on Add Channel Art.
11.Apart from adding trailers and graphics you could also explain about your brand in the about section. Click on About and click on Channel Description
12.You can also add all the necessary and relevant links to your brand that helps visitors to learn more about your brand. Click on Links and add web URL to your brands website, links to other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. You could also add an email address that visitors could use to contact you directly.
13. Some times when channels have more than 100 videos it would be a tedious task for a typical visitor to find and search a particular set of videos, to make accessing videos easier you can now categorize videos Based on parameters like,
o. Popular Videos
o. Most up voted
o. Live events
o. Upcoming events
o. Completed events
o. Custom playlists
Optimizing Your YouTube Channel:
Creating and uploading videos on the channel is just half the work done. To promote and increase visibility of your YouTube channel you have to optimize your channel and videos for maximum visibility.
Optimizing a YouTube channel predominantly revolves around working on the Meta data.
Title is the most important Meta data that actually states to the visitor what the video is all about. Make sure the title,
o. Grabs attention
o. Speaks the customer’s tongue and not vague and obscure language.
o. Do a keyword analysis on the topic, find out and incorporate high volume keywords in the title to improve visibility for a larger audience.
o. Never try to deceive visitors to watch the video for ulterior motives, because this will hugely decrease the ratio of total time to time watched that might negatively affect your video. Some times users can also down vote or even report to YouTube regarding these shady activities that might permanently reduce the quality of your channel.
Description is a short and concise explanation of what the video is all about. Just like the title, Make sure you extend the keyword analysis here by incorporating some of the primary keywords and sometimes even long tail keywords that are related to the video.
You could also add a link to external websites like your home page or any other landing page for conversions or further detailed explanations.
Tags are direct ways of adding keywords or phrases that best describe the videos. You could use the keyword research that you previously did and include some of the keywords that best describes the video as tags.
As your YouTube channel grows at some time as the number of uploads increases and since all the videos are grouped under a single umbrella, it would be extremely arduous for anyone to search or browse through videos of a particular category. Best practice is that create different playlist base on different parameters like,
o. Videos with more views
o. Videos that are liked most
o. Latest uploads.
o. Special Promotions
Closed Captions or Transcripts are primarily used to help visitors to better understand the content in the video. It also greatly helps the hearing impaired and people of other languages to understand the content better.
Since Google Bots are now able to crawl through Closed Captions, by adding transcripts you are now giving search engines better visibility and hence high ranking.
Annotations when used moderately are a great feature that increases engagement and also acts as an effective a call to action trigger.
The types of annotation that YouTube Provides are,
o. Speech Bubble
Annotations can be used as an call to action enabler that can be used to make visitors,
o. Like the video
o. Subscribe to the channel
o. Visit other related videos.
Analytics and Key Performance Metrics:
The key performance metrics that you need to keep a tab on to check the efficacy of your marketing strategy are,
Views: The total number of times videos has been watched on the channel
Max Views: This lists the top 10 videos that have received maximum views.
Geography: A list of top countries from where your channel audiences are from.
Demographics: It gives the percentage of total audience under a particular age group and gender.
View Duration: It includes both the total time duration of views and also the average time spent on a video.
Traffic Sources: It lists the top sources that has led visitors to your YouTube channel
Engagement Metrics: As the name suggests these are set of metrics that helps gauge the overall engagement of visitors on your channel. The metrics include,
o. Total Subscribers gained over a period of time
o. Total likes and dislikes
o. Total Favorites
o. Total number of videos that are shared
Sharing YouTube Videos:
Apart from making YouTube videos search friendly for both search engines and inside YouTube, that helps improve visibility. You can also share YouTube videos as content collaterals on other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
As an ecommerce company you can also embed YouTube Videos on websites and blogs that can be directly played on the webpage.
Considering the fact that YouTube is the first full fledged, successful video sharing platform with the largest and still growing active user base it is now more that an imperative for ecommerce marketers to do more that just the test the waters of video marketing. Years of experience have proved that YouTube as a platform has always been profitable for marketers and it still remains one of the most efficient channels to reach millions of people with in no time, all with little effort, more creativity and a passion to serve customers better than competitors.