2 Welcome! You may be
thinking: “YouTube? Really?” After all, there are many newer and sexier social marketing channels demanding a marketer’s attention. But here’s why it makes sense: Video is the undisputed champion of content marketing, and YouTube is the king of the hill for video. Vidyard recently shared that we spend nearly three times longer watching online video in our days than we do reading, 72 minutes on average with video while only 25 minutes per day reading. The pendulum has shifted, and its in your best interest to understand not just how to create a video and publish it, but how to optimize for the very best results that video can deliver. For this ebook, our Convince & Convert team put our heads together to dive into 11 of our favorite elements to succeed with YouTube this year. Enjoy.
The Enormity of YouTube 3
That is “B” for billion, how many people are using YouTube around the world 1.32B Nearly five billion videos are viewed on YouTube every single day 5B
4 Go Global for YouTube
Success YouTube is the second largest search engine, globally, next to Google 70% of YouTube visitors come from outside the United States YouTube is broadcast in 76 languages, while 88 countries have localized versions of the site
5 Mobile Viewing is Key
More 18-to-49 year olds visit YouTube on mobile every day than any TV network Average time spent on YouTube per mobile session is 40 minutes.
8 The first step to
success is to make your YouTube channel look similar to your other brand marketing assets. YouTube provides specific branding opportunities and placements for channels to use a combination of visuals and text to share their purpose to the audience. To create a memorable brand experience on YouTube, its necessary to represent your brand consistently in YouTube to align with your customer or audience’s expectations. The channel should be focused on the content and themes that will be delivered via videos from the channel. Use consistent styles for titles, descriptions and tags to help content be discovered more easily. Strong channel branding will: ‣ enhance the overall presentation of the channel and videos ‣ explain the channels’ purpose ‣ provide links to social media pages external websites Brand Your Channel
9 Four Keys to Branding
YouTube Channels 1 2 3 4 Channel description Header graphic and branded icon Welcome videos for new audiences Custom channel layout
Branded Header and Channel Icon
Keys 11 ‣ Optimal banner size is 2560 x 1440 px with center safe zone of 1540 x 427 px ‣ Make the middle stand alone, and begin by building from the middle out ‣ Channel icon will appear in upper left ‣ Click for YouTube template for headers ‣ Custom icons are 800 x 800 px ‣ Square or round image renders at 98 x 98 px across the platform ‣ Channel will default to the icon associated with your Google account
Writing For Your YouTube Channel
12Section #: Section Title Write a complete description about the YouTube channel • Tell audience what to expect • How often you will post new videos • If you are driving appointment viewing, be sure to include times/days here. • Maximum length of 1,000 characters Links are featured just below your description • Links are displayed with the corresponding social icon • Up to five of these links can be overlaid on channel header as shortcut icons
Creating Welcome Videos for New
Audiences 13 Channel trailers are part of channel customization to preview the channel’s offerings to unsubscribed and new audiences Important tips to remember ‣ Trailers aren’t viewable on YouTube mobile apps ‣ Ads won’t appear on the trailer unless the video has claimed third-party content ‣ Subscribers will not see the trailer, but they will see a video from the “What to Watch Next” list Quick tips for creating channel trailers ‣ Assume the viewer has never heard of you ‣ Keep it short ‣ Hook your viewers in the first few seconds ‣ Show, don’t tell ‣ Ask viewers to subscribe to your channel (See Calls to Action for how in #4)
Thumbnails Should Mimic Brand Consistency
‣ Create a dedicated thumbnail for each video to call attention to the video and streamline the video branding ‣ Should be 1280x720 px and under 2MB ‣ Combine an image from the video itself with the title overlaid in the graphic to grab attention and reinforce the video title ‣ Create a thumbnail image that represents your target keyword visually for additional search result benefit 14 “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails” - YouTube Creator Academy
Over two thirds of videos
on the first page of YouTube are in HD, according to backlinko.com 16 Quality strongly correlates with search results
Quality Matters 17 Viewers will
quickly identify the specific video style (or lack thereof) as part of the channel’s brand identity and make judgements on the quality of your videos based on consistency of content. It’s important to define how you make videos and continue to refine that style as your channel develops. If you start with unboxing videos, or hosted videos, for example, and then switch formats after 10 episodes, the new experience and production could be jarring to your subscribers. The same is true for choosing a topic or niche that your channel wants to stand out in. While researching successful channels in your chosen niche (or a few, if you’re still defining), pay attention to the production value and video quality. The audience you will be trying to capture has come to expect a level of production and quality based on the most popular channels in this niche. Staying within a niche will help to build authority on and off YouTube, which leads to higher search rankings.
18 ‣ Shoot HD video
in landscape mode (16:9) with camera on a tripod for stability ‣ Use a newer webcam, mobile phone or DSLR for best quality ‣ Record tutorial videos with screen capture software like Screencast-O-Matic ‣ Use an external microphone for superior sound • When you have a single subject who is moving, use a lavaliere microphone • Narration or interviews can be done with a USB microphone or boom mic • Shotgun microphones work well to capture noise from a single direction ‣ In editing, run a noise filter to remove unwanted background and ambient sounds ‣ Don’t mix LED and florescent lighting, and use a three-point lighting kit to add depth ‣ Use a light reflector to optimize lighting on the subject Aim For High Production Value, Even on Low Budget
Keyword Optimization 20 We’ll discuss
several techniques in this ebook to optimize videos for YouTube SEO, but the most important factor is using keywords to optimize your video, from idea through production to posting the final product on YouTube. Many of these steps will look familiar if you use the topic archeology methodology presented in this Masterclass. You can apply several of those steps to hone in on topics for video content. First, try YouTube autocomplete to find video content inspiration and see what target audiences are searching for, and compile a broad list of keywords and phrases to work from for the next steps. Use Google Trends and Adwords Keyword Planner for data about the demand for general video topics and keywords on your list. Generally, keywords that see 1,000 Google searches per month are worthwhile for targeting.
More About Keyword Optimization 21
Referencing sites like Quora.com, AnswerthePeople.com and bloomberry.com will identify the most popular questions around a niche or keyword. Google will associate certain search queries, like “how to” with video, and prioritize more YouTube content into results for those keyword types. Marketers who target search terms that Google prioritizes video results for will see better SEO signals. To get to a deeper level, we look at how keywords perform on an individual video level. Using the topic archeology structure, hone in on keyword opportunities, and start looking at what individual videos are most popular within that keyword or niche. Search for long tail keyword phrases that are more specific. For example, “what to pack for summer vacation in Vail” is more targeted than typical results for either “what to pack for Vail” or “what to pack for summer vacation”.
Using Keywords in Video Copy
22 Each video needs a title (with keywords!), description that is at least 250 words long and tags that relate to other popular videos and top keywords. When writing video titles and descriptions, be sure to consider “how would I search for this video if I was looking for this answer?” Use the phrasing and keywords that come to mind to craft a descriptive, helpful title and description for the video. Once videos are created and posted, they need to be clearly identified with titles, descriptions and tags.
23 Helpful Hints to Writing
Effective Video Copy Fits 100 characters, truncated at 66 characters. Use keywords, headline bait and attention getting tactics to catch interest Up to 5,000 characters, truncated at 166 characters. Include links to product or info pages, but use http:// to make URLs clickable Fits 120 characters. Add tags in order of importance and use quotes to match long tail keyword phrases TITLE DESCRIPTION TAGS
Videos under three minutes rarely
rank highly in search results for general keywords. 25 YouTube has signaled that watch time is a key ranking signal source: Backlinko
26 According to Comscore, the
average length of online video is 4.4 minutes (as recently as January), but YouTube is the one platform where longer videos actually outperform shorter videos. YouTube has a selfish interest in promoting videos that increase a user’s time on the website. The truth is, longer videos that hold attention accomplish this best. For that reason, watch time is a ranking signal for appearing higher in YouTube search results. (We’ll discuss keyword optimization later.) Watch time is measured in cumulative minutes watched, and each video uploaded (along with every YouTube channel) is ranked by the watch time metric. Channel and videos with higher watch times are likely to show up higher in search results and recommendations. YouTube accounts initially limits video length to 15 minutes, until accounts are verified. Once verified, YouTube accounts can post video that does not exceed 20GB in size. Length is Important
27 That’s not to say
that all of your YouTube videos need to be over five minutes in length, especially if delivering the “why” of the video can be accomplished much sooner. You can be successful generating views and increasing watch time by breaking a longer video, like a “How To,” into several shorter videos focusing on a single step. Creating digestible bits may better suit attention spans and generates more views, overall, for the channel. One way to test how your audience responds to video length is by taking those shorter video bits and packaging them all together into a longer video. Creative editing, like using jump cuts to piece together several (dozens or hundreds) little clips, can help to extend the length of video without tasking the presenter with rehearsal and memorizing of scripts. By presenting an explanation in both a series of steps and a longer, complete package, your audience can choose the best version for themselves, and you win. by identifying their preferences and increasing watch time. More About Video Length
Audiences Can Search For Videos
By Length 28 YouTube has recognized its audience’s preferences for different video lengths, and has built duration into search filters. Users may choose to see video results that are “Short (~4 minutes)” or “Long (20~ minutes)” by using this search filter, in addition to other watch time signals like “View Count” and “Result Type”.
Case Study of COMPLEX “Everyday
Struggle” Series 29Section #: Section Title COMPLEX is a creator community that presents a modern take on news for primarily urban and hip-hop audiences. It launched a morning talk show, Everyday Struggle, on April 10th that was intended to be a 15-minute daily show. During rehearsals, the format was extended to 30 minutes and producers have now settled on at least a 50-minute daily presentation that is viewed between 300,000 to 400,000 times per episode, in addition to millions of views on show clips distributed across COMPLEX’s social networks and website. Source: Digiday, YouTube “We didn’t have any proof of concept that a daily, 45- to 55-minute show was going to be something that could work within YouTube’s algorithm, but it’s certainly doing it.” - Dan Ghosh-Roy, SVP of Audience Development for Complex Networks
31 The purpose of any
video can fall into one of three categories: informative, educational or entertainment. No matter the purpose of your YouTube channel and individual videos, there is desired action we want our viewers to take. Whatever that action is, make sure each video has a call to action (CTA) to help achieve the end goal. Depending on the CTA, you can use verbal cues, text overlays, or CTA buttons within a video to prompt the viewer to take action. Presenting a CTA is multiple ways is also effective as it reinforces the desired action. If there is not external action you want a viewer to take, than identify ways they can help to enhance your YouTube channel rankings. ‣ Encourage viewers to watch another video ‣ Subscribe to the channel ‣ Engage by liking, commenting or sharing the video Increasing shares and likes are in your best interest, as they are also metrics that are tied to top search rankings. Include Calls to Action
32 Custom YouTube Cards Available
To Drive CTAs 1 2 3 4 Video cards are free to use and are customized in Creator Studio Suggest related or popular videos, including playlists Promote another channel or link to external website Create a poll to survey viewers Prompt a donation for your nonprofit or organizations you support
Using YouTube Cards Effectively ‣
Cards appear as small rectangular boxes in the top right hand corner of a video to give viewers a preview of a message ‣ Cards expand upon click into the right side of the player, or below the player on mobile view. YouTube allows up to five cards per video, placed where you select in the video timeline ‣ Well placed cards reinforce a verbal call to action or mention of a video or channel ‣ View the Cards Report in YouTube Analytics to track progress and success of specific cards and videos 33
Interactive Video Ads Take CTAs
to Next level 34Section #: Section Title YouTube also offers call to action promotion through TrueView video ads to increase interaction with viewers In addition to Cards, interactive ads can include: ‣ CTA overlays that drive clicks to a website ‣ Shopping cards to encourage product purchase ‣ Auto end screens generated by AdWords campaign info that increase conversions or app installs More information on TrueView ad products can be found here
36 End screens are YouTube
cards that are super-hyped and live in the final 20 seconds of a video’s total run time, when they are deployed by the creator. Appearing as thumbnail overlays, end screens encourage viewers to take a few actions following the video, including click to watch another video, visit a website, subscribe to the channel and more. Creators can deploy up to four end screens on 16:9 videos that are at least 25 seconds in length. YouTube’s evolution to end screens helps the platform and creators achieve two goals. First, unlike end screens the previous Annotations product did not appear on mobile apps and players (Annotations was completely discontinued in 2017). Second, by adding up to 20 seconds to video length, YouTube has improved watch time across the site. Creators who consistently use end cards can see an increase in watch time per video and channel, and earn better search rankings and authority that way. Use End Screens
37 End Screens Feature Different
Types of Content 1 2 3 4 Creators can use up to four end screen elements in one video, but can stagger each one’s deployment in the final 20 seconds Suggest videos or playlists by creator’s choice or automated selection Encourage channel subscriptions Link to your website or approved merchandise and crowdfunding websites Promote another YouTube channel with a custom message
Create Purposeful End Screens That
Are Repeatable 38 Shoot end screen videos separately with specific calls to action that can be used on some or all of your video end cards. These videos should be 15-20 seconds long to take advantage of the end card length provided at the end of a video. To use end screens effectively and consistently, it is recommended to create an end screen template for your channel that can be deployed in every video. Such a template must be built in post-production; it can not be added in Creative Studio after the video is uploaded.
“Captions are beneficial because they
result in greater depth of processing by focusing attention, reinforce the acquisition of vocabulary through multiple modalities, and allow learners to determine meaning through the unpacking of language chunks.” 40 A study by Michigan State University concluded:
41 Adding transcripts to YouTube
videos that contain speech or relevant audio help to make the video accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to fully understand the video (ESL or deaf viewers, for example) or who prefer to watch video with no sound. YouTube rewards videos with transcripts by boosting results in search rankings and increasingly suggesting these videos. Though YouTube provides its own automatic captioning tool, do not rely on this auto transcript to be accurate. In fact, Google and YouTube do not index auto-caption files due to the likelihood of errors, especially if there is a more than one speaker, poor audio or heavy accents. To use the auto-caption file as a starting point, you can export the transcription file, edit it, rename the file and upload as a transcript. Using a service like Rev.com is an effective and low-cost way to transcribe auto accurately and quickly. It’s wise to also save these caption files for use in Facebook or other distribution channels for the video. Transcribe Videos
Managing and Editing Caption Files
42Section #: Section Title Access existing captions or upload new files in YouTube Video Manager 1. Click the drop down menu next to the Edit button of video you want to select 2. Select Subtitles/CC from the top navigation menu 3. Click “Add new subtitles or CC button” Note that Word (.doc) or Text (.txt) files are not acceptable file types for caption files. YouTube recommends using SubRip (.srt), SubViewer (.sbv or .sub), LRC (.lrc) or MPsub (.mpsub) as file types. Click for examples.
Community Engagement 45 YouTube is
a social network at heart, so creators are rewarded when they encourage and participate in dialogue with audiences. Viewer engagement on YouTube includes likes, comments and sharing actions. For the purpose of driving valuable and repeatable engagement, focus on comments and respond as appropriate. Note that your own engagement on YouTube doesn't always have to be with your own viewing audience. Sunny Lenarduzzi, a YouTube branding expert, shares that she built her YouTube brand presence by engaging with comments and answering questions that were posted onto popular videos and other channels within her subject niche. These steps created instant brand awareness and drove new subscribers to her channel in the start- up phase. “Other channels out there have potential subscribers just sitting there waiting for you.” — Sunny Lenarduzzi
How Comments Can Become Part
of the Content 46Section #: Section Title Prompt social engagement from the video, but also celebrate those viewers who engage by making them part of the content. One way to do this is to screen shot comments or replicate them in graphics, and give viewers shout-outs in future episodes. The soccer channel, Copa90, produces a weekly show that is based on comments from their viewers (see image at left) and drives tens of thousands of comments in these episodes.
Manage Playlists 48Section #: Section
Title Once you have a handful of (or several) videos published to YouTube and in the production pipeline, it’s necessary to organize them in a way that’s meaningful and helps the audience with discovery. YouTube offers playlists as organization tools. Playlists, when used effectively, can also drive search traffic, views, and watch time for your channel. The key to putting together strong playlists is to put similar videos together. Videos in a playlist should be categorized by the same keyword topic, niche, episodes of a series, or even videos that can be binge- watched at one time. Keyword rich playlists gives YouTube, and the viewer, deeper information about your video’s topics. Keep this in mind when naming your playlists. Playlist descriptions can be up to 5,000 words, allowing creators to include several keywords and phrases to help YouTube identify the purpose of the playlist and content it contains.
Leveraging Playlists Across the Web
49Section #: Section Title ‣ When done well, playlists can rank on their own in YouTube and Google search results ‣ Playlists have a unique URL that promotes autoplay of videos, increasing potential watch time for viewers who start by watching a single video in the playlist ‣ Embed playlists on a website or blog, like you would a single YouTube video. If videos are added, removed or reordered the original URL and embed codes won’t change and will update to show the latest version ‣ Share playlists in social media and link in email newsletters to drive awareness and views
Understand Metrics 51 In the
early days of social media, two numbers mattered: how many followers you have on an account and how many video views you had on a video. Marketers are evolving their thinking to put less weight behind those representations of vanity and more emphasis on data that shows value back to the business, including leads generated and conversions of any kind. The same thing is happening on YouTube, led by the channel itself. Recently, YouTube removed the reporting of video views from YouTube Analytics all together. Views have been replaced with watch time, measured in cumulative minutes watched for every video on YouTube and and every channel as well. Watch time, as we’ve detailed throughout this ebook, is a key ranking signal and YouTube will optimize for driving and increasing watch time wherever possible through its products and solutions for creators to use. A key component of the watch time is the percentage of video viewed, or average view duration, which helps to equalize between a 45-second video watched in full and a 10- minute video watched for a minute.
More About Understanding Metrics 52
While the cumulative watch time of the longer video would naturally be longer than the shorter video that runs less than a minute, YouTube takes into account the percentage of the video that was viewed. In this consideration, the shorter video that is watched nearly to completion every time signals the content is more valuable than the longer video with a shorter average view duration. Another key metric to track for channel success is subscribers. Subscribers commit to stay connected to a channel and receive the first notifications when new content is added. Subscribers are more engaged, create community within a channel, and are more likely to promote your brand, products or mission. YouTube Analytics will show how many subscribers are gained from specific videos, as well as showing the trend lines over time.
54 Gauging Success Using YouTube
Analytics Helpful when tracking new videos, this dashboard gives an estimate on real-time views for the last 25 published videos Break down how many minutes viewers are watching, who the viewers are, how they discover videos, and average view duration Know how audiences are responding to specific videos and features like cards or end screens, and if they engaged with or shared after viewing REAL TIME WATCH TIME ENGAGEMENT
Go Live 56 Live streaming
is the hottest trend in online video. Though the concept and habits of watching live video online is not new to most Internet users, the advances in mobile technology allows anyone with a mobile device to become a live broadcaster with a tap of the “record” button. The draw of live video is the exclusivity of content that can be experienced in real-time and allow viewers to be part of the story as it happens. Getting that inside peek into events, competition, or company culture is exciting for viewers. In March 2015, YouTube relaunched its live streaming products with a focus on e-sports and gaming, and has slowly opened it up to creators. YouTube Live is available on three different platforms that are tied together: YouTube.com, YouTube mobile app and YouTube gaming. Any creator with at least 1,000 subscribers can go live either on YouTube.com or the mobile app.
More About Going Live 57
Before going live, creators should be open to the challenges and difficulty live streaming can present. Its imperative to test Internet connections and equipment in advance. Audio and video quality are equally important for live video. If either falter, the audience will not think twice to leave. Rehearse, rather than ad-lib, your content or plans for the live show. Know up front the kind of broadcast you want to do, and how its related to the goals of the business. To determine what time of day to air a live broadcast, consider the target audience and the best time for them to tune in. In Creator Studio, broadcasters can opt to stream immediately, or schedule Events that will allow for stream previews, backup streams and start/stop at nay time. Scheduled events can be promoted in advance using a dedicated link and providing a live stream trailer to give audiences a preview of what’s to come. Even in live video, quality is of the top importance
59 ‣ YouTube Creator Academy
‣ Re:View YouTube Weekly Email ‣ Think With Google ‣ BOSS YouTube Channel Checklist (Sunny Lenarduzzi) ‣ How To DIY: Home Video Recording Studio Setup + Video Editing (Teachable) ‣ How to Create Outstanding Video Content on a Budget (Digital Marketing Institute) ‣ How To Succeed With Business Video (Wistia Library) ‣ Uploading To YouTube: The Ultimate Checklist For Video Marketing (The Sales Lion) ‣ YouTube Live: The Ultimate Guide to Live Streaming on YouTube (Tubular Insight) Resources For Your Reference
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