Video content is the most consumed form of content today. And YouTube is the place to watch it. Today’s lesson is for those organizations who are launching (or already have) a YouTube channel.
If you’re not yet ready to start a YouTube channel, you can read our guide to creating effective written and audio content here.
Creating video content for YouTube directly translates into sales and referrals for your business. But it takes more than adding videos to your YouTube channel for potential buyers to start watching your content.
To compete against the massive amount of content on YouTube, your content must be valuable. That is the key takeaway of today’s lesson. Today, you will learn about:
The importance of collaborating on YouTube
Personally engaging with your buyers and viewers
How to create long-tail video content for YouTube
What kind of video content are we talking about?
Today’s lesson is focused on creating helpful, entertaining, and educational content. It is not focused on explainer video content, TV commercials, or other forms of video advertising that can be uploaded to YouTube. The type of video content you’ll be learning about today is part of content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing (typically) free written, audio, and video content to your buyers to help them find a solution to their problem even if it may not result in a direct and immediate sales increase or spike in website traffic. To better understand this, read our complete guide to content marketing here.
In this lesson, the words “video content” refer to v-log style content, in which an actual person from your organization is speaking directly into a camera to bring value to the buyers watching your video.
There are three strategies we recommend to organizations starting or scaling a YouTube channel.
Strategy 1: Collaborate within your space
One of the fastest ways to grow your channel is to collaborate with other YouTube channels watched by your buyers.
Collaborating with other channels provides distribution for your video content. Distribution of your videos is the key to increasing your YouTube subscribers.
But if your organization is just starting to create video content, your audience size is likely smaller than YouTube channels you will approach about collaborations. So how can you collaborate with more established YouTube channels? The answer: add value to their channel.
Like you, other organizations and content creators must keep up with content creation demands. They have an audience that must be educated, entertained, motivated or inspired on a regular basis. If you can make it easier for that YouTube channel to create content, you will find YouTube creators willing to collaborate with you.
Here is a strategy to follow to begin contacting YouTube channels for collaborations:
1. Find out what and who your buyers are watching on YouTube
Chances are there is a YouTube channel or creator that creates content around your space. In fact, there are probably many. Compile a list of these channels and creators. This is your target list.
2. Identify what value you can bring to those channels
Your next step is to understand what value you and your video content can bring to the YouTube channels on your target list.
Some ways you can offer value include bringing knowledge to their viewers, bringing money in the form of sponsorships or funding, access to new technology (if you are a technology-based company), or original video content created exclusively for collaborators.
3. Contact target channels using email or direct Facebook message
Once you have an idea of how you can add value to your target list of YouTube channels, begin contacting them. The most effective way to do this is to contact the creator using the email in the About section of their YouTube channel.
Alternatively, you may send a Facebook message to any creators or brands who have a Facebook page. Your message should be short and to the point: “Hi, who would I contact about marketing for your YouTube channel?” will suffice.
4. Continue to create content on your channel
If you are a small or budding brand, channels you are contacting will want to see the quality of your video content. As you are reaching out to possible collaborators, continue to create content for your own channel.
The more viewers you can bring to the table, the more open other channels will be to collaborating with you.
Strategy 2: Direct message viewers using other social channels
Collaborating with other YouTube channels will bring new viewers and potential buyers to your channel. Your next step is to connect and engage with these new viewers by answering any comments your videos receive.
Answer every YouTube comment
YouTube considers the number of comments on your channel as an indicator of its relevance. The more comments you have, the more relevant your channel. This includes comments left by your buyers, as well as your own.
By answering every comment on your channel, you double the amount of comments you have and improve your relevancy and YouTube SEO. But if are just starting out, your YouTube channel will likely see few comments.
Consider other social platforms
In these cases, it may not be enough to just have a YouTube channel. Your buyers, who alternate between social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, may be easier to engage on other platforms.
If you can begin repurposing your videos for Facebook and Instagram, you create new distribution channels for your video content. Platforms like Instagram allow you to directly message your followers and start one-on-one conversations. The more you communicate with your viewers, the more personal connections you will create, and the more likely you are to turn viewers into buyers.
Strategy 3: Creating great long tail video content
It may seem like YouTube is over saturated with videos. There are hundreds of hours of YouTube videos uploaded to the platform every single hour. Is it too crowded to start a YouTube channel?
The answer is no! Although YouTube has a lot of content creators, it also has a lot of opportunities left for new video content. These are called content white spaces.
Create videos for content white spaces
The next generation of YouTube users will bring with it demand for content that may not yet exist. Your company can reach the first page of YouTube search results by creating video content around topics not yet covered, topics with which your organization has experience. This is called creating long-tail keyword content.
What is long-tail content?
Long-tail content is a phrase used in search engine optimization, and refers to longer, more natural search terms. These long-tail search terms include modifier keywords that modify a general search term. For example, a buyer searching for “how to use YouTube for real estate marketing” instead of “youtube marketing” is searching for a specific piece of content. In this case “for real estate” modifies the more general “youtube marketing” search term. A video that appears in these search results would be considered a piece of long-tail content.
YouTube is a search engine
Remember that YouTube is a search engine. Unlike other social platforms, a YouTube video posted years ago is still considered relevant even though it’s not recent. As YouTube continues to grow, its users will continue to evolve their search behavior. Part of this evolution will be searching for more specific videos. If you’re concerned about not breaking through to the first page of YouTube’s search results, plan your video content using long-tail search terms.
Bonus Strategy: Your YouTube marketing strategy depends on YOU.
At the end of the day, your YouTube marketing strategy will depend on your organization’s strengths and unique value propositions. A vlog may not be appropriate for your organization or industry, and Q&A and how-to videos may work better appeal to your buyers. On the other hand, a vlog might be what your buyers have been looking for because the only video content they know is how-to video content.
The only way to find out what will work best for your organization is to try it all, and see what works best for your buyer.