With the explosion of YouTube as the third biggest website globally and the second biggest search engine, marketers are well aware they need to be leveraging the power of the platform. Yet even the savviest marketers tend to miss out on some of the best opportunities YouTube offers.
Here are the four most common missteps marketers tend to make with their YouTube strategy and approach:
1. Not setting up the channel properly
Too often brands think of their YouTube channel as a hub to house their videos, rather than as a destination. As a result, they fail to put enough time or energy into ensuring their channels represent the brand appropriately and are structured to create the best user experience.
Marketers need to ensure they are making the most of YouTube channel art, categories and playlists, which helps create a channel that visually represents your brand and categorises content to create a seamless viewing experience for the user.
It is also important to ensure that cover art is regularly updated to reflect your brand and highlight campaigns. Marketers can also add a URL to their channel banner which helps drive traffic back to their website.
2. Not paying enough attention to SEO
One of the big opportunities to leverage with YouTube is video search optimisation. As a Google product, YouTube videos rank well on Google and by using the right heading, keywords, inserted URLs, descriptions and tags, your videos can be easily searched on Google as well as within YouTube.
Tags also help group related content on YouTube, which means your videos will show up alongside related content, making it easier for your videos to be found and viewed.
3. Failing to leverage annotations
YouTube annotations are clickable text overlays or hyperlinked sections on videos. The unique feature on the platform creates an interactive experience for the user. Because there are several examples of annotations used poorly on YouTube, they are often passed over by marketers. In fact, if used properly, they can create an amazing interactive and seamless user experience.
The best annotations add value, don’t distract from the content and fit the context. For example, spotlight annotations allow you to hyperlink particular content in a video frame, creating clickable hotspots. This looks professional and is impressive for the user.
4. Advertising ineffectively
For those brands that are leveraging YouTube for their advertising, many are still not getting it quite right. TrueView In-stream advertising gives brands a great opportunity to hone in on their target audience with ads that viewer’s can skip after five seconds.
Brands aren’t charged unless 30 seconds of the video has been watched or they have clicked on the ad. This means you are getting free impressions and only paying after a viewer is genuinely interested.
Because of the five-second timeframe, brands need to ensure that their videos grab the viewer’s attention within the first couple seconds so that the user is less inclined to skip the ad. Many brands tend to create or utilise an existing TVC style ad, which might be suitable for a 30-second television ad spot, but won’t always work on YouTube TrueView.
To get the best return on your investment, the thinking behind your video content for YouTube must be different, but an extension of the campaign. A few simple strategies can take your YouTube marketing to the next level.
Nigel Abbott is the managing director of Rippling, a content marketing agency.
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