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Hackernoon logoHow To Create A Winning YouTube Marketing Strategy by@michielmulders

How To Create A Winning YouTube Marketing Strategy

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@michielmuldersMichiel Mulders

13 Powerful Tips To Improve Your YouTube Channel

It is 2020 and the world is under siege by an invisible and unprecedented adversary. Our ways of working, shopping, socializing have all been radically disrupted, with no end in sight. Change has indeed been the only constant this year. What hasn’t changed, though, is the ever-present need for brands to engage with their customers.

With people spending almost all of their time on the internet due to the imposed lockdown restrictions the world over, it’s more important than ever to have a rock-solid marketing strategy for your brand. And when it comes to marketing, there’s one place no one can afford to ignore- YouTube. 

  • YouTube is the second most visited site in the world (Alexa Topsites)
  • Over 2 billion logged-in users visit the site each month (HubSpot)
  • 1 billion hours of video are watched every day  (HubSpot)

Video being the most engaging type of visual content, and YouTube being the video platform of choice for 83% of consumers globally, it’s a no-brainer to have in place an effective YouTube Marketing Strategy. Whether you already have one or not, you can never rely on stagnant insights to shape your actions.

It’s always a good idea to reassess your goals for a dynamic audience. Once you know exactly what you want to achieve through your strategy, the next step is to distil all your requirements into an actionable YouTube Marketing Plan. Your plan will decide what kind of videos you’ll want to post on your channel, what kind of campaigns you’ll run, who you’ll partner with and how you’ll spread the word. It’ll also decide how you’ll measure the performance of your content and what actions you’ll take based on the insights you’ll gather.

Here we outline 13 indispensable tips and tricks you need to keep in mind, categorized into four stages to create a killer brand.

Define Your Strategy

1. You won’t get the desired results unless you know what you want to achieve 

Do you want your brand to debut on YouTube? Do you want to revive your dormant channel? Or are you in the process of taking the next leap in your YouTube growth journey? Brainstorm for a while before diving headfirst into creating videos left, right and center. 

Get specific, measurable and achievable goals in place in order to have a clear view of where you want to take your YouTube presence. Establish a target timeline with milestones along the way and start working towards smaller, tactical goals, which will eventually add towards your major strategic brand and content goals.

2. Narrow down the metrics you’ll use to measure your marketing goals

Subscribers, views, likes/dislikes, comments, shares, watch time, clicks; There’s a plethora of metrics you can choose to measure. But what makes sense at this point in your brand journey? Does your product cater to a niche problem or interest, like a motorcycle decals service or does it have a mass appeal like a food delivery service? 

Your market size and your brand lifecycle stage, plus the goals you have set for your brand, will together decide whether metrics like subscribers and views are as important to you as, say, the ratio of your views to your subscribers. Metrics like these help you gauge how many of your subscribers are actually engaging with your content.

3. Establish a strategic schedule to post videos on your channel

The frequency with which you churn out content conveys your brand intent to the viewer. You should commit to a realistic schedule of posting videos on your channel, in addition to the right day and time to post

Research indicates that the best time of the day to post your videos tends to be around evening, specifically between 2 pm and 4 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and between 12 pm and 3 pm on Thursday and Friday. Coming to the best days to post, Thursdays and Fridays take the cake here, as viewers tend to flock to the site by the end of the work week, and posting one or two days before the weekend gives enough time for YouTube to index your videos. 

With lockdowns still in force in many parts of the world and people working from home, you may find viewers deviating a bit from these figures, but by and large, you can safely trust and base your strategy on them.

If you find yourself strapped for time and resources, you can always on board a trusted YouTube Marketing Company or a freelancer offering YouTube Marketing Services, and hash it out with them.

With these three tips, you are armed with all you need to put in place the broad makings of your strategy. What you need to do next is, leverage YouTube’s various tools and techniques to distil your strategy into a tactical YouTube Marketing Plan.

‘Brand’ Your YouTube Identity

4. Your YouTube channel should be in sync with your brand’s message

Remember that your YouTube channel is an advocate of your brand and reflects on your brand perception. Hence, you can never be too careful about your channel name, color scheme, and the overall voice conveyed through your content. 

Being professional is paramount when maintaining a brand’s YouTube channel and you also need to appear warm and receptive to your viewers. Tackling this fine balance becomes easier when you are crystal clear about your ‘brand message’ and the perception you need to propagate through your channel. You can then align each of the major facets of your channel in line with this brand message.

5. Fully customize every element of your YouTube channel

Don’t leave your channel’s Banner and Bio at the mercy of generic images and a soulless copy. 

Your YouTube channel is your brand’s home on YouTube and it needs to reflect everything your brand stands for. You can have a funky, artistic banner or a slick, professional banner but whatever you choose, make sure it sits in line with your brand identity. 

Even your Bio is much more than a descriptor for your channel or your brand. It’s an opportunity to connect with the viewer on a deeper level, to intimately convey what you feel about your channel and what you want the viewer to feel in turn. This is your chance to be creative, even informal and casual, and leave a lasting impression.

So you have your Strategy in place and your YouTube channel ready to rock. What next?

It’s time to get into the crux of the matter - your YouTube Marketing Plan and how to make content that sticks!

Leverage the Entire Social Media Ecosystem

6. Explore and experiment with various video types

‘How To’ videos still rank at the top with 70% of viewers searching for help with a problem they have. But that doesn’t mean you need to ignore all other types of useful and engaging content.

Viewers today want to watch content that answers a query they have and is entertaining at the same time. You can communicate why your product should rank at the top of their priority list by using product showcase videos or tutorials. You can make a highly-engaging listicle video pitting your offering against the competition. 

Viewers also respond positively to customer testimonials or client case study videos which highlight your product or service in a positive light by showcasing a successful real-world implementation. So invest in research and be on the lookout for new and engaging content types to woo potential customers.

7. Let your community work for you

You have a treasure trove of content hidden inside your most ardent followers, who would love to take part in your brand journey. Don’t forget to leverage them to the fullest.

Humans as a species yearn to be part of something bigger than themselves. Perhaps this innate desire is reflected, more than anything else, in social communities. Your subscribers and followers love your brand. You’ve managed to woo them and make them care about what you want to say. Now what?

Now you need to offer them a chance to be a part of your family. Run creative contests based around latest trends in your industry or around the core tenets of your brand which your community cares about the most. Let them create and share videos with catchy hashtags. Reward the most innovative and popular videos and show genuine admiration for your community’s hard work.

8. Grow laterally with Partnerships and Influencer Marketing

You don't always need to compete with fellow YouTubers in your field. There exist brands whom you can partner with in a mutually beneficial relationship and grow the reach of your channel. Plus, you can also promote your brand and products through like-minded influencers who can help you gain access to a larger audience.

Growing by your own is all good, but when you leverage the power of the YouTube ecosystem of Partnerships and Influencers, you stand to grow exponentially. Keep in mind, though, any brand or YouTuber partnership should not be at odds with your established brand image or it could severely backfire. 

Recent years have seen a spurt in viewers placing their trust in product reviews by YouTubers. You cannot afford to lose out on this opportunity if you have a product or service that is consumer-focused and is competing in a crowded market.

9. Spread the Word outside the platform

Just as you stand to gain through other YouTubers, you cannot afford to be present in a YouTube silo when your competitors are out there reaping benefits of every other platform Social Media has to offer.

Your viewers are scrolling on every major social media platform imaginable in a 24/7 high-speed sprint on the cyberspace highway. Jumping constantly between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or finding themselves on LinkedIn or even chatting all-day-long on WhatsApp, their eyes are peeled for your content. And you need to deliver.

Specifically-curated content for each different platform will do the trick here. Snapshots of your YouTube videos on Facebook and Twitter through your page and handle respectively, will keep top-of-the-mind recall alive in viewers’ minds.

Sponsored content on LinkedIn, which links back to your YouTube channel or website also contributes to increased traffic. Lastly, your WhatsApp business account is a personal, unhindered window into the mindspace of your potential customers. You can respond to proactive queries through links to the respective video on your channel.

10. Invest in YouTube Ads

Of course, you can’t miss advertising on YouTube itself. No matter how much organic traffic you might be seeing, you need to tap into paid traffic by investing in various Ad formats offered by YouTube.

Ads can get annoying sometimes, but the fact of the matter is that they are still a very attractive tool to spread awareness about your brand and gain increased traffic from varied sources. YouTube offers a range of Ad formats for your every need.

From Sponsored and Display ads to Banner or Overlay ads to in-stream full-length ads which the users can skip and 6 to 15 second unskippable ads, you have the liberty to hedge your bets among all the available options. 

Again, you always have the option to outsource all your YouTube Marketing Services needs to third-parties who are skilled and experienced at the job, provided you have budget to spare. 

A YouTube Marketing Company which happens to be a good fit with your own company’s values can be hard to find, but when you do get a trusted partner to work with, it can do wonders for your brand.

So you have your video types, campaigns & partnerships and social media strategy locked in, can you sit back and relax? Not just yet. We’re almost there.

Perfect Your Videos For Maximum Punch

11. Optimize every aspect to achieve SEO champions 

YouTube is the world’s second largest Search Engine, only behind Google. Without realizing, people treat the site as a go-to place for all kinds of queries. Hence, your SEO strategy should be optimized for squeezing the maximum juice out of every video.

Creating the perfect video for your channel goes beyond shooting a great video. You need to take into account latest performance statistics to know how to rank videos at the coveted top spot of the search results. 

Right from your video Title, Duration, Description and Thumbnail to the Language of choice, smart Calls-to-Actions and Tags, every aspect should be geared towards optimizing the video for YouTube’s SEO algorithm. Your title and description should answer the core query users might be searching for, while being suited for viewers who use voice search and prefer using short, highly-specific keywords.

Thumbnails with human portraits tend to perform better. Your video tags should be relevant and comprehensive. YouTube is a global playground and while translating every video may not be apt considering the theme of your channel, you can always use subtitles to break the language barrier.

Calls-to-Actions or CTAs need to be smartly integrated to urge your viewers to perform certain actions like subscribing, sharing, liking or clicking on related videos or playlists.

12. Don’t forget to utilize YouTube’s native features

There are old tools and there are new as well, together offering highly useful functionality to transform your channel from just another brand channel into a professional, dedicated space where your viewers love to spend time.

Traditional YouTube features like Playlists, Transcripts, Cards & Annotations and End Screens offer rich benefits, both to you and your viewers. They go a long way to direct your viewers to more of your related content and are also instrumental in increasing your SEO ranking. 

Newer features like 360-degree videos, Subscriber notifications, better Live streams, and Stories offer highly-engaging and in-vogue tools to connect with your ever-demanding viewers. Make it a point to utilize all these features to rank ahead of the competition.

13. Keep track of what’s working and who’s watching

A crucial step in your YouTube Marketing Strategy is your Analytics - to track what kind of content is performing well and to know the viewer mix that is engaging with that content.

YouTube Studio itself offers a wide variety of metrics and channel reports to gauge the performance of your channel. Keeping in mind the metrics you had decided to track, you can see the subscriber and view count, watch time and average % viewed, impressions, unique viewers, and like/dislikes count.

You also have a view of specific reports for your Cards, End Screens and Playlists performance. YouTube studio also provides Audience Analytics, where you can see the Top Countries your viewers belong to, Top Subtitles/Languages they choose, their Gender and Age and what Time of Day they are watching your videos.

To summarize, you need to...

1. Clearly define or relook at your Goals
2. Have a Channel that is in Sync with your Brand
3. Experiment with various content types and leverage the entire social media ecosystem for maximum reach 
4. And Optimize your videos & Track desired Analytics to feedback into your Strategy in a continuous loop.

So now you know what to do! Regardless of whether you do it in-house or contract outside help, there’s no time like the present to get cracking on your YouTube Marketing Strategy 2020.

Further reads?

1. How to Optimize Videos for Youtube's Machine Learning Algorithms
2. 15 Ways to Increase YouTube Subscribers Organically in 2020
3. 15 Creative Ways To Boost Brand Image Through YouTube

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