Since its creation in 2005, more people have visited YouTube than almost any other site on the Internet. YouTube comes in just behind Google for most web traffic in the world, and users watch over 1 billion hours of content every day.
The age, identity, and geographic location of YouTube’s viewer base are extremely varied, so it is a prime place to market and produce content about your business. With YouTube, the possibilities are endless when it comes to spreading the word about what you and your business can offer consumers. Keep reading to learn how to generate more leads with this famous video platform!
Before anything else, you should think about who you want to attract to your channel and what kind of engagement you want to see. An easy trap to fall into is immediately making upload after upload, thinking views will automatically fall in your lap thanks to the YouTube algorithm. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for the grand majority of creators on YouTube. To beat the algorithm, you have to work smarter, not harder.
Start by creating a network through your pre-existing audience. Market to your consumer lists and clue them in on what kind of content they can expect from your business’s channel (hint: the content should be made with your target audience in mind!). Encourage them to subscribe or use the material in your backlogs to preview what’s to come. You can continue to build your network slowly but consistently over time.
Brainstorm Video Ideas
Simply be creative! Consider going on a bit of a YouTube binge to gather inspiration from other companies or businesses in similar industries. What are they doing that is attracting views? What style of video is attracting viewers to their channel? What are you taking away from watching their video, and how can you translate that into something that will work for your brand?
Don’t stop your research at the video. Look at a popular video’s description, comment section, and even the overall channel to see what attracts you—and others—to them. Next, brainstorm ways to put your own unique spin on what other successful creators are doing.
Use Open Loops
If you’re not well-versed in the world of copywriting, marketing, or Hollywood, you may be wondering what an “open loop” is. An open loop acts as a kind of teaser that keeps you hooked. For example, a cliffhanger at the end of a television show is a type of open loop, as it ensures you come back to learn what happens in the next installment. In your YouTube videos, you should be trying to hook the viewer and convince them to keep watching your video. But how do you do that? By ensuring your viewer that you will reveal something or show them something interesting as the video progresses.
Imagine you’re watching a YouTube tutorial about how to put together the new ship in a bottle you ordered. The instructor might show you the finished project and then say, “in this video, I am going to show you how to put together your very own ship in a bottle!” This open loop strategy is a must for video marketing, as it keeps people watching for longer.
Optimize for YouTube Search
Aside from a preexisting audience that you may already have from promoting your channel or videos, you need to be able to recruit new viewers. On Google alone, there are an estimated 5.6 billion searches a day. This means billions of people are looking for solutions to their problems or answers to their questions every single day. Optimizing for search engines (yes, including YouTube!) is an absolute must if you want your content to show up in these searches.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) utilizes keywords or phrases that are commonly searched for and leads audiences to the best matches based on those terms. SEO best practices are a little different for YouTube than they are for completely text-based search engines like Google. To optimize for YouTube Search, you should ensure your video descriptions, captions, metadata, thumbnails, and channel organization are in tip-top shape.
End With a CTA
A CTA (Call to Action) should never be left out of a marketing video. How many times have you heard “Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel” during the outro of a YouTube video? This is likely the most common CTA on the platform, but you can also personalize your CTA to meet your needs.
Perhaps you want folks to go to your website or check out a new product. Instruct them to check out links in the video description or the pinned comment in the comments section. Again, be sure your CTA suits what you want your viewers to do, and don’t miss out on the opportunity to drive viewers to explore your channel, site, or products.
Try YouTube Ads
Paying for your ads to play on YouTube videos that target your audience demographic can also be a beneficial tool for driving traffic to your business. This system can be difficult to navigate if you're unfamiliar with the paid ad set up on YouTube, but worry not. There are resources out there to help. Jason Whaling, a digital marketing consultant and YouTuber, has a video about creating YouTube ad campaigns for beginners that covers creating a campaign structure, targeting your audience, and the art of crafting copy.
As YouTube states, its mission is to “give everyone a voice and show them the world…” By following the steps laid out above, you can help the world hear the message you want to send and build a new network you may have never known was possible.
By using these smart strategies, you can use YouTube and its algorithms to drive new customers to you and your business.