Even if your videos are amazing, they’re of no worth if no one is watching them.
There’s a big chance that you’re already investing (or planning to do so) in video content to boost your content marketing strategies. That’s a big move, and also a very smart one! As the popularity of video continues to rise, there’s little doubt that leveraging it, is one of the best marketing plays, brands and content creators can make.
Why? Because it works. Done right, video can drive higher response rates than any other type of content — put simply, people find videos more engaging and easier to recall than pictures or text.
In fact, it is estimated that, more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic will come from videos. That’s huge!
But as any strategy-based video production company will tell you, video alone can’t do magic! You need to have a holistic strategy based around pieces optimized to perform well on search engine result pages. And that’s what we are going to discuss today.
Optimized video content means higher viewing rates and having your message reach more people. Let’s take a look at how you can make this happen!
Choose The Right Hosting Platform
First things first; where are you going to upload your video?
It’s a question that can best be answered with another one: Where does your audience come from? If it is from social media, you need to optimize your videos for social media and make sure that you’re uploading your videos natively on the platforms they favor.
But the real party starts when they’re coming from search engines.
If that’s the case, then your answer to the first question should be simple — you need to make sure that your video is being indexed by these search engines… and when we’re talking about Google (as we probably are), that means YouTube.
Other platforms, like Vimeo, are also indexed by Google, but YouTube has a leg up. It’s not only a streaming platform, but it’s also a search engine in itself. It is the second largest search engine — just after Google itself! Oh, and in case you don’t know already, the platform is owned by Google as well.
So, uploading your videos on YouTube is the safest route, albeit not the only one. Always keep your video where your audience is — so if that means social media, Vimeo, or any other streaming platform, make sure that your content gets uploaded there as well.
Related: Why Your Business Needs to be on YouTube?
Judging A Video By Its Thumbnail
We’re told to not judge a book by its cover, but here’s the thing — online, everyone judges video content by its thumbnail.
A good thumbnail will attract your audience’s attention and make it more likely to get views. So make it count! Thumbnails should be specifically designed to help users recognize the theme of your video, using an image from your video and text that accompanies your video’s title.
Stay away from clickbait-ey thumbnails, though! The image needs to represent your video’s theme and your brand’s style. Never misrepresent your content on purpose: if the image is not true to your video, viewers will know that it was not what they signed up for, stop watching, and never come back!
A little pro-tip? YouTube’s Creators Academy offers detailed tips on how to make effective thumbnails. You can even upload a proposal of your thumbnail to check if it is going to work!
Optimize Your Video’s Title and Description!
The way that you choose to name your video is one of the main elements that will draw people’s attention, and also plays a big role in how search engines index your content.
This is why both the video title and the description need to be relevant and include the right keywords!
How do you write a good title? Make sure that it is engaging, builds interest, and shows a clear purpose — your audience needs to understand that the piece will bring value to them. Also, keep it under 70 characters. That way, it’ll be visible, in full, on search results pages.
As for your video’s description, keep in mind that it divides into two parts: the preview that can be seen before your audience clicks the “Read more” button, and the complete description. You should make sure that the most important keywords and information are included in the preview!
Write Transcripts For Your Videos
Creating a transcript for your video means to translate the video audio into text… and you definitely shouldn’t forget to add them to your videos.
Because search engines can’t crawl video content’s audio, your transcript allows the script to be indexed, ranked, and become searchable. This will lead to an increase in your SEO results and an improvement in user experience!
The reason why it improves user experience is that people will be able to revisit a particular part of the video they’d like to reinforce, read along while they’re listening, or even watch the content muted.
Use YouTube Cards To Link Your Other Pieces
If you want more people to see your videos, you need to boost their availability. A great way to do this is to crosslink content on the videos that you upload. On YouTube, that can be done by using cards and end-screen recommendations, which will let you promote other videos, playlists, your channel, or even your associated websites.
YouTube Cards are what you see on top of videos that show information that’s relevant to the video that you’re playing. They can be added on YouTube’s video manager, and they’re even mobile-friendly, which is super important because over half of YouTube views come from mobile devices!
Make Sure Your Channel Is On Point!
Whether you’re uploading your content on YouTube, Vimeo, or any social platform that can be indexed on search engines, you need to make sure that your channel’s information is updated accordingly.
Think of your channel as your digital storefront. It needs to showcase your brand’s personality and essence because this is what will separate you from your competitors — your uniqueness is what will make people follow you and engage with more of your content.
Make sure that your profile picture (also called ‘channel icon’) is nice and recognizable as a part of your brand, as well as the banner of your page (the ‘channel art’). Your description needs to be on point as well; cover the type of content that you’re sharing, your upload schedule, and website/social media links.
Last but not least, don’t forget to upload content consistently — there is a much higher chance to increase SEO results if you regularly upload, instead of your showing up on your audience’s feeds once in a blue moon.
Make Dedicated Pages For Your Videos
We’ve been talking a lot about how to optimize your videos for YouTube and other hosting platforms, but that’s not the only way to do it. Even though there are a lot of advantages of hosting videos on social or streaming platforms, there’s also a case to be made for creating landing pages for your videos.
The name of the game here is to put your videos in the spotlight. As valuable parts of your marketing strategy, creating dedicated landing pages that accompany your video content and highlight their importance only makes sense.
Moreover, there’s also the benefit of video indirectly improving your SEO results, since this kind of content increases the time that a user spends on your sites. Remember, when people are browsing online, they tend to scan over text instead of reading it — but video can’t be scanned, and it’s also a format that’s easier to process, so people tend to watch it for longer periods.
So, you might be asking — should you upload your videos to a dedicated landing page, or YouTube and other social media platforms? The answer is simple — do it on both! You’ll only benefit from it.
Page-specific Tweaks and Improvements
Okay, so you’re now aware of how good it can be for your marketing campaign to create a landing page for your video. Now, let’s take a quick look at how you can optimize that landing page to make it even more powerful.
When designing a landing page for your video to be on, you need to design around your video. For this, you’ll need to keep in mind simple things like aesthetics. For example, if you’re creating a landing page for a whiteboard video, you could use a whiteboard aesthetic that links your piece to the other branding elements on your site. You can also use the site’s design to underscore other, trickier elements of your video, like tone and intention.
The tone of your landing page should be in sync with your video, and with the rest of your brand’s style. Remember, if you want your video to be recognized as a part of your brand, all pieces should be coherent!
Design-wise, when you create a landing page for your video, try to remove any sidebars or headers that can distract from the main focus: your piece.
Related: 6 Tried And Tested YouTube Marketing Tips For Startups
Proper SEO Is Essential, But Quality is Paramount
As we stated at the beginning of this article, proper SEO is important because your video needs to be seen to communicate your message effectively. The thing is — you can use all the tips and tricks in the world to make your videos SEO friendly, but if your video is not a high-quality, visually appealing piece, your SEO efforts will be wasted.
How can you maintain a high-quality standard with your video content? Well, it begins even before you start to create your piece, during the pre-production stages.
Depending on your budget, you could choose to do it yourself with some of the tools that can be found online or filming with your phone. This might be budget-friendly, but it’s also very impractical for a lot of marketing purposes because they cannot be fully customized — and this means that you won’t be able to tailor the video to your audience’s expectations and needs.
As any skilled marketer will tell you, this is very counter-productive! Marketing assets need to be highly tailored to your audience and the specifics of your campaign. Generic content is quickly forgotten, and low-quality pieces send the wrong message, so quality is not the place to cut corners.
So, if you are going with live-action content, you should find a producer that has a skilled team of videographers, camera-people, and such; and if you’re looking for a good animated video, find an animated video company that counts with a team of illustrators, animators… the whole shebang.
Either route is fine, as long as you have every piece of equipment and the resources you’ll need to make a piece that can proudly represent your brand.
Your videos can be promoted by using annotations and cards
YouTube provides you with annotated cards and annotations to help you promote your videos.
Annotations are clickable links that appear on your video, while cards are pop-up windows that appear during your video. In addition to promoting your other videos, you can use annotations and cards to link to your website or blog.
In your YouTube channel’s “Video Manager” section, you can add annotations and cards to your videos.
As I said in the beginning, making high-quality video content is important — but so is making sure it reaches the audience you are after. Optimizing your already-great pieces to make sure they are getting properly indexed and ranked should be part of your video marketing strategy as well!
Research and add the right keywords, but do it tastefully. Create interesting titles and descriptions for your videos, adding transcripts, and making sure that the channels in which you’re hosting these videos are on point!
Following these tips, and increasing your videos’ visibility will be inevitable! And if you’ve got any more tips to share, please, leave them in a comment below!