YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and is owned by Google the world’s largest search engine. Businesses should consider YouTube for one reason “search visibility”. If your not making content that ranks on the second largest search engine in the world, that’s a big missed opportunity. Today, more YouTube video content is popping up when people are searching for results on Google alongside blog posts and text-based articles.
YouTube has a lot of potential to pick up traction
Expert YouTuber Tim Schmoyer explains, that several people who are making full-time income from their website say that when they added YouTube to their content marketing, it brought in more revenue than any other part of their business.
Tim Schmoyer has a Video Creators podcast and has over 500,000 subscribers. Tim says that many of his clients have sold their blog and kept their YouTube Channel because it converts better.
Why? YouTube shows viewers how their products work while simultaneously building a human connection with them.
As you can see from the info-graphic images below, YouTube captivates a large Australian audience and more importantly a world audience, which helps brands and businesses extend thier reach. Expert You-Tuber Tim Schmoyer worked with the lifestyle channel that was specifically seeking women aged 60 and older. The channel had 400 subscribers when they started, and within just a year it has accumulated 100,000 subscribers while logging millions of views a month.
People aren’t passively going to the platform; they’re actively subscribing and following channels, watching and commenting on content, and engaging.
How Does YouTube Differ From Google & Facebook?
What works on Google in terms of keywords and tags won’t necessarily grow your channel on YouTube. Google wants to deliver results that either answer your question right there on their page or move you to a website that can give you a more in-depth answer.
People typically use Facebook to browse through their news feed when they see a video that catches their eye they stop, and watch. However, people typically aren’t actively using Facebook to search for do it yourself (DIY) content such as “How to change a car tire?”
People on YouTube are specifically looking for content to watch. Once they’re on the platform, then they start browsing.
The differences are:
- There’s a big ad right at the top of the page, and several videos YouTube thinks you’d be interested in.
- The goal of the page is to get you to browse videos and start a viewing session.
- Based on your past engagement and views, YouTube will serve suggested videos they think you might like right on the homepage, whether you’ve entered a search or not. It’s very similar to recommendations on Netflix.
YouTube is always trying to bring people back to the platform, hold their attention, and keep them there.
How Videos Get Discovered on YouTube?
Different ways people discover YouTube videos:
- Searching for content
- Browsing content and going from one suggested video to the next
- Watching playlists, thereby discovering related videos in those playlists
- Finding new channels through video collaborations
- Watching the suggested video on their YouTube homepage
Essentially, If you want YouTube to suggest your video, you need to help them accomplish their goals of getting people back to YouTube, getting people to watch, and holding their attention.
Create Videos That Bring People Back to YouTube
Videos that pop up on your viewer YouTube homepage are determined by what you’re watching on YouTube. For example, if you spend an hour a day watching videos from a specific channel, Google assumes that you’re a fan of that channel and will place more content related to that channel on your homepage every time you come back to YouTube.
Recommended video suggestions can also be predisposed by the days you watch certain videos. YouTube mimics audiences searching and viewing habits so if a viewer knowingly watches a channel that publishes content on a Tuesday and Thursday. YouTube will save them the trouble of searching the channel by automatically placing the content in front of the viewer on Tuesday and Thursday.
As a business or channel owner, you can use this to your advantage by having a posting schedule. The consistent production of video on a certain day can be an incentive to bring people back to YouTube. If YouTube can conclude that’s the reason they’re coming back, your videos stand a better chance of showing up as suggested content.
Making your content part of someone’s weekly routine to the point where YouTube will promote your video to the homepage means that people start their viewing session with you right in front of them and yours is the first video they watch. That’s really valuable.
To track the traffic from people browsing YouTube’s homepage, open YouTube Analytics and click on Traffic Sources.
Understand Viewers Watch Time
Watch time— the length of time someone spends watching your videos both individually and collectively is one of the primary metrics Google uses to determine the value of a video.
But how do we know if viewers are engaged? Luckily for channel creators, YouTube wants to know the answer to that question too. When YouTube surfaces a video, they want to know if people watch it, if they click through, and if they’re engaged. If someone does click through, do they watch for 2 seconds and leave, 10 seconds and leave, or do they stay for a full 10 minutes?
This is where audience retention comes into play.
Top creators with channels that have 60-100 million views a month are familiar with their YouTube audience retention reports. Creators use retention graphs to create each video in a way that holds their viewer’s attention to the end.
For example, Tim Schmoyer explains, that one client discovered that a portion of his viewers dropped every time he said the word “module.” He stopped using “module” in his video and the retention graph flattened out. People watched for a longer period of time, which raised the value of his videos in the platform’s eyes.
To view your retention graphs, open YouTube Analytics and click on Audience Retention.
Encourage Longer Watch Time on YouTube
Once you’ve got someone to watch your video, how do you improve watch time?
Simple “deliver good content” from the beginning of the video to the end and use end screens. Once the end screen appears, lean-to another video of yours to engage them to watch more of your content. Finally, make sure to ask them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. For example, as the end screens show, say something similar to:
“Now that you guys know X, I want to share Y and take it to a whole new level. Click the video on your screen right here, and I’ll see you guys over there, and make sure to subscribe”
By doing this you’re actively encouraging viewers who just gave you the maximum amount of watch time on your video to click and watch more of your content. The average click-through rate (CTR) on a new video is approximately .7%–1%. The above tactic can raise CTR to 42%.
YouTube’s statistics show that “top-performing brands on YouTube build and promote twice as many playlists as the bottom 25%.”
Why do playlists work so well? Auto-play. It takes effort to pull your attention away from videos you’re enjoying when they just keep playing. There’s a cognitive bias at work called ‘loss aversion.’ loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains; it is better to not lose $5 than to find $5. Auto-play uses loss aversion to reframe the situation.
The question is no longer, “Do you want to watch another video enough to actively click play?” Now, the question is, “Do you want to stop watching enough to actively click away?” It’s subtle but powerful, and if your content is good, viewers will often keep watching. Also, playlists can help improve search rankings, as playlist titles are another opportunity to target keywords.
To get more views on YouTube, create a playlist of your best content and start promoting it ASAP!
How long should your YouTube video be?
Is there a recommended video length? The short answer to this question is no. There’s not enough data to provide helpful guidelines.
Rather than asking how long your video should be, you should consider how well you can hold someone’s attention. If it’s 10 minutes, do 10-minute videos. If you can hold attention for 2 minutes, do 2-minute videos.
It’s about how well you tell a story.
In the past metadata the title, description, tags, and so forth was seen as a good way to enhance search visibility, but Google realised the best result for a search query isn’t necessarily the video that repeats a keyword five times in the description and crams it 15 different ways into the tags. Metadata is still important, but what really matters is creating relevant content that engages viewers, as opposed to merely attracting clicks from viewers who don’t stay to watch. If people abandon your content pretty quickly, your video won’t rank well.
Have you entered a search for a specific query such as “How to draw a cat” and the first result was something completely different like “How to draw a cute husky puppy.” While there were no cat-related keywords on the video, the thumbnail image of a husky puppy did vaguely resemble a cat. Still, people who clicked on the video stayed to watch until the end, Google and YouTube specifically learned that it was a relevant result. The video wasn’t served because it used the right keywords; it was served because it delivered the right value.
Viewer signals are more important then metadata.
Why Marketing on YouTube Works
Expert You-Tuber Tim Schmoyer provides an insightful client story that proves businesses can maximise their revenue using YouTube within just a few weeks. Tim had a client who was doing one video every weekday, totalling five videos per week. Providing insightful instructive content to his audience, and at the end, he would say, “And to take this to the next level, buy X.” The goal of every video was to generate sales; he was generating about $20K a month for his business. Not bad considering YouTube was his main source of income; within a few weeks, the channel went from doing $20K a month to $100K a month.
How? Tim’s client shifted to making four videos per week to encourage people to watch more content, and one video a week that encouraged people to visit his website and buy from him. The problem with his original approach was that he was over fluctuating each piece of his content as opposed to prioritizing it accordingly to specific objectives and subjects.
If the goal of your video is to be discoverable, make high-value content people can click and watch even if they’ve never heard of you before. Once they’ve been introduced to your brand, you can encourage them to watch more content where you continue to deliver value.
As you can see, YouTube is your best channel to use for video marketing.
You can enjoy boosts in search engine optimisation (SEO); build your traffic and brand awareness, expand your social reach, market to audiences overseas and increase sales.
It’s time to hit the play button on your video marketing strategy.