Why You Need to Be on YouTube
Like snowflakes on a winter day, or episodes of The Simpsons, YouTube has more topics that viewers can appreciate than any human can count. And because you already love making videos and most likely exhibit some expertise or viewpoint to share with the world, YouTube may be your best creative outlet.
On the downside, you’re not the only one hoping to get noticed on YouTube. Many others with the very same intention are looking to build an audience for their YouTube channels, too. (“How many?” you may ask. The number exceeds the number of those preapproved credit card applications that plague your mailbox, so we’re talking lots.)
Your journey on YouTube begins with knowing your strengths. Some users relish documenting the quirks of their existence to the gentle amusement of others. Others have some type of expertise to share. Then you have performers who regard the video hosting site as their personal stage — the list goes on and on. Even busi- nesses realize it’s a great place to inform consumers about their products or pro- vide a great level of customer service. Regardless of your passion, a potential audience is waiting for you.
Audience, audience, audience
Have you ever noticed the repetitive way people describe the most important aspect of a piece of real estate? Yes, we know it’s all about location, so much so that real estate agents, among others, feel compelled to say it three times, as though saying it once doesn’t get the point across.
Maybe that need for the special emphasis that comes with repetition is justified because, when it comes to success on your YouTube channel, we’re of the opinion that saying the word audience just once doesn’t do justice to its importance. In paying homage to our real estate buddies, we can agree that success for your You- Tube channel depends on [drum roll, please] audience, audience, audience!
What’s a YouTube audience actually like? You’ll find people from all walks of life, and you’ll soon discover that they can spend a great deal of time meandering through YouTube’s seemingly endless virtual walls, sometimes just entertaining themselves, sometimes educating themselves, sometimes engaging quite pas- sionately with what they see, sometimes letting it all just wash over them. Given the amount of time folks spend on the site, there’s a good chance that someone ends up seeing your video. Not a great chance, of course, given that the site has so much content and only so many viewers to watch that content — but still a good chance.
So, how do you move from “good chance” to “great chance”? First and foremost, your success depends on the strength of your content. Right behind strong con- tent, though, you’ll find that you need to be a virtual wrangler, capable of bringing to your channel people who may not know anything about you. To do that, you need to know what excites your viewers, what they’re looking for in video content, and how they consume what they like. With that information in hand, you can fine-tune your content to better serve your (current or potential) audience.
Gathering information on the viewing habits of your audience is a crucial first step in determining what they want to see and how long they’re willing to watch your videos. YouTube makes it easy to gather lots of information about your viewers — YouTube Analytics, covered in Chapter 11, is a big help here — but consulting friends and family about their viewing preferences is sometimes a good place to start.
Incorporating YouTube into your business and marketing plans
Just like cool sheets on a summer evening, YouTube goes perfectly with social media when it comes to your business and marketing needs. Why not? You already know that your presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter keeps you connected with all the right people. Guess what? YouTube can help raise your social media profile as well. (See Figure 1-1.)
Using social media can let people not on YouTube know there’s something
for them to check out.
By integrating your video content with social media, you can drive interested par- ties to your channel; your channel, in turn, can point them back to your social media platforms and your contact information. This synergy helps build a strong following, because you can inform potential customers about your business via multiple avenues.
Video is the perfect partner when it comes to showing products, giving demon- strations, providing tutorials, or showcasing other features designed to increase awareness of your brand. And YouTube is the perfect partner to host your videos.
When coming up with a plan to incorporate your YouTube-based video content into your business and marketing plans, here are some areas to consider:
» Give your videos eff titles: Your video should have clear and succinct titles. The titles should get to the point about your product or service so that people can easily fi your video.
» Create eye-catching thumbnails: Make your videos stand out from the crowd. Thumbnails are a great way to catch viewers’ attention and compel them to click through.
» Add more metadata: On YouTube, metadata is comprised of the title, video tags, and description of your videos. Coming up with a strong title is a good place to start, but it doesn’t end there. You should also add a detailed
description of the video, as shown in Figure 1-2, and use as many keywords — specifi words that are representative of your video’s subject matter — as are appropriate for the content. The more information that’s included with each video, the easier it is for viewers to fi exactly what you have to off in a Google search.
» Include your contact info on the video: Always add your business or personal information to the video and its description fi such as email address and social media sites.
The strong metadata of these videos allow them to show up on the first page of the search results
for this popular artist.