Sure, I know how to post a Facebook status, send a tweet @IGORoamnreport #hesreallycoolyoushouldfollowhim or upload a video. But believe it or not, actual strategies exist that can benefit your social media outreach.
Two weeks ago I tuned into a webinar sponsored by The Integrated Media Association (iMA) and National Center for Media Engagement (NCME) called Tips, Tricks, and Tactics to Make the Most of Your Online Video. The presenters were Kevin Dando, Director of Digital Marketing and Communications at PBS and Greg Jarboe, President and Co-Founder of SEO-PR, an Internet marketing consulting firm. These guys are legit, so let’s get to the nuts and bolts of what I learned about bringing more traffic to your YouTube video.
Background on YouTube
More video content is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than all 3 major U.S. networks have created in 60 years. Only 10% of these videos get more than 1500 views in the first month and only 3% get more than 25,000. How can YOU get more hits? The first step is to know how to take advantage of titles, descriptions, and tags to optimize your video for search engines.
Optimizing Titles, Descriptions, and Tags
Titles: Titles have a 100 character limit. Use the title as a headline and try to use as much of the character limit as possible. Include a brand name or a website if you have one – it should go last.
Descriptions: Descriptions have a 5000 character limit. Of these 5000 characters, you should use up as many as you can. Stay relevant but try to be as detailed as possible. Textual elements found in the description of your video are the terms that search algorithms pick up. What that means is that the details in your text help your video get discovered when somebody searches for related content. If you have a website, include this link as the first item in the text. Also include links to your twitter or facebook fan page, myspace, email, etc.
[Tip: How do you know what your audience is interested in? Try typing in related phrases in a search bar and see what the auto-fill comes up and which videos pop up.]
Tags: Be detailed. List brands. List related topics. List geographic locations.
Annotations and Captions
Annotations: The annotations feature can have a variety of promotional uses. You can use annotations to plug your website or ask people to subscribe to your YouTube channel. You can also use annotations to draw a viewer closer by expanding on related resources, such as promoting a similar video, posting a relevant update, or simply throwing in a catchy comment.
Captions: Not everyone on YouTube speaks English. Think of how much you can expand your audience if you include some captions in, say, Spanish?
Other Tactics to Help Promote Your Videos
Branding: Always bug your video at the beginning. Use a slide or graphic to let people know where your video is from and who made it.
Cross Promotion: It’s a two way street. Use your videos to promote your website and social media but don’t forget to promote your videos through your social media outlets. Ask people to comment, to re-tweet, and to ‘like’ your stuff.
Statistics: Check your YouTube insights to figure out how your viewers are responding to your videos.
The webinar ended with Greg Jarboe giving a dramatic example of the power of YouTube optimization. Voyage.tv, a travel company, got 1,510 video views in its first 8 months on YouTube. After optimizing their videos, hits skyrocketed to over 1,000,000 views in the next 14 months! This could be you someday. Good luck!