YouTube: Broadcast Yourself - Social Media Stage
YouTube is a consumer media site that gives everyone a place to upload, view and share original videos with the online world. With a mind-blowing 72 hours of video uploaded every minute, there is a wide variety of user-generated content including music videos, movie and TV clips, personal moments, webinars and video blogging. YouTube reports that not only has the amount of 'likes' and 'dislikes' of videos doubled since 2011, there is a 1:10 'dislike' to 'like' ration. Users like to share what they love; therefore, as YouTube continues to build a positive place for social sharing, their user base will continue to grow as well. In fact, Americans watched a record breaking 10.076 billion video ads in May 2012, according to ComScore.
Video is an influential and powerful channel of communication. Whether you want to give a product description, respond to negative feedback, or simply entertain your viewers, video provides an efficient way to engage with your customers. Subscriptions are a great way to connect with like-minded people and keep up with their activity on the site. Find other users in your niche market and subscribe to their channel to start building relationships by liking, sharing, or leaving meaningful comments on their videos.
According to YouTube, every week 100 million people perform a 'social action' (like, share, comment, etc.) on YouTube. The YouTube Analytics reports provide insight into important data such as demographics of your audience, an overall measure of the video's ability to retain its audience, and a summary on viewer's engagement of the video. You should use this valuable information to see what video content is attracting viewers and apply that knowledge to creating your next video.
As a leading online destination for video entertainment, YouTube can be a commanding tool for branding your business. However, simply creating a YouTube channel is not nearly enough. You have to build your channel by writing well optimized channel and video descriptions, regularly uploading informative videos that contain original ideas, and monitoring the channel's social activity. Be sure to promote your videos throughout your Website and Blog. Put your YouTube channel's username on all your marketing collateral to gain exposure. In addition, leaving noteworthy comments on videos uploaded by people in your niche and your channel's exposure and popularity will increase. Not to mention, your video comments will start to get noticed by leading figures in your market, opening the door for bigger and better opportunities.
YouTube may not be the best source for generating traffic to your Website given that clicks on a YouTube result get sent to YouTube, and not your Website. With that said, there are a few tactics that you can do to capitalize on the small window of potential for referral traffic. To start, be sure to include your Website's URL in both the video description and in the video itself. If your URL is nowhere to be found, the chance of users visiting your Website because of that specific video dwindles. Also, in addition to embedding your videos onto your Website, provide a code for your video so others have the option to embed your video onto their Website if they wish. This is an easy way to add another avenue for people to see your video, thus increasing the chance of more people visiting your site.
Since Google owns YouTube, videos originating from the site typically have a high ranking on the SERPs; so YouTube is good for generating links back to your site. Google reports that its algorithms take into account the total number of views a video gets, and all views that are received from embedded videos on your Website get added to the total count of 'views' on YouTube. Thus, embedding the video onto your site can have an indirect positive effect on its search engine ranking. **Side note: if you embed a video on your Web page, it is important to know that Google does not see your video content. Since Google can't completely read flash, your video is invisible to their spiders. To avoid this issue, be sure to include a text description of the video somewhere on the Web page to help spiders read your content.
Additionally, the title of your video is a key influencer for search rankings. For optimum results, make sure the title, description and tags of your video are well optimized. Include keywords that are relevant to your video and that are commonly being used by viewers who are searching for videos in your niche. In addition, look at the keywords of popular videos in your niche. YouTube's keyword suggestion tool is another great way to find new, original ideas.
Have you created a YouTube channel for your brand yet? How are you using this Social Media platform, or what's holding you back? Let us know by using the #SocialMediaStage on Twitter, posting a comment to our Facebook Page or leaving a comment below!