YouTube has evolved significantly over the last decade, and today, it’s a powerful tool for brands to incorporate in their marketing efforts. However, many brands don’t quite understand how to make YouTube a high-performing content channel. Here’s what eight YouTube experts have to say about making the most of the platform.
Q: What is your number one tip for brands that want to leverage YouTube in 2021?
1. A/B test everything.
My top YouTube tip: Don’t be afraid of testing the various elements of your videos against themselves. When creating content for YouTube, utilize the ads platform to A/B test your video length, copy, CTAs, and other creative elements. Testing in this way opens the door for you to make better ad decisions and determine future organic content strategies.
It also provides valuable insight into your audience. What do they want to see from you? Is there a particular color scheme that yields more engagement? These are questions that A/B testing will answer for you. Lastly, remember that most people have a short attention span, which means you only have around 2.5 seconds to capture their attention, so make the most of it!
Social Media Strategist at Sociallyin
2. Use YouTube as a content marketing platform.
Treat YouTube like a content marketing platform, because that’s ultimately what it is. You’re getting to deliver useful, valuable content that your audience is actively searching for. If you can deliver on that search intent better than your competitors, you’ll build a following quickly, which you can then direct to off-platform sites and third-party social profiles.
Content Marketer at Ana Gotter Writing
3. Avoid content that doesn’t work well on YouTube.
My number one tip for brands who want to leverage YouTube in 2021 is to understand the types of content that DO NOT work. Too often, we see brands spending money to create the type of content that will never result in a positive return on investment on YouTube; generating fewer than 1000 views in a month. You have to be willing to take a risk and create something that people want to watch, regardless of whether or not they are familiar with your brand.
Playing it safe with budget and creative is very rarely going to be worthwhile when it comes to producing valuable YouTube content for a brand. Also, YouTube advertising is still an incredibly cost-efficient and effective advertising channel for retargeting; if you’ve had success using display ads for retargeting, it’s likely that YouTube advertising will be even more effective for you.
Managing Director at Simply Ads Ltd
4. Put some time and thought into your thumbnails.
Focus on high-quality and attention-grabbing thumbnails. When a viewer does a search, nothing but a sea of thumbnails is put in front of them. You want your thumbnail to stand out so they click and watch your video. Look at what others in your niche are doing and either be better and/or different. Try to be consistent with your style and use of color and fonts. Don’t repeat the title as the text in your thumbnail. Short-and-sweet for the thumbnail text is the ticket. Stick to those tips as a general rule for your thumbnails and you will notice a difference.
PS: People like to see faces…and your eyes. Be expressive!
Graphic Designer/Owner at Social Mint
5. Solve problems where your product is the ideal solution.
On a daily basis, millions of users from all around the world are searching on YouTube for solutions to their problems. When you create and amplify content where your product is the ideal solution, you can reach millions of qualified prospects while building brand loyalty.
YouTube has and will likely continue to gain market share in search because unlike text-based marketing mediums, video has a completely different impact by combining the power of audio and visual.
Director of Product Education at Ahrefs
6. Remember that YouTube is the second-largest search engine.
Treat YouTube as a search engine, because it’s the second-largest one (after Google)! It’s more than just a place to dump your company videos. Create content around your target audience‘s pain points so you can start ranking for those keywords. Doing this will help you drive more problem-aware traffic to your channel every single day without having to do anything extra.
CEO and YouTube Marketing Expert at J Diggs Media, LLC
7. Set up a channel right away if you don’t already have one.
If you or your brand don’t own a YouTube channel, immediately set up a channel and include it in your marketing strategy—that’s my #1 tip. No matter how often you plan to publish videos, just do it. If you want to grow your channel organically, make sure your audience retention is growing alongside the total watch time. You should not care about subscriber growth (if you have 10k subs, but nobody purchases your product or service, what’s the value of that 10k subs?), but make sure you make efforts to grow watch time and engagement on your channel.
If you need to increase the watch time, collect your videos into one playlist, create an SEO-friendly title of your playlist and share the playlist’s link as many times as you can. When you share a video-in-playlist link, you get more engagement, more watch time, and many more views. Why? A viewer watches one video, then keeps watching the next video, and then you’ve hooked your viewer just because you collected all related videos into one playlist.
YouTube Expert at Utubeo
8. Show, don’t tell.
YouTube is not just a source of entertainment in 2021—it’s also becoming a place where people go to find solutions for their problems. This is why “How-to” videos are one of the most consumed video styles on YouTube. Right now, brands should adopt the “show, don’t tell” approach. This means you should show more of your product through videos rather than just talking about it. To begin with, brands can start with something as simple as screen recording videos.
Product Marketing Specialist at Vmaker