Unless you have a very special pet or a precocious dancing baby, making your YouTube videos stand out among the 100 hours of footage that is uploaded to the site every minute can often seem like an uphill battle. However, given that integrating video content into your marketing strategy provides opportunities to connect with new customers, deepen brand loyalty, and increase your overall brand visibility, marketers know how important it is to make sure that they get the most out of their video efforts. Below, we take a look at some of the most relevant strategies out there to help you make sure your YouTube content stand out from the crowd.
1. Use What You Have: When strategizing about video content, marketers would do well to remember the old adage about not reinventing the wheel. Ideally, your videos will extend and deepen your brand's message rather than trying to tell an entirely new story, which risks alienating viewers. Videos can and should present material in new and unique ways, but they should do so in ways that feel like a natural extension of what your viewers already believe to be true about your brand. Check out this beginner’s guide to YouTube marketing for a great step forward.
One of the best ways to create quality content that feels natural and that will stand out among all of the other overly promotional material out there is to draw on what you already have at your fingertips. Your office or business may just be a goldmine of untapped video content. Consider some of the following ideas:
- Interviews with staff.
- Conference presentations.
- Trade show exhibitions.
- Client Interviews/Testimonials.
- A guided walking tour of your site.
- Product demonstrations.
- "A Day in the Life" of a staff member who plays a unique role in your company.
- Event footage from a meaningful benefit, charity event, company milestone, etc.
2. Make Sure Viewers Can Find Your Videos: This may seem obvious, but if no one can find your video, it is impossible for it to stand out, no matter how high-quality or relevant it is. Luckily, there are several simple steps that you can take to optimize your video so that it will be readily accessible to viewers via search.
- Provide a transcript alongside your video. Search engines aren't able to search video, but they will be able to pick up on the accompanying text and point searchers in your direction.
- Integrate keywords into video tags, video titles, and video description to ensure your videos are visible to search engines.
- Integrate your videos with your other social media channels, by including links to your YouTube channel on your Facebook, Twitter, and blog sites.
3. Include a Call to Action: Another successful strategy to make online videos stand out is to include a call to action in each video that will hopefully work to develop community. When you make it clear what you would like viewers to do, videos become more meaningful and purposeful. Useful ways to do this include asking people to share your video on Facebook or to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Other great examples to help your videos stand out from the crowd include:
- Suggesting that viewers watch a related video on your channel.
- Soliciting feedback in the comments field (and then actively responding to them).
- Making it easy for viewers to register for an event or contest associated with your organization, right from the video page.
4. Use Annotations: A simple and rewarding way to build an additional level of audience engagement into your video campaign is to make use of YouTube's annotations tool. Annotations allow you to include links on top of your video, links to other videos on your channel, pop-up speech bubbles, and Hot Spots, which direct the reader to a certain area of the video. When done well, annotations add a level of duration and ease to the user experience that is memorable. (Note that the opposite is also true of over-using the annotations features; a video that is cluttered with annotations stands out, it is true, but in a negative way.)
The Takeaway: Making your YouTube content stand out from among so much content requires thought and a solid strategy, but YouTube success is well within reach for marketers who put in the time. YouTube content that works isn't magic, however much it can sometimes feel cloaked in mystery for those who are still struggling with it. As Mark Olsen from Mental Floss reminds us here, "the most important thing to keep in mind is that your audience isn't a number: it's made up of living, breathing humans." When you develop and promote content with the living breathing humans that make up your audience in mind, that's when your video content will really begin to shine.