Over the past few months we've covered almost all the aspects of YouTube optimization, from optimizing YouTube videos for search and for paid media, as well as YouTube analytics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Through that series, I have had a lot of people ask me some very good questions.
One question came from Mark, a chief marketing officer for a human resources software startup. Mark told me that he optimized his videos for a list of specific terms such as "Vacation Tracking Software" but he is not getting any results.
I asked him why he had chosen those keyphrases and what type of video assets he had chosen. His answers baffled me. And after talking to a few more small- to mid-size companies the problem became obvious:
Many marketers like Mark know that they have to use YouTube, be visible, and engaging, but they are just not sure how. In some cases they are even treating YouTube like a single asset, while in reality YouTube is its own multi-faceted channel with the potential to reach myriad audiences and deliver on many different KPIs - and should be treated as such.
In order to help marketers get on the right track and dominate YouTube search results, it's important to ask some simple questions. The answers to these questions will hold the keys to YouTube success.
To translate these questions into actionable steps, I propose the following best practices, in order.
As mentioned in "Optimizing for YouTube Search," there are various ways to measure engagement on YouTube assets. For example, annotations and bubbles inside the video itself, or links in the description or annotations can be used to measure the amount of clicks and ultimately conversions generated by a specific video.
Sticking with the HR software example, here are the three possible KPIs/measurements:
Once you analyze the behavior of your audiences and performance of your videos you will be able to take some of these findings and turn them into actionable insights. One example of those insights for Mark was in the data of the embed locations. One of their integrators had embedded some of Mark's videos into their site. Monthly, they generated about 400 video views at a 4 percent action rate. However, that site had over 5,000 daily unique visitors, so Mark decided to offer additional video content to that integrator to be placed on more pages across that site. Views are now up about 240 percent.
To build your audience on YouTube, there are a few different tactics to employ; one simple way is to try one of the many advertising opportunities YouTube offers for paid search. When it comes to organic search, however, there are two avenues to acquire YouTube audiences - optimize for YouTube search (after all, YouTube is the second largest search engine), and optimize for video results inside Google search. There are columns on ClickZ about how to do this here and here.
To get back to Mark's initial problem: before choosing if you want to optimize the videos for Google or YouTube search and what you want to optimize them for, you should evaluate what viewers search for and how much they search on each engine. Go back to the Google Keyword Tool and the YouTube Keyword Tool to understand these opportunities.
In short, your steps for developing better video reach, content, and engagement are:
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Benjamin Spiegel is the Director of Search Operations at Catalyst Online/GroupM, a WPP Company. Catalyst is a leading search engine marketing agency with offices in Boston, New York, Seattle, Toronto, and Chicago. Benjamin defines the organic search process, creates the agency's SEO offerings, develops campaign strategies, and oversees talented teams of SEO managers and directors. Upon first joining Catalyst, Benjamin held the position of Organic Search Director where he worked with clients in a range of industries including luxury, mobile, automotive, and CPG.
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