YouTube killed the Video Star


Using YouTube, Google+ & Video SEO to level the playing field against the big boys with big TV ad budgets

YouTube is another part of the success story that is the web. The web has helped to democratise the competition for people’s attention spans. You don’t necessarily need an ad budget to make your voice heard. Someone with a lone Twitter account can build up thousands of followers and become a subject matter authority. Another might build a gaming community on Google+ or successfully lobby a company with a Facebook page. That’s to say nothing of the various YouTube stars over the years. Some people even make a decent amount of money creating quality video content solely for distribution on YouTube. In this article I’ll take a look at how to make the most of your video content, using YouTube, Google+, Vimeo, content strategy, video SEO tips and more. I can’t promise that your content will go viral and you’ll be able to live off ad revenue, but I can help you stand out from your competitors. Most of them probably can’t be bothered to put in the effort to do all this – but I’m sure you’ll want to go that extra mile to beat them, right?

Let’s Start With Quality

The main ingredient in your potential success here is quality. This is true on two fronts. Firstly, the overall picture/sound quality of the video content should be at its best. I’m not expecting Hollywood production values here, but remember that the quality of your videos could reflect poorly on your products/services. It really depends on your business niche – if you sell construction tools your audience might expect a little bit of a ‘rough n ready’ video. However, if you sell luxury soft furnishings it could be a different story. At the end of the day, you know your audience! Give them a production quality and style that reflects your brand. Secondly the quality of the content is very important. Ever seen those corporate YouTube channels that are just full of company adverts? They might be acceptable if you have that aforementioned TV budget and have some interesting adverts to show. However, if you’re an SME and have used some basic video editing or web service to put together short promo videos your channel is going to be very boring if that’s all it has to offer. It depends again on your business and your customers, but in addition to company adverts why not upload: how to videos, product demonstrations, conference talks, customer testimonials, product reviews etc. You may also want to let your team have a go at making a viral video or take part in the latest video craze if it fits your company ethos. Whatever you do, script it out, do trial runs and try to figure out if you’re delivering on the intent of your video. If you’re doing a how-to are you skipping over steps that you find easy but others might not? Do your product demonstrations cover your customers’ most used features? (Or conversely how about mentioning ‘power-user’ features and shortcuts that most people don’t know about?).

Upload To All The Sites!  So far unlike textual content it seems to be ok to cross post your video. So get it uploaded to YouTube, bring it into your company Google+ page and upload to Vimeo and others too if you like. If your web server can support a reasonable quality of video streaming you can put it on your own site too.

And Now for the Science SEO Bit  Video SEO on the whole is reasonably straightforward. You simply make sure all the meta data – data about the video – is filled in as fully as possible using appropriate keywords. This may include the following:

  • Titles – What’s happening in the video? Who is in it? Can you give people a reason to watch this video?
  • Description – You can potentially go a little crazy here. Some video sites support a lot of text in this area, so you’ve a great opportunity to use those all important keywords in a mini blog post description.
  • Tags – Tags are quite boring to be honest, but you might as well throw in 5-10 words relevant to the subject of the video.
  • Filename – Just as with images I would recommend an informative filename for your video. Perhaps copy the title?
  • Transcription – did you know Google takes a crack at transcribing your video content for closed captions? The last time I looked its attempts were poor (but quite funny!). Give Google another way to understand what happens in your video by correctly transcribing it. It’s helpful as an assistance measure for the hard of hearing too of course.
  • Selectively Allow Embedding – Some videos will want to stay fully on your digital assets. However, by allowing people to embed some of your content you’re distributing it further afield, potentially reaching new viewers and receiving links in the process.
  • Links – With Youtube you can embed a link in your video. So at the end of your how-to video you can throw in a call-to-action, an on screen link to a relevant product and you’ve an easy path to conversion.
  • Microdata – With on-site video content it is important to add microdata markup on each video’s page. This will help Google better understand the video and can make the post look more engaging when posted on social media.
  • Video Sitemap – Provide a specialist sitemap for your videos with a link to each video.

There you have it! Good luck with your video strategy and if you need help with any aspect of your site or marketing it just get in touch!