The second largest search engine on the web after Google is YouTube. In-house search engine marketers often overlook the promotional possibilities of YouTube, but with the relatively recent proliferation of cheap and easy video filming technologies (iPhones, Androids, Flips), leveraging YouTube’s massive search volume is something in-house search engine marketers should give at least as much time as they devote to other second-tier search engines like Bing, Facebook or Twitter.
Create A Brand Channel
Establishing a YouTube presence is the critical first step. Setting up a brand channel and getting it whitelisted will open up a host of customization possibilities, from custom background designs to the ability to add gadgets, like a booking widget.
Brand channels also open up a host of metrics via YouTube Insight, so you can measure engagement and success as well as conduct deeper analysis.
Then, of course, it’s time to add some videos, and preferably well-organized ones. Grouping videos into thematic playlists helps with video discovery for viewers and opens up the possibility of appearing as a playlist in YouTube search results.
I won’t go in depth on the myriad best practices for optimizing video descriptions and titles, but you can read more about all these SEO tactics and more on Search Engine Land’s Video Search area. In short, set up the best YouTube channel possible, with compelling and search engine optimized content.
Now that you have a fantastic library of video content sitting around, start promoting it to your website visitors, email subscribers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers and anyone else possible. Start growing viewers and subscribers for your YouTube channel; they will come in handy later.
Similar to AdWords’ paid search targeting, in-house marketers can set up campaigns for search-keyword-triggered promoted video placements on YouTube to appear in YouTube search results.
In addition, TrueView is YouTube’s rebranded instream video ad product. The basic model is to target a promotional instream video to appear on other relevant videos. Viewers can skip the video, but advertisers pay only when a minimum viewing threshold is met. A companion banner accompanies the instream ad as a call-to-action point.
Paying for promoted video has some ROI challenges since the video itself is not really a direct revenue driver, but it’s no more challenging than scenarios like paying for Facebook ads to grow fans, or promoted accounts and Tweets to grow Twitter followers. YouTube subscribers and viewers will have value; the key is testing and discovering what that value is for your organization.
Earlier in the article, I wrote that your YouTube channel viewers and subscribers will come in handy later, and that time is now. Start remarketing to them. Via the AdWords Audiences tab, in-house search engine marketers can set up a remarketing campaign for users who visited their YouTube brand channel.
Visitors to a YouTube channel are highly qualified customers, and many, having stumbled across videos while browsing or searching YouTube, will have never visited a channel’s associated website. Encourage them to stop by with remarketing ads. Check out more information on YouTube remarketing on YouTube’s blog.
Beyond YouTube: Video Ads & TV
There are a host of possibilities for in-house marketers to promote great video ad assets. Besides YouTube, there are Google video ads, Hulu and other online video streaming sponsorships, and most banner ad platforms support video assets. Leverage great performing video across channels!
With the rising popularity of online accessible entertainment, it seems like no one is watching television anymore. But still, it’s important to remember how many people still have cable in the USA — 104 million subscribers, according to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, or about one third of the total U.S. population.
TV is still one of the biggest audiences out there for video, so taking some great video and making a low-budget TV ad to run via targeted Google television campaigns might be a great test for in-house marketers, and a great résumé addition.
While these ideas only encourage in-house marketers to look at establishing a basic YouTube video presence and paid promotional options, there’s even more in-house teams can consider with promoting video via social media channels, viral campaigns, integrating into websites and the overall SEO benefits of video for natural search!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.