It’s no secret that video is the current superstar of the digital marketing world. Mark Zuckerberg called video a “megatrend” back in February 2017, and BrightCove reports that the average consumer watches almost one hour of video on social media a day. Additionally, 60% of survey respondents said they believe their viewing habits will increase.

While other platforms are vying for a slice of the video pie, YouTube remains the go-to platform for video. If you’re a marketer who’s looking to succeed on YouTube in 2018, keep reading.

Get to know YouTube

YouTube launched in 2005 as a video sharing platform developed by former PayPal employees. By the fall of 2006, it was acquired by Google. Since the acquisition, YouTube has seen phenomenal grown in both users and total video uploads. According to YouTube, its user base includes almost one-third of all internet users
that’s over 1 billion people. Every day, those users generate billions of views by watching a billion hours of YouTube videos every day.

Who’s using YouTube?

As mentioned above, YouTube exceeds 1 billion users. Here’s a breakdown of who those users are, how they watch and where they live:

  • YouTube reaches more adults (18-34 and 18-49 year-olds) than any U.S. cable network (YouTube for Press)
  • Users like to view YouTube videos via their mobile devices over half of all views come from mobile (YouTube for Press)
  • Over 88 countries have local versions of YouTube (YouTube for Press)
  • YouTube is available in 76 different languages 95% of the internet’s population (YouTube for Press)
  • YouTube users are more likely to be college graduates compared to the general population (Think with Google)
  • Users are more likely to be parents compared to non-users (Think with Google)
  • The majority of internet users around two-thirds watch a YouTube video at least once per week (Think with Google)

As you can see, a massive audience routinely goes to YouTube for information and entertainment.

YouTube do’s for 2018

With all the competition for eyeballs on YouTube, you need a robust strategy. Do…

Think like a TV network

While you probably aren’t creating sitcoms or hour-long dramas for your YouTube channel, you still need to think about your programming. Develop a schedule for your video content. Set a publishing cadence so your viewers know when to come back for your video content.

Pay attention to production

Ensure you can capture good sound quality, provide excellent visuals and deliver a great story or message. Consider uploading HD-quality video every time. Backlinko analyzed over 1 million YouTube videos and found that over 68% of videos on page one of search are in HD.

Use your target keyword in your video title

The Backlinko study also determined that an exact match keyword in your video title can give you a slight edge in search.

Use your description space wisely

YouTube only displays the first two or three lines (about 100 characters). While the entire description can be up to 1,000 characters, a viewer’s first impression lies in those 100 initial characters. Front-load your description with the most critical information.

Use playlists to lengthen visitor time on your channel

Take videos that share a theme and bundle them into playlists. With a playlist, you make it easier for viewers to find related content and extend their stay on your channel.

Experiment with paid reach

YouTube offers several different types of paid advertising. With a well-executed ad-length video, you can increase your brand awareness with a highly targeted audience. Learn more about paid advertising on YouTube.

Add interactivity to your videos with cards

YouTube Cards allow you to guide users to specific URLs, show custom images, and more. Add companion content through links and visuals that keeps your audience engaged on the topic at hand.

Educate yourself

Learn about other YouTube video formats such as 360-degree video and live streaming.

YouTube don’ts for 2018

If you want to reach your audience in 2018, don’t…

Don’t forget to ask your community to engage with you

Too often, businesses create new videos but don’t ask their employees, customers and followers to go view, like and comment on the latest upload. The Backlinko study mentioned above finds a high correlation between rankings and views, likes, comments and shares.

Don’t neglect custom thumbnails

If you haven’t verified your YouTube account, that’s step one. Once you’re verified, you can create custom thumbnails that give you more control over branding and presentation when you and others embed or share your videos elsewhere.

Don’t rely on 1 video to see you through the year

You need to give your viewers a reason to come back. A single, expensive, well-produced video is good, but it may not do as much for your brand as some smaller productions you can create working one-on-one with a videographer.

Don’t wing it

Whether you’re going live or recording for later publication, practice is critical. You want to represent your brand in the best possible light. Don’t polish to the point where you seem unnatural. Just be prepared, so you sound like the pro you are.

Don’t leave out a call to action

You made a great video. So what? Did you ask the viewer to do what you want them to do after they watch it? Tell them what that is. Encourage them to read your blog, take a free trial, download something. Add that CTA in the video verbally, visually and through interactive cards.

Final thoughts

YouTube isn’t just a place where people go to waste time watching videos; it’s a search engine where people look for information, education and yes entertainment. In fact, Forbes reported it’s the second largest search engine behind Google. Take advantage of YouTube in your online video marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and sales.

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