Getting Subs and Eating Bugs: The Ultimate YouTube Success Guide

Everyone wants to know the secret to going viral on YouTube, and while there are some good rules of thumb to follow to get you there, virality just happens. It’s like when someone gets dared to eat a bug and they actually do it. You never expect it to happen, but your friends all need to know that Todd ate that caterpillar. The world needs to know. 

YouTube is an ever-changing platform and making sure you stay up to date on any sort of trends, updates to content regulations, and changes to the algorithm are all important things to take into consideration when trying to get the most views and subscribers. Our handy guide below will get you started on creating the best content for your audience and get you marketing on YouTube faster than you can say “Gangnam Style.” 

Find Out If YouTube Is Right for Your Business

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This is a biggie. If your brand isn’t best displayed in a video format, or you’re only going to be able to produce a few videos worth of content, maybe hold your finger off the “upload video” button. It’s easy to see the success some viral videos have from digital marketing on YouTube, but that doesn’t mean everyone will succeed by posting weekly content. 

If you still want to post videos, but won’t have a consistent upload schedule, Facebook would be a good alternative. Recent 2018 trends have shown video content typically ranks the highest on Facebook, followed by image content, then page links.

Advertising On YouTube

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So maybe YouTube is right for you, but you really don’t have the time to produce a lot of content and really only care about drawing in leads for your business. In this case, digital marketing on YouTube would be your best bet. However, bear in mind that YouTube ads are kind of like TV ads in the sense that, for the most part, they are meant for brand awareness (you also may need to sell your soul a little). Sayvee has experience setting up said advertising and can help you succeed in drawing in leads to your business through internet marketing efforts.  

Explore The Best Content To Create

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When creating content there are several key points to keep top of mind before you create content and what to do once you’ve made it:

  • The purpose of the video

  • The type of video

  • Video engagement & optimization

  • YouTube SEO

The Purpose Of The Video

The purpose of the video is especially important. It’s great if you want to make a how-to video about how to boil water (one of the hardest feats to accomplish correctly), but you need to drive engagement if you want to build your audience. Maybe turn the how-to video into a contest. For example, out of all the people who submit clips of themselves following your how-to instructions, one will be chosen to get featured in the next video and the entrant will win a $25 gift card to Amazon. YouTube isn’t like a lot of other social media sites where it’s easy to create a small text blurb or article link just to have some content. Videos take more time and effort than other media, and putting the time into discovering what you want the end result of the video to be means you’ll be getting the most from your time and effort. 

The Type Of Video

When it comes to the type of video, you should decide if you want your brand’s channel to be focused on short videos (2-5 minutes) long videos (10-15 minutes) or a mixture of the two. As with just about every decision, there are pros and cons to each video type. 

Short videos help your brand get straight to the point and are much easier to make since they don’t typically require as much footage. However, they aren’t commonly favoured by Google’s YouTube search algorithm and don’t typically show up as often. YouTube has made a huge switch in recent years toward audience retention and away from “views”, which in the past significantly contributed to rankings. If you are going with short videos, the best way to combat this would be to make the highest quality videos (and maybe fewer to ensure your content doesn’t suffer from being part of an assembly line). The better your videos, the better chance you have to build an audience and rank for your content keywords, and improve your online marketing efforts.

Long videos are great if you want to explain something more in-depth and are currently what YouTube favours when it comes to video length. However, don’t draw out content for the sake of SEO, so much so that your makeup tutorial video runs long enough that by the end you look like a circus clown. Video length should be appropriate to your content and encourage people to continue watching because they are interested in what you are showing. If you create a ten minute video, but people only watch the first two minutes, then you might as well have just made a two minute clip and your digital marketing efforts have gone to waste. 

If you commit to doing both types of videos, each should have its own type of content associated with it. Let me explain: it helps if you have short videos centred around a topic, like a “meet the team” and have long videos associated with a different topic like “10 outdoor activities you can do with [product].” This helps to separate your content while keeping it fresh. 

How People Can Engage With The Video

While this may seem like a straightforward point, there’s a deeper level to it. You do want to drive engagement on your video since comments, likes, and views all matter in ranking higher on YouTube. That being said, at the end of the day you need to have a point to your video as previously discussed. If the goal is to highlight fun office life and office lifestyle events then do that, but it’s just as important to create content that makes people want to share it as opposed to just consuming it. Or, even better, driving people to your website, contact form, quote request, etc. 

You also want to be encouraging people to click on the video in the first place with a strong title, and intriguing thumbnail (but avoid clickbait titles like “7 UNBELIEVABLE WAYS TO INCREASE PROFITS”). Another way to draw in clicks is to create playlists of videos around one topic. Since playlist videos autoplay onto the next it can be a great way to get people viewing more of your videos and getting more familiar with your brand and business. If you need a good video to start with, make a video about puppies playing with babies. Or a video about babies playing with kittens. Or puppies playing with babies, playing with kittens, where they all hug at the end. Bam! Solid video right there! Adorableness always wins. Now you just need a puppy, baby, and a kitten. 

Youtube SEO   

YouTube has become the second largest video search platform and, like Google Search, has its own ranking method for getting to the number one spot in search results. Therefore, it’s important not to neglect web-marketing efforts that can affect this. As mentioned previously, comments and likes do make a difference in rankings so creating not only good content, but content that creates discussion can help with boosting subscriber count and improving placement in the YouTube search rankings. One important aspect to be aware of is that subscriber count has a weak impact on rankings. While you should be trying to build up subscribers through your digital marketing efforts, starting out small won’t bump your videos to the dreaded “page two” just because you have only fifty subscribers. 

Performing YouTube keyword research is also important, especially so for those starting out. The keywords you discover related to your videos are important to use, but unlike in ye olde YouTube days, overflowing the meta-data with keyword phrases won’t help you rank like before. Instead, using descriptive tags in your video helps the most, although some keyword use in your video title, description, and tags won’t hurt. Just be cautious and don’t “keyword stuff.” 

Drilling Down: Analyze What You’ve Made

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Like Google, YouTube is a rotating door of content, changes, and trends. Looking back on previous videos to see what worked, what didn’t, and what could be worked on for future videos is an important part of the content creation process. Checking how often your videos were shared will also give you an idea of how “viral” of a video it was. Obviously higher is better, and ideally you want your content shared as often as an office pot of coffee (or more . . . definitely more).

Summing It All Up

So where does that leave your brand? You want to evaluate whether you should be on YouTube at all, setting up YouTube ads, or focus your efforts on other social media platforms. You should always be trying to make the best possible content, and ideally longer videos that run for ten minutes or more in order to rank higher. If you do decide to make dedicated videos then making sure each video has a reason to be created and put on your channel is an important evaluation. Provide opportunities for people to engage with your brand off YouTube either through links or the video itself to encourage people to turn from content consumers to customers. Perform YouTube SEO by looking up the best keywords to target for your brand, craft an interesting video thumbnail, highly relevant video title, and be sure to fill out the meta-info with highly relevant descriptive tags. 

Following our guide should help you draw those clicks, views, comments, likes, and shares. Who knows, you might create the next viral sensation (just don’t bring back “Rick Rolling”).

 

About the Author

Jake likes writing, fencing, movies, video games, living in Canada, and puns. In fact, he’s actually already “pun”ked you by reading this. He’ll see himself out.…

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