So you’ve got a killer viral video. But can anyone find it?
You’ve just created what you’re sure is the next big viral video and it’s all set to top the YouTube charts. It’s got a horse-dancing pop star, a bleating goat and a cute kitten. How could it not be a rage? So you upload it and wait to make the evening news. And wait. And wait.
You see, word of mouth is the most powerful way to make a video go viral, but if no one can find your video, what are they going to talk about? While reams have been written about how to create viral videos, very little is said about how to get people to find that video. Surprisingly, even savvy digital marketers fall short when it comes to taking advantage of video SEO techniques.
Here then are a few pointer on how to make your video more discoverable
It’s all in the Title. And the description. And the tags.
When it comes to video titles it’s critical to remember that what works on Google search isn’t necessarily what works on YouTube. When people search videos they tend to search a bit differently than conventional search engines. For example “Justin Bieber Look” won’t make a great YouTube title, while “Easy Justin Beiber look tutorial” is closer to what people will search for.
The other thing to do is search for videos similar to yours and see what they’re using in their titles and descriptions. Can you make yours better or more clearer? The YouTube Keyword Suggestion Tool is worth checking out for more in-depth recommendations.
Think Channel, not just Video.
It’s worth remembering that YouTube is itself a social network. As YouTube continues to prioritize channel growth and audience engagement over individual video success, its’ worth spending time on cultivating your channel. So even if you don’t have a video to post yet, you can still keep your subscribers engaged by posting, liking, commenting on and sharing videos from other YouTube channels.
Update the rest of your video, playlist, and channel metadata.
Things like creating closed caption transcripts for videos, adding social media links, and verifying your website to improve your SEO and enable annotation links directly to your website are all great ways to ensure your video is found.
Use Other Social Media.
YouTube isn’t the only place you need to post your video. Your own social media communities are a great place to seed your video. Also, post your YouTube links to Facebook, Google (brand page, events, communities) LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Foursquare, etc. You should also include links to your profile on these networks directly from your YouTube channel.
Identifying and posting videos to the top website forums in your industry can significantly boost your organic views. In addition to standalone website forums, third-party LinkedIn Groups and Google Communities can provide additional, targeted audiences for your video content.
Know What’s Working.
Do you know which of your videos are attracting the most views. YouTube Analytics is a quick way to see which of your videos are most engaging to viewers. The sub-menus will tell you which videos are the most viewed and have the highest audience retention and engagement. Knowing what works means you can replicate successful content and find ways to improve the content you already have.
Since October 2012, YouTube more heavily rewards audience retention (minutes spent watching your videos) in determining search result rankings. So focus on developing your audience just as much as developing your video content.
How do you do this? Resist the urge to chuck in one more Harlem Shake video on your channel and instead work towards creating and sharing content that’s original, unique and surprising.
Video is an extremely powerful medium to promote a brand. So it’s well worth the time and effort to not just create great content but optimise it so your audience can find it quickly. And share it even faster.
Also, it’s worth remembering that doing it all on your own isn’t always the best option. Often getting an SEO expert in and having them optimise your content for the maximum possible reach and views is well worth the money.
Sources: Capture The Conversation, YouTube Creator Playbook.
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